Competing for his attention – and it’s isn’t with another woman

I received this from a friend who couldn’t think of any other way to talk to her husband.

This is a guest post from Anonymous.

I never ever wanted to try too hard to get attention from the opposite sex. If a boy wasn’t interested in me, I would move on. And if he was, I waited for him to make the first move. Then I got to high school and everything changed. There was lots of competition, so of course I had to up my game a little bit. But I always felt like whatever I did, there was always another girl who did better. So I gave up on trying to impress boy and concentrated on my education and then my future. I finished school and started working and eventually realised that most men were only ever after one thing. And if I went to a bar or a club, and a man would show interest, that inevitably meant they wanted to take me home. And when I didn’t want to, they would move on to the next skirt.

But then I met you. And you were just the bees knees, weren’t you? And I quickly discovered that I didn’t need to fight any other girl for your attention or affection. We dated and partied and enjoyed being in each others company. Until I visited your place and I saw why it had been so easy. I had done everything right: I put in a lot of effort in what I wore; I did my make-up just right – not too much, not too little; I even brought wine. All too soon, I found your weakness and in turn the thing that would grab hold of your attention better than I ever could. But I had already fallen in love. Perhaps I had mistakenly fallen in love with the idea of this perfect man and this great thing we had going – prior to me discovering your secret obsession. But at the time, I thought I was truly in love with you. So I allowed myself to be blinded by that ‘love’ and oversee this small thing that would, years later, become such a big thing – the one thing that you have (in your own words) said “relaxes you and helps you unwind”.

Years later, married and with a baby and I find myself extremely lonely. Why is it that a silly computer game, set in a virtual reality could take up so much of your time? How could a fantasy character you created online make me the loneliest wife on earth? Why do I feel like I am having a conversation with myself every time you put on your headset? How is it fair that I gave up so much when our child was born, and you remain the same? Why can’t you ‘relax and unwind” with me, your wife? You come home after a day in the office and before even kissing me “Hello”, the computer or PlayStation gets switched on. Your computer mouse gets more action than I do. You speak more to your online friends than you do to me on average.

And don’t get me started on if the internet isn’t working: your life is ruined! You have invested more time into creating and nurturing your online persona, that you don’t even notice when I am miserable. And when you do notice my mood, you take it as me being in a bad mood and make stupid comments of how perhaps I should do this or do that to help me feel better. In reality all I would like is for us to be a normal couple. I would like to cuddle on the couch and watch a movie or just go for a walk in the park and talk. But I have gotten to the point where I would rather enjoy my time with our child and head to bed early, than sit in the same room with you, but not really being with you.

As soon as you put the headset on, it makes me feel like you want to drown out the sound of your wife’s voice. So I no longer talk – even when you are not gaming. During the week, you come home, have dinner and head straight for the computer or PS. I don’t even have to ask where you are going or what you are going to do now. You no longer offer to hang out with me or cuddle a bit. On weekends, I can forget about spending any quality time as a family. We live in the same house, but we are living separate lives. And it saddens me. Not only because this is now the life that I am living: one where I can’t even ask you to do something without you getting upset that you can’t concentrate on your game – and then tell me I am nagging; but also because 80% of the time all your daughter sees is you sitting behind a computer or in front of the TV with the PS and a headset on.

I am embarrassed to tell my family and friends what you do in your spare time. Living in a virtual world like you do is not exactly easy to put into a conversation. So most times I lie, other times I try and steer the conversation away from having to answer those questions. I am so lonely. I thought that having a baby and starting a family would change you, maybe you would realise how important the people in this world are. I had also hoped I would not feel so lonely and that our child or children would fill my life or fill the part in my life that has been kept empty by you. But that has not happened. In fact, if I were honest, I am even more lonely now.

I no longer know what to do. I have asked you what you would do if I asked you to choose – and you said it would be the hardest thing to do. And to be fair: I won’t ask you to choose. Because there will come a time when you will look back and realise that you have wasted so much time on watering grass in an ‘alternate / virtual’ world, while weeds have grown in your real world garden and has killed off the ‘real’ grass in this world. And by then it will be too late. It’s sad when a wife actually thinks that it might be better if she in fact was competing for her husbands attention with another woman.

You asked me recently what I would like for Christmas. Here’s my answer: you can’t give me what I want – because you are not ready, nor will you be in the near-future to give up the one thing that ‘relaxes you and helps you unwind’.


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