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Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
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Joined: 03/27/2018 - 11:46am

I've been married for four years to a widower who has three children, two of whom are older. We had a long-distance relationship before we were married so I didn't realize until it was too late that he has a screen addiction. For the first three years he spent a lot of time on his phone and watching TV. Then about a year ago he decided to start playing World of Warcraft again. This was a game that he used to play many years ago before we met. Watching TV and playing on his phone was already taking up a lot of his time, which left me managing the household and taking care of the kids by myself. Now he is really wrapped up in this game. He does work full-time but now he plays WoW as soon as he gets home, usually 3-6 hours a night. If we have nothing planned on the weekend he plays an average of 8-14 hours a day. I feel like a single parent. We watched a movie called Screenagers last week, about digital media and kids, and that made me face this addiction my husband has. I feel really depressed right now. Even my therapist said that to a certain extent I am helpless because I can't force my husband to stop playing. I am going to have my kids write a letter about how his screen addiction affects our lives and I am going to write a letter as well. Then we are going to read it to him out loud. But other than that I don't know what to do. I can't just stop doing things around the house and stop taking care of my kids and tell my husband to pick up the slack. Most of the time he refuses, or if he does pick up the slack it doesn't last long. The other night he refused to stop playing WoW in order to help our son get ready for a math test. The next day I ended up having to pay $100 for tutoring. I'm doing virtually everything! I'd like to work part-time but I don't have time, which is very frustrating. My graduate degree is going to be useless bc I haven't used it in so long. I don't want to get a divorce bc of our eleven-year-old son. But I don't know if I can keep living like this. How to cope? Easter is Sunday and I'm so upset I'm hardly getting anything done. I have a long list of things to do but I feel so hopeless and depressed. 


Polga's picture
Last seen: 8 hours 2 min ago
AdministratorOLG-Anon memberOLGA member
Joined: 02/17/2014 - 11:33am
Welcome LovingDetachment

Welcome LovingDetachment

You have been dealt a a bad hand because of his addiction. You are the responsibile adult and parent to your children while he plays his time away. i am sorry for the upset this is causing.

You are right . You cannot expect him to look after his own children because it would not be fair to them. They need to be protected from any damaging effects of this addiction. It saddens me that having a parent ignore their needs. " Dad thinks the games are more important than me"

Keep coming back to the site to find out about how to cope with this addiction.

The letters are a good idea. Please let us know how it goes. There is a thread about interventions in the first aid kit for spouses below

No wonder you are at a low ebb. Try and take your attention away from him and onto you and your family. Take care of you. get support elsewhere. there are plenty of ideas on the forum. you just need to search it all out.

Keep cooming back. i'm glad you found us !




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DisNerdSteph's picture
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
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Joined: 01/22/2018 - 6:43pm

I almost feel like I'm looking into a mirror here, except that my husband didn't have any children before we were married. We didn't move in together, though, until we were married so I didn't realize how extensive the problem was. His poison is also WoW, and especially his raids. I have also had the feelings of hopelessness and depression, and I am also seeing a therapist. Plus I'm in the process of trying to drag him into marriage counseling.

Both of our children have mild special needs (son with severe ADHD and one-year-old daughter slightly delayed), but they require a lot of appointments with doctors and therapists, and teachers. Heaven forbid something ever happens to me. Those poor babies wouldn't get those secondary needs that I am always seeing to.

If it wasn't for him bringing our seven-year-old into his addiction (their computers are next to each other, and they sit and play for hours), I would feel like an overwhelmed single mother as well. I see to the baby, but there's not much he could do for her anyway, since she's a stage five clinger. 

One thing that has been beneficial for me has been doing something for myself. I went back to school, and I LOVE being there. I can get away, and concentrate on something outside of the home. My grades are good, and that gives me a sense of accomplishment. It has kept me from drowning in my loneliness. 

Writing a letter and reading aloud is a wonderful thing to do. That's my next step as well. Here's mine...

My wonderful husband,
          I hope you know how much I love you. You can be one of the most loving and caring individuals when you want to be. You’re strong. You’re extremely smart. You’re funny. You are such an incredible dad, and your babies love you in return.
          It is because we love you so much that I am becoming increasingly worried about how much time you spend on the computer. I am worried about the number of energy drinks you consume. I am worried about what the erratic sleep schedule is doing to your body. I am worried, and wounded, by your increasing temper.
          I am tired of hiding the real reason you skip out on things. I am tired of making excuses for why you’re always so tired. I am glad it’s not always World of Warcraft, and you’ve been able to spend time with (son) on Roblox and Pokemon Go, but it’s concerning that there’s always a device involved (unless I drag you off them).
           In every other way, I’d love for (son) to grow up to be like you, but I don’t want his wife to face what I’m facing. Then there’s (daughter), who is too little to play, and I don’t want her growing up thinking it would be okay for her to be on her husband’s back burner.
           When you spend so much time on the computer, we miss you so much. We miss quality time as a family. (Son) misses treasure hunts and adventures. (Daughter) misses giggles and snuggles. I grieve for any alone time we miss out on. I long to be near you, and being ignored to this extent results in loneliness, neglect, and rejection from the man I love the most.
           The gaming has always had an affect on our relationship, but as it has been spiraling downward again recently, I feel the need to put all of my cards on the table. The love you have for your games is surpassing any love you may have for me, and I feel like I am losing you.
            I am not angry. I know you enjoy your game and the friends you have there, and I would never ask you to quit something that means so much to you, but cutting back significantly would mean the world to me. Maybe you could get to bed by midnight when you game, and 10:00-11:00 three nights per week? I know socializing is exhausting for you, but even setting aside Sundays as a family day would make a huge difference. Not only would it grant quality time, including a few minutes of one-on-one time, but it would set a positive example for (son), and the positive image to (daughter) of what a husband looks like.
            You know very well that I don’t believe in divorce, and, truth be told, I love you too much to even conceive such a thought, but I have had enough. I refuse to give up fighting for us. I refuse to allow these habits to suck your life away. I am not perfect. I know I have my own problems, but I believe we can get through our struggles together. We’ve done it before. We can do it now. I love you, I miss you, and I want you back.

" We have this hope as an anchor for the soul. A hope both sure, and steadfast." Hebrews 6:19

Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
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Joined: 04/21/2018 - 6:05pm
Good words

That's a great letter, Stephanie. Good luck

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