How to respond to husband's excuses?

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ames123
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How to respond to husband's excuses?

Hello! My husband is addicted to online gaming, mostly WoW and EVE. At first, it was fine. We were dating and playing WoW together, it was a way for us to spend time together. Then we bought a house together and got married, WoW was still how we spent time together, our computers together in our office. We played for hours at night and on the weekends, but of course we didn't really have responsibilities other than work for him and the house for me. Well, then we decided to get pregnant and knowing I wouldn't have time to play anymore, I quit WoW pretty much cold turkey and asked him to do the same. He told me that he would cut way down after the baby was born. I believed him. Our daughter was born, and he did cut down a little bit, but after a few weeks went right back to his usual schedule. We constantly fight about his online gaming because I feel it takes away from our time as a family, which should come first. When we fight, he gives me every excuse as to why he should be able to play. He even blames me saying I make life so miserable for him with my nagging about WoW that he has to play just to get away from me.

The last big arguement we had was a few weeks ago when I told him that this was not the kind of family I wanted to be in and that if he wanted to keep playing that was fine, but I would leave. He told me that I couldn't take our daughter, that he'd report my car as stolen, and he'd cancel my debit card. He then made a big show of canceling his WoW account and asking "if I was happy now?" and blah blah blah. But instead of quiting online gaming, he just quit WoW and started EVE again and played that just as much as he was playing WoW. Since I was tired of having the same arguement over and over again I just gave up. I even tried to make a deal that we could only have sex on days he didn't play, but that lasted a day. Meanwhile, his friends were still playing WoW and asking him to come back to raid, but he'd tell them that I "wouldn't let him". So of course they start Facebook messaging me saying I need to "let him be a man" and to "take his b**ls out of my purse" etc. Then my husband got so fed up with their taunting that he pretty much just told me he was going to play WoW again and didn't care what I said. But that he'd only raid on Tues and Wed. I assumed that meant he wouldn't be playing the rest of the week, but he still plays every night as soon as he gets home from work to the time he goes to bed, and on the weekends from the second he gets up to bedtime.

He doesn't think he as a problem, but I keep trying to point out to him that the fact I'm willing to divorce him and he will lose his wife and daugter over gaming makes it a problem. He gives me excuse after excuse and I have nothing to counter them. So that is what I am asking here. What should I say to make him see that his excuses are, I guess, a sign of his addiction? I'm planning on confronting him when he gets home from his work trip in a couple weeks and want to have my counterpoints ready. Here are his most commonly used arguements for gaming:

* I work hard and I deserve to relax.

* I don't like watching tv or movies or anything else he could do with me.

* If you weren't such a nagging b***h all the time, maybe I'd want to spend more time with you.

* You should just be thankful I'm not going out drinking or cheating on you. I'm upstairs and home.

* There are people way worse than me.

* Stop trying to manipulate me.

* You're the one that doesn't want to spend time with me since you moved your computer downstairs. (I moved my office into another room)

* On the rare occasion I can get him out of the house and out with me and the baby, he just acts uninterested and bored and irritated and gets online as soon as we get home.

These are just what I can think of off the top of my head. Thankfully he isn't dismissive of our daughter, but I literally have to put her in front of the computer screen before he'll play with her. And watching her so I can get chores done consists of him playing WoW and her running amok in his office getting into spare computer parts and other dangerous things I'm sure.

Anyways, please help. I keep trying to point out that if it were alcohol and he was doing the same things and giving me the same excuses there would be no question he was an alcoholic. How can I get him to see the parallels with substance abuse and that his online gaming really is a problem? Thanks!

Kate1song
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I've sympathy for you.

I've sympathy for you. Honestly as you read the posts you will realize that no gaming addict will quit unless they are ready to. One could try to give you words to say, but you've prolly tried almost all of them already.

Do you have family near by that could give you support in some way? If he's threatened you in regards to your leaving, then that gives you a good idea as to his mental state of mind. Thats crazy. Manipulation... and definately wouldn't hold water with a judge.

fer
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ames, my behavior was

ames, my behavior was similar to your husband's. Those arguments you listed are mostly rationalizations. He is probably feeling stressed and finds some relief in the game. But the thing is that game addiction only makes issues worse, it doesn't solve them. I don't think you're off comparing it to alcohol abuse; some people get drunk, others, like I used to, get lost in a fantasy world.

An addict will only quit if and when they're ready to. You seem to have tried to lead him back to life, but the collective experience is that you didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it.

The only thing you can control is what YOU will do about yourself and your daughter.

Healthy enthusiasms add to life, addictions take away from it.

Steele
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Hi there Ames.  It is very

Hi there Ames.

It is very confronting to read the excuses that he is giving, it is very much like I was and what I was saying. It is just horrible what he is doing.

You dont need to counter his arguments, Ames. It simply is not normal to spend all your time on gaming, period. Deep down inside he must know this, but he is clearly not capable yet of admitting it to himself (as happened with me, I believed in my own twisted rationalizations for a long time, blaming others or situations).

When he is out with you and the baby, and that he is uninterested and with his mind with the game, to me is a clear illustration that he addicted and in a way mentally sick right now. I recognize this absent minded behaviour very much. The game was always on my mind and made it difficult for me to be in-the-moment. (The argument of 'I dont like TV / movies' is very familiar to me, and back then I think it really was true, I sure believed it. The game was on my mind and I wanted to be 'there' and not 'here'. Now that I am somewhat more 'healty' I can enjoy these things again.)

Like Kate, I would 'advise' to find some support. Talk to family, a close friend. In talking with others things usually becomes more clear.

Again, you dont need to counter his arguments. It is not normal, period.

"I want to see people and I want to see life."

Kyana
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Hello Ames, I am very sorry

Hello Ames,

I am very sorry to hear your story.

I, truly nicely, with a lot of respect, comprehension, kidness, tolerance excused about everything my Second Life addict did or said to me. I thought I was doing the "right thing". I believed and trusted him over my own values, over what I thought was so precious between humans beens: respect, over my pride, over myself to let him deal with his addiction to Second Life in everything that means. I was wrong.

I hung out there too long, I finaly drowned as well, not in the same way for sure, but in the loss of myself, curled up and wraped into a silence...and he was playing Second Life and I excused.

Take good care of yourself, I didn't.

kyana

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Hi ames and welcome to

Hi ames and welcome to Olga-non. It makes me so sad when I read what the loved ones of gaming addicts go through, perhaps because I was one. As an addict, we are totally blind to our addiction. Our addicted brain has us conned into believing that gaming is our first priority in life and everything else is secondary. It's really crazy. We can't see it until we become free from the addictive behavior, and your husband can't see it either. To him he's perfectly justified in what he's doing and sees nothing wrong with it. But know that none of it is your fault and you are not to blame in the least. As you read posts here, you will see that there's nothing you can do to get through to him nor can you counter his arguments. It's no use even trying. He must come to the realization on his own that he's addicted.

What you can do is take care of yourself and your daughter, apart from him and make a life for yourself. I would highly encourage you to attend a Nar-anon meeting, where you can get the support you need to deal with an addicted loved one. Stick around here, as well, read posts and post your frustrations to get the support from others who understand the insanity of gaming addiction and what it does to us and our loved ones. Take care and best of luck to you.

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

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Every marriage is different,

Every marriage is different, so there is no clear answer on how to deal with this dilema. However, I have noticed that all addicts act the same. They will manipulate to a point that you believe them. But once they notice their manipulation fails they become defiant. Don't let him convince you that you are any of those things you listed above. I had the same blame list tossed at me. I dealt with this for many years, his gaming came in waves. We were very close to a divorce a couple of months ago, he took a week off work and while filing the paperwork and locking me out of all our financial account he dedicated his time to playing games.

I can advise you to not deal with this roller coaster life, he is not worth the hassle. He has to give access to money to his child and wife until the divorce proceedings are over. He is liable. The money can be taken by court order, your lawyer can iniciate this. I had to do that.

I played this roller coaster game for 20 years, always trying to do the best of what I had. I was manipulated to believe that he was just playing, he could be out with other women, or drinking. Evenually you will get to a point where you hit rock bottom, maybe now or maybe like me in 20 years. No sane person can deal with the neglect and be happy and a good parent for very long. You better deal with it now. I know that you are worried about the baby and if he were to have some parental custody rights, that the baby might starve. I was scared for my children also. I dont' think he would want to have any rights, that's time away from the game.

He might wake up or he might not, but you can't live like that no matter how comfortable you think this is.

See a councelor and find some strength in talking with others. You are not under any time pressure, do what you think is right when you think it is, but dont' wait 20 years for him to wake up. Good luck on your journey.

ames123
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Thanks everyone!  I've been

Thanks everyone! I've been reading a lot of the stories on here and so many of them sound just like what I'm going through. Some almost exactly the same, some not as bad, and some worse.

Since I was also playing almost as much as he was before we had our baby, sometimes I feel like I don't have a leg to stand on when I bring up gaming addiction. I was in it too and I know that the game is fun. However, I've never had an "addictive personality" and was able to just quit when I needed to. I know it's hard for others to do that. What really gets me is that he doesn't think he has a problem because it's not something like drugs or alcohol where you can see the physical effects of the addiction on the body. I think that makes it harder for others to understand too, even me sometimes. I've been talking to my mom and she asks, "How can you be addicted to a video game?" (but she does support my leaving if necessary). I'm afraid that since not many understand online gaming addiction, they'll think I'm just overreacting or trying to control him or being a "mean wife" when I ask for help.

And then I sometimes doubt myself. Am I being reasonable? After all, he does work hard so I can stay home with our baby, and he does deserve to relax. But seriously, all night and all weekend??? When I've gotten him to stop playing and actually do things around the house or with us he'll come to me and say, "Ok I've done XYZ and hung out with you (for maybe an hour), can I go play WoW now?" And I tell him that he shouldn't play at all because he can't control himself. Like an alcoholic can't have ANY alcohol because they may relapse, he can't play ANY amount of time because it will just get stretched out to hours and hours again. And sure enough, when I give in he's back to his regular schedule within a few days.

It's so frustrating.

dreamdancer
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I left a couple of times and

I left a couple of times and stayed with my parents for an extended period of time. And guess what, he stopped playing and was the best parent and father you could find. But it doesn't last. After 6 months or so a new game is on the market or the old one has a new addition and off he goes into pixel land. Slowly at first and then he looses all control and he turns into this addictive monster. He is not gaming right now (dealing with RID (restless, irritable and detached) sympthoms.... but he is waiting for the new Diablo game, he thinks he can handle the load better since it's not an MMO game. Yeah right. And still he does not believe he is an addict. When he plays at full throddle we are looking at 80hours +.

In the spring you will hear me lament again about the agony of leaving, because I will not deal with this terror again.

My councelor now succesfully convinced me that I have been in an emotionally abusive marriage.

No matter what you do: it's your turn now. You deserve much better. By the way reporting the car stolen is stating false police report. That's abuse to threaten you like that. Don't live with it.

ames123
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Thank you!  Yeah, he and

Thank you! Yeah, he and his friends keep talking about playing the Star Wars game when it's released. And when I told them he won't be playing, they continued with the "let him have his b**ls back" taunting.

I'm tired of being made out to be the bad guy. I'm not the one neglecting my family!

Silvertabby
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Don't doubt yourself,

Don't doubt yourself, ames. You are indeed being reasonable. And you are totally right that he can't control it. As addicts we can't. I wanted to stop gaming for over a year before I was finally able to quit. I tried to quit, I tried to moderate, but just couldn't and I was frustrated because I couldn't stop. Finally, I believe because of God's intervention, I was able to stop and then I found Olga to help me stay stopped. And yes, the general public does not understand gaming addiction. They think we can just play or stop as we choose. We all wish we could, believe me.

Gaming addiction is real...it's like a "fix" for a drug addict. And yet, no matter how much we play, it's never enough. We become a slave to it, even though we don't realize it. I thought I chose to play until I tried to stop. It was only then that I realized I was truly addicted, but I didn't know how to get free. But to come to that point of realizing how it's ruining your life is the hardest part. You can only hope that taking drastic measures will "wake" him up, but there's no guarantee.

 

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ~Maria Robinson

fer
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Ames, in my experience

Ames, in my experience people don't usually want to hear about gaming addiction. Even though it's well-known that gambling can be addictive (or at least a disorder), and the game makers and reviewer talk about how addictive the games are as if it were a badge of honor.

But, as I was saying, I don't think it's too useful to approach people like your mother on the addiction angle. Maybe it would be easier to talk about compulsive behavior, about excessive gaming, and about symptoms or consequences that it causes.

I got to a point in my gaming involvement that I started to notice the bad effects that excessive gaming was having on my life, especially on my job. It scared me that I would open the game during work to set my "shop" or to check on auctions. I saw that if I continue down that road I could even get fired. And, yet, I CONTINUED PLAYING. I rationalized it.

But I started to search the Internet to find out if I could be addicted. One of the best pages I found was "A Screening Tool for Excessive Gamers", on OLGA. [1] Another was "5 Creepy Ways Video Games Are Trying to Get You Addicted" [2] And there is research about psychological and physiological effects that gaming can have on people.

tl;dr: Instead of debating the concept of game addiction, it may make more sense to look at the effects of excessive gaming.

[1] http://www.olganon.org/?q=self_tests_on_gaming_addiction

[2] (WARNING: CONTAINS TRIGGERING MATERIAL) http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html

Healthy enthusiasms add to life, addictions take away from it.

Kyana
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Hello, Yes indeed every

Hello,

Yes indeed every addict is different and I do hope and believe so ....As we can see on Olga

I think the question might be when to "let go" ? And this is a very subjective issue.

Take care

Kyana

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Hi Ames, Your story and mine

Hi Ames,

Your story and mine seem practically identical. I too was playing with him before our daughter was born. That is how we enjoyed spending time together. Once she was born though just like you I had no problem not playing and he couldnt stop. I completely understand where your coming from and I wish I had answers for you, but sadly there are not easy answers. I have just recently really started to realize and accept that I cant make him stop and I cant make him see the problem. Its completely up to him. Me trying just makes him angrier. I have now choosen to see how he does while stepping away from the situation by ignoring it and taking steps to make sure my daughter and I will be ok if we need to leave. I have found a part time job to start saving money and am trying to find where I can go and find some counseling for myself. Thats the best advice I can give, because you have control over what you do for yourself and your daughter. Good Luck and hope to see you around the boards here.

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waterbaby0623
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I know exactly how you feel

I know exactly how you feel my husband has used the same excuses with me when I ask him to put down the games. I'm currently pregnant with our first child together but I have two other children from a previous relationship that both love and adore him. But yet he always finds a way to block them out with the gaming. My 6 year old son will want to sit and talk and play games with him like memory matching game or sorry actual board games thathat help kids learn, and it's like I have to nago him to do that and even then when he does it you can tell he's annoyed at it. He doesn't encourage our son or show any reaction when our son wins. I'm afraid with the birth of our daughter things will go the same with him. Sure at first he'll be all about the baby so excited she's here finally but after the newness wears off I know it will go back to me having the full responsibility for every thing. I would say if he is threatening you like that to take away your debit card or report your car stolen I'd let him have them both and see about turning to family for love and support. I'd point out to his so called friends that as a man he has responsibilities adult ones ones that include raising a child with you. You didn't create the baby on your own why should you take all the responsibility of raising her? If he tries to threaten taking your daughter I'd point out that if he tried and succeeded which I doubt he would he'd be responsible for her everything meaning far less time for him to play his games he'd have to work and take on all your responsibilities around the house and in caring for your daughter.

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