Dealing with Gaming Issues and Divorce

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Last seen: 10 years 7 months ago
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Joined: 02/12/2009 - 10:39pm
Dealing with Gaming Issues and Divorce

Long story short... I'm a woman in my mid-20's and I recently became separated after a one-year marriage. Recently through conversations with my ex (which we have occasionally mostly about the divorce proceedings) I've found out that has dropped out of college, he has become unable to hold a job, he is on anti-depressants, and he is suffering from anxiety disorder and panic attacks that have deemed him unable to leave his house. Moreover, I have also come to find out he is spending hundreds of dollars and dozens of hours playing MMORPGs.

Before I left him, when we started having marital problems he was gaming between 6 and 12 hours a day. I'm not sure if the gaming led to the problems, or the marital problems led to the gaming. All I know is that I'm pretty sure the situation must have gotten much worse after I left. I also know that he had dealt with an addiction to another computer game before we met.

Recently, after checking some of the finances, I found out that he is spending hundreds of dollars weekly on the same online game. I called him up and plainly asked him if the gaming had gotten worse after my leaving. At first he tried to deny the extent of his gaming but when I told him I *knew* for sure because I had access to the financial records (through a paypal account) he admitted the gaming was indeed just as bad if not worse. However, when I confronted him he told me that this is no longer my concern, to "leave it alone" and that he is getting help from a therapist (and using medication) to deal with his current issues.

Right now I need help dealing with two issues. One is dealing with my own guilt because I feel that my leaving has triggered or exacerbated his depression and worsened his online gaming. I feel powerless because on the one hand although our marriage did not work out I still care for this person and wish him to be healthy and happy. The second is that although he says that he is seeing a therapist and is getting medication to deal with his depression, I am worried that neither his family nor his therapist know the real extent of his online gaming addiction.

My question is, should I butt out of this and trust that he is getting help or should I contact his family (whom I haven't spoken to since I left and probably think I'm the cause of all his problems) and inform them of the extent of his online gaming? He's in his 20's so he's not exactly a kid. Still, I'm not sure if anyone but me knows the extent of the gaming issue and the role it is playing in his recovery from depression.

Any advice would be appreciated.

mingo's picture
Last seen: 11 years 3 months ago
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Joined: 07/15/2008 - 12:23pm
I’ve said it before and

IaEU(tm)ve said it before and IaEU(tm)ll say it again.. The more people you make aware of the problem the better chances of a persons recovery.. If you are able to speak to his family in person, do so and explain to them what you believe the problem to be.. One person canaEU(tm)t do it all alone.. Without the help of family and friends I wouldnaEU(tm)t have had a chance at all, but we all stuck together and the situation is getting better for my wife and I.. Other family members might know something is wrong but not have a clue as to exactly what it is or how to help.. Once they can put their finger on a specific problem it becomes easier to help that individual because then all the pieces will fall into place for them and theyaEU(tm)ll be able to see what you see.. You are most likely privy to information that they would have no way of knowing, like the countless hours of game playing and quite frankly they might not even believe you but they will be looking for that behavior and when they see it for themselves itaEU(tm)ll become apparent very quickly what part of the problem is.. Have a great day *s*

Solei's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
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Joined: 07/20/2006 - 11:53pm
Dear Twah, Hello and welcome

Dear Twah, Hello and welcome to Olga/Olganon. My former husband could have easily written that post. When we had our first seperation, which finally led to a divorce, my gaming increased 100%. I, too, was on antidepressants and seeing a therapist to deal with my mood issues, the divorce, etc. My former husband didn't ever really approach the subject of my excessive game play. I think he thought I was too 'fragile' and didn't want to upset me, or cause me to have a long crying spell. I remember one night he spent the night at a male friend's house and I vowed not to play online, but I did anyway. When our divorce was final, I'll never forget the feeling of 'freedom' i felt - - I could play my MMORPGs all the time now, with no interruptions, etc. My former husband, after our divorce was final, never contacted me again or attempted to steer me away from dangerous MMORPGs. It's wonderful that you care for him and his health and well being. But I speak from experience: We gamers are quite stubborn and have one-track minds. I fear your concerns would be falling on deaf ears. Contacting his family is an option for sure -- do they know the extent of his game play? Do they know he's seeing a therapist? I think it's fantastic that you still want to help him, however; he must want to help himself. What would happen if you suggested to him a visit to this website? Let us know how else we can help, Blessings, Solei

-6 Years Free of Online Gaming-

Delirium's picture
Last seen: 8 years 9 months ago
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Joined: 01/07/2009 - 2:50pm
First things first. You

First things first. You can't feel guilty for his addiction. You didn't start it. The divorce may or may not have mad it worse but that is irrelevant. If the divorce didn't cause it, some other unpleasant trigger would have. Job Loss, bad grades, some other stresser even general like angst about the economy. But you MUST NOT feel guilty to pursueing what was best for you. Ultimately you have one life to live. It is admirable and healthy that you still care for him enough to worry about his state. I'm not sure I'd approach the family as they may blame you, I'm not sure how your dynamic is with the family. I would however try to somehow talk to the therapist. That can be tricky with their confidentiality requirements but so long as you do all the talking and don't ask any questions about the therapy the therpist should be able to take some notes. Point him/her to this website. Gaming Addiction is still not widely accepted as a true mental problem. There are some names of respected doctors from this website who have done a lot of research and it may be useful to give the therapist some of the names.

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

Last seen: 6 years 1 month ago
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Joined: 04/09/2003 - 7:42am
I suggest you leave his

I suggest you leave his family alone. You're in the middle of a divorce, so they're not likely to listen to your objective criticism of his behavior, they're going to ask what's in it for you, and look for darker reasons for your interest than actually exist. Best to let it be, and save yourself.

Leveling in Real Life

lizwool's picture
Last seen: 6 hours 38 min ago
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Joined: 06/27/2002 - 1:13am
No matter how much we would

No matter how much we would like, to, we cannot make another person "better". We can only change ourself. I think you are making a wise decision to work on your own life by getting out of this mess. May I suggest that you go to some CODA (co-dendent meetings) for support with this ( You are not responsible for his life. Sincerely, Liz

Liz Woolley

Last seen: 10 years 10 months ago
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Joined: 02/10/2009 - 6:57pm
I agree with Mingo, and to

I agree with Mingo, and to those tempted to leave an addict to his own devices, remember St Augustine's "Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum" or "love the sinner, hate the sin". Or, if you aren't religious, I'm pretty sure there are humanists who talk about the importance of care in the community. i'll ask my dad. I remember once I'd admitted I was in a bad place, one of the great incentives was that a lot of people knew I was off the rails. It really was a great reason not to relapse. (I did relapse, but eventually got there) James

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