Manage gaming addiction, or make him choose [Ellie]

Question: I’m 23, married one year-plus to a man who’s always playing World of Warcraft. Since we didn’t live together beforehand, I never knew the extent of this.

For the first six months of our marriage, he’d go straight to the computer after work, sometimes pull all-nighters and become so grumpy we’d constantly fight.

He’s met a family online, a married couple our age and their parents. All those hours were spent with them. I was unhappy and frequently crying. He lied on my birthday saying we couldn’t celebrate because he was studying in our office but I discovered he was playing the game, with them.

We recently moved and the playing and contact with them stopped. Life was good. Now it’s started again. I broke down completely — cried and yelled. Since then, he stays on the computer five hours a night, calling it “downtime.” He and this other woman talk outside of the game. When I called her his “WOW wife” he got very angry, which made me suspicious. I’m threatened, insecure, and very angry.

Stumped

Answer: He has an addiction; you have a choice. You can do the research on gaming addiction, show him the information, and offer to be his support in trying to change his behaviour (for example, he could see a behaviour modification therapist). You could even offer to learn to play WOW, if it’s limited to a reasonable amount of time.

Or, you could say that you don’t accept being neglected, nor that another woman gets his time and interest (for whatever reason). Explain that it’s ruining your relationship, and negates starting a family if this continues. Remember this, as you’d be on your own.

If you choose the latter approach, the next choice is his: WOW vs. his marriage. If he doesn’t answer fast, see a lawyer immediately. You may’ve been ready to marry, but he wasn’t.

Question: My husband of 44 years hasn’t had regular sex with me since 1985. His job took him to another city one week every month. His affair started there and lasted four years, starting when he was 44. He divulged this to our eldest daughter and made her promise secrecy.

I had planned our first “honeymoon,” with our then-teenage daughters along, in 1986. For those two weeks he denied me sex, and followed the girls to the bars (I wasn’t invited).

Another time, he declared his love to my best girlfriend (widowed) and courted her under my nose. She also told my daughter because she felt she was weakening.

By 2004, my daughter couldn’t contain it and told me all. Recently, I asked him if he wanted to separate and he quickly said he’d move out. We have no savings. It’s sad and bleak.

At 72, I certainly know it takes two to tango. We tried counselling briefly but we were both angry and he was being untruthful. Why didn’t he offer me a chance out, while I was still eligible?

Stunned

Answer: You had many disappointments and clues, but stayed in denial, undoubtedly for the sake of family and possibly from loving him.

Now you know.

It’s time to take care of you and make plans, rather than waste energy lamenting the past. Get legal help, soon. You already know he’s deceitful. There may be more money than you know about, plus you have rights to a share of the value of your home and other assets.

You’d also benefit from counselling, on your own, to help with the transition.

TIP OF THE DAY

Addiction of any kind can ruin a relationship, unless both people agree to manage it.

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