Husband's xbox live habit is ruining our marriage

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kcadams1980
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Husband's xbox live habit is ruining our marriage

Wow, I didn't know that groups like this existed - or that there was a name for what my husband does... We have been married almost 7 yrs, and I am at the end of my rope with his nonsense. Where do I start? He has always been into video games, and I am not... In fact, I think that it is pretty ridiculous for a grown man to play as much as he does, but let me back up. It was always kind of excessive, but when xbox live came out a few yrs back, that's when he really went overboard. His games of choice are multi-player shooting games. He has been obsessed with call of duty series for years. He has an entire network of other "adult gamers" that he plays with constantly - I'm talking 6 hrs or more at a time! They even make appointments on their web message board to play matches/tournaments/whatever, and when I try to point out how silly that is for a group of grown men, he gets angry at me and justifies it. My husband's favorite way of deflecting my criticism of his gaming is to pretend that I am saying it is NEVER acceptable for adults to play video games... it's like he thinks he's the leader of some gamer movement for social acceptance or something! I've explained to him that I understand lots of people like xbox - I wouldn't have a problem with him playing - it's the EXCESSIVE amount of game playing that I have a problem! To make matters worse, his excessive gaming is negatively impacting MY life now as well... He works from 3p-midnight, and I work from 8a-4:30pm. When he gets home from work, he plays xbox live until 6am - which is when I need to get up for work! Then he sleeps till 2pm, leaving himself no time to do anything constructive like exercise (he needs it), grocery shop or help around the house. That stuff is all left to me. He usually drinks while playing with his stupid friends and ALWAYS ends up waking me at night with his carrying on, yelling at the TV, etc. I suffer from insomnia and wake very easily, despite the fact that I take ambien...When I yelled at him for waking me up this morning at 5am, he actually told me that "maybe you should fix the fact that you can't sleep through the night instead of telling me I can't do what I want to do" !!! I was so mad today at work that I wrote him a two page letter, basically letting him have it. What's more, he has the nerve to get on MY case about the fact that I'm not showering him with physical affection... Well, hello! I actually take care of myself physically, and I would appreciate him trying to do the same... It's not exactly a turn on to listen to your 30 yr old husband play video games for 6 hrs... Sorry, this is a bit of a rant, but I'm not sure what to do. I told him that I want to cut his xbox time down to 3 hrs a night - I don't think that's unreasonable, but who knows if he'll actually do it (my guess is not). Thanks for listening.

TomG
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Well first off 6 hours a

Well first off 6 hours a night, to me he sounds like an addictive gamer, not only that be drinking as well?? If you are painting the picture correctly he is also an alcoholic. The only way for him to move foward is for him to realize that he has a problem. Maybe you should sit down with him (if you can) and talk with him and tell him that you are concerned for him, instead of yelling at him. I am in no way shape or form making excuses for what he doing, since I myself am a recovering addict. If he is truely an addict telling him to cut it back 3 hours is not going to help, even if he does agree to it. He may at first cut back to the 3 hour time limit but as time goes one (whether it be a few days, a week, a month), he will be right back on the game. If talking does not help and he still insists that he does not have a problem or he won't give you the time to talk to him, then you give him an ultimatum of either you or the game, that simple. Sometimes some people don't know they have a problem until they hit rock bottom. Maybe he won't figure it out until he hits rock bottom. This is the only advice I can give you and I hope everything works out well for you.

dark (not verified)
Hi KC, Like Tom I am a

Hi KC,

Like Tom I am a recovering addict. I think the best advice you can get is from other Anon's (wives and/or family members).

That being said here is how my wife managed it (and I guess it worked cause I am here and clean:).

She said me down and without getting emotional told me I had a huge problem. She told me it is not normal and is ruining my life and our relationship. She said she would not put up with it for long and asked me to get help. Then she began to live her own life. She made it clear she was going to go her own way unless I stopped gaming (she did not threaten to walk out because we have 3 children and they come first for her). Then she began to stop enabling me.

More complete advice you will surely get from from one of the wonderful and experienced Anons on this site - how to detach with love, etc. But I thought you might want to hear this.

I am sorry to say Tom is right. If he is an addict you may be in for a lot of pain and heartache. Thats the bad news. The good news is if he is, there is nothing you can do except 'detach with love' and begin to look after yourself.

- dark

Robk
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Good advice dark..I will

Good advice dark..I will tell you from an addicts point of view attacking him will only push him away further. also, if he is an addict 3 hours is too much..anything is too much. I would suggest that you ask him to check out this site..tell him he doesn't have to join..just ask him to read some of the posts here and on the gamers board. alot of people who are addicted to games don't realize it. again, as dark said, the Anons will certainly be of more help to you. But if your husband needs us , we are here for him.

peace

Rob

When there is nothing left, There is Hope

Rach
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I am so sorry you are going

I am so sorry you are going through this. This definitely sounds like he is addicted to the game. I know what you are going through as I am in a similar boat. What happens when you mention maybe you want to hang out together to spend time together or go out somewhere together? What did he say when you told him you were losing it? I really think you should try talking with him, have a heart to heart conversation and really explain to him how his excessive gaming has hurt you and you want to spend time with him. It is only normal to feel that way in a relationship. He may say some stuff to you and tell you how he feels, which is fine but come up with a plan. If not, then I can understand totally it just makes things worse. I really hope all of us can help give you advice. Try to do things for yourself. You need it. I have learned, can't forget about me.

sladdiction
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Hi KC, I am not a

Hi KC,

I am not a professional therapists, but it seems there is an underlying problem that you two have AWFUL schedules to carve out any quality time together. Yes, he is addicted, no doubt, but he is also missing you I'm sure, as you are missing having a regular dependable husband. Is there ANY way he can find a job that matches your schedule, or vice-a-versa?

Good luck to you!

Addicted to SL

Early
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I was thinking the same....8

I was thinking the same....8 hours together each day? proberly less if you allow for time spent travelling to and from work....seems to me to be a recipe for disaster before you take the gaming into acount. I'm not excuseing his gaming but I can certainly see why he does if you two don't spend much time together as a couple. I think you don't just have the gaming and drinking to confront, but this as well.

When you have lost everything anyway, you take it back...sanity is a thing to cherish.....

midsummerstars
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It was always kind of

It was always kind of excessive, but when xbox live came out a few yrs back, that's when he really went overboard.

I was in much the same situation as yourself and I have to say that xbox live made our lives considerably worse...

I don't have any advice, as every situation is different. But my husband refused to listen on any level...I hope your story has a better ending than mine. Wishing you the best of luck!

LaurelS9
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Hi, KC.  I'm both an

Hi, KC. I'm both an addicted gamer and gamer/alcoholics' family member.

One thing I want to reiterate is that Gaming addiction and Alcohol addiction are the same species of disorder/illness. They are an illness, not something that your husband or any other addict can control through will power alone...at least not for more than a few days at the most.

There are no half measures to deal with addictions. There are no cures for addiction at this time either....EXCEPT complete abstinence from gaming and complete abstinence from alcohol...and then, with daily action, there is a daily reprieve from this...and that daily reprieve in dependent on a daily plan of action....action which is altruistic/spiritual in origin.

One reason for the success of AA is that the Big Book clearly delineates these facts, and the path to recovery. So, if you really want to help your beloved husband, read the Big Book to begin with, and get to know Alanon, which is the recovery path for loved ones of alcoholics. Olganon is based on the Alanon recovery path. Same recovery path for either problem.

Do know that your husband is NOT his addictions. He is the same sweet person you fell in love with, but his progress in this world is blighted because of this illness.

Your best bet at helping him is to recover spiritually, yourself. That means no b****ing/moaning at him. You begin walking the path yourself, and SHOW him through your actions.

Hope we can be with you on your journey, so keep coming back to let us know your progress, and his.

kcadams1980
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Hi everyone, Thank you so

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses. Admittedly, I wrote that original post when I was really heated, since then my husband and I have talked a lot but things are going to be hard for awhile I think... First off, let me tell you all that I come from a long line of alchoholics so I know what it looks like - truthfully I probably self-medicate with wine a little too much myself, but his is more "binge-like." And the gaming and drinking go hand in hand.

After he read my (scathing) letter, he felt very ashamed and embarrassed, and promised to do better. We talked for a long time and I really think he understands where I'm coming from, although I'm not sure he really thinks it's a problem FOR HIMSELF. And regarding the work schedule conflicts, it's really unavoidable b/c he works in television, and rotates on a 24-hr shift schedule every few months. I work normal office hours. It's not ideal, but when he's on this shift (3-midnight) he's off on Wednesdays and Thursdays so I get to spend time with him then after work (and we usually always go out on the weekends with friends too). Next month he'll be on the 7-4p shift which will be better...

So... we had another "incident" early this morning. I woke up around 4:45am to him carrying on with his friends on the headset and playing the game. When he drinks all night like that he doesn't know limits, or his own voice volume. I knew I was "up" at that point, so I got out of bed and told him I was going to go run, since I would probably be too tired after work... I told him I was frustrated with him b/c it seemed like he didn't absorb anything that I said a few days earlier - he is trying to get back in the habit of working out, and staying up all night drinking and playing games doesn't really help that. When I came back from my run, I checked my email and he had sent me a long one... It started off sort of attacking me for stuff in our past (I went through an awful period of severe depression a few years back and made life miserable for us both), but it evolved into him explaining that he has been really depressed and angry for a long time and drinking/playing xbox is his way of dealing with it. He said that he likes "killing people" and that it's a release. He's not some kind of psycho, he just doesn't know how to deal with anger and sadness constructively (which I completely understand). Anyhow, he gets into this thing of saying that I should just leave him, he's doesn't want to "bother" me anymore, that he wishes he could just disappear from my life so his "sh**" wouldn't affect me. I know that this is self-pity and I didn't go for it... I wrote him a long letter back, essentially telling him that I understand what he's going through and will be there for him no matter what, like he was there during my depression. I am a social worker so I'm big on getting treatment for mental illness... l honestly think that if he corrects his brain chemistry with meds (like I did) it will help an awful lot. Anyhow, thanks again for listening, you all are very helpful.

TomG
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I hope everything goes well

I hope everything goes well for you and your husband. I am glad you were able to sit and talk with him, so at least he is aware of the situation. If he truely wants help, now the ball is in his court and it is time for you to take care of you. I am hoping that maybe he can reach out to us, as well. There is lots of valuable information for you and him on this website that is very helpful.

sladdiction
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Glad you two have dialog,

Glad you two have dialog, KC! Keep that up.

I don't think its a cure all, but, yes, I do agree that anti-depressant medicine DID help my depression and virtually stopped my alcohol abuse. However, it won't stop a true addict, which i wasn't addicted to alcohol. The proof is that it did nothing for my true addiction, online gaming.

Keep up the talking, and look into family therapy if you can talk him into it.

Addicted to SL

stevieg
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It sounds as though your

It sounds as though your husband may indeed be experiencing some form of an addiction. The difficult aspect of gaming addiction (and things like gambling addiction for that matter) is that these things do not directly affect someone's character and behavior, the way drugs or alcohol may. Still, it is no less significant from these other diseases. Fortunately, treatments out there need not focus on providing medical care, as it is very possible for the walls to be broken down psychologically because there is a different level of biological dependence. You just need to be a pillar of support, and be willing to take the rollercoaster ride to recovery for a brighter light at the end of the tunnel. That being said, I am curious how you two met. My daughter frequently combs, and recently became involved with someone who described himself online as a "heavy gamer". She discusses how he has become increasingly isolated ever since they began dating, and I'm worried if he is displaying similar signs. Were you aware of such a condition with your husband before hand, or did he actively look to hide it?

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Kc, your husband definately

Kc, your husband definately sounds like he is going through a self pity stage. Perhaps if he realises "why" he is doing it, then he is also coming to terms with the fact that he has an addiction?

I think you need to stop enabling his behaviour as has been mentioned in above posts, and somehow try and refer him to this site if he doesn't already know about it?

I wish you both the best of luck, my heart is with you.

I quit gaming on 16 May 2011. Thank you Online Gamers Anonymous for setting me on the right path to conquering my addiction.

Bigun
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I came to this site with the

I came to this site with the realization that not just mine... but me and my wife's collective gaming addiction is eating into our marriage and lives. Even if you shared the same gaming fetish as he does, it would still rip the marriage apart. You both would start playing and feeling distant, I was at my wits end the day before yesterday when me and my wife were running into issue after issue with each other. I was nearly in tears with aggrivation. I then put my emotions aside, and tried to think what had changed and when things started falling apart.

We figured it must have been when we signed on with XBOX Live. After agreeing to not play XBL but a few (2 to 4) hours a week (pulling back from about 40 hours a week), the next day we did nothing but work on the house, talk, and watch movies. The difference in one single day was amazing. Too soon to tell if the majority of underlying issues will be fixed, but I will be reporting back.

The reason I posted this is to let anyone else out there struggling with this, that if the excuse, "You don't understand", or ,"If only I had a woman that could play games with me", doesn't hold water... not one bit. The fact still is there, when your playing games.... you are not paying attention to each other, that will inherently tear the relationship apart. Two addicted gamers doesn't mean paradise.

gabby15
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Hi KCADAMS, I completely

Hi KCADAMS, I completely completely feel your pain. I have been married for a little over 5 yrs.. my husband has always also been into the game (xbox live gears of war and john madden) but like your husband it was not considered excessive in the beginnning. As time passed, he started playing longer hours and his attitude worsened. He started becoming verbally abusive when he plays and the game doesnt go his way, he starts yelling at the tv and cussing and throwing stuff and breaking stuff. It almost felt like i had to walk on e7gg shells during the time he was on the xbox. Its so embarrassing to hear him yell and throw fits because sometimes ill be on the phone while he's playing and he yells so loud.. sometimes i had to put my phone on mute and ask him reallly nicely to please keep it down.. thats when our fights start. Anytime i get in the way like if im walking across the room, or if i ask him to keep it down, or if the kids accidentally get in his way he'll yelll at them.. hell breaks loose in our house. This is just not the way to live. I have gone as far as throwing his xbox in the pool, threw another xbox down the stairs, he got rid of 2 other ones...the fifth one he gave it away to his teenage son, the 6th one he pawned it and never went back for it, the 7th one he broke himself and finally this 8th one he still has it.. so thats about 8 or 9 in the past 5 years.. thats alot of xboxes to buy.. its ridiculous. Like you i have nooooo problem with him having a game hobby.. i dont mind the game.. my 2 problems are the excessiveness and his anger when he plays affects our environment, my kids, my mood. ITs a negative environment that he creates. One thing about my husband that kind of makes this hard for me is that hes playing his cards with me and the game the right way. He comes home, spends time with the kids, if he doesnt HAVE to work that day he cleans the entire house, feeds and plays with the kids THEN after all that is done he goes and plays for hours.. one time he played up to 8 hours. i just dont know what to do.. i have addressed my problem with the game to him and why it bothers me.. ive told him i dont mind the game but he needs to limit his time on the game and control his attitude and his anger.. and nothing changes. We have even separated for months because of it.. he came back home this past january promising me that he no longer had the need for the game and its happening again..im extremely frustrated i feel like its causing me stress, anxiety and depression... thanks also for listening

worried wife
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kcadams1980 wrote: but it
kcadams1980 wrote:

but it evolved into him explaining that he has been really depressed and angry for a long time and drinking/playing xbox is his way of dealing with it. He said that he likes "killing people" and that it's a release. He's not some kind of psycho, he just doesn't know how to deal with anger and sadness constructively (which I completely understand). Anyhow, he gets into this thing of saying that I should just leave him, he's doesn't want to "bother" me anymore, that he wishes he could just disappear from my life so his "sh**" wouldn't affect me.

This could have been wrote by me. My husband is also addicted to Call of Duty, online via the PS3.

I gave him an ultimatium (gaming or me) & offered him support, love & help to address his addiction. He chose to move out to a rented room & has left me struggling with basic home bills up to my eyeballs in debt. But kids himself by saying he's doing me the favour!

The favour would be to man-up & grow up, but he won't accept that his problem is that bad.

Its the cowardly way of refusing to be an adult & deal with life, just like gaming is running from real life.

Stacyrenea
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Six hours?? Try 10-15 a day

Six hours?? Try 10-15 a day it's all he does. It's ripping our marriage apart. I try talking to him he gets mad cause I interrupt his game. I'm so FED up all I do is stay angry and depressed.

mumof3now2
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Worried Wife - Thats

Worried Wife - Thats terrible.

Weird isnt it how it seems to be when the marriage hits 5 years.

Been together 8 years this december and married 5.5 years.

We lost a baby 3 yeas ago who was an identical twin - my other lil boy is doing ok although we nearly lost him in the 1st year.

I go to work 26.75 hrs a week, start at 2pm -7pm.

I get up every morning and deal with both my kids, nursery, school etc( 6yr old girl too.) come home walk dog, housework, pick lad up from nursery at 12, feed, changehim etc, go to work for 2pm. Yes i have an office job and sit on my arse all day but its bloody mentaly draining let alone the said hoisework in the morning.

He picks me up n i get home, he goes upstairs straight to the xbox.

I am not like other women on her and you might think that i am fratenising with the enemy but i love playing on the xbox. BUT i have to get the kids to bed, tidy up, have my dinner, washing, dishwasher, put the rubbish out - shall iu go on? neway - i sit down bout 9pm ish sometimes later depending on kids/housework, i might play on my xbox for an hour or 2 if im not dead inm the arm chair. I love battlefield 3 but i havent played for a few days and guess what - im not shaking with withdrawl.

Its not just xbox, if he dares to grace me with his prescence downstairs i have to watch we he wants and he will sit on his Ipod or Blackberry.

Im going blooming mental. I have it out with him and yet he says that i deserve better then buggers off upstiars to his xbox but its me thats an evil cow.

oops so i have waffled on a bit gotta get it out there.

Feel like beating him over the head or chucking it out the window but he will only nick mine!

Andrew_Doan
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I am sorry for all your

I am sorry for all your troubles. I know firsthand how this addiction will tear apart families. It amazes me that WoW has 11 million players with most "investing" 25-35 hours per week! That's almost another full-time job. After I stopped playing video games, I founded four corporations (not self-promoting), just illustrating what the power of the "gaming brain" can do. In the height of my addiction, I remember my wife repeating, "why don't you find another hobby like furniture making?! We would never have to buy furniture!" The key to healing from this addiction is diverting the energy and addict brain into something that is fun, rewarding, and useful.

Video game addicts really have to pull their heads out of the digital world and get help. Unfortunately, the addicts need to take action themselves, and their families really can't do much - except not enabling the gamer and make them suffer consequences. For some, professional intervention is needed.

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

Daniel james
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Xbox

My wife seems to have a problem with me playing xbox online with her brother who lives in the US. She's the one who got me the xbox for Christmas. I may play for a couple of hours tops but if I want another game later on because her brother has come on again she seems to flip at me. I'm pretty sure I'm not that addicted to it but if I even look at the xbox it seems she gets annoyed. It's causing fights all the time.

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