My Husband Plays Video Games Too Much!

Husband Plays Video Games Too MuchFeel like your husband plays video games all the time?

It’s really common! I know a young man who married in the last five years. He loves his new wife very much, and they’re having fun setting up their rental house, putting some money away, and desperately trying to finish their education part-time.

They did everything right: they dated for a while, they waited until they were married to make love, they got to know each others’ families. They’re not rushing into parenthood until they have a house and their education completed. But they’re on track to have that well before they’re 30.

There’s just one problem: whenever she’s at work, and he’s not, he heads over to his old house that he shared with a bunch of friends and plays video games. In fact, sometimes when she is home he still heads over there.

He’s at work when he’s supposed to be at work. He’s at church when he’s supposed to be at church. He’s at school when he’s supposed to be at school. But much of his free time is spent playing these games, often at a buddy’s house. And his new wife is sick of it.

I see this increasingly because even good Christian guys from good Christian families grow up playing 3-4 hours of video games throughout their teen years and into their twenties. That’s not miraculously going to stop as soon as they get married.

Nor should it, necessarily! I grew up knitting, and I still knit for at least an hour a day, if I can find the time to sit. I love knitting. We all need things to help us unwind that we enjoy.

But the nature of video games is that what we intend to take half an hour can easily become four hours. And quite often, I believe, it can become a genuine addiction.

Here’s a letter I received recently from a reader, along with my response to it. See what you think. She writes:

I have a question, and was wondering if you could give me some insight. I know that other young married women struggle with the same thing, and so I thought I’d pass it on to you

My husband spends a LOT of time on the computer – playing an MMO (multi-player online game). This is how he relaxes. He comes home from work, says hi, then gets on the computer. He plays video games for several hours, most nights eating dinner at the computer, and then when he senses that I’m frustrated, he gets off – until he senses that the frustration is gone, then he gets back on. I understand that he needs to de-stress after work, and I want to respect that need, but I often feel ignored (except for when we have sex) – I often feel that the only way I can get his attention is by seducing him, and that frustrates me to no end. I hate feeling like I’m competing for his attention.

I know that he’s not doing anything inappropriate on the computer – no porn, no affair…just a group of his friends playing video games together. I know that it’s important to him, because it gives him the opportunity to make and meet goals (leveling up by a certain time, etc.), build companionship with guy-friends, and relax at the end of a long day during which he has felt beat-down and discouraged by a minimum wage job that he wants to get out of but no one else will hire him at the moment.

All that to say, I don’t want to take it from him, but I do want more quality time with him (one of my primary love languages). I see that he spends hours and hours doing something that, to me, has no eternal significance, and he could be doing other things (like making connections with people to get out of the job he’s currently in, or doing something with me, or helping me around the house, or…or…)

Here’s my answer:

When Your Husband Plays Video Games Too Much

Thanks for writing! This is a really common issue.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with playing video games for a short period everyday to unwind. We all need things that relax us. The problem comes when he plays video games so much that it eats into his normal responsibilities, and for many couples, that has become the case. In fact, in many men’s lives video games become an addiction (in the same way that soap operas used to be for many women, or Facebook is now).

Here’s the thing: men often turn to these games because it gives them a sense of mastery and competence over something, which may be sorely lacking in other areas of their lives. And it is fun!

But then it can easily become a habit–something we just do because we’re used to it and it’s easy and that’s what we automatically turn to. And video games rarely are something that are played “for just a few minutes here and there”. The very nature of them is that they tend to eat up hours of your time; hours that are better spent elsewhere. When that starts to happen–when it becomes several hours everyday that is eating up time from your relationship, then it’s very likely crossed that threshold. So what do you do if  you really feel your husband plays video games too much?

1. Don’t Be His Conscience

I was once very addicted to television. I had it on constantly, and I wasted so much of my time watching shows, especially soap operas. One day God convicted me that I was wasting my life. That was when we got rid of the television and I started writing, and volunteering, and planning fun outings with my kids. My life became so much BIGGER.

The problem is that it is very easy to see that now; I couldn’t see it then. And you can’t convict your husband by nagging him. You may see what he is doing, and see what he is missing out on, but you can’t be his conscience, and nagging him will not work. I do think that we, as a society, need to speak more firmly about not wasting your life, and our responsibility to find our purpose, rather than wasting the precious hours we do have on this earth. But your husband has to see that for himself. You can’t see it for him by nagging him about it.

So what can you do?

2. Suggest Things to Do Other than Playing Video Games

You’re absolutely right that you don’t want to take it from him entirely, because that’s not your decision to make or your role to say, “I get to decide how you spend all of your free time.” But I think it is perfectly reasonable that you have boundaries over it, so that it’s only during certain hours so you can be together more.

The problem is that saying to him, “how about if you play from 7-10, but then we spend time together at 10” sounds weird, because you’re not saying what you intend to do at 10.  Why should he stop if you have no specific plans for 10:00? Or if you say, “can we have from 5-8 for just us, doing something together,” he may think it sounds like you want to sit around the house doing nothing.

I’ve often found that a better strategy is to try to replace it with something. So instead of saying, let’s keep these hours just for us, say, “I’d like to help at youth group once a week with you”, or “I’d like to take a walk every evening after dinner together”, or “I’d like to start playing squash twice a week”. When he’s out of the house, he’s not on the game. And then you can spend some time together, and he will be slowly breaking his reliance on games. Then, when you are at home, it can be his choice to play the games.

3. Play Video Games with Him!

Another option is to join him! I don’t think this will fix everything, because you do need to spend time away from the games (laundry does need to get done, you do need time to talk, you do need to eat together), but at least you could share part of it with him. It also won’t work if it’s a genuine addiction he has, but many of my readers have said that they dealt with the problem by joining him, and he sticks to more reasonable hours now and he likes that she’s a part of it. For some, then, this may be a solution.

4. Keep Talking

Keep honest communication so that you can talk to him about what you need. Be sure to show him love in ways that he understands. But it’s okay to tell him, “I feel as if we aren’t spending very much time together. Can we find things that we can share?” That’s legitimate, and it’s a good way to build your marriage.

If you feel as if he really only pays attention to you when you have sex, and that you just aren’t connecting, then try to start finding other things to do together. And, once you’ve established some new habits, start talking to him openly about what you need. Don’t accuse him–saying, “you’re wasting your life”, or “you act like you don’t love me”. Instead, own your feelings and be clear, saying, “When you’re on video games all night I feel as if we aren’t sharing our lives together. Can we talk about how to feel more connected?” Then the issue isn’t the video games; it’s the connection. And that may be something he’s more willing to discuss.

UPDATE: One commenter noted in the comments that if a man is on video games all the time he is not fulfilling his role, and he needs to be confronted. I totally agree, and I think I may have made this section too wimpy, so I’d like to take another stab at it.

Here’s the thing: you MUST confront. As I said in the comments, marriage doesn’t mean you keep your mouth shut and accept everything he does; marriage means you strive for intimacy, which means you become vulnerable and share your feelings. You tell him what you think, how you feel, and what you’re scared of. Don’t “win him without words”, because that won’t work in the case of video games. Video games can be addictive, and you need to confront (winning without words doesn’t work with alcoholism, either). If he is being sinful, you tell him. But I think we need to be careful how we tell him. One commenter suggested saying, “how would you feel if I chose to ‘unwind’ for hours by ignoring you and texting other friends?” (because in multi-player games, that’s essentially what he’s doing). Another suggested sitting down and actually telling him how you feel about him wasting his life.

I agree with both these suggestions, I’d just caution to do it when you’re not angry. That usually doesn’t help.

This is also a difficult topic because some guys are on 2-3 hours a day and some are on 6-8 hours a day. Some can go weeks without playing and then start again; others have to play everyday. If your husband is genuinely addicted, and never talks to you or the kids, then my advice from last week regarding getting help from the church is probably the right course of action.

In summary, what I’m saying is this: Video games are a huge problem in many marriages. They’re unproductive; they steal time; they wreck relationships. Don’t ignore it. DO something. Find other things to do together. Talk to him about it. Confront him about it. But don’t nag (ie. trying to be his conscience), and don’t stew, and don’t try to punish him in other ways because that’s childish. If you’re upset about it, get it out in the open and discuss that issue, and find ways to spend more time together. That’s legitimate, and that’s how we build healthy families.

Does that make sense? Keep talking to him about it, but don’t replace it with nothing. Replace it with something and you may both find life gets a lot bigger.

And you may also want to ask him to work through the 31 Days to Great Sex together. This is actually a topic I address: do you go to bed at the same time? Do you spend time together away from a screen? So it may lead to some good discussions!

Now, ladies, what would you add? Have you found that video games have become an addiction for your husband? How can you find the balance between supporting him having time to unwind as he wishes and still maintaining a healthy marriage?

UPDATE 2: I wrote another post on this topic, clarifying my views a little bit more. You can read it here.

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  1. Although I suspect this gaming addiction goes deeper than the game itself, if he can make a “baby step” and switch to a different type of game (specifically non-MMO) it might help. MMOs are notorious because they don’t have a natural “end” to their gaming sessions, making it harder to pull away from them. South Korea is one such country facing a serious problem with gaming addictions among their youth.

    • (I should add: “going deeper” meaning a matter of discipline/resolve for the sake of the marriage).

    • Butterflywings says:

      I don’t think switching games would help sadly. My husband rarely plays MMO games. He prefers individual games, including those with “ends” but he’ll just start another and another and another sadly.

  2. I think you gave wonderful suggestions! I especially like how you suggest to “suggest another activity to do together.” I think that when the husband spends more and more quality time with the wife, he’ll see that he actually prefers it to the video games.

    When my husband plays video games, I often sit in the same room with him and read or read blogs online. Then, we agree on a time to put our individual things away and do an activity together. It really has helped and it gives me a way to relax as well. Again, this could probably work in time for the couple, once he can decide when to stop for the evening a little more on his own.

    Finally, my husband and I make a habit of eating our dinner together at the dinner table every night we’re both home for dinner. We don’t have the TV on, we don’t have our phones out, we just spend the time talking about our days and life in general. I think this has helped us to feel connected to each other and it gives us time to discuss things and just talk to each other without electronic interruptions.

  3. Michele ºÜº says:

    I wonder what they did when they were dating. Is it much different? If it is, then I would suggest her having a heart to heart about missing things the way they were; marriage is supposed to enhance the relationship not replace what you had with sex and cohabitation. 😉

    My husband and I have been married for 25 years. Way back when we were dating, we really didn’t “date” so much as just be with each other. So to think that we would have a “date night” once a week now, would be out of our norm, both in the early years of our marriage and now. Because we just like being together and not really going out and doing things (a.k.a. dates), as we had children, (and the fact that my mother made it clear when I was a teen that she wasn’t going to be a babysitter on a regular basis once I had kids and because we were/are very protective of our kids and who we left them with) we never really went out. Now, all these years later, I believe we NEED to go out together on dates, just us, more often. We have talked about this and he agrees, in theory, but when it comes to actually going out, he tries to get out of it (we live 30 minutes from town and like I said before, we really are homebodies – we live in a small house and spend our evening time in the living room~all of us~doing various things separately and together~watching tv, playing individual video games, on the laptop, computer, or iPad, or reading books~, I go to bed when he does, and I get up within 30 minutes of when he does). For 2 years, we have said we need to go out on dates more often and last year he even said once a month, but we only managed it once, other than our anniversary. The only other time was in December when I decided I was taking him out for dinner. 😉

    I have taken matters in my own hands. I have decided that once a month we will go out; I will make the plans and pay for it out of my allowance thereby removing 2 of the things that contribute to us not going out (not knowing what to do and money). Now, I have also decided that I cannot just leave it at that but I had to “make an appointment” so to speak, to ensure that we do so. Consequently I chose the date of our wedding, the 27th, as the day we will go out together, no excuses. 😉 Then I told him of my intentions/plan in a letter I gave him for Christmas. :) So that kind of made it like a year long Christmas gift, and it is hard to say no to a gift.

    I’m looking forward to this new habit. He mentioned wanting to try the Cheesecake factory sometime. So since January 27th is on a Sunday night, which is a busy day for us, I decided this month we will go there for dessert. :) Besides, I just gave him 12 days of Christmas and I have to save up some money for a bigger date night.

    We do now, mostly what we did then. I hope my rambling has explained my point.

    • This makes me happy and also laugh a little, because it reminds me so much of my husband and myself. We haven’t been married that long, but we’ve never really liked to go out, but every once in a while I will get a bee in my bonnet about it and think “ah, we never go out, we need to!” It is encouraging to hear your idea of planning things and preparing them for you both, and to just to hear that your experience is similar to mine in this way.

      • Michele ºÜº says:

        Bethany, check out for lots of date night (and even date nights at home) ideas. At home date nights are easier when you don’t have kids or have young kids. My kids are 15 and 19 (and 21 but married) so it is a bit harder to be discreet 😉 but doable.

  4. This is a wonderful and needed topic. Thank you so much for the suggestions you mentioned. It is not a huge issue here, but it has become more prevalent then it has in the past–mainly with the iphone. Most days I just keep my mouth shut. But if I need something, he gets off without hesitation. I think the biggest suggestion is to always address him with grace, not accusation or anger.
    Christin recently posted…The “Desperate” Book Study Sign UpMy Profile

  5. My husband was addicted to computer/video games for more than 10 years. I knew he enjoyed games, and he finagled (my word, not his) reasons to buy new a new gaming system the year we were engaged. He “needed something to help him wind down.” I understood. A few years into marriage, he upgraded to a new system, and I played games with him. Fun!

    When I lost interest, he did not. He moved to our first PC, buying games that gave him power (battle/war type), and that allowed him to dominate. My husband is naturally very good at games, and our son has inherited this “ability”. This is why the gaming feels like a detrimental area of life to me. The addictive quality of it makes for terrible relationships.

    The gaming world, either online or in-house, omits real relationships. It’s a dream world, and has no time limitations, as you stated, Sheila. Like anything electronic, the draw of gaining status, gathering paraphernalia to make you a stronger force, earning points, making “friends” becomes all-encompassing.

    The danger is this: the wife feels shut out and begins to find other activities (volunteering, devoting time to children, etc.) This makes the man feel less important … when he actually puts down the controller or keyboard and feels like returning to husband/father status, the objects of those roles have moved on to other things, tired of waiting. This can, in my case DID, lead to finding acceptance at work, and then with a coworker, leading to an emotional affair (he wasn’t available to me, then I withdrew and he didn’t understand why … and assumed I didn’t care … THE IRONY). It can lead to farther-reaching friendships that take the place of marriage relationships.

    Talk. Explain very carefully how his time spent “elsewhere” makes you feel ill-equipped to be the wife YOU should be. Make a list of activities you can do together, including some games, maybe. Keep the list in the area of the house where you hang out, and ask him for ideas to include on it. Set aside some time to plan a few of those activities each week.

    Put the shoe on the other foot very gingerly, if it feels like the right thing to do. Ask him what he would think if you spent time on the phone/texting/out with friends in order to wind down and decompress from your day. Without pointing fingers of blame, ask him to think how he would feel if you spent more hours of your time with other people than with him. This is a difficult area, and depending on your emotional strength, not the first thing you should do.

    Do not — in my experience, DOING it backfired — suggest activities to dissuade your husband from gaming. Asking for his attention may distance him even more, because he may feel manipulated or controlled, following what YOU want to do. Men who are deeply into gaming want control. I think it’s related to the same area as pornography …. they’re getting their high from elsewhere and keep upping the intake to keep it feeling good. You don’t offer as much immediate gratification because they he has forgotten how to relate to you … the most important relationship in his life after God. If a man turns to another female relationship for comfort, you can bet the other woman won’t nit-pick his gaming because she doesn’t know about it. He doesn’t share that with her or let her see it, because deep down, he knows it’s not the right thing to do.

    That said, PRAY. Pray through it all, for direction and for patience and for the backslides in behavior you will face.

    For Pete’s sake … has anyone been addicted to a BOARD GAME … ever? Electronic stimuli leads to bad things. This is my opinion, and very much my experience.
    Amy recently posted…Forwarded Messages: Plague or Praise?My Profile

    • Thank you for that, Amy. I really appreciate you sharing your story, and I think your insights will help so many.

      You’re absolutely right–no one becomes addicted to a board game. They are totally different, and it can become a total addiction. For many it’s not; they simply play a lot and waste time. But for others it really is.

      And I think you’re right: most feel ashamed. They don’t really WANT to be doing it, but it’s a compulsion.

      I think we don’t take these things seriously enough. And I also firmly believe that it’s okay to talk about things. I’ve heard advice to just “let him play” and “love him through it” and don’t say anything and he’ll come back, but I think that’s a misunderstanding of the nature of gaming, but also a misunderstanding of the nature of marriage. Marriage doesn’t mean we shut up and never share our needs; marriage means that we become vulnerable and share deeply of ourselves, which means communicating our needs. We need to learn to do that in a helpful, not nagging or blaming way, but we do need to do it.

      Think of it this way: as his wife, you may be the only one who can help him defeat this. And for some people it really needs to be defeated (not all, but for those for whom it has become a genuine addiction).

      • Thank you, Sheila. I want to add, since I stepped off my soap box and forgot, that my husband has done a 180° turn on the gaming. A combination of things happened — he moved to online poker (and female players are, naturally, more talkative than males) and I asked him to teach me to play. I had no intention of teaching him a lesson, I told him I wanted to discover what kept his attention and why. I played only while he was in the room, and as I asked about the game, our kids became attentive and wanted to know about his “friends” on the website (photos/avatars in view) … within only a few days from gathering our interest he withdrew from that game. Several Facebook-hosted games left his repertoire, too, after I asked to learn the in and out of them. He denounced Facebook not long after that, noting its distraction and time vacuum qualities. As these processes played out, we discussed the issues, and I did lots of reading and research on electronics addiction (Google … you’ll be amazed) and presented my findings conversationally. He never offered rebuttal or excuses. Silence, in his case, indicates understanding.

        Presently, he plays iPhone games when winding down from work, and I have called his attention to excessive play (if more than 3 or 4 days in a row for hours) on occasion — for him, these times hit when he feels great stress (consequently, he focused on gaming when in the throes of his emotional entanglement and ensuing work/family stress) and when I call his attention to the time involved, he does explain why and makes great effort to change his focus. Mainly, keeping active communication, asking for help in the kitchen, having kids ask him for rides to/from activities instead of automatically assuming I will and other attention-diverting activities that he decides help immensely.

        Women tend to clam up when husbands detour. In my case, I wanted to not have to face his wrath, because I was terrible at confrontation and did so plaintively instead of factually. Personality type plays a huge part in confrontation, and wives must study up and play it out before delivering the performance. Run it by a friend, run it by God, and stick to your guns, bad pun or not. :)
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    • Butterflywings says:

      “Ask him what he would think if you spent time on the phone/texting/out with friends in order to wind down and decompress from your day. Without pointing fingers of blame, ask him to think how he would feel if you spent more hours of your time with other people than with him.”

      My husband constantly pushes me towards this. I’m currently interstate away from him for my best friend’s wedding – 8 days away. He could have come but chose not to – preferring to stay at home for a “holiday”. He sees time away from us as a holiday – he sees time away from ME (to be by himself entirely) as a holiday. He spent nearly our entire honeymoon ignoring me to play computer games, refusing to go out and do anything in the beautiful country we visited, refusing to stay in and do anything with me and do anything either. To him a “holiday” is being entirely by himself to read and play computer games. Going away just the two of us is a duty to him.

      He wasn’t like this before we were married so I don’t know what happened once we got married.

  6. Thanks for a good article/reminder, Sheila! I have a lot of trouble with the TV thing — I get very sucked in and the time goes by so quickly and pointlessly. It’s so good to be doing other things — useful things, fun things, things that really are so much more fulfilling. Thanks for the reminder.
    Bethany recently posted…The Right WayMy Profile

  7. My fiance used to have a pretty stressful daytime job. And he’d play games when he came home to relax. We have 1 tv and several consoles as well as the computer. He’d latch onto his computer and would put on his headphones (so he didn’t bother us with the tv since the computer is in the living room). But he’d still check out and not be present. Our son would try to talk with him or play with him, or I’d try to talk with him. And though he never expressed his frustration with us, he WAS frustrated because he couldn’t “unwind”. Well, another job presented itself. One that he’d like more, but it was second shift. He HATED the idea of second shift, but I talked him into trying it, and now he loves it! His job doesn’t cause him as much stress. He LOVES what he does. He loves the people he works with. So if I’m awake when he does come home, he and I spend time together, because it’s not nightly. Plus he can play all the games he wants on whatever system he wants because he’s alone. Which makes him a better partner and father. So the time he spends with us, is being spent with US instead of being completely checked out.

    So that might be an option for this lady. I know it’s not ideal, and you don’t fall asleep at the same time, but not everyone can fit in a cookie cutter lifestyle.

  8. I get so frustrated that this issue is so frequently dumped on the ‘wives’ as an issue we should just learn to deal with, tolerate, and even ‘join in’ with. PA-LEESE!!!! According to recent studies the average “gamer” is now a 30 year old male. I have a few things to say to all these 30 year old gamers, especially if they are married with children. (Like my husband, and I’ve shared these thoughts with him a few times :)) “GROW UP.” “The teenage years are gone, your glory days are over! You are missing out on the best years of your life all for the love of a fake game, where you are a fake solider, fake coach, fake athlete, or fake ‘bad guy’. You’re teaching your kids that there is nothing more important that escaping your life and being entertained, all in the name of ‘relaxing’ or ‘unwinding.’ Husbands are not called to “unwind” they are called to be ministers and servants to their wives and children. The ride home from work is their time to ‘unwind.’ Listen to your sports talk then. When you get home, you get to join your wife in taking care of the home and children as a pastor servant. Set an example that way. The Bible says, “redeem your time for the days are evil” No where does it say, ‘life is hard sometimes, ‘unwind’ by wasting as much time as possible.’ How about we encourage the wives to confront their husbands about their selfish, childlike behavior, especially if it is a stumbling block to that wife or the children in the home. (Romans 14:13) I’m also not saying that the husbands can’t ever have any fun or enjoy life, but habitual gaming, hours upon hours of ‘fun’, at the expense of their spiritual and family life? Can you imagine the uproar if all the wives were ‘unwinding’ everyday at 5pm? Can you imagine the uproar if the ‘wives’ were doing their version of gaming when the husbands want to have sex? :) Someone’s got to be the grown up. Someone’s got to take care of the adult responsibiblites in the marriage, home, and family. It should start with a leader-servant husband, not always the wives hopeing to “win their husband without a word” by going along with their unbibilical, (yes I said UNBIBLICAL) habits. Can you imagine trying to explain this struggle to married couples in the 1930’s or 1940’s? It would be unheard of. Men were men then, not teenagers well into their 30ies. Lets get real, wives!

    • You go, girl! That’s awesome.

      I agree with you: we need to confront them on it. As I said in another comment: the idea that we can just “love him through it” and not say anything and he’ll change is ridiculous. Marriage doesn’t call for women to say nothing; marriage calls for us to confront when appropriate, and to be truly intimate, which means being vulnerable and sharing what we’re thinking.

      The problem, though, is that you can confront and tell him that you don’t like it and he still may do nothing. I agree that he should be the servant leader, but if he isn’t, your confronting isn’t necessarily going to change things. You should still do it, but find ways to do it constructively, that’s all.

    • Is there a “like” button on here?

      Society has generated the “stay young” mentality, and men have, for generations, had that “midlife crisis” thing that produces a lust for anything youth-related. If we pulled out Barbie dolls or tea sets and made it a daily habit, we’d be asked to try counseling.

      We, as the Bible tells us, should be good stewards. Of everything. Money, possessions, resources, and time. Time is the one thing most people squander. I do notice many men do not like to see their own children wasting away in front of a monitor or screen.

      That sight can make a decent role reversal tool …
      Amy recently posted…Forwarded Messages: Plague or Praise?My Profile

    • Here’s another issue, though, and one that I struggle with: my husband is a great guy, and neither of us puts up with much. When we see each other doing something wrong, we call them on it, and we tend to listen. I’m not one to “win him without words” pretty much EVER (and besides, that’s talking about a totally different situation, not about failing to confront a Christian husband when he’s sinning. That verse is taken out of context way too much). We talk, we confront, we grow, and it’s all great.

      But MOST women don’t have that kind of marriage. And while you’re perfectly right that men shouldn’t be wasting their time, the problem is that many men do not react well to a wife confronting them. It will cause them to withdraw further.

      The question, then, is what should these women do? Maybe we need more training for kids when they’re younger on how to confront, because being submissive does not mean that your husband becomes godly; quite often the opposite occurs. Quite often being overly submissive simply means that he has no obstacles to wanting to pursue whatever sinful area he’s pursuing.

      Yet on a practical level, what steps should she take? Confront, yes. Make the home a busy place so there’s less time for video games. Talk to someone at church. But let’s not pretend that confronting works automatically, either, because men may not be ready for it. And that’s where things just get really, really hard.

      • I think it’s the use of “confront” that makes confrontation so dismissive for people. I think the term “intervention” took the same trail a long time ago. Instead of helpful connotations, they retain negative, divisive meanings.

        For me, the “putting the shoe on the other foot” strategy works. It works every time, though I do not use it often for fear of overdoing it. My husband does not see the effects of his time use, his spending, or some of his choices because he grew up under a father who did (and still does) anything he wishes “because he deserves it” after working all week. The “King of the Castle” mentality takes its toll on wives. My mother-in-law worked full-time, too, during most of my husband’s growing up, but didn’t lament out loud, still had a meal on the table and snacks in the ‘fridge every day, plus sewed Halloween costumes, volunteered at school, and attended every social engagement, bringing along a homemade dish to share every time.

        It’s definitely a gender-biased issue, and it all comes down to how we play it.

        Despite the vindicating nature just getting it out there and facing facts, men don’t see those facts because ego/self-esteem/self-preservation covers the entrances to his thoughts. Women do not like to be whacked over the head and dragged to the man’s perspective, either. We aren’t willing participants in changing our habits without shedding our pride and understanding that it’s for the greater good: our marriages.

        We can’t threaten, we can’t beg, we can’t demand, nor can we cry and whine.

        What we can do is give it all to God, letting out all the frustration, listing all our complaints, asking how to even attempt to mitigate the situation, and then start making plans to do so — God does step in to lead. I know I made mistakes in approaching (better word than confronting) my husband about this issue, as well as other issues. God uses the mistakes, too.

        Each man has his own pathway that a wife can determine — if she doesn’t already, that’s where God comes in to improve our powers of observation and intuition. THis is not a time for high emotion, but for high alert … pay attention, use words wisely, and don’t wait around hoping everything will change just because you have prayed for it.

        Begin talking to your husband about other issues — the kids, the bills, the noisy refrigerator. Ask his opinions about things, engage him in conversation. Ask his opinion on something you notice you would like to change about yourself. Make yourself vulnerable.

        He may follow your lead if you can keep your head and your heart under control. The mania I felt was overwhelming … I couldn’t stand the sight of a lit computer monitor. But, you have to check those emotions at the door and stick with the bare facts and present them like they are golden nuggets of truth … and very, very carefully offer only one piece at a time.

        You have to know your husband well to do this. If you don’t, you must become his best student, learn him well and go on from there.
        Amy recently posted…Forwarded Messages: Plague or Praise?My Profile

        • “Each man has his own pathway that a wife can determine — if she doesn’t already, that’s where God comes in to improve our powers of observation and intuition. THis is not a time for high emotion, but for high alert … pay attention, use words wisely, and don’t wait around hoping everything will change just because you have prayed for it.”

          Really? I figure that my husband is the head of the household and can find out his own path. If he asks me I can share my opinion. However I’m not his mom, and it’s not my job to figure out his life for him. As for following my lead – again, I’ll share concerns and confront actual sin. From that point on it’s his job to lead the way forward.
          Natalie recently posted…Life and DeathMy Profile

      • I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that feels this way, I was thrilled to see all the posts with the same thinking as I have about this issue.

        Couple of follow up thoughts based on the comments.

        1. I have been dealing with this issue in my marriage for 8 years, we have 6 children that are under 5 years old, including 4 month old twins. I’ve tried a variety of ways to deal with it. I did the being submissive and accepting the behavior, thinking, “well at least he’s home and not in a bar or out carousing.” That didn’t work, my “acceptance” of it, was more like permission to play more often.

        2. Tried the direct confrontation. This lead to 3 incidents of physical property damage, yelling, and screeching out of the driveway in his car. Unfortuately the physical property damage did not involve the playstation.

        3. Manipulate him with my behavior, you know, silent treatments, withholding sex, and the like.

        Now here’s what has worked, and it got me 5 months last year with the playstation in its box in the closet: :)

        1. Not saving him from the consequences of his actions (or lack there of). If the kids play in the bathroom and smear pee and poop all over the bathroom while he’s “watching” them, he gets to clean it up. True story. If he gets angry at the kids for daring to “interupt” his “me” time, he can seek their forgiveness and repair the damage done himself.

        2. Explain to him that his behavior is a stumbling block to you. (Romans 14:13) “It causes me to be angry, bitter, resentful towards you.” If something he is doing is causing you to stumble, as your spiritual leader, he needs to know about it. I’m not talking about manuipulating him, if you are genuinely not spiritually strong enough to handle his gaming or whatever habit, he should know about it, he doesn’t have to care, but he should at least know. He will answer to God one day for it, and his prayers are hindered because of it, now that is serious stuff! (Look at 1 Peter 3:7)

        3. Set a powerful example. Don’t waste time pursing worthless things yourself. Find things that have redeeming value and pursue those things. We were not created to be entertained.

        4. Trust the work of the Holy Spirit in his life, pray for the conviction in his heart to overwelm him.

        5. When he starts to pursue other more profitable things, get involved. Show him the value of those other pursuits.

        6. Sit in the room with him, do something profitable while being with him. Make sure he knows you love him even if you don’t love his choice of activities. The goal is not to drive him away but endear him to you.

        The last thing I want to address, mentioned in another comment, is the comparison of gaming to other media outlets. I would propose that there are a few differences. Video games require a large amount of mental attention, much more than watching TV, reading, or doing facebook, etc. Those are largely ‘take it or leave it’ type activities. Twin babies can not be fed and burped properly, while also playing video games, :) (while mommy is at the grocery store) I would also propose that most things can not be done well, while also playing a video game.

        I’m holding out for another reprieve from the playstation this year. Its usually after the men’s retreat, through the summer, until football season begins again. Crossing my fingers :)

        • Thank you, Chrissy. That was very helpful.

          And I’m a big advocate of “reaping what you sow” as well. We should be setting up all our relationships to model this, or else we disrupt God’s natural pattern for teaching us lessons.

        • Hi, I’m a guy. I am 24, and I have grown up with videogames. Due to this, they are a part of me. Anyways, I like the points you brought up. Especially the point where you’d let things happen so he can deal with them himself, as he should. Myself, I’m trying to downsize the number of videogame consoles to sort of grow up and declutter my room a bit, but I can’t possibly remove it all as I’d feel empty inside (because I feel I’d be getting rid of a part of myself).

          Your husband already knows how interesting and fun a game can be, so he can always come back to it after a break. If you want to break the cycle, you might have to ban videogames from your children, but then there would be the countereffect of your children being very curious about vg and possibly binging on it. (I know I did, same sort of thing happened to me as a child)

          Regardless, you are married. You and your husband are in it for life. Consider that totally destroying every bit of something he might possibly care about, is something me may be scared of. It’s a scary thing, but if you can understand that then you should be on a good path so far.

          Ok, so I also understand that we (as men) should take into consideration your feelings and needs in life together with our wives. Sure, after work I’d like to unwind and play a little bit of videogames, but I also understand my gf/wife would want to spend more time with me. I’ll respect that.

          Usually, videogames are usually single player, or only for one person, depending on the game. Some are multi player, and even some are more social like MMO’s (just social online). So at times a good suggestion would be to join him (we would love that if you did, seriously, gaming with a companion is all we’d want in the world, and more), but at some times it isn’t possible due to the single player nature of a game.

          Again, I feel as men, we should think more about how we’ll use our time in the future, in the long run. I am single currently, so it is easy to put in plenty of time into a game without realizing OOPS, I just wasted a whole day, or half a day, or whatever (just an exageration). I don’t want to go on the rest of my life without ever playing a game again. Therefore, I suggest doing something like this. In the real world, we’ll have to work weekdays, usually. 9-5. And you might have weekends off. So, why not, have one weekend be, videogame night, next weekend be, family night or whatever you want to do with the husband.

          I do see videogames as similar to tv. Videogames are more interactive, but they are still a pass time. A tv is a bit similar to books, yet you’d have to turn on the tv and use the remote, and then click to the channel, and then watch a show on the channel that you chose. Videogames are similar. You turn on the tv, turn on the console, put in the game, read the prompt, press start, and you jump in from there usually. (You make a save file) It is the same process as putting a DVD in a DVD player and waiting for the commercials to pass by so you can then proceed to ‘play movie’. What happens AFTER, is a bit different. It depends on the game. There are many games, some are easy to jump into (and out of), and some are harder to jump out of. At this point it is simply like reading a book/watching a movie, (story), except you are playing the character and advancing the story somehow.

          As a man, I have to reflect on how much actual time I can let myself use when playing a game, and how it can reflect everything else that is going around me. I do realize a game can make you anti-social, and I try to be more social and not just ‘I feel like staying in and playing some vidya gaemz’. As I have said, I’m doing that now. I recently had to play two games over the course of a break to get over not playing any for a whole semester, before bagging up some games to donate/get rid of. Not just that, I’m trying to make new friends, exercise (as games can help you in being a lazy fat guy that eats junk food, haha), try new FUN activities, to help satisfy my hunger for fun things.

          This is why I also suggest trying new, fun activities with your husband whenever you can! I recently am trying martial arts and boy do I love it! Do I miss my videogames in comparison to that? Pfft. I’m too busy having a work out!!! We sometimes forget that we like to play videogames because they are very fun, and secondly… they can be very challenging and puzzling at the same time! Sadly, that is much more tempting then television can be or even a book.

          I also hope you look to doing the same with your children, because letting them only have one thing that is fun and challenging might not help their future relationships any. With knowing real options that can be fun and challenging, I don’t feel like having to always go “Ok… I’m bored now… what’s the next videogame I can play???”

          In conclusion, I feel it is up to the man to realize how this is impacting his life, his family, and you, by himself. If I got married, I would listen and try to make ends meet with my partner. If I were playing in excess in such a way that it really impacted our relationship, I wouldn’t ignore it. I do want to live and love another person, I wouldn’t let our relationship rot just so I can continue to please myself with more game time. I would do something about it.

          So I’m going to list some key points to re-cap what I said:

          1. Consider that your husband may really care about games, as a part of him.
          2. We (as men) should also consider your (our wives) needs and feelings about this. We should try to respect it and try to come to a compromise.
          3. I see Videogames as another pass-time, as books and tv’s can be. Videogames to setup usually should be as much time to setup as a dvd player. The videogames themselves are situational, but usually have a pause/save feature to jump in/out of it as quickly as possible. (Or might not)
          4. The reason we like videogames, is because they are very fun, and can be challenging. (Also, story can be another reason) It is easy to replace videogames with other activities that are engaging, fun, and challenging. I suggest the both of you doing something together that can be like that, as a regular thing. Or semi regular, as you (the wife) may want to do other things. [This is why I say every other weekend]
          5. We as men will need to reflect on how videogames truly affect what happens around us. Sometimes we forget and just get into a ‘tunnel vision’ and constantly need to be reminded. Maybe remind your husband if he wants to continue his shut ins for the rest of his life or until he is 60 or something. Maybe he’ll clean up his act a little (I mean play less, not drop the games cold turkey, but if he does I hope it is legit).

          Even though I like playing videogames as a pass time, I hope to never become a dad who is so engrossed into a game that he isn’t able to welcome his children in his arms to share their joy.

          Lastly, if you still have trouble with him, don’t try to convince him out of it. Like some have said, he may feel like you are trying to control him, and that may get him to be defensive (due to pride). You’d have to get him to reflect on it by himself. Simply ask him about situations that he obviously would not want, such as the one above about constantly ignoring his children to play his game. I’m sure as a man, he’ll reflect and conjure up the courage and energy required to strengthen his weakness.

          I wish all of you good luck in improving your relationships. :]

        • Thanks for sharing….I’m sure this will be useful to many.

          My husband currently plays from about 8am – 2am with only toilet and food breaks. He even stopped working and his job was at risk. Fortunately his employers were awesome and allow him to go part time till he can manage full days again. Making up with credit card tho so that really worries me…it will run out.

          He has backsliden because of the magical game he plays, feels bad about it but will not choose God over the game yet. It’s soooo frustrating. Anyways…I wont get into it all, I’ll probably break down.

          May God help us all and may Jesus return soon!

    • ” I have a few things to say to all these 30 year old gamers, especially if they are married with children. (Like my husband, and I’ve shared these thoughts with him a few times :) ) “GROW UP.””

      Truth is, that’s exactly what it boils down to–well said!

    • Very well said. Thank you.

    • Finally! Someone had the guts to articulate this! Almost everything I read was way too wimpy. My husband 31, works hard and different hours, plays disc golf once a week, then plays video games every night. I was using the excuse that he needs to wind down, but hours? -For years. I had the talks….not nagging but he would lighten up and go back. He works hard, plays hard and sleeps. Why am I still making the excuse for him? I don’t know anymore. We have 2 children and I work part time and try to run the house….it’s hard for me. I am alone and he is right there on the couch pretending to pay attention to me…I don’t require much attention but I am a single parent. I can’t even share my heart. He doesn’t not know that part of me. He also wants sex after he is done playing….not when I am awake. He is a little boy in a mans body. I excused this behavior for far to long because like most of the suggestions mentioned I tried for years and to be honest….that was crap advice for what really goes on. My husband is the average player…not even the extreme. I find men like this will defend thier need for downtime like its a right over thier families. I/we are the last on his list of important things. Work, games, sleep,… And this is becoming the norm for our culture.

  9. This is a challenging issue these days. I can speak from personal experience of wasting a large amount of my free time on video games. My wife once complained that she felt like the computer was my first wife and she was the second. It was an honest addiction that I had, no question about it.

    I was finally able to break free nine and a half months ago, and I have not gone back. It is amazing how much more I am able to get done, but I still have to be careful that I don’t use my time on other things of little worth. And the desire to play is still there. When I am tempted to return, I try to remember the things that I lost during that time: closeness with my family, sleep, etc. I remember the emptiness and loneliness that I felt underneath everthing. The numbing of my emotions. This helps me to stay away.

    I also find strength in a saying I heard (I think it’s originally from AA): “You’re one drink away from being a drunk.” In my case, I’m one game away from being an addict again.

    Please continue to pray for your husband. This will work wonders, and God will continue to feel after him.
    Mark recently posted…Do You Want To Be An Awesome Husband?My Profile

  10. I love what Chrissy said! But having been married to a gamer for nearly 20 years I can say this… it is not as easy as the 4 points listed in the post.

    I think one of the biggest things people who have not had to deal with a gamer or gaming addict miss is that it is an addiction. You can’t just do a “little bit” and quit. It tends to be an all or nothing kind of thing. They can’t set a time, play for an hour and be done.

    They also lose interest in everything else. Suggest all the other amazing things you want… but if the gaming has a hold on them they will turn it all down.

    The trouble I see with so much of this gaming is that so many people are involved in it that it becomes socially acceptable. As a wife, when my husband was playing online with friends I couldn’t talk to him about spending more time with me because he would disappoint his friends AND… their wives let them play so why am I being so controlling? Meanwhile he never hears what those wives have to say!

    Gaming can be like any other addiction – look it up – with withdrawal symptoms, loss of the ability to enjoy other things – even sex, loss of job, etc, etc. Any wife with a gaming addict has likely tried all the things above and found that still, no matter what she does she is competing against a computer that gives her husband everything he wants. I used to tell my husband I’d rather he had an affair because then at least I could compete!

    Sometimes wives of gamers need to make some very drastic changes, intervention style, in order for their husbands to see how serious they are about how their gaming affects them and the world around them. Because when guys look up from the computer, go to work or talk with the guys what does he find? They are all gaming. So if “everyone is doing it” then it must be the wife who is the problem. And she needs to, sometimes, make very drastic changes in order to help him see what the problem really is… because to him there is no problem.

    I’m glad prayer is listed. But I honestly believe that a woman who is praying alone for her husband will not have the strength and endurance to pray this one through on her own. She needs to be praying with others – both men and women – who can advise her. Obviously when praying with men it needs to be separated – give a list of prayer requests and let them pray on their own. But the reason is this: Gaming is a daily issue. It affects every area of life. And it can get very, very overwhelming to see no progress. When you are praying with others, it helps to keep you focused, helps you to understand what the Lord is saying through others, and assures there are others praying when you are too discouraged to pray. Trust me. It happens.

    My biggest disappointment in life has been when I’ve talked with counsellors and other men about this issue and they down play it simply because they also are gamers. We need men to stand up and be strong… not just about their faith, and a good work ethic, but to say to the men who are gaming… everything Chrissy said. We need men to be men when it comes to gaming. But they are hard to find.

    The difficulty is that men who are gamers are hidden. They show up to church, they go to work, they show up at events they are invited to… and no one knows that every other hour of the day and night they are in front of a screen. The wife, who feels all alone, lonely, and abandoned, can hardly speak up because if she does, her friends and family will all point to all the good he does when he’s out with her.

    People… if someone tells you their spouse is a gamer and things are hard at home… don’t look at what you see when he’s at church or a family gathering… believe her. Then support her. It’s not easy being a gamer’s wife and the answers to how to help him are even more difficult.

    Having said all that… and I have so much more to say!… it is possible for a man to quit gaming and to reengage with his family. My husband has made remarkable steps in that direction. It isn’t easy. There is a lot of stuff to deal with. There can be lasting damage. But it is possible. With much prayer, hard decisions, and obeying everything God tells you as you navigate through it… it can happen. It may take years… but it is possible.

    I thank God that my husband has more freedom now to engage in our marriage and family life than he ever has before. Gaming stole many years of our marriage.
    Carla Anne recently posted…Birthday Breakfast CrepesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Carla. That was really helpful.

      I think the problem is that it CAN be a genuine addiction, but it isn’t ALWAYS a genuine addiction. My husband plays strategy games on the computer, sometimes for hours on end, but then he’ll go for two months without playing. And if I suggest something else, he tends to come.

      So perhaps I should have divided this into two posts: a post for those who are addicted, and a post for wives of husbands who just waste a lot of time, but aren’t addicted.

      I think in the case of a genuine addiction we need to follow the steps that I put in the post “Are You a Spouse or an Enabler?”, because that can so easily wreck a marriage. But it isn’t always that straightforward, because most women wouldn’t separate over video games and, as your case shows, this can get better, even if it takes decades.

      It’s just really hard. But we have to share our feelings, and we have to tell him what we think. Just do it in a helpful way!

    • Hi, great topic and comments. But besides praying, what difficult steps did you say you took to help your husband engage with you more and become interested in other activities?

    • Thank you! I have been married to my husband for 4 1/2 years now and found out about his gaming about a week in. They have been the most challenging, painful, lonely years of my life. I am not an eloquent write so I appreciate how well you were able to put into words what life at my home looks like. It brought me to tears (of both sadness and relief). I have not really shared this with many (mainly for the reasons you listed), but think it is time I found people to partner with me in prayer over this. Again, thank you.

  11. I’m glad you wrote an update. You were wayyyyy too soft. To me this topic is yet another example of the double standard that exists in lots of christian marriages. If this were the wife doing this, people would be all over her and it would be really unacceptable. No one would stand for it. But because it’s the man somehow we have to dance around it and basically indulge him so as not to make him angry or feel bad. Ridiculous I say. I hope this person that wrote you has no children yet. It will only get worse. I’ve been there. Think seriously before you decide to have children with this man. If he ignores you now, he will ignore the children as well and you will feel like a single parent. It’s time for him to man up.

  12. I see some good suggestions, some righteous indignation, and even some pontification based on an inaccurate view of video games here.

    There can be a perception that video games are things for children. This is a foolish way to think. Video games are a form of media- much as TV, music, movies, and books are. Some are for children. Some are more adult oriented. Thinking of video games as being for children only does a double disservice- it means parents are more likely to not critically examine the games their kids play (thinking “video games are for kids” ignores that many games are NOT appropriate for children) while also demeaning those who enjoy them as a means of entertainment. You might as well say a woman who picks up a romance novel (even a clean one) is no different from a 15 year old girl with her girlish ideals of what a relationship ought to be like. Saying a husband is acting like a child for playing games (even to excess) is foolish, counterproductive, and showing no respect at all. Chrissy, I’d explain it to couples in the 1930s and 1940s by likening it to someone who is obsessed with a radio program. It’s easy to explain once you realize that video games are just another media form. You may need to rethink your presuppositions… you seem awfully eager to write off the husband as childish.

    The suggestion to replace games with something else is a good one. So is discussing things in a calm and adult manner. I would even suggest that if quality time is an important factor, then it is incumbent on both members of the relationship to find ways to ensure that need is met.

    I would consider playing video games excessively is no different than never putting down the book, TV remote, headphones, or internet/Facebook- male or female, it’s an addiction to a form of entertainment. However, because some consider games to be childish things, suddenly the husband is no longer someone in need of changing his focus, but he’s also an overgrown child.

    I might also suggest that rather than mandating going cold turkey, maybe trying to find a way for the husband to pursue his interests too… maybe try to agree that there would be a given time where media distractions were turned off. Or also find out why this game world causes such an obsession with him.

    Jumping straight to confrontation over how childish he has been seems like a great way to drive him further into that fantasy world… letting a man know he is failing and that he is going to be hard pressed to please you is a recipe for creating withdrawal. Maybe try encouragement and point out those things he does well. Men respond well to the carrot and not the stick.

    • Good thoughts, Phil. Thank you. I agree that telling a man he’s childish is absolutely the wrong thing to do, because it’s calling names and it does tend to drive him away. I think finding more constructive ways to fill time can go a long way to helping someone realize what they are missing out on by playing video games too much (or Facebook too much, or any of the other things we spend our lives on).

      • I agree that telling a man he’s childish will only drive him away. And gaming is not a child’s sport!

        But it isn’t as easy as finding something else to do together. It’s much, much more difficult than that. First.. you have to find something that he will actually want to do… and be willing to give up his game for that amount of time. Second… the minute you are back home he’s likely right back on the game. It doesn’t become a replacement, it just gets added on to the day and the gaming goes later, longer.

        I agree that we all have things we spend too much time on, but there are somethings that are particularly addictive and tend to have more long-reaching effects than others. It’s not just a time thing. There’s more to gaming than just time wasting.

        Gaming also gives them the ability to conquer (which they often can’t do in real life), to use their strength and intelligence, to be a winner, to climb the ranks, to be on a winning team. THAT is what you are battling… not just time.
        Carla Anne recently posted…Birthday Breakfast CrepesMy Profile

        • Why not tell a man he’s childish if he is being childish? We women are constantly being told we’re nags, dramatic, b**chy, over emotional, etc etc etc. Call a spade a spade! The Bible doesn’t mince words, why should we? Of course, I’m not saying calling him names, but tell it like it is!

          • amen ladybug!

          • Because he may or may not be actually childish.

            If your definition of “childish” is playing video games, your definition needs calibration. Badly.

            And calling him childish IS calling him names. You aren’t labeling the activity, but the person. I would very much not recommend calling your husband names just because there are women out there who have themselves being called names.

            If you’re looking for an even better way to drive him away than calling him childish, blaming him for the wrongs committed by others is a great way to do it.

          • What helps me clear my perspective in these kinds of matters is to try and:
            1. Identify what the sin is
            2. Deal with the sin (and only the sin, and nothing but the sin)

            Is he being a goldy husband, father, leader?

            Help him build into becoming more of the above, and the gaming habit will crack and resolve itself. There is a sermon by Marc Driscoll that really inspired me that I would suggest you getting your husband to listen to:

            If you can help him re-establish his relationship with God, and with his role as a father. Then he will notice (all by himself) that he is not being the greates dad and father, and that he will need to cut down on the gaming to be what God has made him to be.

            The gaming is not the issue, it is the understanding of his role as father and dad that needs to be lovingly challenged.

          • Butterflywings says:

            Phil, it’s not that playing videogames is childish – it’s selfishly doing something for pleasure instead of fulfilling responsibilities that is childish. Perhaps “selfish” would be a better description than “childish”. But either way, it’s acting like a young child to want pleasure and no responsibility.

    • My grandparents used to sit and listen to the radio together at the end of long day working hard on the farm and raising their family, it involved the entire family. Hardly seems to come close to a good comparison for todays practice of gaming by grown men. I don’t consider my husband childish, I consider him self-centered when he chooses to isolate himself from the rest of the family for entertainments sake. I’ve actually never called him childish for gaming and I understand that it is somthing he enjoys doing, like golfing, or playing football. However, most women are not picking up a romance novel when there are responsiblities to be taken care of in the house or with the family. When EVERYTHING else is taken care of, when your “on track” spiritually speaking, your relationships are well tended to, the house isn’t falling down around you and you happen to have an extra hour at the end of the night, I’d “respectfully” say, “play away” :) The standards for men these days is pretty low, for us women, they are higher than ever, sometime self imposed standards, but there just the same.

      Most of us would never even consider doing some kind of “me” based activity until the rest of the work is done. And even then, we’d like to sit down with our ‘respectable’ husbands and listen to a radio program together.

      • Chrissy I totally think you are on the right track here. I agree with everything you’ve said.

        I think for most women whose husband’s are gamers the issue is not that they are childish, or that they are playing games… the issue is that the priorities are not in order. You’ve laid out the priorities that we would like to see our men have.

        I have to say that not all families raise their kids with that same set of responsibilities. When I married my husband I was shocked that “play” was such a huge part of his life. Gaming didn’t start when we got married but in his childhood… and we’ve been married nearly 20 years. And gaming has been part of our marriage from the beginning.

        I agree with your other post too, about the steps to take to help your husband come out of the gaming and into family life.

        It takes communication as well to communicate together about what your priorities for family life will be. For our family, it looks completely different than what I had envisioned as a young wife… it includes way more gaming than I would have chosen. However, having said that, my husband has taught me a lot about taking time off and away from stressful situations.

        We have to be careful not to impose our priorities to but discuss them together, often over years of time, to come to something that will be biblical, and acceptable by both spouses. This becomes even more important as the kids grow up and start making choices based on not only what they’ve been taught, but what they’ve caught! and I think that’s been some of the biggest “wake-up” catalyst my husband has ever experienced – seeing his kids follow his footsteps.

        As I’ve prayed through my husband’s gaming and how to deal with it, I’ve become more gentle, more confident, more aware of my own failings, and more open to changing my way of doing things – even my priorities – to be inline with what God has asked for the wife of my husband. Each woman must pray and ask God what her husband needs that only she can give. I think when we find that answer, and commit to being that woman, we will see our husbands flourish.
        Carla Anne recently posted…Birthday Breakfast CrepesMy Profile

  13. Hi
    This is a good post, my hubby is… I think, in the category of not quite addicted but heading that way. He has no issues turning the screen if to do stuff with us.
    We’ve had lots of conversations about his often excessive playing and though I’ve explained my feelings, I’ve also told him that he’s the one who needs to decide if/when/how he wants to proceed with his gaming. I love him anyway, even if I’m frustrated sometimes! This actually turned out to be a really important part for him, he’d seen many friends whose wives had just stepped in like the guys mommy and demanded their husbands stop games, or whatever it was they disapproved of, so the fact that I gave him room to find his comfort level when it came to slowing/stopping the game. He actually came to me and presented me with his plan, it took a year, but he set a date, had his “game goals” he was able to accomplish, and was able to fulfill his “commitment” to the group he was in. He left the serious “can’t leave” the computer stuff, he felt, respectfully, which for him made it easier.
    Now that being said. He does still play, but its maybe an hour or so a night after kids are in bed, and he jumps off the computer quickly and happily if he’s needed/wanted.

    I’m not sure I agree with the joining his game though, I did try before having kids and have a friend or 2 that tried the same. Problem is that even for those of us who could just toss the game, when you are playing time just marches on so quickly! It also seemed like it became permission for them to play more and more cause “we’re spending time together”. Haha.
    Once I quit and started doing other things, he sorta eased up, maybe out of guilt at first? But in the end cause he realized he was missing his life. I know someone mentioned that when a guys family is out all over doing things, they often retreat more, and that could be totally true, I think in my case what helped is that we couldn’t really afford to be out out doing zoos, and trips, and such. To we were still there, in his presence often, but living life. So he kinda got to be there, but realized he was sitting in the stands not playing the game!!

    Another handy thing… NO Computer Room!! When I tried kinda “banishing” him to the basement to play. He felt guilty and miserable all the time, but it was also alot more easier to just leave all reality and play for hours and hours. Even though he complained about feeling bad etc, he’d want to play so bad he’d just need to go downstairs. So we moved his computer right into the main living area, he felt more apart of the family, less guilt weighing him down. He was also distracted lots by our son and had to stop lots to play or whatever. I felt less frustrated because he kinda because involved with us again, and as he stepped out of the game more and more, he found it easier to continue doing so.
    Now every once and a while he might start getting a little excessive, but a gentle “reminder” before anyone gets hurt seems to be enough for him to kinda check himself and his game play.

    So far so good!
    I pray that others who are struggling in this area will be able to, with Gods guidance, find the best solution and support for this tough situation.

    • Kaitlyn, I think that one simple suggestion is an awesome one: NO COMPUTER ROOM. If he’s in the middle of everything, he’s still part of the family, and is less likely to spend hours and hours. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Katilyn,

      I’m glad you mentioned that having a computer room is a bad idea. When we moved into our current house, my husband mentioned having his desk and computers in the basement. So glad I didn’t go for that! It’s on the main floor, right by the front door and stairs. So if I need something (or our daughters do) we can easily access him.

  14. The specific game makes a huge difference. We won’t play the MMO or real time games because they require major demands on time to be good at them and some weird hours (for the real time games). We used to play, as a couple, but stopped. Even now, video/computer games are Hubby’s hobby, but he is getting better at finding a good balance. Honestly, it got “easier” when Doctor D (our son) started showing signs of TV addiction! Hubby found his motivation in this, that with him sitting in front of a screen so much, it was affecting our little boy. Its not all figured out, and he still plays, but he’s careful to play games that can be saved and turned off, and he can still get good at. Its all an issue of balance.

    I did read the follow up blog, and though you had some very good thoughts there. And good advice. I’m still learning how to bring up less than comfortable topics — I so dislike confrontation!
    Rachael recently posted…Early RisingMy Profile

    • And, as per the previous commenter, having the computer in the living room is great for this! Hubby gets interrupted more (not good for work, so he has to be intentional about working in the bedroom or at school), but he is where Doctor D can just bring a book, or tackle Daddy. He’s in the middle of our family life, we can talk more, and he is more aware.
      Rachael recently posted…Early RisingMy Profile

  15. What helps to bring clarity to these situations, is to:

    1. Identify what the sin is, then
    2. Deal with the sin (and only the sin, and nothing but the sin)

    Is he being a godly father, husband and servant-leader?

    If the answer is no, then that is the point that needs to be addressed, not the gaming. The main objective in this engagement, is to facilitate his re-engagement with God, so that God can work in his life. There is an excellent sermon by Marc Driscoll that jump started my understanding of fathering and husbanding that I would suggest you get your husband to listen to:

    Gaming is not the issue, his relationship with God, and his understanding of what a father and husband is, is (the issue). If the latter gets sorted out, then the gaming issue will crack, and he will sort that out himself.

  16. I’m so struggling with this!!! My husband of 10+ years is obsessed with video games. And now with his smartphone, tablet, and laptop it’s consumes him. We have very young children and they demand so much of my attention. He can be right where we are and not even glance at them. If I don’t insist on his help, he will be with those devices all day and through the night. He will stay up for them, but not for us. My other issue is wondering if he is going to porn sites and or connecting with other females. He told me if he was I would never know. He is very smart about covering his tracks with all his devices.

    • Hi, LS. It sounds as if we share some background. Our marriage has survived it, and it takes work, self-control, and a careful rein on what comes out of your mouth.

      My advice is to stop focusing on your husband’s gaming/electronics. Take some of your time from your children (they won’t suffer — but your marriage will, if left alone), and take interest in your husband. Offer him compliments (think about good points to mention — it may be hard if you have a negative attitude), don’t scold him or make fun of his gaming. Don’t mention his computer use. Be transparent in everything you do, from phone calls and texts to your own passwords. Pay attention to him, pass by him and gently touch his shoulder or give him a hug/kiss. Men NEED attention from their wives, just as we do from them. Having small children climbing all over us makes more physical contact almost unbearable sometimes. Pray about it — ask God for direction, guidance and strength. I didn’t do those things and drove my husband farther away, using our kids’ needs and young ages as excuses.

      If your husband has connected with any women, or one woman, your job is the same: give him compliments during the day, call his attention to his good points, that he goes to work each day, that he provides well for you, that he has amazing eyes, a terrific sense of humor. Be honest and thoughtful — no false compliments. Reach out to him sincerely. Don’t stop, even if he doesn’t say or do anything encouraging. Take small steps, doing and saying kind, loving, respectful things. If he’s living an online life, the truth will begin to come out — he can’t live secrets forever, no matter how well he covers his tracks. My husbands secrets filtered out everywhere after a while. He felt ashamed for falling into the sin he did of sharing his feelings with someone else who began to cling to him for her own misguided reasons. If your husband has a relationship going on, you may begin to see signs (anger toward you, lack of physical interest or more passionate interest than usual, moodiness, lots of texting/phone calling he keeps secret or causes him to anger when you casually ask about his activity.

      It won’t help to mention the possibility of another woman unless you have a really good idea it’s true. There are many blogs and sources online for help in handling that situation. And, as always, pray about it.

      God will deal with your husband and his habits, and your attention to him may help in that. When you feel you can, after you have worked at the complimenting and positive attitudes and actions, tell him how much you miss him during the day. Tell him you would love for him to join you in taking care of the little ones so you can have more time together — but don’t load the work on (if you both work, you may always be the more nurturing parent … most moms are … but encourage him and don’t tell him how to parent, which I did all the time and caused even more trouble).

      Pray. Pray every day, and pour your heart out to God about your concerns and your hopes. God can handle any screaming and crying you might give. Don’t be shy. Let him hold you up as you go through this, and thank him for the small victories you find.

      Hang in there, LS — I’m praying for you. I’ve been there.
      Amy recently posted…When You Meet Christ on the CurbMy Profile

    • I think it isn’t simply an issue with videogames here, but also devices and technology. Maybe you should find a way to simplify your lives. Game or not, a smartphone/tablet can suck up my attention, and that is what issue you see. We actually don’t need smartphones or tablets, to play games or have fun. It’ll only distract us. Think about that and that might help you in how you plan to resolve the issue. (I currently only have a regular phone and a laptop, no tablet. Smart phones and tablets are simply conveniences)

      Maybe after, you can look into fun activities for the both of you (or the entire family) to join in and live. Good luck. 😀

  17. Here’s a post I read last year and was trying to locate; I thought was pretty objective and honest–especially from a gamer himself:

  18. OK, so I came over here from a different blog, and I’ve got to say, the men’s POV is making more sense to me. I left this comment on the male-oriented blog I clicked over from. Here’s what I said there that I think bears repeating:

    ” I play as much as my hubby does, and if he wants to go play with friends, then I think that is awesome. I’d just be in the way, so I stay home (unless it’s couples board games or something), but I understand the wife’s urge. She’s not jealous of the friends. She’s jealous that he’s having fun when her womanly instinct would be to use all that “free” time scrubbing baseboards or something. Wait…maybe that’s me. Anyhow, I don’t get mad at my hubby for that, because he takes care of my needs and the family’s first. Any time he can have some fun with friends, I’m happy.

    (This) couple will find the balance, too, like we have, if she’ll just understand that men do not have the same desire to make their environment just so before they’re able to relax, and that they NEED to relax a lot more than we do. I don’t know why it’s true, but it is true. ”
    Cindy recently posted…Here There Be Dragons…My Profile

  19. There was one thing wrong – they should have delayed marriage until they were ready to start a family. When both were ready to give up the self part of their lives for children, it is easier than trying to worry about each other’s free time.

    But there seems to be a bit of solipsism. Men need different KINDS of down-time than women. Active solitude. Fishing, hunting, watching sports, driving vehicles, hiking, biking or other athletic activity. It may appear to be an addiction or obsession, but that is how they regain energy and reset mentally. It is a form of solitude. Holy silence even if there seems to be external noise. Or maybe that is his way to idle.

    Do you think you could survive if he played the time tax auditor and analyzed your schedule to the last minute, and he would decide what was a waste of time? I didn’t see any reciprocity – “I think He wastes His time, so He has to be confronted”.

    If it isn’t harmful or truly obsessive, but merely when there isn’t anything else to do he does that, it is his method of recreation.

    If he could do something truly productive, suggest it, but not simply double the number of futile attempts. If you think it would be wise for him to find a better low-wage job, suggest that – but would you want him to work overtime or unusual hours that pay more?

    Asking if there would be anything you could do to help would be better than a confrontation.

    Otherwise, ask what you would sacrifice for him. Not the whiny, see how much a martyr I am for my sacrifice. Instead: you represent Christ to me, so I’m willing to do anything within his will, but are you acting like Christ in this?

  20. My new husband and I are going through something similar, and I’m unsure of what to do about it.

    If I didn’t say anything, he would play video games all day. Before we got married, he said he used to play up to 12 hours a day, sometimes having marathons with his friends. Yikes. To this, my 28-year old brain wants to say to his 28-year old brain “GROW UP!”.

    We have opposite work schedules, and very little time together, especially on weeknights. I come home around 5pm and he has to go to work at 10pm (he works graveyard while I have a typical “9 to 5” job. He’ll wake up around 6-7pm, and by this time I’m usually finishing cooking dinner. He’ll ask if I need help sometimes, but either way, he’ll usually end up playing video games in the evening. Or we’ll watch TV together – we have a few favorite shows. Regardless, the video games seem to always be played.

    As another person mentioned above, the wife feels shut out when the guy is often distracted by playing video games. My husband rents video games (I’m thankful he isn’t the type to just go out and buy every $60 game he wants), so he’ll play one…then send it back…then another one on his list arrives…he’ll play it….send it back, and so on. But I see it as a never ending cycle – there’s always another level, or another game to try. And, because of our schedule, I think “we could be doing something fun together, but you’re playing video games.”

    I’ve tried playing the game with him…..but we like different kinds. I’m more a fan of the old-school Super Mario games….while he prefers COD, Assassin’s Creed, etc. Bleh. No thanks. I always think “I’d rather be doing something else” or “the dishes need to be done, etc.” when I’m playing them anyway.

    I knew he liked to play video games before I married him, and I didn’t expect it to change. However, before we were married, he had the same job, which left him little free time, so I just assumed he was playing video games to unwind – thats cool – I need some time to unwind after work too. I’ll usually turn the tv on for about 30 minutes….and then I’ll start dinner. Notice I said “30 minutes”, not “2 hours.”

    I’ve brought this up to him – and he asks what I would like to do ( as a fun activity.) I honestly don’t know, because as I’ve mentioned, he has to leave for work in about 3 hours…and he’ll usually try to squeeze in a quick nap before then. So, even less time to spend together.

    So…what to do? I’ve prayed about this. I’ve asked God for patience (which I have a small amount of) and wisdom about what to do next. I suppose I could go hang out with friends (like I used to on weeknights before we were married, as we were long-distance)…but I would like to spend time with him. We spend a lot of time apart as it is. Having opposite schedules and being opposite people in general makes it challenging to find things in common to do – even though I know they’re there! I’m trying to stay positive – I know he would be pretty much up for whatever I suggest to do (within reason of course), but I just can’t think of anything! We both don’t like conflict (not good, I know), so I hesitate to mention things sometimes – not because I”m afraid of what he’ll say (he’s a very laidback, calm person), but because I don’t have a solution. If I told him “Honey, maybe we could do something fun together tonight?” “Sure, what do you wanna do?” “umm…..(see? I have no idea/solution.)”

    Helpful suggestions welcome.


    A Frustrated Wifey

    • As a married guy who’s had times when he’s played games and the dishes needed washing (and believe me, sometimes they were left dirty for days), I would say that setting up parameters for the gaming hobby is a good start. It is something that I had to realize on my own, so it is something that requires patience from a loving wife :)

      You and he got married (I’m assuming) because you loved each other and decided you didn’t want to live without that person in your life. And that’s a great thing! So, with that in mind, it’s something that kinda needs to be approached naturally. As long as he’s not just another teenager you need to clean up after and tell to take a shower, he should be mature enough to realize his lacking in his marriage over playing COD.

      One thing I would suggest if you do want to bring it up kindly is suggesting that when you are spending in-between shifts, that that is “your special time with each other” (not “special time with me” cause it is proposed as just another activity similar to gaming, chores, or going running, which is not the perspective that you want in either of your minds). I found it really helpful in seeing my time with my wife as something I couldn’t do any other time. It was something to look forward to, not avoid.

      His time (after he wakes up from the grave yard shift or what have you) is his to do chores, responsibilities and then fun things. It takes a little pattern breaking followed by pattern building. Us guys are kinda slow sometimes :) But patience and building up the good times you share during the “special time” will lead to him coming to that conclusion on his own.

      It’s never a science. Takes time. And love. And growth. We got married because we wanted to be in each others’ lives. And there’s great changes and some tough challenges. But it is rewarding if you see it through :)

    • The answer every woman has to ask her future husband to be is: ‘Do you play video games?’ If the answer is yes, then kick him to the kerb girl! These stupid, senseless, total waste of time, mind numbing games, will in the future, be the ruin of many marriages!

  21. wife ready ro throw in the towel says:

    My husband is so addicted to everything it seems. And video games are no exception. He will play for hours and hours on end. He spends more time talking to other gamers through a head set than to me. When he isn’t playing he’s laying on the couch watching TV. He has a ps3 and x box 360 and we have a Wii and hand helds and he is already planning how he will get the new ps4 .And yet we have no money for the kids school clothes or braces for our kids or to pay bills or to fix the car. And his obsession with TVs is revolting. And surround sound. We live in a tiny apartment and I have 10 speakers hanging from the walls and a sub and a center speaker. Today I realized he also likes playboy. said i shoshouldn’t mind because its tasteful unlike penthouse. He never makes me a real priority. We never have sex anymore and when we do its over in a minute. Which let me tell you doesn’t leave me longing for more. I have a friend whose husband is leaving and has a gaming addiction and I feel sick with myself because I find myself envying her that she gets to be free. I hate being ignored. I hate feeling unloved. I hate never being a priority to anyone . Mostly I hate that it doesn’t seem that it will ever change.

    • I’m so sorry you’re going through this! It sounds so difficult.

      I think the best advice I could give is likely in this post, about how to bring in extra help if you’re facing something serious that is threatening the marriage. I would definitely say that this warrants it. I think speaking to him very firmly and telling him that you will not put up with him ignoring the family is definitely warranted, too, even if it makes him angry. But I would try to get some other people who are important in his life whom he respects involved as well, so that he sees that he really doesn’t have a choice.

      I hope that helps,

  22. anon (I'm a Gamer) says:

    I am one of these gamers I used to play for many hours and I would get the nagging and lectures about it some things that helped me. I asked my wife to take interest in the game i am playing not play it or sit and watch me play but so she would know whats going on in the game and can talk about a stopping point (Ex, After completing a mission or leveling up some tangible thing that you can somewhat figure how long it would take) This may not be good advise because Im here reading this article wife is at parents mad because I played last night with her brother for 3 hours instead of the 2 we planned

    • Why do you use the word ‘nagging’??? I think that is an abusive word for women. Where is the division between ‘nagging’ and making a point??? I think it’s a cop-out for men to use this word, it lets them off the hook and is derogatory to women.

  23. My husband plays video games whenever I’m not home, too… as a way to relax and spend time with friends. But he also goes straight for it whenever he is stressed or overwhelmed. He says it is the only thing he can do that is mindless, where he doesn’t have to think about all of his responsibilities or the real world for a few hours. I get jealous, thinking that I can’t be the person to help him get his mind off the real world. I become hurt that he doesn’t want to spend time with me. And I get overwhelmed that I have to create things to do to get him away from the computer – Ok, plan a picnic, plan a date, go for a walk…. Can’t he just want to be with me and genuinely enjoy my company without me stressing out about competing for his attention? :) I guess I’m asking if there are ways to help him take his mind off of stress (which is extremely frequent since he is in his last semesters of college) that don’t involve video games? Things we can do together? He has an intense personality and it is hard to de-stress him. I take it too personally.

  24. Wow guess what guys like playing video games. Someone mentioned the average gamer is a 30 year old dude; I’m 31 and this article was written on my birthday. I actually linked to it cause I was trying to find board games that my wife and I can play together so it’s ironic that I stumbled upon this discussion.
    I didn’t read all the comments but I can understand the frustration that some people are feeling. I am finishing a master’s degree and working part time now in Texas, my wife’s home state, and I do come home and play video games. I grew up playing them and I won’t stop playing them. By no means am I addicted but I can get on binges and play well into the night.
    It happens. In my case I live in a state that is still in the 90s at 6pm at night in the beginning of October. It can be uncomfortable to be outside riding a bike or hiking in this weather. I could be out making friends with other couples or going to a dancing class with my wife. I could be reading or being romantic with my wife. Those are all wonderful suggestions and they have there time and place.
    But sometimes you just wanna relax after work, school, whatever and kill zombies, or get your character to the next level, or beat that one part of the game that you keep dying on. You know why? Cause the real world with all its craziness is too unrelenting sometimes. Your boss rides you at work or your wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend wanna have a talk. You know you should sit down with them but video games are a lot more fun. Plus you feel like you’re getting somewhere tangible with them.
    There are certain things in your life that you can’t control and you do your best to go with it and try your hardest to provide for yourself and friends and family. But things don’t always go your way and video games are a release. There isn’t anything bad with video games. They get blamed for a lot of teen violence and misogynistic behavior, which is a topic that I will not address in this forum, but they are essentially interactive art work and storytelling. It’s an escape the same way reality television, celebrity gossip, smart phones, sports, movies, and television shows are an escape. It’s all fluff on some level.
    That said if your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend is really neglecting you and totally immersed in their games then sitting down and talking to them is in your best interest. Say you understand that they love video games and your happy they have a hobby that they can do themselves(cause honestly on some level you too appreciate having alone time to do your own thing), Say that them playing so much is eating into time that you wanna do stuff with them and you wanna be included. You don’t have to play video games with them but explain how you feel, No one wants to feel threatened and it doesn’t have to be a anxiety riddled discussion with ultimatums. If you feel like going for the long bomb then use science and talk about how the blue light that LCD and LED televisions emit can disrupt sleeping patterns and that staring at a computer all day at work and then coming home to play Playstation or Xbox for 5 hours isn’t good. I know I have gotten headaches and come to the realization that I should probably stop playing and its not healthy. Every gamer has.
    So in closing I hope everyone that has had issues with their gaming partner finds a solution. We know we play too much, most of the time, and we do wanna do other stuff with you. It just feels comfortable and fulfilling to play something some of us have been playing for 20 odd years with our friends. Just be honest and express yourself. Don'[t expect immediate results and don’t think that they will stop playing for you. That just isn’t fair and is going to make people angry. Don’t be the one getting a Game Over screen at the end of your conversation.

    • For someone with a gaming addiction, male or female I’d imagine, any comment or even scientific info can cause them to become defensive. At least in my case, my sensitive self esteem can’t take more personal attacks when I even breach the subject of him spending some time with the kids. I just remind myself that with or without him, I’m single parenting, and he can lift heavy things and reach high places. He will have to reap the relationships he is sowing with his daughters and I.
      I can only hope my daughters dont grow up thinking it is acceptable for men to shirk responsibilities because they need more down time.
      And no, we both liked to game when we dated, but didnt get a console until after the first baby (while he was home to take care of her).
      He works hard and goes to church, helps his dad and friends when they need it, then games or watches stuff online (all appropriate). I teach full time and do the rest, with depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and lots of medication.
      Sorry, a very current and sore subject for me…I’m shaking as I type this. Thank you for reading. Whew, felt good to get that out!

  25. I’m going to add one more thing to the list of things women can do based on an experience we had recently: foster relationships with other couples. Encourage your husband to spend time with godly men who put their families first.

    We recently invited a young couple from church over that we didn’t know very well. They recently had a baby, and I was talking with the new mom, and spontaneously invited them over for lunch after the service. We have three boys, and a busy household. My husband runs his own consulting firm. He is a very involved dad and a wonderful husband.

    At one point during the lunch, I was in the kitchen with the wife doing dishes, and the guys were in the living room — my husband was holding the baby. (He absolutely adores babies.) Anyway, I heard the husband invite my husband to play a game “online” with him sometime.

    Now, my husband is in his late forties. He doesn’t play video games, unless it’s with one of our boys for a short period of time. He politely said, “No. I don’t play games. I need to spend time with my kids, and if they’re in bed, with my wife.”

    He said, “What about when your wife is in bed? Could you play then?”

    And my husband said, “If my wife is in bed, I’m either in bed with her or working late. I would encourage you to look at how much time you’re spending playing games and ask God if there is a better way to use your time.”

    Now, at this point in the conversation, his wife was dead silent. It felt awkward, but I asked, “does your husband play a lot of video games?” And she just cried. She is lonely and exhausted and unsure of how to be a good mom to that sweet baby.

    My husband is deliberately reaching out to her husband, to encourage him to stand up and be the husband and father he needs to be.

    I’m not arguing that video games are bad. But I’m grateful that my husband has found more productive ways to unwind — throwing a ball with his kids, going for a run, reading a book, even watching a movie with me.

    It is an important reminder to me as a mom that I am raising these boys to become men. Endless video games don’t do them any favors.
    Chewing Taffy recently posted…judgedMy Profile

    • Oh, Chewing Taffy, if more men did what your husband did–and just spoke up–wouldn’t the church be a better place? I’m so glad your husband decided to say something uncomfortable and actually model what being a good husband is.

  26. I’m 54 my hubby is 40. I have 5 grown kids from a previous marrage and two with some special needs at home. I feel my husband loves the apps on his phone more than me. He only has time for me when he wants sex AFTER he plays his games. And thst is getting sparce. He sneaks away to the bathroom to play, or the garage. There is stuff to do and I’m getting dick if it. I work part time, teach a p.e. group, in the middle of directioning a musical and home school our boys. I long for him to say “let me help you or you’ve had a hard day let me rub your feet” but he shows me no acts if kindness or intimacy and I’m sick of doing it all and I’m lonely. I’ve talked, showed him articles and radio programs on the subject nothing changes. And if it’s not a game it’s a book he obcesses over. He actually only gets 4-5 hours sleep because he can’t put it down. Then the boys are stuck with a tired grouch. Help! Feeling trapped.

  27. Hi Sheila, thanks for sharing this great article. Yeah, I have to agree with about this. To be honest, I’m a gamer and when i’m still active playing video games with my classic Xbox, i spent almost all days, of course not entire day, but to be specific, around 7 to 8 hours after school. Right now, i’m already graduated from college and when i remembered again about the moment when i’m still active playing video games in high school, i kind of regret of what i’ve done in the past. I mean, if i could go back to the past, i would rather play soccer or do sports outside the house instead of playing video games in my bed room. That’s why, today, i’ve already left my old habit far behind and i decided to stop playing video games for good. And it works, my life has been great without playing video games, although i still follow and read the latest news about video games on internet.
    Brian Johnson recently posted…What Makes Bioshock Infinite Songbird so Special in this Game?My Profile

  28. Hey everyone. Can I just say something? I am a married Christian man and I love video games as well. However, when I get frustrated with them and yell at the tv my wife gets very frustrated and stressed out. I am not really angry but I find it is nice for me to be able to vent at the tv because I can’t vent anywhere else. She is much to sensitive for me to do that. Now she has said she doesn’t want video games anywhere near the house because she says it brings out a bad side to me. BTW, I don’t even play that often maybe once or twice a week if I’m lucky.
    Now I feel a lot of resentment towards her because she forced me to give up something I really enjoy instead of compromising and thinking of a solution thAt would benefit both of us.
    Is there any hope for me to be allowed to play again?

  29. My husband plays the video game for hours and will get off for a few minutes and get back on. The weekends or his off says he doesn’t come to bed until the next morning. He does bot help with chores. He does not cook clean or help with the kids. I have sat him down plenty of times more than 3 to Let him know hoe I feel. He will change it up for a week and back to the same old. And if you walk in front of the TV he yells at your or gets mad if you block his shot. It’s a true addiction and frankly I am at my Witts end! I feel like a single parent I do every thing alonr. He misses family events because of that game. He says would I rather him be out in the street? He has a few female friends on there which I don’t mind but we can wake up early Sat morning and one of his online buddies will tell him to get on and takes off running like a little puppy. Intimacy, parenting and our whole life has changed. He put the ps4 on layaway 4 months before it even came out. He has every system invented and I told him I feel like I am competition with the game. I figured now after 8 years and 6 years of marriage I can’t change him and he will never change so I can accept it and be unhappy or I can leave and be happy alone!!

  30. Hey Brian I can’t think of anything that would help. I tried playing video games with him we played NBA 2k13 we were teammates and our team won I ended up being MVp in the game and he got upset because I beat him at the game! I am only 25 years old and he is 27 and some point in time games should not have that much control over your life! He plays in the living room and I am stuck in our bedroom with our daughter watching TV together it has gotten to the point where we have to crawl on the living room floor just to get to the kitchen! I feel leaving him will be my only option it may open his eyes but at this point if he can’t compromise (he said he was in all else fights, saying certain days he will do family time. Out of 7 days a week only 3 days were designated for family time and 4 for the game. When the ps4 came out he acted like a child and he got an attitude because I and seed him.not to play! He is beyond adducted

  31. Don’t marry a gamer! How could any woman be happy with that life? Total red flag and if any girl I know ever dates a gamer I will send her this article. My wife and I don’t have kids yet but there is no way we will let gaming become a lifestyle for our kids. Men, it is childish. I know the games are for men. They are designed for childish men and the gaming industry is about as interested in your marriage as the sex industry. Wives, if he won’t listen to you, then please find a real godly man to stand up to your childish man.

  32. Sometimes some of these methods don’t work…..I would never advise playing games with your husband. Would go go along to the TAB to gamble with them if they had a serious addiction to it? Of course not.

    I believe men are really vunerable to gaming. The world around us sucks more and more, it’s depressing. They go on first to relax, then they establish friendships that are rewarding and low maintenace. They level up, get as strong as they can which causes weaker characters to look up to them, which men enjoy. Escapism from the world around them is great, they can disconnect, become someone else (usually exactly how they’ve designed them), be strong, magical, whatever.

    Then when do they feel they ‘have’ to log off? To sleep (boring but necessary), to eat (nice but also necessary) and would prefer to eat in front of the computer so they can keep talking to friends, Toilet (doesn’t take long so it’s ok). Wife and children…well…..they’ll stick around, nice to have them in the background right?

    I can’t offer any help except suggest putting your Faith in Jesus. He’s the only one who will keep you sane, keep you from divorcing him, and just try to focus on you and your kids, bringing them up right in the Lord. Then it’s prayer and waiting.

  33. mechasonicmayhem says:

    Good morning everyone. I can relate to most of the issues that the men and women bring to the table here. I consider myself a decent God believing christian. Been blessed in a many things, graduated a mechanical college program, driving a car less then 5 years old. Working between 40-60 hours a week after noons. Have medical benefits, gym memberships, a decent townhouse lease, a turtle tank with 2 turtles, 2 cats, macbook pro for studies and I custom build gaming class computers for friends, business hobby + personal use. I enjoy the technical aspects of making computers function at new speeds, smoother graphics, enjoy people happy with their gaming build quality. My main job is however to build windmills that ship to Colorado from Ontario. It’s been like -7 F all week. Been active previously in a lot of Church group stuff, Christmas Parties/Fund raisers etc. Help Feed the homeless programs around new years. But my so called Christian friends said, it is difficult to invite you (me) because I am single:(

    I work hard, try to stay in shape, try to keep a home up, keep my car legit, seeking continuous learning, have dreams to get a government tech job someday. For what l do have, wonder what it would be like if I could’ve of trade it all to feel legibly loved? I didn’t have a dad growing up, mom was too sick most of my life to work. The young adult Christian group ladies that were single were polite enough to smile and be social a bit. But the crushes I did have said “I have nothing they want..” Found out they got married to engineers etc. I know God protected me from the Gold diggers etc.

    Weather my Christian friends shun me for being single or they too busy defending their own lifestyle. Such as both hub & wife working to pay for that 2 story home. At least I did what I had to for me and to be answerable to God… I prayed that there would of been love in life, I get out around town after the work week try something new. Worry about making sandwiches for work etc… On a happier note: I think about “Do I want blue accent lighting in my computer with green cooling or do I want green accent lighting with blue cooling?” Oh I know!!!!… make it match blue cause my keyboard lights up blue too 😀

  34. My husband is very addicted to mmorpgs. He spends ALL day on them after he gets home from work or when hes off work and if I want to go somewhere he complains or I can tell he doesn’t really want to be there when we go.He even has it set up on his cell so he can talk to his game friends while we’re out. We have a toddler and I feel like we’re both ignored and he gets frustrated if we interrupt him. He’s a great guy and I love him. He’s fun to be around when he actually is present with us,but this addiction to technology is depressing me. Not to mention the money he’s spent on his hobby. I’ve tried to talk to him about it and I cried and opened up to him again today and I thought I had got through but found texts to a game buddy he had sent while I was on his cell to send my mom a text message and he didn’t seem apologetic at all the way he talked to his friend. He wasn’t like this when we dated and we dated four years before we got married. I knew he liked games but not to the extent of spending every waking moment not at work on them. Sex doesn’t even entice him off the computer. I don’t know what to do.

    • Have you tried getting involved in the games he plays? I can’t understand women who complain about how much their husband plays but yet don’t bother trying to play themselves. Have him help you create a character and have him teach you the game.
      I play mmorpg’s too . . . not to the extent that my husband does, but I still play them. Sometimes we play the same game and sometimes we are playing different games but we are still in the same room together.
      Now if it interfers with his role as husband and father then he may very well have a problem. . . but it’s not the game itself. If he weren’t playing the game he would be doing something far worse.
      We did research on this for a college course my husband was taking. . ..and we found that alot of times the people who allow the game to “take over their lives” have deep seated emotional problems to begin with.
      So try playing with your husband . . . .:)

  35. A man’s perspective

    I have been happily married for 6 months now, and have been with my lovely wife for 4 1/2 years. When we started dating she knew I worked in the IT field, and generally had a passion for everything computers. I also let her know that I am a casual gamer, in my free time I like to play computer games. So now that we are married and have a dog and own a house, apparently she has a problem now with me playing games altogether. I established that I wanted to have one night a week that I would game with my friends from around 10.30pm on. The other times I will game is either when she is away for a day out of state, or has fallen asleep early during a weeknight. So the other day, was my the day of the week when it was my designated game night. I had taken off the day from work and spent all day with her, since she also had off. running errands, going for a walk with the dog, going to a home improvement store to look at new kitchen countertops since we are going to redo the kitchen (her idea). We watched a movie in the evening that lasted until about 11.30pm. Then I said I was going upstairs, and stopped me and asked me if i was serious going to play games now. I said it was my night and I thought it was implied, I do it every week. Well that upset her greatly, and told me she hated that I am on the computer “all the time” and how she felt like my ‘computer friends’ mean more to me than she does, and how she doesn’t feel needed, then made me sleep in the guest room.

    Was I out of line? I tried apologizing last night, saying how I was selfish, how I want to spend time with her, how she is my number one. Now that I reflect back on it, I suppose I could have forgone the games for that night. However I feel if I did that, and tried to say, OK well I’ll just go on tomorrow night, it would have ended up in a fight anyway. And usually we don’t have fights like this. I don’t feel like I play video games “too much”. The only times I will play is when she leaves for day trip, falls asleep early at night and I don’t want to go to sleep, and Wednesday nights from 11-1. I don’t play while she is home, I take care of the house, take care of the dog, etc. Am I asking too much to have this time ‘just for me’ for 2 hours once a week? She doesn’t go out with friends during the weekdays, and doesn’t really do anything just for her. I feel like every time I say ‘its OK if you go out, or you do something for yourself’ that I am just trying to get rid of her, but really I just her to have that me time, but I don;t thinks she needs it like I do, and cannot see my point of view.

  36. Try to find things to do together that bring great excitement. Gaming brings much needed excitement and perceived risk/danger to the male. A male without excitement is like a monkey without bananas.
    Sorry ladies but men are biologically dependent on excitement (not just sex). They will find it somewhere either in a self and socially destructive hobby or something more nurturing.
    Of course a serious addiction will need time to break and small steps add up to a great change over time.

  37. Too much says:

    I followed your advice regarding computer games. We played MMOs together when newly married and eventually it led to him resigning his job – me with a now small baby who we could not afford to put in daycare anymore. He promised to take care of her while I was at work and I would come home to baby crawling on the floor while he played his MMOs. By that stage he was playing the game almost 19 hours a day simply because he had nothing else to do. I left him as this could not go on – he was deeply depressed and was not even looking for another job and I could not help him nor could I support the house and a small child – for her sake I had to leave. We got back together again after counselling and a 7 month separation. He found another job only another 13 months after that though now he was playing games less – again the counsellor had told me to accept that he needed to play some games for relaxation.

    It has now been 5 years since that time in my life. My husband and I are very distant and I am not happy. I have another child now. My husband is always on some form of technology though he plays games probably about 3 hours a day now and not 19 hours. There is no time for sex anymore and he is totally disinterested in it. Gradually his games (now on the computer, laptop, tablet and cellphone) are taking over his life. I have complained and we have seen counsellors and he keeps saying he wants me to be happy but the only time he will spend with me is when we watch a movie or TV series together – there is absolutely no time for us without some technological device in the way so obviously communication is totally limited.

    I do not think the advice given regarding this is accurate and the degrees to which it can go can be very disturbing – my husband when he is with the children also never is truely spending time with them – he turns on the television upstairs, puts on a movie for them and then sits playing games in front of his computer and that is his “family time.” He is lying to himself and no amount of praying, pleading, even hiding the tablets away from both the children and my husband, has helped. I no longer play any games with him and we are essentially living entirely separate lives – he also no longer does any of his responsibility’s – he has stopped feeding the dogs (so that they have starved on occassion until I realised what was going on), forgets to put out the rubbish and helps far less with child care than he used to unless they are watching a movie with him. It is very sad and I have no idea what to do about it because he is at least earning some money now and has a job but we are not his priority – technology and gaming in particular is. He is even playing games on his cellphone or tablet when he takes a bath and when he is in bed (sometimes in the very early hours of the morning).

  38. My hubby might be addicted, but then again I was too! There was one mmo I played for years and it ate up all my time. So much so that I missed out on very important time with my who had cancer mom. She died in the end and I quit playing the stupid game, I finally realized what I’d done (too late). I continued playing games with my hubby after that, quick games, typically games that didn’t take more than an hour. Avoided mmo’s like the plague. He’d try to get me interested but I absolutely refused.
    That was around the 5 year mark – now we’ve been married 8 years. We finally have a baby (praise G-d). My outlook on life has changed – that is, I don’t find games as appealing anymore. I’m like a zombie most days, so tired, dead on my feet from taking care of the little one. But he has enough time to spend 4 hours a day playing games. Since I’ve complained about it he’s just moved it til late at night when I’m asleep, which means he’s sacrificing his sleep for these games! I’ve caught him at 4 in the morning! (I have post-partum insomnia so I get up at all hours of the night. Man, did he get a big fright when I caught him that time!) Most days he’ll stay up late playing games and then sleep late the following morning, if I don’t wake him, he’ll sleep ’til noon. He doesn’t work.
    But really, I am so sick of him offering me tea in the evening so he can make it and rush off to play games. It feels like he’s just doing his duty, spending some time with me, but all the while itching and waiting for me to go to bed so he can run back to his computer. Some days I fantasize about throwing it away.
    It’s getting to the point (someone else mentioned this in their comment) where I’m just doing my own thing and I don’t really care anymore what he does. It’s an evil cycle.

  39. Purrlesskitten says:

    My first husband was a gaming addict and a porn addict. He quit gaming after his first wife left him and went to church and put on a persona(and looking back it was like he was playing an mmo). The day we got married nothing I said mattered anymore. It was like someone else had taken over my husbands body. I wanted him to be the person I fell in love with, but he was not. I tried to talk to him, he refused to listen. The only thing that he cared about about was weather or not I was devoted to him and that I took care of the house. Unless we were trying for a baby he refused to have sex with me. He would get up at 11 am, got to the bathroom, grab a bite to ear and hop on the computer and stay there until 4 or 5 am and then crash and maybe come to bed, but more often he would crash on the couch. I could convince him to go do things with me, but it would take at least 3 hours of patient, exhausting, persuasion to convince him to do anything aside from game… The only time I could ever get through to him was when we played RPGs togethor and we would type chat through the game. Or if I threw a tantrum… Yay. I hated having to do that, but that was the only way to get through to him…. I wish he had cheated on me with a real girl instead of a computer. Then I might actually have had a chance. Also, once I had a baby he was no longer attracted to me either. We had nothing together aside from a shared residence. When I left he immediatly turned on his keep or get a girl “persona” and tried to convince me if I left it would be my fault the marriage failed because he was “trying” now. He also raped me to try and get me to stay. I call his bluff, he was just making the same promises he made to me while we were dating, none of which did he keep, none of them. Saying he would only do xyz, if I moved back in with him.

    I’m so glad I got out and away from that crook when I did. I have remarried to someone else who is amazing, and respectful, he works hard, knows how to play hard
    , he likes to game, but spends max(it’s actually rare for him to game at all) an hour a day gaming.

    My ex was addicted to addiction… He also took advantage of me when I was struggling with post partum depression and convinced me to do drugs with him…. I wanted to trust him so I did, but I couldn’t.

    It was really hard for me to follow Christ while I was with him. So I left him. Hardest thing I ever did and I am do glad I did.

  40. Okay so there are a lot of good points going around on both sides of the argument. Being as I am a married 28 year old male who considers himself a “gamer” I feel a need to speak up here. I came here and found your article because I was searching Google to find some justification for feeling like gaming and being on my computer is more fun than being with my wife (except during sex of course). Turns out a lot of people are having the same problem as I am, but it’s the wives who are having the issue with their husband’s behavior. So where do I start?

    A little background. I have been playing games since I was 6 and experienced my first console games at grandma’s house (the atari) and at the YMCA (there was a SNES in the rec room.). When I was a lad, games gave me a great deal of comfort and joy. They allowed me to play with other people. They offered entertainment which wasn’t just staring at a screen (interactivity). As I grew older, the games got better, and their purpose changed. Gaming eventually changed into a way to pass a large amount of time, eating away at the many hours after school where I would be otherwise idle. My parent’s encouraged this, as I was not getting into trouble or doing drugs like many others at my age.

    By the time I was in high-school, gaming on consoles and computer became second to my new fixation, Dungeons and Dragons. Before you jump on my about this, Dungeons and Dragons is not evil. You basically just pretend you are a character in a fantasy world, and through talking with the other players who are also pretending to be a character in a fantasy world, you progress through a story. I loved playing D&D over gaming as I could spend my free time thinking of new character concepts, stories, and other things, while at the same time feeling creative and socializing with people who were doing the same. There was a brief time between high school and college when I did game obsessively (played the World of Warcraft too much), but I quit this and learned from my mistakes, and went back to D&D where I could express myself without damaging myself.

    Throughout college and afterwards I continued to play D&D 2-3 nights a week for a few years while I worked at a minimum wage job. After getting a new job that paid more, I married my girlfriend of 5 years and started playing more video games at night, and lowered my D&D to one time a week. This was mostly because of the demands from the new job, I simply didn’t have the capacity to continue to constantly think of D&D when at work.

    Then we moved about a year ago. This is when things started to become a problem. Without a group of people to play D&D with, I’ve become a shut-in. I replaced the nights of the week where I would play D&D with gaming. I’m constantly home and shut in. My wife is also having troubles making friends, so we spend every night and every weekend together. We live in a small apartment with 3 rooms, 1 bathroom, 1 bedroom and an open kitchen/living room/computer room. I terribly missed playing D&D, so gaming became something to think about, something to do 5-7 nights a week.

    We’re not making a great deal of money, so we’re unable to ‘go out’ a lot. We’ve tried joining various local church choirs, board-game night at a nearby tavern, and I even tried to join a men’s club (but it turns out it was too awkward since I am a gamer manboy and they were all 60 years old or more and didn’t understand me). Gaming has become my go-to pass time. Reading and watching sitcoms on the tube has become her go-to pass time. Cheap hobbies allow us to continue to pay our bills in our new location, which is in a much more expensive area of the world.

    Recently I have been feeling just terrible about this, though. There was a point when my wife did come to me asking about the gaming, whether I was feeling like the computer was more important to me than her. I realize now that she was concerned for me, but from my perspective I had not done anything wrong, and in fact I felt that I had been doing our family a service by keeping the costs down through gaming instead of going out and doing other things which cost money. On my side, it was just a negative situation where she was asking me to do stuff I legitimately did not have interest in doing. Of course there is also the problem that I felt like I was losing yet another part of myself if I stopped gaming, so the gaming goes on to this day.

    Truth be told, she’s bored out of her mind. Where I see all the positive things that playing video games has done for me, making me feel good when the world keeps sending me bills; she had been watching TV and reading books while waiting for me to get off the games. The fact that she was upset because of the state of our lives. Toiling all day and vegetating all night is not a good way of life. I feel like if we all take a moment to reflect on our motivations we’ll be able to find a solution in all of this. This is why I was looking up whether its okay to be happier on a computer than you are with your spouse; because if one, just one person on the internet agreed with me, there’d be a justification for my behavior.

    So here’s my advise. If you’re not happy with your husband gaming, try to find out why he’s gaming. Look further into it than just the fact that he ‘likes it’. In my case it’s because I miss my social life from college, my current job under-appreciates and underpays me, and when I play a game I feel like I can accomplish goals within the game (with friends) where I don’t have anybody other than my wife to talk to outside of the game. I recently went back to school for a masters degree. It’s allowed me to solve some of our money problems (through loans and eventually a higher pay grade), I’ll be able to accomplish something, and I’m too busy between school and work to do things with friends. I thought this would solve things, but recently I’ve been having troubles getting my wife to do stuff (seems she’s ‘addicted’ to sitcoms and books now) and that’s why I came to the internet for guidance.

    Anyways, I hope that you learned something from my lengthy response. Have a good day!

  41. My husband and I are both gamers. We met playing games. But it makes our intimacy suffer. He has an addiction to the virtual world…in all forms. He has conversation while staring at a tv, he has to have intimacy virtually, and be entertained virtually. He doesn’t understand what it means to interact with people and feel. It is hell on a marriage. I love games, I’m an avid gamer, but I will drag a game out an extra week if it means not sacrificing important things. I worry that one day he’ll put down the controller to find I have wrinkles. Young men need to be taught to create balance. If they are not, they will never understand a relationship with God, a relationship with people, or understand why living this way of idolizing virtual reality is wrong. What is there to do? I made a covenant of vows, and now I mourn for what will never be, because he doesn’t understand. He can’t understand. He wasn’t raised to understand. Don’t let your kids always be plugged in

  42. Jarrod harvey says:

    Hi guys I’m an avid gamer and my wife hates games. Yes they can be addictive but I found that if I set aside days where I’m able to play for those long hrs or even when she goes out I’m fine. I have a baby girl who is 10 months and I spend time with her as well. It’s all about balance. Sure she may not like when I play in front of her.but I don’t do that. Try to find a balance

  43. I just want to share my situation about my husband, he is addicted also for the games, he can spent thousand for the games and computer, gadgets and accessories. When he work overseas in four years he has change a lot, he playing games, he can’t sent us money and he admitted that he turn feel like a single one.He don’t believe god, he had smoke, porn, had relationship to other girl even our anniversary, birthday of our son, special occasion he is ignoring it and every time i could ask about him. He said” i’m busy for a job, i have buying thing very important reason why he can’t sent us the money, even his attitude has changed he talked bad words. I’m very frustrated, emotionally, physically, mentally and financially, we had 5 years old son. Then, that time i was church service volunteer and i consult to my priest friend about my husband situation, then he told me that “don’t give up and pray”. One time we have friend worked with my husband i tried to contact to him then i share about my problem then he talk my husband, he guide him. My husband decided back to me.. Now, we live as family here in Dubai with my son, but honestly, when times your marriage has a past story there’s also GAP situation between you and your husband, I lost my trust, faith and love to him. He has not already change with his habit, he can promise that he change but he doesn’t change. I already tired to deal with him, my son are affected, he is only 6 years old now, I wanted to separate to him for the sick of our son. i’m hurt when he punished to him with no reasonable reason. I quit my job as he requested.Our son not go to school, my life everyday always fix him things, prepared him food, cleaning the house. I can’t buy for my personal things even my son because we don’t have own money, he doesn’t spent time with the family together he looks like boring and irritating, and every time i tried to open the situation he is talking bad word and shouted. He enjoyed to play computer games and follow their own life. i want to live separately with my son but i don’t know what to do…we’re not happy like before i am so hurt about the situation. My son feels stranger at the family. I want to him happy…

  44. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who has this problem. I’m at my wits end! My husband is truly addicted to mmorpg’s on his PC. On work days his routine is come home, go to the bathroom, get on the PC. He gets off long enough to half chew his dinner and right back he goes until he decides to go to bed (generally around 11:00-11:30). He won’t even work any overtime because he “has plans” on the game. On weekends he gets up between 5:00 & 6:00am and starts playing. Only stopping to eat or go to the bathroom and plays until sometime between 12:00 & 2:00am. He is on mumble the whole time talking to what I call his other family. So I get to sit there and listen to him talk and cut up with these other people ALL day and night. I can’t even watch TV because I can’t hear it over him talking. I work three 12.5 hr shifts a week. On the days I work I call him when I’m on my way home around 7:30pm and the first thing out of his mouth is “what do you want for dinner?” Really? You couldn’t stop long enough to figure out what to do for dinner so the kids could eat at a descent time?? So I either cook when I get home, he starts it and I finish it or our 17 year old daughter cooks because her and her brother are hungry.
    I have tried talking to him. I have tried explaining how it makes me feel. I have tried asking him to do things with me like take a walk (I get the excuse that it will kill his knees). I tried asking him to watch a movie with me (him: that bores me to death and I’ll just fall asleep on you). I’ve suggested we go to a movie or jut go to town and look around (him: I don’t like going out cause ten I see things I want and can’t afford to buy). Getting back in shape together (too fat for that), going to church (there’s no Catholic Church so not going). Everything I suggest he has an excuse not to do it and he ends up yelling and acting like a two year old. And heaven forbid if I decide I want to go out with a couple of friends, that turns into WWIII. Which I’m not sure why seeing he doesn’t even hold a five minute conversation with me.
    It has me to the point of being on antidepressants. I have tried to stick in there for the sake of our children and because I don’t want my marriage to fail, we have been together for 19 years for crying out loud but I don’t know how much more of this I can take. No where in my marriage vows did I say “I will sit by silently while you completely ignore me ad my needs as well as your children for the sake of your video games for as long as we both shall live”. And no, he wasn’t addicted to video games when we met or when we were dating. It started after we got married and were out on our own. Now I can’t even get his attention with lingerie! I give up, I do t know what to do other than pack mine and the kids stuff and move out.

    • Hello Dailynn. Your situation is so similar to mine. I married my husband 18 years ago. Like you said, computers were not around yet. I’m from another country and when I moved here, it took me a long time to settle in. I left my family, my friends, my job and the only world I knew. But I was so happy. I was with the man I love. He was understanding, caring and protective of me. Since I really didn’t understand English, it didn’t bother me to have the TV always on the sport channels. Then, in effort to learn the language, I started watching movies and shows. But not when he was around. I learn quickly he doesn’t like to watch “girly movies” or comedies but he loves war, spy, violent movies.
      After our daughter was born, everything went down the hill. I was very busy with her. I had no family support and he realized he had lots of time for himself. We bought our first computer with the intent of keep in touch with my family and friends but he quickly discovered the “magic” of video games. I really didn’t see that at the beginning: I was so busy with my daughter and the house. But at his birthday I organized a little party with our friends. Everybody shoewd up but him. He was upstairs playing with the computer. I was so angry and felt humiliated.
      Of course, things got worse. He wouldn’t show up to doctor appointments during my second pregnancy or to his own kids’ birthday parties.
      Right now he comes home, gives me a quick kiss, gets his beer and I won’t see him until next evening.
      Recently we organized a little vacation. The night before I was left with tons of things to do. I asked him to help. He didn’t even look at me. I beg him, I cried but in vain. When I turned off the computer, I thought he was going to kill me.
      When we met, we really didn’t date. We were in two different continents and the time together waas so precious.
      We got married in USA and none of my family could make it. I had no friends, barely speaking English and I had to look for a wedding dress by myself. We had a small ceremony and when I walked in the room, I saw strangers everywhere. I raised my kids with no help. I found jobs and tried to educate myself. But he says I’m too dependent. I need to find an hobby. He needs his space and his “down time”.
      I tried and tried to talk to him. He’s missing his kids milestones!!! Recently I sent him an email. Gently I expressed my love to him and my williness to try things together. It lasted few days and then we were back to square one. Right now I cannot even talk to him anymore. We had too many fights. We both said bad things. I’m tired of this.I thought to leave but where can I go? All my family is in Europe. I cannot leave my kids here but I cannot ask them to come either.
      What kill me the most is knowing that if I decide to leave him, my husband won’t fight for me. He’s too proud.
      Of course, I have depression, hard time to sleep, and I gained too much weight. I used to be a very outgoing person with lots of friends. Now, I spend my days at home, alone, doing not much.
      What I want it’s just some of his attention. Am I asking too much?

  45. I have tried to confront him, however, I get from him this reply. I knew this was going to be my fault. I hit a Wall no talking to him, then he brings up the two hours I spend on the computer, I am also on the computer doing other things not playing games. And could you imagine the house if I was on the computer as much as he is? well, I hope he realizes that he is making a choice here, if we can’t communicate & he is going to shut the conversation down with that reply, I am to old to argue & life is too short. I will move on, I suggest you do the same, they will not realize the impact they are having on the relationship & life until they lose everything, Just like any addiction. Very few will, if any. If you have one of the few who value your relationship more than games, Good for you, your one of the lucky ones. My guy is in his late 40’s & uses BS excuse that he is bored, believe me there is plenty to do here and I am not going to kill myself trying to do it all.

  46. The problem for me is my husband will wake literally all through the night every night. He gives me attention if I ask or ask him to help out or whatever..he helps in whatever way he can but has no guy friends. We go to a small homechurch. He works hard as a nightshift nurse. On his days off he is up and down all night. Makes it hard for me to sleep sound through the night and im tired all day? Any suggestions. I dont want to hurt him or nag him.

  47. The problem is bigger than video games, video games are just currently not socially acceptable… before video games men always found something to absorb their time and to master… it is inherent in men. I am a tinkerer and mechanic… I spend a ton of time in the garage… and my wife has the same issues as you all do with video games. I just need something to keep my mind active, and trust me my tinkering is no where near anything productive. I am learning new concepts though… but one could argue that you can learn from video games too. Just look past the whole “it is video games” and look at it as men need a hobby to occupy their minds away from their wife.

  48. My husband is 28 and we have been married for 2years and we have 2,kids son who is 9 and a daughter who is 3 and he works from 6-3 during the week and I work a few hours in re afternoon and my husband come home and take a shower and gets on the game until 9 pm. We got into arguments be cause of him on the game

  49. He never helps around the house unless I nag and he never helps with the kids or cleaning up messes. I do it ALL, I cook, I clean, I give the kids a bath, I do the doctors appts, I do shopping for the house I pay the bills. I get the kids ready for school. All he does is sit on the game everyday all day he never wants to go anywhere or do anything. He gets mad if I ask him to get off so we can watch tv. He said it’s always so boring so that’s why he gets on the game. We have life at all as soon as he gets off the game he.goes right to bed. I’m feeling lonely and pushed away and I’m doubting our marriage. I’m just tired of it and he gets so angry on the game an yells and screams and curses at the game loud. I’m just to.My breaking point, I need help because marriage counseling is my next option. I already told him how I feel and he doesn’t care. Because nothing changed :'( HELP!!!!!!!!

    • Hi Heather, I think counseling is a really good idea, as is getting in a church where you have some support. I think getting some men around your husband who act appropriately is also an important thing. I’m so sorry, but I hope your counselor is able to help you. I’d also read the book Boundaries in Marriage about how to draw boundaries around what you will do and what you will not do.

  50. Achieving goals? On a computer? What use is that? Go play on a field with a team somewhere if you want to be healthy and achieve a goal. Socialization does not occur on the computer, period. Even email is meant to relay info and nothing more, tho frequently messages are misinterpreted for the very reason ppl want the social aspect that is inherently lacking therein. Have to do face to face, online gaming is only furthering the feeling of awkwardness abt eye contact and handshakes etc. And obviously any overuse of couples time for other purposes is detrimental, just chips away so you dont notice, much like time spent on the computer.

  51. When I meet my husband, he gamed a few hours a week. We went and did things together-movies, dinner, visited friends. Now after 9 years, all he does is game except when he is at work. However, when he has time off he takes it to play. He gets extremely angry when he isn’t playing. Having to leave his computer and get drink causes him to scream at the kids and myself that someone should bring him drink. If he has to do anything he screams and throws things. Answering a door can bring a fully grown man barreling down a door at any neighbor with full force rage. He has threatened to even kill the dogs if he has to do anything for them. He will get into my face and scream till I am in tears if I ask him to go to a school function, take me to the dr. or if he wants food. The kids can’t stand him because of how he berates them and screams if his game is upset. Do not even dare to enter the bedroom or something of your own could be destroyed. I now sleep on the couch because if I interrupt his game in anyway will result in hours of screaming. Our walls have holes and most doors have been destroyed because of gaming. I don’t care anymore if he ever leaves his game. At least we have peace when he is playing except for his cursing and screaming at the game. Forget Christmas and Birthdays-he is at the game. Our money-beyond fixing-he has to have the best of everything involved in games.

  52. My husband plays the whole weekend unless he is cutting the grass or some other chore. The chore gets done very quickly and minimally. We rarely share our king size bed. During the week he games after I put the kids to bed. I have no idea how long he stays up because, I turn in by 10 pm.

  53. Cynthia says:

    I have been dealing with this for a very long time, my husband works different shifts and no matter what works his gaming time around work instead of around me and his children, he wakes gets a bagel and coffee and sits down at the computer like clock work and now that he is switching back to first this weekend he says well I’ll play late which ended up being 4am which means he will wake in time for me to go to my part time job and it makes me nervous because we have two children and he watches them while I work on the weekends and I feel he does not even give him sufficient attention, and when he is on first he will come straight home from work switch into some sweats and start playing until I say dinner time, I am the one who does all of the cleaning and that even includes mowing the lawn, I feel as if I am a single parent with a useless roommate, we have had these conversations a lot actually his games are the only thing we ever argue about, I have tried numerous steps to try and get his “addiction” under control but it seems he retreats to it even more….I’m lost and an sinking deeper every day I do not want to lose my marriage over a stupid computer!

  54. I have wrecked my marriage and my wife is now wanting a Divorce. At the time I made all the excuses and I manipulated her words when we talked about it. She finally had enough and has packed her bags and left. At that time I finally got it through my thick skull and I have stopped gaming all together. It has only been 2 weeks since she left and I quit. I really want our marriage back together but she is determined to divorce me. I don’t blame her and I know now that I have pushed her so much that she felt she had no other choice. I just wish I could get through to her that I have changed for me this time and that is the difference that is making this a REAL change. I love her dearly and cant image life without her. I just took her for granted that as Christians she would never leave. I am completely lost without her. My life has completely changed. I am in the bible and on the right walk with God now. She has said that she has forgiven me and she still loves me but that she can not give me anymore chances. At first I thought she was just using this to get me straightened out but it is in the third week and we only talk through email. I am at a complete loss what to do and just wish I would have seen this before and wish she would see that she left the sick gammer not the real me. All I want is a chance to prove myself to her but have no clue how to get her to give me that chance before we do get a divorce. I don’t blame her as she has given me plenty of chances that I have failed at.
    Is there anything I can do?

    • Hi Jim,

      I’m so sorry that you’re going through this, but isn’t that WONDERFUL that God has taken you and done such a transformation in your life! That’s wonderful!

      I think the best thing to do now is just to show your wife consistent love. Be there for her. Let her know that you love her and that you care about her feelings. And if she needs you to give her space, that’s what you have to do, even if it’s hard. But keep at the changes, and start doing even more productive things in your life so that she can see the change is real.

      And then, even if (and I pray this isn’t the case), your wife does go through with the divorce, you are a stronger person walking closer with God regardless. I know it’s really hard, but you can’t make her do anything. All you can do is consistently live out the change, day after day.

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