Will an ultimatum work? What if it doesn't?

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hcl1227
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Will an ultimatum work? What if it doesn't?

So I have been married for a little over a year now to my husband. Throughout our relationship he has always been a gamer, but over the last few weeks and months I am starting to be more and more concerned about his gaming habits. He has been spending less and less time with me and spending the that time gaming instead. I have tried to have several conversations about how I am feeling and that I need him to show me more love and affection but it seems to jsut go in one ear and out the other because I don't see any improvement. A few days ago he told me that he wants more freedom and that he doesn't want to feel judged for the choices he makes. He wants to drink more and smoke if he so chooses and he told me he was done with God, which is a huge deal for me because I am very religious and dont want to see my husband go down a bad path. I don't know if these kind of things are commonly associated with gaming addiction but I don't know how to deal with it. His parents think he is addicted and that the only way he will change is if I give him ultimatum. Either its me or the games and freedom he wants. I am fully prepared to give him this ultimatum and follow through no matter what he decides. I believe that he will tell me he doesnt want me to leave and will stop for awhile but theres no saying when he will start again and if he will get addicted again. I just dont know what ot do if he doesn't stop and things dont get better because I cannot live this way. Its not fair to me or him because I feel like I get so upset that I deprive him of love when he does make time for it. Anyways, thoughts?

cdgoldilocks
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Do not give any ultimatum

Do not give any ultimatum you do not 100% fully intend to follow through on.

If you are all concerned, perhaps each family member needs to put words to paper and really write out how they feel his actions/behaviors have effected his behavior, their interactions with gamer. Also, if this is an "intervention" or if you are giving him an "ultimatum", I would be VERY specific about what behavior(s) you expect to change, and what would happen if they do not.

Example: If you do not choose to seek treatment for your gaming addiction (which you and family SHOULD look in to), my relationship with you will change with you in the following ways:

1. I will no longer wash your clothes, bring you meals, cook you dinners.

2. I will no longer sleep in the same room with you, as you are rude, you smell, etc.

3. I will no longer spend my money to pay for gaming related costs (internet, computers)

4. I will move out of this house in 30 days (only if you mean it.)

I personally do not find ultimatums work, because partners oftentimes do not follow through.

I am the spouse of a current gamer.

Good luck. Please stay for support. You are not alone.

Andrew_Doan
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It is not uncommon for

It is not uncommon for gaming addicts to abandon their faith in real life activities, people and GOD. This letter illustrates what happens when a person picks gaming addiction over all else:

http://realbattle.org/letter-from-julia-gaming-ex-husband/

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

hcl1227
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Andrew, tahnk you for

Andrew, tahnk you for sharing that with me! I am glad to gknow that this is a common symptom of game addiction and that it is something he will have to choose himself. I guess my next question would be do I just sit back and let him make the decisions that are harmful to him and us such as smoking and drinking, etc. or do I need to continue to make sure he knows how he feels about them. He is also a Type 1 Diabetic and I worry that doing that stuff plus being addicted to games will ruin his health in more ways than it would for a normal person. I dont feel like I am doing the right thing by sitting back and watching him destroy his life, but I know that no one but him can decide to change. I just don't know what to do during the waiting time or how I should act because to be honest I don't think I could fully follow through with the ultimatum becasue I know that he might change for awhile but he will just go back to it later if he does not decide for himself to change. I just need some guidance on how to handle being with him still and not feed his habit more.

Andrew_Doan
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When I was addicted, my wife

When I was addicted, my wife focused on herself and relationship with the LORD and others.

When my son became addicted, it was easier because as parents we locked him out of games and I devoted more time building a relationship with my son. While it took time for my son to value our relationship, I also developed a deeper relationship with the LORD. I learned to love others and expect nothing in return, like Christ did.

I had faith the LORD would fix my relationships and He is. Slowly but surely He is!

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

widowgamer
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Hi, I am not sure giving the

Hi,

I am not sure giving the gamer and ulitmatium works like we all hope it will. I am the spouse of a gamer and to be honest I have given him an ulitmatium and it didn't work. He said he was going to leave, but then quickly realized that he had not where to go.

My gamer has also let his relationship with God suffer, and for me that is also a big deal. We are a family that has been ver active in our church and it breaks my heart to know that his realationship isn't where it should be, the one thing is during this time, my realationship has gotten stronger, because God is who I am having to rely on for all my strenght, guidance, and comfort. My gamer no longer wants to show me affection unless its on his terms.

I have had to learn to detach myself from my gamer, and being here on this site has helped me. Its not easy. I am working on givng more to myself and my children, although my children are all older now, and don't need me as much, I am trying to spend as much time with them as I can.

I would suggest you read Co-Dependency no more, and look through the forums and read about the 12 Steps. Working them can help.

Also, on Tuesday evenings at 9pm eastern time we have a Olga-Anon chat for spouses/significant others, would love for you to come for support.

I will be praying for you and your gamer.

Widowgamer

OutOfAzeroth
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Dear Hcl,   I feel for you

Dear Hcl,

I feel for you and the terrible situation you are in.

In answer to your direct question, and with the hindsight of a being former addict, my personal view is that an ultimatum would result in the following outcomes, with respective probabilities as indicated :

1) 1% probability : following your ultimatum, your husband understands his addiction, decides to fight it and succeeds. Really low probability.

2) 33% probability : to you utter surprise, he choses the game. You are devastated, and now have only two options : leave him (and at that point he will even consider that you are "responsible" for the break-up since you "asked" for it) or not follow through with your threat and thus further strenghten his addiction and reduce your credibility.

3) 33% probability : he panics at the thought of losing you, and accepts to leave the game, but only for the sake of your threat. Unfortunately, he is not healed and since the decision to stop gaming does not come from an inner desire to stop gaming, in a matter of days he has resumed gaming, either to your knowldege or in hiding. He resents you for it and considers himself a "victim". From your message, it seems that this is the likeliest option in the case of your husband.

4) 33% probability : your ultimatum unleashes the manipulative addict in him. He argues with you, may even be agressive or threatening, and in the end "proves" to you that you are unreasonable, that all is your fault. And it is even quite possible that at the end of the argument YOU feel guilty about it and apologize for being unreasonable...

In conclusion - and once again the above is only my personal view - there is not much you can do to force him to change. He may change (a great deal of people on this site, including myself, have been able to defeat the addiction - at least until today) or he may not change, but as others pointed out you can only work upon yourself and not enabling him.

I hope the best happens for you, your gamer and hopefully both,

AmyK
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OutofAzeroth - wow... I saw

OutofAzeroth - wow... I saw ALL of those in my gamer. When I snapped (literally) ending the relationship, he glommed on to that for weeks and weeks. *I* was the one who walked away. Before when I ignored him crossing all the boundaries I tried to set without consequence, thus reinforcing how little I thought of my own limits, *I* would be the one who ended up apologizing... a lot. Whatever inner instinct I have is who I attribute ending the relationship. I can honestly say I didn't want to leave and still wish I could be with him. However I really really see how I can't be with him how he is now.

HCL - good luck with your choice. Select whatever is best for YOU. And keep coming back for support. I'm sorry you're in this situation - no solution is easy for anyone in these situations.

To begin, begin. William Wordsworth

Before you speak, ask yourself: is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence? Sai Baba

gamingwidow2013
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Hi!  It's been my

Hi! It's been my experience that ultimatums don't work because an addict doesn't think cleary and doesn't have an understanding of real-life repercussions. Like others have said, if you do give an ultimatum, follow through with it. He is an adult and he makes his own decisions. If he wants to destroy himself and his life and doesn't want help, you shouldn't allow yourself to be destroyed in the process. Trust me, I've been there and did exactly that. Now, I'm trying to repair myself and that is a lot of work, especially after being with a gaming addict for so long. Whatever you decide, try to make sure you're taking care of yourself. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to let go because the other person will either come back or not return. Just my two cents. :)

Tommi
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In my experience with gaming

In my experience with gaming and other addicts is that they will not stop and seek help until they have reached their personal bottom. What that bottom is like is entirely up to the individual.

In addiction recovery circles I have heard recovering addicts describe themselves as high-bottom (job, family, two cars in the garage etc, all intact) and low bottom (homeless, dependent on shelters etc). I myself was somewhere in the middle.

What makes gaming addiction so pernicious (as compared to alcoholics or drug addicts) is that the physical consequences take so long to manifest. Real gaming addicts may be content to live on welfare in a rented room, so long as there is internet, for years, living out their troubled fantasy. A long drop from being a homeowner, employee and principal breadwinner for their family.

The same person addicted to drugs or alcohol would suffer far greater physical and mental deterioration. Homelessness, shelters, mental institutions or prison are far more likely for them.

I think the strategy for the partner of a severely addicted gamer should and must be:

Stop enabling the addict in any wayTake responsibility for their children, home, finances, etcHope for the best (that their partner does turn out to be high-bottom) but prepare for the worst

And I do not think ultimatums work. Decide if the partner is an addict (plenty of information about that on this site) and take the appropriate action (see above). Removing internet access, or putting their belongings on the sidewalk and changing the locks will get a person's attention a lot faster than any ultimatum.

Olga/non member since Dec. 2008 Check out my latest video on Gaming Addiction and public awareness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-6JZLnQ29o

cdgoldilocks
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I think Tommi makes

I think Tommi makes excellent points.

THIS is the VERY REASON I, the spouse of a gamer, tell fellow spouses NOT to have children or make ANY MORE BABIES with a gamer.

When I met and married gamer, there were x-box's. They didn't go "live" until AFTER our son together was born (I have one daughter from a prior relationship, and gamer and I have one). Now, it wasn't until gamer came back from IRAQ that his gaming REALLY got bad.

You don't want to make children with a gamer once you see the problem, 1) it will just give the gamer another excuse to withdraw and gamer (kids are hard, don't ya know?), 2) You will not magically get more help and support 3) you will be even MORE stressed out in everyway, and who wants to raise a kid like that? Lastly, having kids with a gamer makes it really hard for a gamer to feel the full effect of their gaming addiction. I mean really..... who is going to let the power go out in a house with small children living in it? So, it is REALLY hard to allow a gamer to feel the full effect of their addiction if they are still in the home. We spouses will buy milk, groceries for THE KIDS, not the detached, messed up gamer. "Sweet, waffles!!!!!" Yeah, those are for the CHILDREN... Also, the house should be relatively clean, so when the gamer comes out and makes a mess, it is difficult to let the messes lie there.....

I have to be honest, if I had a "do over" button and could go back knowing then what I know now, I would RUN. Far, fast, furiously. I know marriage is a commitment, and some people probably read that last sentence and get all "judgy". Oh well. I have been neglected, yelled at, ignored, unappreciated, you name it. My kids have not had a "real" dad. For years, we saw the back of his head 10-16 hours a day. I am at the point where I actually gave my gamer an ultimatum, FULLY READY with the name of an attorney and plans to follow through if he chose not to do what I asked. He went to VA for help yesterday. It doesn't mean he will KEEP going, but he went and I went too. If he refuses to continue, then comes home and treats me bad again, I am DONE this time.

I am 39. I am not dying Grandma old, but I have spent far too much of my life begging someone to be the husband and father that he VOWED to me to be. So, if he will not get in and STAY in the help he needs, I think HE is breaking his vows, NOT ME. Life is too short to serve a life sentence for loving an addict.

Some gamers, and I expect my gamer may be one of them, will only see the error of his ways when I leave and take our calm and comfortable life with me and our kids.

Step 1 of the 12 steps of addiction is to acknowledge that as a Spouse, you are powerless and have NO CONTROL over his choice to game. Nothing you do or do NOT do will change anything with regard to HIS behavior.

I hope things work out for you.

Tommi
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Awsome post

Awsome post cdgoldilocks,

Step 1 is the hardest. I will pray for you and your children that you are able to care for them and for yourself.

cdgoldilocks wrote:

Step 1 of the 12 steps of addiction is to acknowledge that as a Spouse, you are powerless and have NO CONTROL over his choice to game. Nothing you do or do NOT do will change anything with regard to HIS behavior.

I hope things work out for you.

Olga/non member since Dec. 2008 Check out my latest video on Gaming Addiction and public awareness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-6JZLnQ29o

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