Hey guys! I'm new to this forum and am in desperate need of love, support and guidance.
I've been dating my boyfriend for a little over a year now. We have known each other for a couple years now. He started pursuing me and it didn't seem to take long before we both knew (or I guess thought we knew) that we wanted to spend our lives together... until now.
A little background on him - he is 37 years old. Great job. Financially stable. Rough upbrining. My boyfriend and his brother were put in foster care because his mom was hitting them and doing things like taking them to bars and having them stay in the car while she got drunk. They rarely had food to eat or clothes to wear. His mom has "changed her ways" and is in thier lives, but that is something that is hard for someone to move on from, especially without any type of psychological help. Additionally, he was previously married. His wife pretty much up and left him one morning by leaving the divorce papers on the counter when she left to go to work. She had been doing this behind his back and already divided up everything. He said he was blindsided. It doesn't sound like they had any business being together from what his family and friends say, but regardless, he was devestated and it took him a while to move on.
When I first met him, he was so sweet. He was engaged and caring. Fast forward to now, he is hateful and constantly irritated and spends all his time playing videos games, usually until 12:30am or 1 am on week nights and 2:30am or 3:30am on weekends. The game playing has gotten progressively worse. It used to be that he would play for a couple hours, but managed to break away to do other things. Now, we are at a point when he checks every sign and symptom of addition. When he gets off work, he comes home and either starts playing immediately, or watches tv for an hour, and then starts playing (I'd say around 6pm/7pm). He plays until at least 12am. I'm always going to bed by myself and the dog seems to even be annoyed by his constant game playing, since he either follows me when I go up to bed or comes shortly after.
We never do anything together. The few times he's taken me to dinner. he seems so preoccupied and in a rush to get home, to the point where I'd rather not even go to dinner with thim. It also doesn't help that his friends seem to be just as additicted as he is. One friend specifically texts him EVERY NIGHT asking him to play. Sometimes we can't even finish what we are doing (out with friends, eating dinner, etc) before the phone is going off asking him to play. If I don't cook dinner, he doesn't eat. He MAY manage to get up and eat a few cookies or grab the chips and salsa, but I can't rememnber the last time he took a decent amount of time away from playing to cook an actual meal. It's been longer than that since he's stopped at the grocery store on the way home to pick something up for us to cook.
It's gotten to the point where he is avoiding social interaction and even making up stupid excuses that make no sense to get out of doing something that keeps him from playing video games. For example, he wouldn't give me an answer as to whether or not he was going to come with me to my family's christmas. I mean, after all, I was going to his family's christmas and was able to give him an answer right away. Finally, when I told him I needed an answer (for planning purposes), he gives me this crazy excuse that he planned on going, but that we needed to talk about timing and it wasn't comfortable for him. UM, WHAT?! He's been to my family's house 5 times now. And every time he's left, he has talked about how he loves me mom. Never anything about feeling uncomfortable. And when I asked him to elaborate, he got mad and defensive and told me I was being dramatic. When he finally gave me an answer, he said that it wasn't like we have been together for 10 years, that it makes him uncomfortable to being at my family's house all day. Actually, when I think about it, he's unable to play video games for the 3 or 4 days he's there and THAT's why he doesn't care to go.
He's become such a hateful and irritable person. He criticizes everything I do, everything his loved ones do and he completely isolates himself. We never go out. We never go on trips. In fact, when I mentioned going on a trip, he made comments about how his work would pile up, yet the reality of the situation is that he would be forced to play video games. He doesn't take care of any of his adult responsibilities. I'm always cleaning his house (I don't live there), washing dishes, doing laundry, folding laundry, cooking dinner, sweeping, taking care of the dog, reminding him of things, etc. And never once has he said thank you or done anything to show his appreciation. And we fight contantly because of the video games. He makes no effort in our relationship, yet wants me to just sit at his house while he plays video games.
I love him and I care about him and I want him to see how he's ruining our relationship and ultimately, ruining his life, but I don't know what to do. I've read to not engage with them or argue with them about it, and make plans without them. Does that work? I'd like to at least try that and see if it makes a difference. I've already thought about telling him he doesn't have to come to my family's christmas and I'll just go by myself. I'd rather him just sit at home by himself on Christmas and play his stupid video games.