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Hello,

I'm new here, but have been stewing about something I need advice over. Any help is much appreciated! :)

My husband and I have been married almost a year (together for over 3), have a 1-yo daughter, I have a 5-yo son from a previous marriage, and I am 6 months pregnant with our last child. He works full time outside the home (3am-11:30am), and work Mon-Thurs, 6:30am-3pm. I also pretty much manage the household (finances, childcare, errands, cleaning, etc).

When we first got together, I made it clear to him that I was not interested in being with someone who saw video games as anything more than a fun way to pass the time occasionally. He assured me he could "control himself". At the time, he didn't have a game console and had just been laid off. We had lots of time together and it was great. Once he got a new job a couple months later, his first paycheck went to buy a PS2, and it became apparent that he may not have been so forthcoming with me.

Slowly over time, as he's acquired an Xbox 360 and a million games, it's become very clear that this is more than a hobby for him. We went through a period where he was either working, sleeping, or playing video games, and I admit things HAVE improved somewhat since then. However, he still HAS to play or the world will end, he can never stick to the length of time he says he'll play (if he says 2 hours, I can bet with 100% certainty it'll be closer to 3), and he won't stop for anything while he plays (he's super serious when he's gaming; nothing else matters). And when he's not gaming, he's on the computer researching game cheat codes and reviews, or he's on the phone with his brother geeking out over the current video game they're both trying to beat. He never goes out and has alienated all his friends, so he's ALWAYS home when he's not at work (which I know is better than NOT knowing where he is, out drinking at the bar or whatever, but still). And what better to do while at home than play video games, right? Housework be damned! Why try and take any burden off ME?

I don't think my problem is so much with the video games. I believe my problem is more about the inequality of "personal time" in our relationship. The video games gets the brunt of my resentment because I guess of my history (my ex was a major video game addict) and I just don't see how people can take them so seriously and have a NEED for them on a daily basis (after all, they are JUST games). He gets home from work at noon, the kids and I get home around 4. During that 4-hour window, I know he plays pretty much the whole time. But then, since he has to go to bed so early (usually around 6 or 7), I have to rush to fix dinner so he can eat, then tend to the children and other imminent chores waiting for me. EVERY evening. I don't get much reprieve, and being so far along in pregnancy, it's really wearing on me. Exhausted is an understatement. On his days off, he doesn't help much either. He might chip in consistently for a week, but it always wears off and I'm back to doing pretty much everything.

In the past we've tried to do a "chore chart" to more equitably divide the household chores, but that lasted all of a month. He won't usually go grocery shopping with me, opting to instead stay home and play games, or if I want to leave one or both kids at home to make running an errand easier, he hesitates and tries to talk me out of it (so he can play online and "level up" without being interrupted). I take the kids pretty much everywhere with me, yet he never takes them anywhere. And he still has the nerve to tell me that HE doesn't get enough "me" time. !!!! I feel like I've lost all sense of self these days, since I don't have time to pursue any personal hobbies or hang out with friends of my own. I'm his wife, my kids mother, maid, chauffer, his personal assistant, and financial assistant. I'm NOT superwoman! I'm tired, and I need him to understand that...I just don't know how to get it through to him without him feeling that I'm just a nag.

The worst part is I found out last summer that I am Bipolar Type II. I'm naturally more emotional anyway, but the disorder (and now, the pregnancy hormones) make my reactions to things WAY overblown (especially when I let my feelings build). He doesn't believe that I have it, or in it, yet when I've tried to calmly talk to him about how I've been feeling, how I'm feeling very resentful when he opts to play video games all the time doesn't do his share, and doesn't help out when he knows I need help (I've told him a million times)...he writes it off as the disorder talking and doesn't take me seriously. Which makes me feel crazier. I admit I'm not always easy to live with, especially while I'm pregnant and not on medication, but I am NOT the disorder. I have really good days where I think rationally and feel nondistorted emotions, and that's when I try and talk to him. Nothing works. He's a self-admitted "brick wall".

So as this pattern continues, I find myself growing more and more resentful of him and his hobby, to the point where I'm REALLY turned off by it and him and don't want to be anywhere near him while he's playing (yet he usually gives me a guilt trip for wanting to go do something else, so I generally stay home, fuming). I keep going back and thinking about how I told him I didn't want to be with a gamer. I wanted someone who had a wide array of interests and hobbies, liked to go places and be social, and yet, I know I settled and I kick myself for that. I know he loves it and it is not a hobby, but his one true passion...and I realize he's absolutely entitled to it. I just really don't want to be any part of it. I want to go out and do more as a family, not just once a month. I want to go on dates, which we haven't done in MONTHS. I want to do more than just sit around watching TV as the world passes by. See my friends and have some "me" time for myself, knowing I don't need a babysitter 'cause my kids' loving father is there for me and is supportive and understanding of my NEEDING "me" time.

Overall, I'm content in this relationship, but as this is a big part of HIS life, it's a big part of the relationship and it's not working for me. I want a partner, not another child I have to take care of who's perfectly capable of taking care of himself and us.

Sorry this is so long. What do you think? Am I making too much of it? Do I need to get over it? Try to get someone else to talk to him? Counseling? Move on?
 

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This is a growing problem across the world. Not only do men but also women get addicted to games. A big part of it is because games are now played live online with other players. This means you have a social network built up. Also it allows people to be who they are not in real life. More powerfull, in control and so on. The good news is there is counceling for this. It is no diffrent then some one being on drugs. It is an addiction and needs treatment. I would encourage you and your husband to seek out counceling as soon as possible. There are more and more cases of divorces being filed daily over video games.
 

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crazytalk, your rant although not without reason is just that
"crazy talk"... j/k I just had to work your handle into my reply.

No but seriously, you are jealous of the computer game console and the time and attention that it's getting from your husband.
You described it yourself as a "passion".

There is nothing wrong with gaming and it isn't a problem in of itself. Anything in excess however is never good, especially in your husbands case where it's eating into spending time with the family or helping around the house or with grocery shopping, etc.

Sit him down and tell him straight up, calmly and with an open mind what your expectations are in your relationship. Before you do that though, make sure you are not expecting too much.
That's what I meant by an opened mind, opened to the possibility that he has needs and expectations as well.
 
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