Husband's multi-faceted addiction

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that_person
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Husband's multi-faceted addiction

Hello all. This is my first post... here goes.
My husband is great but I see him slipping away from us again. We have been married 10yrs and have two kids - elementary and toddler. From what I've learned, I am very likely a codependent wife which just puts me in a position of spiraling self-blame and pity. My rational mind knows that his addiction is ultimately his choice but codependency dictates otherwise. He is well-versed in AlAnon stuff (alcoholic dad) since he attended meetings at 5yo, NarAnon as a young adult and has lots of experience in therapy. He believed some of it helped him but doesn't want to ever be involved in counciling again since he "already knows what they're gonna say and what they're trying to do" even though I have expressed I do.
We have been on this gaming cycle our whole marriage and each time I lose part of my heart.
It started with playing Madden while being chronically ill. There was "nothing else" he could do so I worked full time while he stayed home playing/getting angry/throwing/yelling at the game. I learned to hate that game. I would cry/scream/blast music/work/isolate as much as I could to get away from it and try to make it uncomfortable enough for him to stop. It didn't work, it only made it worse. It changed from console play to computer poker. It was "fun" -- for who I don't know. We ended up with a broken laptop after a streak of bad hands. Add a losing football team to it all (pretty hardcore fan). He lost his job, got a new one, both got into a car accident, lost our jobs, moved out of state, got a job, lost it and got another one. None because of games, just life. Then a new Madden, then FB games, then a new console, new games, on and on. Back and forth we have gone between binges and lulls. After a while I couldn't enjoy the game breaks because I was just waiting for the shoe to drop. Our first son was born and I was literally in tears daily because of the gaming. I would isolate myself and the baby from him while playing -- he was on an online FPS - CoD. Broke a few controllers that year, yelling and cursing while playing. He has never been dangerous, just self-involed. It's just not him. I also had post-partum depression without recognizing it and felt utterly alone. He realized his behavior change and cut back/tried to keep his anger in check (especially after seeing how frightened our son was of it). We bought a house and for a while a little better... but as always, back and forth we go with each update/new game/etc. His cursing/anger has been loads better for sure.
The latest is Destiny 2. It is already a highly addictive, goal-oriented, daily and weekly rewards, team/friend-building game. He is a "clan leader". (Trying super hard not to roll my eyes.) With its release here we are again. He went nearly 24 hours without looking at me the other day. He also took two paid days off work to play. But he missed dropping off our son for the first day of school. He plays early before work, shortly after work, on weekends and often into the night missing lots of pre-set routines we agreed never to miss. He has played with guests here (the only tv in the house in the main part of the house). Lots of players curse so he has his headphones/mic on and usually can't hear us. I'm afraid when I go to work that something will happen with the kids because he is always plugged in. He tells me one hour that turns to four or six. When not playing, he's on his phone communicating with clanmates, playing phone poker, or something football or FB related. I feel like I can't even watch a movie at home with him. He gets frustrated with the kids quickly and wants a cookie or sticker everytime he cleans a dish. He'll do or say things to appease me and when it doesn't work, he uses that as an excuse for playing.
I have tried all things mentioned in books and articles. My codependent behavior makes it hard for me to not rely on my husband to be a husband and father to his wife and kids.
If I don't isolate myself from eveyone, he relies on me to handle everything so I simply don't get out of bed in order to force him to spend time with the kids. At the same time I worry about the kids and listen closely. Yesterday, I stayed in the room until 1pm just waiting for him to turn the fking thing off. He came in at 10:30 saying he'd be off "very soon" knowing full well what I was doing. We had planned the day -- this was not the plan and my whole body was shaking, tears rolling from all the feelings. Suddenly I shot out of the room ignoring him, grabbing the kids, and left. When I walked out the door I overheard him say "alright guys I gotta go" and when he asked why/where I was going I ignored him; he came out asked how long we'd be gone, I replied "if I say 1 hr and am gone for 8, does it matter what I say?"
It's not all he does, he works full time, and puts on movies for the kids, "spends time" "with" me, makes a meal here and there but all these seem like petty motions just to say he does stuff. Also, this usually doesn't happen unless I'm completely detached or he catches me angry/crying. Half the time I see him chatting with the clan or watching the clock so he isn't late for their meet-up, just punching into just enough family time so he can clock out and I can't give him crap about it.
Heart-breaker: my son actually independently dreams, asks, and prays for him to stop playing.
Anyway, aaaaarg! I'm spent. I'm at the depressed roommate stage but he doesn't seem to get that. I guess he thinks I'll just do what I always do and go back to normal after a while - maybe keep his word a couple times, cook a few meals, vacuum. Probably right. I don't think I'd leave him alone with his games but lots of days I want to. I hate that any of these thoughts are ever considered in my mind... We're house-hunting again and I am trying to having a game room where I don't have to look, talk, glare, or deal with him during while he plays since I don't think he'll ever actually stop.
Sorry this end up being so long. I simply have nowhere else to let this out to. Not even sure I should have written this at all.

May Light
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Joined: 07/23/2013 - 4:02am
Welcome that_person

I am really sorry for your dilemna but it is all too familiar. You are not alone! So many spouses, parents, family members and significant ones are suffering, it is like an epidemic now. Unfortunately online gaming is addictive and about 10-11% of people who play games end up being addicted to games. That means their brain is messed up and they lost control. Games become the most important thing in their life. That is why it is called 'digital drug'. Some are dysfunctional addicts and don't do anything else but game. It really is a very difficult situation and there is really nothing you could do to stop him gaming unless he is determined to do it himself. You could only decide what you want to do for yourself and the kids. It is a very frustrating position to be in. I understand your frustration, desperation and helplessness. The trouble is even he wants to stop, it is not easy. 

You have to do what is right for you and your kids.  Hope he takes this issue seriously and wakes up to the fact that he is becoming a foreigner in his children's lives. These precious years go by so quickly  before they become adults . Better make the most of it.

Take care of yourself! All the best!

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

Polga
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Joined: 02/17/2014 - 11:33am
Welcome to the forum ! Thanks

Welcome to the forum ! Thanks for sharing your story.

I sense the huge frustration,  rage and sadness around your husbands choices in your story. You have come to the right place !

In the post linked below you will find links to key threads that can help you make a plan about how you can move forward with this. Changes you can make that may improve the way you feel about your life with an addict.

You cannot make him do anything he doesn't want to do but you can get strong so you can make good choices for you and your kids. If you can find a good counsellor who can treat you as the wife of an addict ( someone who understands addiction and is not going to waste time talking about what you can do for him) it may help you to feel understood and learn what you want to do about it.

If you cannot afford therapy then there are other suggestions in the threads about choices you can make and other support.

Keep coming back here to learn from the experiences of other spouses.

http://www.olganon.org/forum/i-need-help-spousessignificant-others/first-aid-kit-spouses-and-significant-others-video-game

 

 

INFO

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Spouses/SO's of addicts click here

Parents of addicts click here for advice

Help for video game addicts click here

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