Marriage is ending - I’m changing - need help navigating the situation

My marriage is ending. We’ve been married for eight years and thinking back. I’m not sure I was ever truly happy. I’ve been through a really tough time in this life. Throughout our entire marriage, I was battling trauma from my past, substance abuse, and completely unable to communicate. Husband was always there for me, whenever I was feeling sad or distraught. But it was never truly enough for me. He’s addicted to video games. And I have competed with video games for the past eight years all while trying to heal myself.

I have a good job despite my emotional baggage. And I’ve always been the breadwinner in this marriage, because he has chosen a job that allows him to play video games all night, which doesn’t pay very much at all. With his job, he cannot afford to live on his own. Most of the bills falls to me and has for the last eight years. We have separate accounts, we have no assets, we have no savings, I have a 401(k) and pay for insurance for both of us. we both own our cars and for our entire relationship we have lived in the same apartment.

There has always been an un happiness, and a lack of communication between both parties. We eat together, we don’t sleep together, he works nights and I work days and we have done this for eight years. He doesn’t visit my family for the holidays because he says he doesn’t like them. So we are just roommates right now. Coexisting but not actually thriving. I’ve tried to push him into a better job, something on days shift, so we can plan vacations and spend our weekends together, and most importantly sleep together at night like a married couple should. But no matter how many times I have had this discussion or had a nervous breakdown trying to convey my needs, it goes unheard, and I am ignored, and lonely. So eventually, I just stopped communicating. Because what was the point? And i know that lack of communication is the number one reason for a marriage to fail. But here we are.

last December I changed. I went from the lowest point that I had ever felt in my entire life to a complete 180.

I tried to commit suicide December 21. I lost it. I went completely crazy and was wandering the frozen lakeside, but I was mumbling to myself, and walking for hours along the waters edge, looking at every single object that I passed and thinking about the ways that I could kill myself with such an object, broken glass against the beach - really sharp driftwood pieces that had washed ashore. Fishing line to strangle myself with. I walked forever, arguing with myself, mumbling, talking myself into the idea that maybe I should just walk out onto the ice, and plunge myself into the depths of the lake. I had nothing to live for at that point. I hate my job. my marriage is failing. I’m so lonely and unhappy. All the while still struggling with my past. I walked and walked until I was numb from the frigid temperatures. And I stood on the ice for a really long time, hoping and praying that it would just cave beneath my weight, and that everything would be over with in just a few more minutes. But the ice never gave.

Eventually, I dragged myself back to my car in tears because I had failed at my life and I had failed at ending it. The very next day I scheduled an appointment and the doctor prescribed me anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medication. I could barely get through the appointment because I was crying so hard. I couldn’t even get out what I was feeling, but I was also very scared that whatever I said would cause me to be locked up. So… I took my medicine. And the first week, I was so tired and drained. But my mind was quiet. And I was worried that maybe it was changing me for the worst.

But after the first week of meds I changed completely. Was happy and eager to clean and exercise, keep up with my family and friends better, be more present and focused, especially at work. I was a new person.

It was like I was waking up to my life and finally taking charge of it instead of being adrift. The meds quieted my mind enough for me to focus on the things that were right in front of me. But as my life was changing, the one thing that didn’t change was my husband. And I started waking up to all of the issues that we had faced for these eight years. He would come home after work ( and work consisted of him working at a hotel where he played video games all night long because he worked night shift), and then he would come home and play video games even more. And I would just stare at the back of his head at this desk. And then he would go to sleep during the day while I worked, and when he would wake up, he would immediately go back to playing video games. I would cook dinner, I would serve him a plate and make him a drink and take it to his gaming desk. When I would come home after being out hiking, or something, he wouldn’t greet me, or even stand up from his gaming desk. We would just say hey, like we were roommates. And I would go about making dinner while he gamed. We don’t speak about anything that matters. Any time I have to ask an important or deep question about where our life is, where our life is going, what our goals are, he just doesn’t talk. He says he doesn’t care. And that he’s happy as long as he’s with me. I hate that answer. I want him to be his own person and to have his own goals and aspirations. But he doesn’t.

I am living a life with someone that I have no connection with. Any time he speaks to me he talks about games, and I don’t care about it anymore. It makes me cringe when he is talking to me about what happened “last night at work” but when I finally hear whatever he has to say, it’s all about video games . It’s not about anything real at all.

The only time that he wants anything to do with me is whenever he wants sex. Whenever he complements me, it’s always about sex. Specifically anal. I’ve just had enough. I’m tired of being looked at as a piece of meat and not as a partner. I’m tired of single-handedly doing everything and paying the majority of the bills. I’m tired of having this child as a husband, who refuses to communicate, and just plays all day long. I’ve just had enough.

I’m finally getting better, and I wanted our life to get better, but now that my head is clear, I am realizing that the life that I want with him is never going to be achieved as long as he is addicted to video games. And he refuses to admit that he is addicted even though he spent the majority of his time playing games than he does anything else.

He asked me the other day if I wanted to go out on a date. He told me that I would just need to pick a day and a place and he would take me out to dinner. I declined. Mainly Because when we go out to dinner, he stares at his phone because he’s playing Mortal Kombat on his phone… and also I don’t want to decide where we go or when. Every decision that we have ever made has always been my decision, because he refuses to take the initiative and make a decision himself. and yet he wonders why I don’t want to go on dates with him anymore.

I have spent 90% of my marriage alone. Going to holidays alone, going on trips alone, going to the grocery store alone, and sleeping alone. So bring 100% alone does not scare me in the slightest anymore. And quite honestly, I’ve made a realization that I am happier alone that I am when I’m with him.

I don’t know how to get out of this marriage though. He moved from across the country to be with me and he doesn’t have any savings to be able to get his own place here, so he would ultimately have to go back home and stay with his family. I’m so scared that he’s going to move back with his family and start mooching off them instead.

I don’t know anything about divorce. I’m scared that I’m gonna have to pay him alimony. I don’t know who to talk to or how to even talk to him about separating. I just know that he’s either going to get angry or he’s going to say nothing at all and continue with the silent treatment that he constantly gives me. He Internalizes everything and never communicates.

Please help me navigate the situation. I’m so lost and so confused.


Hello Friend, my goodness that was quite a read, let alone how you have managed to live it, its like you have lived with a lodger that you had to have sex with now and again. Is it any wonder you think back and don’t feel like you have never been happy? However I am hoping that at some point even in the early days there was something there that you loved about eachother even if you are having trouble recalling it now. Whatever is going on there now, its clearly not healthy for you at all.
I am beyond grateful that the ice you stood on didnt give in, that my friend for me was the turning point a good in a big pile of bad that you are dealing with at the moment, you hadnt failed at ending it, you succeded at surviving and going to the doctors the very next day was so brave.

That is amazing and doesnt happen very often so again another very good in all that is happening right now (something else to hold on to)
I think its wonderful that you are making decisions that you want to improve your life, that you want a happier and more fulfilling relationship, of course you do. I would however like to encourage you to seek not only the help with divorce but some therapy too, right now you are on this new medication that is probably dulling all of your emotions (im not a doctor) but I think emotions are meant to come out at some point and having some therapy will prepare you for that and of course getting past being in an unhappy marriage and moving forward.

As for your divorce, I do not know much about that but Im in the UK, you can get a first meeting with a lawyer for free for a bit of advice before making any final decisions on what or how you are going to do it or there are community citizen advice centers who can give you help with it too, you could prob find yours local one on google. I can understand how lost you must feel but take all the advice you can from professionals and look into some therapy if you can and I honestly think you are going to be just fine.
You are welcome to post here whenever you wish also, we are always here to support you.
Much Love LIsa. (good luck) x


Hi @Hiraeth

Sounds like you’ve been through a whole heck of a lot since we last saw you!

I’m so glad that your meds have made such an improvement in how you feel. As for your husband, it sounds like you’ve been trying but he is so focused on his gaming that he doesn’t really “see” you. I’d suggest getting an initial meeting with a lawyer, going over the concerns you have like alimony etc.

Also, he made the choice to move to be with you. That’s not your responsibility, neither will it be if he mooches off his family. You have got to do what’s best for you, to keep your mental health progress. it sounds like he needs help for his gaming, and it’s probably going to be hard for you to bring up your unhappiness.

Would couples counseling be worth a shot for you guys? Sounds like he could benefit from therapy of his own as well, because he sounds like he exists solely for gaming and he’s isolated himself to that only.

We are here for you, always. You matter, and I’m so happy that it seems like you’re at a point where you are also beginning to believe that you matter, and your happiness matters!

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I think you have suffered long enough. Since you are simply coexisting, it’s as though you are already separated, but if there were actual distance between you, you truly would have more peace of mind.

Your description of your husband’s behavior does make it appear that he has an addiction to gaming, not unlike someone who is addicted to gambling. I think the only hope there is for improvement in the relationship is if you did separate, which would give him a chance to decide what is more important to him, you or the games.

It’s very important for you to realize that his behavior has nothing to do with with you. You have been a good, tolerant and supportive wife, but his addiction has blinded him.

You can keyword search for lawyers in your area. Many do offer initial consultations for free. I don’t think you need to worry about alimony, unless you were financially supporting him because he was unable to work, and it was a condition agreed upon for the marriage.

If nothing good comes from separating, it’s probably best if he does return to his hometown.

It would be nice if you were able to pack your bags and move to a different place right away. It might even be helpful if you could go stay with a friend or relative while you try to work things out. You have to demonstrate that you mean business. It sounds like attempts to communicate with him are nothing more than background noise in his mind.

Perhaps leaving will get his attention. If not, it would probably be better for him to be served with divorce papers without you living under the same roof.

When my marriage ended, I took my clothes, and a few personal effects, borrowed some money with my old van as collateral, and moved to a cheap place in the woods. That was in 1993, and the divorce costed only $300.

My marriage ended due to a different kind of addiction – drugs and alcohol. I was tolerating her addiction until I could no longer tolerate her behavior. Actually, we both ended up with what we wanted. She found someone who enjoyed getting drunk and high with her and I found someone wonderful.

Please check back with us, and let us know how you’re doing.

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From: Mamadien

Hiraeth, You have been dealing with so much. Thank you for not taking your own life that day. I’m glad the ice held you. And thank you for seeing your doctor and getting the help you need to think clearly. Your life has so much value and I suspect your family would say the same. I’m thankful you are still here and not just existing but looking to take better care of you and to live life. And with living life, it sounds like you have already made a real decision about your marriage. The question is how to go about getting out of this marriage in the most healthy way possible. i will tell you that your husband sounds so much like my first husband. And I spent 5 years of my life taking care of a night shift gamer. Can I suggest talking to a lawyer first? Please get legal advice on how to protect yourself from the alimony thing. Second, it’s not your problem if his parents have to buy him a bus ticket home. You don’t have to stay responsible for a grown up adult who choses to behave as a child. He’s made choices and you’ve let your feelings be known. He’s ignoring your marriage. Is his name on the lease? If it’s just in your name, you have options when your lease is up. Talk to a lawyer. Get some good advice, it’s worth it. And YOU are worth it. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

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From: ManekiNeko

hey hireth, I’m really glad to hear from you. Really glad you’re here, truely. I know this has been a hard ride for you. It sounds like time and time again you’ve been trying to open that discussion and trying to implement changes and it’s not settling with him.

I totally feel you about the going on dates situation. I was with a partner who didn’t get it either. It was always me choosing and putting in the effort and then even paying. He would be so content with me providing all these things and then turn around and splash on himself and get himself even beer for home I wasn’t allowed to drink, and I was like… wait a second, I just bought this stuff for “us”, but you’re still thinking of you?! It was an endless conversation where he never saw himself doing anything wrong. And technically he wasn’t, but I felt like I was going mad!

I’m sure others have some better suggestions and experiences when it comes to handling the steps of what happens next, but one thing I do want to highlight is the fact that you’re worried about him moving back to his family and not being able to support himself. Which is very admirable of you. However, does this highlight to you the fact that he needs to be cared for and isn’t proactively ensuring he’s okay to look after himself? At what point do we stop coddling our partners and letting them have to engage with the reality that at some stage, they need to do this for themselves. For an example, what would have happened if you had a child and you had to stay home with the child because he doesn’t want give up his job because he loves it too much? At some point it’s okay to look after yourself first. I do hope that doesn’t sound harsh or that I’m putting him down at all. if he does have to move back with his family, that means at least he has support and a stable environment.

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Hey friend! This is rough, but it sounds like you already know what you should be doing in this situation. Divorce and change are hard and scary, but the number one person in your life is YOU. You need to take care of you first before anyone else. it’s the whole “put on your oxygen mask before helping others put theirs on” thing. This guy sounds like he’s not adding anything to your life, and you don’t deserve that at all. Being unhappy as long as you have been isn’t worth it.
It sounds like a big reason you might not want to split is because you worry about him paying bills or moving home…and to be completely frank about it, that’s not really your problem to figure out. It shows you still care about this person, and that is wonderful, but baby birds have to be booted out of the nest to learn how to fly…sometimes they do and sometimes they go splat. Gaining your confidence and getting yourself out of a miserable situation might make your husband go splat, or he might finally figure his crap out and get his act together when he doesn’t have you to use for food, shelter, and intimacy. It sounds like this is past the point of giving an ultimatum right? Addiction is real, and no one will get better if they don’t acknowledge there’s a problem.
I am so proud of you for getting on meds and bringing yourself up! and this guy doesn’t deserve to have the better you because he’s tearing it back down. You don’t deserve to have a hanger-on.

Change is scary. Complacency and convenience are safe. But you don’t know what amazing things could be out there waiting for you, or who could be out there waiting to treat you the way you should be treated. I hope you will find the confidence and love for yourself to take your feelings into account first and foremost, and make your decisions based on that.

Love you friend, you are not alone in this situation. Many many many people go through these kinds of relationship issues every single day. :orange_heart:

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