I admit it...I've been an advice column junkie since childhood. Imagine my surprise when the heading of the Ask Amy (Amy Dickinson) column this morning was, "
Online gaming no fun for addict's family
". I'm posting the question and the advice.
Dear Amy: My wife is addicted to playing World of Warcraft. She plays it from the time she wakes up in the morning until she goes to bed at 2 or 3 in the morning for days on end, to the exclusion of practically anything else. She met a friend online and had an affair with him. They talk online every day.
She is totally unapologetic about playing 12 to 15 hours a day, and doesn't believe she is neglecting her family. I am feeling sad and neglected as I pick up the slack around the house and try to explain things to our kids. My wife's attitude is that we can accept this or take a hike.
The ironic thing is that she is an expert in the field of addiction.
I love this woman dearly. We have been married for almost 20 years, but the past six months have been hell. Forget counseling. Anyone married to a top player knows you can't even talk to players while they are playing. They don't respond.
I am desperately trying to save my marriage but am at at loss as to what to do.
Walking on Eggshells
Dear Walking: As with any addiction, this takes a tremendous toll on the family, and if your wife refuses treatment, you should focus your energy on how to help yourself and your children.
Your wife might refuse counseling, but you should definitely see a counselor. You should also seek personal support from friends and families of other addicts.
Ironically, there are many online sources of support for online gaming addiction. One you would find useful is Online Gamers Anonymous (olganon.org), which uses a 12-step recovery model and offers support for addicted gamers and those worried about them.