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New and lost

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    My husband is a compulsive gambler. We have been together for 20 years. He has always enjoyed gambling, but the last couple of years, and most especially the last couple of months it has gotten really bad. I can say I have lost my husband both emotionally and physically to a sense to gambling.
    The man I loved and who was my best friend and truly the love of my life is gone. He has changed in so many ways I can’t even start to explain them all.
    He has become so nasty, rude, and just careless about everything. We have 2 children 2& 5 and he is so mean to all of us. I see my kids starting to act out, and it’s depressing to me. We gave these kids life, were supposed to set examples. but none the less, his whole demeanor has changed. WE have gotten into such fights, that forgetting the things that were said are not possible.
    He doesn’t shave, he barely showers, he changes cause he has too. I see him giving up on his own life, and I feel guilty for wanting to leave. But I can’t stay here anymore with the verbal abuse. Also for fear of breaking out into huge fights i end up enabling him by allowing him access to money he needs to pay off his debts. See my husband doesn’t go to casino’s it’s local bars where they lend you whatever money you need. So it’s easy.. He is never home at nights and stays out all night if he has too.
    I can’t see myself staying anymore, but at the same time I fear that my leaving will make him do something worse to himself.
    So how do we find a clear path on what is the right thing to do. This addiction is so overseen by others as a lack of willpower, because they don’t think it’s a physical disease. But from what I have seen, this disease eats away not only at a persons life but at their soul.
    My sweet husband is gone, i have lost him. I am a cross roads of trying to figure out if I go out the mean way (which is just walking out) or trying to help him. For years trying to help him meant getting him the money he needed to pay off his debts.
    Please help.. I’m lost, confused. My children are lacking a father and because of my emotions in a sense they have lost a piece of me as well. I have lost who I am!! I don’t even recognize myself anymore.
    Thanks for everyone’s input.

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