I am a new member here, in a relationship with a gaming addict.
My boyfriend, Ben, and I have been together nearly five years. We are both young professionals in our twenties (he is 25, I am 27), live together and have two beautiful dogs.
My boyfriend grew up playing video games from a young age.. He's played it all: Console games, computer games, first-person shooters, MMO's, etc.
Ben is not a "full blown" addict.. yet. Gaming does not currently affect his work or finances, though it has certainly affected his work schedule in the past. He is self-employed though, and I am convinced that being self-employed affords him the convenience to game when he wants.
During the course of our relationship, my boyfriend has gone through several bouts or cycles of heavy to light gaming, with the occasional period of "sobriety". When we first got together, he had stopped gaming and was intensely focused on developing his business. He did mention his past with gaming, but since it wasn't a present issue at the time, I wasn't concerned.
He convinced me to play World of Warcraft with him about a year into our relationship, during which time I was absolutely addicted. We played together for about a year. After experiencing my social life completely disappear and not being able to stay alert at work anymore, I quit. It was an intensely fun activity, and gave me a glimpse into the world of a gaming addict.
Since then, my boyfriend has complained that we have no common hobbies, and suggests that we find a game to play again. Being against that, I propose we go for a walk, take the dogs out, cook together, etc., and he complains that those are things I want to do, and not what he wants to do - fine, totally valid. But when I ask him for suggestions outside of playing a game together, he can't come up with anything. It's clear that he equates gaming to the only way to have fun.
My boyfriend says he has to play in private and feels like he has to hide what he loves to do, and blames me for making him feel trapped. He usually waits for me to go to bed, and then plays. And even then, complains that I make him feel guilty for playing while I'm sleeping. He says that when his friends call or text asking him to play, that he is torn. If he doesn't play, then he spends his time with me wishing he was playing, and if he does play, he feels guilty the whole time. I feel like I'm constantly the bad guy.
My boyfriend has admitted that he has had a problem with gaming in the past but is convinced that he has control of it now, and that he can monitor his playing. He says he is finally in a place where only one or two games will satisfy him. As much as I want to believe that, I just can't. And then I get pegged as the pessimistic, crazy girlfriend who has no faith and doesn't believe in her boyfriend.
I have told him so many times how his gaming hurts me and upsets me. It feels like he doesn't care how I feel at all. And I get the same words from him every time - that I'm being crazy and controlling. I'm at a point where I don't know what to do any more. We have both discussed ending our relationship because I'm keeping him from doing something that makes him happy (his words), and I feel like I'm in a relationship by myself. I've given him the ultimatum ("it's gaming or me") before, and while he has chosen me in the past, resentment builds and he acts out through passive aggressive behaviors.. Ignoring me, doing things intentionally to upset me, etc. The truth is, the only thing keeping me with him right now is my two dogs, and the lease on our townhome.