Middle Age should not look like this

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lividwife
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Middle Age should not look like this

So. Here I am. Struggling to not feel like a hypocrite. Wondering how in the hell I got here, the wife of a gaming addict. And feeling so incredibly stupid for denying the obvious for as long as I did.

But most of all, I am livid. At him. At myself. At that f***ing game that has stolen the man I love. I didn’t just enter the anger phase… I smashed into it with the force of a cannonball. And so there will be much venting in my initial posts, I’m sure.

A little backstory first: this is my second marriage. I have two children from the first marriage. Husband #2—whom I will call Mr. Hermit—has no children of his own. This is his first marriage. That should’ve been the first red flag for me right there. Mr. Hermit is in his late 40’s. Up until we met five years ago, he was what I call a “perma-bachelor”. He’d had several long-term relationships prior to me, but he’d never experienced the stable family household environment until we married and bought a home together. So I knew this meant there would be an adjustment period as he realized that staying up until all hours of the morning, getting drunk and spending—literally—half the day online was no longer a viable lifestyle choice. He now had a wife that gets up early to work every weekday morning and two young children to step-parent, so the transition from Bachelor to Husband was necessary.

And for a while, he managed the transition beautifully. A few bumps in the beginning, sure. But during that time it seemed as though he’d found a perfect middle ground: gaming was something he did in his spare time, after the responsibilities of adult life had been tended to.

Looking back, I can see this was the Great Calm before the massive Sh*t Storm that is now our lives. I became complacent in those days. I trusted life would always be that way. I was blind in my false security. And so when one hour of gaming became two…and then five…it crept up on me slowly. Even when weekend plans started being delayed, at first by an hour or so, then by half a day, I didn’t think much of it. Okay, yeah, Mr. Hermit stayed up until 4 a.m. playing that MMORPG again, but hey, I like games too so who am I to judge? And yeah, he wants to get just ONE more game in before we head out as a family for the day because, gee whiz, there won’t be any Internet where we’re going! So what if we’re now an hour and a half behind schedule…I got some wicked kills in that last match! Did you see? Didja, didja??

I’d like to say this is where things leveled off, but I actually look back at that period of time with longing now. These days, entire weekends are pis*ed away, with Mr. Hermit spending an average of 24 hours over the span of Saturday and Sunday playing that one online game that I wish had never come into existence. And that’s just an average estimation on my part. I’ve never actually chronicled his game usage on weekends, but I intend to start. I do know, however, that he’ll start playing almost immediately after waking—which is usually around 10 or 11 a.m.—and will continue to play until he passes out sometime after midnight, with only a few significant breaks to eat, get more beer, or maybe, MAYBE do something around the house (this last part typically only occurs when there aren’t enough online players to start a match and he’s waiting in queue. Priorities, ya know? /s).

Weekdays aren’t much better. Even if he has to work all day, he logs on the minute he gets home, pausing only long enough to grab a beer on his way through the kitchen to the game room, and then he’s at it for anywhere from 4-6 hours. As with his weekend usage, I have not kept precise track of the hours spent gaming during the weekdays. If I had to guess why, I think it’s because some part of me deep down knows it’s really, really bad. Once I put a number to it, then it becomes REAL. Just more denial, really. Well no more.

The tipping point for me happened this past weekend. In addition to ignoring his family for large chunks of time, he has now gotten to the point where he expects me to fetch beers and feed him while he’s gaming. Oh, he still has enough sense to ask politely, but his gaming has escalated to the point where he WILL NOT stop queueing up for another match long enough to get himself something to eat. The mere thought of taking 15 F***ING MINUTES to put together a sandwich or reheat some leftovers and eat is just unthinkable to him. “But babe, if I don’t ready up immediately after the last match, I might not get another game right away!”

Oh, the horror Mr. Hermit! You might have to wait another 5 minutes during the peak hours to get another match! Whatever will you do?? (See how bitter and sarcastic I’ve become? I hate what this has done to me as well.)

So now he’s trying to finagle his way into getting me to be his personal serving wench to ensure even MORE game time, as though me being a gaming widow wasn’t bad enough.

F**K. THAT.

So I’m going to do what is suggested here for the friends/family/spouses and stop enabling him. I’m going to start living my life with my children and continue to plan fun things as a family. If Mr. Hermit wants to join, then he can be ready to go when we are scheduled to head out. Otherwise, he can stay home and rot with his precious game. This family is no longer going to revolve around his behavior.

Wow, that was long. Thank you for letting me vent. I didn’t realize how much I’d bottled up. This place will be very cathartic in the days to come.

More later…

lividwife
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It’s a horrible feeling when

It’s a horrible feeling when you’re driving home and the closer you get, the more your chest tightens and the harder it gets to breathe. Home should be a sanctuary, not a prison sentence.

So last night was a repeat of most other nights… Husband, a.k.a. Mr. Hermit, came home from work and made a beeline for the fridge to grab a beer. From there he made his way to the game room, but actually was gracious enough to converse with me for a minute or two before holing up with his “digital mistress”.  I tried keeping track of how long he was online, but after 3 hours I decided to hell with it and went to bed. I’m not sure what time he joined me, but based on the timestamp of some Facebook posts I saw this morning, it was after 1 a.m. for sure. Rough estimate, he spent about 6 hours online last night. And the only reason the number is that low is because he worked a 10-hour shift and slept right up until he had to get ready for work and leave the house. Otherwise that number would have been almost double, guaranteed. It’s how he spends all of his days off, sadly.  

If I could take any positives away from last night, it would be that I held my ground. He used to give me a hard time about going to bed “so early”. Um, hello…I have to get up at 6 a.m. and get myself and the kids ready for the day. I’ve tried the whole, let’s stay up until the wee hours of the morning and then see how well I can operate at work on less than four hours of sleep. Yeah, no thanks. I’m not a resilient 20-year-old anymore that can exist on power naps and energy drinks. Plus, I have children to raise. It’s called RESPONSIBILITY.

But I digress. I’d told him last week that I was no longer going to stay up late with him just because he doesn’t want to be alone while he binges on his game. Yeah. Let that sentence sink in for a minute. He wants me to be physically in the same room as him while he mostly ignores me in favor of his game. When he does actually deign to speak to me, it’s about…drum roll, please…his game. Of course! If I choose to do my own thing in another room, say, watch t.v. or read a book, he gets all pouty and claims that I’m avoiding him! It’s complete insanity. So that’s where I drew the line and held my ground. When I became sleepy last night, I said goodnight and went to bed. And I refused to feel guilty. Seems like such a basic thing, right? Something like that should be normal. Expected, even. Not in our household.

That is going to change, though. Hopefully, the first of many changes. We’ll see.

Willyford22
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So sorry you are going

So sorry you are going through all of this.  I too enable my gamer husband and feel as though that's the one thing that makes him happy.  We are about to move into a house and he is excited but one of the first things he said was he was excited to have a game room, we live in a one bedroom apartment now so no game room.  I'm scared I will have less interaction with him than I do now.  He only raids two nights a week but has to do dailies.  I did a rough estimate and he spends about 30 hours a week with his hobby, mine are no more than 8!  I'm hoping to meet people on here to get a good solution, when he is not playing on the PC it's on his phone.  I hope things get better for you and I like the suggestions on here to stop bringing meals to them etc. 

lividwife
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Thanks, Willy. Reading other

Thanks, Willy. Reading other people’s experiences helps to maintain some semblance of sanity, knowing at the very least I’m not alone. I’m sorry you’re going through this, too. Of all the things that could have “stolen” our spouses away, who would’ve ever thought it’d be games? Just pixels on a screen. Sigh.

I can also see your concerns with getting a game room for the first time, especially coming from a one bedroom apartment. When dealing with an addict, it changes the dynamic of the relationship even more, and not in a good way. That’s why I nicknamed my husband Mr. Hermit. He only comes out to use the bathroom, grab a drink, or occasionally to hunt me down and whine that I’m not in the same room as he is and am therefore “avoiding” him. Absolutely maddening behavior.

Speaking of maddening behavior, yesterday I got a front row seat watching Mr. Hermit go through withdrawal symptoms. His online game was down for maintenance due to an update. So he was unable to play all evening. Oh. My. Gawd. He was less crabby and mopey when he quit smoking cigarettes! It was all I could do to maintain my cool and not snap back at him. If he wasn’t making snarky comments, he would just sit there, head propped up in one hand, eyes blank, looking like he’d just lost his best friend. And I suppose in a way he had, for the night at least. He even went to bed at 8 p.m.!! You could’ve knocked me over with a feather. He never goes to bed that early unless he’s severely ill. But I guess when there’s nothing else worth staying up for… Gah! There’s that bitterness again. I really need to learn to let go of that.

It’s so difficult, though. For a brief time last night, I actually thought he was choosing to be with his family instead of play his game. I was actually foolish enough to hope that he had willingly decided to spend time with us, to finally prioritize us over that d*mn game. What a joke. Low and behold, he’d been forced to do something outside the game room. And it was obvious he was miserable. Imagine that, being miserable spending time with the people you claim to love. I know it’s the addiction, and not him, but hell… this is why the bitterness becomes overwhelming at times.

I don’t want to divorce and start over again. I love him and I want this to work. And so I’m trying to establish boundaries, hoping to find a middle ground somewhere. But after witnessing his obvious withdrawal last night, I know this will be an uphill battle. One that we might not be able to win.

DatOneDude
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Word of advice.....

livid wife.    I was going to register 2 days ago after I spoke to (Liz) but held off until today.

I'm glad I did because my post would have been just like yours.

Here's my advice, you can NOT and will never be able to fix "your situation" which is exactly like mine.

My better half which I love dearly would play between 12 & 18 hours a day 7 days a week,and there was nothing I could do about it.

She ran an average of 2-3 TERABYTES of data a month, which only got worse over time.

She would bathe every so often, brush her teeth maybe two times a month,  her sex drive was GONE, her neglect of the house was unimaginable, her neglect towards me deeply scrared me, her neglect of our son is something I rather not type about.

Long story short I put up with this for a little over 3 years, maybe 4 total, and in March I said enough is enough after giving it 10 months to see if it got better.   I called the police and had her removed after she got aggressive with me for telling her the games go or she goes.

She took my son with her, and she did not allow my to see or speak to my son for 93 days until I got my lawyer involved. 

Now I get to see my son every other week, but her gaming is still in their lives, and to top it off my young son is also a gaming addict due to her.      She claims that my son got her into gaming when he was only 4, which is impossible because there's no way a 4 almost 5 year old can get an adult in her 30's to register to those games.

My word of advice is to either leave with your kids or kick him out.    I know the choice will be hard to do, but you will thank me many months from now.

My house is in order, I'm happy, while she's sunk into total darkness.   My next step is to get full custody of my child, and whatever happens to her happens to her.  

2017 will be the year she looses every last thing she's ever loved because of her gaming addiction. 

I hope she comes to her sences soon, before she loses the two people that truly love her.  Myself, and my son.

Good luck, and PM me if you need a shoulder to cry on. 

lividwife
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Wow, Dude… (hey, that

Wow, Dude… (hey, that actually fit appropriately shortening your screen name, lol. Sorry, just trying to interject some humor into my otherwise anxious existence.)

…First of all, thank you for so candidly sharing your story. That was some utterly brutal stuff to read. I can only imagine how nightmarish it was to live. My husband has not reached that level (yet), so when I hear of someone else’s story like that it just blows me away how out of control these addictions can get.

As for your advice, there have been countless times in the past year when I have screamed at him to get out, but without police mediation and without taking legal action he always comes back. That has been my mistake. My stubborn heart refuses to acknowledge what my brain already knows. My marriage reminds me of the book Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay. He does enough good things outside of that game room that it makes breaking things off so painful. So yeah, brain against heart. It’s a battle that wages inside of me every day.

Almost quitting time here at work…almost time to head home. And I can feel the tension gathering in my body already. You think my heart would heed that warning, but no. Not yet.

Thanks for listening. I think just writing this down, seeing it in black and white, forces me to realize just how bad it’s become. Hopefully if I read enough of my own story I’ll find the courage to end it.

DatOneDude
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Crazy I just typed a reply

Crazy I just typed a reply and it went poof as I was saving it.  

Don't wait the 8 months I waited from the time I found out about her gaming husband to the time I took action.

You are today where I was on May26th 2016

GOD spoke to me and gave me the courage to stand up in March and did what I did.

When I removed her from my house she had zero choice but to go back to her mother she hadn't spoken to her in 9 years because her gamer boytoy (then a teenager) when they met and fell in love didn't and still doesn't have a pot to p.is.s in because he's a gamer.

Her mother passed away less than 9 weeks of her going back to live with her mother, at least she had closure that would NOT have happened if I did not take action in March. 

Can you imagine what our relationship would be like right now if her mother passed away and she was sitting there playing LoL?

She would have blamed me for that, and I can only imagine what would be going on in my house today. I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and I live with ZERO regrets. 

Do not wait another 8 months to do what needs to be done.   The longer you wait the deeper the damage will be for you and your children that aren't even his.

If what you are about to do becomes his wake up call so be it.    If he goes off and continues to game he will be in the same situation as the love of my life is in right now.      

SADLY 2017 is the year my better half will lose everything she ever loved,that's exactly what I texted her while my son was laying on my shoulder.    Full custody with limited visitation is my next goal when we go to mediation again in 8 weeks.

Starting tomorrow I save my son from his own gaming addiction by starting him on extensive therapy.      

Polga
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Welcome lividwife. You are

Welcome lividwife. You are not alone. Strength to you.

Thanks for sharing so much about your story. Keep coming back !

INFO

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Parents of addicts click here for advice

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new_anon17
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I could have written this!!

I could have written this!! Some of the details are different but the anger is real!!! WHY, WHY, WHY do they do this?!?!?? Are the imaginary players in the imaginary world so wonderful that they are willing to let REAL life pass them by?!? I am right there with you, why should we have to come to forums frustrated and angry and bitter as all hell over this foolishness!!? 

Hang in there as best you can, I think I'm coming to the conclusion that they will change if they want to and I will go on with my life without them. Maybe when there is no more beer in the fridge, the power has been shut off and he comes out to an empty house, then he will see if he can gain comfort from his virtual world, hope it keeps him warm at night. 

MrsDiaz333
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Can we be best friends?

Swear to the lord almighty I am livid also and your post, sad to say, at least lets me know I'm not alone in this S H I T show that is going on in my life right now. I love my husband but I am well beyond fed up at this point.

HotelCalifornia
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Move on with your life

The average age of a gamer is 36 years old.  My now seperated wife plays 60 hours a week.  She lives in another apartment and I am here at the house.   I didn't confront her early on as much as I could have about her gaming use as I didn't want to hurt my ego.  As in, I couldn't believe this was happening to us!  Best suggestion, is to take care of you, go to a 12-step support program and start rebuilding your life.  One day, the doctor told my wife to pack away her games in a box and she couldn't do it and then moved out.  It's been 5 months since she moved out.  I got back into my 12-step program and started rebuilding my life.  The thing about gaming, there is also a physiological side of it.  When gamers and addicts participate in a destructive behavior their frontal cortex is effected.  In other words after prolonged use their will power and impluse control goes out of the window.  It's all about the frequency of dopamine dropping in their brain.  An addict will not care about their life going down the drain unless there are immediate consquences.  Confront them and don't enable them.  It's hard I know, especailly if you are married to them and you are truly invested.  However, when will it be enough?  Only you can make that decision.  Good Luck! 

If you can't stand for something you'll fall for anything.

Cesarica
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Can I be your friend too

My first post here after being member for awhile now. All that time I had some hope that it will not come to this but unfortunately I am separating from my husband due to his gaming addiction . I have done impossible and possible to save my marriage of almost 24 years. I am Clash of Clans widow now and  just like you I am livid, I hate this game that has taken away the love  and respect I used to have for him.

sw

Cesarica
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The hardest part is almost over

I joined this site almost a year ago in hope to save my marriage, but I have been lurking  from time to time since Summer 2014. At first I was very surprised that there is such a thing as game addiction especially in adults. Even had a laugh about it.

Little background story: My husband got a smartphone for the first time in 2013 which made him a complete moron almost overnight. 

There is absolutely NOTHING I can or want to do to help him (us) ANYMORE.

But one thing I can do is to send a link to this thread to EVERYBODY who cares or loves him. And even to his USELESS parents who are 100% responsible for the mess he is in.

sw

Polga
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Thanks for sharing Cesarica.

Thanks for sharing Cesarica. I am so sorry for your loss due to this baffling addiction. Look after yourself and get plenty of support from others. I hope that things will  start to improve for you after making that very hard decision. hugs to you

INFO

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Online meetings gaming addicts click here

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Help for video game addicts click here

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Polga
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testing

testing

INFO

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Spouses/SO's of addicts click here

Parents of addicts click here for advice

Help for video game addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

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