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Online gaming negatively affecting relationship ?

(18 Posts)
SueFawley Tue 02-Apr-13 23:03:43

I'm asking for a younger friend who has turned to me for advice. I'm in my early 50's and don't know anything about video games, so am not best able to advise her without a bit more knowledge myself.
My friend is 33, her DP i s 37. She feels that his gaming is becoming a problem. He starts playing around 8pm and doesn't finish until around 3am when he goes to bed. This sounds excessive and damaging to their relationship to me. But perhaps this is normal behaviour for men of his age?

BunnyLebowski Tue 02-Apr-13 23:07:24

It is excessive and damaging. And nowhere near normal for a man of 37 shock

How the hell does he function at work if he's up all night twatting about on the internet???

In the early (uni) days of mine and DP's relationship we almost split up over his gaming.

Turns out he was escaping having to face up to failing at uni. I forced it out of him, we tackled it and he went on to successfully graduate.

I would suggest that there is an underlying problem causing this. No-one (especially not a 37 year old hmm) genuinely thinks that such a level of gaming to the detrimental effect of their relationship is normal or healthy.

SueFawley Tue 02-Apr-13 23:09:42

bunny I think you're onto something about other problems. He recently gave her the "I love you but I'm not in love with you" line.

BunnyLebowski Tue 02-Apr-13 23:20:12


I'd be willing to bet he's not happy with their relationship/work/some other aspect of his life and is using gaming as an avoidance tactic.

Needless to say it isn't acceptable and your friend needs to sit him down and get to the heart of it.

Have they been together long? Do they have dc?

flowers and wine for your friend btw. Been there, done that, got the shitty t-shirt sad.

SueFawley Tue 02-Apr-13 23:29:15

They have two DC under 5.
Yes, I can understand how this could be an avoidance tactic. She told me that they never have time together to talk and their sex life has dwindled too. I'm amazed that he gets up for work too.
How long does each game last usually, or do you just keep playing until you choose to stop?

Tortington Tue 02-Apr-13 23:34:58

DH did this, it altered his moods, it altered him. he had no time for me or the kids and was permanantly angry, when this then involved beer and arguing DH acted in a way that is unforgivable

It was once facett of why our hard as mails marriage nearly bit the rocks in a big big way about 7 years ago. its a real thing that other people sneer at - as if its not as serious.

I tell you when you are trying to live with someone who wants nothing to do with you, kids, family, socialising, gets 3 hours sleep a night and then tries to function at work - its very taxing on the family as a whole.

BunnyLebowski Tue 02-Apr-13 23:36:50

Oh. Even more sad for her now. And the dc.

How long each game lasts is utterly irrelevant. Some are super quick, some are quest-type missions that last for hours. The crucial point is that if someone is obsessively playing to the degree you mention it absolutely isn't because the game is addictive. They'll play the short game 40 times in a row rather than turn the PC/console off.

It's because he's opting out of his life and responsibilities. And as a partner and particularly a father that is completely unacceptable.

SueFawley Tue 02-Apr-13 23:37:25

Custardo how did you get him to stop?

SueFawley Tue 02-Apr-13 23:40:10

Thanks Bunny. I wasn't sure if the game was like watching a film, with a set running time. I think she needs to talk to him -again -about this and the impact on their family life.

TheOrchardKeeper Tue 02-Apr-13 23:44:56

I'll bet it's World of Warcraft??

I was once a WWW (world of warcraft widow)...til I W W Walked.

SueFawley Wed 03-Apr-13 09:19:36

I don't know if it's World of Warcraft, must admit I've just googled it and it looks like something I'd enjoy too!

My friend wants to have a chat later today. Reading the replies it seems clear that there are bigger problems here than just the gaming and I'm guessing the problems existed before the gaming got out of hand.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 03-Apr-13 09:26:39

I love online games. I'm 15 years younger than the man in question, and have no children.

Even I don't play like he does.

It's great escapism. It's easy to get really involved in the quests (whether it's Wow or Eve or Skyrim) and you can distract your mind for as long as you need too. It's perfect for me, as a worrier, especially before scary operations etc. I play for around an hour or so, maybe 2 hours a day, when my anxiety is bad. DP either plays with me, or watches TV, or is out etc. We spend the time after doing something together.

Anyway, my point was, it's not gaming that ruins a marriage. But he's checked out of this marriage, and is using gaming to avoid either having to engage with his partner or split up from her.

Talking is a good idea, but make sure youve got a clear ttarget in mind. And it's worth being prepared for him to be quite harsh and willing to end things. If he's already said he isn't in love with her, and has no interest in trying to relight the fire so to speak, this relationship could be utterly hopeless.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Apr-13 09:28:44

Online gaming can eat someone's life because they're continuous and absorbing. As well as the gaming element the participants can also chat to each other so it's not unheard of for gamers to get into relationships. Yes, he's using it to avoid family life and the 'I love you but I'm not in love with you' rubbish is his way of saying... 'I'll live here & let you do my laundry etc. but don't expect me to engage'.

Your friend is being treated with utter contempt. No, it's neither normal nor acceptable. She should tell him to take a hike ... and do his gaming in a bedsit of his choosing...

fluffyraggies Wed 03-Apr-13 09:34:02

It might be COD (call of duty) ... but that's irrelevant anyway.

My DH plays games on his PS3 every night. From after tea. On the telly in the lounge. I've got my laptop.

He asks though every hour or so - do you want the telly on love? He makes us a cupper every hour or so too - stops for a snack - a chat - or stops 'cos hes had enough button pressing. He never wears the ear phone things. We can chat while he plays.

He never plays after 10ish.

This works for us. It's how gaming for relaxation should be IMO. It is doable - if he wants it to be.

I agree this friend's DP is opting out of their relationship sad There in body but not in spirit (like my ex).

SueFawley Wed 03-Apr-13 09:34:04

Caja thanks for the reassurance about what is normal play. I was thinking about this earlier and realised he's spending 7-8 hours every evening playing. This is the time when the DC are in bed and in my mind, it's the time when the couple should be engaging not spending time apart, although obviously it's important for a couple to each have their own interests and hobbies etc, but not to the detriment of the relationship.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 03-Apr-13 09:41:24

It is not normal at all.
My best friend struggles with her fiancé and his online gaming and it's horrible to watch. He works from home and earns good money, but always has two separate screens going simultaneously - work and WoW. He doesn't come to bed until insane o clock and then expects her to wake up and have sex with him. He's also (she's fairly certain) very heavily into online porn, which creeps into their sex life and makes her upset and uncomfortable. In her words, there are days where their only interaction is her putting down and picking up plates of food in front of him, and the inevitable 3am awfulness when he goes up.

I have no clue how to make her see how shit this is.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 03-Apr-13 09:44:00

Sue, I used to play world of warcraft before children. I played what would be classed as hardcore. Our guild raids for 3-4 hours a night, 5 nights a week. And you spend about another 2 hours a day in the off days to gather stuff and make online gold. Those with families usually play in much more casual guilds. You can easily find guilds that raids around 3 nights a week for 3 hours a go. You will still need to add the prep. But what you are describing is very excessive.

Basically, if he's trying to balance real life with gaming, he'll need to set boundaries himself. For example, joining a guild with people with families (who naturally play less). There are a lot of time suckers in all these games, as they are designed as great escapisms. But the control is on your side, iyswim?

I agree with other posters that he's using this as an excuse to hide from something.

Tortington Thu 04-Apr-13 00:44:07

op in response to 'how did you get him to stop'

I didn't. i manage it , sometimes it feels like i am managing a member of staff. - there are set times, i have certain expectations, we have a routine.

still, only last week he started a new game - i go bat shit - he's like 'whats your problem?'

so i explained it to him again. but i couldnt do this with little kids.

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