Battlefield 2

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NZ zebra
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Battlefield 2

I just joined up and thought I'd tell my story.
I note that most people have problems with WOW and as a result most literature on the subject is on people addicted to that game. My man, in contrast, plays Battlefield 2, but I think most of the same principles apply.

The whole thing is so pathetic. We met 3-4 years ago and now we have two kids. I am an academic woman in the middle of my carreer and he opted to stay home and look after the kids as the stay-home dad and homemaker. Wonderful! In that respect I feel truly priviliged. In other ways I don't.

I realized soon after we met that he had a problem with the game. (He'd stay up playing all night, refuse to go off-line when I came to visit, get very defensive when I suggested he'd have a break and have a coffee with me, that sort of thing, ad naseum). I stupidly thought that it'd pass and he always said that he'd just play for a bit, that he'd eventually fizzle out and get bored with it. I mean, the guy is 38 years old!

Of course he never got tired of it. I did though. He's tried to control his playing for my sake, and sometimes also for his own, when he thought himself that he played too much. The longest period we've had without the game was half a year, when he stopped after we went overseas. Eventually he'd start playing again though. We actually had internet cut off during that half year but then he thought we should at least have dial-up so we could email and do internet banking. So we got dial-up. And he quickly discovered that it was entirely possible to play Battlefield on dial-up. Don't ask me how he did it - as far as I know it shouldn't be possible.

In short, I am thinking about packing my bags. And my kids' bags. If we didn't have kids I'd be out the door already. What's stopping me is mainly that I'm not sure if ending the relationship would be the best thing to do for my kids or myself. Without him, the kids would have to go to daycare and I'd have to cut back on my working time.

Right now I am just trying to learn more about this type of behaviour. It's obviously no use trying to talk to the guy, or get him to seek help. He won't do it. And he won't talk to me either. He'll just say, 'Well, I don't have anything to say to you anyway' and click YES to another round of Battlefield. It's obvious to me that he is not well and I am sort of at the acceptance stage here. I can't change him but I can change my reactions. I don't THINK that I am enabling him; I don't bring him food by the computer or do all the housework or anything. But of course I feel rejected and am kicking myself that I got stuck in this mess with a man who actually said as much as it being a waste of time to spend an evening with me when he could be playing Battlefield.

I realize I am not the only gaming widow out there and I am glad I found this place. I could use some support and I would be very happy if you guys could recommend some books or similar that could help me understand, both him and my options here.

NZ zebra
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Oh, I should add that we are

Oh, I should add that we are not even on speaking terms at the moment. A couple of weeks back I did my usual, fruiless, attempt to point out how much damage his gaming is causing us. He didn't pay any attention to that until I took the game CD with me to work and kept it there. He then said that he'd try to cut down and suggested playing only 8 hours a week. That sounded very reasonable, I thought, so I handed over the CD the next day. And the first week he played no more than.. well, probably more like 10 hours but that really wasn't a problem. The second week he quickly played up all the hours in a binge and said that this way he'd have it out of the way and we could just relax and spend time together the rest of the week. I thought that was probably an alarming sign but thought of it as an investment in the future, i.e. the rest of the week. Except that of course he kept playing. As far as I know he doesn't play when he's alone with the kids but the minute I walk through the door he turns on the computer. Last night he didn't even say hi when I came home. And I got rather annoyed and asked what he was doing since he'd already exceeded his 8 hours and it was only day 3 of the week... He just shrugged and said that he might have changed his mind. And clicked YES to another round of that stupid game. So I blew up and said that if he can't stick to his word, we'll have a practical arrangement only. I'll work and he'll look after the kids. When the kids are old enough I'll leave him. He didn't say anything, just kept playing and later on switched off and went to bed without a word. Hence my deep frustration today.

Delirium
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It is a tough call, but you

It is a tough call, but you are here and you'll find some support. I would try to point him to this website, particularly the questionare. It can be eye opening. Gaming is one of the reasons I won't become a stay at home father either. My wife makes much more then I do, but I just cut my hours back to have some more time at home but will not quit working. He is likely falling into the same trap that many stay at home mothers do (with or without games). They spend all day at home without any adult interaction and gaming (for him) is his outlet to fill that need. Games like Second Life and such are starting to hit stay at home mom's really hard (it was even mentioned in a recent baby magazine) for the same reason, the need for adult interation. Sometimes it's hard to relate to a spouse when you aren't working about wanting to talk about your day. I mean, how many times can you say "I changed 13 diapers" and keep it interesting? My wife and I both have very interesting jobs, but they are so polar opposite on scale of jobs that it can be difficult to discuss but it's something we are both still working on and we've been married for 6.5 years. I know it's tough, but I would keep working at it. Try doing things like "Game Night" with board games with the kids, try to head out more...anything to break the connection to the game. I've found that instituting 'gaming hours' rarely works. He will end up resenting you if you try to "force" time to be spent with you. It'll become a chore for him to complete to game. He has to want to quit, and maybe needs to see what he risks losing. Again, I say point him to this website. Best of luck... Slade

-Slade
"Falling down is not a failure. Not getting back up is the true failure"

sladdiction
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Hi NZ, A good book that I am

Hi NZ, A good book that I am finding helpful is "Caught in the Net" by Dr. Kimberly Young, http://www.amazon.com/Caught-Net-Recognize-Internet-Addiction/dp/0471191590/ref=pd_bbs_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236180330&sr=8-3 . It is rather dated, published in 1998 I believe, and mostly speaks of chat rooms and web surfing, but the basic principles of online addiction still very much apply. I found the book very straight forward in its explanation of the various forms of online addiction. I am finding out that my Second Life addiction is not much different than the older chat addictions experienced in the 1990s. This book will definitely help you to at least understand the nature of the problem. Another one I've seen mentioned a lot in here is "Plugged In" by terry Waite, http://www.amazon.com/Plugged-Clinicians-Families-Online-Addiction/dp/1424183758/ref=pd_sim_b_12 . I have not read this one, but I get the sense from conversations that it is somewhat of a standard on the subject. Your husband may or may not be beyond change. Know that you need support as well though. There are plenty of good people on this site who have experienced similar situations that you are going through. They can be of great support. Also be honest and talk with friends and family. Bringing the addiction out in the light is always a good thing in my opinion. Addiction loves to hide and thrive in the dark. For me, it took a wake up call from my wife to finally break the spell of addiction. That is literally what it felt like: a spell being broken. Addiction takes over a person's mind and alters it. I've compared it to rabies. It took over my mind and made me do and say things that seemed totally rational and logical to me at the time. However, in retrospect, I have to wonder what planet I was living on at the time. Each person is different, and each addict has to find his/her personal low before he or she can attempt to break the spell. It cannot be done in isolation however. If you really want to try to make the marriage work you may need to bring in more people, such as family and friends, to help. Like I said, everyone is different and I have no idea what would make your husband respond. Your obvious first concern is your children, then you also need to think of yourself. I wish you the best of luck in your very tough struggle and unwanted journey that you have to take. Many blessing to your and your family, and please do use this site often for support.

Addicted to SL

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Another good book for your

Another good book for your situation: a recent book, "Game Widow". The following link is to a book review posted here on this site: http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/12644

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NZ zebra
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Thanks so much guys!

Thanks so much guys! Actually, the first thing I did when I realized that I had to so SOMETHING, yesterday, was to order the book 'Caught in the Net' that you recommend. It should be on its way already. I'll go on to look at the other books mentioned. Thanks for the recommendations. Slade: I get your point about the diaper conversation. I must say though that I am starved to hear what they have done all day when I was at work and am a very attentive audience. I love hearing about them, especially now that our oldest is starting to talk much more and actually gets up to loads of interesting stuff. One of the many bad effects of the game is that my man just doesn't have time to tell me anything about their day and I feel I'm missing out. Sladdiction: It is interesting that you mention bringing it out into the open and talk to friends etc. That has been my approach from day 1. I will not be silent about what happens, how much he plays and what it does to us. In my darkest moments I guess I was hoping for someone to interfere; for someone that he actually respects to sit him down and tell him that he really risks losing everything, i.e. me and the kids. In my experience, people just don't want to get involved, though. I am also entirely open to him about me talking to people about this problem. He clearly doesn't like that and wants me to stop doing it, for my own sake. He says it reflects badly on ME that he plays so much. Crikey! Anyway, I am so grateful for your support. Today I will try to find someone to talk to, a therapist or similar, who understands addiction, preferrably gaming addiction. Not sure if we have a lot of them in NZ but I will at least try to track someone down. And I'll keep posting here. I'll probably spam the place for a little while. Hope you can cope with that. :-D

NZ zebra
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Can I ask you ex-gamers for

Can I ask you ex-gamers for a practical advice? I read somewhere that if you threat to leave you have to be prepared to follow through, otherwise you just end up in a worse spot. I've got to say though that the only thing that ever made an impression on my man has been when I explained that I cannot live like this and this path is heading towards a situation where I will have little choice but to leave. When I said that he actually agreed to have internet cut off and things were great for half a year. I don't think it will work a second time though. When I rasied the issue last night he just stared resentfully at me and said that I had obviously made my choice so why was I still there. Anyway, back when it DID work he seemed rather happy to let go of the game once it was clear that he had to. Oh, and same when his computer broke down a little while ago. Then he said, 'Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise.' Would you say this means that he at some level would like to quit, only can't bring himself to do it as long as the game is available? I guess what I am asking is if you think this is a good sign that he might not be lost forever and that there actually is hope? And if so, how could I help? As you said, me monitoring his cutting back only makes him resent me, that much is clear. But perhaps, if I get rid of the game/computer/telephone line altogether I could assist in breaking the spell and save the day. I would LOVE to be able to break the spell. I should add that it is his contract with the internet provider so I can't have us disconnected but I pay the bills. If I just don't pay them perhaps they'll cut us off... What do you reckon?

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Sometimes a ultimatum like

Sometimes a ultimatum like cutting off the internet or phone line wakes an addict up to what he is doing to himself and those around him. Sometimes it does not. If you make such a threat and he refuses, not carrying through sends the worst message possible. It will tell him that you are not committed and that he can get away with continuing to game. Your husband's comment is enlightening. Perhaps he is already aware of his addiction but does not want to come to terms with it, as was the case with me. Show him this website as sladdiction said, especially the self-tests for diagnosis. You could help by talking to him, honestly and without anger. He may be crying out for support but afraid to leave the game by himself. Maybe planning a trip might work, somewhere without internet access... I don't know if this is feasible to you, but the point is to show him life outside of the game. This is going to be difficult for both of you. I can't give you a hard and fast answer. As an addict, I can safely say that for him Battlefield 2 is the most enjoyable activity in his life right now. But, this is the addiction talking. After he has learned to replace his gaming with real-life activities he will see how transparent and silly the game is in perspective.

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Pain of addiction
Pain of addiction wrote:

Maybe planning a trip might work, somewhere without internet access... I don't know if this is feasible to you, but the point is to show him life outside of the game.

Actually, we're going overseas for a month at the end of April. As I wrote before, last time we went away, we decided to have internet cut off as we left and didn't turn it back on until after half a year or so. And the plan was that we wouldn't ever have internet at home again. Perhaps I should bring up as a suggestion that we do that again. It's almost 2 months into the future so that has to be considered non-confrontational, eh?

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Quote: It's almost 2 months
Quote:

It's almost 2 months into the future so that has to be considered non-confrontational, eh?

. It may or may not seem confrontational to him now, but as it gets closer that may change more and more as the addict in him will reallize it is getting closer and closer to being cut off. . You can make plans to put him in situations where he has no access to gaming or he "forced" to not game, but you will always have a problem till you find a way to impress upon him that HE needs to make a choice that he needs to stop. Until that point he will always be "jonesing" for a "fix" As soon as he is able he will go back to the game. . :|

" ... don't question it just go" "... where the body goes the mind will follow"
.
Borrowed from "Desire to Stop"

NZ zebra
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BigH501 wrote: . It may or
BigH501 wrote:

. It may or may not seem confrontational to him now, but as it gets closer that may change more and more as the addict in him will reallize it is getting closer and closer to being cut off.

Well, last time we did it he was sort of looking forward to the end, kept talking about it and such. And of course used it as an excuse to play all night the last nights before we went, but in the end there was just a big sigh of relief that is was gone. And of course he'd have to address the real issues for his behaviour or he'll end up playing again sooner or later. But as long as the game is there he won't actually have time or reason to reflect on himself. The game is his hiding place where he doesn't have to be responsible for anything. So, with the risk of sounding overly manipulative and horrible, I think that cutting off the game has to be the start.

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It's a good start, at any

It's a good start, at any rate. The addict in him will not (CAN not) stop playing. HE (the person inside) wants to quit.

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