New poster - Where do I go from here?

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OutOfOptions
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New poster - Where do I go from here?

Hello Everyone,

This is my first day on the site and first post so please bear with me. Sigh...my wife has been addicted to online games since August of last year. She has always enjoyed free and small few games on her iPad, and while I noticed her usage going up then, it was nothing of a concern. Until I saw the first months iTunes bill...almost $3,000. I was floored, and unsure of how to even approach it...I honestly thought we may have been victims of fraud. Until she admitted to buying quite a bit. After talking it through, she said she would not spend like that again. Then, the next months iTunes bill revealed $2,000 more in that month. Again, I was floored. At confrontation she was apologetic, but not willing to let go. From then until years end she spent less, but still far out of our means with another $1,500 for October - November.  I had to exhaust savings, bonus money, Christmas money, and ultimately take out high interest loans in order to give my 3 kids a Christmas they deserved. After all, they didn’t ask for this. 

About my wife...she has anxiety and depression. Is medicated, and sees a therapist once a week. None of this has helped. And my wife actually states that her therapists wonders why I get mad or upset at certain things (More to come on that). Hence, I’ve determined that she is either not telling her therapist everything, or her therapist is the worst therapist in the world. 

Now, onto the family issues. My children are young...7, 5, and 3. Since August of last year they continue to have a great life, do things with their friends, go places that are fun, and lead a happy and healthy life...at least when I am around. You see, my wife goes no where with us...festivals, parties, bounce houses, etc. She stays at home and plays her game. My wife does not care for them...she is a stay at home mom, yet my daily routine is to get up, get the kids up, get the kids to school, got to work, come home for lunch, make them their lunch, go back to work, pick the kids up from school, get them to extra curriculars, come home, make dinner, do homework with them, give them baths, get them ready for bed, read them a bedtime story and then I have to work from home in order to stay caught up with my work...usually until 2-3am. I am running most days on anywhere from 2-4 hours of sleep. 

While the kids are home with my wife she does nothing with them. I come home and there’s is food all over the house from the kids getting into it as they please, toys everywhere, messes galore, cabinets and drawers all open and combed through by the kids. I thankfully have my mother in law at times to come over and check on them. 

My wife’s gaming per day is anywhere from 10-15 hours. She has accounts on every kids device, her own iPad and her phone. She is constantly on them. And uses each account for some purpose. She also has been chatting with 2-3 different people, although 1 in particular through both the game and text and phone calls. This guy lives in California. Back in October, she told me there was a game convention for her game she plays on California in the new year, and she wanted to go to it. Fast forward to today and there are multiple developments:  first, she texts back and forth approximately 1,000 - 2,000 text per month with this guy. Second, she talks on the phone with him approximately 6-8 hours per month. The phone calls are all done when she either leaves the house for something, or in the middle of the night when I am sleeping. Lastly, there is no game convention in California. When I confronted her about everything, she admitted she was just going to see him...as a “friend”.  

She has gone through spurts where she will admit the problem and do better for a week at a time at most. But ultimately always go back. She is ramping up again, and get very angry with me for confronting her about her spending, lack of being a partner in our home, and her behaviors with this guy in California (who by the way is 16 years younger than her). I am terrified because I have my tax money and the largest bonus of my career coming in the next 60 days. I am terrified because I don’t see her changing. I am terrified of the example she is setting fornmy kids who now want to play on their games constantly. I am terrified of starting over...we have been together since I was 19, married for 10 years. But she refuses to see a marriage counselor. Refuses to see an addiction counselor. And refuses to have a joint session with her regular counselor. 

 

As my my name says, I feel as though I am out of options...any advice, experience, or words of wisdom would help greatly. Again, sorry for the long post... Thanks 

Mark

Polga
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Joined: 02/17/2014 - 11:33am
Welcome !

Welcome !

It sounds like she is trapped in addiction and mesmerised by the games. Also it seems like she is in some kind of online relationship. I would advise you to protect your finances by opening an account that only you have access to for now.

I advise you to read the forums starting with the links in "first aid for spouses"  thread which is in my signature below

It will give you 'tools' to deal with this.

Here is a similar situation to yours. You will find more advice there. there are other stories too if you search.

http://www.olganon.org/forum/discussion-spousessignificant-others-olg-anon-members-only/he-has-spent-37k-8-months-gaming

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

YoshisCookie
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Joined: 04/10/2018 - 5:54am
I'm so sorry you're going

I'm so sorry you're going through this. Your children need to be protected, and I believe you probably already know what needs to be done. In my situation, game addiction was not recognized 26 years ago, and I could not risk my husband getting custody of the kids. I chose to stay married, have hope, and protect the kids the best way I could.

The addiction lasted 20 years. Withdrawal for my husband lasted 9 months - It is impossible to describe the hell he put me through during withdrawal. He has not played a serious game for six years after withdrawal.

The recovery is absolutely nothing like I imagined it would be. I had expected him to turn back into a sweet, honest man. But the choices he made as an addict changed him forever. He may not currently play video games, but he still does not feel remorse or guilt about anything, he lies constantly, he does not keep promises, and he is a master manipulator. These character traits are permanent for him and were developed over 20 years of addiction.

I responded to your post thinking that if I had understood what my husband would be like after recovery, I would not have been so easily used and manipulated. He knew exactly how to use my love for him to get what he wanted from me. I would still have chosen to stay, I just would not have been such a fool.

I wish things were different for you and your kids. Don't be afraid to do what you know is right. Have courage.

Ensam
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Joined: 01/22/2018 - 6:43pm
Parallels

I see a lot of parallels between what you're going through and my own situation, so I want you to know that you are not alone. It hasn't been as much of a financial burden on his end, but when my husband is gaming constantly, and I am feeling lonely and depressed, I shop. Perhaps it's my own addiction, retail therapy. On top of his monthly payment for Wolrd of Warcraft, it does result in money spent. I'm not justifying my habit, but I can sincerely say that it does make me feel better, and doesn't feel necessary when he is around.

We have two children - seven and one. He's willing to hang out with the seven-year-old because he's now old enough to sit next to him on his own computer and play. He's spreading this illness to my little boy! But very rarely will he chip in with the baby. When I ask him to, he will usually make excuses, or find reasons for me to care for her while I am trying to take care of other things. I attend a university full time, and the classes are not easy. Initially, he told me he didn't want me to go back to school because of money. But now I know, it's because he doesn't want to BE A PARENT. It's all about what is convenient en lieu of the game, and being a parent is not convenient.

will drag him out of the house from time to time. But he resists, and he spends the whole time whining and moping, and asking when we can go home (so he can get on the computer).

Thankfully, when I saw a red flag with a girl on the game, and I pointed it out to him, he was willing to go to marriage counseling, which lasted about three sessions before I started going alone. Then he let me program my fingerprint into his iPhone to keep him honest.

Of course, that was two years ago, and things improved for a bit, but now we're sliding back down the slope at top speed. Honestly, I think the problem is that he knows he's addicted, but if he acknowledged it, he'd have to do something about it, and he doesn't want to. He has no problem whatsoever with leaving all of the parenting responsibilities to me, and can be extremely rude and snarky when it comes to my assignments and class schedule.

I wrote him an intervention letter. A week from Friday, he's coming with me to therapy (I see a therapist alone, and you may want to as well, maybe eventually she'd be ready to see your therapist with you), and I am going to read it aloud to him.

" We have this hope as an anchor for the soul. A hope both sure, and steadfast." Hebrews 6:19

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