March 28, 2010

I married a gamer…


So you have been mar­ried a few months… and noticed that slow­ly your hus­band or in some cas­es wife is now slow­ly revert­ing back to their bach­e­lor or bac­calau­re­ate self and gam­ing… all the time.  To you, gam­ing is a com­plete waste of time, you feel that they could be using that spare time to go out and dec­o­rate the house, go shop­ping, go on a date or just go bet­ter your­self in some way, shape or form.   I’m writ­ing about this because I’m one of those gamers.  I knew before I got mar­ried that my soul mate had absolute­ly no inter­est in video games.  In fact we are oppo­sites in most regards except for reli­gious beliefs.  These things can lead to chal­lenges in your mar­riage and make it infi­nite­ly more com­plex.   Now am I an expert on psy­chol­o­gy?  Rela­tion­ships?  Sex?  Do I have a PHD with 10,000 pub­lished works?  No, I def­i­nite­ly do not.  What I am is a mar­ried man, who lives in this sit­u­a­tion so I am going to give you my opin­ion from that van­tage point and I think that gives me some author­i­ty on the sub­ject.
One of the things that real­ly helps make a mar­riage work is com­mon inter­est, doing things togeth­er that are fun and excit­ing.   What tends to hap­pens is we get into a lull of doing the things we did when we were sin­gle.  For me that has always been play­ing Video games in my spare time and for my wife that was trav­el­ing around the world.  The prob­lem is that I can always play video games because I have all the things I need for that right here in my own home.  Once we got mar­ried my wife was no longer was able to just trav­el around and vis­it new coun­tries.  So you real­ly have three options in this sit­u­a­tion.  One you can get a divorce… this won’t real­ly solve any­thing because all this does is point out that you can’t resolve con­flict.  Mar­riage is one big con­flict res­o­lu­tion.    If you are able to resolve some­thing like this you are more like­ly to strive through as a cou­ple.  Sec­ond thing you can do is to choose to ignore the sit­u­a­tion and just con­tin­ue on being upset inside but yet nev­er solv­ing the prob­lem.  I don’t rec­om­mend going down this path either.  While you may avoid the prob­lem it’s even­tu­al­ly going to come out and the result will be far worse than if you had just talked about it in the begin­ning.  Bot­tling things up affects more than just the imme­di­ate prob­lem, it also affects you dai­ly life, sex dri­ve and your over­all mood.  The third option and much more prefer­able, is to sit down and dis­cuss a res­o­lu­tion to the issue at hand.  I’ve jok­ing­ly said that mar­riage is just like pol­i­tics, it’s a series of nev­er end­ing nego­ti­a­tions, treaties and com­pro­mis­es that are ever chang­ing.  While this may sound fun­ny there is quite a bit of truth to it.
So what is the solu­tion?  This entire­ly depends on the cou­ple.  We are going to use the clas­sic exam­ple of the male gamer.  Chances are your hus­band does not think he’s wast­ing time.  If he is like me he prob­a­bly ful­fills all his “house­hold chores” and gets every­thing done that he needs to get done.  But when he’s done he just goes straight to the com­put­er, Xbox, PS3 or Wii to play games.  He prob­a­bly stays there till the end of the night maybe an hour before bed comes upstairs, wants some lov­ing before he goes to bed and then afterword’s goes to sleep.  Rinse and Repeat.   This leaves you, the wife, feel unat­tend­ed, alone and used in some cas­es.  In this par­tic­u­lar case what sim­ply needs to hap­pen is a rearrange­ment of time.  Now before you go off and start set­ting restric­tions on your husband/wife please read on.  I don’t rec­om­mend that you just go and set bound­aries.  “You may play 1 hour a night then you must get off” approach will most like­ly fall on deaf, defen­sive ears.  What you should do, and need to do, is go and sit down with your hus­band and tell him how you are feel­ing.  Explain that you DON’T have a prob­lem with him play­ing but that you need emo­tion­al ful­fill­ment.
What my wife and I did was to just go some­where straight after work, there were to many dis­trac­tions at home so instead of going home we would just go to a cof­fee shop, store, what­ev­er it may be before you go home and just talk.  We spend a cou­ple hours at the end of the work day out­side of the home and go out and look things, dream, talk, etc.  Once we get home we go off to our domains which for me is gam­ing and for her is HGTV or what­ev­er not 😛  Anoth­er thing I might sug­gest is try­ing the hob­bies of your spouse’s inter­est EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIKE THEM!  Sit down and play some games with your hus­band, even if you think it’s the dumb­est thing in the world, or if you suck ter­ri­bly.  He does­n’t care, all he cares is that you are doing some­thing with that he likes.   Even if it’s only for one evening a week you will make his day and I promise you the next day he will be at work brag­ging about you until the ends of the earth.   This has to go both ways how­ev­er, when your wife asks you to go out to pier one, Bed Bath and Beyond, or do arts and crafts with her you HAVE to sit down and do it and you need to at least look inter­est­ed and not be whin­ing about it the entire time.  You can’t expect your wife to spend time with your hob­by if don’t with hers and you the wife can’t expect your hus­band to spend time doing your favorite things if you don’t try his.
Is there a one size fits all solu­tion?  No, there isn’t, but you can come to one that meets the demands of your rela­tion­ship.  Unless your one of those rare cou­ples who both enjoys sit­ting down and blow­ing away zom­bies, squad based com­bat or oth­er­wise ven­tur­ing into Mid­dle Earth togeth­er, you are going to have to come to some sort of arrange­ment that will leave you both feel­ing ful­filled.  The “My way or the High­way” men­tal­i­ty will not work…period.   You have to sit down, talk, and come to res­o­lu­tion.  There are cas­es how­ev­er where would seek help.  If your spouse gets phys­i­cal­ly vio­lent or ver­bal­ly abu­sive when you ask him to spend time with you.  You may have some oth­er under­ly­ing issues that need to be resolved.  In this case I would HIGHLY rec­om­mend see­ing a pro­fes­sion­al mar­riage coun­selor.
This arti­cle is not meant to solve world hunger, bring world peace or solve every­one else’s prob­lems.  But if I can help save or enhance even one cou­ples mar­riage then it was worth the time it took to write it.  If you liked it please refer to a friend or fam­i­ly mem­ber.

14 comments

  1. Anonymous - March 30, 2010 2:31 pm

    This is good advice from a per­son who has received a lot of it. I should know. I’m his dad.

    Reply
  2. PimpmasterF - April 3, 2010 8:20 pm

    Its fun­ny that you men­tion blow­ing away zom­bies with your wife cuz Res­i­dent Evil: The Umbrel­la Chron­i­cles is one of my wifes favorite games. She could­nt wait to get home and “shoot zom­bies”. but its true you have to com­pro­mise or its all a crap­shoot that goes to hell.

    Reply
  3. thsoundman - April 8, 2010 11:52 am

    I’ve always enjoyed shoot­ing zom­bies. No my wife tends to be into games like dream day, din­er dash, din­er dash 2, bejew­eled, etc.

    Reply
  4. Steele - April 8, 2010 12:55 pm

    My wife and I met in 1999, dur­ing the Phase4 beta of Everquest… we mar­ried in 2002. I’ve been for­tu­nate to have some awe­some shared inter­ests with her, and I hear alot from friends and fel­low gamers about the rela­tion­ship chal­lenges they have with their non-gamer Bet­ter Half. Even speak­ing more gen­er­al­ly (out­side of the gam­ing uni­verse), peo­ple need to remem­ber that “love is a choice”. Both indi­vid­u­als need to reach out to each oth­er on a reg­u­lar basis, to do things the oth­er per­son enjoys; you’ll both feel more tak­en care of, and that’s HUGE for main­tain­ing a healthy long-term rela­tion­ship. Thanks for voic­ing this for the gamer com­mu­ni­ty!

    Reply
  5. DeathProof - April 9, 2010 2:47 pm

    Yea, its sad that some women com­plete­ly reject some­thing their hus­bands enjoys. It real­ly is all about com­pro­mise, of course it won’t work to if the “gamer” demands always to game and ignores his “sig­nif­i­cant oth­er”. Prob­lems for sure. But if both ppl are will­ing to make it work, nice com­pro­mis­es can be worked out 🙂

    Reply
  6. thsoundman - April 9, 2010 6:48 pm

    On the flip side alot of men aban­don their wives and then when their wives get mad they can’t under­stand why. It’s all about spend­ing the prop­er time in the prop­er places and then on top of it doing things with your spouse that actu­al­ly make them feel accept­ed and this has to go both ways.

    Reply
  7. AiR - April 18, 2010 7:28 pm

    umm stay sin­gle kids.

    Reply
  8. Getting An Ex Back - May 13, 2010 5:34 pm

    Well this is very fas­ci­nat­ing indeed.Would love to read just a lit­tle more of this. Excel­lent pub­lish. Many thanks for the heads-up. This blog was real­ly infor­ma­tive and knowl­edgable.

    Reply
  9. thsoundman - May 13, 2010 9:03 pm

    Glad you liked it.…

    Reply
  10. ZarikX - July 10, 2010 4:54 pm

    First game I try to intro­duce a game­less girl to, Smash Broth­ers. It usu­al­ly goes well. Also Mario Kart usu­al­ly is fun, (the 64 one if you have it) along with a fight­ing game or 2. Some­thing you can play togeth­er, has a bet­ter chance of bring­ing you togeth­er. Don’t just go crazy and kick her ass each time over though. Play with at her lev­el so you can let her enjoy her­self, and not let her get dis­cour­aged and quit too quick­ly.

    Reply
  11. Neglected wife - January 17, 2011 10:28 pm

    My hus­band has been addict­ed to gam­ing since 2001… Our mar­riage has been a strug­gle ever since. We have 3 daugh­ters and he works out of town in camp so we only see him a week or two out of a month if were lucky and he rarely gets off the com­put­er to show­er let alone be apart of the fam­i­ly. I find that since he has been work­ing in camp (4 yrs) it’s get­ting hard­er to accept and also see­ing the amount of $ he puts into it onhis pay­pal account that I was­n’t even aware of. We have unpaid bills and he thinks noth­ing of pay­ing $300.00 for a char­ac­ter on his game 🙁 I’m not sure how muchore I can take. We have been togeth­er 20 yrs but the last 10 yrs of our rela­tion­ship have been spent apart. He works in camp and games PERIOD. He has Inter­net in camp so you think he would get all his gam­ing in while in camp but that’s not the case at all.… I would not mind AT ALL if he spent a res­o­nan­le amount of time on the com­put­er but I work all day he games all day then comes up stairs to sleep till sup­per then straight back down stairs again alot of times he will just eat in the com­put­er room aswell. I have tryed to approach it all dif­fer­ent ways and it does­n’t seem to mat­ter he feels he works and that’s enough as a hus­band and father. The rest of his time is spent gam­ing 🙁 I had refused to let some­thing like this pull this fam­i­ly apart but what I had­n’t real­ized is it already has.

    Reply
  12. thsoundman - January 18, 2011 12:37 am

    If you are for real with what you are say­ing your hus­band defi­nate­ly has an addici­ton that needs to be addressed this goes way past the point of a hob­by if he is neglect­ing your/his chil­dren. I would seri­ous­ly rec­om­mend that you get into coun­sel­ing with him and try to resolve it. If he’s not pay­ing bills thats a huge deal. What camp does he work at? Sounds like he’s try­ing to escape what­ev­er his oblig­a­tions are. All the same if your mar­riage is in per­il then you need to seek pro­fes­sion­al help. If pro­fes­sion­al help does­n’t work then you should do what is best for you and your daugh­ters. Hope that helps… we are always here if you need a place to vent.

    Reply
  13. T8 - January 19, 2011 11:04 am

    I agree with sound­man 100 per­cent. Fam­i­ly comes before any­thing else. You must be in it for all the right rea­sons to tol­er­ate it so long. Pro­fes­sion­al help, although frowned upon as a way out, seems like the best solu­tion. Ive seen peo­ple addict­ed to games and its as crip­pling as any oth­er addic­tion.

    Reply
  14. Bartholomew P. Skibbenheims III - May 1, 2011 8:47 pm

    While not mar­ried I have dat­ing my fair share of women includ­ing one I actu­al­ly met play­ing CSS … it is great and all, but at the same time it has to be some­thing you real­ly want. I think a lot of peo­ple dive into rela­tion­ships and get hitched when they aren’t real­ly ready for it … If hav­ing to sched­ule around “wife agro” is a seri­ous prob­lem, not just a joke, then I am not sure the whole get­ting hitched thing is for you.

    Reply

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