20 year marriage about to end

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Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
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20 year marriage about to end

For the last year, my wife can't stop dumping money in GOW and AWE. I snoop around her phone and have caught her 3 times spending money that we don't have. She has secretly spent over ~$2000 on the game in the last few months. We are falling behind on bills. She denied it the first 2 times, till I caught her, then she told me she can't trust me for snooping. She has her phone pw protected to the bone, including apps. Last conversation we had was if she continued to spend money, we were liquidating and getting a divorce. That was 5 days ago and she has spent $140 so far. Should I confront her? Or should I just walk away? I have a full house, 20 year old daughter with boyfriend with toddler and soon a new newborn. 15 year old son. Two 5 year old twins. She says I'm trying to control her. She doesn't realize that she spends 90% of her spare time on the game. We hardly ever talk without her simultaneous glued to the game. She blames everything on me, saying I don't see what I'm doing to her. The older kids are aware of situation, it's really sad for the twins. She has many of the symptoms listed on your website. She will go into fits of rage, followed by fits of depression. She defends the game, saying that not the problem, that the problem is me. After all that, she says she loves Me and convinces me to stay; I have tried to leave her several times.but I do love her and it has allowed us to stay together. At this point I think it's better for the kids to take them out of this unstable environment. I am ready now to let go of her and try to make a satisfying life for the kids and i. But I have this glimmer of hope that by some miracle she will change and put me and her family first, followed by her financial responsibilities. She won't go to counseling, if I bring up the game she goes into defense mode and has an angry outburst. She just spent money today, I asked her and she flat out lied.our last fight tonight ended with her saying "the game makes me feel good, I would rather spend $500 on gow with my online friends than to throw a stupid party with food and drinks where I have cater to everyone watch over the drunks, and clean up the mess when everybody leaves". My intelligence tells me to flee, but my heart tells me till to stay. Did I mention she had a few online flings last year and I moved out for 5 months? We decided to make it work, but know I am not so sure. What else can she be lying about that I have yet to discover?

Mario sanchez

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Last seen: 1 day 17 hours ago
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Joined: 02/17/2014 - 11:33am
Dear Mario

Dear Mario

I am so sorry for the hurt and devastation in your situation. I am glad you found this site and thanks for sharing your story. I'm sure many other will find similarities in what you have experienced to their own stories. It is my adult son who is in denial of his problem.

I found it really helpful to read as much as I could from other loved ones and the addicts themselves, to understand about addiction and what we can do and what we can't do. I would encourage you to keep coming back. It takes time for information on here to sink in.

Addiction doesn't usually happen on its own (although it can happen to people with very balanced lives who are suddenly hooked without spending much time on it); often there are reasons behind it, ranging from mental illness such as depression, disorders such Aspergers, to people wanting to escape other problems from their daily lives. Most people do not get hooked on games, but there is a significant minority that do. Every case is different; but even if the addict quits there are still often problems underneath so the game problem is not the whole problem

But once they are caught by addiction it is very hard for them to get out, especially when they are in denial they have a problem. Normal life unravels. The addiction rewires their brain and they start to lack empathy and develop thinking errors, and become masters of manipulation which may be conscious or unconscious. A switch has been flipped and its hard to turn it off. They will continue to lie, manipulate, do whatever they need to until they get to such a bad place  even they cannot deny it to themselves any longer and realise they have got to change. For an example of an addicts view on gaming addiction read here

We learn we cannot control someone elses addicition.

But we can stop enabling them; for example cooking meals, clearing up their mess, 

We can make sure bills are paid by setting up better financial controls, separate bank accounts,

We can explore and set up our own boundaries about what behaviour we definately wont accept while we are in the relationship and stick to it.

The main tool that may help both of you is if you decided to detach from whether she games or not. At the moment you are checking up on her is causing conflict with her and upsetting you. You are trying to control her (for the right reasons) but it does not work. Spouses that have learned to detach from the gamers choices have found more peace and also it can have a positive effect on the gamer; but you need to do it for your own sanity and not because you expect them to change. I would encourage you to learn more about detachment from other stories on this forum.

We can't advise you whether to leave or not. With your family situation, it really isn't that simple. Only you can work out what is best for you and them. Detachment might give you a breathing space to think things through.


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