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Hi everyone, sorry for the long post but here goes…

My husband and I met 5 years ago when I was a J1 student from the UK. I was working for the summer and we hit it off right away. I returned home and we continued our relationship online. We planned a visit for me to come out here, he proposed, I moved out to Michigan a few months later and we got married. For anyone who is aware of the US visa system, I waited around 9 months from my arrival to receive my GC and be able to work. So, for those 9 months, I sat home every day, cooked dinner, cleaned house and waited for him to come home from work. During this time, he played a lot of video games. He is obsessed with gaming and that is the reason for my post.

He wakes up, and he is watching gamers on his phone, talking with them and playing on the console. He comes home from work and the same thing. I didn’t complain at first because I honestly didn’t mind, but as time went on, I saw it as an issue. I began working and would come home after a 12-hour shift, shower and ask him to come lay in bed with me. He would set a timer on his phone and tell me that I had 30 minutes until he goes back to his game. Sure enough, timer would go off and he would get out of bed and go game. I then implemented the rule of no gaming until 10pm unless I had already gone to bed. He seemed fine with that, but he was always on it during the day when we were both off and he couldn’t understand why I was getting upset. If I asked to watch movies, he never wanted to, so he would put on the same show on repeat and just sit playing on his phone or watching YouTube videos of gamers.

I would try to talk to him to make conversation, but he would be that engrossed in his phone that he wouldn’t hear me. When I say something about it, it turns in to an argument because “it’s not his fault” and I’m always left feeling bad because I must be the bad person.

When we bought our new house, he asked if he could begin streaming his games. By doing so, he would have to put over $1,000 into a new gaming system with computers and what not. I politely asked him to hold off because we have updates to do. I came home from work a few weeks later and he had an entire set up in the living room. Not so much a mention of it to me. He just did it. I am a rational person, and I know the difference between want and need. I don’t demand his money for myself, I have a higher income than him. I don’t tell him he can’t buy things for himself, we each have our own money, but I am aware of the want and need and I put other things before my own wants. He does not understand this.

For 3 years, I have cried, shouted and begged this man to understand why I feel the way I do yet he doesn’t understand it. He says it is his hobby, but in reality, it is an addiction. He doesn’t want to walk the dogs because he streams his games. We can’t go out on date nights past 9pm because he is on a schedule for his games. He won’t watch movies with me because he must play his games in an hour. Whenever we have these arguments, he will get better for a couple of days but then it's always on repeat.

I have fallen out of love with this man and it hurts. I am lost. I am 1 month away from being able to apply for citizenship which was ultimately the end goal for us. I have no ties to the UK anymore and I have built a wonderful life here in the US. I did not marry him for the sole intention of citizenship, I genuinely did love him. I have lasted this long because I have a constant battle in my head saying I should stay with him and be grateful for what we have. But I would much rather have nothing and be happy, than force a marriage and remain unhappy and resentful in 20 years. I am 27, he is 29. I long to have children but I cannot have them with him. I used to babysit my friend’s child and I would have my husband watch him while I showered. I would come back to the baby just laying on the couch while my husband played his games. He is not a father and he is not mature enough to understand why he isn’t the correct husband for me.

I want to walk away but I don’t know how to. I told him 4 months ago that I was ready to walk away, and there was no fight in him. He just told me that he would help me do what I needed to do. He acts like he doesn't care and it hurts. I want to love him, and I want to have a successful marriage, but too much has happened in 3 years and I can't go back no matter how many times we try. I’m embarrassed about wanting to divorce, that was never something I ever wanted in my life, but I know I can’t continue like this. If anyone has any advice for similar situations, I would greatly appreciate it!

LS.
 

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This does sound like a legitimate situation where he is addicted to gaming. I'm very sorry you are going through this. He has ignored you and he has disrespected you all in the name of playing games. IMO he is not serious about his commitment to you and is showing it by making unilateral decisions like the streaming set-up and not talking to you at all about it and setting a timer for time he will spend away from his game with you in your marital bed. His anger when you try to speak to him about it shows that he has no interest in changing for you in the name of making your marriage better or to improve the situation he has put the two of you in.
 

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Obsession, is his game and anything short of a complete turnaround, is useless and nothing to beat yourself up for. Firstly because it is more than habit or indulgence. You have spoken plain words.


And at 29, is selfish and self centered his only performs life at the minimum! And this is not what you signed up for. I get it but you bringing up the citizenship thing only comes here and not in any argument you may have with him.

This is not the focus you should entertain at all, while moving forward to what happiness that will come your way. ( You got many things going for you) He had already said they what ever you need to move forward well, hold him to his words.

Detach and prepare to move forward and only pause if his actions prove change ( if you choose) and not empty promise's he may speak. Action is what gets the truth out in the open settle for nothing less. And because you think it is gaming it really is not but his mistress, it just happens not to have legs and a mouth to point out his shortcomings.

Do not settle for his happiness only, but for a nurturing and caring husband and mate. It's not about his habit but as it has gone beyond what can be as normal. 30 mins on a timer, BS that is a full stop and not acceptable at all.

And tell him if fails in his actions, do not stay but start the process of divorce. And do not have any reservations about leaving.
 

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OK. You’ve tolerated a lot and fallen out of love. So it’s decision time.

He knows you want to leave, and he doesn’t care. So your choice here is clear: leave.

Please talk to a lawyer, and do exactly as they tell you to do. This isn’t your fault.
 

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Sorry your going through this. It seems he wants his life to be a certain way and that’s not the life you want. You told him how you felt and he hasn’t done enough to change. Your not asking for him to give up video games, just to make you a priority. It’s clear his games are #1 and a distance second is you.
Don’t feel bad about wanting a divorce. Wait until you get your green card, then move out and proceed with the divorce. During this time be clear that it’s because I’d his gaming and give him a chance to change. If he doesn’t, continue with the divorce.

Your future looks better with him out of it. Stay strong!
 

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@Stan432

I was married to a man who end up obsessed with video gaming. Like your husband it became more important to him than anything else in his life.

He had full custody of his two children. I had my son. So I was raising 3 children basically by myself and working full time to support the family.

He did go to a psychiatrist as my insistence before we divorced. He was diagnosed with AD/HD and OCD. The doc said that people who game to this extent tend to develop OCD because of the gaming. My ex was on meds for AD/HD and OCD for about a year. The only good they did was to help him be able to focus more on the gaming.

Once the children graduated from high school I divorced him. I did not want to put the children through yet another family breakup while they were in school. So I waited.

We married in 2000. The obsessive gaming started in about 2002. I divorced him in 2012. Today, he still spends just about every minute he's not working or sleeping gaming.

You have every justification to leave your husband over this. It's fine for him to have a hobby. But your relationship has to come before the hobby. If he is not willing to do put your relationship first, he's not really in the relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you to all who have replied! It makes me feel better knowing that I’m not being ridiculous for thinking I want to leave over this. When I look back, I see a lot of tell tale signs, but at the time I never thought it was an issue. When you begin dating someone, your goal isn’t to change who they are, so I kind of just accepted it with the hopes that the phase would end, not get worse.

I think the ultimate decision is for me to leave, but how? We don’t have children, we are joint on the house and mortgage (I work in escrow so I can handle that aspect), and I know I will be financially stable without him. How am I supposed to tell this man, who thinks there is nothing wrong, that I am leaving? When is an appropriate time to do so and what are my steps in this?
 

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To start with, you need to find out the divorce laws in Michigan. Here are a few links with info. You can do a google search to find more info.

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/how-to-file-a-divorce-in-michigan (I'm not posting this link to suggest that you use legalzoom for a divorce. I don't suggest them. Instead the link just has some good info.)

https://www.4grewallaw.com/blog/2018/april/the-ultimate-guide-to-a-successful-divorce-in-mi/

https://michiganlegalhelp.org/self-help-tools/family/i-need-divorce-and-i-do-not-have-minor-children

Call some divorce attorneys. Many will give a half hour to one hour free appointment. The idea is that this gives you a chance to interview then and decide who hire. You can ask questions like how will your citizenship application be affected, when should you file, how are assets split, etc. See what they have to say.

Also look into using a mediator. Some attornies also work as divorce mediators.

If you use an attorney, each of you should have your own attorney. If you use a mediator, you can both use the one mediator. But you might want to have an attorney to just review the final agreement before you sign it.

Also, if you do enough research and you both are in agreement with an uncontested divorce, you can just do it yourself. But you will need to do a lot of reading about the laws and how it works. To do this, use your state's self help court website. They should have all the forms. When I divorced the gamer guy, I did the divorce myself. He did no contest. It cast me a whole $138 to file the divorce.

Also there are books sold for each state that explain the state's divorce laws. I know that amazon.com is one place you can find these books.

However, you have the citizenship issue to deal with. After you apply, how long does it take to get your citizenship? Can on you continue to get your citizenship if you divorce?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info, EleGirl! He is a pretty laid back and also clueless guy so I think it will be an easy, smooth divorce. I don’t want anything from his apart from handling the house aspect. I would take the dogs and he would be fine with that, along with my own personal belongings. I’ll definitely check out the links you gave though.

Citizenship I believe is around 10 months. There are conditions which require marriage to the US citizen in order to get citizenship right now. Otherwise, I can apply single in 2 years from now. The marriage just speeds it up slightly.
 

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Thanks for the info, EleGirl! He is a pretty laid back and also clueless guy so I think it will be an easy, smooth divorce. I don’t want anything from his apart from handling the house aspect. I would take the dogs and he would be fine with that, along with my own personal belongings. I’ll definitely check out the links you gave though.

Citizenship I believe is around 10 months. There are conditions which require marriage to the US citizen in order to get citizenship right now. Otherwise, I can apply single in 2 years from now. The marriage just speeds it up slightly.
Don’t do anything that will make your citizenship application harder. I know it’s a screwed up situation but try and stick it out until you’re accepted.
He wouldn’t be the first guy to try and screw up the process as petty revenge.
 

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Don’t do anything that will make your citizenship application harder. I know it’s a screwed up situation but try and stick it out until you’re accepted.
He wouldn’t be the first guy to try and screw up the process as petty revenge.
I don’t believe he would, but his mum and sister are definitely malicious enough to try and brainwash him. They’ve interfered in the marriage multiple times in the past and have no doubt that they would try again.
 

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Don’t do anything that will make your citizenship application harder. I know it’s a screwed up situation but try and stick it out until you’re accepted.
I agree with this.

You can start planning and get things in place for the divorce while the citizenship process goes through.

In the mean time start living your own life. Build your support system. Go out with your female friends. Do things that make you healthier and happier.
 

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Talk to an immigration lawyer as well. I became a citizen through marriage and the process was pretty smooth because I didn't have any marital issues going on.

First make sure divorce proceedings are not going to affect your immigration status and then proceed with the divorce. Ask a lawyer first.
 

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I agree with this.

You can start planning and get things in place for the divorce while the citizenship process goes through.

In the mean time start living your own life. Build your support system. Go out with your female friends. Do things that make you healthier and happier.
Ya. Just go act single minus dating. Do your own thing.

He probably won’t notice, and even if he did, he’ll probably be happy about it.
 

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I want to walk away but I don’t know how to. I told him 4 months ago that I was ready to walk away, and there was no fight in him. He just told me that he would help me do what I needed to do. He acts like he doesn't care and it hurts. I want to love him, and I want to have a successful marriage, but too much has happened in 3 years and I can't go back no matter how many times we try. I’m embarrassed about wanting to divorce, that was never something I ever wanted in my life, but I know I can’t continue like this. If anyone has any advice for similar situations, I would greatly appreciate it!
I think the ultimate decision is for me to leave, but how? We don’t have children, we are joint on the house and mortgage (I work in escrow so I can handle that aspect), and I know I will be financially stable without him. How am I supposed to tell this man, who thinks there is nothing wrong, that I am leaving? When is an appropriate time to do so and what are my steps in this?
You already did it four months ago.

Talk to lawyers, get a handle on what paperwork you need to fill out and what documents you need to gather, and follow the steps advised.

If the house is the only main issue, figure out if either of you can afford to carry it alone on one income, or if you have to sell it and divide the money and both start over.
 
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