Yeah, yeah. I need to get back on here. I've got lots of photos to post from December and Christmas, and my thoughts on how it is now that the gamer is in clinicals and all and I am suddenly living the SINGLE LIFE all alone in our house while he's away, but I'll get to that later.
Because today I am going to address something that I receive the most emails and comments on and it all relates to this question:
what do you do if your husband isn't like your gamer? what if he plays games all the time and doesn't pay attention to me/our kids/our family?
And I'm about to be brutally honest. GET RID OF HIM.
At some point gaming can become an addiction. Gaming for ten hours a day in unacceptable, but can be forgivable in certain circumstances. But gaming that gets in the way of your personal and family responsibilities is just wrong.
Gaming should never prevent someone from being a contributing member to society. Gaming shouldn't prevent you from going to work on a daily basis. Gaming shouldn't prevent you from spending time with your family. Gaming should NEVER get in the way of you leading a normal life. A normal life with jobs, chores, responsibilities, and family time.
And if gaming has gotten in the way of all that, and despite discussions to change the behavior, if the gamer continues to lead this lifestyle, not try to receive help for this type of addiction - then get rid of him.
I'm sorry if that is too honest. I'm sorry if that hurts other gamer's wives out there who have become gamer widows since their husbands play too much. But it is honestly what I believe. You all know my background - you know that I am certified counselor and have my Master's degree in counseling and development. I am ALL for working things out - discussing - making things work - changing behaviors. But if none of that has helped, and you've even tried counseling, and still the gamer is unwilling to change then I am ALL FOR you helping yourself AND your family in this situation and simply get out of it.
I received the following anonymous comment the other day, and this is why I am all fired up about this topic:
"Happy to hear your husbands are not gaming 24/7 like mine does when home from camp. We have talked many times about it but never any change maybe for a day or two but then he's back at it. I feel I have raised our kids on my own and did not choose to marry a gamer. He got into it 10 yrs after us being together and I have now been pretty much alone for the last 10 yrs. He works and games and that's about it but I'm happy to hear that all gamers are not like that. Just found out that not only does gaming take all his time but also alot of our $ he has a paypal account and has to pay for characters, game time... Made a $300.00 purchase for something on his game just a couple weeks ago while we have outstanding bills. Just wonder if you would still be supportive if this is what was happening with your husband?"
This is the situation I am talking about when I say to leave. A situation that has been going on for years - a situation that is hurting the gamer, the gamer's wife and the gamer's family. I was so upset by hearing yet another situation where games were ruining a family that I did something I have never done before. I asked the gamer himself to respond and this is what he said:
"I wouldn't expect you to be supportive. Especially if he started gaming after they got married. There's absolutely no reason why she should have to raise their family on her own, and the fact that he's buying stuff for games when they have outstanding bills. I mean yeah, we buy games and stuff and we have debt, but it's not like we're really struggling just to put food on the table, and I'm buying an xbox instead or something. One person shouldn't be allowed to do what makes them happy all the time, if it means that the other doesn't really ever get to do what makes them happy because they're taking care of the kids and working around the house, etc. When a gamer stops contributing to a family that's when there's a real problem."
Yes, the gamer is pretty brief, but I think his point is clear - At some point you have to stop being supportive of a gamer's addiction if it is risking the happiness of the family.
I'm sorry for being harsh. But it's important to note that having a gamer husband isn't all butterflies and rainbows. My blog is designed to show that side - the light and funny side of having a husband who games. But my husband has NEVER NEGLECTED me, and I am absolutely certain when we have children one day that he would NEVER NEGLECT them to play games. And he knows for a fact that if he did I'd kick his ass out the door.
This post was a quick, unedited response to something that bothered me in the moment. It is not intended to be used as professional counseling advice, and it is important to note that every family situation is different and needs to be attended to uniquely. If you feel like you are in tough situation at home and have not been successful at negotiating on your own, please seek help from a professional counselor in your community!