Counselor/Specialist Update

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agb.sadwife
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Counselor/Specialist Update

We are both officially seeing the same counselor who specializes in internet addiction. He went once and he gave his side of the story. . . then I went once with my journal and the logged hours over the last month and a half. She said there is no secret formula that can determine whether or not its an addiction- but his reality about how much he plays as compared to the log that I kept made it pretty clear that he had some serious denial.

So at the appoinment we attended together, I confronted him with the journal of hours. Of course, he tried to argue, but she pointed out that I was not trying to make him look bad, and its hard to argue with numbers on a paper. After several attempts to point out that the game wasn't the sole source of marital confilict, he agreed to set the gaming aside for a long time , to work on the marriage (until we can all decide whether we want to re-introduce them in moderation). As long as he can spend 2 hours per day on his forums to keep in touch with friends. I can't believe that he is taking this step forward. . . . I am thrilled, yet very scared. Will he lie and play behind my back? I expect it. My homework is to stop monitoring him so that he can be a "man of his word". This is very hard for me. The counselor suggested that I attend Al-ANON meetings so that I can work on this.

The other homework that we have is to take time each night to sit down and talk to each other (5 minutes each). This is a way to get to know each other again since we have such a broken foundation right now. And we have commited to not speaking about divorce for the next 3 months (the topic has come up frequently).

I suppose this is a huge risk to take- I feel so vulnerable because what if we get to know each other after so long living our own lives- and we find that we don't like each other? Or, what if he decides that he likes his game more than staying together as a family? Or what if he trades gaming for some other avoidance behavior? All of these are very real possibilities. Its scary. For now, I am going to hope, try to stick to my end of the agreement, and hope that we can learn to love each other and live in some type of harmony again.

Gamersmom
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Hugs to you. I hope it

Hugs to you. I hope it works out.

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

Delirium
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Sounds like some progress at

Sounds like some progress at least. As for your worries, look at it this way. Either way, you'll know the answer and can get own with your life instead of being weighed down by either him (if he decides gaming is more important) or his addiction (if he decides family > WoW). If he sticks to the agreement, you'll probably find that people int he guild will forget him shortly even if he visits on the forums. WoW players have very short term memory. Slade

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

Xandtar
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it is certainly good

it is certainly good news. As someone pointed out in another thread, there are usually many things to fix when an addict and a loved one near a breakup. If it were only the game, that's an easy fix-- quit. But its the game, and everything else that was neglected or which festered or which was never addressed in the first place. He's trying. Its a good start. If he's in a normal setting, if he's not playing his friends will very likely turn on him, accusing him of selling out to your ultimatim or other such nonsense. They might wind up throwing him out of their guild or other punishments for embracing real life. It may be that he gets to feel what its like to be rejected for making a choice to help save his marriage. If so, in that fire he may buckle and begin to play. But it may be that he gets to see that they never actually valued him as a person at all, but his persona/ alter/ whatever in game and what that game position could do for them. And that might be enough for him to realize that real life with someone who loves him isn't so bad even if it does involve taking out the garbage and cleaning the garage on a regular basis... Be ready, the crisis point is coming.

Leveling in Real Life

agb.sadwife
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thank you, Xandtar. It does

thank you, Xandtar. It does feel like a calm before the storm. I am anticipating that one of these days a small argument may occur and lead to the accusation that I contol his life, or that I made him quit his hobby for me. I am trying to stay level-headed so that I can be prepared to be supportive and non- defensive. The good news is that he is going to see the counselor solo and then we will go back together in a couple weeks. Hopefully these next few weeks will be the low points so that we have the support from the counselor. The guild, which includes his mother and brother, will surley think I am being controlling. I am not sure how often that they play, as they live in other states, but I am sure that they will question why I am asking James to step away from gaming all together. When his Mother was visiting, she made it clear that she supports her baby boy in whatever he chooses to do (even to the detriment of our marriage). So I know its a big leap for him to go with his wife and a counselor (that I picked), versus him, his "friends" and his mom & brother.

lizwool
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I wonder why she asked you

I wonder why she asked you to stop monitoring him.... I think that would be hard to do. I hope everyhting works out well. I think trying to say the game is not a part of the problem is a mistake. Liz

Liz Woolley

agb.sadwife
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I wonder why she asked you

I wonder why she asked you to stop monitoring him.... I think that would be hard to do. I hope everyhting works out well. I think trying to say the game is not a part of the problem is a mistake. Liz ____________________________________________ Liz, the counselor agrees that the game is part of the problem, but maybe not sure if she can yet put him in the addiction category . She recognizes that he is in such denial, that I think she is trying to get him to realize it for himself, gently. Things have been peaceful over the last week . . .as far as I know he has not played. I was gone to my friend's house on Sunday and I think he took the computer apart to clean it (the fan and the power supply). I couldn't help but note the irony of that. He is still on his forums trying to keep up with everything. I imagine that his Brother is also keeping him in the loop. They talk pretty regularly on the phone while he commutes to/fro his job. I don't pretend that we are out of the woods yet. I expect that we could have another blow-out if he tries to play in moderation again- something the counselor said we could try down the road (I will push this off as long as possible). He has proved that he is not capable of that. I trust that the counselors strategy is to get him to realize this for himself. As well, perhaps the strong contrast in our day to day living, being much more peaceful and loving since he stopped playing, to help him to see the light. Again, he could be totally playing me, just trying to buy time and then get back to his old ways. I still remain cautiously hopeful. We are still trying to sell a home together, so if things take a down turn, I am not trapped cohabitating with him and the nasty cancer of gaming anymore. On a more positive note, I can't express the sense of happiness that I have felt over the past week to have a hint of life back with him as a friend and partner. I remember why I am giving this one more fair shot. He is a great man, Dad and friend, when he puts the most important priorities first.

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