It took me 12 years to recognize my husband's addiction

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M
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Joined: 10/26/2019 - 9:49am
It took me 12 years to recognize my husband's addiction

Hi there, I am new to this site and have spent some time reading several posts which feels a little overwhelming but so helpful, too.

 

I have recently had my eyes opened to the fact that my husband is addicted to his computer and internet.  Over the years it has taken different forms: online gaming/gambling, endless streams of downloadable movies/tv shows, cryptocurrency/bitcoin obsession and now Elite Dangerous.  The constant is that he spends a minimum of 5-6 hours per day in front of his screen(10-12 + on weekends) and becomes angry whenever confronted about it.  

The weird thing is that all this time I had learned to detach and live my life, expecting little to nothing from him. I had accepted that this is the way our life would be even though it bothered me and I felt incredibly lonely.  Our children have also learned that dad is not available when he is 'in his office on the computer'.  Our son asked him to learn how to play Minecraft and his answer, 'no way buddy, that game is boring. It's not for me.' Our son felt crushed. When I ask him to eat dinner with us he shouts at me for nagging him and waits until we are done, then comes down to have dinner on his own in front of his computer.

I had come up with so may explanations in my head for why it was this way, and half believed his complaints that I am too demanding and controlling.  I believed that I am not interesting enough, we have nothing in common, I don't understand how tiring his work is and he needs to unwind.  But knowing what I know now, I understand where his outbursts, irritability, impatience and lack of empathy come from. 

The tipping point for me was the lies without remorse. He is a chronic liar on many levels not only related to his addiction.  His lies have ruined my life and have had serious repurcussions on my parents and children as well.  The most recent was with his online 'investments' into cryptocurrency. He has credit cards I wasn't even aware of and is in debt. I have had to shoulder the majority of our finances and there have been times when I didn't know if we were going to make it to the end of the month. Last month he confessed that he had lost a lot of money online, and that he was over that now. Cured (yeah right) and that he has his new game now with no online spending. The point is that for years, he complained of being broke all the time. I always suggested that we budget, see how we can plan and how I can help him. All I got was insults, accused of being ignorant and controlling. When he confessed, I told him how hurt I was and he replied that ,'of course it's always about you. That's why I don't tell you anything.' He lied to me for years and he's not even sorry.

I've confronted him about it more seriously and he is making an effort to spend a little more time with the kids and speak to me for about 5-10 minutes after work. But it's not enough.

Now, I really don't know what to do. I am just so angry. I never had a lot of trust or respect for him becuase of his behaviour but now I have zero trust.  I don't know how to live with someone I don't trust and I am not acting like myself anymore. I am usually caring and giving and I can get over things. But not this time. I've been angry for weeks. He's just biding his time, laying low as he usually does waiting for it to pass.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

M

LovingMom97
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Joined: 07/14/2019 - 8:15pm
I am so sorry you and your

I am so sorry you and your family are going through this. It is extremely frustrating as gaming and internet activity is widely accepted. The idea that it can be an addiction is now starting to be real.
I have been attending al anon and reading helpful literature to help ME because I cannot change the other person, especially if they are in denial.
Get educated, get help for you and your children and hopefully while you are busy getting healthy he may get a grip on his reality.
Keep coming back here, read, talk to someone who understands addictions. Al anon has helped me tremendously.

KL

Polga
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Joined: 02/17/2014 - 11:33am
Welcome M

Welcome M

You are in the thick of it so you have half accepted the behaviour which is not respectful of you or your family. But there is a part of you that knows it's not right and that is what is troubling you.

You have hit the nail on the head where you say you cannot trust him and that is very likely to be based on your intuition of the fact that he is not trustworthy !

If he is not trustworthy, you might want to consider how to protect yourself emotionally and financially.

Consider going  to counselling to unravel how you feel about this, with support.

If you click on the spouses information in my signature below, there is a link about deciding to stay or leave the gamer near the bottom.

He is a manipulator (and may not even realise how wrong his behaviour is) so you need to get strong and know what you want and what your limits are. Strength to you! Take care of you as number 1 priority.

 

 

INFO

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Parents of addicts click here for advice

Help for video game addicts click here

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