Video Game Addiction

posted 1 year ago in Married Life
Post # 2
88 posts
Worker bee

I’m not sure if it’s to the same extent as yours but I went through something similar with DH.

I worked 60-70 hours a week, usually split shifts so 5am to 1pm then back at 3pm to 9pm. DH worked mostly nights so would be working 5pm to 2am.

We barely saw eachother for that year because we were working so hard to afford a house which was hard but we would leave little notes and food for eachother and text.

However, I’d wake up at 5am for work and he’d be gaming, sometimes so loudly it’d wake me before my alarm (headsets or a loud curse word if he lost/died in the game). I’d always wake up and go into the study and say “please come to bed, it’s really late” and I’d get a “yeah sure” but it’d continue and I’d be wide awake and annoyed.

It was definitely an addiction, however not long after we discovered that he had insomnia and gaming was one of the few things that could distract him from complete boredom laying in bed for hours, so I became a bit more understanding. But the few times we were both home I’d serve my food at the dinner table and him at his gaming desk like a spoiled teenage boy (not ideal!).

Weirdly, it all improved one day that he came home from work and I was playing a game on his computer. Like had fully been engaged with one of my favourite games for hours on end. He came in and said “hey honey” and I grunted in response and got back to playing. An hour goes by and he says “honey, I made dinner because you’re busy” to which I replied “whatever, leave it at the desk, I’m busy” (I wasn’t trying to be an ass, I was really consumed with a hard part of the game).

I think that moment was a wakeup call for both me and him. I suddenly realised how addictive it is and he realised how rude his actions must have been.

We never really discussed it with words but more with actions. I’d start bringing in my gaming stuff and we’d play for an hour or two and then I’d say “hey, why don’t we go for a walk and have a break?” and he’d agree and turn everything off and we’d go to the park.

I’m not sure if this helps you at all, it’s more what happened to me. But if you have a strong foundation it is worth trying to understand the other person and work out compromises.

A few years later, he still games but I have encouraged other hobbies too that are more productive and demanding so his brain has another outlet for boredom.

Edit: He does not game nearly as much, maybe an hour in the evening ONLY if I’m busy so it’s more to occupy his time. If he has a day off and I’m at work then he works through his list of jobs to get done round the house and games when he’s done. When I get home he understands it’s “us” time and turns everything off to fully engage in conversation.

Post # 3
1003 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

FH is a gamer. His job is highly stressful and that’s his outlet. We balance gaming and time together well but it is a balance that you have to check in on and have conversations about. I flat out refuse to nag or prompt him, he’s a grown man and I am not him mother. 

The problem isn’t your husband playing games it’s that you are not getting the quality of attention you need to feel connected. You can spend 24/ 7 with someone and still not feel connected. Have you ever had someone says, “we never spend time together,” about their SO but literally they spend every waking second together. It isn’t that they arn’t spending time, they arnt getting what they need from that time. If you received all the connection you needed and then he went and played games for 5 hours while you did your own thing, you probably wouldn’t mind. Thats what you need him to understand. 

Have a conversation with him..”I love that you have something you are passionate about and have fun with your friends online and I don’t want to nag you about it. I’m not your parent, I’m not going to police your gaming time. I need you to choose me on your own, to get off and spend time with me because you want to and are choosing to. I love hearing you laugh and be animated online. If I am getting what I need, I don’t care that you are playing. But lately I havnt been getting what I need and dont feel as connected to you, I don’t need to spend every second with you, I want you to play but I need to feel more important than video games and I don’t. And we need to change that… it’s not the quantity of time but the quality and connection.”

“I thought a good way to start would be, eating dinner together without screens.”.. Spend 20 minutes snuggling when he gets home, go for a walk around your neighborhood, take a gym class together, start a show together, start a few shows together that you watch before bed. Make dinner together, Ask to watch his highlights! Get excited for his game clips. 

Also if you don’t already get out of the house without him, take a night Orange Theory or yoga class a few times a week, get drinks or dinner with a few friends once a week.

Good luck bee!

++Just read your other post- Go on a walk together with your dog when you get home. Eat dinner together screen free. Make dinner together once a week. Also on the dog issue while you are gone, tell him you expect him to do xyz with the dog and make him set alarms if necessary to not get caught up gaming. 

Post # 4
1859 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I think it is sort of a mistake to cut yourself off from your husband’s preferred hobby.  Ask him to start playing in a common living area again, or hang out in his man cave while he is playing.  What games does he play?  Learn about them.  Ask about them.  Ask about his gaming friends. Watch him play. Ask him to show you how to play.  Find out about news regarding his favorite games and ask his opinions about those issues.  If your husband was obsessed with playing on a soccer team, you would probably talk to him about it and show up to his games.  

You are right that you don’t want to be his mom.  You don’t want to be the game police.  Then, when you want him to do something else with you, it will seem genuine and not like the nagging of someone who doesn’t understand.  You will also learn the appropriate times to ask, and how to tell when he is in the middle of something that can’t be interrupted right that moment.

Post # 6
1040 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

My Fiancé is a gamer and it used to be a real problem but he’s made an effort to find a good balance that works for both of us. He’ll play for a couple of hours while i’m busy studying but never ever plays during dinner. He used to and I told him that it was unacceptable to me for him to do that. We always have dinner together and every night we’ll watch a movie or an episode of tv. He also comes to bed at a normal hour. I acknowledged that his hobby is important to him, he acknowledged that quality time is important to me. This is working for us. Oh and the xbox is in the living room. Sometimes i’ll sit on the couch with my computer. We also play games together and he’ll talk about them with me. 

Post # 7
3566 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

View original reply
elevenses246 :  My husband plays games. However, he has enough self-control to not play all day long. Sometimes he’ll play in the evening for a couple of hours, and on weekend mornings. It’s a hobby. 

There are times when I ask him to stop. But it’s really just a “Hey can we hang out now?” Which I also say to him if he’s doing other things. 

I will say, there was one time when it got out of hand. My husband is a teacher, and so all summer long he gets to play games while I’m at work. The first summer a new game had just come out and he was so into it. He played all day (but I mean, he also took the dog on walks, ate food, grocery shopped, etc). Then in the evenings he’d still play for a long time. When school started that fall, he was dealing with depression, hated his job, and so on. He came home every evening and gamed. He was having a hard time getting his work done (lesson plans and grading), and I felt the game was interfering with our relationship. 

I told him I thought gaming all the time was hurting him as a teacher and hurting our marriage, and he realized the games were a problem. He was using it to escape reality, where he was burned out and depressed. But obviously escaping reality includes not focusing enough on me and our marriage. He put the XBox in the closet and took the games off the computer. Once everything was back under control, he started playing in a more moderate way. And we play games together a lot too, so it’s not like I wanted the XBox to go away either. I just needed him to have self control.

For him, it was definitely an issue of dealing with his problems at work. He was hating his job so much, so nervous to go to work every day, and he couldn’t bring himself to fix it when he got home. The wonderful thing about video games is that you escape. You’re worrying about fighting monsters, so you don’t have to worry about your own monsters. You get to escape reality, which is very comparable to reading. But when you’re doing it purely because you want to get away from the world for days at a time, there’s a problem. 

Anyway, point being: a healthy person whose life is going well uses games for fun. But when you’re not doing well, the games can become less healthy. I don’t believe gaming is the problem. Avoidance and depression are the problem, and video games are the symptom. Over time, that symptom can become it’s own disease, and take over everything. And then it’s time to put away the games and finally confront whatever is making someone so desperate to escape.

Post # 8
562 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2021 - City, State

My fiance is a gamer, but I also game too. We mostly play RPGs though so it is a little bit different. I am kind of in the minority since we enjoy playing games together with me or him either watching commenting on the gameplay and stuff if it is a one-player game or us playing together. I’m sorry if I don’t have any advice if you are a non-gamer.

Post # 9
10374 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

My husband and I are both gamers. We have three gaming systems in our home and both really enjoy video games as a hobby. It’s never been a problem for us. It’s a great outlet for stress and a fun way to spend time together. But we don’t let it consume our lives and we have plenty of other hobbies (he’s really into woodworking and I’m a runner) that we spend time on. We also spend time with each other in a variety of ways besides gaming – we go on walks together, watch a movie, go to dinner, sometimes we can just sit on the couch and talk for hours.

You mentioned in your other thread that your husband has had struggles with depression. That’s probably at the heart of this problem more so than than gaming which is just a symptom. I would look into marriage counseling and individual counseling (especially for him). Start planning a regular date night. Eat dinner together every night and have a no tech rule. 

Post # 10
69 posts
Worker bee

Hey girl! I’m kind of in the same boat. My s/o games literally all day. From 11 am to 11 pm. He works from home, so he can do that. But it’s starting to really drive me crazy. 

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