Help! Depressed & Alone: My Husband Plays Video Games 98% Of The Time When He’s Home

by Black Love And Marriage.com on September 23, 2011

in Communication,Love & Marriage,Quality Time

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By Team BLAM

We have hundreds of questions waiting to be answered and from time to time we share the question with you our wonderful insightful readers. :-) Please take a minute to respond to this wife who is considering leaving her husband. This question has not been altered at all. We give it to you the way it comes to us….

My now husband and I have been together for 4 1/2yrs and married 3 of them. We have a daughter together and I have a daughter of a previous relationship and we are currently expecting a 3rd. We have issues of communicating. Its like I live in a house alone most of the time with the exception of the girls (Kids). He’s in the military and has been deployed last year which somewhat I think has effected him but he is worse than he was before. He plays this online video game 98% of his time at home. I have to rant and go on and on to get attention so it seems. We don’t talk really unless its about the kids or when we’re coming or going from work. I am honestly tired of it. Would it be wrong of me if I left? I’ve expressed my feelings about his excessive gaming, he won’t stop. I feel ultimatums are pointless and will only create rebellion. I feel like I don’t know him and we are just in the same house together but the only time we seem to connect is when we have sex which is now a rare occasion as well. HELP! I’m depressed and feel alone. I have no idea what to do anymore.

BLAM Fam, Help this wife out. I’m sure she’s refreshing her page every few minutes as she waits for some answers.

We can all do our small part. It can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

Stop Playing. Start Pushing.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 adie December 14, 2012 at 2:33 am

Why is everyone thinking its alright for the man of the house play video games to "take out his stress" Is this healthy?? Well then how did the men take out their stress back in those days ?! maybe chop some wood go for a run fix the roof i dont know something healthy! Games are not ok ! Even for kids , makse then stupider. Whats wrong with people these days !? My husband starts playing right after work till he cant keep his eyes open. He is all nerves and temper , cant see or hear me exept when he 'commands' me to bring him food ,or something that needs to be done, after all he earns the money . The baby can fall down and scream but he wont budge , exept holler at me to shut the baby up. Please dont be so heartless and say that thats normal. Its driving me INSANE.I act sweet and obedient but i dont think i can last long.I wish someone could help!! I feel sometimes like im on the verge of a mental breakdown. I dont want to be a stay at home mother whats the point ? its like im single! or his mom that just does the cooking cleaning but also the sex . My dreams of a marriage with love and understatement all went down the drain life sucks . Im going to work and going to have a life because if i see this picture much longer in my bedroom i will go crazy.

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2 silver branches July 27, 2012 at 12:16 am

Oh and by the way, it's no help to say "maybe you should take an interest in the game." Why? He plays the game compulsively. It's not something that needs more encouragement. We are not talking about a healthy individual who plays a couple games after work to decompress, or plays a couple nights a week for "alone" or "guy time." We are talking about someone whose life is wrapped up in a game. I don't think most of the commenters on this post understand what it is like to be a third wheel in a marriage, where the primary members are the man and the computer. It's NOT OK, It DOESN'T go away by itself or get better, It's NOT something they grow out of, and usually talking about it does NOT help. Even if the man is good hearted and has all the intentions of cutting back, he doesn't, because he is obsessed and addicted to the game. We are talking about men who ignore their children because they don't want to be interrupted. We are talking about men who won't lift a finger to fix their own plate because they're absorbed in the game. Just thought I'd add that, I'm sorry that people are not understanding what you're going through.

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3 silver branchese July 27, 2012 at 12:09 am

Wow I'm amazed at some of the responses here. I know I'm a latecomer but I just wanted to say that I feel for you. Maybe the reason people are being so hard on you is because your husband is military and has been deployed. That is a situation that I haven't had to deal with. And while I have great respect for him and understand he may be having trouble coping, you, your kids, and your relationship matter too. He can't just throw all of that away because he has been through hardships. I can however relate to the video-game playing husband. I have a husband who plays video games nonstop. Forget about our relationship – our daughter doesn't even know him. He plays games all night, sleeps all morning and then plays more games. When he comes out to leave for work in the afternoon, she thinks he is coming to play with her and she runs down the sidewalk after his car. It's heartbreaking. There is too much hurt and damage to relationships all around to just keep ignoring the problem. I don't know what the solution is but just wanted to say I understood. I've thought a lot about how to handle this and I think I am going to shut the internet off, and possibly take the keyboard and mouse off the computer and put them in storage somewhere. Maybe I'll get rid of the entire computer. Sure, he'll be mad, but he's a good man underneath and I think he'll quickly realize what he's missing out on. I love him too much to give up on him or leave. I have to do all I can to try to fix this – and to do what's best for him. He's so smart and has so many dreams, and he wastes all of them in front of the computer. This is just my opinion – if you love someone you do what you have to do to get them well even if they hate you for it. I know I can't change him but I can try to get him to wake up. Well those are just my thoughts, and maybe they will be no help. But at least know that I understand. It's a lonely life being second place to a machine.

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4 charice October 26, 2011 at 10:43 pm

As a wife of a , disabled vet I say let him play if it makes him happy! You have no idea what he saw while he was deployed or what he went through. I'm speaking as a wife whose husband has PTSD whose husband sits for hours playing VIDEO games! I was just like you at one point angry confused, & lonely that is until I sat and talked to him and asked why he played video games so much. His response was "so that I can get out of my head because most of the time i'm depressed." Do you all go to church? Do you have a pastor or older couple you can talk to? Has he been evaluated for PTSD? Try sitting down and playing the game with him sometimes. Get him some help it sounds like he may be depressed or struggling with his thoughts.

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5 Mylissa January 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm

He has PTSD, been diagnosed since his Iraq tour back in 04. He refuses to get proper help. He doesn't want medication and they want him to take meds so he refuses to take any help at all, just suffer through it. I attend church here, he hasn't been here enough in the past year to really go to church and what days he is, he refuses to go as well. I do not like playing video games and especially not the game he plays. It is the stupidest game. I am a full time student and a mother and right now I am on bed rest in a high risk pregnancy. The least of my concerns is a video game. He has completed yet another deployment now and since I posted this. He's not played the game so much until this past week and now its starting all over. I honestly think that the gaming has nothing at all to do with the PTSD. Its an addiction plain and simple. JMO.

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6 Tasha A Richardson October 16, 2011 at 10:51 pm

part II

Sorry, no offense to anyone all of the talking in the world from his wife will not help because she can not relate. The only I am saying this because I am a mother of three and I have down two tours. The last one was almost a year long. When we return we feel left out…you have a routine and we are not part of it. Many spouse do not do a good job of trying to reintergrate the deployed spouse back or they try to do too much too soon. Yes, you may have been taking care of this family solo for so long but we haven't. So, many guys have told me that their wives will say "its your turn" when they arrive home. That is not the brightest idea!!! On top of that she is pregnant again…this only adds to the stress for both of them. I have the same problem with my husband. All he want to do is sit around in play video games. There is a time for fun and there is a time for business. I draw the line when my children are neglected. I suggest that you seek outside help to get to know one another over again.

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7 Mylissa Tate-Oakley October 17, 2011 at 1:42 am

Tasha, MANY spouses cheat from the moment their spouses leave! MANY do not send care pkgs, answer the phones or write letters! I broke my back for my husband while gone and since he has been home. I would NEVER tell him its "your turn" because he's home. That is rude in my opinion! I let him get comfy with doing things again and when he would seem to be getting back to things I would do it with him to show him I missed him helping and having him home.
You surely are right that being pregnant hasn't helped. I am a high risk pregnancy at that! I have been battling hypertension and facing another pregnancy with preeclampsia. When my youngest daughter was crying for him, I drew the line and broke the line too for him with his laptop. I shouldn't have broken it but I got angry because our baby was crying for him trying to tell him about a picture she drew for him and he ignored her and she cried to me "mama daddy won't listen to me and I make him a picture"….. I was LIVID! BUT we have worked on new ways to communicate. When I wrote this, I was SO down and felt sick, my blood pressure was high, I was on bed rest and he was playing his game and right through it all. We are doing our own techniques right now because he refuses outside help and he is also deployed again so not much option there right now.
Thank you for your reply Tasha.

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8 Tasha A Richardson October 16, 2011 at 10:51 pm

A deployment is not a reason to retreat. If he has problems with the deployment or things that he had done/seen/herd he needs to seek professioneal attention.

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9 Danyale October 16, 2011 at 10:05 pm

CONT..
Going off into the bedroom makes him feel that youre arent interested in his interests and making his gaming seem insignificant makes him feel like you think that he is insignificant. My husband is actually playing his game now! I respect what he likes to do to relax and I think you should try looking at it that way too. If after you've tried to get involved, he still ignores you. Try counseling, if that doesnt work, at least you can say that you fought for your marriage instead of just quitting. BOL! :)

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10 Mylissa Tate-Oakley October 17, 2011 at 1:14 am

Danyale,
I am the wife in question here. I will not sit and watch my husband play a game online for HOURS on end as in from the time he walks in the door and until the time he is ready for bed or a shower. There are days he wouldn't even come to the dinner table because he was stuck on the game on his computer! This is not PS3 or the XBox we are talking about this is an online game where he is interacting with OTHER people but not the people that matter as in our children and myself! It had gotten to the point where he was sharing cell #s with these ppl and one of them texted him at like 11:30pm at night. I asked him to seek counseling when he initially came home and the night sweats and terrors started. I am VERY understanding of his stresses and possible experiences there in Afghan. But I cannot help what I am not allowed to be a part of. I have sat with him while playing the game, I have asked him to show me how to play and he laughed. He refused counseling, he refused basically everything including limiting the time he plays until I 1.Broke his laptop in half because my youngest daughter who is 3 was talking to him and he was so caught up in his game that he wasn't listening to her and she came to me crying saying mama daddy won't listen to me… Something snapped in me and I walked up the hall and took the laptop n slammed it to the ground HARD and said, when your child speaks, you LISTEN… you can ignore me but you will not ignore our children! 2. I started looking for a place outside the home we share. He had a wake up call. His mother also passed so I didn't push, I was letting him know I am here but when he was appearing to be in a shell, I would give him his space. I respect whatever his pasttimes are, I do not nag him or whine. But I refuse to EVER AGAIN live like roommates. We stared our own ways of counseling and we both write down how we feel and we take time to read to our youngest together and we are taking control of our lives. He however, is now deployed again! So its possibly gonna be starting over when he returns. I asked this question a while back. I have dealt with the excessive gaming since before he left to Afghan, that only made it worse… I have fought for my marriage but I won't fight alone for anything that is a partnership. I am still fighting, I have never quit anything except smoking! lol
What works for you in your marriage and your husband may not work for mine and ours. The gaming was going too far and he was basically wasting away and our children were witnesses. When you put more into a game then you do your family, there is a problem.

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11 Sharee October 14, 2012 at 6:36 pm

My husband is not in military and he constantly plays modern warfare online on the ps3 and has the stupid headset glued to his ear and completely ignores me and our sons. We cone second too the game. I know how you feel vim seriously ready to smash the ps3.

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12 Danyale October 16, 2011 at 10:05 pm

As a new military wife, I understand this completely. My husband also plays his online video game. At first I hated it, I wanted his attention. I realized that video ga,es were his outlet and I started to become interested in hs game. I tell him when to shoot and he actually depends on my eyes sometimes. I think that you should be a little bit more supportive. Deployment is no joke, I'm a vet too so I understand it from his side also. He needs you to understand that and it may be hard for him to vocalize it. Leaving him would be ver selfish. Try to get involved in that part of his life. Get him some snacks, sit next to him and when he's not actively engaging in the game ask him, what are doing? Show a genuine interest. Marvel at his hand-eye coordination. Sit at his side and "help" him play. Dont talk his ear off but be there.

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13 Jamedra September 24, 2011 at 5:53 pm

This may seem juvenile and simple but could be a way "in" – ask him to teach you to play. it is said that women talk face to face, while men communicate side by side. Please don't come with the attitude, I'm only playing this so you'll talk to me. You may have some fun. Also talk to military wives who may have gone through the same thing. Or military people who have come home from combat. Sometimes. you have no idea of the post traumatic stress from the things they've seen. Maybe he needs someone to talk to and that someone may not be you. But, let him know that you are there to talk when he's ready. & Let him know that you enjoy his company rather than expressing your irritation by the absence of it.
Could he be stressed about the addition to the family? Remember, men feel it is their duty to provide, if he is worried about his ability to do that, it could be weighing on him. Above all decide to be happy with or with or without him. Do some things you enjoy without him if you have to. The health of this baby depends on it.

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14 Briana @ 20&Engaged September 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I can definitely feel your pain, but hold on! Video games, 9 times out of 10, are a way that he's taking out his stress. Sit and have a conversation with him. Ask him what's wrong, what he's going through, why he's stressed and why he's retreating. If you need some more help with the kids, ask him for some help. Make time for the both of you to reconnect and spend some time together. There's nothing worse than feeling like a roommate instead of a wife. Ultimatums can seen a little farfetched but it can also put into perspective for your husband what you need in life.
My recent post Finance Friday: Is Moving a Good Idea?

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15 introspektd123 September 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm

The feeling of being abandoned is very powerful. The sub-feelings that come along with it can be the driving force towards depression. On top of it, right now your body is overexerting itself by making life. Sis, I am praying for your strength. I was in your shoes less than one year ago and although my baby is 9 months and we are still together there are days where the simple reminder on top of the "issue" not being totally resolved makes me want to pack him up and send him on his way. I will say this from a regretful standpoint. The first 6 months of my pregnancy I was emotionally drained. I am sure my sun is a thinker because of all I did during that time but I am also sure I transferred ill will and negative vibrations to him about his father. For this reason alone I am asking you to try your absolute best to return the focus back to you. If you are not keeping a journal right now get one. If you haven't made a dream board, make one. Include the family on it when you do (if possible). If you haven't written down what your personal "mission" statement is then do it. If you haven't written down where you would like the relationship to look like, do that. Read as much as you can and as often as you can. Enjoy the whole essence of music, movies, and time out with friends and family. Drink white tea (which will help you once you deliver) and by all means know and understand that right now there is alot going on. Internally, externally and everywhere around you. Hubby probably doesn't know how to communicate especially when life changes and since that happens everyday its possible you may need to have a "come to jesus" meeting. But PLEASE REMEMBER THIS TOO SHALL PASS. May the Creator keep you right now sistaqueen!

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16 Patricia Knight September 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I feel for you, Sweetie. I get it that you're lonely and depressed. Pregnancy is not the best time to be making decisions about your marriage, however. There should be no question that you are to remain with your husband.

I would suggest that you firm up the kids schedule, so that you get a break (naps and early bedtimes can work wonders!). Find time in each day to rest and do something you enjoy. Your sisters or good girlfriends can be very helpful to you. They provide company, a listening ear, and will babysit, too. Give your husband a break; he's going through some things (just as you are).

Once you get your perspective of things right, you will have more empathy for your husband. At that point you can cuddle up to the brother, while you let him play his game.

Trouble don't last always.

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17 Tamisha September 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm

This is only a test of your marriage. Your husband will not be playing games forever but as of right now he is probably using video games as an outlet because, with most men, they need time to clear their mind and think some things through. Maybe you should try taking an interest in the game. Have him show you how to play and I am sure you will spark some communication because you two have to talk in order for him to explain the game to you. Don't talk about personal problems during the game just enjoy this time with him and be positive and have a good attitude.

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18 guest September 23, 2011 at 10:38 am

why leave your husband at a time when he probably needs you most? that's childish. during his deployment he most likely saw/heard some pretty horrific things. marriage isn't about how much you can take from your spouse it's about giving. ask yourself when was the last time you expressed appreciation for what he does and has done for you and your children? have you told him how much you admire his dedication to his country? expressed admiration for his willingness to sacrifice his life for you and every other american? it's hard for most of us women to believe but sometimes our men have things on their minds that are so much bigger than us. maybe you need to stop thinking selfishly and stop ranting. create a safe zone for him to open up to you his wife about what could have him wanting to escape reality. think about it this way: if his military reality is warfare then he comes back to warfare in his home where is his safety to just live? it's your job as his wife to provide him comfort not conflict. put your needs to the side and see where you can supply his needs. he will be grateful for it and will respect you more. give the man some relief show your support for him and he will give it back!

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19 Mylissa Tate-Oakley October 17, 2011 at 1:31 am

Childish? I find it to be childish to be stuck on a video game when your CHILD is speaking to you and you cannot focus to see what she is saying! I am an adult therefore i can be neglected and be patient and keep trying but my 3y/o child cannot do the same. I HAVE given to my husband! When a service member is deployed its not just the troop who sacrifices it is the ENTIRE FAMILY only from a different perspective. It seemed for a while that we were closer during the deployment than when he came home. I appreciate my husband and his comrades! They come to our home and eat for BBQ's and he still played the game! You cannot have company and not play the game and no one else was playing with him cause it is an online game he played on his laptop. There is no nor was there "warfare" in his home… how would you consider it warfare when I attempt to talk to him and am shut down so I walk away because i don't know what else to do or say because you cannot keep pushing a person that doesn't want to open up. I did give him relief and I let him play the game day in and day out as in as soon as he comes home until sometimes midnight or later! Then my 3y/o was ignored and crying and I lost it. He since then came to reality, has talked about some of the issues with his deployment, we are doing our own counseling at home which is now via email because he is deployed again!
Its my job as a wife to give comfort, not be a push over or neglected. Being Submissive and being Neglected are two different ball games. I have always put my husband first (2nd to God) and its always been what he wanted and what he needed and so forth. He admitted the issue was in part that he felt like when he came back I wouldn't need him. Another part of the issue is because he was married before and the ex wife cheated the entire time so he basically detached himself from me while gone because he thought he would come home to the same thing with me. My needs are NEVER first but in this matter, I felt that there was no point in me staying because our children were also being neglected! And to close, my husband honestly needs counseling professionally due to a prior diagnosis of PTSD. However, he will not go because he doesn't want medication and they always prescribe him meds. I cannot force him to go, I can only TRY to be the support. If I am shut out when he comes back home again then its back to square one.

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