Is there a way to get him to reduce his use?

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kafie
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Is there a way to get him to reduce his use?

Hi everyone. I'm new here so please excuse me if this is ignorant.

I am in a relationship with an addicted multi-gamer who plays primarily console and phone games. We are engaged (and have been for years now) and I am pregnant.
For many years I had my own struggle with alcoholism. I sought out treatment about two years ago and now go to AA on a regular basis... so I realize this may be ridiculous of me to even ask/wonder
I realize that I am an enabler and likely codependent as well.

I'm wondering... Is there ANY way that he'll ever be able to control his use and this won't come down to "stop gaming or you lose me"?
I don't want to take one of his two main interests from him... But it's obviously caused considerable strain on our relationship.

I think the way we made it this far in the first place is that I was dealing with my own addiction and it was easy for me to cover up the loneliness with drink, but now that I'm sober (more sober than I've been since I was probably 12-13) and it's hard to ignore how lonely and unimportant I feel (and some of that has led me to some dangerous emotional places... recently (I am also dealing with depression and off my medication due to the pregnancy, so that contributes)).

I have been asking him for months... Probably years... For very basic things and at times it feels like it is causing our relationship to degrade... Not his gaming, not the neglect and loneliness... Nope, me asking him to take a shower and spend time with me. It's getting harder and harder to deal with this.
At times, my mind wants me to go back to MY addiction... Because things were just peachy when I had an active addict... Right (wrong)?

I realized that I can't get him to do these basic things. This normally very nice guy has started to see me as a nagging b**** (and this normally very calm guy has become pretty easily annoyed).
I realized that I need help and support and that I need someone else to show him it's not just me that thinks things need to change.
So we have a couple's session next week.

I'd get other people in the house involved, but they're all convinced it's not a problem because it's not a substance addiction (though they would agree it's pathological). They also don't realize how bad it is (and they're all gamers) - that he doesn't shower for weeks on end, doesn't brush his teeth EVER, that trying to give him a kiss (on his cheek or arm) when he's gaming results in him getting annoyed at me.

I've started the process of doing less things for him. I have a hard time giving it all up. I have a hard time not washing his clothes because we share a hamper and I know he'll think I'm being petty if I only wash mine. I have a hard time not making him food if I'm making myself food. I can't stop cleaning things like the bathroom because he'll never do it and won't care and I can't stand it being so filthy. If I don't take care of his dishes, someone else will, and they'll blame me for not helping out around the house (no one approaches him about not helping out).

I know I need to do some of these things... Mostly, I feel like I'd be neglecting HIM... I feel like I would be the b**** I've apparently become because I want him to take care of himself.

Mostly... I'm terrified. I just hit the third trimester of pregnancy and I'm looking at everything as "Is he going to ignore his child too? Am I ever going to be able to rely on him to take care of his child if I'm working or unable to for some other reason? Is he going to be a bad influence on our child (in that he has a basic lack of care for his personal hygeine and neglects the world for games)?"

I don't need him to completely change. I need him to be responsible.
I'm not sure if that's possible.
If he can shirk his responsibilities onto someone else... he will - because he'd rather be gaming.

I decided that I need to educate myself about this addiction - because addictive behaviors (while they share some similarities) aren't exactly the same as alcoholism.

I'm just wondering... Is there any hope? I feel like if I make him choose I'm going to lose.
Videogames are already more important than me. I'm just an interest if there's a loading screen (or conversely, a commercial if he's watching tv). He spends 80% of his time home and awake indulging in whatever game is shiny at the moment.

I don't even know what to do at this point - that's part of why I'm making him go to counseling with me. All I can think to do is reduce what I do for him - and eventually move out.

I don't know what to do about any of this. I'm scared of being blamed and made the bad guy.
I love him and I don't want to leave him... but there are things I need from him to make this relationship work.

Polga
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Hi Kafie

Hi Kafie

Thanks for sharing your story

In response to your questions; if he is a true addict he will not be able to moderate. We cannot make them give up gaming or get into real recovery until they are ready and willing. he may need to feel some bad consequences before he is ready to do that. Losing you may or may not be enough to wake him up.

I have given you some links below to help you get wise, but you have to be logged in to see them!

There are some experiences of couples counselling with the gamer linked on this thread

http://www.olganon.org/forum/discussion-spousessignificant-others-olg-anon-members-only/your-partner-gaming-addict-how-get

I would encourage you to keep coming back to read other stories on both the spouse forums. You will then start to see what you can do. You will then see what life will look like being in partnership with a gaming addict. your child and you are likely to be neglected. Children feel rejected by the gamer...like he is not interested in them because it is their fault some how. That is the experience of some of our members . There are many more experiences if you care to look. See the link below for some testamonies of our members. It's tragic.

http://www.olganon.org/forum/discussion-spousessignificant-others-olg-anon-members-only/how-gaming-addiction-parent-can

 Some spouses have found it very helpful to attend alanon or naranon meetings in their local area,  they help the loved ones of addicts.

Making the gamer aware of how we are feeling because of their addiction is not easy, because addiction has altered their brain responses. This thread may help you consider ways you may be able to get through to him. http://www.olganon.org/forum/discussion-spousessignificant-others-olg-anon-members-only/interventions-sos-and-spouses but as you infer you are getting to the point where you know he will not listen to you anymore so do not have too much hope you can reach him.

You may now have learned that you cannot control his gaming; and he resents you trying. Then we suggest you learn to " detach with love". This thread will explain this better http://www.olganon.org/forum/discussion-spousessignificant-others-olg-anon-members-only/detachment-what-means-and-how-do-it

You can decide not to enable his addiction in ways that you may or may not be aware of. He will then start to feel the consequences of his actions. See this thread http://www.olganon.org/forum/discussion-spousessignificant-others-olg-anon-members-only/about-enabling-spousessos-addicted. It may make you feel that you are being loving by doing things that enable him, but you are not helping his addiction. He needs to feel consequnces.

You can make boundaries to protect yourself, but you will need to enforce them see http://www.olganon.org/forum/discussion-spousessignificant-others-olg-anon-members-only/boundaries-what-they-mean-and-how

Keep coming back. You are not alone. I am so sorry that you are in this situation and that the future does not look good for your child as far as their father is concerned. I hope you make a decision that is right for you and your child. There is wisdom on this site if you look for it. All the best

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

kafie
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Thank you for your reply.

Thank you for your reply.

I guess I'm still in essentially a bargaining stage of grief. I keep hoping somehow that he'll be able to turn things around.
I keep trying to give him chances to change, chances to prove that he can do the things I need him to.

I don't think he even recognizes he has a problem - and I can't imagine what an incredible loss he'll see giving up gaming as (considering how much money and time he's spent on them - all the games, consoles, memorabilia, ect, that he has emassed over the years... that everyone we live with games, that all his friends game (though he spends little time with these people unless they're gaming with him)).
Quitting drinking for me was like giving up a close friend at first (though now I recognize that alcohol was really just a detriment) - and my life wasn't nearly as tightly wound around alcohol (I've never even owned more than two shot glasses). And living with drinkers made sobriety extremely difficult for me to grasp (though, clearly, with enough stubborness and support I hve accomplished it).
He would have to watch people game in front of him (who would encourge him to do the same) and I would end up the bad guy... and need to get rid of thousands of dollars worth of games, consoles, and gaming paraphanalia (for example, the hundreds of Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and Lego Dimensions figures... that he's still buying... (especially considering he has a hard time getting rid of anything... and by that he is as very real risk of ending up a serious horder - this would be extremely difficult for him)).

I recognize that most likely I will eventually have to leave him - if not in relationship, then in living situation.

I'm scared of our child feeling the way I have felt in the past about him and his addiction --- that games are far more important than me, that he doesn't really care about my feelings or needs...... that I'm just a convience he can pick up when he's not otherwise engaged (and for me, it eventually made me feel like my only merrit is to take care of him and give him sex--- because I don't even see what he gets out of being with me besides those things because I'm otherwise ignored).
I know a child will not understand that daddy has a problem - that it's not a sign of their worth or how loved or lovable they are. I have a hard time with this and I'm an adult..... how is a child going to cope?

The stories from others on the forum about how their children have been impacted leaves me terrified and affirms fears I have been dealing with for the last six months (especially the fears of neglecting the needs of an infant --- considering that in the past he has neglected the needs of our pets because he's too wrapped up in games to feed them or give them their medication).

I feel like...if he can't make an effort, then it would be better to be a single parent, to live apart from him. As someone else said, it's harder to be neglected by the addict while one is in the same room. I would rather actually be alone than feel alone with him next to me.

I don't want this - I don't want to give up on him, I don't want to leave him. The realization that this is likely what I'll have to do has broken my heart several times over the last few months.

My heart hopes that somehow things will work out and I'll be able to get the man I love back, but my head thinks I'm being too sensitive and also doesn't think anything's going to change.

Polga
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Thanks for that really honest

Thanks for that really honest share.

A tip I learned from another member is that you should think about what your gut is telling you, not the heart or the head. The gut" knows" ... the question is do you carry on ignoring it ?

"My only failing, if we want to call it that, is of listening to my heart, which you had duped. My head analysed what was going on, but my heart convinced my head that it was wrong. So what should I have done.. I now know.. listen to my gut. That little area just above your belly button where, weirdly, your thoughts meet your feelings. My gut knew all along, but I ignored it. Not wise.

And the lesson learnt - trust your intuition. Always."

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

kafie
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Sorry if I'm venting too much

Sorry if I'm venting too much. This all has been weighing on my mind heavily and I feel like I'm going nuts over here (or I am already nuts for even feeling so upset about it all).

Trusting my intuition..... is certainly not my strong suit. I've spent years snuffing that one out... I'm not even sure what it says. I guess that'll come with time.

Maybe it's somewhere around that voice that's been telling me that moving out is the right choice - that then he can have his life however he wants it and at least I won't be nearly as upset to watch him neglect everything around him. This is something I've so strongly considered that I have discussed it my mother and sister (and for a variety of reasons, not just because of his habit, but also because of our living situation with three adult roommates (one of which has always hated me - though his wife and I get along really well) and a house that no one really puts any effort towards keeping clean (which is going to be even more difficult with a child)).

Polga
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You are certainly not venting

You are certainly not venting too much ! Feel free to ...I can always move the thread to members only section where you can be much freer to let it all out.

All I am hearing is you expressing thoughts. I am sure many spouses members can relate to what you are feeling.

Not trusting your feelings is a symptom of co-dependancy. I discovered that in myself.

Look after yourself !

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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