My New Discovery

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HomebrewNY
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My New Discovery

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think their was a condition such as this. I am a 36 year old male from the Buffalo, NY area. I have been married now for about 3 years and I have a wonderful wife.

Without getting too detailed here as allot of stories are very similar, the cat has finally been left out of that bag between my wife and I. Through our entire marrage I was hooked on EQ and now it is WoW. With this new discovery, I now realize that I have a gaming addiction problem and it has deteriorated my wifes feelings towards over time. I am thankful she is now giving me a chance to redeam myself, I can only pray that her feelings towards me right now can be restored and the damage is not too deep.

I still have allot to learn and understand about this whole thing as it was only yesterday I discovered it existed. I've read through a handful of posts and its refreshing to know that I am not alone as embarrassing as it seems to me.

One general question I have. Is gaming compared to something like alcahol? What I mean is every case can be different depending on the individual. Some people who have had a problem can now control it like someone who drank too much now can casually go out on occasion and learn to enjoy a few drinks with friends and nothing more, no more abuse involved. Other people it tends to be all or nothing, no in between, no self control.

Here is why I ask. Its basically do or die time for me. I have to stop, no if's and's or but's about it if I want to keep my wife and kids. And I have ALL intentions to do so. Before gaming I had lots of hobbies I can fall back on and I have great supportive friends as family. I guess I consider myself lucky in that part and am very thankful I have that to fall back on. I have a good job and my wife works as well, so we are not really lacking in that department either.

So here we go, the weekend is rolling around and Friday is always here. (my fridays were typically spent on wow all night knwing I can stay up later because I dont need to work in the morning) But anyways, we decide to go out to diner together. (i'm kind of setting up a scene or visualization here) Afterwards, maybe we stop at the store and do some browsing or shopping, then a final stop at the movie rental where we all come home to a pleasant night watching a movie together as a family. (very quality family time friday)

Saturday, we get up, have our coffee. (I was normally hopping on wow right away and end up playing till the afternoon while my wife does chores behind me) So we get our chores out of the way together, have some fun with the kids, maybe visit some friends in the evening time, the day was filled up nicely again with quality family time.

Sunday comes, I decide to take the cover off the boat. (something I havnt done in two years) My wife decides she has a few things she wants to tinker with and the kids are out playing with friends. Evening sets in, we eat diner. We are now literally pooped from a nice "typical", non-gaming weekend and now its time to wind down. The kids retreat to their rooms to relax, watch tv, play games, hop on the computer or whatever. My wife decides to take a hot bath then curl up in the bedroom and read a book and watch some tv. Me and my wife as well as the kids are pretty independant people, we want to be with each other but yet nobody wants to be smothered.

So now the big question. If I were the "casual" gamer, is this now a good time to sit and relax to a bit of game playing? Among many of the hobbies that I plan on getting myself back involved with, can gaming be considered one of them in this situation or does someone like myself that now realizes that I have an addiction need to stop it all together? Is their a happy medium? My wife is not totally against games in general, but abusive gaming is why I am here. And I think she would not like the idea of taking something I enjoy away from me like that if it can be handled correctly.

I guess I need to know just how serious this problem is. Is attempting to play casual going to hurt or does it really depend on the person? Is their such thing as limiting ones self? I just know as I work on this, their will be them evenings that would seem ideal to play, like I said, we are all pretty independant and do cherish our alone time as well.

anonymous (not verified)
Re: My New Discovery

Quote:One general question I have. Is gaming compared to something like alcahol? What I mean is every case can be different depending on the individual. Some people who have had a problem can now control it like someone who drank too much now can casually go out on occasion and learn to enjoy a few drinks with friends and nothing more, no more abuse involved. Other people it tends to be all or nothing, no in between, no self control.
Games are like alcohol, in respect to the saying that the problem is not in the substance but in the person.

As far as I know, people can play casually if they just loose interest in the game. From what I could understand, you have chosen to end the game in a sudden effort. You have not "naturally" and slowly distanced yourself from the game.

In this instance, all my gut insticts tell me it is not safe for you to game. You might want to agree on certain rules with your wife and try it out, but I am almost sure it wonA't work.

Thing is: you are used to a certain activity pattern in the game, and as soon as you get back into your old environments, old habits, mental states etc. start to crop up.

And old is metaphorical here - some days is not old at all.

In the end, try it out and see what works for you. I would advise against it. Wait at least some months, then try it - or rather see whether you still want to try it. I wouldnA't.

Some former addicts here still play, but not the game that they were addicted to - too much emotional baggage, too much addiction potential.

Quote:
I just know as I work on this, their will be them evenings that would seem ideal to play, like I said, we are all pretty independant and do cherish our alone time as well. My suggestion would be to find something else to do with your time. If you love the adventure and the story , books are better. If you love the process of gaming, the interaction and fantasy - P&P RPGs or boardgames are way better than computer games. You get together with real people etc.

These were my thoughts, I am sure there are much more experienced people here, as I have never been addicted to the online part, I was a @#%$ for single player games....

Anyway, congratulations to being here and that you have decided to put your family first and gaming second (or third or tenth....)

My deep respect

Maxim

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What you think, you create. What you say, you produce. What you do, you call forth more of.

InSomeNiak
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My opinion

"Thing is: you are used to a certain activity pattern in the game, and as soon as you get back into your old environments, old habits, mental states etc. start to crop up."
This is certainly a factor, yes.

In my opinion you cannot casually play an MMORPG. I'm sure there are many who do, it's certainly not impossible. But what I mean is that we tend to use it as an escape from reality. And it gets so good that we don't want to return to reality. We are pretending to be a character and pretending to be in a fantasy world which is too enticing and in many ways, better than our real world.

In your above scenario - while doing all of those non-gaming things, you will be constantly thinking about that fantasy world. What you will do next. That next skill you'll develop, next mob you'll kill, or next item you'll find. Planning strategies for the future, not truly even living in the real world. Your mind will still be occupied by the game. There is just too much to do in an MMORPG, and it takes too much time. If playing casually, you will not be able to keep up with your friends in the game. And it will take you what? 10 years, 12 years, 20 years to reach your in-game goals?

Think of how much time you've spent in WOW and how much you've accomplished in that time (or EQ) and do the math of how many years it would take to accomplish the same while playing just 2 hours a week. Not worth it, and not likely.

Or i'll do some of the math... If you spend, say, 6 hours a day, 7 days a week in the game that's 2184 hours per year. Let's say you (hypothetically) hit level 50 in a year while doing that. If you played for only 2 hours a week then that's 104 hours a year. It would then take you 21 years to get to level 50 or to accomplish the same as you could powergaming. A little food for thought.

As for other games it could be much easier. It depends on you and what you choose to do. But for WoW and other MMORPGs, I doubt that you could be successful. Good luck though, with whatever decision you do choose.

HomebrewNY
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Re: My opinion

I love you guys.....thank you so so much.

I decided to use this forum as somewhat of a blog to keep track of my daily thoughts and activities. To start out though, I need to get a ton of stuff out into the open here and explain exactly where I am. This will most likely get quite long, so for those who enjoy reading, knock your socks off. I'm sorry for those who maybe just scan through because it just looks to darned long, guess ya cant please everyone. But all in all, writting is helping me feel better as I have been very emotionally and mentally drained.

Aug 22nd, the day the @#%$ REALLY @#%$ the fan. Actually it was the day before some but that was a mess. My wife has a difficult time truely expressing her feelings and I myself can be the same. She has dropped many hints over the years of my game playing but never really gave me her true hatred feeling. That evening she left the house to visit her long time best friend. I dont know everything that was talked about with them but when she got home I think her mind was set.....its time to leave. She had written me a letter before she went to her friends explaining her feeling in the past, present and the future. While she was away is when I realized how bad I really have been towards her and the kids from my compulsive game playing. (kids: Lacy-daughter-16 years old, Matt-son, 15 years old)

As soon as she got home I immediatly got to work. I pulled everyone into the living room and with tears in my eyes gave an official apoligy to everyone. I hugged both kids and told them that I loved them as well and I never really been a very effectionate person. My wife on the other hand didnt even want to look at me, she wanted it to be over, I knew it.

I did manage to get her to stay up and we talked for a good couple of hours. During the talk is when she mentioned that she google'd "video game addiction" and such thing existed. Thats when I first realized that there is something wrong with me and I need help. I asked why she never shared it with me, but like i said, she can have trouble expressing things like that. I wont hold her against that as I can be timid the same way. The letter alone was good enough for me.

Here's my scariest feeling of the whole thing, and everytime I think about this I get a sick feeling in my stomach and cannot eat. She says that because of the amount of time spent playing games her feelings towards me have gotten less and less. Thats pretty obvious, yea, and I can only shake my head in shame right now. Either of us know if it can be fixed or not but at least she said she does love me, thats a start, thats hope. The motto for the past couple days has been "one day at a time".

There is something even more deeper that scares her though and its not falling back to gaming. This is a forum for gaming addiction and I know what I am about to get into here is off topic, but it still is going to have an impact on my future and how my wife sees me. I'm hoping to hear some comments on this area.

My father....dear old dad. For as many years as I can remember he really does nothing but watch tv. He cuts the grass and takes out the garbage and thats it. I think he lived life thinking that his one job was to be a provider, bring the money home and put food on the table and thats about it. He did have a few things on the side he did, but none of them included my mother. He's going on 70 now and my wife sees how he is. I feel she sees that in me and thats what scares her about our future and one of the big reasons she wants to call it quits.

In MY mind and heart I do not feel like I am like my father and here's why. He has no hobbies, no desire or even an instinct to things like home improvement. He's never been to the movies, never gone on family vacations with us, does not go out to eat, wouldnt know where to go out to eat. Doesnt know anything about computers, is not handy, does not read or research. The past few years I can see where my wife can see the same thing in me and easily compare. I keep telling myself that I am NOT like that, I have a game addiction problem. Before my game addiction I had many different hobbies, I was always doing things with friends and family, I was also into makine my home a better place with home improvement ideas and suggestions, I love to go out to eat, I like to cook, I was a clean freak...bla...bla...bla. I would really like to hear some feedback on this paragraph as this seems to worry me as well. LIke my wife says though, one day at a time. Its gonna be tough to prove that I am not my dad.

So now you all know where I sit, time for my blog.

Wednesday, Aug.23rd: The evening before I had put a post on the guild website stating my relationship was in trouble. MY real life friend was one who read it as he was hooked just like me. He had given up himself just a few weeks prior. He called me in the morning and invited me and the family over for diner along with some of his family from out of town. I called the wife who was at work and told her about it, she said cool. Good example of some of the friends I have willing to help, think I mentioned that in my first post.

-Got home from work, logged into the game for a total of 5 minutes, checked the guild website for a total of 5 minutes.
- Google'd "video game addictions" and eventually found this site where I spent a couple hours reading and decided to write my first post.
- Had coffee ready for my wife as she asked, we didnt have allot of time between her getting out of work and having to go to my friends house.
- Went to friends for diner with my wife and son. My daughter had to work. Spent a few hours hours there and had a pleasant sociable time.
- Got home, we were beat. Computer never got turned on, fed the dogs, had my last smoke and retired with the bedroom for some tv where my wife joined me shortly after. We talked :-))

Thursday, Aug24th: Interesting day.
- Woke up hitting the snooze a couple less times then normally. Was nice to take my time in getting ready for work. I felt better and more refreshed. Went to work.
- Work day started out good, I was focused, but then by early afternoon I got into more deep thinking, some again which cause that sick feeling in my stomach.

*DINGS*
1. Usually want to rush home from work to play wow, today I wanted to rush home to start typing my post here.
2. I wondered how much money I might be able to get for my WoW account on ebay with 3 level 60's and a 59.
3. Thought of the idea of handing my game disks to my wife and kids and let them do what they please with them.
4. BIG breakthrough.........I realize whats done is done with me and my wife and still can only hope that I can make a recovery between us. However, it seemed only natural that if she did happen to walk out on me the other night I would be back in the seat again playing. Origonally I wanted to quit to save my marrage, and I still very much do. But today.........I want to quit for ME!!! (tear down my cheek again)I'm not quitting because someone else wants me too, I'm quitting for my own well being. Before I met my wife, I was not an addicted gamer like this and I was doing pretty much everything under the sun. I'm not gonna be a prisoner anymore.
5. Without any word from my wife, I remembered to see if anything was taken out of the freezer for diner befor I left work. Their wasnt, so I picked something out and pulled it out.
6. Plan on resuscribing to two magazines I used to read in the past. Allot on my mind, hope I can remember to do so.

Thoughts for the day:
1. Online gaming definatly have to go all together I feel. Wondering if other simpler games are going to be ok like SimCity, or 1st person shooters or what have it. Gaming is accepted in our houshold in general, and I think my wife wouldnt mind seeing me sitting down to play a little Madden Football or something on the PS2 with my son. Hoping I can be ok with that too.
2. In wow, I am the leader of the guild, a nice successful one. I know I will need to return to the game to hand it over to someone else, clean up my characters, get guild bank items over to other people and stuff like that to prepare for account deletion.

I think thats it for today. Its still early yet, I may pop on later and write out the rest of my evening or wait till tomorrow and do this "one day at a time".

My name is Bill by the way and I thank all who have been reading in and responding.

HomebrewNY
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Re: My opinion

Have to add this real quick. On top of my wife's stress over me, we have also just recently found out that our daughter is suffering the first stages of anorexia. Yea.....my poor wife.

I'm trying to find sites similar to this but on anorexia. I always found it helpful for people to read real life experiences by other people that share the same feelings. It just always seems to be such a sigh of relief to find out their are people out there that have the same feelings.

So if anyone has knows of a site, or area I can start looking, please let me know.

Thank you
Bill

PS. Have not turned the game on today nor have I even visited the guild website. Taking my son school shopping after diner.

anonymous (not verified)
Re: My opinion

Hi Bill, nice to read you.
Quote:Before my game addiction I had many different hobbies, I was always doing things with friends and family, I was also into makine my home a better place with home improvement ideas and suggestions, I love to go out to eat, I like to cook, I was a clean freak...bla...bla...bla. I would really like to hear some feedback on this paragraph as this seems to worry me as well. LIke my wife says though, one day at a time. Its gonna be tough to prove that I am not my dad.
You are not your father ... in fact, children often turn out to be quite opposite to their parents. My Mum and Dad were groomed in a very restrictive and disciplined way, so naturally they wanted to give their children liberty. Turned out now we did not have enough discipline

So I would not worry about you turning your dad. There are certain tendencies which we all have and which we DO inherit, but your life is what you make of it.

In a way - my dad is very similar to yours, only that his hobby has always been windsurfing, and now itA's yoga. The fact that the whole family does yoga saves the day, otherwise he would be happily oblivious to us and everything else in the world. He is like that, nothing to be done about it. You do not sound like it ... I definitely am not like my dad

Quote:Thought of the idea of handing my game disks to my wife and kids and let them do what they please with them.
Do so, and give em a big hammer (and some goggles, CDs might break into tiny pieces which take up flight when broken)

Quote:Origonally I wanted to quit to save my marrage, and I still very much do. But today.........I want to quit for ME!!! (tear down my cheek again)I'm not quitting because someone else wants me too, I'm quitting for my own well being. Before I met my wife, I was not an addicted gamer like this and I was doing pretty much everything under the sun. I'm not gonna be a prisoner anymore.
Yes sir, you are very much on the right path indeed Congratulations to this beautiful realization....

Quote:I think my wife wouldnt mind seeing me sitting down to play a little Madden Football or something on the PS2 with my son. Hoping I can be ok with that too.
Sounds ok, but keep the guard up and always double check. Play for the feeling that you do something good to your son first and to you second. As soon as you put you first, stop!

Quote:In wow, I am the leader of the guild, a nice successful one. I know I will need to return to the game to hand it over to someone else, clean up my characters, get guild bank items over to other people and stuff like that to prepare for account deletion.

Do so, but as usual, keep the guard up. Maybe you could arrange to do it together with your wife? Like some kind of funeral ceremony where you do the stuff and explain to her what you are doing ?

As for further blogging: may I suggest the "progress report" subsection of the forum? We could move this thread or you could open a new one.

Wish you and your family the best Bill

Maxim

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What you think, you create. What you say, you produce. What you do, you call forth more of.

HomebrewNY
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Re: My opinion

By all means, if you want to move this thread go right ahead and do so.

Thank you for your advice so far, you are a wealth of information.

*DINGS*
- forgot to mention this one on the the first day. Took my wow wallpaper off the puter desktop. When I get a little time I will put up family photos instead as my daily reminder of what I have.

- Today....removed WoW from my laptop, I will not be able to play now when I go out of town and sitting in the hotel room. I'll be out of town next week for a couple of days. Did it in front of my wife too.

InSomeNiak
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Re: My opinion

Well my time is short and it's getting pretty late. I'm glad to see that you've had this epiphany though. And I soooo hate to be pessimistic; really just realistic, but prepare yourself because I can see how gungho you are now but it will try to creep back up on you. I suggest you turn any future addictive energy into discovering and repairing your underlying causes for escaping into a fantasy world. The games are only the symptom. You could have depression, anxiety, low self-esteem etc. Or lack of social contact can lead to escaping into the internet society etc etc. There could be many reasons that cause you to get lost into a fantasy world. Endeavor to discover these reasons and rectify them - especially if you feel the urge getting too strong.

HomebrewNY
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Re: My opinion

Thank you for that piece of imformation. I realize discovering I have a problem and my family seeing that along with me is like a high right now. I promise to keep a foot planted on the ground here and keep my guard up.

I'm not really sure I fit into that catagory though unless it is something new that came apon me. I never really had anxiety, depression or low self-esteem before. Other then this recent discovery and the embarrassment of actually being hooked in this online gaming world, I like what I see when I look in the mirror.

I'm an individual that needs to be mentally challanged, I like to excercise my brain. I found that out years ago. After highschool I went to college to become a diesel mechanic and it only took a few years to realize I was bored stiff because their was not enough challenge for my mind. When I get bored like that it effects me physically as well. When I am full of challanges, it energizes me. What energizes me is what allot of people would consider stress. It took a handful of years to do it, but eventually got myself into automation which is always giving my brain a good test and been happily doing it for the past 9 years now. So now when things get hot and heavy at work, it may be stressful at the time, but when I get home, I'm energized and I feel fullfilled.

I think games over the years were helpful in this need for mental challange and was a bit of a "pick me up" when things might be a little slow at work or something. If it wasnt a video game, it was a crossword puzzel or something else to challange me. But whatever the case may be, the challange had to be a "mind" challange and hobbies like model building or something more physical didnt quite cut the mustard, I have a need to figure things out. My wife is almost the same way with books, she picks up a book she likes and demolishes it like no other. I was like that with some games, the smaller, not so involved games where I would demolish it the same way. But just like a book, when it was done, it was done, I didnt have this need to run right out and have to get another. On occasion I would pick up a new title and give my brain a workout, just like my wife and her books. One day I saw everquest on the shelf...looked pretty interesting and I had no idea what MMORPG's were and what they were about. What I did not know was everquest was full of "ENDLESS" challanges and I got hooked. At first I thought it was cool........a game that I dont get bored with because all other forms of games I easily become bored with.

So with that all said, in my mind I feel I should fine dropping these games as I always lead a happy normal life before that. No, I'm not a very sociable person, never have been. And sure, sometimes their are times where I just dont care to socialize but I dont see that as a problem. I have plenty of friends and I'm very close to my family as well. When I was young, like highschool days, I may have been a bit uncomfortable with myself, wishing I was one of them center of attention individuals with the loud laughs all the time and would try and force myself to be more outgoing. But as I grew older, I learned that everyone has good points and everyone has bad points. These outgoing people that thought I needed to be like end up having bad points when you get to know them more I learn their bad points and say....holy crap.....thats bad, I'm glad I'm not like that. Eventually I grew some more and got to that point where I said to myself......this is me and I like me.

anonymous (not verified)
Re: My opinion

Quote:this is me and I like me

beauty!

And yes Bill, you sound like someone who got hooked for the challenge of it. Realizing that an MMORPG is an endless (and futile) challenge is an important step.

While they throw more and more "challenges" at you, you pay with your money, your health, your time and your family well-being.

Sounds like you can go on playing other games, but try it out step by step and keep the guard up.

You know, for me, the best part of multiplayer gaming was the good old days of 3-4 people around a monitor battling it out either against each other or against the AI. I would argue that since networking came along, multiplayer got progressively worse, as it lost a lot of basic human interaction, which was still intact in hotseat gaming.

Much easier to get addicted and to overindulge when everyone is sitting in his/her own little booth somewhere.

Will be away till tuesday. Take care

Maxim

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What you think, you create. What you say, you produce. What you do, you call forth more of.

aelwyn1964
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Re: My opinion

Welcome, Bill, and good luck. You're right, there are different kinds of gaming addicts. Just as some people can drink socially and others can't even take a sip without going on a three-day binge, some people can game casually and some can't even play Tetris without playing compulsively for hours. Take it slow. If you're going to play casually, be honest with your wife about what you're doing--and also about your fears that you might start playing compulsively again.

Xandtar
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Re: My opinion

Welcome to OLGA.

It sounds like you have done very well.

How have the last two weeks gone?

Leveling in Real Life

HomebrewNY
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Re: My opinion

Wow.....has it been 2 weeks already?

I have to say, things have been going really great. I can prolly sit and list almost endless positive results. Me and my wife are talking all the time now and family photos had begun to be put back on window sills and such. Me and my son are sharing a fantacy football team which I'm really excited about. I also did my share with the back to school shopping, I got my son done where my wife took care of our daughter. I have about 2 hours of total game time over the past two weeks. (Simple games, no WoW or anything like that) I'm cooking again, more sociable, getting home projects done, connecting with the kids allot better, right on top of the issue with my daugher and supporting my wife with it allot, and the list just goes on.

The prep work is done and my WoW account should be popping up on ebay any day now. With the money I get for the account I will be getting my wife an overnight stay in a very romantic type getaway hotel we have in the area for our anniversary comming up on the 6th.

I thank everyone for all the great information thus so far, I'm a very happy man these days and my family is too.

anonymous (not verified)
Re: My opinion

Quote:The prep work is done and my WoW account should be popping up on ebay any day now. With the money I get for the account I will be getting my wife an overnight stay in a very romantic type getaway hotel we have in the area for our anniversary comming up on the 6th.

Beautiful idea ... have a nice stay there :P

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What you think, you create. What you say, you produce. What you do, you call forth more of.

aelwyn1964
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Re: My opinion

Wonderful story. You are inspirational.

anitke
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Advice

Bill,
When I read your posts I wanted to cry... but I am so happy for you and your wife! I need to ask for your advice. My husband is gaming an everage of 120-140 hours a month (you name it and he has played it... EQ and WOW most recently). We have been married for over 8 years and we have two children together. He has played for as long as I can remember but it has gotten worse and worse. I am not a clingy person, and just like you, we value our own time. I have tried talking to him, begging him, and I am so tired. I can identify with your wife... I love him but I am starting to resent him as well, and I resent myself for putting up with it. He is so in denial, and the other night when I told him that I had joined a group and support net for gaming addicts, he threw a fit. How dare I put a label on him and diagnose him with addiction and that he is not "one of those loosers". He said the other night that it is my fault that we don't do anything together and if I just started playing WOW with him I would see why he enjoys it so much. I realize that what I need to do is to just walk away, but since we are from two different continents it makes it difficult for the children. I would have to go back to Sweden, since that is where all my family lives, and that would make the kids pretty much fatherless. I know he loves them more than anything else in the world, but it is not fair to them. Last night after I brought them home from soccer practice, they saw that he hasn't finished putting together the basket ball hoop he bought a few days ago and they both said with disappointed voices: Daddy never has time for anything, he always just plays his game. I have to say to my husbands defense that he put two pipes together wrong and couldn't get them apart, but it still broke my heart to hear our kids say that about their father.
Please, please help me! I love my husband so much but I can't take it any more...

Anna

Xandtar
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Re: Advice

What does your family think you should do?

Could they help you, if you had to take the children?

Would the court system where you are allow it?

I strongly suggest that, just to cover your bases, you start logging when he is online and not, you have a written log of things he has promised to do and has or hasn't done, etc.

Because if it gets ugly and you want to take your kids to Sweden to save them, you WILL need a paper trail to convince a judge to let you.

So my advice is, try a little longer. He might come around. And if he doesn't, you have a written record of how much you did try, which is for yours and your childrens sake.

Good luck to you.

Leveling in Real Life

anonymous (not verified)
Re: Advice

The first thing I would do is to print out some of the threads that have impressed you on this site and to show them to him .. then to let him think on his own. If he is not too far gone, it will make him think.

If not - well, Xandtar has a good point unfortunately.

There are several ways where people who had visited this site had gotten their husbands / wifes to listen, but there is no fool proof method, and unfortunately in the case of addiction the ordinary understanding of limitless love and devotion does not cover all what it needs to cover.

An addicts needs hard choices to be put in, a wall from one side, a hammer from the other. Then he will start to move - at least from my experience.

For me, I only started to realize how wrong things really were when my girlfriend left me, so maybe you leaving temporary on a "vacation" to sweden is an idea...

------------------
What you think, you create. What you say, you produce. What you do, you call forth more of.

Edited by: calm force at: 9/6/06 16:39

HomebrewNY
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Re: Advice

Anna, its very nice to meet you. I'm going to take the time out to help to the best of my knowledge, but you have to understand that I am so far a success and it was allot of the other expert advice that I heard here that helped. But I can give you allot of insight as to what your husband may have going on inside of his head.

Quote: "He said the other night that it is my fault that we don't do anything together and if I just started playing WOW with him I would see why he enjoys it so much."

(I dont know how to to the cool quote and reply thing here) Dont believe that for a split second. Dont ever think that you are any blame for this what so ever. I had the same thoughts myself, I thought if I can get my wife and kids to play, things would be so much better. That pretty much backfired though, my wife who did enjoy games had begun to dislike ANY games all together because of the one I was involved in. We used to sit as an entire family and have lots of fun playing around with the PS2 together on occasion......not anymore.

Mind if I ask how old you are and how old are the kids?

Its a little hard not knowing all the details about your husband. I consider myself a a bit lucky because I have had so many other hobbies before I got hooked and it was real easy for me fall back into myself again. I'm not sure if your husband was similar in this way or not.

My 2 cents? Like some of the advice from the last couple of posts, do your homework and prepare yourself for the worse as much as I hate to say it.

Maybe we should take one step back first and see if we can figure out "why" your husband plays so much. I've read a handful of different reasons as to why people play these games from depression to handicapped, to social disorders, ect.....the list goes on. Myself? Like I put in one of my posts earlier, I always liked games in general, they were a decent alternative for me to get the excersise my brain needs. Well, maybe not "needs", I compare excersising my brain to that of a body builder. A body builder just cant go without feeding his or her muscles to make them stronger. Do they "need" to? Not really, but mentally they feel they do. I excersise my brain the same way. But what I'm getting at, knowing why he plays may even be the main decision maker for you.

I like the printing letters idea from the site here and giving them to him. Look in the WoW Widows area. (i believe thats what its called) Grab some stories of people who had left their spouses because of gaming.

I tend to be pretty good at (as a friend calls it) "cutting to the bone" and I think it just might be needed here. Hand the letters over to him and just ask him something like......"How would you feel if we went to the lawyer for a divorce and he asks for a reason and I explain video game addiction?" Or how would he explain the reason for divorce to family, friends, coworkers, ext....? I'd personally would be pretty darned embarrassed if the failure to my marraige was the result of gaming as it almost was. Not to mention how embarrassing it is having it to begin with.

That would be kind of a starting point, get the word across that your at least considering it, it'll sink in if he is true to you. Be direct and explain in full detail, men are horrible at the "hinting" game. My wife will admit that as well for she dropped many hints over time that I just didnt get and for the longest time I felt everything was alright around here, she held in her true feelings for a very long time. But after it was all out, I found out just how much she hated it and I honestly have to say that I had no idea.

So there's some food for thought for the time being. Dont be afraid to email me either, I'm here to help.

anitke
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Re: Advice

First of all I would like to say thank you so much to all of you. For the first time in in a long time I feel like I am not alone. I will try to answer all your post in this message.

Xandtar, this has been a dark secret of mine for a very long time. When it all began I felt that it was all my fault and I tried to hide it (never in my wildest dreams did I realize that there were other people in my exact situation). It was only about six weeks ago that I broke down and told my family about our problems. My mom supports me in whatever decision I make, and I know that he door would always be open for the kids and I. As far as the court system goes they would help me I'm sure and there has been other cases similar to mine previously. I have a log of his account, hours played (456 hours in 3 months) etc. Like you said, I need to be prepared if it comes down to it.

Calm force, thank you so much for your advice. I have some posts that really made an impression on me but I am scared to death to hand them over. I leave to go to Spain next week for six days and I was thinking about leaving them on his desk. It can go two ways: either htey make him think or it will make him furious... but then again, what do I have to loose?

HomebrewNY: Thank you so much for your response! When I first read your thread you reminded me so much of my husband. Your personalities are very much alike and that's why I turned to you. Here is some background information:
I am 35 years old, our kids are 5 and 8, and my husband is 36. We are both educated people (my past is in the college education field as both a teacher in computer science and later in upper management), my husband is in the AirForce since 18 years back and he has several degrees. We are currently stationed in Italy where he is in charge of the NATO surgery clinic.
As you can see from my past, my backgroung lies in the computer field and I too spend time on it. I also used to like games in moderation, and I used to play sometimes as well, but I am too the point where I can't stand the word any more.
When my husband and I met, it seemed like we had so many things in common. I have always been an independent, outgoing, social person who cannot resist a challenge. I traveled around the world twice, bungy jumped from the Auckland bridge, went white water rafting, got my SCUBA license etc. My husband, who is a very intelligent man, and just like you Bill, he needs constant brain exercise. He gets bored very easily and always seems to be searching for another mental challenge. He was outgoing, always on the run, kept his house clean, loved to cook, exercise, and had great self-esteem. I felt that we were the "perfect match". Since then, many things have changed.

For many years I thought it was my fault. We had a rocky start with a new-born baby, cultural differences, and I felt trapped in a new country where the INS wouldn't let me work for the first 2 years. He is not an affectionate person and when he saw I was sad and lonely, he resorted to the computer instead. I think that's how it started. Well, things got better little by little but I realized very early that I was on my own. He became more and more introverted, didn't like to be around people anymore, he only enjoyed doing stuff that involved himself (computers, movies, arcades etc.) I made friends, started working for some education companies, had our second child, went back to school for another degree in Human Resource Management, and to summarize it... created a new life since I was excluded from his.

When we got orders to Italy two years ago, things seemed to change. We got a big, mutual circle of friends and for the first time I felt that we were a family. He still played his games, but more occasionally when I was out of the house (taking classes, going grocery shopping etc). Then in April, one of his closest friends here, is also hooked on gaming. His friend (who quit his job) told him to start playing WOW and he created his account on April 13 of this year. Since then, he has been playing every available moment. For his birthday in August I got him SCUBA diving classes since I knew that it was something that he wanted to do (and I was hoping that it would be something we eventually could do together). This weekend he is going to Croatia for his final dives. He also started golfing with the guys on Sundays, started playing soccer, doing the fantasy football league with his friends, and poker nights. Believe me, all these "outdoor" activities makes me so happy because he actually gets away from the computer and I support it with all my heart!! None of these activities involve the kids and I, but it is so much better and healthier than the alternative. Life would be great, if it wasn't for that the few precious minutes that are left he spends playing WOW (sometimes til the early morning). A couple of weeks ago he took 11 days of leave and played 96 hours during this period on top of all his other activities. You do the math...
Last week I told him straight to his face that if he does not decrease his gaming time (and I NEVER said he had to stop all together), that I would take the kids and leave. He got furious because I "threatened" him and soon after went to log on... He has made minor attempts after this though... he is a little more attentive and he doesn't play quite as much when I am at home, instead he sends me on all kinds of "errands" so he can be left alone.
To be perfectly honest, I don't think he wants us out of his life... knowing him he likes to push the limits to see how far he can go. He likes the idea of having a family, and I think he is proud of me, and he would die for the kids, but I am too tired to play that game. I am afraid to take the final step because if I leave, it will be for good. There is too much pain.

Thank you all for being there, showing me perspectives from the "gamers" point-of-view. To me it is important to understand all aspects...

Anna

Xandtar
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Re: Advice

Thank you for writing.

Sometimes progress comes slowly, but steadily. I hope that is what is happening with your husband.

I wish you and your family all the best.

Good luck to you.

Leveling in Real Life

HomebrewNY
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Re: Advice

Gosh Anna, he does indeed sound allot like me, exact same age too. Take the gaming away and I think the only difference between us would be that I am a bit more on the introverted side, but just slightly.

Well, I guess this time around, rather then trying to be a Mr. Fix-it here, I'm going to try and shed a little light on some of the things that may be going through his mind to hopefully help you get a bit of a better idea of his thought process. It sounds to me that he does indeed have plenty going for himself and if we can ever get to that point to where he realizes that he really is indeed an addict, he wont have many voids to fill if he chooses to put the game down.

When I was heavily involved with WoW and didnt suspect any problems, I had the idea that I actually "earned" my right to spend the time to play. I went through all the stepping stones of life pretty much, finished high school, went on to college, did my time in the military, got my career going well, found a wonderful wife and family and became a home owner. I thought I was on top of the world and because I got all that work out of the way, I earned my right to slack off and play games. I'm going to assume that these thoughts have also entered your husbands mind.

These errands you mention you feel he is making up to keep you busy so he can play are not only true in my opinion, but also a huge sign that he has an actual addiction problem. I was not making up errands for my wife, but always had this relieving feeling when she was out and about running around so I can get undisturbed game time and as well as "unnoticed" time.

He most likely is feeling a bit ashamed of himself, maye embarrassed some about being hooked on a game so much. It almost kills your social life because when you are actually out socializing, you have nothing to talk about because all you see, know and do is gaming. You miss out on tv programs, current events, hobbies, ect......so avoiding socializing becomes kind of naural as you purposely dodge the usual questions from friends and family like, "what have you been up to lately?" and "whats new?"

WoW was like the coolest thing in the world because I never got bored of it like all the other games I used to play. I felt the monthly charge was well worth it for the amount of entertainment I got out. How could one go wrong? Heh...just another brilliant idea I had at the time. Although I really havnt gotten into much gaming at all since I quit WoW, them games that get boring quicker are indeed the games of choice from now on.

And finally, for now, I'd like to add this as well. Their is no such thing as playing a game like WoW casually. Do not try and compromise and limit game time or have scheduled game time for something like WoW. For one thing, you will find this happening. Things like family time and alone intimate time with you will actually be like doing chores and getting them out of the way to earn his game time. I tried it and luckely caught on to what was happening with that in only a weeks time. My wife felt it too. You'll find stuff like getting intimate at more unusual times so he can get that out of the way and make it online in time for a prime time raid or something. There is just way too many temptations and long term goals in a game like WoW to play casually and casual play will just result into full time again.

I was also a guild leader too when I played WoW and online friends tried to talk me into dropping the responsibilities of that so I wouldnt feel the need to "have" to be there as much. That is not a good idea either as I remembered before WoW and I was playing EQ. There I was just a face in a guild, nobody special and still played at the same intensity so being a guild leader had nothing to do with it either. Dont let him try to use an excuse about people in the game depending on him.....for it is you and your kids that depend on him the most.

aelwyn1964
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Re: Advice

Anna, we're all hoping for the best for you. Good luck. This is not your fault. You are not alone.

anonymous (not verified)
Re: Advice

Anna, I canA't add really much to all this instead of wishing you good luck.

Do the things that others proposed here, especially Homebrew. He really knows what he is talking about, seeing life from the perspective of your husband.

Your family and husband sound soo much worth fighting for. Wish you and your family to make it out of this crisis.

If you do, it will strengthen your family bonds in unimaginable ways. We have gone through a similar thing as a family.

------------------
What you think, you create. What you say, you produce. What you do, you call forth more of.

anitke
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Thank you!

I can't tell you how much your replies meant to me. The day I found this site I had reached the end of the rope... The past few weeks I got more and more depressed (which is not like me) and I felt like a hamster in pinwheel, just going around and around without seeing an end. This morning I woke up feeling stronger and happier (I'm 6-9 hours ahead of you guys) than I've done in a long time. I realized it was because of the support you have all given me, everyone putting their two cents together.
Last night, I typed up a letter explaining my feelings along with some threads, which I intend to put on my husbands computer desk when I leave for Spain. I am terrified though... terrified of him rejecting it, and terrified of what his reaction will be. I know I sound pathetic, believe me... Sometimes I wonder what happened to the strong and independent woman I used to be!
Bill, how was your anniversary?? Hope you guys enjoyed it!

anitke
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Re: Advice

Bill,

Thank you soooooooo much for your input! The things you said all make so much sense. Even the intimacy part is similar to the one you described! You have to excuse me for being blunt but I need to ask you (or any other ex-gaming guy here) a question (since you're a man): Is a decreased sex-drive part of the gaming addiciton symptoms as well? He says it's age, but I find it hard to believe. I could be wrong though.
I hope your wife, despite her feelings of recentment and anger, understands how lucky she is. You are a bigger man than most! With your determination and insight, you and your wife will make it through!
Best,

Anna

HomebrewNY
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Re: Advice

Our anniversary went very well, thank you for asking Anna. Being in the middle of the week and with the kids starting school the same time, the day itself was a usualy busy day with work and school supplies and all. I arranged a week prior to have flowers sent to her work, thats a fist, she loved it. Then I picked out a card and typed out a nice letter to put in it talking about how thankful I am for getting a second chance and all. In the letter is where I also presented her with that reservation we have (a week from tomorrow) in the jacuzzi suite. (woo-woo!! ) You'll have to "pay" for the details on how that night goes...hehehe.

To answer your question, YES! The game was VERY responsible for a much much lowered sex drive. As sad as it sounds, I was getting in just enough to keep it from going too long in between...well...you know. When I wasnt playing in the past, it was much MUCH more. And now that I am not playing again, its about all I can think about. Well......not literally, but you get my drift. I was also staying up allot later then my wife too, she does normally like to go to bed allot earlier then I do, but she was always sound asleep by the time I went to bed. I may have tried once or twice to point the finger at her and use her falling asleep early as reason for "lack of". Obviously a bad move.

I feel your doing the right thing here with the letter and stories left on his computer before you go away for a while. I'm sure he is currently excited about all the extra alone time he is going to have for playing not having you at home for a while. I say let him have it, you've suffered long enough. Change is always a scarey thing, no doubt about that and I feel for you about the feelings you are having right now. Its the moment of truth, do or die. I realize the differences on each side of the scale here, family or gaming, marraige or divorce, hug or let go. Its scarey, but Like I said in an earlier post, be prepared for the worse. And if the worse does happen, its going to hurt, i know and its going to be extreemly difficult, but after its all said and done, you wont regret it. Try and stay optimistic.

Let me know if you have any other last minute thoughts and dont you dare keep me hanging here....hehe. Try and enjoy your trip, maybe use it as practice and pretend the unfortunate has happend and your out for the first time doing your own thing.

Good luck Anna......my fingers and toes are crossed for you.

aelwyn1964
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Re: Advice

Anna, I'm not an expert, but I would guess almost any addiction tends to decrease the sex drive, because the nature of addiction is that it tends to crowd out all other aspects of your life--sex, work, social life, family, kids. (The exception is a sex addiction, but that obviously causes other problems with relationships.)

When I was gaming I used it to numb myself and to avoid dealing with my wife. It was a way to get away from a relationship (and a sex life) I wasn't happy with.

anitke
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LOL

You are so funny! Maybe after my vacation, I'll have to pay you for the details after all, depending on the outcome of all this! You and your wife could make a fortune... I know those jacuzzi suites are pretty awesome... had one in Orlando a few years ago.
Won't leave until Tuesday, so I might be pestering you again!

Anna

anitke
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Re: Advice

Expert or not, you think you are correct. It fits the pattern. I could understand his behavior if I was fat, ugly, and boring, but that part is the one that has always been good in our mariage. I consider my self in pretty good shape, exercising regularly, and I have the typical "Swedish" look(which sometimes is a curse). Low sex drive is common in women -- I went through it myself a while back-- but for a man???? I feel better knowing that the two of you experienced the same thing though (self esteem upped a notch...lol).

Anna

HomebrewNY
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Re: Advice

The minor problem I'm experiencing now is my sex drive is on the up, but my wife seems to be having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. At least we openly discuss this and she gives me her overall feelings. She says right now that just having me going to bed with her at the same time now, watching some television together and chit-chatting is her intimate fuel at the moment and we still need to take things one day at a time.

HomebrewNY
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Re: Advice

Sooooo...Anna, whats new and exciting? Any more progress to report? Any new feelings you care to share?

anitke
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No progress

Hi again,

Back from Spain and had a good time! I spent some time with some of my oldest friends from Sweden and I used the time to get some perspective on my life.
Had a confrontation again... He claims that he has looked into gaming addiction and that he does not fit the pattern. He hasn't lost his job, he is not dirty etc. The fact that he is about to lose his family is not his fault -- it's my fault. He is bored with me because I never want to do anything with him (play WoW) and as always it comes back to me. I also told him that the kids are making comments about his gaming, but it doesn't seem like he cares. He says that he wants to do stuff with us, but I have to make the suggestions. I guess I have to consider myself defeated, huh?

Anna

Xandtar
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Re: No progress

That depends on your point of view.

If your battle was to win him back from the game with logic and discussion, yeah maybe.

But if your battle was to save yourself and your kids from the consequences of his middle stage of addiction, its still going.

If he is still in denial because though he's hooked he still has a semblence of normal life around him, then it sounds like it is time to remove that from him. If all pretense at keeping his life normal ends, then perhaps he will realize how much he's about to lose.

But don't count on it, I'm sorry. To me it sounds like he's going to have to hit bottom before he starts recovery, that's how I was...

I hope I'm wrong about this.

Good luck to you.

Leveling in Real Life

anonymous (not verified)
Re: No progress

I agree with Xandtar, go about your life and choose the best thing for you and your children for today.

With addicts ... tomorrow will be another day every day and like us addicts, those involved need to take it one day at a time.

So one day at a time think what is best for YOU and your kids...

Wish you luck

------------------
What you think, you create. What you say, you produce. What you do, you call forth more of.

anitke
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Thanks!

Xandtar and Calm force, thank you so much for your support! I've been wondering about what happened to you guys and you ended up here... Would you mind sharing your stories?

HomeBrew (Bill),what happened?? I haven't seen you here in a while and was just wondering if everything is OK?

Anna

HomebrewNY
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Re: Thanks!

All fine and dandy on my end. Still working on the relationship, but the wife and myself are with one another 100% here. Cant really say I have any rough spots with gaming or anything, I did what I had to do and got my life back. I have tested playing some other type games that are less involved and have that wonderful option to "save" and just walk away. The guard is up, but glad to say I can enjoy it in a very casual fasion of 1-3 hours a week maybe, if that even. Being a father and husband seems to naturally take up most of my time, and home projects tend to take up most of the rest.

Thank you for asking.......still a success over here.

anitke
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Re: Thanks!

(This message was left blank)

Edited by: anitke at: 10/1/06 13:53

Xandtar
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Re: Thanks!

Xandtar and Calm force, thank you so much for your support! I've been wondering about what happened to you guys and you ended up here... Would you mind sharing your stories?

Maybe in the member's section.

Edited by: Xandtar at: 10/2/06 10:12

Leveling in Real Life

brouwgw
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Just a shout out.

Hey guys I have a lot of things in common with the people who have posted here.

I'm 32 years old with a Wife and 4 kids and I've been neglecting them for a long time.

I'm 1 month sober from WoW.

Wife was ready to leave me, is still planning on it but we live together and i'm attempting to Wooooo her with my changes. Taking each day at a time, and hopefully it will rekindle our love we had for each other. No one to blame but myself.

Thank you for your stories and support; Feels great to not be alone.

- Greg

HomebrewNY
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Re: Just a shout out.

Welcome aboard Greg...and Grazt on the big step. I'm still here and still WoW free myself.

I can totally relate to your shoes at this moment in time for you. I fortunately seem to be winning the love back from my wife little by little here. Like you say......one day at a time.

I'd say the best thing for you to do right now is just be yourself the best you can. I realize you feel like you owe the world to your wife and kids, but try not to go overboard.

Please keep us posted on your progress and I'm here if you have any questions.

Bill

brouwgw
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sigh

Thank you Bill.

It is truely great to be here and not be alone in my dealings.

Seems like Gamers need a support group like AA, i'm sure we could accomplish so much more than just using forums.

No doubt I would have gone months before, I decided to give up WoW.

It might have saved my marriage (not divorced yet) still trying.

SnowWhite
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Re: sigh

keep trying, there's a ray of hope. my prayers go out to you!

"This is the end...." The Doors

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