Danielle - posted on 12/18/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )
I do now know how to approach my problem.
My husband is really into his computer games (particularly World of Warcraft). He use to play every night after our son had gone to bed which was from around 7:30-8pm till around 12ish.
That was a problem for me because it was so frequent and that never gave us any time to be together after our son had gone down for the night. We talked about it, and hashed out an agreement that he would only play certain days so that I knew what to expect, and when to expect him to have his time.
He plays his game on our computer and then he started to want his own computer specifically for his gaming. As a gift, I went out and bought him a monitor as a part of his christmas gift to show that I support him and his time needed alone. Playing his game was something he did before we met, and I think it helps him keep his identity as someone else other than a father/husband.
We have had problems in the past with his over excessive playing habits and he would get so defensive. When he is upset he completely shuts down and will give the silent treatment, that can (and has) lasted for days at a time. He thinks that I don't support him and treat him like a child when I try to restrict his playing time. He has, in the past completely stopped playing the game and is convinced that the reason we have these problems is because I am being unreasonable, but yet he takes no responsibility for his actions on his time management.
Since we've had the days scheduled things have been alright. Then, recently my husband switched jobs and he was doing training in another city 2 hours away so his employers set him up in a hotel for the two weeks he was training. Of course, he can not play his game during this time because our laptop does not have enough power or space.
He is now home and was really excited about the monitor. He has set it up, and was building the tower to have his own computer.
The other night he was still playing until I came to bed around 12:30 at night. Whenever I ask him to come to bed when he is playing he gets really angry because he feels like the only way he can play guilt free is when I'm asleep. This really annoys me because I have tried to show I support him and his hobby. I don't know how to explain to him that it is hurtful and annoying that for the last two months I have fallen asleep alone. I mentioned that maybe we should put a cap on the time; saying 11:30 is a good, general time that we can say its lights out, and of course he got defensive.
It is starting to frustrate the hell out of me!
I do not know how to talk to him about it because he completely shuts down and will not talk to me or make eye contact, basically anything. I have to stay persistent and keep asking him "whats wrong" which sometimes lasting up to a couple hours before he opens up about what's wrong. Even then he is very stubborn so little fights that should only take an hour and be more like a discussion end up escalating to heated arguments that last all night!
What's worst now is that he has packed up the monitor and is now returning it. I was able to pay for it because I had sold my drum set (which was a christmas gift 5 years ago from my father) in order to afford it. The drum set wasn't played very often so I didn't have a hard time parting with it, but it is still irritating that it feels so unappreciated. He says the reason he is returning it is because it is a waste of money if he can so frequently play it.
Does anyone have any suggestions? How do you approach a stubborn spouse? Am I the only person with gaming marital woes?
Any advice would help.