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new to the forum :)

Postby sophiedeeer on Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:26 pm

hi,
i'm sophie. i'm in my early 20s and i'm in a relationship with an avid gamer. my boyfriend and i have been together for nearly seven years, and we've been living together for one of them.
he's been into video games as long as i've known him, but in the beginning, while we were living apart, i didn't mind it so much. he usually tried to avoid gaming while i was at his place, and when he did succumb to the urge, he played games i could get involved in (i quite liked playing as sakura on street fighter).
eventually, though, his WOW addiction did start to eat into our relationship. when he wasn't playing during our phonecalls, he would cut them short so he could get back to his keyboard. the fact that i'd arranged to go to his place no longer stopped him from scheduling a raid on the same night. i had to entertain myself for hours on end while he was in his virtual world.
fortunately, after a few vicious arguments and some very frank words, he uninstalled the game and promised me he'd stopped taking our relationship for granted. to be fair to him, he hasn't played WOW since. the promise, however, hasn't held. last year we moved in together, and his gaming habit has spiralled since. he plays computer games (for the past couple of months it's been Team Fortress 2, but it can vary) for as long as he can get away with. since he's currently unemployed, this can be up to 8 hours a day. a lot of days he won't sit with me for longer than it takes to eat dinner. he rarely does his share of the chores, which means i end up doing more than my share on top of my full-time job because it's easier than nagging him to come away from his PC. on one or two occasions (though it IS only one or two), he has forgotten to feed our cats because he was caught up in a game. i sometimes have to beg him to come to bed with me at night because i like to fall asleep with him, and although he gives in, he'll just sit next to me looking at TF2 forums on his laptop until i fall asleep, and i'll wake up a few hours later to find he's snuck off to play again.

i don't know. i've tried talking to him about it, but he gets so offended and says that i'm too paranoid that every game he plays is "the new WOW". he argues that he's depressed about his unemployment and that gaming is the only thing that makes him feel like he's good at something. i've told him that he can talk to me anytime he feels depressed but he says he doesn't like to talk about it. he also gives a lot of the same reasoning i've seen quoted on this forum - things like "it's my only social outlet", "it relaxes me" and "at least i'm home". when i try to suggest that we should spend more time together, he argues that my sitting on the sofa watching tv while he plays on his desktop is spending time together. i'm trying desperately to see his side of things and on some level i can understand why gaming is so important to him, but i can't help feeling second-best to the desktop computer in our living room. every time i try to confront him about it or ask him to come away from the PC for any reason, though, i feel like i'm a nagging killjoy who's driving him further into his virtual escapism. i love him more than anything and i don't want our relationship to end if i can help it, but i just feel so neglected and frustrated.

um, yeah. sorry for the long, rambling post. thanks for letting me vent, and it's really nice to have found a place where people are having the same problems.
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Re: new to the forum :)

Postby Jonathan on Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:42 pm

Hey Sophiedeeer,
I was just thinking about you post and was relating it to some of my own experience dealing with this exact situation. Have you taken the time to consider how much effort was being directed by your boyfriend to the gaming rather than going out to find a job? With my gamer ex-wife, I would bring her home a different application about every two weeks and ask her to take the time to fill it out so I could drop it off for her. She NEVER actually filled one out and I would find them in the pile of trash papers/junk on her desk.(she never cleaned and was a slob) Think it just pissed her off but it was my subtle way of reminder her that we were broke and she needed to do something.... hell, anything productive.

Are you supporting your boyfriend? Rent, Food, phone, internet and cable, etc.?

I know jobs are difficult to find these days but is he making an attempt? My biggest thing was always about the effort, not the product. If he isn't working then he needs to be working at home. Making dinner, cleaning things up, getting applicaitons filled out and dropped off.

If this guy is really the ONE for you then hopefully he can step up and be a man and start taking care of his responsibilities. Take an honest look at your life and see where he fits into your future..
Good Luck,
Jonathan
CLIMBING OUT OF THE HELL THAT BECAME MY LIFE...
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Re: new to the forum :)

Postby Tawnee on Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:20 pm

Welcome Sophiedeeer.

I agree with everything Jonathon has said.

If he isn't making a hard effort to look for work (and I know mine certainly disn't) then he needs to do MORE of the housework etc as you are carrying the financial load for both.

You should be coming home to a clean house and at least the prep for dinner done. Then you can open a bottle of wine and cook together and talk about your day.

If your partner wont step up, the resentment is just going to get worse and you will end up not even liking him.
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Re: new to the forum :)

Postby sophiedeeer on Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:05 pm

thanks for the supportive comments :)
he pays half the rent and bills and he always seems to find money for that from somewhere, but i often have to pay for the groceries when it’s his turn and he owes me a couple of hundred pounds.
he has been making some effort to look for work, and he’s had a few week-long jobs in the past two months or so, but i can’t say he’s out there every day giving out CVs and filling in application forms. i know he should be keeping the place spotless if he’s home all day, but left to his own devices, he doesn’t. and like i said, sometimes it’s easier to clean up after him rather than get into a row about how he never does any housework unless i badger him.
i don’t know. i’m probably not helping the situation by being so passive-aggressive – telling all this to you guys rather than him. but i’ve tried telling him and it always leads to him feeling attacked and me feeling like a nag who won’t let him have a hobby or enjoy himself. it’s very hard to have an honest, calm, constructive conversation about these things (the gaming/unemployment/chores) because the emotions behind them are so strong on both sides and they're such sensitive issues.
i’m going to have a long think about the things i can do to help improve the situation (suggesting job openings i’ve heard about or bringing him application forms once in a while is a good idea – thanks Jonathan). if he sees i’m making more of an effort to ensure we’re both happy (rather than just quietly cleaning the house while glaring at his PC screen), he might follow suit. if things don’t improve then, i'll feel more justified in confronting him with what he needs to do to pull his weight in our relationship. and, if the very worst happens and it turns out there's no feasible future with him, i'll be heartbroken, but at least i'll know i did all i could.
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