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Message Board > Families / Partners of Addicts > My Husband Is Addicted To Video Games

Posted by: electra April 20, 2005, 1:54 PM
My husband has been playing War Craft (online version) every day now since at least late summer, but his video game addiction has been continuous for the last 7 years now. He has a job where his boss isn't stringent on what time he comes in to work (he's a developer). So he comes home from work, eats dinner with me, watches a little TV, then plays War Craft for the rest of the night. He usually stays up until 3 - 4 am. When he finally comes to bed, he usually wakes me up and I can't get back to sleep. During Christmas, we traveled out of state to visit my family. He actually bought another copy of the game to play on my father's computer! I feel that he has an addiction to video games. It is affecting our relationship as he won't really go anywhere or do anything with me anymore accept going out to dinner or to a movie. Anything else he's not interested in. He is not affectionate to me anymore, only to our dog. He says that he plays this game because he escapes reality. I know there is something deeper there with that response. When I try to talk with him more about this, he usually blames me and says that I'm not nice to him, I'm moody, and I won't have sex with him. I'm not happy with him and I know it shows. I'm not attracted to him when he is like this. We own a business together, and his video game playing is affecting our business (he forgets to call clients back, is lazy about getting work done, etc). I get so angry with him about this behavior as he doesn't even work 40 hours a week at his job! So it's not like he's overworked. He's just forgetful and lazy. We just got married in Feb and I'm beginning to think that it was a big mistake. We've been together for almost 8 years now. What do I do? I've tried to get him to go to couples counseling, but he won't go. Any advice would be appreciated.

Posted by: KYRA April 27, 2005, 10:29 AM
Thats a hard one. U doing something is much easier than to fix yourself. Come out in corset that should get his attention.

Talk to him about his time away from u. Tell him it would be nice to go to bed together, that u miss him n bed.

I will try to come up with something that will help. Give me time to work on this.

Love ya, and God Bless.

Tina (Screen name Kyra)

Posted by: nameless name June 2, 2005, 7:39 AM
Good luck w/ getting him off World of Warcraft (WOW). The purest form of heroin, ahem, video game out today. Many people don't know this, but regular MMORPG (massive multi-online role playing game) junkies know that these games are as addictive as any drug out there. People can't stop playing, even if they want to. DO NOT ever play one of these games (I'd advise to stay away from video games in general, b/c you never know which ones you become addicted to). I know people who have lost jobs, friends, girlfriends to these games. I know people who thought they were harmless, so they decided to try it out even though they don't like video games. They became addicts. I don't know a single person who can play WOW casually.

These videos games produced today have some incredibly well thought out and planned addictive properties. I mean they charge a monthly subscription, so there's a strong financial motive for the game developers to keep people playing. They have random rewarding patterns in the game (which is like gambling). So it's like the psych experiment where the mouse pushes the button and some food drops. Eventually, the food drops randomly when the button is pressed, so the mouse keeps pressing the button. Player kills mob (monster), gets reward randomly, so he continues with it. People also develop a sense of companionship. I mean when your character is dying, your mind thinks it's for real (I mean your heart is definitely racing). So when you have others who you rely on to keep your character alive, you feel that you've developed a strong bond. I'd imagine it's somewhat like being war buddies. There are many other addictive properties (Illusion of success, fame, loyal friendships) that I won't expand upon now.

I'd highly suggest if you really want to try to help him that you take this seriously and find someone that can help who knows about this. I don't know how to get anyone off one of these games.

Maybe show him a tape of himself playing hour after hour, I don't know. Invite people over every night (who won't play it), so he can't just play. Take a cruise with no video games that will be out at sea for 3 months (I remember hearing someone say they got off cigarettes this way, but he wanted to quit), and explain to him how bad it is for him. Do not take my suggestions seriously, do research and seek professional help. I'm just saying it's drastically bad, so take it seriously.

Posted by: Sean August 29, 2005, 1:08 PM
Hi, i just read your post. I didnt look at the dates so im not sure if its old or not. I came across this site looking for help for myself. I am in a sense your husband. I got married 2 years ago and started playing Star wars online. That lead to my new craze City of heros. My wife has the same complaints as you. I work a 40 hour week so I cant stay up till 3 like he does but if I could I would. I cant tell you how to make him quite I cant even do that myself :( I can tell you how he feels. Maybe with this knowledge you can come up with something.
I read the other replys to you post and they pretty much tell you what a big problem this is.I think you already know this, so im not going to go their. If your like my wife you trie to tell me to stop. I have many thought as to why I play this game and im not sure Which is more true , but i suspect its a combination of them all. You husband may tell you some of these for reasons to play.
1. In real life im quite shy and have low self esteem. When I play the game I am a Hero. I have people looking to me for instruction. When I talk to a person thru the game I dont have the hesition like in RL.
2. It helps me relax- belive it or not it does do this. Why? because I have control in the game. If it were so hard that I constantly died it would be now fun. And even dying isnt that bad of a set back. With no real danger I can play in dangrous situation and when I succed its a feeling of victory.
What my wife has tried is to constantly bring up how much she hates that "dam game" as she calls it. I get the eye rolls and Increased Gravity as I call it(loud closing of doors and stomping feet etc.) Shes mad because she want me to spend time with her, what actions do tho have made it worse. I find myself asking do i really want to go spend time with someone who is already mad at me? She means well but that dosent help. The fact is I do enjoy playing the game. You arent going to get you husband to agree to stop playing so I wouldnt ask. All it would do is make resentment to you. You can however get him to agree to spend less time on it. Most of us know that we spend to much time on the computer. I know i do and deep down i would like play less but you will never here me tell my wife that. What we her is the old stand off. If he admites he has a problem he is affraid he would have to give up the game entirly.
Try taking more of a intrest in it. I actually bought a second cpy of the game to let my wife play(which she wont). I am not sure about the game your husband plays but in both the two i have played team work is a must. What will this do? It makes you part of the team(hence not the ENEMY). I would be more lily to listen to someone if I dont feel they understand my situation. By playing you are learning the situation. You may not enjoy it but think of it as family bonding time. Im not saying be a junkiey yourself and stay up all the hous of the night but rather maybe a hour everyother night or so. If you decide to do this please dont make any remarks like" This is silly" or such. Rember this is serious to you husband and dont insult him buy telling him what he likes to do is silly. Once you have entered his world , invite him to yours. If you have always wanted to learn judo or dance try doing that together. Its easy to say but rember marriage is 50/50. You dont feel like he is giving his 50 so it makes you upset. He very well maynot be but also part of your 50 is trying to find intrest in thing he likes, as he should be for you. I will give you credit tho my wife couldnt tell you the name of the game I play. As you play together and you understand this vitural world of his, show him by example how to keep it undercontrol. Make a schedule. If I knew that we were going to play 3 time a week for 2 hours each It would be easyer for me to accept that goal. I have thought abought getting a alarm clock . Once I start I cant tell how long i have been on. Hours turn to min.
You mentiond that the only places you go are to the movies and dinner. Thats nice and a good place to start. I cant get my wife to go anywhere. All she wants to do is stay home and watch tv. Rember TV isnt any better family time than gaming maybe worse. Atleast in the game you are interacting with eachother. I would suggest other activitys.
I am sorry that my spelling is so bad and that I jump from point to point. I just had to reply because I can relate so well with the situation. I hope you both can work it out. Rember he married you because he saw something in you that he loved. Thats still their! My wife thinks tells me I am chosing it over her. She may have a point but that really dosent help any. Its a addiction I if I could just stop it that easy it wouldnt be a addiction. This appproach is not like becomeing a acholic to help a drunk but, drinking responsible to show them how to do it. Good luck

Posted by: brit August 30, 2005, 11:06 AM
Sean, that was a very honest response.
Thanks for spelling it out to those of us who don't know.
Take care.

Posted by: Nestor June 20, 2011, 11:28 PM
i hope this isn't too late. i am wondering what happened to your predicament and to your husband, is he ok now? i wrote coz i'm in the same situation at the moment. i'm an addict to MMORPG, Aika OnLine to be exact. Been playin it for over a year and it took a toll in my life. Everything has turned to worst and i'm at the brink of loosing everything, wife, job, money everything. can i ask you what you or your husband did to recover from it? Please help me, i'm really depressed at the moment. BTW i'm an asian and sorry if i misspelled lotsa words here. Thanks and Godspeed!

Posted by: Heather August 19, 2011, 12:13 AM

I sympathize with your situation. My husband also tells me that he will play less video games. It has been a constant source of tension and argument for 2 years.

I started seeing a therapist and talk to her about this problem. I suggest you talk to a therapist too, even and *especially* if your husband will not go to therapy with you. Your therapist will give you ideas and insight into his behavior, your behavior, your feelings etc.. I find it very helpful as my therapist helped me understand why I feel the way I do.

If something, like therapy is very important to you, and you are important to your husband, he should take your wants into consideration.

Go, go, go--to therapy--without your husband if necessary

Best of Luck! :)

Posted by: Fin December 20, 2011, 11:20 PM

I realise this is an old post that has been recently bumped, but thought Id add to it as it pops up on page one of google and is likely being read by others with this problem. Firstly I sympathize with anyone who has this problem, but to anyone who thinks its not an addiction you are kidding yourself and you are sometimes going as far as making the problem worse.

I am speaking as somebody who played WOW from age 20-23yrs excessively (and I do mean excessively), and has since been 'clean' for the last 3.

Regarding WOW and its addictive nature in particular, many of you wont understand as you have not played it. Let me enlighten you...

---Firstly, why do they play?---

The reasons for playing WOW are many, but most people start due to boredom or progress to it after playing a weaker MMORPG. People with poor social lives will naturally spend more time playing. Many gamers I know, including myself, play as a form of escape. You can only handle so much rejection in life, and its easy to sit on your pedestal looking down on WOW addicts as if they could stop any time they like, but you need to understand that some people arent naturally atheletic/beautiful/loved/successful/charismatic ect. Some people are rejected so frequently and have had so little success with friend/relationships that rejection beats them down to the point they cant cope.

Think back to High School, its all there...The world is giant school in which jocks and cheerleaders thrive. Anybody knows that the nerdy kids -- those that arent pretty/athletic -- have a natural disadvantage that can make life hell for them what with ridicule and bullying. The can become a social outcast. Personally I was somewhere in the middle, I was bullied a bit, I was always quite weak and still find it hard to put on muscle despite working out 3-4 days a week. I would put on a brave face and go out, make friends and do the whole social thing, but most of it wasnt natural to me, I almost faked it to the point that it became real - but it wasnt. Eventually Id hit a rough patch in life where everything seems to fall apart, and THAT is where the games take over.

While everybody is different, I know a few people that fall into them for similar reasons...

---Whats appealing about WOW? ---

In WOW you arent judged on the above. In WOW you can be whoever you want (im not talking about roleplaying characters, im talking attutide wise). Becoming a good player takes time and a degree of skill, which earns you respect amongst players. Respect is a huge part of the game. Friendship is also a big part. Players make regular friends and join guilds which makes it easy to keep on contact. As you quest you develop a relationship of sorts, Id go as far as to say its about as deep a relationship as you could develop on any other internet based site/game. The above poster that mentioned it being similar to 'Old War Buddies' struck a chord with me, because this is quite true! The feeling you get upon conquering a raid boss with your guild for the first time is nothing short of incredible, you could compare this to winning a big football match - people get ecstatic right? Well on WOW raids often use Teamspeak, so you can hear everybodys voices, and you can hear the excitement! I mean to beat these bosses requires PERFECT teamwork.

I was in a guild that was top 100 in the world at defeating these bosses. We beat them before anybody else, so we were hugely respected throughout the world (...of warcraft).

Anyway...I would say the fun, respect and friendship aspects are the biggest part of WOW. Thats what people go there for, but the addiction comes from certain...processes...within the game.

--How WOW addicts you--

Both the game AND the players are responsible for addiction in WOW. The game is designed to play 24/7, heres a few processes that promote constant playing...

Firstly, Raids.

Raids are dungeons that reset every week. If you clear them on day #1, everything remains dead for the other 6 days. Each raid has several bosses that require 10/25 people (depending on raid type) to defeat.

Still with me? Its probably boring for you to hear, but im trying to help you understand.

Every boss drops random weapons/items/armour. These drops are usually some of/the best drops in the game, but each boss only drops a few items to be shared between 10/25 people. In order to stop arguements over who gets what, many guilds use something called the 'DKP System' which stands for Dragon Kill Points.

This system varies between guilds, but basically guilds look for REGULAR PLAYERS (ie your husband) to raid at set times throughout the week. Raiders are usually expected to raid 2-4 nights per week, for 4-8 hours. Every time a player raids, they gain DKP. When an item drops, the player with the highest DKP wins the item, using up their DKP in the process. So in order to stand a chance of winning these godly items, players HAVE to raid every single raid, without fail. If they do miss a raid, DPK often goes down by 10% while players that did raid earn it as usual, overtaking them in the que to obtain items.

This is a process guilds use to ensure players show up. You see, if too many players dont show for a raid, nobody can raid at all.

In addition to this, Blizzard (the company behind WOW) constantly put in special items, limited edition items, that players can quest for within a period of a few weeks, for Xmas of Easter ect. Once this period is over, players can never obtain the item again - EVER.

Players are therefor compelled to play play play until they have it. These items can sometimes be random chance to drop, meaning a bit of bad luck has you playing ALL NIGHT.

To Summarize: Items = Respect (do not underestimate the feeling of satisfaction this game can give you). Raiding non-stop = godly Items + time with friends = addiction.

--How I got out--

At the time I played, I was single. I lived alone in a city and had a decent job. I played at breakfast, lunch and after work until the early hours. I played heavily when I first got into raiding, I eventually became well respected as a skilled player and joined the top 100 guild I mentioned before. At this point we were so good that we were clearing the raids in 4-6 hours on a single night (usually takes 4-8 hours 4-5 days) which freed up the rest of my week.

Now although I was a gamer, I still found a lot of time to go out and do things. I was well known at out local rock venue, had a group of good friends that I still keep in touch with from Australia (used to live in the UK) and for a period of time I went to the gym 4 times a week.

However, I didnt truely escape until I planned my trip. From a young age Id always wanted to travel, so I did. I quit my job, packed and left to travel the world. 3 years later I am now married to and living with an aussie here in Perth.

Right now she is actually cross with me for playing to many games, hence my searching the net. If only she'd known me back then!! Anyway, games are always going to be a part of my life, like I said they are an escape for me, a way of relaxing...

To this day I still think about playing WOW and I have withdrawal symptoms. I want to go back, so I have avoided purchasing it and do not have an internet connection for just that reason. Its my way of controlling it. However, I DO own a console. Every now and then a game will come out (at the moment its Skyrim for Xbox) that I cant help but delve into and play non-stop for days. It curbs my craving and afterwards I can do without for weeks, perhaps months before getting stuck in again when something else comes out that I really enjoy.

My wife, understandably, doesnt like it, but I know how much worse I could be. Im proud of myself for denying my compulsion and staying strong. I have taken up cycling and rock-climbing which I do 3-4 times a week, but 3 years on the cravings are still there. That just goes to show how powerful this game is...I mean, I have a good life here, but those feelings remain.

Posted by: Fin December 20, 2011, 11:21 PM

--How to Help?--

For anyone who has a partner who is stuck in this situation, the above advice is actually really good. When dealing with the game, dont call it stupid or insult your husband or his hobby, that will just get his back up more. If you want to stand any chance of dealing with this, you need to treat it as an addiction - trust me, it really is. It isnt called 'World of Warcrack' for nothing, so if you truely care about them you need to approach it correctly. I can tell you now that the 'You can stop anytime' attitude will get you nowhere in the long term.

If you need to see a coucillor, so just that. Get your husband to go if you can but dont push them too much if they wont, instead you should go alone and figure out how you want to approach this. I have faith that you can get them off of it, but you'll definitely need to make some life changes. Start small and work up to the big things. Perhaps try taking an interest and then sharing yours, but dont just sit watching TV - do something interesting.

Try and cultivate a hobby together, or get him to develop one of his own. It helps if you go with him the first time unless he has a friend to go with. I went rock climbing recently although im not the sporty type and its so social there, much like WOW, that its a joy to keep going back. I am progressing slowly but steadily which is rewarding. The thing about WOW is that people arent aholes like some can be at pubs/gyms ect, so finding a hobby where people are genuinely nice and more adult in attitude will be a massive help.

Eventually, I would suggest getting rid of the game, fully uninstalling it and removing it from the home. Trust me. It wont be easy but perhaps you need to substitute a games console for it and tell him he can play that (in moderation). That has worked for me, its not going to be easy for him as it is like a patch compared to cigarettes but its better than nothing.

I hope it all works out for anybody that is attempting to beat this. Remember, the person they were is still there, they arent choosing it over you. They arent even aware of their destructive behaviour, they hear your complaining but they dont realise the severity.

Good Luck!

Posted by: chad m August 13, 2012, 10:53 PM

Posted by: skrappgirl January 8, 2013, 6:28 PM
My husband and I have been married for 12.5 years and together for 14. Ever since I met him he has been playing role playing games. Never played wow though. He told me to endure his childishness until he finds himself again. I have endured this, talked about it, prayed about it, we have been in marriage counseling, I go to counseling on my own, etc. I feel like I have done it all. If DH does get off the computer then he is sitting in front of the tv. I wish I could just get him to focus on me :(

Posted by: A sad wife February 9, 2013, 10:51 PM
My husband is addicted to call of duty black ops. I have done all that i can to reslove this problem but his addiction is so big he is to blind to see it. his world is involved in that video game he comes home from work doesn't even shower and goes straight to the video game. I come home from school with my daughter i cook and he can't even spend time with her because he is so focused on the game. Mircale when he acknowledges that she is there. I cook and he won't even eat becuase he is so centered in the game by the time he is done the food is cold and me and my daughter are done eating. I try to spend family time but every second he gets is on video games. His moeny goes on video games remotes, headsets, etc and he doesn't think how that moeny could go to clothes the baby might need, diapers. Its sad to live in this situation I understand he needs his freedom and has the right to buy anything he wants with his moeny but its sad that i feel neglected and he can't think about his family first. I hope one day he opens his eyes that all he does is play games before its to late.

Posted by: D.M.P July 9, 2013, 12:37 PM
My best piece of wisdom to share is this:

Clearly define what it is we want in a relationship and then cultivate those qualities in ourselves. Making appropriate choices that move us into that space, then, if our Spouses choose to come along for the wonderful and fantastically rewarding life we create, great, if not, man, this is a tough one, but maybe that person needs to do their own work!

We cannot fix or change another human being (lord only knows I have tried!) husband who I love dearly, and who is a very good man indeed, suffers with addictions to computer games (or t.v if it is not computer games, I swear he has an innate ability to find every court show possible and find a way to view them for an entire day!). It is simply a form of avoidance, avoidance to past hurts, avoidance to current challenges..avoidance!

So many of us suffer with addictions of our own in one way or another (coffee anyone?)the Buddhists describe it as attachment. The only way to break the cycle of suffering is through acceptance. Love your spouse unconditionally, too often find myself judging his behavior as 'bad' or 'wrong' it is is a wound which requires healing.

Frankly there is way too much pressure to fit into what society deems appropriate for marital bliss. Every relationship has it's very relevant challenges to face. You are not alone, you are worthy of love, and know that if you are reading these posts here now, you are ready to embrace that love..through loving yourself first. If you are experiencing anger towards your spouse regarding this issue, move past that anger to compassion..only then can you make the appropriate decisions to either seek external guidance, or have a long heart felt talk with him regarding your concerns.

I wish all of you the best with this very legitimate concern, and wish you all peace in this very turbulent issue.

Posted by: miss February 19, 2014, 2:28 AM
I was searching for an answer and I found this site. I am glad that I found some answers since I have the same problem with my husband. Before I met him, he has been playing board games, video games and computer games. My husband started in his 20's and now he is 40. During my post-partum, I confronted him since I was seeking for someone to talk to . I told him that he has an addiction and he admitted. I thought he will do something about it but got worse when he can't keep a regular job. He plays 8-12 hours in the game everyday while I work in the same hour shift.He goes out and played at his friends' house for board or video games at least once a week. Sometimes he will go to bed around 3 am playing the game. For 360 days last year, I can calculate that we communicated only for 7 days. Few years ago, my child and I travel outside the country for months and he stayed to chat with us longer. Sometimes I felt that it would be better that we are away from each other for I felt his presence.Worse lately, he even forgot valentines day and family day. I am also concerned to my child since she thinks its okay and showing lack of discipline based on a report card. I have been trying to set rules to my child but she sees my husband doing the opposite. I will try to find a psychologist or therapist as suggested. I hope there's still hope.

Posted by: dpavlasek0924 July 6, 2015, 11:29 AM
I know this old but I am feeling really alone right now. I have been with my husband for 7 years married 4, I'm not looking for that first time lust sex till dawn skipping work because you don't want to leave each other ( all though I wouldn't turn it down lol) but I don't know what to do. There was a time he was stuck on Modern War Fare, right after work till 3am he would sit in the living room and play. It's not like he was in the basement or bedroom this is the main room, so I would not be able to watch T.V. or have a space to talk with the kids nothing. This lasted over two year's and guess what the kids started playing! Dad does it so can we, GRRRR! Sometime after he kinda grew apart from it I was able to convince him to give one of the kids the console, Only to find out the new Playstation was coming out (REALLY). Low and behold he got one with Watch Dogs he was on that day and night beat the thing in 3 months along with the mini games. He then found Final Fantasy 5, now where I stand he got the newest Fantasy, Day and night every second of free time we don't even sleep in the same bed he stays on the couch this has been going on for a year now. When I try to bring it up I'm the bad guy He tells me I yell at him for waking me up when he comes to bed not true, and the best one was it's his escape!! That made me fell like crap not only is the connection gone, that was said. I tried not to dwell on what he said but those words hurt. I was un able to have more children I tied my tubes after my last 9 years ago he wants to have a child of his own so I had surgery to re tie my tubes this past May. I thought this would help bring us together but nothing has changed. He told me this was his escape after I did the surgery, now I feel more alone than ever. He is a good provider and step dad I can't say a good example due to the kids wanting to play all the time, but the games are going to tear this family apart. Not to mention I have lost 60 lbs trying to get his attention, I had to fish for compliments trying to boost my own moral it is just all bad. I know I should stand by him and try to help but it is effecting me day to day and I have kids to look after what kind of example am I leading for them? He told me last week as I went to bed without saying goodnight " I want to work on our marriage I do love you I will play less". Well still waiting I am so fed up I want to scratch the hell out of the game as I type this break the inside of the console but I won't. I know I read this an addiction but sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to see what you had and I don't think I can live in this cave anymore. Thank you for taking the time to read this, There is so much that could be said but then I should just write a book. LOL. I hope I can get my husband that I married back!

Posted by: Wolfy July 7, 2015, 4:53 PM
My boyfriend is a game addict. I feel anger,jealousy and resentment towards these games. I have come to hate the characters he devotes his time to. I'm at work four days a week 12 hrs a day and he can't even make time for me when I get home. The minute he gets up he logs into Tera and does everything from rpg to erp. I could be laying in bed naked and touching myself only to be ignored. I tried the if you can't beat them join them and started playing the game. I spent money on it and everything. I leveled my character to 65 just so I could join the rp groups he is in but so far. I sit logged into the game waiting and then it's time for bed for I have work. He then proceeds to play till the wee hours of the morning keeping me up all night because the CPU is in our room. It's affecting my ability to work and sleep. He then treats me like garbage for asking him to just come to bed. It's killing our relationship. I need help!! Please someone anyone help me. I have become so depressed that suicide seems like the better option then living this way.