I’ve been with my partner for eight years and we have two young children. A year ago, he met a group of guys online and would talk to them on Skype and they’d play video games together.
He then started spending more and more time online with them and less and less time with his children and me.
He always did spend a lot of time playing games, but since meeting this crowd he’s become so much worse.
Now, just over a year later, it’s absolute hell. He spends over 20 hours a day on Skype, playing games with these guys.
He does absolutely nothing else at home. He doesn’t work and won’t look for a job.
When I try to talk to him about it he blames me. He says it’s my fault for not helping him enough.
When I ask him to get off the computer he goes into a sulk. He only ever pays attention to me when he wants sex and complains that I don’t have fun any more. But it’s hard to have fun when I’m doing everything at home and looking after two kids.
I barely get a minute to myself, I’m at my wits’ end and my confidence is ruined.
He used to be wonderful, but I feel like he’s replaced me because since having kids I’m boring. He won’t move out either. He doesn’t seem to care about how I feel at all. As far as he’s concerned, everything is fine!
I cry all the time and sometimes get angry and think about having an affair to let off steam. What do I do?
You’re not getting angry enough in my opinion. You need to be clear that he has to start pulling his weight in the house and living up to his responsibilities as a father and a partner – or you’re over.
Things most certainly aren’t fine. If you don’t want to leave for whatever reason or you’re reluctant to uproot the children, then stop doing everything for your partner at home.
That means no laundry, no cooking – nothing. While he’s not making any contribution, then you shouldn’t be supporting him. And the same goes for sex – be clear that there’s nothing about him that you find attractive right now.
He is clearly addicted to gaming, but won’t admit it. Please don’t listen to him if he tries to put the blame on you. It’s nothing to do with you.
Like most addicts – whether they’re hooked on booze or drugs – he’s blaming the rest of the world and you mustn’t let him.
It’s not because you’re boring. He won’t face the truth that he’s an addict because then he’ll have to stop.
Once you start taking back control, you’ll be amazed how quickly your self-esteem and confidence will return.
If it’s at all possible, take the kids and stay with friends or family for a while and tell him you’re going away to think about whether you want to be with him.
More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems