Hi, I need your help. Me and my partner of three years are on the verge of breaking up over his XBOX.
He plays online games with friends all the time.
They have made a WhatsApp group and from the time he gets up till bedtime he is on his phone chatting to these men.
We have no conversation, no time together, we don’t even watch TV together because he’s constantly looking at his phone. When I try to make conversation he doesn’t even answer because he is too stuck in his phone.
It’s just like I’m on my own in our home. We have a child together so I don’t really want to break my family up but I can’t stand the cold shoulder and the cold atmosphere in the house anymore.
Please tell me what I can do
I’m so sorry to hear of your dilemma it must be very difficult for you, especially as you have a young child together. If, as you say your partner is on his Xbox from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed, I would say he has a serious problem, this is most definitely not normal behaviour by any means. To me it sounds like he has an addiction to gaming. Gaming addiction is a compulsive mental health disorder, which mainly affects men.
You need to speak and he needs to listen or like any addiction he needs to admit he has a problem in the first place. I would suggest you try speaking with him, stay calm and try not to sound like you’re nagging. Do this as early in the day as possible before he starts gaming, maybe at breakfast, when you first get up or even before you get up whilst you are still in bed. Tell him how worried you are and let him know exactly how unhappy his behaviour is making you feel. Talk about your child and tell him how this is stopping him from spending treasured time with you his partner and his child. Point out all the negatives and see if this will work. Tell him you love him but can’t live like this being so lonely in a relationship, taking second place to an Xbox.
If talking doesn’t work then write him a letter – sometimes seeing things written down in black and white can have a better effect. It shows that you have actually thought about the situation and cared enough about him to have taken the time to put pen to paper. Although studies about treating video gaming addiction are in their early stages, one therapy that can help is called CBT or cognitive behavioural therapy. This is mental health counselling that teaches you how to replace thoughts about gaming to help change your behaviour. Suggest this to him and see what he says. Maybe offer a compromise, have set times when he can use the Xbox not allowing it to take over his life. Suggest getting out of your home, taking your child to the park, – together.
If all this fails then I would ask to have a chat with your GP, you need to think about your mental health too, especially now in these very strange worrying times during the pandemic. If you know his family and feel you can take a sibling or maybe his mum into your confidence, do so. Say how worried you are worried about him. You may well find out his relationship with his family has been affected too.
I hope this helps and you grow and thrive as a family.