Video Game addiction - Talk About Marriage
Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Video Game addiction

My husband, now out the military, has been lately a bit too consumed with his games. It saddens me to see him playing for 8+ hours a day. He has mental issues and PTSD, and now out of the army(an institutionalization system) he is having a rough time finding work.

I'm patient with him, my only issue is that I also was a former gaming addict myself. I use it as a way to escape and cope with my own mental issues. Eventually I got my life back on track, and now work freelance. It wasn't easy, but I had to force myself to get to where I'm at. And it worked, I'm happy doing my career.

My husband however, doesn't seem to like my suggestions to step up things up a little. He may get the occasional interview, but he doesn't prepare (dress up, get his hair cut and his beard trimmed) unless I press him or do it for him. He puts things off to the last minute, and his gaming addiction has gotten so bad that I have to do my work elsewhere or I'll get distracted by him talking to people on the mic. I've started to sleep in the car also so I can get some peace occasionally. When he does sleep he has a tendency to kick and move around because of his PTSD.

We are crammed in a small house, living with my parents temporarily until we adjust, and what was once my room has been taken over. It's a fight to get him out of it at times just to clean up. He often plays the victim, and I downright feel sorry for him at times. Not because of his situation. But because of his illnesses and his addiction.

Any way, I don't ask for much. Just for him to write down the companies he applying for so he has a better grasp of his life and job searching. For him to do a little research before he goes there also. To do follow ups as well. Also for during the week for him to go to bed at a good hour. When I asked him this he had a breakdown, saying the room is his safe place. I love him dearly, but to overcome his anxieties he has to at least try a little. Even if it's just 30 minutes a day him going in the backyard. Seems if his mind isn't distracted by mindless gaming he just cannot cope.

I had to also discourage him from trying to do weed. I told him most of the jobs he wants to apply for do drug testing. Also, he's a former alcoholic and his reasoning to do weed seemed to confirm he's looking for another way to cope with his anxieties instead of just trying to tackle them directly. No, dealing with anxiety is not easy. That's why I don't ask for much. But only way to somewhat overcome them is to at least try.

Any way, I need some suggestions. I don't want to completely cut off his games. I love games and still play occasionally, I love watching him play too. Nor do I want him to not do any thing he does not want to do. However, I do know addictions just don't magically get better, no matter how much you get of the substance. He has to try to cut back a little at a time.

TL/DR: All I want for him to do is try cutting back some of the games and focus on his career/himself more. Suggestions please?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 10:42 AM
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Re: Video Game addiction

I too suffer from PTSD. I was wounded by an IED. Shrapnel and the whole lot. I drank heavily when I first got back. My wife confronted me about it. She told me that I couldn't stop drinking if I tried. I told her I could prove her wrong. I told her that I would (and I pointed to a calendar and date) not touch a drink until this date. That's when it dawned on me. I did have a problem. Now, that didn't solve my problem. I even eventually turned to pills. I would be sneaky about it. Underhanded even. I don't know if my wife knows the full scope of all the problems I have. I've talked to her about it, but unless you there, it's hard to convey. And I don't say this for pity for any of us veterans. I say it to give some context.

With that being said, try not to feel sorry for him. Even if he seems like he wants you to. It takes a special woman to be able to help a man through these issues. Stay the course. Keep helping. It may devolve from video games to something worse. Pills, alcohol, harder drugs... This is something he will never "get over." So your approach to helping him along, gently, is the right way. I am now pill and drink free, but part of that was my faith and the Holy Spirit putting His finger on my problems and the other part was my wife. I deal now with my PTSD in a healthier way; I exercise frequently. Now, that doesn't mean I workout three hours a day. It means I have found a way to channel my issues. The gym is my sanctuary. I don't know what sort of shape you're in, but you might could begin an exercise regimen with him.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 10:46 AM
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Re: Video Game addiction

Well that does sound tough for both of you. You're probably right that playing videogames is a sanctuary for him. However, how is your insurance? Can he get therapy? Would the VA be an option? Getting some therapy could help him acquire coping skills and be less dependent on the gaming. There are many evidenced based practices for PTSD now.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 01:50 PM
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How about no "sexy time" unless he fills out 10 applications a week and limits gaming to 10 hours a week. Want more gaming, fill out for apps. Want sex, get a job.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 12:59 PM
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Re: Video Game addiction

Sometimes getting outside and doing light exercise is a good way to get away from video games. A walk around the neighborhood or even doing some stretching couldn't hurt to try.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 10:09 AM
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Re: Video Game addiction

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Originally Posted by MAJDEATH View Post
How about no "sexy time" unless he fills out 10 applications a week and limits gaming to 10 hours a week. Want more gaming, fill out for apps. Want sex, get a job.
I think that would backfire. I've used video games to escape before. They are immersive and easy to get lost in in order to not deal with issues in life that have been internalized.

Much of those internalized issues involve guilt and shame, denying sex as a form of 'punishment' won't be an incentive, it will further amplify the feelings of shame and guilt, reinforcing the emotion that drives his desire to escape. It could be depression, or something else. Don't try to diagnose it, but try to figure out how you can redirect him without reinforcing any guilt or shame he may be dealing with.

The hard part is he needs to identify why he feels the need to escape. He may not be ready to face that head on. But you can try to replace the escape with something else that helps him feel rewarded. Is there something you both enjoy doing together that you haven't done in a while? Plan it out and go for it. If you can't compete with the escape, find a new one you can participate in together. The more connected you can get with him the easier it will be for him to open up to you. Sometimes just being able to identify the feelings and talk about them help.

As an example, my sister in law had been gaining some weight and was feeling depressed. Her schedule had changed and she wasn't taking the dog for long walks like she used to. That lack of exercise was replaced with 'mood eating'. My brother noticed this and kept encouraging her to take the dog for a walk. But that just lead to fights and she felt like he was telling her she was fat and to go for a walk.

He needed a change of plan. I suggest he take the dog for a walk and invite her to come with. She said no the first couple times. I told him not to get discouraged, just enjoy his walk with the dog. He started to like his time walking the dog, and he would come back and both he and the dog were having fun. Eventually she saw this and feeling like she was missing out started to walk with them. It wasn't about being 'coerced' or manipulated. It was about them doing something together and getting enjoyment out of it.

That of course doesn't directly apply here, but hopefully it gives you something to think about that perhaps you can try to apply in a way that works for you.

Good luck, I know from personal experience how difficult it is to walk away from using video games as an escape.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2015, 09:50 AM
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If he is still smoking weed, call the police and have him arrested. They have great treatment programs in prison for drugs, depression, ptsd, etc.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2015, 10:36 AM
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Re: Video Game addiction

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Originally Posted by MAJDEATH View Post
If he is still smoking weed, call the police and have him arrested. They have great treatment programs in prison for drugs, depression, ptsd, etc.
Please do not follow this advice.

Stop complaining about what you don't have...start enjoying what you do have.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-31-2015, 06:30 PM
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Re: Video Game addiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon View Post
My husband, now out the military, has been lately a bit too consumed with his games. It saddens me to see him playing for 8+ hours a day. He has mental issues and PTSD, and now out of the army(an institutionalization system) he is having a rough time finding work.

I'm patient with him, my only issue is that I also was a former gaming addict myself. I use it as a way to escape and cope with my own mental issues. Eventually I got my life back on track, and now work freelance. It wasn't easy, but I had to force myself to get to where I'm at. And it worked, I'm happy doing my career.

My husband however, doesn't seem to like my suggestions to step up things up a little. He may get the occasional interview, but he doesn't prepare (dress up, get his hair cut and his beard trimmed) unless I press him or do it for him. He puts things off to the last minute, and his gaming addiction has gotten so bad that I have to do my work elsewhere or I'll get distracted by him talking to people on the mic. I've started to sleep in the car also so I can get some peace occasionally. When he does sleep he has a tendency to kick and move around because of his PTSD.

We are crammed in a small house, living with my parents temporarily until we adjust, and what was once my room has been taken over. It's a fight to get him out of it at times just to clean up. He often plays the victim, and I downright feel sorry for him at times. Not because of his situation. But because of his illnesses and his addiction.

Any way, I don't ask for much. Just for him to write down the companies he applying for so he has a better grasp of his life and job searching. For him to do a little research before he goes there also. To do follow ups as well. Also for during the week for him to go to bed at a good hour. When I asked him this he had a breakdown, saying the room is his safe place. I love him dearly, but to overcome his anxieties he has to at least try a little. Even if it's just 30 minutes a day him going in the backyard. Seems if his mind isn't distracted by mindless gaming he just cannot cope.

I had to also discourage him from trying to do weed. I told him most of the jobs he wants to apply for do drug testing. Also, he's a former alcoholic and his reasoning to do weed seemed to confirm he's looking for another way to cope with his anxieties instead of just trying to tackle them directly. No, dealing with anxiety is not easy. That's why I don't ask for much. But only way to somewhat overcome them is to at least try.

Any way, I need some suggestions. I don't want to completely cut off his games. I love games and still play occasionally, I love watching him play too. Nor do I want him to not do any thing he does not want to do. However, I do know addictions just don't magically get better, no matter how much you get of the substance. He has to try to cut back a little at a time.

TL/DR: All I want for him to do is try cutting back some of the games and focus on his career/himself more. Suggestions please?

He is dealing with PTSD in the only way he knows at present. Games and some weed?

If you call the police on him, get him arrested, that will backfire so badly, and I mean badly.

He fought for your country. That should mean something.....otherwise no PTSD.

Don't cut sex off as a way to force him to change either. Another big mistake.

Why not try doing more things with him? Hobbies? More sex?

Things to wean him off gaming and spending more time with you and eventually back to work?

If find it sad that those who haven't served, never experienced PTSD, are saying call the police, arrest him, no sex, etc.

Strength and Honor. What we do in life echo's in eternity.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 09:00 PM
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Re: Video Game addiction

Man, there is a ton of bad advice on this one thread.

I am former military, I suffer from PTSD and many other things.
Your husband seems as though he might have a bit of social anxiety as well.
First question. Does he have any disability rating? If not you should apply for that immediately. Since you two do not live in your own place, the time frame will be drastically different in waiting. Just make sure you say you are homeless. This is not a cop out, or a lie you are considered homeless if you do not have your own place, regardless of reasons. Then after, go straight to SSI, VA disability and SSI are two entirely different beasts.

Once you get that process started, you should immediately walk into you local VA and tell them what you see. They wont call the police instead they will advice you on the best direction to take. There is also a program in the VA called workers therapy. The VA will hire your husband depending on his issues for around 10.00 and hour I believe. He can work for the VA for around 6 months I believe. They will help him get ready and shape him up.

As for the video games. I dont know how your going to get him to stop. You could take some clear nail polish and coat the plug in portion of the power cord. JK dont do that. Try to sit down with him and talk to him. Be calm and try not to let anything he says rile you up, I know if it was me I would fight the entire time. When I got out all I wanted to do was drink my issues away and hide behind a computer scree. Good luck. Feel free to PM me, I might be able to get you some numbers if you PM your location.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 10:59 PM
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Re: Video Game addiction

You should try to get him to join a club where there are other veterans involved. There they can share stories and start games up together like poker, pool, darts. More of a social time than just playing games all day.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 04:40 AM
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Re: Video Game addiction

Weed and games is a dangerously addictive combination for someone with PTSD. He's now hooked in his virtual world, a world that weed helps him escape into.

It can be therapeutic but only in moderation. Right now it's taken a hold of him.
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