Feeling Lost and Pressured

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ITSnotMEitsYOU
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Feeling Lost and Pressured

My husband and I lived apart until recently, he worked away and I was trying to sell our home to join him. The last 4 months before moving he became distant, withdrawn, difficult and cool, coinciding with the purchase of WOW. He was increasingly angry and our only communication during the week was punctuated with monosyllabic distracted responses. I felt desperate, I was moving home, leaving all my family and friends, uprooting our kids etc just to be with this man and suddenly he was not 'with us'.

One day I suggested, very politely that he could play the game less. I never wanted to ever suggest he shouldn't do it, I think he should just use moderation. He absolutely hit the roof, screaming and ranting at me, telling me to back off and swearing at me. It was just awful. I went away and searched on the net and saw what awful problems everyone else is having. I told him about it and he scoffed and started shouting at me again 'find a few neurotic women with nothing better to do than moan to each other then suddenly I'm an addict and that's it!' Truth is, I wouldn't have found the site if I wasn't searching for 'problem, husband, warcraft'. He was such a loving man before this despite the stress of living apart.

I put politely asking to one side and warned him in no uncertain terms that if I was going to move he better be rethinking his gaming. He sulked and said 'throw it away then' and I really really wish I had because I've moved now and for the first weeks he was ok. He didn't play for the first week or so and gradually played the odd night. Last week he played every single night. He's Level 70 on one character now. He's constantly checking auctions. He's even taken to making a new character so that he can hide the hours. He's played over 22 days in less than six months. He sees nothing wrong with that. At this rate he'll have spent a year - night and day playing the game within six years but he swears this is not a problem. It's a PROBLEM.

I am so torn. I've left everyone behind because i love him so much. Tonight he tried to prod me into having a fight because he felt guilty and he felt even worse and was even more spiky with me when I wouldn't be drawn into the row. He's lazy, our business is starting to fail and I really don't know what to do. If he'd put those 22 days into the business that would be like 66 working days. It's crazy. 66 working days, that's over 9 working weeks wasted on this hobby. He doesn't write his music any more, he doesn't listen to me. Now he's started to pressurise me into playing the game as well. I like gaming, I occassionally play offline strategy games (once every couple of months or so - im too busy running our home otherwise) but I don't understand a game that can't be won. I wouldn't play it if left to my own devices so why should i feel pressurized? How do I make him see what he's doing before it can't be undone?

...no I don't want you to throw the game away, I just want you to use moderation. I know, I'm so unfair...of course you don't have a problem

J. DOe
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Joined: 05/28/2007 - 5:23am
ITSnotMEitsYOU, I am sorry

ITSnotMEitsYOU, I am sorry to read about your situation. However, I like your user name in that you are absolutely correct regarding this addiction problem, i.e., that it is NOT your problem but HIS instead. Nonetheless, that of course does not mean that you and your children are not affected by it adversely. As for him wanting you to play the game with him, I suspect that there are at least several reasons for that. It will make him feel that you are spending "quality" time together. Also, he will feel less guilty about all of the time that he is playing since you are doing it as well. Finally, perhaps he hopes that you will "see the light" by "enjoying" the game as much as he does. However, I agree with you that it is better for you to not play at all as well, especially if you don't like it. In your case, the personality changes plus the excessive and compulsive aspects of his playing show, to me at least, that he is definitely addicted. To perhaps help see what he is actually requesting of you more effectively, note that it is similar to an alcoholic or drug addict asking you to drink or do drugs with them. I trust that you agree that this would be inappropriate. I have unfortunately read many similar stories to yours on these boards. There are no easy solutions that I know of. Note that, in some ways, he is the not same person that he used to be. For example, I had a relatively "simple" addiction of just regular video games, and only played about 4 hours per day or so on average, along with other procrastination methods. Nonetheless, I found it quite difficult to get over the problem. Fortunately, I am single and with no children so I mostly hurt just myself. As an independent contract computer programmer, I had some clients that were waiting for me to do work for them. However, I kept putting the work off, somehow justifying in my mind that I could miraculously do all of the work somewhat later. I am not any type of superman so that is ridiculous. Actually, as a mathematician and usually very logical person, I am somewhat embarrassed by how illogical my mind worked then. The problem is that no logical argument would be able to be convince me to stop playing until I decided to stop. Unfortunately, I now have to deal with the aftermath of my past, such as very likely having to declare bankruptcy. Nonetheless, I look forward to moving my life ahead now. Unfortunately, there is no way that I know of that you can "make him see what he's doing before it can't be undone". At some level, he already knows that he has a problem but, unfortunately, the "addictive mind" does not want to admit it. Quite often, it takes a person hitting some personal bottom before they finally, truly admit to themselves that they have a problem and then seek help to solve it. In the meantime, you should at least not enable him. As I mentioned above, don't join him in playing the game. Also, don't make it easy for him to play such as bringing his food to the computer, doing his laundry, etc. There are many people here with direct experience who can relate their personal experiences and provide you with excellent advice. Good luck and I hope that your husband is able to resolve HIS problem sometime very soon.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

gsingjane
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Good morning Its. I am glad

Good morning Its. I am glad you are here and... you know what... you're not neurotic or overly controlling and you're absolutely right, it's NOT you. It's the bleeping addiction and don't let him, or anybody, tell you otherwise. Addiction, which you may already know, is both an objective and a subjective condition. From the addict's own perspective, is he where he needs to be in terms of maintaining and enhancing his own life? Well, no. He's neglecting his primary bond, that with his family, and engaging in behaviors - fighting, swearing, manipulating - that are just flat out wrong and mean. Objectively, he's not paying attention to his business, and it will start to hurt financially soon, if it isn't already. A hard-core addict thinks there's "no such thing" as "too much" gaming, but you know... that's wrong. If you compare it to any other leisure time activity, whether that is TV watching, or reading, or working out, or sitting in a cafe drinking coffee, anybody would agree that engaging in any of these for 5 or 7 hours a day is excessive. Objectively, you're right. It's too much. You may also already know this, but WoW (my addicted son's drug of choice also) is a game that requires an enormous commitment from its users. Players have to be present ingame to carry out certain tasks, such as raids, and they can be kicked out of their "guild" if they don't do what they promise to do, or are required to do. This is one reason for the gamer's rage and desperation when asked to stop playing, it may have come at a highly inopportune time in the game (but of course they can't tell you that). If your husband has a level 70 character, believe me, he's already devoted an enormous amount of time to it. But I guess you knew that. As John says, we cannot give you the magic words to say, or the magic thing to do, that will break this addiction. What we can affirm for you, though, is (a) compulsive gaming is an addiction, like any other and (b) that you are in the right in believing that it has caused, and will cause, problems in your family. For certain people, and who knows why, gaming is their "drug of choice." He may not be doing dope, or hanging in the bar all night long, or blowing his paycheck at the racetrack, but the impact of what he's doing, on your family, is exactly the same as if he were. It may be that what you will have to do now is disengage from him and his gaming, and concentrate on your family's stability, emotional and financial. Your post didn't mention if you are involved in his business, or if you are working. If you aren't, you may want to think about what you can do to help support the family, if it comes down to it I(this would either be with, or without, him, depending on how things ultimately play out). I know it probably seems massively unfair, after everything you've already been through in terms of the move and so forth, but it's also reality. Keep coming back here. We will affirm and support you, and wish you all the best. Jane in CT

John of the Roses
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I am an ex-gamer like John,

I am an ex-gamer like John, but I am also the husband of a gamer still. Although she does not play a MMO, like WoW, she still has difficulty with excessive gaming with the toll being the loss of engagement with me and her share of the workload in running the house. She works40 hours a week and needs time to destress and I understand that. Having a level 70 character is completely different from leveling up the character to 70. The leveling can be fun and challenging overcoming obstacles and solving puzzles, but in the end it is nothing more than doing what is calles "grinding" where you have to kill the same monster hundreds of times to get "experience". At level 70 there is nowhere to go except raiding or the auction house to make ingame gold. If he is raiding there will be commitments he will have to his guild to be such and such a place at certain times. I was in a guild that was mostly pugs, "pick up groups" and it wasn't as demanding. But the game actually lost its charm for me when I realized I wasn't very happy playng it anymore. That was the day I could get away for a week to see how I felt about it. I left WoW and have not looked back. My wife and I are doing weight watchers together and even on days where we have to go to a WW meeting, she will park herself in front of the computer to play games but at least on those days she can say okay when it is time to leave and she will get up from the game. Here at OLGA we can offer you the HOPE that it can get better. The cycle of excessive gaming CAN be overcome but it will take time and often involves heartaches and running a gambit of emotions. Know you are not alone, that there is hope and keep coming back here with your thoughts and questions. ~ Blessings

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." --W. Clement Stone

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