I'm new to this group, although I probably should have joined long ago. When I started dating my husband 8 years ago, he was very immersed in World of Warcraft (WoW). He has primary custody of his now 12-year-old son, who I have been helping him raise full-time, as his mother is across the state and not involved in his life. I considered calling off our engagement in 2010 after realizing that the gaming seemed to be a problem, had a conversation with him, and was told that the level of gaming was circumstantial, and not how he planned to live his life. Believing this, I married him, and of course, the heavy gaming continued.
After a couple of years, I told him I wanted a divorve because I was feeling so neglected and couldn't continue. He actually went to see a therapist and stopped playing WoW, which gave me hope. That hope was dashed when he started playing other computer games, then last Christmas, wanted to get an Xbox for my stepson. When I expressed my concerns that it would be HE who would be playing the Xbox, he lashed out at me (as is typically the case when I bring up concerns about the gaming) that I can't predict the future, etc. Said if he did play, it would be occasional if anything (it is regularly, far more than my stepson ever gets to play), he would never play online in a group (he plays Destiny and other games online with a group), and he would never get a headset to communicate with people (he has at least 3 headsets now and has a regular group with whom he plays and communicates). We also "had" to get a new TV because we live in a small townhouse and I could hear him loudly talking to everyone, constant explosions/shooting, etc. all through the house, so he moved everything to the unfinished basement and plays there on a folding lawn chair (there is no heat). It is not uncommon for him to play all day long on weekends, and until the wee hours of the morning even during the week.
As if that wasn't all enough, if he is not playing Xbox, he is playing mobile games on his phone, and constantly. While watching TV, in the bathroom, in waiting rooms at my stepson's appointments, at rest stops when we are traveling...he has his phone completely locked down, but the games that I know of that he plays are Clash of Clans and Lords Mobile (only because I have seen charges for both on our bank statement.) When I walk in the door or in the room, he won't even look up at me. When I say I am not going to have a conversation with someone while they are playing a game, he says he can multitask and is listening. I should also add that he refuses to be intimate with me and has slept on the couch for years now, I suspect so he can game in peace.
We are on our third marriage counselor, and while we had a period of progress, the gaming continues and the defensiveness and ultimate rage anytime I bring up the gaming, feeling neglected, feeling lonely, my stepson being neglected and acting out etc., continues. He says he doesn't have a gaming problem, he has a job at which he is successful and helps support our family (I also work full-time) and it's not like he sets alarms to game (as of this week, I found out he is getting up to play Xbox before work, when he has always struggled to get up any other time.) I should mention that we both have chronic illnesses...he has diagnosed narcolepsy and has had two spinal surgeries, so deals with chronic pain (but will sit for hours playing video games when he tells me he can't sit in a movie, etc. if I suggest a date night). Today when I said I'm concerned that he's now playing before work and I think he has a gaming problem, he said that he could say I am addicted to running and essential oils (both of which are medically necessary and documented as such with my medical condition). He is constantly making me feel like I am blowing things out of proportion and I'm the one with the problem, which is why I am posting here. I know there are gamers with far worse excessive tendencies to the point that they are unemployed, etc. Am I overreacting? I lived alone for 8 years and occasionally felt lonely, but this is far worse in a marriage where I feel like video games are always the #1 priority, I do the majority of everything around the house, raising his son, etc. If not for him already being abandoned by his mother, I would likely have left long ago (hence why I feel trapped). At the same time, I don't want this model of marriage played out for him and don't want him to think that it's ok for a husband/father to constantly be on some type of video game while the wife/"mother" is constantly busy taking care of everything. Sorry for the long post...any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated.