So, a little background: my partner and I have been together for nearly 7 years, we have 2 children, aged 3 and 1. My partner has gambled since I met him, and it was only once we had established a family that I realised what a problem his gambling was. I had thought it was just something that he did for fun, and that once there were kids and responsibilities that he would just tone it down, as it was only something he did for fun. Turns out it isn't something that he can just "stop doing". Last year alone he blew $10000, and just about once a month he will risk anywhere from 400-1000 in one sitting, no matter how broke we are.

We are currently renting a house from his dad for fairly reduced rent as we're supposed to be saving for a house. Before we moved here he had a first home saver account. He's since spent it all, we also no longer have any regular savings and it just feels like with two kids we are haemorrhaging money!!

I was studying full time this previous semester, and working, and trying to juggle it all. My mum has helped care for the kids when they aren't at daycare, and my partner fills in all the other gaps. For the most part, every little thing I tried to do around the house to make our lives easier while i was so busy, he fought. He wouldn't put the kids to bed on nights he was supposed to, he wouldn't cook when he was supposed to (instead choosing to order pizza - again despite being broke). He would say that all I did at work all day was sit on my arse anyway, therefore he shouldn't have to do anything else with the kids that day (after looking after them for a meezly 5 hours) - he will now look after them without too much complaint (and does a really great job of it, he loves being with the kids). He criticises everything I do, or rather don't do. He will never acknowledge anything I have done, as soon as he gets home from work he will pick on the one thing that I haven't done.

One night this previous semester he went out with friends and I knew it would be a late one, I had to work the next day, so I went to sleep and didn't worry that he wasn't home. I woke up at 3, and he still wasn't home. I figured he couldn't be far away and that he was really pushing it this time. I got ready to be disturbed, but ended up falling asleep. When I woke up at 6, he still wasn't home and my heart was in my throat when I tried to call him. It was very unlike him to not come home, in my mind i had decided he was either dead in a ditch, or at the casino. By 8am I still hadn't heard from him, and had to get ready for work but I didn't have anyone who could have the kids, so I had to call in sick. When he did finally "rock up", he was totally pissed, and had blown 900 at the casino. I went and stayed with family for a couple of days (with the kids) and then stayed away for the rest of the week (with us alternating - so he would stay with his dad and i would come home etc). I had every intention of leaving for good. Juggling was so hard by now that i ended up letting him move back, it was confusing the kids too. I still needed to talk to him about it all, and wanted us to go to counselling.. and then amidst all of this, my dad died and suddenly everything was thrown up into the air for me again. He collapsed the day after my birthday (really having a super effing good time at this stage) and anyway, the whole gambling thing got brushed under the carpet. While my dad was in the ICU i couldn't afford hospital parking because my partner had gambled all our money.

I still had to hobble on and finish my uni semester (which I managed to finish with an overall distinction, I might add, yay me!) Anyway, just before my placement started he gambled again, and I couldn't afford to park (again) to go to my placement (i ended up parking ages away and walking). Anyway, super long story, after letting him move back initially, he understood how much it upset me, how much of a deal breaker the gambling is (and we've had many similar conversations over the years) but after the most recent gambling event, I essentially said that I could no longer put up with it, and if he did it again, i had to walk away, and he said that he wanted counselling (which i'm fairly sure in hindsight was just to placate me).

Obviously i am here because last thursday he had a work function, and then went out afterwards and risked 600, he got home at 2 in the morning, so drunk he pissed my bed, however, he had won back about triple the 600, and so seems to think that therefore it negates all of the negative aspects. He also said that he had agreed to work on it in the new year, and that he was always going to have a "relapse" again before then.

I suppose what I am asking is what do I do now? Do I ask him to leave? Do I throw everything away right before Christmas? Do I wait till after Christmas. I just don't know what to do, but I feel like i can't back down from the ultimatum that I gave him.

If you read all of this you're a saint, and you'd be a bigger saint if you offered some advice of a constructive nature as to what steps I should be taking. I don't even know if I can be bothered going to counselling!! I really don't believe he will change!