After reading quite a few posts I thought I would ask some opinions.
I guess I feel a bit guilty for being on this site in the first place. Of course my Boyfriend of five years believes there is no problem but the one I am making, and when he cites the research about the positive effects of gaming on hand-eye co-ordination, play and creativity, I do believe that. But in reading many of these posts I am struck by the similarity of emotions that other spouse/partners are experiencing even if their situations vary.
I too feel sad, lonely, and like I am of lower priority that his consul. It doesn't do much for the self-esteem...to feel less important than a video game. He has always played them. Since we met 5 years ago, but it never felt like a problem until a few months ago. I don't like them to begin with. I think that some escapes from reality are better than others (books, independant films, etc). But it is only in the last three months that I have come to really loath them. Be jealouse of them even.
I've read the descriptions of addiction...I don't know really. He doesn't stick to any one game, and he does successfully work in an active job and is a really, really lovely, well adjusted individual. But when we stopped travelling recently, he bought a Play Station second hand and a bunch of games, then there was very in depth internet research into getting just the right head-phones and hand-set, he had to return the first couple he bought to upgrade. Then only a week or so after its initial purchase the PS had to be upgraded. He talks to me about it all a lot, I find it boring but I just smile and try to seem interested. I have tried to play with him a few times. Before the play station he used the computor, my computor, which was frustrating because I had to wait to use it myself. A month or two ago I even did an experiment. I started doing exactly as he did, getting up before him and playing civilization at the kitchen table for a few hours in the morning. It only took a few days for him to complain that I wasn't really looking/listening when he was trying to talk to me, and that it was preventing me from being social and starting work at a reasonable time...funny that the response was so predictable and yet he couldn't see the correllation with his behavior at all. In retrospect I think he was just sub-consciously anoyed that I had the computor and he was bored without his morning games because as soon as I stopped the roles reversed once again and I became the lonely bored morning person whilst he stared at the screen.
Since we stopped travelling the gaming has slowly increased in time and value to him. We have butted heads about it a lot. Generally I try to be patient and understanding but every now and then it makes me feel really lonely and sad and I don't want to be dishonest about why. But being honest is stupid because I just end up feeling like I am creating a problem out of nothing.
At the moment his gaming is pretty consistent. For a guy whos job is to be fit, he has been to the gym only once since the Play Station moved in, from several times a week beforehand. He is social and alert at work (we work together), so it hasn't affected anything there. However he now plays pretty much all the time when not there. We still do meals together, and he will stop gaming to help with that. But after breakfast he starts and goes almost all day. He will stop and watch a tv program with me at dinner (I think mostly as a token to 'time together'), but then games again afterwards until late into the night. Recently it has been till 3 or 4 in the morning. He has stopped thinking about chores etc...although every now and then he will say 'I'm gonna do the dishes', but in general the chores that used to be a team-effort and a fun together activity, I end up doing because I get sick of the mess, dishes or dirty washing, and I like a clear space.
I could say I feel lonely going to bed on my own, that I feel like the effort he makes to spend time with me and be nice to me is underlined by a sense that he is just itching to get back to his games, that I feel like there is no quality time in our relationship anymore, that he is distant and dispationate, that sex is a rarity and when it happens has the same sense that he'd rather be gaming...but every other significant other here has said these things. I'm just glad I'm not alone/paranoid/creating a problem out of nothing. Because when I try to talk to him about how I feel that is exactly what it seems like.
Recently I asked outright whether he really wanted to be with me, and we decided that he would move out so that he could better analyse his emotions about me because he wasn't sure. I feel devastated that after 5 beautiful years together, overcome so many hard times (me having depression, long distance for up to 6 months at a time and even infidelity early on in our relationship) he just doesn't know whether or not he wants me. 3 months ago I had little doubt. He was 100% with me, we were going to bed together, reading and discussing easter philosophy, dreaming up future plans and generally having a very positive relationship. Now he is more passionate about gaming than me and he sees no correllation whatsoever. I guess I would be hesitant to correllate the two as well, given his arguments are so convincing, except that it is exactly the same experience I've had in the past when he has been excessively using weed...an emotional and physical withdrawal and a preference to do it throughout all of his spare time...
We underwent similar relationship problems in regards to weed during periods of excessive use, and I saw in myself addictive behaviors that I didn't like, but had trouble curtailing when he was stoned all the time and encouraged me. Now we are in a situation where he doesn't has easy-access to weed and it is like game playing has simply replaced it.
But just ask him...there is no problem, games are good for you, I am making problems out of nothing.
Now, after five years he is moving out and I am simply scared that he is going to discover he doesn't miss me at all and just loves being able to play non stop with no guilt. I am terrified that I really am of less value than his consul. It makes me sad becuase I love him so much and I just want him back. the him I had only a few months ago, when games were played for an hour or two every second day on his ipad. That would be amazing. Am I crazy? He's a nice person? He is kind to me. Am I just not greatful for what I've got? What right have I to dictate what he does with his time? I am confused.