Back in the dating life, I knew a few girls who would shy away from dating guys who played video games, simply because they instantly thought of it associated with a lazy, preoccupied husband. I have to admit that I dated a guy who played video games and at times I felt second to him because of it. So I can see where they got their judgements. It’s something that many wives complain about, actually because it has caused problems in their marriage. Gaming can lead to disconnection and dissatisfaction in marriage so I can see how problems can arise.
I have a spouse who plays games, and it hasn’t caused any problems for us, even though in general it does cause problems in relationships. I believe there are specifics things that have to be met in order for gaming to be enjoyed and the marriage to be unharmed. I’ve done some research on video gaming effects years ago, but I’m choosing instead to state the reasons below of why gaming works in our marriage, and at what point it wouldn’t work in our marriage!
***P.S. these three “guidelines” are so applicable to any hobby or past time, not just with video gaming!
He doesn’t ignore his priorities
- I have noticed that Trevor usually plays at night when he’s all done with the things he needs to do. He also plays it when he just needs a break before doing those things and I don’t blame him! I do that with my sudoku puzzles, haha. The thing that is important here is that the important tasks don’t get ignored, especially me. I don’t feel second to it.
- When I would NOT be OK with it: If I start to feel second priority to it, or if many Saturdays go by with little work done.
He uses gaming wisely as a hobby and break from the day.
- After a long day at work coding all day, my husband needs something to unwind with that is enjoyable and takes little brain power. I have many hobbies I use to unwind but I usually do them while watching one of my TV shows. Some could look down upon that, too, but WE ALL NEED HOBBIES TO UNWIND WITH. I think we need to look each other’s past times with a different perspective for a minute and realize that maybe they need something to themselves, just like you need something to yourself. With all the things in our day we have to do and can’t control, if a video game is something that my spouse can have as his own and to do in his own space, then I want to support that.
- When I would NOT be OK with it: If this hobby is consistently being used to avoid dealing with difficult aspects of life instead of talking about it; if the hobby requires excessive spending to control; if this hobby is the reason for taking off multiple days off work.
He includes me in it!
- I like that my husband WANTS me to play with him so it can be something we enjoy together occasionally. It’s his thing first and foremost but I like that he sees it as an opportunity to have fun with me. It’s also created a new phase of dates for us this spring :) In February, we bought a Nintendo 64 and Trevor taught me how to play Super Smash and I loved it! That was actually what we did forValentine’s day and I wrote about it here. :)
- Then Trevor upgraded to a new system of the game and wanted me to learn how to play it on there, too! So the other night for our “family night” he taught me how to play on that and it was fun. According to a TIME article reporting about a study on gaming in marriage, this supposedly is when gaming is actually satisfactory in marriage; when a couple plays it together in fun and harmony.
- With Pokemon Go coming out this summer, it created another opportunity of gaming together as a couple! You’re able to go on walks and catch those pokemon as a team :)
- When I would NOT be OK with it: if he made me play it but didn’t take the time to teach me, or if he is rude or makes fun of me while we play it together, or if it got too competitive for either of us.
Last pieces of advice
Please don’t be instantly worried if your spouse starts playing video games! Like I have mentioned above, they deserve a hobby of their own and it can create good moments in your marriage if enjoyed together. If it gets taken to any extreme, however, that is when it’s reasonable to discuss a new hobby! This is seriously one of my motto’s that can apply to almost anything in life: MODERATION IN ALL THINGS. It’s all about finding a balance between your responsibilities as a husband, father, employee, student, hobbyist, etc. etc.!
I hope you have found this helpful, whether or not gaming is present in your marriage, or whether or not it’s even a problem for you guys. Either way, it’s smart to know NOW when gaming can cause problems in your marriage so that you can set up preventative measures so it can instead be a positive thing in your marriage. Because though you have multiple lives in a game, you only have one life in marriage, so don’t ruin it!
(Two notes: 1– Phone games are included in this “gaming” category as well, because those can have the same results on a marriage. 2– Most of the gamers are husbands so I chose to word it that way. However, wives are just as likely to be gamers and to cause problems in marriage due to gaming. )