Seven Year Stretch

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Seven Year Stretch

Postby sannevanzijl on Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:46 am

Hello

My name is Sanne van Zijl, i am 34 years old and i come from a small village near Utrecht in the Netherlands.
I have met my husband 14 years ago. He was a sporty fun loving guy. Full of life, enthousiastic and always doing something. In 2004 we got married and shorty after i became pregnant of our first daughter. And that is where our trouble started. This is now 7 years ago.

We always had in some way been envolved in gaming. We both enjoy the challenge, and it was fun to do together when wether was bad. But since my first pregnancy my husband became envolved in online shooters. First it was the playstation, later the xbox. Killzone and Battlefield kept him occupied throughout my pregnancy and i figured that he was just scared as a lot of daddies to be are. But after our daughter was born he did not stop. It got worse.
He spent up to 35 hours to gaming, on top of his 50 hours away from home because of his job. It lasted untill i threw him out when our daughter was starting to walk, and him getting mad for being in the way.

He spent time away for a month, and them begged to come home. He had realized what he was missing out on, and he would stop the excessive gaming. It was ok for about half a year. He got a bit more envolved in the family, spent maybe 1 or 2 hours a day on the console and was fun to be with. And then a new version of call of duty came out.

To make it short, from the hour the game entered our house we were back at square one. He also became more agressive, verbally and also braking stuff when the game went bad or the server was laggy or whatever reason actually. It got worse and worse untill I threatened with dicorce and demanded he'd seek help. According to him i was the one who needed help (There is nothing wrong with ME, you have a problem with me). So we agreed on couples counceling. Stepping into that with prejudice wasn't very important. The therapist read him well and his idea, that this therapist would sort me out, instead of him, never came true. After a couple of weeks we could talk to eachother better, we had a sort of schedule dividing our time for eachother, for the househhold and for leisure. Where leisure could also be gaming but not more than 2 hours a day. In the beginning this worked well. We even decided to buy a new house and made the step towards a second child.

But when the new house was livable and the second kid on the way he relapsed AGAIN. Again a new version of Battlefield (or killzone don't remember exactly) came out. Again he would contribute nothing to the household, he would not do anything else, hurry through falily visits or birthdays just to get home etc etc.

Last januari he did have a boys night out. After having a huge fight on new years eve he stormed out and i found him along the road to our house the next morning at 6 totally wasted on alcohol and probably some drugs. He was crying and talking non stop. About how he was wasting his life, how much he loves me and the kids, and how he has nothing to be proud of and he couldn't stop talking. He spoke out each and every point of criticism i have about him. He was spot on, i had nothing to add. He concluded by stating that he would like a month to figure out how to deal with his situation, and that he hoped i would support him through whatever was to come.
And them february came. And nothing changed. He felt he did not need help. He felt like there was nothing wrong. He told me that what he had said in the beginning of january was a drunk man's jibberish.

I am getting more and more depressed, and to be honest the only 2 things that keep me going are my daughters. I have stopped fighting it after january, because there is no gain in it, only frustration. I have contacted a rehab facility who told me that until he decides he needs help i can't do anything else than setting my boudries and chose for my children and myself. They advised me not to give up on him but to follow my own path none the less. And that is so difficult. It hurts on a daily basis.

Last weekend things escalated. Our oldest daughter had her seventh birthday. My husband found it nescesary to threaten me with throwing a stone food bowl toward me while carrying our youngest, just because i told him not to throw away one of her favorite toys. He started shouting that he didn't need ol that ribbish and ran to his basement where is console is. In the end it was my brother in law playing daddies role on the birthday of my daughter. And then i decided enough is enough.

I waited untill guest were gone and the girls were sleeping and set an ultimatum: leave or seek professional help. I had to disable the internet modem and the tv to get him upstairs and talking to me or rather, listen to me. I talked for 2 hours, he said nothing. His posture went smaller and smaller and his eyes wer teared up, but he said nothing. Only sentence that came out was "you are right about everything" and "i need some sleep now".
Hence that his temper from earlyer that day was because of sleep deprevation in the previous 2 nights and playing battlefield non-stop. So i let him and besides his phone, sandwiches and keys i put a note with phone numbers for the house doctor, for a therapist and a rehab clinic. When i got downstairs following morning, after he left for work, the keys and sandwiches were gone but note and telephone were still there.

I decided i needed help. My brother in law came to pick up everything that remotely related to gaming. The consoles, cables, games everything. I could hardly breathe all day. When he finally came home he acted like the perfect housedad. Kissed us all, helped preparing for dinner, played some games with the kids etc. So when the kids were in bed and we were in kind of a good spirit on the couch i asked him what he had decided. He asked what i meant by that since he had agreed to everything is said the day before and he had tried to show he could be different since he came home. So i explained to him that i did not believe anymore that he could help himslef, so that i had only 2 choices for him: leave or seek professional help. Then he blew up. He totally disagreed with me, so i told him that if that was the case, that he needed to leave. He said that he would, but ran upstairs and went to bed. I followed him up and said that he needed to leave the house. I had packed him a bag allready. If he did not leave i would call the family to come get him. He warned me that with doing that i should also call the police because he wasn't planning on leaving. So i called my parents in law, which came very fast. His mom got him out of bed eventually and my father in law urged me to say as little as possible. To leave the talking to my husband. And i tried.

It was so hurtfull to hear him say that he was sorry that my parents in law had to come for nothing over because i asked them. He said there wasn't any problem rather than me being a nag and a lyer. Luckily my parents in law aren't stupid so my father in law set him strrait pretty quick. My husband enforced that is was only a button to switch, that he could stop gaming without trouble. That he just didn't see the need of professional help because there was nothing wrong with him. And then i broke. i cried and said that he'd rather persist in his delusion and losing his family than to concider that he might be wrong. I told him how unloved and unrespected i feel. I told him how much it hurts for me to see how unfair he is to his kids. How absurd it is that he leaves a 7 year old in charge of a 3 year old, while he is in the basement with headphones on, getting agry when they shout for him to come. Again i spit it all out until my father in law shut me up. He proposed to compromis. To have my husband do it his way, himself, but when he would fail to remain calm, or to fall back into excessive gaming that he would go seek professional help. I did not like the idea, but with the promise that we would go back to couples counsiling in the mean time i agreed. Today we made the first appointment, which is 2 weeks from now.

But i am scared. I don't feel secure. I don't believe this path will bring us back on track. There is no objective way to measure pregress. There is nothing that defines what "excessive" actually means. I am convinced that my boundries will not be respected. My fear is that as long as he doesn't get professional help sorting out his problems with self esteem and self control he will never be safe around computer games, or around his family.
Maybe the couples counsiling can help him see that, but it is hard to believe.

Although his and my family support us both, i feel alone, i feel abandoned and i have been for years. I am scared.
I refuse to give up on him because i know he loves us dearly. The january incident showed me as much. The drunk mans jibberish that he discarded, was to me more sincere and true than anything else he has said in the past 7 years.

I can now only wait, to see what will happen. But it hurts so much.
Knowing that there are others like me doesn't really make it better, but at least i can spill my story to someone who will understand.

If any of you have any thoughts or ideas that might help, please contact me

Best
Sanne
Shooting at shooters would be nice for a change ...
sannevanzijl
Member
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:45 am
Location: Netherlands


Re: Seven Year Stretch

Postby sannevanzijl on Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:15 pm

Well, since i am waiting for access to the closed area, and i am missing the support and response i hoped to find there, i'll simply write some updates here every now and then.

It has been over a week since i wrote my introduction, and what a week it has been. I try to live by the day, but getting through these days is hard. Not knowing wether my husband will storm out, trash our stuff out of shere anger, or simply not come home at all... Not knowing is so hard.

I havent heard when we can go and see the couples counseller yet. And even when we do it remains to be seen if my gamer will go there. Last week we made some tough arrangements, with help from my parents in law. And I removed the xbox from our house. Since i did not fully believe in the compromise my father in law arranged, about not playing for a month, I tried preventing temptation by putting the game stuff in the house of my brother in law. Never you mind, he picked it up the next day and they let him. He had said he agreed with me only to play in the weekend after the agreed month and untill then he would not hook up the xbox.

I did not agree such a thing and knew that it was just to get his stuff back. So the next day i brought the whole package to the house of my parents in law. Again he took it all back home and left it in the trunk of his car. His excuse: in my parents in laws house there are loads of kids wondering around all the time, they will break his stuf. And it is his to begin with so he should have access. Another excuse...

I got angry with my parents in law stressing WHY i did not want the xbox in our home. They felt he would stick to his promises. So again I had no leverage anymore. No say in what was to happen. Disregarded and disrespected again.

Nevertheless we had a pretty good thursday and friday. Although friday he initially wanted to go to his friends house, who is a notorious gamer as well. The friend however knew my point of view and knew i would get angry if he went over there, so he kept my husband away. Result: we had a great evening together. An example how things could have been, and should become.

Saturday he was nagging constantly. He had received a pre-ordered new game which he wanted to try. I said no. He kept nagging. I told him that unless he was finally ready to commit to change and setting boundaries I would not allow the xbox back in the house. I also knew that if i did not compromise we would not get anywhere anyway. So later that day found out that he had disconnected and stolen my pc's external drive which i need for work. Because he was away doing chores at his parents house, and I had promissed not to be behind the pc when he was at home, i took the opportunity to get some work done. Due to all the stress in the week before I ws far behind on schedule anyway. So I wanted to access my files: Disk gone. I called him on his cell and asked him about it. Oh its in the back of my car, nnext to the xbox. Because his perents were in the same room with him he prommised to hurry and get it back to me. And also we'd go for groceries, since he had lend my car to previously mentioned friend and he doesnt like me driving his car.

When he got home, i put back the disk, never minding the fact that he took it out of spite. And asked to go shopping. He refused. He had only agred to that since his parents were sitting there with him. And again something snapped with me. I asked him why he hates me so much. I asked him why I should tend to his needs, and take notice of his wishes, while he disregards anything I want or need or wish, without as much as a thought. He denied he did dis, and trying not to get in an argument I used his xbox as leverage.

I told him I understand he wants to play, and I understand he wants to try out the new game. I would like to see what it is about as well. But I cant because as soon as we hook up the console he would plug out of the world around him. He said it wasn't so. And I just presented him facts. I also asked if he thought is was fair that he would spend 30+ hours doing something he liked, and nothing else besides his work, while I have the household, the kids and a fulltime job as well. That I get only 8 hours in a whole week for myself, and he even argues about that. He admitted that wasn't fair. And while continuing talking we came to a compromise. He would be allowed to [play 8 hours a week, as I had 8 hours of horses. He would have to restrict it to 2 weeknights max. , and the hours that remain to be spent in the weekend. No gaming with the kids in the room. Console would have to be in the livingroom instead of the basement where there is no control. We made a whole bunch of other agreements varying from who does the dishes, who brings the kids to bed and a special our-evening: fridaynight we do something together. All and all I was happy with this convenant which we both signed. He was happy about it, because there was quite some positive in it for him as well.

Since we agreed all this he has played 4 times, and all 4 times he disregarded the time limit. This blew up this evening. His family had been visiting and anticipating this he had connected to the xbox an hour before the kids even wnt to bed. Then after his parents left, he totally ignored my protest, and switched it on within a minute. Then his dad came back in because my sister in law forgot his purse. And daddy in law got angry. And was ignored, and he persisted, and was ignored again, still he persisted, and then my husband showed his true colors to his dad. He started swearing throwing stuff, calling my father in law all sorts of names among which some of the worst diseases possible. Then he stormed off, slamming doors etc. So now finally my father in law has seen what i have been dealing with on an almost daily basis. My husband has always down talked me, saying I was maaking things up, or simply saying stuff about me so his actions seemed less serious.

My father in law told him that he'd be fully supportive of me when i'd decide to run off, kids and all. And that he'd be in trouble. But the poor man was just being ignored and left like a beaten dog.

Now my husband is in our bed and I dont want to go there. I just want the damn therapist to call allready. I want our house doctor to go and put pressure, because this can't go on.
Even though my parents in law would support me if i'd leave, I dont want to leave. This is the home of my kids. Their school is here, their friends. Their stuff ... Evrything. All our friends and family are further away. If someone should leave it is my husband. But i'm affraid he will refuse. And unless he lays a hand on me, the police will not interfere...

So what next. Maybe i need to call it a night and think about it some more.
Tired and Sad

:\
Shooting at shooters would be nice for a change ...
sannevanzijl
Member
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:45 am
Location: Netherlands


Re: Seven Year Stretch

Postby Bizdaddy on Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:29 pm

I am so sorry you're going through this. My wife has become a huge liar about everything even small stuff. Up until a few days ago I would have taken her back but now I am completely done with the woman I wanted to spend my life with but that woman is gone and someone I don't even want to be in the same room with has taken her place.

Take care,
Matthew
Bizdaddy
Member
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:10 pm


Re: Seven Year Stretch

Postby sannevanzijl on Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:13 am

I know how you feel matthew
Part of me feels the same.
I am now since today in contact with this clinic who can help my gamer.

Today we will have a sitdown with me and my husband and his family to tell him it is serious:
You need to call this number for help OR you need to leave now.

Yesterday evening was the limit. All boundaries are gone except 1: physical abuse toward me and the kids. And i refuse to wait untill that happens.
He needs to act now.

But i am affraid he will leave instead of call for help.

Thank you matthew for your reply
It is good to know i am not the only one in this boat (or should I call it a shipwreck ...)

Hugs
Sanne
Shooting at shooters would be nice for a change ...
sannevanzijl
Member
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:45 am
Location: Netherlands


Re: Seven Year Stretch

Postby Bizdaddy on Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:38 am

Oh, my wife left me almost 2 months ago for a man she met on the game she plays. Unfortunately for her he never left his wife. She filed for divorce 2 weeks ago so it's too late to save her even though I had been trying.
Bizdaddy
Member
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:10 pm



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