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Hi Michelle
It would be naïve to suggest that people don’t fall out of love but when the addiction to gamble is in the equation it is impossible to fathom what is in the CG mind; I can only offer that which I know through experience or knowledge of the addiction.
It appears your partner is fully indulging his addiction and, therefore, not thinking logically or reasonably. With logic and reason he could maybe understand that his lack of responsibility and poor addictive behaviour is to blame for his daughter not being under his roof – but without logic or reason, who is his addictive mind to blame that his relationship is broken and he is feeling unhappy? I suggest that the feeling that he despises you comes from his need to blame you and I believe it is so important that you know that you are not to blame.
I see little point in telling him you have sought legal advice, unless you intend to follow through with action. Until you know what it is that you really want to do and you are ready for the consequences of your action, I don’t believe in saying something that sounds threatening.
I cannot tell you what to do, even though I believe I understand exactly where you are at this time, because making your own decisions is a major part of your recovery. Of course I believe a father should pay maintenance but I too recognise that a father, who is a CG, would probably gamble rather than pay and could lose his job. As a mother, I would also prefer to collect my child than to risk her being left to a gambling urge.
I suggest that when he says he is moving on it might confuse his addiction if you tell him that you understand and you wish him well but to please include his daughter in his plans. .
There is a possibility that your partner’s addiction has to take him all the way down before he tackles his demons and there is a strong argument that it is better to let him fall – I certainly don’t think that preventing the fall for a CG helps them.
I hope these thoughts do help – I still have my thinking cap on but sadly when the addiction to gamble is smack in the middle of a relationship, there can be no guarantee of a good outcome. What is important is that you recover from the misery of the experience and that your daughter is safe and well.