I last posted on this forum about 8 months ago. Since, I've gone back and forth about whether or not my 38 year old boyfriend was really a gaming addict. I mean, a lot of the signs were there, but some had me questioning whether or not it was possible to be a functioning gaming addict (just like a functioning alcoholic) and if thats what he was, and I'm just at a loss of what to do and whether or not to walk away.
To make it as short (hopefully), we've been dating for almost a year and a half (me - 31 him - 38) and video games have always been present in our relationship - they just got continuously worse as time went on. I remember just a month into the relationship when he literally packed his xbox to go on a weekend softball trip. He even brought it with him to a Christmas party we attended last year. I think the saddest part of his lack of realization of his addiction is the fact that his ex-wife, who left him in 2015, has specifically told people that the video games were part of the reason for the divorce, that she felt lonely. Seeing a pattern here?
His days have become routine - he goes to work, comes home around 5pm to 6pm, says hello, goes upstairs and changes clothes and immediately comes back down and starts gaming. He may OCCASSIONALLY stop and eat dinner with me, or pause it for his other addiction (softball), but for the most part, he plays from about 5pm/6pm to 11pm/12pm. What am I doing while he's playing? Well, lets see.... I'm either cooking, cleaning up after cooking, sitting on the other sofa by myself watching tv or upstairs in bed. How am I watching tv while hes playing, you may ask? Well, thats because he mounted a separate tv on the wall to make it easy for him to watch tv AND play video games at the same time. My most FAVORITE times are when a new game/update comes out and he binges all weekend. If I complain, we fight and I get the response "all the other guys wives/girlfriends dont complain they are playing. You're the only one" or he tries to send me home so he can play in peace.
He also attacks my character and blames his excessive playing on me. I'll use our weekend long fight from this past weekend as an example-
We were gearing up for a hurricane coming through this past weekend. On Wednesday, we were scheduled to play our weekly softball game and he mentioned that he was asked to sub in 2 games and would I be ok with that? I told him it wasn't a problem and asked if his softball tournament for the coming weekend was cancelled because of the hurricane. He responded that it was and I said ok, I feel like we haven't seen much of each other this past week and wanted to spend some time together (We did return from an almost week long trip a few weeks ago, but I had worked a huge work event this last weekend, in addition to 2 day long regional meetings). His response "Remember, we did just spend a week together". I should have known what that was setting me up for.
On Friday, he texted me asking if I wanted to go see a movie I'd been wanting to see at 4pm. I said yes, so he put the responsbility of walking the dog on me prior, if I wanted to be able to see the movie (I'm usually tasked with responsibilities to take care of if I want to do anything with him). I took the dog for a walk and came home and showered. When he came home, he walked right in with an attitude, typical behavior of him when he's trying to pick a fight and get out of something - Why am I putting my make-up on? Why am I curling my hair? Why am I getting ready - we are just going to the movies. He made it a point to correct me when I said that I had talked to someone, when I had really spoken to them via text. When I asked him what his problem was he goes "Why do I even bother?!". I said "we dont have to go", and IMMEDIATLY he changes clothes and starts playing xbox. That went on from 4pm to 3am. On Saturday, he got up around 10pm, came downstairs and ate breakfast, started playing around 12pm, and with the exception of an hour break, played until 2am. Same thing on Sunday.
The huge fight started when he come downstairs yesterday morning and cooked himself breakfast, without even asking if I'd like anything. This may not seem like a big deal, but the fact that I found the time to go to the grocery store for BOTH of us prior to the hurricane hitting and him eating all the snacks I bought and the food I cooked, without even a "thank you", set me off!! I told him he had some nerve cooking himself breakfast and not offering to make me anything after eating all the food I bought and cooked.
Later that evening, we got into it even more after I called him out for neglecting the dog to play video games all weekend. As usual, he told me how I'm a miserable person and THAT'S why he plays video games on the time (his usual excuse). And why didn't I leave and go home (we don't officially live together, but I have stayed at his place pretty much everyn night since we started dating). Started telling me how he didn't want me here and he's never asked me to stay. I came back at him with 'If you're only playing because I'm so miserable, what was your excuse this past week? And the week before? And the week before that". Of course he tried to say that we fought this past week, but when I called him out and asked him to give me an example since it was clearly a lie, he just walked away.
Anyway, long story short, I don't know what to do anymore. The video games clearly hurt our relationship, and I'm not sure if he sees that. He plays excessively and becomes mean and hateful, telling me it was a "mistake" that he told me the day before that he loved me and attacks my character. The even sadder part is that when we are on vacation, he is AMAZING - so attentive, loving, engaging, sweet.... and thats because the video games aren't around.