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Joeyk

My husbands gaming is really taking a toll.

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It’s been going on for years and he won’t change but now I’m really getting fed up and I don’t know what to do.  He is constantly on his phone and/or laptop.  Asking him to do the simplest things like hand me something is a burden because he is always playing.  I ask for help with the dogs and it’s always “in a minute”. “I’m in the middle of something”. We have a puppy that he insisted we should get for our other dog and he sits on his game while I’m taking it out and/or cleaning up poop and pee in the house.  He gets mad at me if I am frustrated that he can’t tend to anything other than his games. (And his beer). Sometimes I just have to leave the room and put on head phones so I don’t have to be around him or hear anything but that’s hard for me because then the puppy is running around playing and I might miss him peeing somewhere in the house or getting into something.  He doesn’t want to put him in a crate (and he whines and barks nonstop if he is)but yet is to into his game to pay any attention.  I’m just so miserable.  Now he is starting to talk to people online again when he plays.  He used to do that with Warcraft and other games and now it’s a new game on his phone he is on all the time.  Sometimes he is playing several different games.

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Hi Joeyk

This sounds pretty difficult. The following will likely be a challenge to you especially after all you've put up with, but I think it could help.

It's going to be hard for him to take your feelings into consideration if you respond to him with frustration. It might be worth your while to take him out to dinner and talk to him with an expressed interest in his gaming. What games are you playing? What do you like about it? What are your friends names and what are they like? etc. etc. At the very least, pretend to care long enough for him to talk to you openly about it. Around the time of dessert would be a good time to mention that you've been feeling lonely and overworked. 

Tell him about some of the problems you're dealing with with the new dog and how taking care of it on your own is a big burden in your day. It would be a lot better if you had the help your needed. Be very careful to avoid putting blame on him or stating problems with "you" statements. Since the addiction seems serious, it's very likely to be met with defense that way. That will make any chances of successful persuasion or negotiation very slim. His gaming experience likely does not feel like a "problem" to him, so be careful not to address it as such or he will stop listening.

You might want to consider negotiating a gaming schedule where a specified range of hours is allotted in the day for no games, or scheduling a couple days a week for "us time" where you do something together without games, or maybe a short chore list that is fair. As someone who is battling a sort of addiction myself, it took me a long time to realize that I was using gaming as a space filler for any moments of free time. The more i played, the less priority I put on other things which gave me larger blocks of free time to game for longer. It's better to keep the focus of the conversation from getting into "less gaming" and rather "more doing something else" where something else is helpful to you or your relationship with him.

Expect to be patient for a long time, and count your blessings. Take note of when he plays for 6 hours a day instead of 10 or 12. It's going to be a hard battle. Addiction is pretty serious and you'll likely have the best luck rewarding progress versus punishing stagnation.

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This is exactly what I don’t want to become...and what I was as a teen. Good luck and thank you for being an understanding lover. Also recognize you deserve attention and support. Both are important to pay attention to, one is love and selflessness, the other is selfish and setting boundaries. How long can you sustain life like this with your husband without any improvement? And does he acknowledge he has an addiction?

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