I write to say ***** and Welcome to this site. I hope it will help you to become less confused at the very least, but also become a place of support, wisdom and encouragement for you.
I think you will find that there are many people who share similar experiences and feelings as you read posts here and/or come into some of the ‘live’ group sessions. Each of us is unique and has a unique relationship with the gambler (partner, son, parent, friend), but there are many things in common, which means we can really help each other. You can also speak to the staff on the Live Advice Helpline, when it is open.
You describe someone you love very much and who has been a soulmate. But his addiction has changed him; he is no longer offering you that kind of relationship – he has made gambling the love of his life for now. This is so painful for you, who are still there with the ability to love as before.
There is hope for him to live a life free of gambling and there is help available; I suggest that you tell him, if you have the opportunity, about this site and its resources and any local Gamblers Anonymous groups you can find out about. If he suddenly stopped gambling on his own – ie without a support network of people who understand the addiction, he may well be feeling pretty bad and unable to cope with his own emotions. This may be why he seems so angry and has walked out. Gamblers are often angry with those close to them and may try to blame them for how they feel – eg, he claims YOU have taken away the thing he loves. But it is his responsibility. He did not want to become addicted, of course, but now that it has happened, he will have to make his own decision to get help and to live without gambling.
Meanwhile, one of the important things that you will learn here, is that your job is to look after YOU. You can guide your husband towards recovery, but you cannot do it for him – but you CAN look after yourself and start a new chapter in YOUR own life. This includes protecting your personal finances and your own emotional and physical well-being. It is likely (in my opinion) that your husband will not stay away, but I feel it would be good for you not to try to persuade him one way or another, at this point. Just try to decide what you want for yourself and work on that. If he stays away a while, use the time to really care for YOU. You may feel that what you want is your good relationship, but that is something that requires two committed people – right now, think about what you want/need that you can work on for yourself. You may be surprised at your thoughts, but see where they take you. We can get so caught up caring for someone else that we get out of touch with our own true *****.
I would also suggest that you do not make any ultimatum to him unless you know you are going to go with it – otherwise you will find yourself manipulated by the addiction/addict. IF you reach a stage where YOU need space on your own, then talk about it seriously, but for now, it is probably good to stay calm and look after yourself.
No one else can tell you exactly what to do, but offer thoughts and ideas, along with support, so you can work out what’s right for you, step by step. No one can say what the longer term outcome will be, but help you as you walk forward on your own new and better path.
I hope this is of some help and that you will find more of what you need here.
Keep hope alive.