I must say I agree with most of the replies you have already had so don’t feel I can add to them but more echo what they are saying.
What is there to say to what has happened which you haven’t said a thousand times before ? If you say it you will no doubt get the same response as you’ve also had a thousand times before ! perhaps a simple – thanks for letting me know would suffice ? then go on and enjoy a good gambling free holiday with your daughter.
If you fear such a response from him if you don’t offer to take him or pay his way (which I agree is some what predictable) then what does that say about him, to me it says it’s about continuing enablement and manipulation.
As for the visits, I don’t see his reliability improving until steps are taken by him to control his gambling problem. It’s hard on children in any split and all we can do is pour our efforts in to clearing up the mess and concentrating on them, not on the absent person with problems.
You cannot keep taking the responsibility for his bad choices and as long as you do – he never will. He’s calling the shots and he is getting in the way of you going forward with your own life – sorry to sound a little blunt !
If you make arrangements and he lets you down and your daughter down then that is his responsibility – you cannot make it right, it is a hazard of the trade (so to speak). Putting life on hold is a waste and I’m sure your daughter feels your frustration how ever hard you may try to conceal it.
He needs the rug pulling out from underneath him in my opinion. Sometimes a legal route is helpful but it can do no more than you can, it sets out boundaries and perameters for contact etc but they can just as easily be bent if people don’t adhere to them eg, if you give in and in my experience they can often be inflammatory to the situation.
You are getting stronger Michele and I think you beat yourself up way too much than is good for you. Set your own standards and live up to them don’t live down to his expectations