"If what I'm feeling hurts you, why would I want it?"

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GameTired
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"If what I'm feeling hurts you, why would I want it?"

Last night my husband and I had a talk. He's been great about staying away from the game (As far as I know, anyway. He says he hasn't gamed and I believe him). But it's clear that he's still heartbroken over having given it up. Last night we started to discuss how he feels about it...his feelings of bitterness and resentment toward me because he feels I didn't give the game enough of a chance before I told him I thought he had a problem and wanted him to give it up.

My husband has a very addictive personality and a long history of "void-filling" behavior. Something's wrong (I suspect it's been wrong for a very long time), and he turns to gaming, gambling, and other activities to deal with it. We talked about that as well and that was about the time he started to try to wrap up the conversation. I followed him into the next room and told him that he needed to address these feelings rather than forcing them down or nothing was ever going to get better. Exasperated, he turned to me and said, "If what I'm feeling hurts you...why would I want it?"

There wasn't much he wanted to discuss after that.

I'm heartbroken. I know he feels like I'm the one with the problem and that if he had another chance, he could handle the game responsibly. But the fact that he more or less "smuggled" the game behind my back three different times--even after I threatened to leave him--tells me this is more than a case of poor time management.

What can I do??

Kate1song
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hmm.... thats tough... coz i

hmm....

thats tough... coz i (the excessive gamer) I've been in the place... .. having those same kind of talks... with my husband...

Don't know why, as a gamer... it's so hard to talk to your spouse about it.

Well, i know exactly why it's tough to talk about it...

I'd give him this web address.. encourage him visit, and tell him, that you won't discuss his gaming anymore, (i would not try to force him to talk) unless of course what you are going to discuss something that directly impacts you.

Encourage him to visit this website. You are going to have to make decisions about your own life.. and deal with your own emotions as far as his gaming goes and it's impact on you and your family... You might want to get counselling for yourself... It is best to talk to someone who is impartial.. and has good judgement. And plz take care of your health...

It does sound to me though.. from my own experience.. you guys are going through really hard stuff.. :(

Will be thinking of you

GameTired
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That's interesting. What do

That's interesting. What do you mean by hiding stuff? I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this.

To give a more rounded idea of the situation, my husband does have access to this community and has even posted a few times. He talked about going through the 12 steps, but never has. Expressed an interest in the Skype meetings, but never participated. He tends to go back and forth between believing he has a problem and believing the problem is mine.

I have encouraged him to seek out a sponsor/accountability partner/counselor/ANYONE to talk to, because I know he may not always want to share these things with me. The problem is that he doesn't WANT to find anyone else to talk to. I've also expressed an interest in joint counseling for this (since he sees me as the cause of his problem...I was the one who ultimately told him he had to get rid of the game or find a new girlfriend). But he doesn't really want to do that either.

I'm willing to do whatever I need to do to help him, whether that be find a new solution for us or take my hands out of the situation altogether. I just don't know what he needs the most right now. :-/

Cyphersnow
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I think I'd make the joint

I think I'd make the joint counseling non-negotiable.

That's one of those things that if your partner thinks you need to do together, you'd better do it. I mean, there's really no bigger red flag, no clearer warning than, and at the same time affirming your relationship than "Honey, we need to have couple's counciling."

GameTired wrote:

My husband has a very addictive personality and a long history of "void-filling" behavior. Something's wrong (I suspect it's been wrong for a very long time),

I'm painfully familiar with void-filling behavior, so I feel your husband's pain there. (I even did a blog post about it some time ago: http://www.olganon.org/?q=node/17534 and received a lot of awesome, helpful comments on it.) Becoming much more spiritual has helped a great deal. I've also been filling my life with new activities and hobbies, which has also helped. And recently, I've resolved to always have several new "brain candy" on hand in case I just really need to escape.

Your husband will have to find his own answers, but if you get a talented councilor I suspect that will get the ball rolling. (And by the way, I recommend spirituality, exciting new hobbies/activities, and fun books. :-p)

The only winning move is not to play.

gotoutalive
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From our side of it - the

From our side of it - the addicts, i can tell you that quitting is like suffering a death - it's a grieving process. he might need to process that on his own or with a sponsor or friends here who can understand it cause we've lived it.

the relationships created in gaming are very intense - people share deep parts of themselves and often feel understood in ways they imagine their real life friends and loved ones can't understand. of course this is really an illusion - it's the meeting of my imaginary self with another's. 90% of who you are the fellow gamers usually never see. it's quite common as you can read here that gamers who left the game imagine their fellow gamers will pine for them and want them to come back. the reality is hard core gamers sort of quarantine you when they realize you see the gaming as a problem - they don't want anyone raining on their parade.

i too agree counseling is a good idea. he might want to go to individual counselling or both that and marriage counselling.

but the good news is - you are super important to him and he clearly loves you - he gave up one of the hardest things to give up FOR YOU. that's nothing to sneeze at. read the posts here and you will see how many gamers refuse to do so. that is a great great thing. hang in there!

hugs and much love

curly brace
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Dear GameTired, I agree with

Dear GameTired,

I agree with gotoutalive, he very clearly loves you!

"If what I'm feeling hurts you...why would I want it?"

I've heard this one before too; he sounds hurt, and he sounds like he genuinely doesn't want to hurt you, and he's trying to tell you that he wants you to be happy as well.

From my dealings with my own boyfriend, when he feels I am not on his side, he will become defensive, and he will complain that he feels hurt and misunderstood. Telling him things (even truthful things which he may need to understand) during points where he doesn't want to listen may be as effective as telling the kitchen sink such things.

The times when I have successfully managed to convey what I mean to my boyfriend (and many times, I definitely have failed), are actually the times when I didn't try to control his behaviour.

When I forced him off the computer, he would be surly and grumpy towards me. When I tried to talk to him about it, he would argue and insist I was wrong, nitpicking over my wording rather than thinking about the reasons why I was bringing up such conversation.

You mentioned his problem very succinctly here:

"The problem is that he doesn't WANT to find anyone else to talk to."

You can't change his behaviour, only he can. If he doesn't want to go to counselling (my boyfriend doesn't either), then even if you force him into a room with a counsellor by lifting him off the ground and carrying him over.. he will not listen, or take it seriously.

It sounds like you have already tried to make him do what you want him to do (listen to your concerns seriously, see a counsellor, stop gaming), and in fact though he actually has stopped gaming, I'm worried that what has happened is you've cut off the alcoholic's access to booze, but his actual problem has not been addressed.

What I'm currently trying with my boyfriend (which I see you have read about, thank you for your comment) is to ask him to record his gaming habits. I have no idea if this will work in the long run, but from what I have seen so far he hasn't seemed to get worse (in fact he's cut back in his gaming hours by himself). If it works over time, I'll try to remember to get back to you and suggest this. If it doesn't work, I'll warn you not to try it :)

Anyway, good luck, and hope things turn out better over time :)

Jenny

Runescape - Jagex's way of helping you Run and Escape, for $6 a month >:)

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