While I write this I feel uneasy... I'm frightened he will find out. My husband often tells me I "play the victim so well", when I discuss my feelings on this subject. My husband is addicted to IMVU. At first I doubted it but five years into our marriage it's obvious now. It's the place where we initially connected as teenagers before traveling thousands of miles to meet in real life. We have been married for 5 years now. We are from seperate countries and have lived together due to him being a sailor stationed overseas where I can accompany him as a dependant, but for now we are physically seperated due to our different nationalities. I know without a doubt that if it wasn't for my husband's addiction we would be beyond immigration visas and possibly even I would have recieved my US citizenship. Our relationship would have progressed much farther by now in many aspects, from trusting to actual shared experiences.
IMVU is a 3d messenger website with great complexity. There is an entire market of virtual goods, a currency that can be converted from and into real money, people can get married in such a way that their spouse is listed in their profiles and chatrooms are shared. Many people sell their commissioned artwork there because homepage and display picture customization is popular, some people sell or trade collecatble pixelated badges. Some people run churches through the client, some people get "adopted" and have little pretend families. A large portion of the community roleplays, and the roleplays can range from furry orgies to tv show spinoffs, to serious and beautiful elaborately worded stories about kingdoms that ought to be turned into novels and sold. I have known many people who met their significant other on IMVU, but usually they are able to seperate themselves from that online community after a year or so.
Ever since I was first made aware of my husband's existance... through dating, through engagment and our marriage... I've always combatted IMVU for his attention. Away from the internet my husband is an energetic, playful, silly man by nature who has a heart for animals and strong family values. He is a virtuoso- he can quickly learn any instrument and his taste doesn't fall within a specific genre but it always elicits an emotional response and chills when I hear it. He carries himself with a confidence that intimidates people often, but at his core he is a compassionate leader who could sheppherd even the most hopeless people toward success. He's cunning, charming, handy. He is a little bit of a procrastinator but most men are. He can beat most people's ass at any game on xbox but on the rare occasion that he does lose he can be a massive poor sport. He can make anyone laugh and children just adore him. People fall over themselves to impress him and earn his respect. He has moved very quickly up his occupational ladder and in my opinion has the experience, training, charisma, and drive of someone 40 years his senior. He is an amazing man who could go far.
On IMVU, my husband presents himself as an obscure individual which draws people in like moths to a flame. He is prideful and vain online, and he treats people as disposable if they don't mindlessly adore him. He talks about addiction and drugs and incoorperates aspects of those into his original character (OC) Tar. His profile, chatrooms, OC are like something out of a bad 50 Shades of Grey universe where elves and vampires and demons exist. Darkness, perversions, kinks, desires, secrets, lust are all repeated themes. I don't judge him too harshly for that because at one point I was into that myself. He uses IMVU to begin a storybook style roleplay where he inserts his OC into a situation with other people's OCs interact with his. Some of these people admire him because he has a costly premium avatar name, or a cool looking DP/Layout, and some admire him because of the quality and thoughtfulness of his writing. Those are people he enjoys surrounding himself with for flattery and will exert the most effort to maintain the relationship.
Then there are people who struggle to seperate IMVU from real life and initiate a romantic relationship with him. There will be up to 6 ongoing relationships at a time. They start off with OCs flirting, they may even get imvu married and ultimately end up with them having a lingering emotional attachment which my husband doesn't discourage or dismiss. In fact, he will text them in real life, skype with them, email them, add them on facebook. Most recently he has begun adding them on Discord where he will lead them on. He manages to find the girls with the lowest imaginable self-consence and sends/recieves photos or video, tells them he loves them, will lie to them about his occupation or disguise obvious aspects of his life that he would not want these girls to discover- such as the fact that he's married or that he's not really a high-stamina rescue swimmer but an emergency services dispatcher. Once he realizes the girls or myself are on to him he will cut them off without explenation and block them. Then when the coast is clear he will ghost them almost to an obsessive, stalkery degree before ultimately contacting them again and resuming where they left off.
My husband will spend way too much money on IMVU. He sends virtual gifts to show off, he pays for someone to design his layouts, he commissions portraits of his OC, he buys virtual goods for himself. It costs money to create a badge and they aren't cheap, even when on sale but he purchases the ability to have them AND buys badge designs (although I believe a few are ripped-off pixel images from other places and recolored). He recently lost his job and was using some of the money he was supposed to survive on with our pets on an updated layout and dp for both Tar and his alt. He has a renewing VIP membership most of the time, he paid for AP which gives him access to adult content, he has used his IDs to verify his account and get the little badge on his profile. The main account in of itself now without subscriptions or anything new is likely worth thousdands.
When my husband isn't on IMVU he still obsesses on it. He goes on pinterest and saves ideas for his character. He checks the multiple applications for the interactions tied to IMVU. He leaves IMVU running day and night using a tablet that he assured me would not be used for IMVU so his avatar can be parked in a chatroom to catch the attention of more people. He uses some third party website to check avatar cards for changes while he is away.
The use of IMVU since we got married has been considered breaking the terms of trust in our relationship due to girls messaging me and tormenting me with details of why my husband was "their man", and how in their opinion it is I who should step aside and let them continue their relationship. There are people my husband is not romantically involved with on IMVU who ridicule me for staying with him and accuse me of being too controlling. They will find me on social platforms that to my knowledge have nothing to do with IMVU to harass me about my husband and about personal tradgedies I've suffered such as pregnancy loss and abuse at the hands of my dad. I have seen for myself that he sent girls videos of my husband and I being intimate to encourage them to be intimate with him, too. I have seen for myself that he has offered to fly to girls to meet them, or offered to pay for their tickets to visit them. In the past he has sent people associated with the site hundreds of dollars at a time on paypal while I'd been begging him to save money for immigration and visa stuff. My husband has sent images of my own artwork to IMVU users claiming it as his own, he has told people not to pay any attention to me, that I'm crazy, that I'm just an obsessed ex.
The day before my husband and I got married I was looking at his phone and saw that a girl named brittany had emailed him. I asked her who she was and it turned out she was from IMVU. I confronted my husband and ultimately proceeded to get married even though his use of IMVU was like a hot sword to the chest throughout the whole cerimony. I returned to my country shortly after to begin visa paperwork and he resumed his activities on IMVU again.
Overseas when we would finally live together I thought that being in amazingly gorgeous Sicily would mean he would stay away from IMVU. We loved it there, he had a good job and the place we lived in was like heaven. We got pregnant there and when I went in to the doctor's for the 6 week ultrasound I returned home that day to discover that my husband was using IMVU again. The betrayal and the fact that with so much positive, wonderful oppertunities surrounding him he was still a slave to the IMVU community really shocked me. I expressed how I felt about it given the situation we were in and the choices we had to make, and he was underwelmed, He gave no indicaton that he would stop even though he acknowledged that it hurt me. I made the painful decision and had a medicinal abortion at week 13. The placenta was stuck in my cervix and I had to go to the emergency room to stop the bleeding and remove it, My husband was present and involved through the whole ordeal... But he didn't seem remorseful. He never acknowledged that we didn't have our baby because he refused to be my husband and stop betraying me.
We later left italy because he was discharged from the navy due to knee injury that had worsened due to negligence and not taking care of himself. I am sure IMVU played a major role in this again. On our last date in Italy to the opera house he was very withdrawn and cold toward me but kind to the other people who went with us. We returned home and I invited him to come up to bed with me while we were all dressed up but my husband said he was going to stay up and play xbox. The next morning when I went to retrieve photos of ur night together for facebook I found an open communication to a girl from IMVU. After our date when he sent me to bed alone he sent her photos from our date without me in them, and then a video of himself masturbating into our laundryroom sink which I guess all happened while I slept.
When we left Italy and everything seemed alright for a time while we lived in the US, we became pregnant again. This time, without me knowing. I returned to Canada to do immigration visa stuff and found out that my husband was on IMVU again. After this, I exhibited symptoms of pregnancy and when I saw the positive test I cried. I cried the worst kind of cry, the kind that feels like your heart will be ripped from your chest but the wailing doesn't stop. I was now alone in Canada and pregnant while my husband who could have settled the green card stuff by now was in the US focused on IMVU. I thought about not telling him and simply exiting his life with the baby but realized how that child would grow up with that disappointment of not having a dad. The alternative was no better, I could make it work with my husband but our child would witness his IMVU obsession and the repeated breach of trust in our relationship. Later on, I would look at his google activity and see that he was talking to girls on IMVU at the exact same time I was in surgery to terminate our second pregancy, and he knew about it.
My husband, at his best makes me feel like the most gorgeous woman in the world and encourages me to do anything I would otherwise shy away from in life if not for his support. He is gentle and affectionate. However, he is the most disgusting version of himself online, and at his worst in real life he says things like, "you sound crazy right now", "it's just a game", "are you seriously giving me sh** about this right now?" "I don't know why it said I was logged in, I don't even have the password". He becomes upset at ME for noticing his behaviors which are inappropriate in the relationship and are interfereing with his sleep, work preformance, real life maintainance of friendhsips, and adding to his severe anxiety.
Last year, I brought up my suspicions of this destructive behavior and he dismissed them saying that I was crazy. Then when I found real evidence of him having fallen back into the self-destructive pattern that also wounds me, I brought it up and he immediately requested divorce. I have never been so emotionally traumatized and after failed attempts at reasoning with him we negotiated soft terms of the divorce. I was waiting for it to be finalized even though I did NOT want a divorce and made it very clear that it was all him. I was on antidepressants and unable to function normally at work or care for myself adequately, but he wasn't even aware or caring. Within the week he approached me telling me he'd watched the Greatest Showman and it made him realize what a mistake he was making. He cried with me and begged for me back. I happily accepted and we decided IMVU was not to be used anymore or any third party services to keep in contact with IMVU users.
This month, I found out he was using IMVU again. He was between jobs and still buying the display photos and commissioned layouts for Tar and Inque. I brought it up to him, he said he just signed on to update the pictures and that the discord was just for Pokemon Go chats. I asked him for the passwords to deactivate the accounts. He gave them to me after a lot of protest, and while I was signing into the IMVU I saw all the messages he had being deleted in real time before my own eyes. I went onto Discord since he would delete those last and saw the difinitive proof of what was going on again. I paused to cry and collect myself, and then looked back up at the screen to watch him delete everything from discord remotely as well. When I spoke to him about it, he did seem earnestly contrite this time and gave me full ownership of both IMVU accounts. This time, there was something given to me as a gesture that I could have a sense of security from. Now I have all the accounts that have made me feel like I was least important. Now I had the IMVU stuff that distroyed my confidence and derailed my life. Despite repeated panic attacks and the constant need to pop ativans to stop obsessing I finally felt comforted and assured that the most painful part of my life is over. After a while I was so assured I was sure it was the end and didn't have attacks.
But today I saw that my husband used the IMVU avatar card checker sometime through the afternoon. I fell apart again. I don't know what to do about it all. I don't want to distroy the accounts that mean so much to him but they only cause harm- to himself, the girls, to me. Why did he have to check? I'm scared to bring it up, lest he says we need a divorce. Why, after IMVU has caused so much stress and pain, does he still think about it? Why does he do it even though it hurts me? How much is he willing to give up for IMVU in his life? I feel disposable, like my role in his life is conditional. He gets mad at ME about these things. I am the one who gets shoved aside. I can't bring it up. I'm gutted. Why can't he just let it go? Why can't he let us be happy and have a family? Why do I have to lose so much of my life and husband to it? Does he not love me or himself enough? Should I just go away? His mom and himself tell me I'm the best thing to ever happen to him, and I don't want to live life unless he's a part of it. I feel scared and hurt every second. I can't sleep thinking about it.
How can I get him to release IMVU? How can he lose interest when it's ever changing and growing? How can I combat the allure of a virtual world ike that?