Originally Posted by Coolbeginnings
...I said so BF what about us then? He smiled and laughed a little but said straight away, we can't give up can we CoolB? I said no we cant, and that I would love to have a happy committed future with you, do you want the same and he said yes.

Then I said what Dr Harley told to me to say on the radio show. That I felt the 12 weeks we had spent together since lockdown had been great and that he had stopped having angry outbursts, that he had gone to great lengths to prove there was no one else and we hadn't argued once. That I was really pleased about this (DR Harley said to make a big deal about meeting 2 terms of the Plan B Letter). Then I said but there was only one thing that was a problem to me and that was his drinking, I then explained my concern for his own health, the impact that this has on the relationship, and how it was affect the children. He didn't get mad at all and looked quite sheepish, he didn't disagree with anything I said and he just nodded in agreement. I said to him that I want to have a sober relationship with him and the drinking has to stop now. I told him that I would give up drinking with him and would be there to support him through it. At this point he insisted how healthy he is (fitness and food) and that he is not alchoholic. I said I am not a professional but all I know is that it needs to stop for your own good, otherwise he would need some help.

He said he is miserable in the house, and that he spends most of his time there reading his books. He said there is nothing else that matters appart from you and the kids and I am not going anywhere. That his only concern was that it all goes wrong in a years time and we have to go through it all again so he wants to make sure we are right.
Well done on saying all you needed to say, especially the stuff that Dr Harley coached you on. I think you did a fantastic job. I don't think you missed out anything. And the results were very good - he didn't reject your offer to rebuild, and he recognises that his drinking is harmful. You need to press on with getting him to prove every day that he has stopped.

Originally Posted by Coolbeginnings
The only thing he said a flat out no to was speaking to Dr Harley. I tried to sell it to him but he wasn't having any of it. He said he would go and sit in a room and talk to someone, and that he had initiated counselling twice before. I guess 2 out of the three isn't bad. He also said that we need to talk things out more, cant we do more of that CoolB?
Contact Dr Harley and ask him what to do. I don't know whether he would agree to writing to BF to start things off. Dr Harley will know about the ethics of contacting someone who did not request contact, who has not given his email address. Maybe Dr Harley can write to him via you - writing to both of you with the outlines of a plan. (Stop drinking, provide accountability, go to rehab if this fails, date, etc.) Does BF know that he doesn't needs to actually talk to Dr H?

Since he wants to talk things out with you, use that as an opportunity to talk about Dr Harley. If you feel that you could raise the subject with BF, tell him how much this would mean to you. Point out that your previous counselling hasn't worked, and point out the difference with Dr Harley's coaching approach. There would be no joint conversations in which you berate each other with accusations about past behaviour. The coaching focuses on identifying and eliminating problems and bad habits in your relationship today, and on building romantic love. It's about changing behaviour, not "counselling" (which usually involves delving into the past, rehashing mistakes and making both of you feel worse).

Originally Posted by Coolbeginnings
I also raised about when he went cold / silent on me a few weeks ago, and explained how tough I found this, and that treatment has to stop. That if he needs to go into his man cave he needs to communicate this. Then he said I shouldn't need some space from us "Cool B'. This part worries me and not sure how to handle this either as it feels like rejection.
I don't really know what he meant when he said he shouldn't need any space from "us". A good interpretation would be that he knows his behaviour is lousy and he knows it needs to stop. However, if he is saying that the fact that he needs time alone is a reflection of the grief that you cause him, you could try replying that you're sorry about the behaviour that makes him unhappy - much as I'm sure you would choke on the irony. The thing is that you DO need for him to identify what you do that upsets him, and you need to train yourself out of that behaviour. But he needs to do the same, and he needs to stop the silent treatment, no matter what you've done. He needs to point out the behaviour that has upset him, and you can apologise for it and make amends if needed. You do the same when the situation is reversed. However, silent treatment and contempt are not acceptable, and they are destroying your feelings for him, and making you unhappy. Above all, he needs to make a commitment never to be the cause of your unhappiness (and you do the same for him).

We need to find a way for you to not wilt when he says things that make you worry about his feelings for you. You seem to take in the comment, and suffer a dreadful loss of confidence because of it. If instead you could see a complaint as being valid information that you can use to affect a change, so that you do not destroy love bank units, that would change things enormously.

I'm getting ahead of things here, because this is all something to be learned over the future. You can't just turn it around today. And of course, this also applies to him, and he seems to have a lot more work to do if he is to stop making you unhappy.

Originally Posted by Coolbeginnings
I told him that if he stops drinking we can spend time as a couple and time as a family. We have to spend more one to one time if we are going to build up the relationship.

Now Dr Harley did advise on his radio show that if he stops drinking immediately that we spend time together dating. I may write to him to clarify? Dr Harley did say contact him if there was progression. Whereas Sugar Cane advises to waiting until he stops drinking before meeting up.
Isn't that the same thing, though? We're both saying that when he stops drinking you can begin dating. If that's today, you can begin dating today.

But if we did say different things, you must ALWAYS take Dr Harley's advice. My attempt was only to help you interpret the advice that I understood Dr Harley to have given you, not to give advice of my own. The regular posters on this forum would never seek to undermine anything Dr Harley advises.

Originally Posted by Coolbeginnings
I know you might not think it, but communicating all that to him is a big leap for me.
You did incredibly well. I think I recognise in your relationship a similar dynamic that affected mine. In my case, it was because H is older (that mattered at lot when I was only 19), better educated (university/not university at that time), brought up in a wonderful family, as opposed to my own chaotic mess that taught me nothing about good relationships, and that fostered no self-confidence. You need to learn to recognise that your needs are valid, and that your likes and dislikes about his behaviour are valid and must be voiced. You need to gain confidence from all the things you've achieved in your life. It's really hard to do, and takes a long time, but you must train yourself not to feel stupid for wanting what you want.

Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.