I'm new here. I'm not sure if my husband is addicted to gaming, per se, but I've been reading these forums and my situation sounds frighteningly similar to a lot of yours. I've been married for 2 years, and I knew my husband was a gamer when we started dating (Xbox live, mostly) but I didn't know the severity of it until we were married.
The first year we were married, he would stay out with his friends til 3 or 4 in the morning. I knew they were just playing video games and he wasn't cheating or anything like that because I've met his friends and my husband is such an introvert... I don't even think he knows any girls outside our family, and I've never doubted his devotion to me. But anyway, the worst time I remember, I woke up like 7 in the morning and he wasn't home. I wasn't concerned the night before because I thought he just was working late. (We were both students and worked nights.) I tried to call him in the morning but his friend lives up the canyon out of cell service so I couldn't reach him, but he never told me he was out with friends that night so I was bawling, worried sick. I made him promise when he got home never to do that to me again, but about 6 months later, he did. But that time I knew where he was, and it broke my heart. I almost kicked him out, but I love him too much. I couldn't do it.
I coped by deciding I was being selfish and that he deserves to have guys night with his friends for working hard and that his video gaming is his way of stress relief and an anger outlet. I even encouraged him buy the expensive new Xbox One for his Christmas present, and I regret that decision now, as I see that as enabling him. I got used to him not coming to bed with me. Once when I accused him of playing too much, he denied it, so I counted. 12+ hours in a row. I lost count because I fell asleep and don't know when he came to bed that night. I showed him that, and he continued to make excuses like "that's nothing compared to the entire week" and so on.
As time goes by I am feeling more and more alone in our marriage, and feeling like he chooses his video games or friends over me. When I tell him to keep it down because I'm trying to sleep (he's a loud and angry gamer), he either yells at me, tells me to shut up, or ignores me completely. I know his behavior is not acceptable and that he doesn't respect me, but I want to try everything I can to work on and save our marriage before considering leaving. The problem is, he doesn't seem to think there is a problem. Even without bringing up his gaming habits, when I talk about how his behavior hurts me, he'll say I'm being too emotional or start to criticize me for my weaknesses. (Which is effective, honestly, because I've suffered from extremely low self esteem for years. He always makes me feel like I'm the problem, not him.) It also doesn't help that he's suffered from depression, but he never has and refuses to ever see anyone for it, and I sometimes make that an excuse for his behavior and feel bad for thinking I want to leave him instead of help him.
But today I wrote down a list of all the things he does that hurt me most, and 16/18 are related to gaming or only done/said while he's gaming. So I came here for support. I'm not making excuses for him anymore. I desperately want to start trying for a baby, but he says he isn't ready, and I'm starting to see the truth in that. I know that part of him still just wants to put off being an adult and not take any responsibility. (He's almost 25, btw.) It seems like he has more conviction with his games than he does for our real life. Examples: 1. He stopped helping out around the house completely. I quit my full time retail job to work from home so he seems to think that's now my sole responsibility because I'm home all day, even though I'm still working. The first thing he does when he gets home from work is hop on the Xbox. And when he's not playing, he's watching tutorial videos on YouTube. I tell him 20 times it's his turn to do the dishes and a week later they're piled so high I give in and do them myself. 2. He took a break from school to save money, but it's been over a year now and he keeps ignoring me when I ask when he's gonna go back and what he wants to do for a living (he still doesn't know). I try not to nag him or stress him out, but I feel like he's not actively planning our future. He'd rather play video games for 8 hrs straight than talk to me about it. 3. The other day he called in sick to work because his game got a new update and he can't stand to be away from it. He didn't tell me that's why he stayed home, but that's all he did all day, so I put 2 and 2 together. And although I think that's the first time he's done that, I fear it won't be the last. 4. I tell him I want to spend more time with him and that I'm feeling ignored, and he says "I'm right here in the same room with you" like I'm crazy or something. Sometimes he goes through periods where he's bored with his games and does pay more attention to me, and I start to think things are getting better and he sees the problem, but then another new cool game comes out and he disappears again.
I've been reading about needing to take care of myself because that's the only thing I can control. I know I can't make him change (even though I desperately want to). So I made a goal this month to get my body in better shape -not for my husband, but for myself. I'm trying to make more friends and teach myself that I can have fun without him. And I'm going back to school in January as well, so that I can financially support myself if I ever do choose to leave. I do work part time from home now, and I'm not sure if this is related to his addiction, but he's very controlling with finances. We only have one car, and we're doing okay sharing, but I really want a second one. Especially if we decide to have a baby. I'm 90% sure we can afford it, but we still have separate bank accounts and he won't ever let me see his. He refuses to get us a second car, but won't tell me why, and I'm thinking he just wants to control me or keep me dependent on him. Is that theory valid? And is it going behind his back if I save up and buy one myself, or is that just taking care of myself?
Right now I just want to work on improving myself and I'm hoping that he will get it together and grow up, but am I wasting my valuable time while I'm still young and have no children? What will I regret more- leaving him and not giving him a chance or wasting my time with him?