"... mine and my husbands story is almost identical to the March 14th post. We both found it incredibly eerie that I happened to run across this post and how closely it resembles our own story.
We have been married 10years. My husband has always been a gamer, I did not realize how much so when we got married as he didnt have a computer or playstation of his own while we dated. We shared an interest in Arcade games having grown up in a time when they were comming into their own. It was a fun thing for us to do together on dates. Both of us had the original cartrige Atari games in our home growing up and spent more than our fair share of allowances in Arcades. (hehe, anyway...I digress)
We got married and within about 6months had purchased our own computer. It was almost instantly a problem in our relationship. I tried nagging and begging for time with him which sometimes worked better that other times. As time went on we have had three beautiful children and he was missing so much with them and with me. I also was a child of divorce and did not consider that an option for us. His gaming did not effect his work for the most part so we were financial secure.
In 2004 he noticed that Star Wars had come out with an online game and that I had somewhat of an interest in that. He went and purchased it for both of us and we started playing together. At first I was a casual player and still resented much of the time he was spending on the game. Then at some point between the online chat and finnally moving my character up to a level where I could have some fun and making some credits to spend I got hooked. I really felt like if I cant beat'em join'em and started playing excessively.
Eventually I was approached by another character and we started an online affair. We created toons on another server so we could be alone and on that server I started meeting new people. I felt more of a freedom on this new server because I knew that no one there knew I was married in real life and it wouldn't get back to my husband. I fell into a cycle of meeting people and engaging in online sexual chat with them. I had all sorts of justifications for my behavior "he should have never gotten me involved in this game" "he has had his own struggles with porn on line in the past." Whatever I could think of to make myself feel better about it. One of the people I met asked me if I was married in real life and I was honest and said yes. He saw that I was following on a path that he had traveled on and was still trying to get off of and warned me that what I was doing could lead to me losing my husband and my children. His wife had just left him and taken his two girls with her. You know, I knew what I was doing was wrong, but until this incredibly insightful and bold person spoke that truth that directly to me, I just hadn't thought through the possible consequences of my actions.
I knew I couldn't stop on my own and wasn't sure where to turn, I had so isolated myself from most of my friends durring this time. I ended up going to a councelor who of corse told me I had to tell my husband what I had been doing. It took me six weeks to finally agree to do so, that was this past January and a week before our 10th anniversary. I just thought, if he wants to spend 10more years with me then I want him to do so with the full knowledge of what I had been doing, and if it meant the end of our marriage, then I would have to accept that consequence as well. My husband was more gracious than I deserved and we have been working on restoring our relationship since that time.
He has not been willing to admit to his own addiction though and has continued playing. We had quit playing the StarWars game for two months then one night a couple of weeks ago we watched one of the Star Wars movies with my son and it was a total 'trigger' for me. I told him how much I missed it, and of course he missed playing with me. He said do you think you could play without flirting, I said I think so. So we reloaded the game and I was oh so wrong, I went right back to my old style of flirting. I told him and this time he was a bit more angry, but glad I had told him so quickly.
When I read him the March 14th post last night the story rang so true with him. What she said about her husband being with the family but only a shadow of himself, he said, you know, lets see what happens in the house with no computer games for three months. This was an incredibly HUGE statement for him to make. I dont know if we will make it three months, we actually decided to go to a Celebrate Recovery group to get some support for our addiction. Last night was our first class and we felt a little silly sitting next to drug addicts whose lives have been devistated with their addictions, but we truly feel if we dont take some serious steps, our family would become another statistic.
To people that don't get addicted to gaming, I am sure it seems silly, I mean it is just a game. But, for people that have been effected by it, the effects are as damaging as any other addiction. We both had parents with addictive personalities and this is not the first area in our own lives where we have shown weakness to addictions. It is time for us to say enough is enough and get healthier coping mechanisms that we can pass on to our own children. Thank you for listening to my ramblings, this turned out to be much longer than I had planned. I wish you the best of luck on your study and will be looking for ways to help people in our own area."