Venting-Confused-Recovering from SL emotional affair and more

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lostexgamers
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Venting-Confused-Recovering from SL emotional affair and more

Hello, This will be my first post though I've been lurking the forums for a while.  Apologies because I know this will be long, but I need to get it out there, and feedback would be appreciated though i'm not sure if there realy could be any.

My husband and I have been together for 8 years; married the last 3.  The first 5 years were amazing, we argued constructivly, went out and tried new things, relaxed and just enjoyed each others company.  We were balanced, he was always goal oriented and I was more of a relax be happy type. While we were together I was growing as a person learning to look to the future, and he was learning to be happy in the "now". Our combined personalites, and strenghts and weaknesses we felt like we could conquer the world lol.

Shortly before we got married FFXIV came out.  I'd never been a gamer but he was an avid FF fan.  He'd play the game and I'd watch, it was interesting it looked fun.  He started raiding, and I would join in on their voice conversations.  Shortly after the honeymoon I joined the game and starting playing with him.  Looking back that was a huge mistake, we both became addicted.  We still made time for each other outside of the game, we'd have date nights, make sure to log off early enough to eat/talk/and watch TV a bit before bed. Nearly 2 years go by, alot of our "friends" left, and he got tired of the revolving grind for nothing.  He started playing FF less, and started playing Second Life again.  About a week after he had quit FFXIV for good I also quit, it just wasn't the same game without him.  But at this point neither of us realy knew how to have fun in reality. I'll forever regret what happened next. 

At this point I didn't mind him playing SL, he has a stressfull job (we both do). I wasn't going to be that "nagging wife" who wouldn't let her husband play a game (we both did it for years).. But he started talking to me less and less despite the fact I'd try to initiate conversations, talk to him about how he was doing, ect... he stopped logging off early enough for us to spend time together before bed, and it continued to get worse. It got to the point that he'd be on voice talking to them animatedly about everything I tried to be there for him about. (By now months had passed like this) He'd watch movies with them, joke with them.... I'd force him (I didn't see it as force at the time) on dates with me, and he'd stare blankly, completely non-responcive but as soon as we got home he was back online and smiling and laughing and joking.... Then I noticed that even though he had a few friends, there was one (isn't there always) that seemed to be a little too important.  I lightly touched the subject, and he let me know they were just friends and there was nothing to worry about.  Roughly 2 weeks ago, I noticed they were married in game. I wasn't going to be blown off, it was time to get everyting out... (cut to end of convo) This time, I gave him a choice her or me.  If she was just a friend he has plenty, I wasn't asking him to give up his only coping method yet (SL).  And he finaly admitted that he loved her, and stated that she had been there for him when I wasn't.  I was devastated, up to that point I truly (stupidly I admit) beleived it was all innocent.  

He left, and a week later he calls me. Tells me he doesn't know how to be happy because it's been so long, but I was right, that he isolated himself in the game a long time ago and never gave me a chance, but instead went to her.  That he couldn't be happy trying to live 2 lives, so he's decided to come back to his real one.  He sold his account, and came home. I was happy.... this was 3 days ago.  Now, hes lost, and says he doesnt know if "us" will ever work again. He doesnt know how to be happy or that we'll ever be happy, or that it's worth the effort. He claims he thinks he's wasting mylife because he's uncertian if we're good for each other.  I do my best to reassure him, that with time and effort we can be us again, perhaps better. Afterall we have new dreams.  That I understand that his feelings for her were real, I'm here for him, and doing my best to show him we can be happy. But it still feels like he's keeping a wall up like he doesn't want us to recover.  I'm working so hard and still getting muted responces. I'm terrified he's going to leave again, I feel like I'm working so hard, and I'm so tired, because he should beleive it's worth it, but  everything is so uncertian to him, he's not trying just constantly saying "i'm not sure i'll ever be happy, and I should prob let you move on with your life" I need him to TRY.  I've managed to convince him to go to counsoling with me, we both need it.  I haven't found a counsoler yet, but here is hoping....

...end rant?

Polga
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It takes many weeks/months of

Welcome and thanks for sharing your story!

It takes many weeks/months of no gaming before the addict's brain can heal to become normal again. There are withdrawals and cravings over the weeks after they quit and physical symptoms are common. He is not a good place mentally and a relationship is a "burden" at this time

You could encourage him just to concentrate on his recovery and that you will concentrate on yours. Perhaps encourage him to read the OLGA forums for addicts.

Keep coming back here to learn how you can look after yourself (eg read sticky posts of both spouses forums).

Perhaps agree that you both need space to take off pressure and when you are well on the way to recovery, you can reassess where your relationship is heading.

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

AloneTogether
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I understand.

Lostexgamers,
Thank you for your post. I am new here. I have come here out of heartache and desperation. My husband is addicted to SL and has a serious relationship with a woman online. An emotional affair that appears quite serious. The game consumes ALL of his time. Our relationship is broken, perhaps beyond repair. I wish I could give you words of advise or hope but the truth is that I have none to give at this moment. But I can tell you that you are not alone. And that your post has given me some solace in knowing that I am not alone either. I hope that I can learn from this forum and gain the strength to put myself first at last. This may mean leaving. As an addict myself (not online gaming) I know with certainty that only he can help himself and that until he (a) admits he has a problem and that his life has become unmanageable, (b) makes a decision to change and (c) decides to actively embrace SOMETHING to help him recover...nothing will change.

Keep posting and I wish you all the love you deserve.

---AloneTogether

lostexgamers
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Polga, thanks for the

Polga, thanks for the encouragement.... I know it takes time, though I do have to remind myself of that constantly. It's hard balancing being supportive of his recovery, yet not making him feel pressured. I know if I distance myself too far he'll once again feel like I don't care, or if I try too hard i'm "pushing him and not trying to understand his feelings".  I've just about found a good balance there while also taking time to look after myself. Afterall "noone can love you unless you love yourself."  I hate that phrase as much as I rely on it for it's truth lol. Though getting him to realize he needs to focus on himself and his own happiness is like pulling teeth.

Alone Together,  I'm sorry you're going through something so similar.  I know how it eats you up and makes you devalue yourself. Don't let it, I can't count the nights I cried saying "if only I tried harder, if only I cut in sooner".  But thats not fair to  yourself, because they are blind to your efforts regardless. Do what is best for you at this point. Leave, stay, confront, I can't tell you.

I can't give any good advice,  I mean all the forums told me not to confront him but I did anyways (i'm never subtle enough for my own good)... I got lucky if you'd call it that, but I just couldnt live as second place to a fake relationship, I LOST HIM and I'm still not sure if I'll ever REALY have him back... I'll let you know what you've discribed as step C seems to be the hardest for him, but I think thats because he's still hurting from A and B, and having a hard time picturing a future for himself. He didn't even realize he had been planning and prioritizing his life around SL and "her" until after all this.  I will say that nothing would have changed or gotten better if I (my situation may be different) hadn't given him the ultimatium.... I was also in the fortunate situation that EVERYTHING is in my name since before we were married, so I didn't have to worry about housing, I just had to find someone to lease out a room so I could continue to pay all the bills. Though it never got that far.

I'll let you know that right now it's crazy hard. Supporting someone who HURT you for a game, knowing they're not healthy enough to support you even though it is all their own doing. You'll want them to apologise, you'll want them to make an obvious effort, you'll want them to show you they are there for YOU, and yes you do deserve all that.... but instead you're doing all those things for them because you want to help their recovery, and they can't do it for you yet... Maybe one day he'll be able to do all those things, hopefully therapy will help. There are no promises, I'll try keep you guys posted...

ChicagoGirl
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add me to the list of SL

add me to the list of SL widows. I already wrote a long post about it. I despise SL. It's deception at its finest. In SL, my husband can be handsome and fashion forward, and the man everyone wants to be with.... all things he feels he isn't in real life. Sometimes I just want to scream at him and remind him that he doesn't need to be a phony - I'M the one who loves the real guy and, quite frankly, I'm not chopped liver!

lostexgamers
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Update

We had our first therapy appt Monday... it went as well as a first session can be expected to.  We actualy had a pretty big fight when we got home, it feels nice to fight again lol.  He's starting to get a little better, he is persuing his coding career again. That is a good thing I think, he's moving forward in something again for himself (even if he uses it as a way to avoid life on occasion).  He called me silly for the first time in ages, and I think he almost smiled. Baby Steps.  For me, I've finaly figured out what I want to do "when I grow up"... a decade late but hey it counts lol.

The therapist recomended we find real world friends... neither of us are anywhere close to that. But I am getting out of the house, focusing on my health, walking, and volunteering at a local park (b/c i'm going to be a park ranger lol).  Don't laugh at me but Pokemon Go is something we kinda do together.  I use it as a distraction during my walks in 100+ weather that I don't want to feel. I actualy helped a little kid find a pokemon, talked to an old guy cutting grass. Talking to real people is new and exilerating.... and sometimes the husband will ask me if I want to ride around in his car and hit up "pokestops", he won't walk b/c of said temps and it's good for us to have seperate activities, but initiating real world time together is something he hasnt done in years.  I know it's a game, and we both need to be careful, but baby steps.

I still don't know if we'll work out, but things are looking like they realy could (at least from my perspective, he's still iffy) for the first time in a while. We go to individual therapy next week b4 continuing couples, i'm aprehensive about that but it could be a good thing.

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