I enjoyed playing games with my husband. We had an amazing marriage for 8 years. He was the perfect husband. He was great with the kids. We have three children and I am pregnant with my fourth. Six months back my husband started playing Travian. I played with him for a little while and then got bored with it. He continued to play. The changes came gradually. Our outings lessened, he had less patience with the children and neglects household responsibilities.
He would get up at 6 am, switch on the computer, play, go for a run, come back, take bath, get dressed for office and sit back to play till it's the last minute to rush for office by 7.25 am. His morning meeting starts at 7.30 and his office is just 5 minutes away. There will be no conversation between us as I will be busy; my 6 yrs old son's school bus comes by 7 and 4 yr old daughters by 8 am. If I ask for the smallest help getting the kids ready, he has no time to spare.
He comes home for lunch, but first stop for game updates. Has lunch and goes back to the game till its time to go back to office. Some days are half days, so he is free to play all afternoon. Finally goes to sleep by 4pm sleeps till 6pm, may or may not go for a run. [He sprints for 10 minutes and maintains his body well] Other days he comes back from office by 6 pm, immediately starts playing the game. If the kids interrupt, he gets irritated. I go sit next to him, he half listens to what I say and sometimes not at all. I call him for dinner, wait a while, sometimes we have it together, other times I have my food, leave his share and put the kids to bed. He plays till midnight. He has become moody and withdrawn. He spent most of his time chatting with other players on Skype, planning out strategies.
According to him, everything is fine. He goes to office and functions fine and he does his daily exercise routines, so if he plays in his spare time, it's not at all a problem. Sounds fine.
For me, it's as though I have a bachelor guest living in the house for whom I just have to put out the food on time. I have lost the companion I had in my husband. My children barely get any attention from their father. It went calmly till the day I pointed out that the gaming was becoming an obsession, he became defensive. He said he will stop the game, if I abort the baby! He knew I wouldn't. When the family atmosphere became too tense, I left the topic alone for the sake of peace.
I had a near death experience [head injury after a fall] and was hospitalized. He got three days off from office and spent most of it playing. The seriousness of the situation just doesn't penetrate through the game fog. I had just barely completed my first trimester, but thankfully the baby seems fine. After I came back home, sat on the floor and holding my husband's legs begged him to stop playing. He got irritated and asked me to stop the dramatics.
For the next few days, I tried more aggressive tactics to get him to acknowledge his addiction, everything just made the situation worse. I finally hid the internet modem of the computer. His withdrawal symptoms were explosive. He was at the angriest I have ever seen, he accused me of being manipulative, arrogant, headstrong nagging wife and suddenly I became the excuse why he played. It was such shock seeing how much the addiction had changed my sweet, soft spoken husband. He hits verbally on what he knows are sensitive emotional scars from my childhood. He ignored me for two days acting as if I didn't exist and then told me he is leaving the house if I don't give his game back.
This scared me and I gave it back, but once he got it, he calmed down said he will control the timings and set certain timings of total 2 hours a day. The rest of the day was more like old times, he acted normally with me, did his share of household chores, took the children out in the evening, played the game only in two half an hour slots. The deal was that he gets to play for a full hour after dinner and the kids were settled for the night. But before dinner I walked in on him playing the game and when I mentioned it, he just got angry and started shouting at me saying I am trying to control him. He denies his addiction and says I am imagining things. If I touch the topic of the game, he gets aggressive and points out my shortcomings in the most hurtful manner possible.
My husband is a good, kind and generous man, but he seems to have lost his way. I have no idea how to help him. The game is like a cancer, how can I abandon my husband in such a situation? But I have no idea how to help him. My children are 6, 4 and 2. Being pregnant fourth time has left me physically exhausted and the battle with the gaming addiction has drained me emotionally.
I googled 'Help me, my husband is addicted to gaming' and it was shocking to find the number of people in the same situation. In not one have I found the situation resolved and majority seemed have finally ended up in divorce. God help me!