My partner and I got together about a year and a half ago. When I met him I was 6 months clean and sober from drugs and alcohol. Now just over 2 yrs. There was a time when I would spend weeks at a time doing nothing but drugs, television, sleep...completely withdrawing from life. Now that I am sober, while I may have the occasional day I spend binging TV, I am much better at pulling myself out of that vortex and generally excited about life and the future.
When I met my partner, he didn't game. He had other things he did with his spare time that he no longer does. He went to the gym and played basketball with his friends and baseball when it was summer, and last winter he played hockey pretty regularly. He'd meet friends sometimes....We had our challenges, but video games were not among them.
At some point he started to play. CS and eventually WOW. More and more and more. It seems from what his family tells me, he has become immersed in gaming for stretches of time in the past and then will give them up entirely. He obviously finds it shameful from how he talks about it and has gotten angry with me for telling people that he plays games at all. His sister says he games when he's trying to avoid negative feelings and he generally seems very unhappy in his work right now.
I think I can recognize addiction. This seems to be it. When I was in active addiction, I forgot how to enjoy everything but drugs and alcohol. And that's how its started to seem with my partner's gaming. It makes me sad and frustrated to see someone recede and give valuable things up this way. Pretty much the only thing he actually wants to do is game. Almost everything else seems to rank lower and as something to be endured. At this point he has scheduled 3 hour WOW 3 times a week, which he originally said would limit his gaming. But he seems to game in a lot of his other spare time, and to game even when it means cheating himself out of positive experiences.
Today I decided to look into this because it is his birthday. I told him I would do absolutely anything he wanted today. Then this morning, by the time I came back from purchasing items to make him breakfast he was watching some gaming-related thing on his computer. I decided I'd try to be ok with that, thinking that we'd move on after breakfast. But he went back to it after breakfast. And the whole time we were eating, behind the giggles and the levity, I was worried he would get up and leave me at the table in order to game. When he went back to the screen after eating...I tried to let him have that time. But it was so upsetting to me that on a beautiful sunny 25th birthday when he could do anything in the world, that was what he wanted to be doing, and the only thing.
When I eventually spoke up, he said he just wants to be able to do what he wants and doesn't see why I have a problem with it. I asked him if he was truly unable to see where I was coming from and he said it feels like I'm giving a hard time for no reason. Although he has drunkenly said he is addicted to video games, he now says he doesn't have a problem with his gaming, I do.
In the past he has said he was scared he was going to lose me to video games. And today, I'm worried that it might come to that. So that's why I'm here...trying to celebrate my partner's birthday.
If anyone is reading, I really have no idea what the best course of action is and neither do my friends or his family. If he starts gaming should I refuse to wait around and just do my own thing regardless of whether its his birthday or anything else?
Today it's hard to think about anything else but this problem, but I also don't want to make a fuss on his birthday. Right now he is taking the second nap of the day. It seems napping is what he reverts to once gaming is off the table. I want so much more of a life for him and for us.