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Partner game addiction


Alex M
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Hello,

I am coming here to ask for advice. My partner (over 30 yo) has mental health problems and after lock down he developed an extreme case of game addiction (extreme in my experience). For the last 2 years, he plays games day and night, every day including weekends. The only other regular activity he does is cooking dinner, but even that he often leaves to do very late at night (after 9 pm). Sometimes we watch videos in the evening, and sometimes we go for walks in the weekends, he helps me with shopping once a week. He does not have regular work and believes he cannot work regularly. He has self diagnosed himself with a mental health condition and says he cannot work because of that, but he works occasionally for a food delivery app. He barely helps me with house upkeep. I keep asking him to help and he casually says he will but in the end if he does something, it is very superficial. Most days/weeks/months he does nothing regarding the house, which drives me crazy as I am massively overworked and he doesn't seem to mind watching me squirm with house and work duties. What is the best approach in dealing with someone in this condition? I sent him the link to this site and his responsive was confrontational, even aggressive. He seems my complaints as a personal attack and little changes. Anyone has any advice? 

Thank you,

 

Alex

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I want to come at this from a place of sensitivity as it sounds like a very difficult position to be in, but I will be honest and give you my opinion on things. 

You two need an honest conversation about his habits and how they impact you. Without knowing anything about either of you and your lifestyles, I think there's probably a lot going unsaid between the two of you. 

First let's clear something up. He can't self diagnose himself with a mental health condition. If it's that serious that he believes he has a pathological condition then he needs to see some professionals and get it diagnosed so they can offer support. Treating these conditions isn't easy and takes time. 

Obviously he can say whatever he wants about his own mental health, but it sounds to me like he's making excuses for his behavior and lack of commitment to your relationship by finding a 'diagnosis'.

Ultimately what are his priorities? Are they spending time with you? Working to support himself and share in life's experiences with you? Contribute to a loving and decent place to live? Or just entertaining himself endlessly and being mothered? 

How do you feel about your relationship with him? Do you feel like there's actually one there or that he's just hanging around expecting you to look after him? 

Also how is this making you feel about yourself? Standing up for yourself and being on your own side is important when dealing with things like this. 

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Thank you for the feedback. There is indeed a lot of things going on here, but the practical effects from his computer gaming habit is what makes this so hard to deal with. He probably spends over 9-10 hours per day playing games, every day, for the past two years. How can one engage with someone with this type of habit? Is it possible for someone with such an extreme addiction to control this? I don't think he wants to control his habit.

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If you don't mind me being so blunt. You may not be able to engage with him. It sounds like you've tried. 

This is difficult because I don't want to assume too much or criticise your relationship. Nor do I want to tell you what to do.

If I were in a similar position, I'd be laying down the boundaries in the relationship and being honest about expectations. If you want him to cut back (or cut it out) so that he helps more around the house, or takes work more seriously, then you need to be clear and open about it. 

I'm worried about your comment about him being confrontational and aggressive when you brought this up. You seem to be looking for answers for how to reach him given you now expect him to react like that. He obviously needs help but maybe he isn't ready. 

He has to want to change. No amount of intervention can help if the person in question doesn't see a problem. If you're scared of him reacting aggressively then you might need to consider protecting yourself or putting your needs first. 

I say this as someone who was in a relationship with someone who was aggressive and even violent when confronted about relationship stuff. I had to put myself first and get out, even though at the time I felt that I loved her. She just couldn't help herself and I couldn't fix her. 

Edited by Talby
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These might not be the best solutions but they might work:

First you should get him to see a doctor and specify exactly what mental condition he has. Although, after reading your enquiry I do think what he is referring to is game addiction. When you're addicted to a game there is a tiny voice in your head telling you to go back to gaming, and it's hard to ignore.

Second depends on his mental condition , if it is a game addiction, you should start doing small things to sway him from gaming, like not making food for him, not cleaning the area he's playing his games in because then he can't ignore his other psychological needs. This might cause an argument but that's what is needed, make him hear u out in that argument and instead make it into a conversation.  

A distraction? Probably go on a holiday?

Disclaimer I am not a professional these are just things I'd consider doing.

 

Edited by Bow
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  • 3 months later...

OP is long gone by now, so my reply is for anyone else who may be in a similar situation.

You can only fix you.

Tenants have rights. Even if they are lazy or don't contribute to society. Not happy? Start the dialog. If they won't cooperate, plan your exit. Process the evection or start the divorce proceedings. You'll have your own place. They'll have their own place. 

Then keep inviting them to events, but you have to understand, it's entirely up to them to accept your invite. Simple as that.

 

Edited by Sysop
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