Whose but­tons did Xbox rat want to press?

My hubby had a favourite hobby, one that helped me catch him red-handed...

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Some guys play foot­ball, oth­ers play Call of Duty!

Kelly Al­lan, 40, Scarborough

Rocking my new­born back and forth, I glanced to where my hubby Michael, 31, was sit­ting.

‘Are you go­ing to help?’ I barked.

‘I’m in the mid­dle of an im­por­tant match,’ he moaned.

It was clear what Michael’s pri­or­i­ties were.

Xbox first, us never.

It hadn’t al­ways been like this.

When we’d been in­tro­duced by mu­tual friends in Oc­to­ber 2014, we’d hit it off in­stantly.

Swap­ping numbers a cou­ple of days later, he’d come to stay with me then never re­ally left.

Some of my mates reck­oned it was a flash-in-the-pan ro­mance. That it would fiz­zle out.

But I in­sisted, ‘When it’s true love, you just know.’

Plus, Michael al­ways found new ways to sur­prise me.

Whether it was a sweet note left on my pil­low, or flow­ers that he bought on his way home. I felt like the luck­i­est girl alive. He doted on my girls, Carly, then 6, and Lilly, 3, both from a pre­vi­ous re­la­tion­ship.

He’d spoil them with days out, cud­dle up on the sofa watch­ing TV or read to them. We were one big happy fam­ily. But from time to time, Michael was adamant I would leave him.

‘I’m not go­ing any­where,’ I’d protest.

‘You will, though – you’ll leave me be­cause of my gam­ing,’ he’d say to me.

True, you could say that Michael had some­thing of an ob­ses­sion with his games con­sole.

I’d no­ticed early on his Xbox was his pride and joy.

He’d even set up his own gam­ing suite in our din­ing room.

The full works, with every game go­ing, dual screens, gam­ing chair and head­set.

It didn’t faze me, though.

Ev­ery­one needs a hobby – some guys play foot­ball, oth­ers play Call of Duty.

Be­sides, I knew that me and the girls came first.

We mar­ried in March 2016, and a year later, we had a lit­tle sur­prise. ‘I’m preg­nant,’ I squeaked. ‘That’s great news! An­other new mem­ber of the Al­lan Fam­ily,’ Michael smiled. But just one month into my preg­nancy, Michael started to be­come dis­tant. Gone were the times when he’d sit and read to the girls. He barely even looked at them, or me for that mat­ter. The only thing he was in­ter­ested in was that bloomin’ Xbox. ‘Any­one would think you’re mar­ried to that thing,’ I spat. He groaned, shrug­ging it off. Then I no­ticed some­thing strange. Michael’s mo­bile was now com­pletely pass­word pro­tected. And if I ever went near it, he’d jump for it, telling me to mind my own busi­ness. Months passed – and as my bump grew larger, so did my sus­pi­cions. Then Gra­cie-leigh ar­rived last De­cem­ber – but in­stead of rev­el­ling in his daugh­ter, Michael didn’t seem in­ter­ested. When she cried, he turned the vol­ume up on his games. When Gra­cie-leigh

needed her nappy chang­ing, Michael’s hands were busy press­ing but­tons.

I’d hoped that he’d help me out, that he’d be my part­ner in all this.

But rather than help­ing me with late-night feeds, he was get­ting late-night kills on his stupid games.

‘Just leave me alone, I need to re­lax,’ he’d ar­gue when­ever I asked for help.

‘Re­lax? You haven’t done any­thing,’ I’d scream.

Be­fore my eyes, the man I loved was slipping away.

This new Michael was shifty, sneaky.

I wanted to find out the truth – and one day in Fe­bru­ary this year, I got my chance.

Michael had made the mis­take of stay­ing logged in to Face­book on the com­puter.

It took me less than a minute to un­cover his dirty lit­tle se­cret.

Click­ing into his mes­sages, pages of them filled the screen.

All dat­ing back to when I’d an­nounced my preg­nancy, and all from one girl. A 17-year-old named Amelia. Bile crept up my throat as I read Michael’s mes­sages to her... I love you. She’d replied, I wish I could be with you tonight.

Pic­tures had been ex­changed, too.

All that gam­ing he was do­ing. A cover for his chats with an­other woman!

Fu­ri­ous, I didn’t want to waste an­other se­cond.

March­ing to Michael’s of­fice, I threw a print-out of the mes­sages at him.

Re­al­is­ing what they were, his eyes grew as wide as saucers.

He couldn’t deny it, I’d caught him bang to rights.

He just said, ‘We haven’t met up or kissed.’

‘Well, you’ve lost ev­ery­thing. I want you out tonight,’ I replied.

I went home and pulled Michael’s things out of draw­ers and cup­boards, stuffed them into bin bags.

Then I caught a sight of his Xbox... That thing had de­stroyed my hap­pi­ness, my fam­ily. But in a strange way, I was grate­ful to that chunk of me­tal.

It’d alerted me to the fact Michael was a silly boy more in­ter­ested in play­ing games than be­ing a hus­band and fa­ther.

Now I’m get­ting a di­vorce.

I know Michael doesn’t feel sorry for what he’s done, but all I can say is good rid­dance.

If he thought he could play around with my emo­tions, then he thought wrong.

My life is bet­ter off with­out him in it.

Game over.

Good rid­dance! My life is bet­ter off with­out him

A happy day out, away from the Xbox!

Michael doted on my girls, and we mar­ried

Michael loved gam­ing

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