Your reply throws up a couple of thoughts that I hope to help you with.
Low self-esteem comes with the addiction and is not necessarily first.
Absolutely and utterly reject guilt. You did not ask for or want his addiction anymore than he did BUT only ‘he’ can change his life – you are not to blame in any way for his addiction.
Unfortunately many, many CGs have to be seriously hurt by their addiction until they seek to change their lives. Mine would not have changed as long as I enabled.
Believe me I understand your cry ‘but I love him’ – unfortunately his addiction understands that cry only too well.
I am not and never would suggest parting from the man you love. All decisions must be yours, but I would be doing you a disservice if I wasn’t completely honest.
You are right that he would probably not understand your decision to not move with him but it is because he doesn’t want to understand – it threatens his addiction.
A coping method, not recognized professionally but one many of us have used at the beginning of our recovery is to imagine your partner’s addiction as a slavering beast in the corner of the room. As long as you keep your cool and don’t threaten it, it stays quiet but it never sleeps.
Your partner is controlled by that addiction but you are not. When you threaten his addiction it leaps between you and because it is the master of threats and manipulation (which you are not and nor do you want to be) it will control the conversation or argument. Once the addiction beast is between you, you will only hear his addiction speak and because it only knows lies and deceit, it will seek to make you feel blame and demoralize you. When you speak to your partner the addiction distorts your words and he will not comprehend your meaning.
My CG explained it to me by saying that all the time I was telling him that if he didn’t lie but lived honestly he would be happy, his addiction was distorting his mind – convincing him that I was lying because he truly believed that he was unlovable, worthless and a failure – he was lost and fought back because he didn’t have any other coping mechanism
If you can stand back a bit and listen to what your partner is saying, it becomes easier not get caught up in an argument that has no point apart from making you feel less in control. Once you begin to try and put your side the addiction has something to get its teeth into.
This all sounds a little negative but the positive side is that it removes you from the centre of the addiction giving you time and energy to look after you.
By looking after you first you will become stronger because one of the best ways to win is not to play the game.
I will send this to help you in your thinking but please keep posting.
You are doing well, even if you think you are not