Hi. I just found this resource and after reading all the common things that spouses of gaming addicts go through (pleading, negotiating, self-blame, justifying their behaviour), I think I finally realised that there is nothing that I can do to save my marriage. I'm not even sure that I want to anymore.
Husband has played games on and off our entire relationship (15 years) but then, so have I. I love the Final Fantasy series in particular. The fact that I have liked gaming has made me reluctant to really push him to stop - because I don't want to feel like a hypocrite by saying that I can game but he can’t. Lately though, I have lost all pleasure in gaming myself – the other day I tried gaming for the first time in weeks and I just felt sick. All I could think about was how sad and lonely I was, and I quit after about 15 minutes.
I have never played anything online, am just not interested in the competition or community aspects. Also, I have never felt that pull to sacrifice other aspects of my life in order to game. My husband's current addiction is Call of Duty: Warzone. It has made me literally a war widow.
I have tried empathising – we have a new baby (our first) and the house is chaotic and noisy. A few years ago we moved interstate and although I made a huge effort to develop a new social network, he did not and his only real “socialising” time (outside of the friends that I made for us) is through gaming, with his friends back in our home state, or with he new ‘friends’ he makes through his game. I know that he needs a break from the baby chaos, and I know that he needs social connections (and I do not want him to be dependent on me alone for that).
But every time I reach breaking point, he makes promises that he has no intention to keep. It will be “I’ll only play when [best friend from back home] is online” (broken within a day); “I’ll only play after you’ve gone to bed” (he does the late shift with baby, I get up early, so we both theoretically get decent sleep) (broken within a week because he forces me to go to bed so he can start gaming earlier and earlier); “I’ll only play during the day when you aren’t at home” (broken literally the next day that I wasn’t at work and was home during the day); “I’ll turn the game off no later than 6pm on the days you work so that I hear you get home and can help you and the baby inside” (broken the first day I worked and he didn’t, because he thought somehow I was responsible for calling to say when I was on my way home).
This morning again I was noticeably upset (after coming home from work last night to find him gaming), and he asked me if I wanted to talk. I said that I was exhausted from trying to find the right combination of words that might get through to him, that I was tired of feeling like it was my responsibility to make him keep his promises.
I haven’t given an ultimatum because honestly, what good will it do? All that will happen is that I will have to leave, because he won’t stop, and if I don’t leave then he will know that there is no power behind my threat.
Other than the gaming, he is a wonderful person. He has been fully supportive of me and everything I have tried to achieve (and have achieved) in life. He is intelligent, educated, and a great example of wholesome masculinity, and (again, other than the gaming) the perfect kind of role model I want for our baby son.
I have already been realising that I can no longer count on him to provide any consideration for me, and that any fulfilment I need will have to come from within myself and from outside our home. I guess I am wondering if there is any real point, at this stage, in continuing to fight against his gaming addiction, or keeping our family together. I see the advice about stopping enabling, and just treating him like a lodger in the home and hoping that is enough to help him to want to make the change within himself, but does that really hurt less than just leaving?
The real thing that is keeping me from pulling the trigger is that I am a bridge-burning kind of person. I never look back, and once I am done with a person I am done. Coparenting with an ex is something I will find really difficult, and I don’t want to put our child through that.