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Hi Peanut,
Good to see you posting. There are many elements to your story not the least the fact you live in possibly the worst place in the world for a compulsive gambler. My partner visited Las Vegas once, he ran away with a large sum of money and was penniless with no ticket home within 12 hours! I can see why your husband would want to stay away and for his sake and in the long term yours, I am glad he has.

If your husband is working on his recovery (and the fact he hasn’t stayed in Vagas is a good sign he is) then he will not have room for much else at this time. If your husband loves you and the relationship is one that can be saved his recovery is the only way it could ever be healthy and sustainable. Equally in these situations the recovery of the partner is just as vital. Learning about enablement, moving forward with yourself and nurturing a happy, healthy you is the only way to foster a happy healthy relationship. For these recoveries people often need time and space which may be seen as a selfish thing, actually it is self care and self care needs to happen before we can ever truly care for another person.

Some times when self care leads to self improvement it means we grow away from a person or relationship, sometimes it heals things and brings us closer together either way it needs to happen to allow room for the people involved to blossom and lead fulfilling lives.

In my opinion showing your care from a distance and without demands as you did for his birthday is the best thing you could do, the fact he replied speaks volumes. Getting support for yourself, enjoying your life as it stands and working on any issues you may have isn’t about moving away from him or leaving the marriage behind, it is about doing what is necessary to have a happy life, it means you have space for another person once that improvement starts to take effect.

I can not predict whether or not your husband will return to you and in truth neither can you but if he does (and please don’t let it be in Vagas) then it is far more likely to work out long term if you are both strong in your recoveries. My partner and I were separated for 7 years working on ourselves (not to get back together, we both believed it was over) and now he is back in my life we both appreciate the work the other one has put in and our relationship is the best it has ever been, he is gamble free and I am strong and independent, this enables us to support each other fully and as equals and enjoy our life everyday. If you are having a relationship with an active gambler what you are actually having is a relationship with the addiction and that is not a healthy situation. It is an old cliche I know but you both need to find yourselves before you can re-find each other.

Take care of you, find out what makes you smile and feel complete outside of the relationship, then the way forward will seem less daunting I promise. Lily x