I've been struggling with my husband's gaming addiction for two years. I'm a stay at home mom of two. This is a letter I'm about to send him.
I'm just tired of feeling like this. You don't see yourself but you're obsessed. You wake up with games on ur mind, you do that all day, you think about it all day. You have no interest in doing anything else. Even if u drag yourself away it's to get whatever it is we're doing over with until you can get back to your games. We're just around, we're just a distraction, a waste of time, a burden until you can get back to your real love. If I sit next to u because I miss u or want to talk to you, you're half listening or irritated or irritable. So I've been leaving you alone, but I'm tired of it. I refuse to be the nanny, the maid, the cook, a person u sleep with and that's it. Im not ok with that. I want a partner who is present, who looks forward to spending time with me and his kids, who actually enjoys my company. I'm tired of feeling like a burden, and my kids treated like a hindrance, an inconvenience. What's even the point, I don't feel loved, how can we feel loved when we get very limited time from you and even that is half assed. With you being grumpy, unhappy. I know you're home with us all the time but what's the point. Lately it feels the same whether you're home or not. I'm not ungrateful. I understand your job is hard and If I could take that burden from u I would. I'm grateful that you support us and work hard to do so but that's just not enough. I will not stay in a marriage strictly for financial support while feeling like a single mother the whole time. I'd rather just be a single mother, it would seriously be less lonely that way. I'd even be a better mother to my kids that way.
I'm tired of going places and seeing families together enjoying their kids while I sit there giving excuses for you. Oh he's tired, he works hard, he'll join us next time, don't be so hard on him. I'm tired of feeling like I can't say anything to you because I don't want to make you feel bad, or make you feel guilty for a hobby you enjoy, but I will not invalidate my feelings anymore just to keep the peace. I've been feeling this way on and off for over two years now. It's the whole reason I even wanted to move to Texas so I wouldn't be so lonely anymore, so that it would be easier for me to let you do ur thing while at least I have family around for me and my kids to interact with. In the end it just showed me how little I matter to you because all you did was watch me struggle there and be miserable while you buddied up with my nephew and played games all day. You took something that I was so excited about and made it the biggest regret. I never told you that I came back to Florida mostly because of you. Because of the way you acted I decided that I'd rather be back home where I had the support of my mom and your parents rather than being stuck there with you acting the way you were.
It's obvious to me now that its only gonna get worse. Before you say anything, I know I'm not perfect or even the perfect wife. I know I spend too much time dealing with my families problems, I know I get tired of the kids or complain too, I know I spend time on my phone or whatever and in ur mind, you might see me and think whats the big deal, she ignores me too, which is something you've pointed out once or twice but you're failing to see that a lot of times this is my coping mechanism. When I feel unloved by you, I will not sit around like a dog begging for attention, I will distract my self with something else. I will not keep asking for attention, I have dignity. On top of that, I've built up so much resentment towards you that I can't even access feeling of love towards you anymore. I obviously still love and care about you, but my resentment continues to grow to the point that I can't even show you affection like before without my mind reminding me of all the times you chose your game over us. Your actions speak louder, everytime you yell and get angry over a loss, being anxious everytime and occupied, and the countless hours on an imaginary world is a clear choice and obvious preference over us.
how fair is it that you feel you can't watch you're own child for a couple hours like it's only my child, or you're doing me a favor. I don't think I've ever resented you more than the other day when you made me feel like I can't even go to a doctor's appointment without you being inconvenienced because you have to watch your own kids. Or the other day when you texted me to change our babies diaper while ur sitting right there. Are they not ur kids too? Or do you feel like I owe you something? Because trust me, I will not stay around for your money if that's what you think is going on here. That just because you are the one working that all responsibility for the kids and the house falls on me and that you don't need to contribute with raising your kids. At this rate, I'm grateful that I have a place to live, food, and comfort because you make that happen, but I'm not the type of wife who wants to use you or your money. I'm hesitant to even spend on my self even for clothes or things that aren't super necessary because I don't want you to feel taken advantage of. But don't ever feel that I will stay because you provide. I'm perfectly capable of leaving and working and supporting my self and my kids without a dime from you. I stay for my kids to have a father, for the love I still have for you, and for the hope that things will get better between us. I just miss the way you were before. You have great qualities that I still love about you. Before you think I'm just trying to point out your faults and put you down, that's not the case. I'm not trying to attack you. It's not black or white. There are still days where I'm genuinely happy, where the old you comes back. You're still funny, kind, and fun to be around. I still think you're the most attractive guy I've ever met and that hasn't changed, but there's clearly problems that need to be addressed. There's been too many days where I felt my emotional health is suffering and I'm miserable and those are things I can't ignore.
I already know that you might read this and either resent me for trying to have you limit what you feel is just fun and relaxation for you, or you might feel bad and try to change. The problem is i've seen you try to change. It just won't work. This has become an addiction for you just like any other addiction. You will try to limit it for a while. Things will be happy for a few days. But inside, you'll be struggling to find enjoyment in doing normal real life things. It will feel boring and like something is missing until eventually you will bargain with your self that you will only play a little while at the same time feeling guilty and feeling resentment towards me. Then those few minutes you play will become hours and hours again untill you simply will not care what I think anymore and until we're back to square one again. I'm simply not interested in doing that.
I realize that it's not the games that's the problem, it's something inside you that is making you run to them to escape. A part of me feels that you were not ready to be a dad and have no interest in it. Nor were you ready to suddenly be the main supporter of the household with a wife and kids. It feels like it was forced on you. That's perfectly ok, I feel that way as a mom sometimes. But for me I can't just go back to being responsible only for myself and having an easy, carefree life. For you, you still can. I'm fine with moving out, staying with my mom for a while until I figure things out. You can live with ur parents and do whatever you want. You can see your kids anytime and me and you can just be friendly towards each other with no drama.
I've held off on saying these things to you for so long because I don't want to make you feel like I'm ungrateful for all that you do, or even worse, the fear of you saying that it's all in my head or that I'm overreacting because that's something I tell my self Everytime I think about talking to you about this. Theres still so much I can say, but that's just proof enough for me that this isn't just a small issue. Theres really no other solution than us separating.