Sunday, March 4, 2012

I might as well be single, I'm liviing like a room mate!

 Troubled relationships

A female Australia age 41-50, *alo3six writes:

Someone suggested reposting to get fresh advice.. so here i am!


My partner who i live with, is addicted to online gaming. Not only that, but when he does deign to spend any time with me, it's generally him wanting to "get it on", he cannot seem to understand why his behaviour and attitude towards me and the ways things are, is in no way (and it's pretty obvious to me) a turn on for me, especially with the ever growing distance, as a result, between us, which is another issue in itself... there's more distance and less of a connection as time passes and he doesn't seem to understand that as that distance becomes more and more, it's going to take more than just a nice dinner (which he expects immediate results from - eg SEX) to fix things, especially when it's only ever as a result of a fight over his gaming, and not just because...

When i get upset about how much time he spends on it, he always turns it around and makes it about me and how if i wasn't always complaining then maybe he wouldn't play so much (yeah, right!)and would WANT to spend time with me, making me out to be a bad person because who doesn't want him to have any hobbies and do nothing else except be at my beck and call.

Generally he'll get up at 6am or thereabouts (sometimes as early as 3am) and off he'll go, whatever time i wake up there he is - gaming. The only time he isn't is when he takes toilet breaks, gets hungry or comes in to reset the modem because it's dropped out. Not only that but he is a smoker as well and despite my repeated requests not to (i don't smoke), he always smokes inside when he thinks he can get away with it because he wants his game AND his cigarette and won't get off his butt and take the two steps away from him computer and outside. It's so obvious, from the smell and incense burning, in an attempt to cover the smell, that he's being doing so.. that and the fact i've caught him red handed. He just laughs it off and tries to make a joke of it, which to me it isn't - it stinks and also presents potential health problems for me. I have told him time and time again not to do it, that i really don't appreciate his lack of respect for MY health.

He is of the opinion that nothing he does makes me happy so why would he want to be around me... it's a catch 22, i'm getting more and more upset/unhappy and frustrated because essentially i may as well be single and feel like i'm living with someone that is nothing more than a room mate. He argues that he cooks and he cleans but as it is I do most of the chores and when he DOES decide to pull his finger out and help, he does a half arsed job of it which nearly always results in my having to redo it. I pay the bills, i do the shopping, anything we need i source (he does give me money towards things but i'm the one making sure everything gets paid so we don't starve or have nowhere to live etc).

I have to get upset and yell for him to do anything, it seems like he has no interest into putting any effort into, or being "present" in our relationship...

A female reader, Halo3six Australia

Some further info -

There is one other aspect which makes things a lot harder and him more prone to addiction of any kind (from what i've heard) - he has really bad GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and panic disorder. Again, another catch 22 there. Gaming makes it worse yet he retreats into that world because of it..

I try to suggest things to do but i'm getting tired of the one to have to always be doing that, to drive things, initiate them - i may as well date myself. It would be nice if once and a while he took the reigns and made me feel like i matter..

There used to be positives, it used to be a good relationship (aside from the issues that come with his anxiety - i've never had to deal with that sort of thing before). He's very smart/funny and we have things in common... or did, before his grey matter got turned to grey mush by constant gaming...

There were other things to contend with, "baggage" so to speak, that he had through no fault of his own, which he brought with him from his old abusive relationship (he was the victim), bad habits that came with him, that to someone like me who had the privilege of GOOD relationship role models, were incomprehensible. Thankfully he slowly learned that whatever his last relationship was, it wasn't normal or acceptable.

I was unaware of how extreme/intense his anxiety problem was when we met as when we did he was self-medicating himself from the fallout of his last relationship and also day to day coping of anxiety with alcohol (not so you'd know it though), it wasn't until i was "attached" that things became more apparent. Having said that, from being with me, he kicked most of those things to the curb, stopped drinking altogether (he says no every time i suggest A beer at the pub) and even went back to his studying (which he left previously due to his prior girlfriend being jealous of him spending time with anyone, or at anything else, other than her)and was no longer frozen with fear just at the thought of having to get on a bus. It seems that among those most at risk of addiction (gaming or otherwise), people with anxiety rate pretty highly up there. I truly believe that without the compounded problems of the anxiety issues, this wouldn't be such a problem. It wouldn't have even existed in the first place.

He's recently started anxiety/depression medication but still, the gaming is non-stop and the only interest he shows in me is sexual, however because this is the case and my emotional needs are not being met by him, i have zero interest in sex..

A female reader, youngbuthelpful United Kingdom

My boyfriend does the same (even though we don't live together)

But everytime I go to his uni he's playing games atleast once on the weekends I'm there (which I'm fine with now)

The only thing you can do is tell him how much it affects you, and the relationship,

Maybe start going out every now and then, that way you'll be able to spend time together without the games, maybe on a date somewhere nice?

It's not fair that he does that but gamings addictive and he's not going to stop playing completely, you just need to show him how much it hurts you that he always choses games instead of you and how you want to spend more time together

A female reader, anonymous, writes 

Hi. He sounds as if he has left the relationship and he is hiding in gaming. And you have turned into a housekeeper. Sometimes people bury themselves when they arent happy and wait for you to make the tough decisions and do the walking for them. My ex was `addicted` to his computer. We had a home to run and children to raise, which i did on my own. If i ever disturbed him for anything i was a `nag`. After many years of him on his computer in the back bedroom and me downstairs running the home, i finally said it was me or his pc. He asked if he could just turn the attic into an office and use it up there `out of my way`! So i left him. Since then, he has said he was on his pc so much because he was unhappy and didnt know what else to do. That could well be the case with your partner. He has the advantages of living with someone like you, a provider/housekeeper/sex but he just doesnt want the relationship that goes with it. So give him an ultimatum and see which he choses, you or gaming. If you arent as important to him as a box of electronics then you need to ask yourself if he is worth the bother. I dont regret leaving my ex. Best thing i ever did. I now have a very active, sociable, computer illiterate boyfriend.....and its great!

A female reader, Abella United States

You are not his mother but this guy only needs a Mom. He is emotionally unavailable for any meaningful relationship. He has no balance in his life. I know teens who are less obsessed with their love of online gaming than your over-grown grumbling argumentative ''teenager''/partner.

You are 'single' in this relationship. You are the single house-keeper / Mom who takes care of everything so he does not have to.

Please borrow the dvd called 'Shirley Valentine' and then book your holiday.

Two weeks away where you do not need to lift a finger should do it.

Do not phone home while you are away.

Do not leave any nicely cooked food for him. Nor should you stock up the pantry for him.

Though you may need to book a house cleaner for you on the day after you return, (the day after, just so you get proof of the pickle he will get into over your two week absence)

This guy does not appreciate you. The writing is on the wall. Your guy is addicted to on-line gaming.

Your distress and the feeling that you are unappreciated would be stressful. And it may be that you get more picky. I think this is understandable - you are stressed.

But think about how you train a dog to roll over? Small good things done well = you give immediate words of praise for the little bit that was done well.

And overlook the rest.

Next time the dog does it a little better = you give immediate praise for just the bits done well, more praise for an aspect done a little better than last time.

But do not mention the bits done inadequately.

Repetition and immediate fullsome praise for good efforts works.

I do recommend that either together, or separately you seek marital counselling.

It cannot be pleasant and you are not being well supported in this relationship. It must be very lonely and emotionally isolating to exist in this vacuum, never able to plan activities that you both mutually enjoy.

Time when you should be able to discuss things rationally and explore your hopes and dreams is not available because he is gaming.

And if all else fails? Sadly you may need to accept the uncomforyable truth that this 'boy' is not yet ready for an adult relationship

A female reader, AuntyEm United Kingdom 

Addicts are selfish selfish selfish people who are so blinded and blinkered by their addiction that they absolutely refuse to see what is going on around them. We think gaming is harmless but it causes just as much disruption and damage to relationships as drinking, gambling or drug dependancy.

The guy needs you there to bring the money in so he can maintain his addiction.

He uses excuses like

He is of the opinion that nothing he does makes me happy so why would he want to be around me'


When i get upset about how much time he spends on it, he always turns it around and makes it about me and how if i wasn't always complaining then maybe he wouldn't play so much'

He says these things because they are the easiest route to him getting back to what he wants to do...gaming.

The guy needs a short sharp need to either kick him and his game out or move out yourself. All the while you are living under the same roof, he will never have to face what he is doing...only when something fundemental, like losing you or losing the roof over his head will make him realise that things are out of control.

You arn't alone in this, millions of people's partners have been lured into this seemingly innocent past time and there are reports of people actually urinating without noticing because they are so engrossed. Gaming in excess actually brainwashes people so that they almost turn their backs on the real world, don't give a shit who they railroad over or use in order to maintain the game and feed their madness.One couple actually neglected to feed their child and that child died!!! Thats how serious it can get.

Do not put up with this and do not think that just nagging him will stop him. You need to take drastic action and remove yourself from him and his chosen lifestyle. If he has any love or respect for you, he will realise that his 'habit' is destroying the relationship and he will change...but that will never happen all the while that you are there providing the support and comfort to assist him to game his life away.

Please let us know how you get on.

AE x

A female reader, anonymous, writes

sounds like my ex. We are exes for a reason. My advice to you is to leave him. He has made his choice already, and it's to not be in the relationship.

he has a serious addiction. Addictions destroy relationships because the person's relationship with his object of addiction (whether it is alcohol, gaming, work) is his number one priority, always. there is simply no room for anyone else in this person's life. That's why there's no room for you. Nothing you do or say will change this because this is outside of you. That's why I say the only options you have are to leave him, or continue with the way things are.

People with addictions have to take responsibility to change their behavior, but they won't unless their addiction starts costing them other valuable things, like relationships. Unfortunately, even then some times they simply don't care about anything or anyone else.

You should stop trying to change him because you can't, and the more you try the worse you'll feel when it doesn't get any results. Instead you should start changing yourself. you already are living pretty much as a single person, I think you need to adjust your life accordingly.



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