Is my partner addicted?

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Joined: 12/31/2020 - 5:07am
Is my partner addicted?

Hi everyone!

I bet you haven't heard this one before - first time poster in this sort of forum and I'm not sure if I'm overacting. I mean, I don't think I am, but I'm hoping to get some other opinions.

My partner of 13 years has always been a gamer since we met. Usually WoW, but sometimes when he's bored of that it'll be something else, but always comes back to WoW. Being also in the IT industry and a nerd who casually gamed, I have a high tolerance level for gaming. He's always been good at being "just enough" normal and doing "just enough" of his resposibilities to make you have nothing to say if you complain he plays all the time.

He plays every single chance he gets, particularly in the current phase where a recent expansion for WoW was released. He's in an online chat with his online gaming friends and if he's not talking to them when he's at the computer, he's talking to them on his phone when we are out. Each time I walk by his computer screen, it's WoW on one screen and a gaming site on the other - even when he's "working from home". I couldn't tell you how many hours he plays. It's basically any time he's not doing his household chores, looking after our child, working or other necessary "life" stuff, so it could be anywhere from 3 to 10 hours a day.

He does seem to fulfil all his required life responsibilities and is a good father, so if I confront him, he tells me to "get lost, what you do want me to do, stare at the TV instead?". He's extremely defensive. He considers all other activities as boring, including with me, unless it's watching a TV show or movie... and he'll then go back and talk to his online friends about it. I guilt him into spending some time with his son and I - like, just "spending time" on "lame" things like taking a walk, but honestly it's like I've asked him to sacrifice his gaming arm the way he gets ****ed off and I'm sick of it.

I really don't know what to do and I'm not sure if he falls into the "addiction" category as he is careful not to neglect his responsibilities. It just feels like he just tries to get it out of the way so he can get back to what he really wants to do - play. It's NYE now and his parents have left and our son has gone to bed - he's back on WoW. No mention of celebrating NYE with me or anything.

I'd welcome any advice or thoughts! I'm just not sure.

Polga's picture
Last seen: 6 hours 52 min ago
AdministratorOLG-Anon memberOLGA member
Joined: 02/17/2014 - 11:33am
Welcome Katie

Welcome Katie

I'm not sure if it will help anyone to confirm or deny his "addiction" or not.

From what you tell me it ihis behaviour around gaming is a BIG problem that is coming in between your relationship and with his child. How can it feel for you kid that his  Daddy put his computer friends over your needs.

From what you say you are a very poor second best.

It sounds like he is in denial of what harm his attitude and behaviour is having on the family.

This forum has much experience of people like yourself and what they did about it.

I highly recommend you follow the link in my signature for spouses and start reading the threads linked in it. It will help you understand more about your situation.

Basically only you can change your life. There are things you can do to change the dynamic. You need to spend time on the threads to work out for yourself how you can make change.

Hope this helps. Any questions please ask


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Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
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Joined: 12/26/2020 - 1:36pm
I’m with you!

Hi Katie,

I'm a Katie too. Your post resonated with me so much that I just had to respond. I feel so similarly every day. My partner of 8 years spends most of his life gaming, but he's also learned to allocate justtt enough time to step away to do that chore or go on that walk (took me four years to get him not to roll his eyes when I ask, and now he goes to walk the dog with me for up to but not more than 15 minutes).

The worst part is the guilt and anxiety I feel when I ask something of him, anticipating the inevitable defensiveness and annoyance.  I have to oversee everything my husband does in the house because if it's not a video game, he won't put his best foot forward and half-asses everything to get it out of the way so he can get back to gaming.

Sadly, my husband lost his job at the beginning of Covid (he was pretty much a full time gamer by the end of it anyways) and spends his days gaming and watching Netflix when I tell him to stop. This site says staring at the TV is a common escape for gamers when they're not gaming, and it's how he spends most of his time with me - watching some show. It's the saddest thing in the world. 

It's a devastating thing to watch someone you love choose gaming over you (and over living a full life) every single day. I don't have any answers but reading other people's stories has been liberating. The anger you feel coupled with the blame that your partner places on you is a heavy burden to carry. All that to say, I'm with you.  

I recently watched a TED talk by Johann Hari about addiction and I highly recommend it. Made me feel a little lighter.

- Another Katie. 

Yekaterina Reyzis

Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
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Joined: 01/22/2021 - 1:35am
Me too



Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
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Joined: 01/23/2021 - 5:52pm
I’m so sorry for all you’re going through!

Hi Katie,

I moved in with my partner of 4 years around 6 months ago, and he's also a WoW player. He works from home but always has WoW and discord open. If I ever bring up wanting to do more together, he instantly asks why I'm not 'happy' for him for finding something that makes him extremely happy!

I've recently started therapy because I feel so down, and received some hard truths. We unfortunately can't change our gamers partner's. We instead need to reevaluate our own values - are your emotional needs being met at the moment? Probably not by the sounds of it. In the moment it feels awful, but what I've taken from my therapy is that I need to leave this relationship and focus on myself. I haven't built up the courage yet, and sorry that this probably isn't what you wanted to hear, but I haven't found a better solution yet!



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