It's 10 pm. Do you know where you and your loved ones are? Here is a collection of experiences from those who live / have lived with an obsessive MMOG gamer and from those who have lived the experience of obsessive MMOG gaming.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"i ... have been married for 9 months. my husband is a total addict. i am also 3 months pregnant. it's hard for me because every night my husband plays for 5-6 hours and on the weekend he probably plays 6-10 hours.
every time i ask him to stop playing he get very angry and defensive and tells me not to control him. he tells me to be independent and do things on my own. he says that we don't have to do everything together. i don't want to do everything with him, but it would be nice to have a meaningful conversation once in awhile, and spend time together after work since we both work all day. he does not have much interest in the baby so far, and i am worried that after it is born, he will remain the same and play the game while i am struggling to work and take care of the baby. i feel that he is selfish and puts his own interests first. the past couple of night i have laid in bed crying because i feel like we have a dysfunctional marriage and i am very unhappy about it. i feel like i married the wrong person and i think about divorce. it is scary but if this is how he is going to live his life then i cannot put up with it. there is no compromising with him, and it is driving me insane."

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

man--what a hard thing to be going through. i'll be praying for you.

Jul 4, 2006, 4:53:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel a great deal of compassion about what you’re going through. I’ve spent years engaged to an avid gamer. I was hopping that with time he would get bored of the games and share what once was very special to us: real relationship in a real life. We never had a chance to have a family because his passion about the games overcame everything that I could ever offer.

In my experience, I find that the primary trigger for him gaming endless hours was stress. Or was that an excuse? I don’t know… What I do know is that having babies is hard. It’s the most rewarding experience, however one that requires most dedication and hard work. You have more than just yourself to worry about. I understand that you love that person. But I sincerely hope that you have a strong support network whether it’s your family or/and friends. You cannot do this by yourself. What ever decisions you make in life, I wholeheartedly wish you all the best. Talking to someone who’s involved in gaming so much doesn’t work. Fighting doesn’t work either, and brings on more stress and creates an unpleasant/unhappy environment. What ever in life you decide to do, you will need a great deal of strength and patience. Good luck to you, and I wish that you have a happy and healthy baby that is brought up with love and caring.

Jul 5, 2006, 11:49:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I can completely relate to your issue because I am living it. I have a one and a hlaf year child and no it doesn't get any better, atleast it didn't on my end. He finds every reason not to go do normal things families are supposed to do. He uses our everyday problems as an excuse to play more and more. He uses the fact of our disagreements to be his reasoning for polaying so much and refuses to see that even if I didnt think that was just an excuse he is also avoiding his child at the same time. Part of me has thought ok maybe it isn't an excuse but no matter how good things are it doesn't change. He used to say that he plays more when I complain about it because he will not have me controlling what he does. So I backed off complaining about it and no it did not get any better it got worse. Sure we tried the whole only playing for limited times and that lasts for about a week tops and goes right back to the way it was. I have actually found him in denial about how much he plays. Now he even has himself convinced that he plays less. The bottom line is the quality time if that's what you want to call it is at his convenience. We work our daily activities around being home in time for raids. Get a grip, it's a game. If you are out having a good time why is a game important enough to keep checking your watch to make sure your there in time to get in the raid. I tried playing a couple of time sso that maybe I could connect with him or maybe even see what was so interesting and I will nwever understand how you can play it for as long as he does. Now the issue I have at hand is I am tired of these people he plays with getting more of his attention than myself and more importantly his daughter. Fighting definately does not help. I am not condoning the leaving part but it seems to be the only thing that gets their attention. Unfortunately its a chance you have to take if you want it to stop. Fighting and arguing just makes you both miserable. I will say that when we seperated I found that I didn't feel like I was missing anything. Not because I didn't love him, just because I was so used to doing it all by myself anyway that it didn't seem any diiferent. If anything it was less stressful because I didnt have someone within sight that was more than capable of helping me but chose not to. I am all too familiar with the ...."hold on I will be right there" and an hour later he still hasn't moved. I haven't reached that point where I am ready to throw in the towel but I have come real close. And honestly it scares me that one day I know if it doesn't change I will and it will be too lkate to get it back. I think they have themsleves so convinced that they have reason to play the way they do. And nothing you or anyone else is going to change their minds. Its a shame though because I look at my daughter everyday and realize the things he is missing out on. Some of those things he catches because I draw them to his attention. And I have also noticed that she seems to know and accept the fact that she knows to not run to him to read her a book or to play with her because its like she knows he won't. If only they could see it from the outside looking in like we can. It almost would pay off to have a hidden camera to play back to them to make them see themselves. but if yours is anything like mine he will find a way to find absolutely nothing wrong with it. I hope for your sake that your case is different than mine. Occasionally I get the old " it could be so much worse.. I could be out at the bars every night or out running around doing things I am not supposed to be doing.. but no I am at home with you..." Since when is bad behavior ok because it better than worse behavior? And the funny thing is I sit here and complain but yet I have reached the point where I don't do anything about it either. I don't want to leave because I want my daughter to grow up in a two parent home, but than I think, Is that really what she has?

Jul 10, 2006, 11:35:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am engaged to a person that not only works alot, but plays alot as well. We have been together for a very long time, but only engaged for a year now. I think this whole engagement has made me look at certain things with a "Don't expect this to change" frame of mind.

He plays at least 6 hours a day (probably more) on weekdays and nights. On the weekends, he plays constantly, unless work calls or there is something HE wants to do. All other time is filled with work and a little sleep at unusual times. There is no spontaneity in our lives. I have to plan any activity many hours in advance, tell him when I am leaving, make sure to say IF you WANT to go, and then I have to expect to be late leaving because he usually starts getting ready at the time I said I would be leaving. Most of the time he doesn't go at all though. I have also asked him if there is something he would like to do, he says no... That means no, besides play games.

He does wonderful things for me, in pretty much providing me with a house and many other nice material things... So I feel bad when I get so mad that I want more... I want his time and attention. I am afraid to marry him because I fear that I will be alone, despite the fact that we will be in the same house. I have told him that I don't expect him to give up the games entirely, I just ask that he balance these better. He is missing out on life and I miss him. alot. Now I fear that we may never get married, and the sad part is that I remember what he was like before the games when he was engaged in life. But I don't believe that marriage will bring us closer, I don't believe that it will make things better, and I don't believe children will pique his interest in reality either. So I am having trouble seeing how I will be happy married to someone who is not in a relationship with me, but with a computer game. I will miss my ring, I like it alot, but that is no excuse to get married.

Jul 10, 2006, 9:17:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I’m the one who posted the second comment. I just read yours, and I’m literally in tears. For years I’ve spent battling the decision to leave him because there’s just no reasoning with gaming hours/guild devotion, and finally I did. Over nine years we’ve been together, and I didn’t get as much as a phone call or an email ever since I’ve left 5 months ago. I lasted as long as I could, but ever since he moved on to EQII in October 2004 there was nothing in a world that could get him out of it. As of now, he hasn’t worked in over 10 months, and has been living with his parents. There’s nothing but EQII. No sleep, no showers, no clean clothes, no fresh air. Just computer screen and teamtalk.

There are days I “regret” my decision, but then reading your post and stories like yours re-affirm all the reasons that made me leave. I want to have a family with all the wonderful things and all the not so wonderful things. And I know that no one is perfect. And I’m so sorry. So sorry to you and all of you that we have something in common: pain of loosing someone without actually loosing them. Having been on your own for so long that there’s no intimate or emotional bond left, only its hopes and memories. As terrible as this experience has been, I’m doing ok through. I’m far from recovered, but I found the strength to forgive him, and let it all go. But never forget.

Jul 10, 2006, 9:22:00 PM

 
Blogger J said...

Hey everyone here, thanks for being here. Stress can most certainly be a reason for the endless amounts of gaming - from my own experience, the ability to use MMORPGs as an escape from uncomfortable or frustrating situations in real life is astonishingly effective... in that moment, that is. It's hard to explain but I know that it doesn't feel like an excuse to the gamer.

One thing that might be worthwhile trying is to gage whether your partner has any genuine concern for themselves... especially their health and feeling of well-being. It's easy to ignore their surroundings while a gamer is on their MMORPG but it is undeniable that they are ruining their healths and killing themselves... slowly but steadily. I know, it's like trying to tell a smoker that they should quit smoking because it's unhealthy but there might be a chance that your partner cares enough about themselves to have a moment of clarity to pull out and schedule some active time away from computer... the first step. Heck, get them an exercise ball to sit on instead of their chair if that helps... anything that helps them remind themselves about their bodies and how frail it can be

Jul 11, 2006, 10:41:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

J:
Can you please give an insight into something that’s been a mystery to me. What I cannot understand is that what I saw in my ex was the game actually making him miserable. He was always frustrated with guild mates, and then when he became a guild leader he always complained about people being unreasonable, greedy, deceitful or frankly just horrible. For example, he would tell me that he would make up secret alt characters to hide from the “drama” of the guild mates. There was always so much pressure coming from his “family” guild, yet he treasured the experience more than his career, friends, family and myself. The frustration of the game then carried over in real life: tantrums, fight picking, acting irritated. But when things were going well, he was ever more withdrawn…

Did you undergo anything like that? And if yes, why put up with all of it?

Jul 11, 2006, 11:12:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While it may be small comfort for someone already involved with a gamer, it's folly to enter a relationship with someone and to think that "Ok...he or she has this hobby now that I despise...all I need to do is to change this other person and all will be well."

You can't change other people. You can try...but it generally never works.

You can change your own expectations, your own reactions, your own desires...but you'll only bring on resentment if you try to force someone else to your vision of how they should be.

That's not just a truth about online gaming, it's a truth about everything. Fishing widows, hunting widows, bowling widows, arts and crafts widowers, etc.

If you're lucky enought to have not jumped in too deep yet...get out now. Or, be ready to live with the gaming (or other) habit.

Jul 12, 2006, 12:52:00 PM

 
Anonymous Josh said...

First off -- I am an X EQ addict who has been EQ free for over 1 1/2 years now. I was exactly the man you all have described in your posts. I would work at least 40 hours a week as a carpenter, but I would also put in another 40-50 hours a week as a dark elf necromancer (a much less lucrative profession). I would frequently get up 3 hours early for work so I could play before I went in. As soon as I got home I would log in and play as long as I possibly could. Everything revolved around EQ and my wife and newborn son put up with the worst of my addiction for about 2 years.

So why did I quit? How did I quit?

It was pretty simply really. My wife made me choose. Straight up.

She said she was tired of being less of a priority to me than people I had never and would never meet in real life. She told me that if they were more important to me than her and Jacob, then she was leaving.

I know for many of you sending this ultimatum may seem drastic. It wasn't my wifes first attempt at a compromise, but it made me realize that she was serious. I used every excuse you've mentioned to justify my 40+ hour a week habit. But when it came right down to it... I loved them more.

If your man (or gal) is putting in these kind of hours on any online game you should realize that something is going to have to snap them out of thier haze. Empty threats will not work, and cutting back will not either. Trust me. EQ or WoW is never quit for good until ALL characters are deleted and disks destroyed.

My life and marriage is not even comparible to those dark days of EQ. I now have a 2 year old daughter and Jacob is 5. We spend quality time as a family at least once a week, and I spend time with my kids every day. My wife and I have a date nite where no matter whats going on, it's all put aside so we can spend at least a few hours together. I think back to all the evenings I put them off so I could get a rezz or go on a raid and it makes my heart hurt. If you are reading this as an avid player, I ask you to look deep inside and ask yourself this question. If someone kidnapped your wife and child and was holding them for ransome, what would you do to get them back? Would you pay every dime you have?
Or will you just keep paying Sony $14.99 a month to keep them captive?

I still play video games every day. Usually about an hour before bed. The difference is I refuse to play games that advance over time and keep stats or records. I don't need any projects I can never finish. I like games I can begin and end in about an hour. Battlefield 1942 is my favorite.

It feels so good to know I will never feed my wife the "five more minute" lie again and my daughters diapers will always get changed as soon as I know they need it.

If your husband or wife is playing 3 or more hours a day and all day when they are off...

You don't have too feel guilty about leaving them. They have already left you.

Anyone wishing to know more about my recovery and shift to the real world can feel free to visit my MySpace page (www.myspace.com/jjdisher)or email me at Disherclan@hotmail.com.

God be with you all.

Jul 12, 2006, 8:05:00 PM

 
Blogger J said...

Wow Josh, thanks for your insights and your URL.

To answer the question someone else asked me: Sure, the game may be frustrating and the online buddies too much pressure at times, but in the end, THAT is still easier to handle than stress and frustrations in real life ... and probably one of the reasons why people stay in the game. You can step away from the game pressures with alternate characters, but taking a night off or sharing / venting with others online... and more importantly, the hope that these problems will go away. You don't like a person? Put them on /ignore. Guild politics too much? Switch guilds. The solutions online appear to be much easier than in real life.

I have to admit though, I never put up much with the frustrations online associated with guild and other things - I never liked being in raids for hours to no end and putting in obligatory time for guildies without having the freedom to opt out, so I chose to stay with very small guilds and opt out of raids altogether after some time.

Jul 15, 2006, 11:28:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

J:
thank you so much for responding to me. The explanation is simple, but the one that makes perfect sense. For years I witnessed him dealing w/pressure and stress of the game, but as much as I tried to get him to talk about it, this has never occurred to me. Temporal aspects of the game after all DO make a difference of how one handles social situations. Just never looked at it this way before. In some ways, there’s comfort in that. The last thing you want for someone you love is see them in discomfort…. Thanks again… And, if I may… Thank for you being here for us… This website really helped to deal with my personal experience.

Jul 16, 2006, 6:52:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is difficult to read this forum. Through your posts, I see the hurt and neglect I have inflict upon my wife and two children. I've been a gamer since the moment I first played an Atari as a child. I, like the poster 'josh', have finally learned to abandon the MMORPG's and only play games which only last around an hour. But even then, during that hour, I neglect those I love. And still, I am unable to abandon gaming altogether.

Over the 3-4 years I played EQ, I logged roughly 300 days of playtime on my primary character. That's an average 40-45 hours a week - and that doesnt count the considerable amount of time I spent on alts. Gaming did not (And often still doesnt) make me happy; I was unkemp, depressed, and guilt-ridden. I, too, required an antidepressant to help break me out of the funk (Bupropion worked extremely well for me. I had fewer side effects compared to SSRI's and, interestingly, bupropion is also used to help with smoking addiction).

I've been married for 4 years and when I learned that I would have to move 500 miles away as part of a work-related move, I was certain my wife and kids would stay behind. I had damaged our relationship so badly that we had no common ground to build upon. It took the whole year prior to the move to build back any level of trust, and only in the past two months have we regained our friendship. I've now lived in the new city for two weeks alone, and i miss my family terribly. Fortunately, they will move up in 3 weeks when we close on a house.

Right now, I've severed all ties with former guildmates (If you're trying to quit smoking, don't hang around smokers!), and I limit msyelf to no more than one hour of gaming in the evening. I currently play DOTA, a warcraft III mod. Aside from that one hour (usually after everyone goes to bed), i spend the whole day/evening with wife and kids.

The bad thing that I have realized all along is the quality of my life is indirectly proportional the the amount of time I spend gaming. Perhaps one day I'll be able to quit.

I wish all of you luck.

Jul 16, 2006, 6:26:00 PM

 
Blogger J said...

Thanks for the thanks - I am glad that this blog helps discussion for anyone interested, be it someone playing online games or just knowing someone playing online games... we're all in this, and it's not going to go out of style any time soon. To the last poster - don't beat yourself up too much. There is a fine line between neglect and time apart, and while I think the former definitely contributes to relationship decay, the latter is actually healthy for relationships. You're not neglecting your family if you are aware of your time away and actively choose to spend quality time with them when you are not away - and I mean away both in the literal and "mental" sense. Be in control of your time and it's likely that no online game will control your life. All the best.

Jul 16, 2006, 10:55:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, please find some help. This happened to me, and my husband completely disassociated from his family in order to play 40+ hours a week of EQII. He took no responsibility for our child, the house, his health, and, eventually, his job.

I considered divorce. I met with a divorce attorney who agreed to take my case. HOWEVER, my husband finally "woke up" and saw what he was doing to everyone around him and agreed to go to counseling.

Most importantly, he DELETED the game from his computer, and he no longer plays online or "real time" games.

It is almost 10 months later, and he is still battling health issues that manifested while playing (overweight, high blood pressure, heart problems), and we are still trying to repair our relationship and trust.

This is a very serious problem. Make the decision to do something about it. Get help from a therapist, your folks, friends, anyone.

I think what took me too long to figure out was that I did NOT have to go through this by myself, and that I deserved more. These are two difficult things to accept.

Jul 24, 2006, 1:12:00 PM

 
Blogger newnytalkshow said...

I am a producer with a new talk show debuting this fall in New York City. I'm doing research on gaming addiction. If you are experiencing this or know someone who is, or if you want to help your spouse / partner with their addiction I would love to talk to you.

This could be your chance to share your story with the rest of America and receive advice from our host (a licensed psychiatrist).

Feel free to call me at our toll free number: 1.888.372.2569 (ext. 4294), or you can email me at newnytalkshow@yahoo.com.

Thank you!!!

Jul 25, 2006, 10:26:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he constantly played for that amount of time before you were married, you were foolish to think that getting married would change anything.

Do not do anything drastic now since your hormones will be bouncing all over the place during your pregnancy.

Instead, why not try to play the game or learn about it? There is no reason that you cannot share it.

Aug 3, 2006, 10:41:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should tell your husband that you can see the experiences he has within the game are important to you, but that you have a lot of painfull fealings and fears about it and that you need him to see a counsillor with you. Ask him to do it because you need his help in feeling better about things. If he goes to councelling with you, he will probably come to see the effect his behavior has and appologize.

Aug 13, 2006, 4:33:00 PM

 
Blogger Melissa said...

I totally feel for you. My husband of eight months is an addict to EverQuest. He plays it for 5-7 hours days he works,then practically all day till 2 int the morning. Its hard because our roommate which is his cousin plays constintly. I hardly talk to him anymore, besides at work because we work at the same place. But something in part of me tells me he doesnt want to be with me. I wish he would spend quality time with me. No, his way of quality time together is me watching him play EQ. I like video games, but that game is kind of annoying. Also, I think it is ruining our relationship, pushing me away from him. I love him so much and do not want to loose him. I hope things get better for you. And he finally relizes that he needs to grow up to be a father. Best of luck.

Aug 25, 2006, 9:20:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

addict.. only way I quit, wife left is the bottom line. Even then it took time to quit, but it killed the habit thats for sure. She has recently came back and I have flat out admitted the addiction. Hope this helps someone from the outside looking in.... Its basically like cheating on the spouse, your first love is somewhere else. And even if you are with your spouse, you are thinking about how long this will take so I can get back to the game. Only way to break this is to make him make a choice (just as if hes cheating on you) either me or the game, bottom line. No half measures here, a complete split from the game is needed. Just like any addiction, if starved the flames will die out to a smolder in time (but I suspect it will always be there smoldering.)

Oct 16, 2006, 9:07:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank god i read random post sites, lol once again thank you GOd for reminding me on a daily basis why i am, and shall remain for the remainder of my life, single, the only advice i can give is make your choices better, or make a decision, ANY decision for the love of pete, and posting here isn't one of the decisions some of you need to make pity party over !

Nov 25, 2006, 5:19:00 PM

 

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