Trying to navigate this complicated addiction - any advice?

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Trying to navigate this complicated addiction - any advice?

Hi everyone! I apologize as I know this is going to be long, but I feel like I have to get it out, and hopefully find some resolution, or maybe just have someone read it. 


My husband and I were married about 8 years ago, and going in, I knew he liked to game. It was fine when we didn’t have a child, but 2 years into our marriage, I got pregnant, and had a child - when our daughter was an infant, he would stay up sometimes, all night playing call of duty, obviously not helping me.. and then sleep through the day. It was complete insanity. This lead to many arguments.. one notable one where I was yelling, and said something like: I gave you the option to not be a parent, if you didn’t want to be, you should’ve left. I admit. It wasn’t my finest moment. But - call of duty left our house, and never returned.

What did emerge over the next 5 years was something far worse - mobile gaming. I never dreamed how bad this would be. This was always something he would dabble in. It was no big deal. 

Let me start by saying that I no longer exist. No one exists. You can be sitting at the dinner table, right in front of him, speaking, and he doesn’t hear you. He has not one, but two phones. Sometimes he even picks up our sons iPad, because two phones is not enough. 

When he’s not playing on two phones, he’s watching twitch, or mobile gaming videos on YouTube. 

I have brought up how lonely I am multiple times, how I feel like an inconvenience. How I am burned out from cooking, and cleaning up after him. I recently stopped doing his laundry. It just piles up. Unfortunately I cannot stop cooking for him - that would take so much effort. It infuriates me to see him sitting on the couch, staring at his phone - talking to everyone else when I am a live person, right there in front of him, with so much to say. 

More recently - I have been in my 2nd semester of a very rigorous masters program, I need his help, he was amazing during my undergrad, he cooked, cleaned etc. I have been bearing the brunt of it all. I am lucky if I am able to sleep at night because he will lay next to me, 2 phones blaring bright lights, and vibrating every 5 seconds. 

He doesn’t see an issue with this when I have to get up at 5-6am for classes. Or that he just decided to pick up league of legends again, that when he sits next to me clicking away madly that I can’t concentrate.. I am constantly having to move into another room. I can’t sleep in my own bedroom, I can’t read in a common area of the house. I spend most of the day staring at someone who can’t be bothered to look at me, let alone have a conversation with me. Don’t even get me started on the fact that he’s hidden the fact that he’s spent large sums of money on these mobile games, and when confronted, he gaslights me, and makes me feel bad for being upset about it, like it’s no big deal.

His excuse when confronted about anything regarding his habits: well you married a gamer, so what did you expect?? Or what exactly do you want me to say?? 

We recently moved away to another country for his job, and I am incredibly lonely, and working on making friends here. This is not my first time living overseas as we just came from Germany not that long ago. I feel like this just keeps getting worse.  




Polga's picture
Last seen: 5 hours 23 min ago
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Joined: 02/17/2014 - 11:33am
Welcome Jyetiz

Welcome Jyetiz

It sounds like his addiction to video games is making you feel powerless and baffled by his actions.  As things are it sounds like you have tried to reach him but you can't get through. The relationship seems to be on his terms.

My best advice is to go to the link for spouses below and read through all the material signposted there. It sounds like he cannot meet or even understand your needs. You need to find support elsewhere and work out what sort of life you want. There are tools you can use to help you start changing your life which may also impact him. If nothing changes, then nothing changes. You may have to make some difficult decisions.

You are not alone in this. This behaviour is often reported here. Don't believe it when he says it's your problem. What marriage vows did he make you? Take care of yourself.



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Last seen: 9 months 5 days ago
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Joined: 06/27/2018 - 7:29am
Hi, sounds very familiar. I

Hi, sounds very familiar. I had a big talk with my addicted husband before we got married (at which time I was pregnant with twins) and let myself be reassured that his excessive gaming wouldn't be an option as parents of twins. Of course it didn't work out that way. It's heartbreaking to see them on the devices so much around the kids. Now it's six years later. He denies being addicted and hates that I think he is. It wasn't so long ago that he would admit he was at least playing too much and it was making it hard to function during the day. But his avoidance and denial have only grown massively the last six months as our marriage has deteriorated. 

It's insanely frustrating to be told it's your fault, I know. And yeah, you married a gamer, but no where in the vows does it say 'I get to stay stuck forever and you don't get to complain'. It's maddening. 

Has he noticed you're not doing his laundry anymore? I wish you best of luck meeting new people in your new place. I am also in a foreign country with a limited number of friends and no family here, so I know how lonely it can be and there's so much to do  and sort out getting settled. Good luck!  

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