Post # 1
A bit of history: We’ve been together 8 years and have 3 kids ages 5, 1 and 2 months. Shortly after we had our first child, my husband picked up computer gaming with his nephews and it became an addiction. It consumed his life and it caused him to neglect me, our children, it affected his health, and it even caused him to get fired from a job because of lack of performance thanks to his serious lack of sleep. Then one day 2 weeks before I had our 3rd child, he had an epiphany and decided to stop playing and oh my did everything change. I cannot express how happy we have been these past 2 months and a half. He became romantic, he became a great dad, he became motivated in being healthy and working out, hell we actually went to bed together which we literally hadn’t done in years. Then last week he mentioned that he wanted to go to a gaming center with his nephews for the day and night. I was kind of fine with it up until the night before when he mentioned that he wanted to take our new suv. It bothered me because he thought I should stay in for the weekend with the kids since we dont fit in our second car and I thought that was unfair since the kids and I also look forward to getting out of the houes on the weekends. I thought he should have one of his nephews drive but he insisted he wanted to take them in our new car and he did. We fought and although yes maybe I should have just let it be, I’ll admit I have deep resentment towards his nephews and his gaming and the car was the cherry on top. That was Saturnday and now (Sunday) he is sitting there playing again. He thinks I owe him an apology for making a big deal about him going and for having resentment towards his nephews and I just want him to understand that I cannot deal with this agin. I know a lot of you will argue that he deserves to enjoy himself every now and then and I totally get that, but this gaming just has too much ugly history between us that I can’t swallow that pill anymore. For years his gaming literally destroyed our relationship on so many levels and just when I thought things were going to get better, he starts gaming again. I honestly don’t think I can handle this and he thinks I’m phsyco for feeling like this. What should I do guys, I’m torn.
Post # 2
Well, I don’t think it’s fair for you to resent his nephews. He’s a grown man, it’s not thier fault he neglects his family and responsibilities for video games. Your husband’s actions are 100% on him.
Honestly, if the gaming is truly destroying your marriage, his career, and making him a crappy father then throw the gaming stuff out. Go to therapy (couples and individual for him) and get your marriage back on track. Don’t just wait around for him to have another epiphany.
Or leave. You deserve to be happy and in a healthy relationship.
Post # 3
He thinks you’re psycho for not wanting him to continue an addiction that got him fired from his job and caused him to neglect his wife and young children?? That sounds a lot like gaslighting to me. It’s a pretty glaring red flag that he was addicted to video games to the point of ignoring everything else for 5 years vs being game-free for 2.5 months (and he’s already showing signs of relapse). Clearly, your husband is unable to play video games casually without it becoming his top priority and eroding all other aspects of his life, and that makes it a huge problem. You said he had an epiphany before; is he denying that he’s resuming bad habits now? What has he said when you’ve expressed your concerns this weekend?
Is he playing his games today in a childish attempt to get back at you, or to let off steam about how upset he is about the car situation? Or do you think that the gaming event this weekend truly rekindled his obsession and he’s now going to be glued to the games indefinitely?
IMO, if it’s the latter, you should treat this like any other addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc). Pursue therapy, and think about your next steps if he is unwilling to change and become a functioning husband and father. Addictions certainly take time to resolve, but there needs to be some desire to fix the situation in order to make any headway. It sounds like he had that prior to this weekend. I guess you need to assess where he’s at now, preferably calmly and not in the midst of an argument about the car situation, since that will just make you both upset and not really answer or resolve anything (I don’t think he was in the right about the car, but dropping that piece of it for the time being is I think worth it — you have to pick your battles, and I feel that the video game addiction is a much bigger deal than him wanting the car one Saturday).
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2014 - DD born 2015 DS born 2017
How old are his nephews, just for perspective?
Anyway, I don’t know how you’ve coped with such an absent husband! I’m so sorry. I am dealing with resentment with my husband on a different issue but it’s only something he did (or rather didn’t do) for less than a year with our first child. We’ve talked and talked and talked and he will not be the same with our second (now pregnant) and he has already demonstrated that and I’m working to forgive him.
I can’t imagine years’ worth of this.. it’d be soul-destroying. Your husband’s behaviour is NOT acceptable. You both need help, and this is serious. Addiction is addiction, if this were alcohol wouldn’t you have sought help by now?
Post # 5
That’s so difficult! I think marrying a serious gamer is like marrying a smoker: you can’t go into the relationship hoping they’ll change. But he started gaming after you were already in a relationship! You had no way of knowing! Have you two tried setting ground rules you can both agree to, like no gaming after X time, but he can play from Y-Z hours without you saying anything about it? Y’all might be able to find a compromise!
Post # 6
My husband is a gamer and I SO feel for you, dear bee. We never go out, never do anything that’s not absolutely necessary for survival. All he wants to do is sit at the computer and play his games. I hate it so much, words cannot express. I feel like a prisoner in a dungeon, because I don’t drive, so I’m basically stuck in the house, waiting for the miracle of us going out. I cannot imagine how you’ve put up with it for so many years. Your situation is so much worse, because of the kids. A friend of mine got divorced because of gaming and now I totally get why. This thing is just…obsession really and turns them into nagging, vicious little kids, when they’re not enjoying their favorite toy-drug. My husband has a close family member who is just as obsessed, and that makes things a lot worse. They game for hours on end, often all night. That relative’s daughter is 7 years old and much more mature than him, honestly. Of course, neglect of wife and kid goes without saying. Both ‘boys’ claim they’re not addicted and get super angry and aggressive if you even mention that.
I don’t know any way out or any advice to offer, sorry. Just wanted to add yet another rant and say you’re not alone in this. …sigh….
Post # 7
This 100%. If the gaming is truly an addiction it has to be 100% removed from your husband’s life forever sad he needs to be attending therapy.
Post # 8
Hahah wow – my DH is like that too. He’s a gamer, and to be fair I do play a lot of games with him, but to me it’s just a fun little break, like watching a few episodes of a TV show and I can’t do it for too long. He can do it for HOURS and hours.
I never really thought about it until you mentioned it – but my DH is the same where he doesn’t really want to do anything unless it’s not necessary for survival (like groceries). He WILL go do things with me sometimes, like when we have dinner out with our friends, or if I want to go to the dog park, but he will never in a million years actually suggest doing something on his own, and when we do do something I feel like I’m pulling him away from what he really wants to do, and it makes me feel bad so I end up grumpy the whole time anyways.
And, like you said, he kind of turns into a little nagging kid when he’s not enjoying his video games and he just gets all sad when we have to go do something.
Sorry bee 🙁 My DH loves his video games, but he definitely doesn’t neglect me or his responsibilities anyways. If I want to eat dinner at the table, or go to bed early and watch a few episodes of something, he will without any fuss, but for us the biggest issue is weekends. If he doesn’t get to sit at home and play his video games on the weekend he gets moody.
Maybe you could approach the subject gently – tell him you recognize that it’s a hobby and he’s absolutely allowed to have his “me time,” but you’d like to work out a way or a schedule where he can enjoy that time but also be present when you need him, like PP mentioned!
Post # 9
So you say he has a gaming addicition (and based on how you’ve described this problem it sounds like he truly does). So you both have to look at it from that perspective. It is an addiction and it is serious. He’s already lost one job because of it!
Just like with any other addiction, it is HARD to quit and move on. And then, once you do, you kind of convince yourself that you’re doing fine. Just ONE night of gaming won’t kill me. Okay now a whole weekend. Next thing you know he’s missing work deadlines again and out of a job. It’s a slippery slope. It’s either all or nothing but it’s SO EASY to convince yourself that you can control it this time.
He needs therapy. Individual to help control and work on his gaming addiction and then maybe couples therapy too for the both of you. I’m not a fan of ultimatums but I don’t see what other choice you have since he fails to see the problem here. Tell him that he quits NOW and starts therapy or you’re moving out.
Post # 10
I dont think you’re overreacting at all. Video game addiction is a very real, very toxic thing. Treat it exactly like alcoholism or narcotics addiction. It’s just as terrible. Video game addicts live a fraction of a real life, it’s incredibly sad and I could never have someone like that as a life partner.
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom
When I first saw the title of your thread, I was already writing a response in my head about how DH is an avid gamer, and I am a former gamer (I’ve all but given it up as I am 38 weeks pregnant and now have different priorities). I was going to tell you about how I get a little frustrated when a new game comes out and I become a ‘video game widow’ for a few weeks until either he beats the game or decides he doesn’t care for it.
But then I read your post.
Speaking as someone who has an addicting personality, it doesn’t matter WHAT it is, when you’re hooked…your hooked! I’ve quit smoking, I’ve quit drinking, I’ve even quit drugs…but I can honestly tell you that quitting videogames was surprisingly one of the harder addictions to kick! The ability to ‘live’ in a ‘world’ where you get gratification and satisfaction from those types of challenges, and the projected day to day lifestyle the game creates is REALLY satisfying. In videogames you can be the person you want to be. It’s a means of escapism (at least it was for me).
What worked to help me kick my addiction was to set the gaming itself aside, and figure out what I was ‘escaping from’. For me, it was a job that was sucking out my soul, the TTC process taking longer than I felt it should, and some marriage problems I didin’t want to deal with. I’m not saying I snapped my fingers and changed everything….but once I worked through what was bothering me, it was a lot easier to put the controller down and live more in this world.
I changed jobs. DH initially went to anger management, and we later did counseling. I got pregnant (turns out I just needed a little patience on that one though). I’m in a better, happier place now…and I rarely find myself reaching for one of the games I used to ‘live inside’.
My LONG WINDED point is maybe it’s time to look past the gaming itself and see if there is an underlying issue with your DH than needs dealing with. It’s not something fun to think about, but at least exploring that path could REALLY help your situation *hug*
Post # 12
I don’t think you are overreacting. It doesn’t matter what source, but addicted personalities can become addicted to all sorts of things. You’re Dh is clearly addicted to video games.
There is an under lying issue. He needs to seek help and this has clearly gotten the best of him, he might not even realize it’s happening.
I feel for you bee, but hopefully you can help him see how distructive it is.
Post # 13
Have you guys tried marriage counseling? I can see the two of you benefiting from it.
Post # 14
An addiction is an addiction. An alcoholic doesn’t just start having one drink, someone who quits smoking doesn’t just smoke socially. He needs to stop it all together, because clearly he can’t function when he’s doing it. You’ve got 3 kids – he needs to grow up and parent them and be a husband to you. I’m sorry but getting to the point of losing your job because you’re up all night gaming?
Post # 15
Any addiction that caused my husband to lose a job and become distant as a husband (and father in your case) is something that I’d consider out of control or unchecked. It doesn’t matter what the “thing” is that he is addicted to. It’s significantly affecting his day to day life and therefore is a problem.
I’d treat it like any addiction: talk to him calmly but succinctly. Tell him that while you understand that he might not necessarily have control over his addictive personality, that he can choose not to engage in things that become addictions for him. In this case, the games. Let him know that you love and support him, but that you’re not willing to essentially be a single mom. That you need your partner there as a lover, and as a father.
Go to counseling, and when you’re there I’d be sure to let your husband know the exact ways in which his gaming has directly affected you: loss of physical relationship, lost his job, prioritizing gaming over spending time with family (and even to the point where you couldn’t leave the house because he was going to a gaming thing in the family car), etc.
I think it’s also probably best if you issue an ultimatum. Normally I’m not a fan but in this case, I think it’s totally reasonable to say: “DH, I’m fully willing to support you in your recovery from this addiction, however because this is not the first time we’ve gone through this, it has to be the last time. If you refuse treatment or continue to choose gaming over your family, we will be forced to leave permanently.”
At the end of the day, as hard as it would be to leave your husband especially with young kids, it would be just as hard to live with him while having no help, being stressed, and being put in a financially stressful situation if he loses another job. That’s no way to live and you deserve better.
Have you talked to your family about this (your parents if they’re around, or siblings, even close friends)? Do you have a support system if you did leave?