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Alcohol, Separation, Always Seemingly Play Second Fiddle

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I have been married just under a year to my now partner of nearly 4 years. It hasn’t been easy, but it hasn’t all been terrible. My partner, a year younger than me of 26, has been struggling with addiction for the entire time I’ve known him. He is mostly wonderful and highly functioning, except he would get into moods and lose his job or other. Now I am trying to discuss when we will move in together and he isn’t ready. Comes up with excuses, although agreed to go to a 29-day detox program in conjunction with what succeeding therapies would be recommended from the facility. Now he has been off anything illicit for over a year, but the alcohol is playing a big issue. He is worried that he isnt strong enough to return.

I feel I have played second fiddle for a while now and want him to show the sacrafice. He has a family member in the military and their spouse also military while raising a child. He claims that there is need for him down there to help with the child.

I want him home, and want to get into therapy to start our lives. In c
Now, I don’t have a place of my own, but am a caregiver for an elderly family member who has Parkinson’s. Yes difficult, but the house is commutable to my decent job where I have growth potential and an enormous likely hood of acquiring the house if something were to happen. Why would there be a reluctance for his return. We had issues before, at some point it did get physical, but I at least have moved on from that. He has set a time that is seemingly floating and coincides when the family member he’s living with gets new orders later towards the end of the year. I need advice on coping with the separation, feeling of not having any say in this separation, and dealing with the underlying issues of alcoholism.

Alcohol, Separation, Always Seemingly Play Second Fiddle

Answered by on -


Thank you for writing this. If you’re not already involved in Al-Anon, I would highly recommend beginning to go to meetings. There are a variety of different issues here that suggest your partner isn’t ready for the kind of relationship you were hoping for. Al-Anon has a long-standing tradition for helping family and friends of people with alcoholism to cope with their personality and intimacy issues. You’ll need this kind of support as you go forward.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Alcohol, Separation, Always Seemingly Play Second Fiddle

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Alcohol, Separation, Always Seemingly Play Second Fiddle. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 3, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 5 Jun 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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