Role play, LARP, or Gaming Husband addicts...

Kristel - posted on 10/20/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have been married for 3 years, we have a lovely two year old daughter and I am 8 months pregnant with the next one. I constantly find myself cleaning the house, moving the television to connect the basic television that I have been asking him to do for months. Taking out things off the porch that he says he is going to donate and never does, just like hauling down a stroller full of stuff to our dumpster, an extra co-sleeper, and a few other things I have put on the porch.... I often find when I tell him it would be better for him to stay at home because I am getting towards the end of the pregnancy he gets upset he can't go gaming because he thinks I have a problem with it. He even volunteers himself to do projects for his LARPing and doesn't tell me and then needs time to do them when I know we need to get ready for this baby. One night I had him stay up all morning to put together dressers and put the stuff away or he couldn't go to his gaming event and bring our two year old daughter, That same day his mother came over to help me clean up the house and take care of things that have become difficult for me. His mother sent him a text telling him how disappointed she was even though him and I made a deal so he could go, but he keeps slacking off on doing anything I ask him to do and gaming seems to always come first. If it's not LARPing it's gaming on the computer, and I am finding it hard to find a place for all of his gaming stuff. I don't go out and do much, I do choose to give up my time to clean the house and for my family. My husband doesn't see this as an addiction at all and even considered at one point missing his niece's baptism to go to LARP, which I told him was very poor judgement. I feel he spends more time toward LARPing than he does with his family, I could be wrong, but he is going to be 28 this next year, has back problems and complains about being sore after LARPing and I am just getting sick of having to repeatedly tell him things he needs to get done, and then having to do it myself. I have also been getting very tired lately and can not sleep because I have no bassinet set up, I don't have a mattress for the crib and feel our house is unsafe, and cluttered, which doesn't seem to bother or phase him. If I clean it he says good job, if I sleep he thinks I am lazy, I am 8 months pregnant, I shouldn't be hauling stuff up and down stairs like a stroller... His friends seem nice and one of them from his DND group he had made became very dishonest and then tricked him into loaning him money and didn't pay us back for more than 6 months until I threatened to take him to court. His friends for the most part seem immature and not responsible, and if I warn him about his friends he becomes upset with me, because I do not want anything to do with them or have my daughter hang around them. His friends openly curse, swear, and there was an instance where a married man grabbed another woman's breast he was not married to infront of our daughter. He got mad @ me for going back to school because I knew I need to provide for our family because I can not always depend on his work and wants to take us clear across the country to do civilian work. I forgot to mention he is a Marine in the reserves, I have tried counseling and then anytime there is a problem he thinks Counseling is an instant fix and it just isn't, the counselor had even told him he was to stay at home all day and make no excuses to get the house cleared from boxes that had been piled high to the ceiling for months. I am looking for someone to tell me whether I am crazy or not, I finally cleared out a lot of my stuff and yes I am not perfect but I certainly do not put my daughter in poor situations or leave him when he is sick or needs my help, I just don't think he does the same and feel like a slave at times. I have tried to get this across to him, and apparently it's my fault because I hate gaming... I hate how he abuses it, and ignores his family and helping out around the house. I hate how I feel like I married a snotty teenager who thinks because he has a job that he doesn't need to do anything else. He even gets to the point where he has no underwear and still does not do his own laundry. I guess I am trying to figure if this marriage is worth salvaging as well as being in it. Both times I have been pregnant we've had problems with him talking or wanting to see this girl who won't acknowledge I am his wife or that I exist and that his children are also my children. The second time he blamed me for this and said it was my fault because I made the huge mistake of confiding in someone and slept with them just once and told him 3 days later. However he couldn't tell me for over 3 months he had been talking to her again after I caught him and made this promise not only for me but for our daughter. I don't think he has slept with anyone else to my knowledge however he does flirt, he spends weekends gaming and can't be reached because he is up in the mountains and doesn't get home in a timely manner or when he says he will. He keeps talking about having another kid but I am not ready to have a 3rd child with him if he can't give up his addiction and be more family oriented, and I am even considering getting surgically fixed to prevent it after this pregnancy. Any advice would be helpful. I really would like him to be as committed as he is to gaming to his family.

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Tara - posted on 10/20/2011

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Kristel, I totally feel for you. It sounds like you are at the end of your rope and have done everything you can possibly do in order to get your husband to wake up to reality. At this point you may need to take drastic steps - since your husband obviously doesn't take you seriously when you say he should leave, you may want to consider having him removed - whether it is by police or someone else you trust. Make it absolutely crystal clear that unless he gets help and starts stepping up to the plate he will not get to come back.

You are not a hotel, you are not a maid, you are not a convenient warm body - you are his WIFE and you need to be treated that way. You and your children need and deserve respect and he is not giving that to you.

Until he realizes that he is hurting not only you but your children and that his behavior needs to reflect that he is a married father then things will never get better for you. Unfortunately, from what you have said in your post, it sounds very much like he DOES understand what his behavior is doing and just doesn't care, which means that you have some very unpleasant things to consider, primarily whether or not to dissolve your marriage and remove him from your home and set up support and visitation for your children if you choose to.

I have cut off contact with a couple of members of my own family that have done things that hurt me and my children and it was a hard decision, but what I told them was "we aren't your family just when it is convenient or you want something, we are your family all the time or we aren't family at all". I think that statement really holds true in your situation as your husband appears to think of you in those terms, that you are his family as long as it is convenient and he wants something (food, shelter, sex, etc). You deserve better than that and so do your children.

As Elizabeth said, his behavior now, if allowed to continue, WILL affect how your children are as they grow up and how they relate to both him and you as they grow. Unfortunately for you, that means doing some soul-searching and deciding what needs to be done.

I'm in Canada, but if I were in your area a kids LARPing event would be so cool to participate in. Most of the gamers my husband and I know are in our age group (he's 33, I'm 39) so I can understand the concern about having Parents who are gamers around instead of people who have chosen not to grow up.

Tara - posted on 10/20/2011

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Definitely not over-reacting. Both my husband and I game and he is a member of an online gaming "clan" but he helps around the house and with our daughters and makes time to spend with me. He would NEVER put his gaming before us, so I would definitely say your husband has a problem.

Honestly, I would flat out tell him that if he doesn't get this under control you are going to have to seriously reconsider both your marriage and having any more children. You need to tell him that either he takes some serious steps to show you that you and your children are important to him and starts stepping up to his role as a husband and father or you will need to consider taking more serious steps (i.e. counseling) and if he doesn't start stepping up then you need to look at getting counseling for yourself and then really think about whether this detachment from you and your children is worth it or whether your marriage is salvageable.

If it were me I would tell him that counseling is a priority. I would also set up a schedule for when he can and can't game and insist he stick to it. If he won't go for either option, consider putting all his gaming stuff in storage. I would also tell him flat out that if he cannot or will not get on board with this and start being a husband and father then you will need to consider ending the marriage because you cannot do it all by yourself - you didn't sign up to be a single parent - you signed up to be his wife and, since he helped make your children, he needs to help raise them.

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/22/2011

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My husband plays video games, he's 27 and learning to design them in school. We have 2 daughters, one of which is 7 months old.

If I had the issues you're having with your husband, I'd definitely seek conselling and do what you're doing now with the trial separation. I really hope things do work out for you.

What Elizabeth said is true, life isn't an RPG or a video game. You don't get new lives or do overs where your children are concerned.

Liz - posted on 10/22/2011

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Good luck, Kristel. I really hope that he now sees that he needs to change.

Kristel - posted on 10/22/2011

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Hey Liz. For the past two nights he has been sleeping on the couch now. I told him tonight I want a separation and we agreed he could stay on the couch and use our daugthers bathroom... He told me he quit the gaming and told them it was for personal reasons. He wants to try counseling still... I am hoping that this isn't another attempt so that he can try to get exactly back where he is... Because if I find out anything that is a lie, it's over because my family is worth more than that.

Liz - posted on 10/21/2011

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Your know, at the end of the day, he isn't playing Parenting: The Game. He can't roll new children if the ones he has now don't work out because of his neglect. He doesn't get to say 'O shoot, I messed up my whole life, I'd better go back and start again and get it right this time'. He doesn't get to restart from a saved position.

He hasn't grown up and it sounds like he is missing every single cue you've given him that points to the fact that he needs to grow up. It is definitely time to pull the rug out from under his feet.

Liz - posted on 10/21/2011

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There's no difference between LARP and online gaming, if it takes your focus away from your family. If he thinks his children don't mind if he's somewhere else entirely, playing D&D for a whole weekend (something I used to LOVE, incidentally, but NOT since I became a mom; same for my husband), then he's mistaken. If LARP isn't more important to him than his family, he'll listen to what you're telling him and change his ways. If LARP _IS_ more important to him than his family, then I think you have your answer.

I really feel for you, Kristel. If you've showed him this thread, told him how you feel and he still denies that he has a problem, I'm at a loss for how else you could go forward from here except by getting him to leave - backed up with police if necessary.

Separation doesn't necessarily have to lead to divorce - he _might_ see the light once he's been physically barred from your house until such time as he earns the right to be your husband and a father to your children again.

Of course, this is terribly sucky timing for you, with your second pregnancy as far along as it is, so you might find yourself putting up with the status quo rather than trying to manage by yourself. Then again, it sounds as if you are already managing by yourself.

If you were the one to leave, would you have somewhere to go? With family maybe? I wish I could be of more practical help, but we're too far away, alas.

Kristel - posted on 10/20/2011

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Well after showing him the posts up above he insist his LARPing is nothing like online gaming or WOW... I told him it's a game, not real, it's fantasy and either way the same amount of effort can be put into it to destroy a family and become an addict. He doesn't see himself as an addict still and still thinks that we both need counseling and that I have more issues that I have portrayed above. He says it does hurt him when I say I will leave but I really don't believe him anymore because he has lied for his gaming friends to loan them money and lied about other stupid non sense. He then told me I can give you the rangers station number, and I told him what good is it to call and explain to you what is going on when I could be headed to the hospital and you are an hour and a half away? He still does not believe he has a problem and I am the type of person that when I leave I say nothing, I just go... Maybe it's time to do that, he thinks I need counseling as much as he does and it has nothing to do with his gaming/LARPing.

Kristel - posted on 10/20/2011

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On several occassions I have told him to leave and he doesn't. I told him I consider him to be abusive and that he can't just say this is his family if he doesn't work for it. He also has very little patience so I am constantly involved in whatever it is he has no patience for and I have to remind him she is nearly two and some of the things she is doing is considered normal. Like with her potty tonight, she went when I was going, and wanted to use the rug as a blanket, now it wasn't hurting anyone so I figured whatever, maybe she is cold, and she went. Then during bath time she asked to go potty again using her "blanket" and went. Then she interupted bath time again to go potty with her "blanket and went poop. he didn't want her using the rug as a blanket but I figured if it helps her feel more comfortable and it isn't hurting anyone, why not? It's not like she is wiping herself with it or dipping it in the potty... It's not what every kid does but hey, she's two, it's ok. I feel like I have been the only one doing research on our kid and I have to explain things like this to him. Things like that I wish he took the time to look at and research instead of his gaming and contributing to gaming. btw Lady gamers if you are within the area of San Ramon or Dublin on the 26th there will be a kids LARPing event and I am having my daughters second birthday party. You seem like nice people. Let me know if you are interested, I would love to have Parents who are gamers around instead of immature young people.

Liz - posted on 10/20/2011

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I'm an avid gamer (board game, table top RPGs, computer games and, until I became a parent, a LARPer). My husband has never LARPed, but otherwise shares the gaming passion with me. I'm very lucky, however, that he is very much a 'hands-on' dad and believes in working hard at his family as well as our joint hobby.

Both of us realised when I became pregnant that our lifestyle would have to adapt, not merely to accommodate our daughter but for us truly to prioritise being parents over being gamers. That was, to us, part of the amount of growing up that you have to do emotionally once you have a child.

She's nearly two now and we still game A LOT, but her needs come first. If we have friends round to sit around the dining table and play a table top RPG, we make sure to involve her, give her her own giant 20 sided dice (too big to be swallowed) and let her roll it, we interact with her and generally make it a fun day for her too.

I stopped LARPing totally. I may consider starting it again when she's old enough to go along to see if SHE likes it, but we'll just have to see about that.

Computer gaming we just can't and won't do unless she has gone to bed or is having her nap, because - and you might want to show this to your husband - we understand that children KNOW when you are not emotionally present for them. They know when you are not at the recital/school play/football game. They know when you are in the same room but choosing to ignore them in order to prioritise an activity that has nothing to do with them. They know and they hate it, especially if it happens all the time. One child may react differently to another: some will act possessively and try to pull you away from the thing that you're preferring to them, others may go quiet and withdraw, but be very sure that they are ALL noticing, judging and filing mental notes on your behaviour. Every day, your relationship with that child is being built or broken by your actions and choices. If we, as parents, choose to make it clear to our children that they are lower down on the priority list than, of all things, a GAME, then we shouldn't be surprised when, later in life, we do not have a good relationship (if any) with the adult that child becomes.

Your husband does have an addictive pattern of behaviour. The degree to which he is in denial is also indicative of this. It is totally unacceptable for him to game to the extent that he is neglecting you, your support needs, your daughter and family events. This is the clue that his behaviour has gone from being merely 'avid' to being addictive.

The fact that he emailed his friend to say that you threaten to leave him frequently shows me that he has zero belief that you will follow through. He sees it as a totally empty threat - like a toddler being told 'No, stop that', but the parent doesn't do anything when the bad behaviour continues.

You are absolutely right not to consider a third child, because you already have a third child in the house - him. What you need is a husband and father. Frankly, if he won't stick to counselling on this issue and demonstrate to you that he is prepared to start taking his marriage and parenting responsibilities seriously, then he needs to move out. You are more than a baby machine that does everything and waits at home for him while HE has fun gaming, so that he can pretend to be a father at the points of his schedule when it suits him.

At that point, he might come to understand how much he is in danger of losing and you guys can work on moving forward more constructively.

Kristel - posted on 10/20/2011

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We have gone to counseling, with two different counselors, He makes it early in the morning and the same day our daughter has swim classes, which has become harder for me because it's hard for me in the mornings with pregnancy and getting a toddler ready. I have asked him to put these dates on the Calendar so I know and it never happens. I also put up dates on the Calendar and lately I've been having trouble remembering to with everything going on. Tonight I flipped out and told him that if I am going to be the only one working around here and being 34 weeks pregnant doing it he needs to set up the bassinet and the Carseat tonight because I am more likely to go into labor the more the continues. I told him over dinner tonight he has a problem and he says he doesn't and I just don't get it. He even attempted to cut me off when I told him all the stuff I did that I asked him to do days or even weeks ago, and then always has an excuse and apparently it's just as much his fault as mine for everything. I am getting sick of it. I found he sent an email to his friend who is also a gamer who is closing his business and his wife is leaving him, my husband told his friend I threaten to leave him a few times a month... It doesn't phase him, and he isn't the slightest bit embarrassed by it. I told him telling his friends information about our marriage is not their business and that I was embarrassed he wrote about me like that to his friend I don't even know so he already has this image of me before I meet him. I asked him to send his friend a letter and I come to find out he never did. So he left his email open and I wrote this back to his friend:

"Dear Ryan,



I am so sorry to hear about your wife leaving and your business

closing. Times are hard, and the strong survive. I thought Luke

surely would've written or typed an email to you explaining how upset

I was that he had shared inappropriate misleading information and

failed to mention he puts more of his time into gaming than he does

with his family. I understand you may see me as crazy for typing such

a letter or even hostile, but in reality if you actually saw the

amount of effort he puts into our family and marriage compared to

gaming you may understand. I am 8 months pregnant and moving

furniture and hauling down things down a flight of stairs to clean up

this place because I get no help and it has become a hazard for our

two year old daughter he takes with him to gaming on occassion. He

has things he hasn't used in years that he has held onto and won't get

rid of... I ask him to do stuff and it takes a counseling session and

the counselor telling him to do it to get anything done of real

importance. Our porch was a pigsty and he doesn't even have room for

all of his gaming stuff, I wish he was as dedicated to his family and

marriage as he is with gaming, I wish he would randomly make time for

us instead of making plans for chain male and not mentioning he needs

the time or asking, because it's not like I need a bassinet set up or

boxes to be gone through, or cleaning out the car and installing a

baby car seat... Sorry to bother you. If you are a good man who

truely loves and values his family/wife and spends time with them more

than Luke does I envy your wife, and think she is nuts.



Sincerely

Luke's Wife,

Kristel"



He is constantly on his phone on the message boards for gaming, even when he is supposed to be watching our daughter, and while she is taking a bath, he'll check it while he is driving, or stopped at a light, and he used to do it during dinner til I made a rule that there are absolutely no cell phones at the table and our daughter who isn't even two tells us the rule now. I really don't know how to get through to him other than waiting for other gamers to reply on here to my post and maybe show it to him, and if he's not offended maybe it might sink through but I highly doubt it. Nothing seems to work I don't think he cares to put the effort into his family more than gaming and my family members as well as his are telling me this now. It's almost as bad as him talking to this other girl behind my back, he sat there texting her while having breakfast with us, can you believe that? He had to text her during a family meal we hardly have together, and also left that open on his phone, so when I went to get it for him I saw it. I just think anymore I am doing it for the kids but I want them to know they are worth so much more than what they've been seeing. I feel like he's become my parents who put music or other things first and I don't know how to get that across to him without being offended yet again. He isn't as bad as they are now, but this is just how it starts out, and I resent the fact my parents have only seen their grandchild a couple of times and never came to visit in the hospital and I know we live about 8 hours away, but they don't even send a birthday card to their grandchild, and if we do see them they hand me a hundred and say it's for the year, like it's supposed to make up for them not being there. How do I tell him I hate what you've done, and I don't like you, fix it! and it work? He started this gaming obsession right before we got married, and even when we don't have the money he still does it... He makes me feel guilty if he misses a weekend of it... I just don't know... I wish I had someone who valued us and loved us so much they'd plan to spend random time with us or even go for a surprise visit to see his family or my family but he doesn't. I plan it.

Sharlene - posted on 10/20/2011

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Hi darls no your not over reacting about your husband bad habit I would the same way,Have you thought to go to a marriage counillor and he probably need help with his gambling if you and the whole faily come together and you get in contact with the rights connections for the problems you and your husband have,I would also think twice before you have another child with husband solve these problems first.Best of luck darls

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