Originally Posted by Coolbeginnings
Thank you SugarCane

OK but BF and I are currently separated and not really dating.
I understand Dr Harley to have told you to get the drinking dealt with first, and THEN begin dating. If he's not willing to stop drinking, your relationship should be over.

That means you need to have a conversation in which you tell him how important your relationship is to you, and how much you want to rebuild it so that you are committed to each other, and you treat each other well, and you are happy. This is for you because you love him and don't want to stay permanently estranged, and for the children because they will be infinitely more secure and happy if their parents are together, happy and committed. The problem is that you haven't been committed, because you never showed your commitment through marriage. He has also been unpleasant, bad-tempered and moody towards you, and you have been unhappy for a long time. You'd like to know whether he has the same hopes (of happiness and commitment) for the two of you, and if he wants his future to be with you and the children. If he wants the same as you, you have a plan so that you can bring that about. If he doesn't, or if he feels that things were okay as they were and he'd like to go back to that (moving in with you and not changing his behaviour), that's okay, but it isn't what you want, and if you don't have the same vision, the relationship will have to end.

If he wants the same as you, he must see that you have been unhappy in the relationship for most of the time you've lived together. His moodiness, silent treatment, put-downs and general indifference have hurt you, and they need to stop immediately. If he can admit that he did those things, and acknowledge that he actively hurt you, and if he will put all his efforts into un-learning all those behaviours and to stop doing anything that you identify as hurtful, you can begin again - and this starts with his stopping drinking for good.

So if he desires to commit, and accepts and acknowledges that his various behaviours hurt you and must stop, you tell him that the first stage must to for him to stop drinking right then and then. He must never touch another drop of alcohol. If he can't commit to that first stage, there is no point in discussing things any further.

If he can commit to that first stage, he needs to get help. I'm unfamiliar with how this would be done. You asked about MelodyLane, and I remember reading in her long history of posting that her ex-husband (the father of her kids) gave her the choice of going to AA right then and there or losing the kids. She joined AA on the spot and as far as I know, never drank again, without ever relapsing. However, I have read other people say that when an addiction is removed, the relationship often collapses as a result. I don't fully understand the dynamics, but it seems the addicted spouse either finds another addiction - which can be attending AA itself, or hooking up with someone that they meet there - or looks at their life and decides they don't like it, and becomes even more unpleasant to live with, or leaves. Ending the addiction needs to be handled carefully.

IF BF joins AA, it must be a single-sex group, and his sponsor must be male. Going into residential rehab needs to have the same precautions.

BF might try simply giving up without joining anything, and if that fails, then speaking to his GP for more help, or contacting AA. I've never had any experience of this so I'm not the best person to ask, but bear in mind that Dr Harley recommended that you do this together. You need to find a way where you can know every single day that he hasn't had a drink - and this does not involve his moving back in with you. You need to maintain a relationship where you can encourage him, check up on him, and keep the level of love you have from falling even further - not through dating, but through conversation.

Only when there have been months of sobriety can you move on to dating.

This is a long process and a wedding, and moving back together, might be a year or more away. For now, you are seeking commitment to that future, to abstinence, and to warm and loving conversation and behaviour without sarcasm, put-downs, sulks and the rest of it, along with good fatherhood.

Try never to bring up the affair in your talks. However, I'm unsure whether he ever sent that woman a no-contact letter. Sending one would be a step towards commitment. I would seek advice from
Dr Harley about whether sending one now (if one were never sent before) is necessary.

You didn't answer my question about whether Dr Harley has his email address. Ask him whether he is willing to use Dr Harley's free help, and explain how you feel his work has already helped you, and would bring about the best marriage possible because of the guidance it offers. Persuade him to at least have an email conversation with Dr Harley so that he can get you started.


BW
Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.