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This weekend I told my H that I was contemplating separation. This happened over an incident that has really left my confidence in him shaken.

Basically, my H really doesn't believe in the concept of UA time and it is an ongoing battle. He believes that playing video games in the same room as me (doing homework, with the baby, etc) is enough. We have gone from 15 hours to maybe 1, at best.

So, how this relates to what happened? Our boy (1) was getting sicker and sicker this weekend, and Saturday I said we need to go to a doctor, he refused (we live somewhere that I don't speak the language and I needed him). Sunday, he was exceptionally worse and I told him we MUST go to the hospital. My H yelled, screamed, said I was "wasting his days off" with this nonsense (he had the week off prior), and I had to BEG him to come with me to the hospital (again,language barrier). He wanted to sit and play his damn video game instead.

Within 5 minutes of being at the hospital, our son was on oxygen and steroids, seriously ill. His throat was closing. I should have called an ambulance.

I just can't get over what happened. I always thought of him as the protector and a good father. I told him I was thinking of separating, that he was not the man I married and he was not the father he was a year ago.

I feel like this video game (he is 33, I am 27) thing has gone too far. It is like he would rather just do that and have me & our boy live our lives beside him.

He has changed since Sunday (bearing in mind it's only Tuesday), I don't think he realized how bad his life has gotten.

I really need some help with this. I am 3 months pregnant and this is the last thing I want to happen to my family, I love him so much but I feel like the OW is the TV/computer.

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Originally Posted By: alis
This weekend I told my H that I was contemplating separation. This happened over an incident that has really left my confidence in him shaken.

Basically, my H really doesn't believe in the concept of UA time and it is an ongoing battle. He believes that playing video games in the same room as me (doing homework, with the baby, etc) is enough. We have gone from 15 hours to maybe 1, at best.

So, how this relates to what happened? Our boy (1) was getting sicker and sicker this weekend, and Saturday I said we need to go to a doctor, he refused (we live somewhere that I don't speak the language and I needed him). Sunday, he was exceptionally worse and I told him we MUST go to the hospital. My H yelled, screamed, said I was "wasting his days off" with this nonsense (he had the week off prior), and I had to BEG him to come with me to the hospital (again,language barrier). He wanted to sit and play his damn video game instead.

Within 5 minutes of being at the hospital, our son was on oxygen and steroids, seriously ill. His throat was closing. I should have called an ambulance.

I just can't get over what happened. I always thought of him as the protector and a good father. I told him I was thinking of separating, that he was not the man I married and he was not the father he was a year ago.

I feel like this video game (he is 33, I am 27) thing has gone too far. It is like he would rather just do that and have me & our boy live our lives beside him.

He has changed since Sunday (bearing in mind it's only Tuesday), I don't think he realized how bad his life has gotten.

I really need some help with this. I am 3 months pregnant and this is the last thing I want to happen to my family, I love him so much but I feel like the OW is the TV/computer.

alis, I'm so sorry to hear about your son, and I hope he is okay now. My son had a couple of those frightening hospitalisations when his asthma suddenly kicked in. The last time was when he was 12 and was admitted to hospital within three hours of first coughing. I know how terrifying this is.

However, you don't need to separate from your husband now. You two managed to to interact and meet each other's emotional needs to the point where you wanted to marry, and it is possible for you to meet each other's needs again. I know you don't really want to separate from the father of your children.

Instead, you need to use the MB programme. I don't have time to post links now, and perhaps someone else will be able to do this, but you need to read what Dr Harley says about developing your own plan for negotiating conflicts.

You need to find a way to sell MB so that your H will use it day in and out. You need to respectfully persuade him that his use of games is harming your love for him (never mind the extreme case of the danger your son was placed into the other day). You need to get his agreement to scheduling at least 15 hours a week out of the house with you and without the children. You need to tell him "we have a problem" and you need to get him to want a good, MB marriage.

Don't separate until you have tried to persuade him to use MB for some time, and he refuses. Can you say that you have genuinely used the negotiating skills Dr Harley recommends? No selfish demands or angry outbursts? I can see that anybody would have had an angry outburst after the event at the weekend, and at the time your H is playing a game and refuses to stop.

However, those crisis moments are not the times to try and sell UA time. Have you honestly tried to discuss and reiterate your point of view, and listen to his? For how long have you done so?


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Oh alis, I am so sorry. I would read TheQ's thread because she is basically in the same boat. Her husband is addicted to gaming and she is suffering terribly. I believe she even called and spoke to the Harleys.

I know you are terribly shaken, but your marriage can be saved if you can get him away from his computer games. A man who would resent leaving his video game to take his child to the hospital sounds seriously addicted. The solution, of course, is to quit the games altogether.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Awesome post, Sugarcane! And alis, you know if you email the Harleys they will help you through this.

This is off topic but I am shocked that you are only 27! You are so wise for a 27 year old.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: SugarCane

alis, I'm so sorry to hear about your son, and I hope he is okay now. My son had a couple of those frightening hospitalisations when his asthma suddenly kicked in. The last time was when he was 12 and was admitted to hospital within three hours of first coughing. I know how terrifying this is.

However, you don't need to separate from your husband now. You two managed to to interact and meet each other's emotional needs to the point where you wanted to marry, and it is possible for you to meet each other's needs again. I know you don't really want to separate from the father of your children.

Instead, you need to use the MB programme. I don't have time to post links now, and perhaps someone else will be able to do this, but you need to read what Dr Harley says about developing your own plan for negotiating conflicts.

You need to find a way to sell MB so that your H will use it day in and out. You need to respectfully persuade him that his use of games is harming your love for him (never mind the extreme case of the danger your son was placed into the other day). You need to get his agreement to scheduling at least 15 hours a week out of the house with you and without the children. You need to tell him "we have a problem" and you need to get him to want a good, MB marriage.

Don't separate until you have tried to persuade him to use MB for some time, and he refuses. Can you say that you have genuinely used the negotiating skills Dr Harley recommends? No selfish demands or angry outbursts? I can see that anybody would have had an angry outburst after the event at the weekend, and at the time your H is playing a game and refuses to stop.

However, those crisis moments are not the times to try and sell UA time. Have you honestly tried to discuss and reiterate your point of view, and listen to his? For how long have you done so?


Thanks SugarCane

He is at work right now but when our boy goes to bed tonight I will sit down and talk with him about this. I will consider showing him an article on UA time to help him understand. I think part of the problem is that back in the day (meaning the day before our son was born), he could easily play video games 2 hours a night, and we would still get to go out and have 2-4 hours UA time each NIGHT, well, that isn't quite so easy anymore. Fortunately his father is always available to babysit and very willing. FIL is also a very understanding man and i can bluntly tell him that we need him so H + I can have our UA time.

I would say I have used DJ and AO a few times and I think part of that is contributing to why he tunes out sometimes. I stopped short of saying that he was being a selfish man and a crappy father/husband this weekend, but holy heck did I ever want to say it. Another aspect is I think he writes off some of my concerns as "hormones" due to the pregnancy but this really wasn't at all.

I will report back later of our discussion. He seems to have made strides already, I think it has taken an incident like this for him to realize how he's become.

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Oh alis, I am so sorry. I would read TheQ's thread because she is basically in the same boat. Her husband is addicted to gaming and she is suffering terribly. I believe she even called and spoke to the Harleys.

I know you are terribly shaken, but your marriage can be saved if you can get him away from his computer games. A man who would resent leaving his video game to take his child to the hospital sounds seriously addicted. The solution, of course, is to quit the games altogether.


Hi Melody

I will look for that thread. I am struggling for a way to tell him that he has become selfish in this way without a DJ. Having kids was his idea in the first place and part of me thinks that now he realizes how much work it is (our son is difficult and almost into terrible 2's), he has seemed to 'retreat' from it, let me do all the work, rather than deal with a difficult child.

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Before you talk about UA and all that, I would talk to him about what happened with your son. Tell him that from your point of view, your son was getting sick enough you thought he needed to go to the hospital. You knew that because of Symptom 1, 2 and 3. Your doctor has told you to get medical help when that happened. You asked DH to go with you to the hospital bcause he spoke the local language. It took two days for you to convince him to go to the hospital because he didn't want to stop playing his video game. When you got to the hospital he was put on oxygen and steroids, showing that indeed he had a medical issue. So from your point of view, he was unaware of how bad his son's health was, what to look for, and when you pointed it out he said it was a waste of his time to have to go to the hospital on his day off because he prefers to play video games.

Then ask him what his view of the event was.

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Thanks wannabophim,

I am going to reserve serious UA planning for the weekend, since right now we can't leave our boy with anyone (he has severe laryngitis which is annoying for adults but dangerous for a 1 year old). So, I'll bring it up more indepth when I can really plan to do it (we have briefly discussed it).

We had a really good talk last night. It seems my mention of separation has showed him how much he is truly affecting his family, rather than just shrugging it off as me just being whiny/hormonal or whatever. He is embarrassed that he was being negligent about our boy.

He went back to work yesterday and apparently was talking to his older coworker about what happened and what I said. He was surprised because this man (nearing retirement age) told him to smarten up before he loses his family. This man is currently trying to save his own marriage after his wife had an affair - apparently he himself moved 2 hours away for work and always put his career before his family, and is now at the brink of losing it. He warned him not to make this mistake (career not being a priority of my H but games).

Well... so, it was interesting. We've spent as much UA time at homec as possible the past 2 days and look forward to this weekend of getting out of the house once the doctor gives our boy the clear.

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Hurrah for having made your H see the crisis that is looming, alis! hurray

But...

Your H shows signs of some degree of obsession or addiction to games. Plotting 15 hours' UA time is important, but I think in itself it is not a plan to attack that addiction. I think you and your H need to tackle it head on.

He needs to give up games; not cut them down or limit himself to a few hours. From what I understand of addictions, they are not cured by cutting down exposure to the substance. They must be cut out.

Even if your H is not technically an addict, games are sucking up a huge amount of his time for no good reason. If he cut out playing altogether your family life and marriage would be so much better.

I think you need to negotiate this with your H. Read the negotiating and the conflict resolution articles and have that conversation, and keep working at it.


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Sorry you are here alis ... here is the thread ML suggested by "theQ"

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2586573#Post2586573

I too had a game addiction in my marriage ... as did my wife. But the game was so involved socially that it became our life for many years. Its a very tough habit to break. But once you do .. its easy not to go back as you will find the time spent together is far more rewarding than killing pixels and talking smack to the ppl on the internet .. in my case my wife and I both (unknowingly) began to form EAs with ppl across the globe on the net in our games ... and it hardened our hearts and consumed our time so much ... we fell out of love. HOwever ... after MC (which was a waste of time btw) and then finding MB (i did know about MB prior to MC but wife refused to listen until we tried MCing) and then my wife finally said OK to MB and she is SURE glad she did. Now we have no Idea how we had time for games... *shrugs*

keep your chin up you have TONS of hope!

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Feel free to read my thread also as it pertains a bit to a gaming addiction marriage issue as well. ... its buried though i think.

MNG

edit: heres a link to my thread if ya like http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1947308#Post1947308

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If he is gaming to escape reality and get a "fix", he clearly has unmet needs. Explore what those are. Make it safe for him to share with you the ways YOU fall short in meeting his needs. Then set about meeting his needs. When he sees that MB can provide a benefit to him, he should be willing to reciprocate and meet your needs as well.

Not excusing his behavior. Sick kid trumps all, and he should be ashamed of himself for neglecting his child. Buit if you press the shame button too hard, that is likely to drive him back into gaming rather the enticing him back into the real world. Choose wisely.


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Thanks everyone

So just an update, game time has been down to 2 hours total in the past 3 days, when I've been bathing the toddler and putting him to bed. As soon as I'm done, he comes and sits with me and we hang out.

I don't believe the games are an addiction, I think he had gotten himself into a rut (as holdingontoit says, an 'escape'), mainly for these unmet needs: hated his job (coincidentally started in a new position yesterday and loves it), is unhappy with this house (we made a rush purchase due to job transfer and in hindsight, got ripped off), and some debt (I can't work right now). I am also frustrated about the house/money.

In his perspective, he didn't think I was doing a good enough job to clean the house (true, I admit), and that he gets annoyed that I don't work out anymore (true, I am not the athlete I once was, but I've been through 3 pregnancies in 22 months and it's not easy to just snap back to my 5'5 118lb 23 year old self!), but I am FOCUSING on that too.

A lack of sex is also stressing us out/leading to resentment. I lost my previous pregnancy due to massive bleeding and we don't verify the pregnancy for another 2 weeks. After that, he says he will be okay again for it.

We have made a game plan regarding finances (ie he works 1x extra a week, 6am-noon for double money), for the house (we're going to focus on the positives and slowly/frugally remodel), a nd take it from there.

we have both agreed that 'escape' from these frustrations is bad and starting tomorrow working on our UA time (now that our boy is not contagious anymore and can be sent to grandpa's for the day), etc. So, we'll go from here. Neither of us has any desire for actual separation.

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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
If he is gaming to escape reality and get a "fix", he clearly has unmet needs.

You could say that about all addictions - that they are being indulged in to escape reality and get a fix - but we would not tell the spouse of an alcoholic or drug user to meet unmet needs in order to cure the addiction.

Dr Harley recomends respectful complaining and negotiating to deal with specific problems directly. Meeting the needs of an active addict is throwing resources into a bottomless pit.


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
If he is gaming to escape reality and get a "fix", he clearly has unmet needs. Explore what those are. Make it safe for him to share with you the ways YOU fall short in meeting his needs. Then set about meeting his needs. When he sees that MB can provide a benefit to him, he should be willing to reciprocate and meet your needs as well.


I disagree with this becuase it is impossible to meet the needs of an addict. It is a giant sucking black hole. I did not become an alcoholic because my H was not meeting my needs and I don't believe that is the reason for the addictions of others.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: alis
I don't believe the games are an addiction, I think he had gotten himself into a rut (as holdingontoit says, an 'escape'), mainly for these unmet needs: hated his job (coincidentally started in a new position yesterday and loves it), is unhappy with this house (we made a rush purchase due to job transfer and in hindsight, got ripped off), and some debt (I can't work right now). I am also frustrated about the house/money.

These are not emotional needs, alis. His job, the house he doesn't like and the debt are not emotional needs that a wife has a duty to meet, that you are failing to meet. They are frustrations (serious ones) that he is escaping from, as you say, by gaming.

Escape is the basis for many an addiction.

I'm glad that you are working on a plan to tackle the debt and the remodelling, and that you plan to meet that crucial 15 hours' UA time, but in my view, the gaming should stop cold turkey. Have you tackled the subject of his giving this up altogether?


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Maybe I'm wrong but I feel part of it is just us needing to work on getting through these problems without the DJ's, the resentments etc... I suppose we are right past the honeymoon period (v-day 2010, so do the math, shotgun wedding) and the 'reality' of being new parents/house/new culture is a bit overwhelming... a bit of growing pains.

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Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Originally Posted By: alis
I don't believe the games are an addiction, I think he had gotten himself into a rut (as holdingontoit says, an 'escape'), mainly for these unmet needs: hated his job (coincidentally started in a new position yesterday and loves it), is unhappy with this house (we made a rush purchase due to job transfer and in hindsight, got ripped off), and some debt (I can't work right now). I am also frustrated about the house/money.

These are not emotional needs, alis. His job, the house he doesn't like and the debt are not emotional needs that a wife has a duty to meet, that you are failing to meet. They are frustrations (serious ones) that he is escaping from, as you say, by gaming.

Escape is the basis for many an addiction.

I'm glad that you are working on a plan to tackle the debt and the remodelling, and that you plan to meet that crucial 15 hours' UA time, but in my view, the gaming should stop cold turkey. Have you tackled the subject of his giving this up altogether?


Okay I see, I guess I don't mean they are 'needs' but that they are things that have been putting him in a grumpy mood in general.

I did tell him that I want him to limit his game time to not when me and the baby are around, so if he is at home bored with nothing to do by himself then whatever... I really think it's just a hobby at this point and he was just doing it too much, like a guy working on a car in the garage or something. I did read the other's threads and it is in no way comparable to the gravity of that. I'm not trying to 'minimize' anything, I just don't think it's to the level of addiction.

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Originally Posted By: alis
I did tell him that I want him to limit his game time


Has he agreed to the policy of joint agreement? How does he feel about it?


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Yes he has and he is very much in agreement. He apologized for before, but more importantly, has demonstrated following through what he agreed to after showing remorse. Again it's been under a week so I'm keeping an eye on it but so far so good.

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