ive stumbled on this forum while looking for information to help my marriage of 15 years.
My home life is very complex. Ive been bedridden for 18 months due to ill health, my husband has autism and we have two children (one of whom also has autism).
My husband has always been a gamer and I’ve always supported his gaming and then the setting up of a you tube gaming channel, although there are times in our marriage we’ve had to discuss how obsessive he was becoming over them but always managed to resolve it (sometimes with the help of counselling) so we were both happy.... however for the last 18+ months it’s gone beyond a hobby/stress relief tool and he just can not see the issue with any of it. He acts like I’m being totally unfair and just don’t understand. He’s desperate for me to play gaming with him but I hate them... and the more he games the more I hate the things!
with being bedridden and the fact my husband care for our children all day, I spend all day alone, every day and I rarely get any visitors. Unfortunately my husband has also stopped spending time with me in order to game with the boys and “grow his channel”. So now, as soon as the kids are in bed - 8pm ish - he goes downstairs and games to 3am. We used to spend every single evening together and then I’d go off to bed and he’d game a few nights a week and he was happy with that.
We almost split up at the beginning of the year due to his gaming habits (not spending a single night with me) and also issues with some female streamers he’d been watching and interacting with. At that point he opted to go to a counsellor and seek help for depression but neither of those lasted more than a month. He went to three counselling sessions and went to the doctors, got medication for depression but then never takes them. I’ve tried to support him and encourage him with the medication and counselling but it hasn’t helped.
After that huge argument at the beginning of the year he got better he was spending maybe 4 nights a week with me and 3 gaming and I can live with that but it’s slowly dwindled again and now I get 2 nights a week company Andy he games with his “boys” 5 nights he’s been known to ditch me because they messaged him asking him to come online and he’s promised me a few times recently to come up stairs at a certain time to be with me, only to continue gaming for several hours more.
3 weeks ago I broke my heart to him about lonely I am and how much it hurts me that he’s choosing to game over being with me. I explained that in my mind, it’s no different than a guy who goes to the pub at night because I can’t get downstairs to him and he doesn’t come up at all, so it’s as good as him being out and coming home at 3am in my mind.
His response was “no point me having a gaming channel if I can’t game”. There I was baring my heart and soul and sobbing in front of him and his first thought was “I don’t want to loose my channel”
I suspect he feels better about himself in the virtual world and so uses it escape. Since he’s given up work to care for me last year, the house has gone downhill, the kids aren’t coping as well and his moods are terrible - he has depression!
Ive tried so hard to make sure he know how much I appreciate everything he does for us, to make him feel wanted and needed and to be focused only on him when he is with me ( no phones). I’ve tried to get him to feel better about himself in the real world but it hasn’t helped.
In the last 5 weeks, he’s spent 12 evenings with me, although I often suspect he’d rather be gaming or he brings his laptop and sits and edits gaming videos for his channel while we’re together. The other thing he does while together is watch other gaming channels on you tube, reply to his subscribers and twitter etc. I never get a time where he’s not thinking about gaming, even when with me
He thinks I’m being totally unreasonable and that he doesn’t have a problem with gaming but equally doesn’t see the point in gaming if he can’t do it a lot. It’s an all or nothing attitude with him.... but I don’t want to ask him to give up the thing he’s always loved. In some ways I think I’m better loosing him and letting him learn the hard way.... I don’t think anything I can say, or make him do will resolve anything.
Im genuinely thinking of separating from him, to protect what’s left of my heart (our marriage has never been smooth and this isn’t the first time gaming or girls has been an issue). At least if I have no right to expect anything of him, I won’t go through the cycle of hope and disappointment every night and won’t be waiting round at night to see if he’s coming to see me or not, meaning I can just plan for myself and know exactly where I stand.
We have a bed downstairs for me when I’m able to get down, so he can sleep there and then we can co-parent until I get back on my feet. We don’t argue a lot or anything and i don’t hate him (quite the opposite) so I’m sure we can be totally civil in it all and this was something he suggested when I wanted to leave 8 months ago but knew I’d loose my boys if I did - so I know he’s willing to do that. He doesn’t want to loose me, he’s said that, and I believe if I made him choose between me or games that he’d choose me... but I think he’d recent for me it and the relationship would eventually end anyway.
Am am I being unreasonable to ask my husband to only game 3 nights a week given his mental health isn’t in a good place and he’s struggling?
I almost feel like I have no right to ask any of him because of how much he does for us (the childcare, household chores etc) He has it hard, I know he does, but my own mental health is suffering now and I just don’t know how much longer I can deal with his gaming and you tubing habits being put before me.
Am I being unreasonable?