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.