Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Husband with gaming addiction – I’m completely alone

Man staring at computer

Asslamu alaikum ladies.

I need to just pour my heart out cause it aches in pain. I have been married for almost 2 years and I have a 10 month old daughter.. My husband 3 months after we got married began an addiction with computer gaming, he is always on the computer, from the moment he comes from work till late at night and usually all day and night on the weekend.. I am completely alone.. Raising a child, I feel like a single mother.

He comes to me and speaks sweet words cause he can see I'm upset, he wants to get "physical" with me often but I feel so turned off him I feel repulsed when he touches me. I am so constantly alone that I am feeling so depressed, I can honestly say I wish I never got married, most of my nights are spent crying myself to sleep.

I have spoken to him and he says he will stop playing but it never happens, I even said please just give me one day a week but he couldn't settle on a day because he has responsibility with people he had to play online gaming with.

I don't know what to do, I keep saying.. Since he doesn't beat me, or doesn't go out clubbing maybe I should just excuse his behaviour? But the loneliness makes my heart ache so bad. I need advice please..


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7 Responses »

  1. Sister pray to Allah almighty about it have you tried abu productions, productive muslim. They even have some cute islamic vids of happy productive muslim couples on YouTube, .. keep yor chin up and your iman even higher, this is a test your jihad aka test. Turn to Allah Azzawajal.

  2. Tedo,

    A gaming addiction is really rough. I know people who have suffered from this very same thing, and unfortunately gaming communities are just what they sound like... "communities". They're a second family of sorts, and so this means two things. 1. That your husband isn't feeling the loneliness that you are, because he's getting his human engagement online, and 2. That the game never ends. Often, if the game does have an objective, it takes months to reach it, and after that, gamers typically move on to a new game. Also, I find that more often than not relationships between players can cross the line between friendship and more. The gaming community consists, generally, of lonely people. Most of them are both playing the game, and reaching out for a real-world connection. This includes women and men, and it's easy to begin to feel a connection with someone who occupies so very much of your time. Emotional affairs happen all the time online, and this is especially true when multi-player gaming is involved.

    I just asked for some parenting advice on a post that has yet to be published, but there is an aspect of parenting that I'm very familiar with, which is the idea of staying involved in your child's life. Even if it's not convenient, even if you're too tired or simply not interested, it's so important to push your child to talk about their day with you. If you don't do this on a consistent basis, then what begins to happen is your child begins to live a reality without you in it. They build an entire part of life that simply has no opening for your 'character'. You were not factored in, nor are you welcome in that part of their life. It sounds like the exact same thing is happening with you and your husband. He's slowly building a reality without you in it, and the longer it lasts, the more dynamic that reality becomes, the more complex those relationships become, and maybe there will be more and more he won't want you to know about.

    Addictions are hard to pull someone out of, because not only have they become naturalized to the idea of having this thing they're addicted to around, but they've come to highly value it. What you need to do is remind him that you and his child should have the main value in his life, not the game. The only way people are pulled from an addiction, is if they feel they might lose something dear to them. I suggest you tell him that if he doesn't pull away from the game, that he will lose your feeling of obligation as a wife and partner. Tell him that right now what he is doing will forever effect life a month from now, a year from now and forever. Tell him slowly you're moving away from him, and he's choosing one life over another. Ask him to make sure that the life online can give him all the things that you and his child give him... ask him to weigh the two lives. Ask him if the reward of having his online community would be worth losing his family, and ask him if his online friends would support him, cook for him, have his children.

    I know it sounds like I'm suggesting you draw a line in the sand, and that's pretty invasive. But if he ever decides he "loves" someone he's never met online, he could really start exhibiting abuse, and he could eventually convince himself that you and his child are a liability to his wants and desires. He could eventually start thinking that this isn't the life he wants, and after that happens, there's really no going back. So nip it now. Include your parents if you must, include his parents. Have an intervention. Because right now you can use the fact that he still loves and cares for you to demand his loyalty. But once that's gone, your tools, options, hope and husband are gone too. So don't wait.



  3. Assalaamualaikam

    Your husband's behaviour doesn't seem at all acceptable to me. If he's spending all his time away from his family, he's neglecting his responsibilities to you and your child... forget his gaming responsibilities, his main responsibilities should be his faith and his family.

    Many people enjoy playing computer games as a way to relax, and many people enjoy sharing this activity with like-minded friends, but it sounds like he's going beyond what could be considered healthy - I think you may be right about him having an addiction.

    One of the hardest steps an addict can take is to recognise that they have a problem. Your husband may be in denial about how much his gaming is taking over his life. If you've tried being tactful, it may be time to confront him with the reality of his situation. Maybe take note over the course of a week of how long he's spending gaming and what this has meant he's missed - has he missed salah, meals, milestones in his child's life, opportunities to do special things etc? Then, gently but firmly explain to him: "This week you've been gaming for X hours. During that time, these things happened...". That might inshaAllah be a starting point for him to start thinking about how gaming is eating into his life. He then needs to decide for himself which he'd prefer - to have a full life with his family, or computer gaming.

    If he insists "I can stop any time", challenge him - propose a family weekend away somewhere where he can't spend all his time gaming. If you've ever considered camping, or going to somewhere remote where the internet will be very slow (and lag time for gaming means it's pretty much impossible), then now's the time. He may well find it harder than he might think, and this might be another wake-up call for him.

    There are support groups available for people with addictions to computer gaming and other activities, so he may wish to look into these, inshaAllah. His doctor might also be able to put him in touch with counsellors who have experience in this, inshaAllah. If your husband's behaviour doesn't change, you may want to get some elders involved to arbitrate between you to see if a resolution can be achieved that way.

    But, an addict needs to choose to stop. There's an old saying "You can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink" - unless your husband chooses to address his problem, it's going to be very hard to fix it. So, you also need to think about looking after yourself and your daughter. Make sure that the two of you have activities and interests which mean you can spend time with friends and build your self-esteem.

    Midnightmoon editor

  4. OP: My husband 3 months after we got married began an addiction with computer gaming, he is always on the computer, from the moment he comes from work till late at night and usually all day and night on the weekend.. I am completely alone.. Raising a child, I feel like a single mother............. he wants to get "physical" with me often but I feel so turned off him I feel repulsed when he touches me

    Why would a newly married guy start computer gaming after 3 months of getting married and get addicted to it....... Why you feel turned off and feel repulsed when he touches you? Did you have depression problem before you got married? You guys need to see a therapist.

    Ask him to teach you gaming? See if you both can do this together in the same room?

  5. Sister why do you feel repulsed by him? He comes to you and talk sweet words because he knows you are upset that means he cares for you. Most of the men don't even care if their wives are upset and let me tell you that if you stop him from coming near you it might hurt him and his ego and this might be the reason he tried finding other activities. When your husband comes to you and talk sweetly don't just push him away instead use this to persuade him to spend less time on computer. Talk to him that what do you expect from him as a husband and father and SVS is right talk to him to tell about his games too.find out what his favourite game is. If u take interest in his games he might take in turn take interest in you and kid.

  6. I feel u sister .. I'm in the same mess .. can't help

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