Hello everyone. I have to say that I am so glad I found this forum today after a very desperate Internet search for help or advice. I am 21 years old, living with my 19 year old boyfriend of 3 years. I am coming here because I feel so confused about the situation I am dealing with regarding my boyfriend. I always knew he liked games a lot but I didn't realize how intense it was until we moved in together. Now, I find myself regretting that I ever chose to live with him, though I hate to admit it. My boyfriend seems to need his games like he needs air. When we wake up, the first thing he does is run into our office to open a game. He spends a minimum of 4 or 5 hours a day on games, often neglecting responsibilities, hobbies, or me to do so. A major reason for this is that all of his real-life friends are into gaming as much or more than he is, and they literally never plan anything in-person to do together. If he wants to talk to his friends, he has to be on the games. The only invitations he gets to do things are playing games on Steam. The only in-person activity they do is, of course, a gaming festival that happens once or twice a year where it is 2 straight days of game-playing at an event center. There are days that the only time I hear him fully, happily laugh is when he is talking to his friends during a game. I want to make him laugh like that, and I know I can - but he's never doing anything fun enough with me to know that. This is just the start of the problems, though.
I think another thing, other than his friends, that causes him to be on games a lot is the fact that we both run an at-home business together. He doesn't have to get ready and leave anywhere. Even with the ease of the at-home business, there are a lot of days he doesn't do his work, though. There have been several times where the business has almost failed completely because he ignored his duties on it for days so he could play games. I always do my work everyday - in fact, extra work - and I find myself getting resentful that he doesn't help with some of the extra tasks for the business. We have made plans to boost it and try to increase our income, but it is going to take a lot of extra work that he doesn't seem to want to do. There was a day I worked for hour upon hour at our business as I got to listen to him laughing and clicking in the office on one of his games. Later, he mentioned that he didn't have anything else to do at the time so he just played a game. I wanted to scream "what about helping me with the business? What about cleaning a room in the apartment? What about making a plan to do something? You really had nothing to do?!" And what bothers me the most, perhaps, is that he says one thing regarding the business and does another. I cannot even count the number of nights that I ask to hang out, and then he says "well...I need to go in and do some work on our business". Proud of him, I say OK and submit to not being together that night. What do I hear as soon as he goes in there? A game, for the next 3 hours until we go to bed. He blatantly, openly lies to me, and I can tell he's lying because I can HEAR him, but he still doesn't care. I've told him how much this upsets me but nothing really changes.
Stemming from this, I just feel like all of the romance, fun, and excitement has gone out of our relationship. I admit that I have become pretty dependent on him for emotional support because I am dealing with some mental illness issues, but I don't think I'm too needy or nagging for just wanting to do things with him. He literally never seems to be excited about anything other than games. When I invite him to do things, he will just nod or shrug and say "ok", play games up until the last minute until we leave, and then we'll go and I'm left feeling like I took him away from what he really wanted to be doing. I feel like a chore or a responsibility that he wishes he didn't have. I've even told him before that sometimes I feel like we're just roommates and not really a couple because he looks at living together as our time together. When I get upset that we haven't done anything together, he'll yell "but we've been with each other all day!"...Yeah, in the same apartment in different rooms...I don't think that counts. He used to be a person who was excited about life, who had goals and wanted to see things and travel, and now I feel like I have to beg him and pester him just to go for a walk. I'm pretty sure we would never eat dinner if I didn't initiate making it every night, and sexually, I feel like I can give him all the hints I want but if he's looking at a game, he can only give me a few quick, second-long glances so he doesn't die in the virtual world and there's definitely no intimacy coming out of that. I feel like it's impacted me so much emotionally. I also used to be so excited about things and saw a lot of potential in the future because I was with the amazing love of my life, but now, I feel like life is so dull to be honest. I don't see anything very exciting with him. Just the same old thing, day after day. When I confront him about how his gaming upsets me, he says we've become too reliant on each other and that I need to learn to do more of my own things, that the games are the only time he can be with friends, etc. etc..I don't want him to give up his friends, which makes me feel guilty again, but I also don't want to sit in the living room all day watching TV or reading and just waiting for the next day we finally watch a movie or do something together. He even has his own goals (or so he claims) to exercise, read, and so on but he never does them because I think he completely loses track of time on games. I'm so frustrated and upset. I try to act happy so my parents don't worry but I honestly don't feel like I'm in a healthy, happy, fun relationship. My anxiety has never been this high in my life and I feel so stuck because we live together and I love him more than anything..I'm just not okay with being in a relationship that is so disconnected. I don't want to have to detach from him. Isn't being in a relationship about the connection? Why be in it if there isn't one? And I guess my ultimate question here is if I'm being too sensitive about this. Do I just need to understand his side more and get my own life?