Hi everyone, wanted to share whats going on in my marriage with my gaming-addicted husband and with me realising I am still co-dependent.
I've been with my husband for almost a year, although married for only 5 months. We have a baby on the way.
He is 9 years sober and has recently started gaming on the Xbox (he told me how much he used to love gaming before meeting me but he never gamed in the first 6 months of our relationship, he just started gaming more and more gradually over the past few months).
The gaming wasn't really an issue until around 2 months ago when I realised he would go without food, without sleep and act real moody if he lost or if somebody interrupted him. He wanted to game for hours at a time and I was unhappy with how we seemed to be spending less and less time together.
I brought it up a few times saying he was 'addicted' but he denied it and it just caused arguments so I tried to stop bringing it up. A lot of the time he would make an effort to do the dishes or help with something so I would be happy for him to then go and game. I understood that he needed his leisure time and I was content if he had spent some time with me and our children (we have 3 between us) and helped out some in the house etc.
I think the problem has suddenly become a 'problem' now that he has had internet installed at his house (we don't live together and before this, he would just play at my house, so I suppose I could kind of 'keep tabs' on it so he wasn't constantly playing all day and night).
Now that he has internet installed at his home, he is spending more and more time there. We are seeing each other less and like before when he would go home and we would text or talk on the phone all night, now I barely hear from him. It feels like we are living 2 separate lives.
Last night was when it hit me hard and I realised how much this gaming has a hold on him. I hardly heard from him all day, or when I did it was just a few half-hearted texts, I knew he was gaming because his text messages are usually long and thoughtful. He said we would speak on the phone later but then when he didn't call or respond to my messages, I broke down...yes pregnancy hormones play a part but it was so 'not like him' to ignore me and it hurt so much to know that a game was coming first above his wife.
I ended up sending a few texts, pouring my heart out, I didn't say anything mean but I was emotional and just spoke my mind. All I needed was some reassurance from him, I just wanted to know that he still loved me and cared about me, my co-dependency was in full swing! But what did he do? He turned his phone off and ignored me all night.
He's never done that before and that silent treatment in my desperate time of need was excruciatingly painful, I cried and cried because it hit me that history was repeating and I was in a relationship again with an addict (my ex, the father of my children was an alcoholic and so was my mother, it eventually killed her.) I felt lonely, unloved, uncared for...like I was grieving, such a dark dark place.
I only started to feel better when I read the posts on here about 'detachment' and realising that I do not have the power to change or control his behaviour, I only have the power to change me and how I react.
I fell asleep feeling better. Today I woke up feeling empowered by the whole 'detachment' idea. We were meant to be going on a family day out but as he hadn't been in contact I assumed he was no longer coming and I didn't care. I text his daughter and told her she could still come with us so we went on the family day out without him. He showed no concern or even asked about it, I'm sure he was probably happy that he could stay home and have more uninterrupted hours of gaming. We sent a few pictures and messages to each other throughout the day and then when I dropped his daughter off and was making my way home I suspected he felt slightly guilty about last night, or maybe wondered why I seemed so nonchalant because he started texting me pictures of his game, how he is 'levelling up' and why it's important that he reaches a certain tier etc etc.
He was clearly trying to get me involved, but I responded calmly that I will no longer be having anything to do with his gaming, that I'm fully detaching myself after all the pain I felt last night. I told him I realise I cannot control what he does, I can only control how I react. He chooses what he wants to do and how he wants to behave and he will have to deal with the consequences.
He would usually be spending the weekend at my house but he has shown no interest in, or even mentioned, coming over, again probably happy to be able to game more all weekend. So I don't think he is quite feeling the consequences yet, it's still early days. I'm sure he thinks I'm 'all talk'. But I'm absolutely serious. If I have to practically live a single life, then so be it. I will make the most of it. I have already booked onto a CODA meeting for next week and planning some trips with my children...my aim is to just keep myself busy. I feel empowered now but I know for a fact I will break again soon, maybe tonight...maybe tomorrow, maybe in a week. But I'll deal with that as it happens.
I'm praying for my husband, we are both spiritual people and I hope that God can open his eyes and put him back on the right path before it's too late. I love him dearly and I really want him to be a part of our babies life.
I hope I can update this post in the near future with some positive news.