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Pregnant with a gaming addict partner(31 Posts)
37 weeks pregnant and on maternity leave. My OH (other half) works 5 nights a week, 9pm - 9pm. Hes in his thirties.
Every second he gets at home is spent on his xbox at the minute. Fine by me as he works hard, except it's starting to impact daily life.
On the 5 nights he's working he will get home from work at 9am and then play his games until around 2.30pm then go to sleep until 6ish, eat then go to work. It's hardly a healthy amount of sleep given how he works 12 hours through the night thus hes always tired. He is also impossible to wake up for work due to so little sleep and ends up being late for work half of the time.
When he has nights off like yesterday he will get in from his last shift around 9am in the morning, play computer games all day until 7 or 8pm, sleep through the night and then in the morning (today) he will go on the games again from waking at 10am and sit on them all day long until it's time to go to work again tonight.
I've been sat twiddling my thumbs all day unable to watch tv my self as he's using it for his gaming. Complications means I'm not very mobile at the moment so cant get out much and i can't use the bedroom tv for television programs as we don't have a signal in there. Ive watched every DVD we own and read umpteen books.
We haven't spent any quality time together for a while, I used to look forward to his nights off and we would watch movies or go to bingo, now all he seems to do is play his games with his online friends. There is no social stimulation whatsoever.
I'm also a bit worried about how this will affect our co-parenting when the baby arrives.
I've been sat on the sofa all day long watching him play these bloody games.
I just want a bit more normality in the house and to be able to enjoy his company when he's not at work. I also worry about the impact the excessive gaming will have on his job given how he's never in on time.
Am I being unreasonable to feel a bit pushed out and neglected, frustrated and concerned? Should i cut him some slack?
I'm so frustrated with all of this but he doesn't take criticism well and sees his gaming as the only time he gets to himself as he works so much.
I raised it in haste the other night after we ended up having a heated discussion, he wasn't waking up for work as he had been gaming all day and when I told him it's ridiculous he had a face on when he went to work and still the next morning when he got home.
You are not being unreasonable AT ALL. It sounds like an awful way to live for anyone, even leaving aside the pregnancy. I have experience of gaming addiction and they don’t tend to change much (if they do, they’ll move on to another game or another screen addiction). Are you happy for the rest of your life to look like this?
Not normal at all. Does he think this is going to carry on once baby arrives?
It's far too much. What would happen if you were in the middle of watching something on tv?
There have been a lot of new releases lately.
It is easy to get lost in the gaming world.
Your OH might be trying to squeeze as much as possible in before baby arrives, or a new game has him hooked.
I doubt he is trying to squeeze as much in tbh.
If he cant buck his ideas up and find time to make for you, the household and baby then he simply needs to leave.
Tell him that.
I am a gamer but have real life responsibilities and fit my gaming in when and where i can. Often when the kids are in bed. Its not even daily anymore for me as im too exhausted
Has it just started in pregnancy? (eg; do you think it is an unconscious side effect of that, either regressing to before your adult relationship because he is scared about becoming a father or trying to do lots of 'me time' now because he is scared that he wont get to ever again once the baby is here).
He is right that his ~50hr per week gaming habit is his only "me time" - there aren't enough hours in the week to fit in anything else! You are going to resent it even more next month when you do not have "me time" at all, and he may physically have to try to sleep for more hours when the baby cries during his current minimal sleep slot and wakes him up.
Thank you for your replies
It's not a new thing, he has been this way for as long as I've known him, but he moderated it alot during the beginning when we weren't living together I didn't see it in all its glory as when you are in the honeymoon phase you tend to portray the best version of yourself don't you.
Its when we moved in with one another last year that I really began to see for myself how much of a problem it is.
He plays multiple games but has been engulfed in "Pub G" this past week, that is a new release. Though before this came out he still dedicated the same amount of time to other online games and never seems to get tired of them, only stopping to eat or use the toilet.
I spoke to him about it before he left for work tonight and he said he feels bad and he's sorry and that it won't be the same when the baby is here. I bloody hope not
Pub G on Xbox ew
Not entirely sure what to offer OP, my sister married and had a child with a guy who was much the same. I can tell you they didn't last, he spent the whole time anyone was over visiting the baby crouched playing games, was an all around shit dad and suffice to say they divorced pretty quickly.
People who devote so much time to hobbies at a detriment to their significant others won't change, I'm not in the LTB crew by any means but he doesn't see in his head that he's doing anything abnormal and he clearly doesn't care that you're stuck watching him.
For what it's worth my friends an I also manage to game in our spare time, as well as get a healthy amount of sleep and not ignore our partners! It's just rude.
I'm a gamer. I love them.... But... Games should be played in free time. He's playing them at the detriment to your life.
Best thing I can suggest, you spell it out to him. What you want and what you expect. Games come after everything is done and you have spent quality time together.
If he changes now and makes effort, great. If he doesn't, he won't change when baby comes. In fact, it'll get worse. Especially playing inline when he can't pause it to help, pause it to see to his child etc.
He sounds really boring. What do you actually get out of the relationship? And what does he get out of your relationship? Because tbh it sounds as if you may as well not be together.
I'm going to have to sit him down and tell him exactly how concerned I am. I feel terrible slagging him off because he does do alot for us (when he's not gaming) and he's a gentle sweet man by nature. I just think he's got a big problem with this gaming lark and it needs to change
At the moment we don't get alot out of the relationship if I'm honest. If he's not working he's asleep (justifiably) or gaming. At the beginning we would always be out at restaurants, museums, parks, the cinema etc but that hasn't happened in a while. We've had to tighten our belts in preparation for the baby granted, but I would be happy with a nice stroll round the park or some quality 1 on 1 time to be honest.
You need to tell him that then.
He needs more sleep and you need more quality time.
Gaming needs a limit per day.
It is what it is.
Either you accept the reality, your reality currently ...or you do something about it.
If it was me in your situation, I'd look for an exit strategy. In my opinion, there's no future at all with a recalcitrant adolescent pretending to be a grown up....
Sorry if you don't like my take on your situation.... but it is what it is.
I was a huge gamer late 90s/early noughties
I could play for twelve hours straight and sometimes through the night, any games. I wasn’t fussy.
I wouldn’t dream of it now I have kids, such a waste of precious time, maybe an hour twice a year now but there’s 1001 better things to do and many more priorities.
when you’re knackered, dozing, breastfeeding etc u need something light and easy to watch on the box.
He really needs to wake up and join the adult world of responsibility, keep it as a treat.
Hope he makes the right decision or you’re going to be living as a single parent with an overgrown child hogging your telly .
Can't seem how he can do a lot for you when he's aways either at work or being a teenager attached to some games machine or another!
I can deal with his need to sleep all day and work all night because not everybodies working hours are ideal and I'd be wrong to moan about that, but hardly spending any time with him as it is coupled with what time we do get being taken up by him ignoring me to play games really does take the biscuit.
I think I feel sad because I know that deep down I don't want to spend my life with somebody so absorbed in computer games to the extent it impacts my own life and happiness.
I'm going to have a serious talk with him and hope he sorts his act out long term and prioritises family life over 3d characters
Any addiction is very difficult to live with. Whether it is drugs, alcohol, gambling, gaming or anything else. It is more important to the addict than anything else. He needs to recognise he has a problem before things can change.
I said to him I think he has a problem and asked what his opinion was, he said he probably does have something of an addiction to gaming.. so he just needs to do something about it now
Ask him how he's going to change and what plans he's putting in place. Set out what you want, need, and expect. Treat him like an adult and see if he comes and meets you where you are. If not - sorry, but you're going to have to get serious and get tough. Its going to be hard enough when the baby comes without having to constantly berate him to take responsibility.
My DH games but he has a handle on it and scales it with his life - when he was single, he was probably spending every waking non-working minute on it! As we started to spend more time together, he cut a lot back. These days he only really plays in the evenings once DS is in bed and not every night.
Really - empty promises "Oh I'll be better I'll promise I'll do this I'll do that" - noooope. You're at 37 weeks mate. It's time to have made the changes already. How is he just going to stop cold turkey when the baby is born? Of course he won't and then he'll be "stressed" and "need" it more while you're breaking your back.
Do you think he has any concept of how much work a baby is going to be?
A gaming addiction was responsible for ending my marriage. You need to nip it in the bud right away, or it will get much much worse. With a baby close to being there, he needs to get his shit together and be a grown up. I gave my ex husband a chance to get his shit together, and he lasted a short amount of time before stuff went downhill again. When i realised he was never going to change, I packed two suitcases of stuff, and left him.
I did a rough calculation of this a while ago.
Assume that newborn babies are going to sleep very little, which means that somebody is going to have to be on duty all night or 24/7. On duty effectively means dealing with all feeds, nappies, cleaning, routine stuff, settling, walking around with them, changing them and cleaning up after them which includes washing bottles/sterilising, making up the next bottle in good time, washing their clothing/checking they have enough clean clothing left, taking out nappy bin when needed etc, and you only ask for the assistance of the other parent if you're really struggling, you need a second pair of hands or you are worried about something.
Even if you're breastfeeding you can still do effectively the same thing with the dad bringing the baby to you for feeds but taking care of burping, resettling, changing etc immediately afterwards. Or if you're lucky to have a baby who feeds at regular intervals you can split the shifts to coincide with feed times.
If he's working 12 hours on workdays, there are another 12 hours left of which, to be fair, you would take 6 each.
At weekends, 24, so 12 hours each. You can split this up how you like, since 6 hours free during the week is probably not enough time to sleep. It's a total of 54 hours each per week, for you this doesn't count the amount of time he's out of the house, because that's all you anyway. (Try not to get sucked into tiredness bingo here - looking after a baby totally by yourself is also work.)
That is the amount of time, if you are splitting things totally 50/50, he's going to need to devote to a baby. You can't play many games while looking after a baby - some, yes, especially if it has a pause function, and it is fine to do two things at once, but he is going to need to be more attentive to the baby than to the game.
It's not really an exact science, in reality there will be lots of times where your care overlaps and/or you share responsibility, but it is a useful thought exercise, how would you divide up the time if you totally had to take 50% of it each alone? Because some dads will look after the DC for an hour or so once a day and feel like they're doing loads, or still expect Mum to do everything when they're both around and available - not really fair. Start from a position of mathematically splitting the time and see where you end up from there.
Unfortunately also the time that you're "off duty" it also doesn't necessarily mean it's free time - because somebody needs to deal with the normal parts of running a household like doing the housework, laundry, cooking, food shopping, etc, and again, while you can sometimes manage these things while caring for a baby, it partly depends on the person/task, and it partly depends on the baby. So bear this in mind - but it is a useful quick calculation to make to start off a discussion, if nothing else.
You slept walked into this, if he can’t prioritise you now, he’s hardly going to prioritise you and a baby later. Being a father won’t change him, the baby will be part of his excuse repertoire for why he must game. He’s given you some lame arse platitudes which you’ve swallowed in the misguided hope that somehow he’ll mean it this time.
You will not have time or the energy for this shit when baby is here and the resentment you feel now for being ignored, will only increase when he’s prioritising games over his child.
He ‘probably doesn’t have a problem’, he has a problem! It’s time to add verbs to your sentences, agree a daily time limit to his gaming and he needs to seek help. The time you accept his half arsed platitudes is over.
"I think I feel sad because I know that deep down I don't want to spend my life with somebody so absorbed in computer games to the extent it impacts my own life and happiness"
Well do not do that then. Its no life for your child either because that child will also pick up on your unhappiness. You seem not to get anything positive out of this relationship either yourself, your own needs in this are simply not being met.
You say he does a lot for us; well what does he do other than sleep, work and play games?. He works nights so I would think you hardly see each other at all, he's not going to see baby much is he?. I also think he has fed you some lame arse type crap which you have believed against your experiences to the contrary. You've sold your own self down the river here as a result.
What sort of a father will he be to his child; he will probably become resentful that his child is taking him away from his time spent gaming.
re your comment:-
"I'm going to have a serious talk with him and hope he sorts his act out long term and prioritises family life over 3d characters"
There's that word hope again. Talking to him in itself won't work and he may simply tell you what you want to hear. It is he and he alone who will decide to seek help for his gaming addiction and he shows no sign of wanting to actually do that. Words are cheap, its actions that matter. Am I surprised to read he does not take criticism well either; frankly put no and that's par for the course with such recalcitrant Peter Pan's as well.
I would also seriously consider not giving this child his surname either. Do not let your own life be defined by a version of your username i.e. tumbleweeds.
On the flip side. My sister has had a very long and healthy marriage with a full on gamer.
They have an adult daughter now.
She just tells him they are doing x,y,z and they do them.
He sits on his computer on a night in his computer room and she watches tv. They have their shows that they will watch together.
He was and still is a great father.
Their wind down time consists of different things. She likes to chill out infront of the tv and he likes to do the same. Just doing different things.
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