Playing video games is a common leisure activity for many men. Although men and women enjoy playing games, statistics show that men dominate the field.
While gaming is ordinarily harmless, it can become a problem when it becomes an addiction.
If your man is attached to video games, feeling neglected, underappreciated, and resentful towards him can come up.
Addiction to games is a deal breaker for some, but before you break ties with your husband, ask yourself, Do I want to leave my husband because of video games?
Is his addiction that big of a problem, and is there no solution?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) listed video game addiction as a mental disorder. There are many ways in which this addiction can significantly affect your marriage.
It robs you of quality time, generates feelings of neglect, which can metamorphose into more profound resentment, and reduces your self-worth.
Women love to receive attention and love from their spouses.
The idea that a video game gets more attention from your man can make you feel disrespected and undervalued. These feelings are valid.
Although gaming poses a serious concern, it is not impossible to handle.
Before you consider tossing his Xbox in the trash or seeking a divorce, there are some steps to take in handling the situation.
In this article, you will find helpful ways to help you manage your husband’s video game addiction.
I want to leave my husband because of video games – How do I handle this?
Below are simple ways to manage your husband’s addiction to video games.
1. Discuss his behavior with him
This might seem too basic, but that is what makes it the most rational step to take. To get to the root of an ailment, doctors establish healthy communication with the patient.
The discussion would then provide an insight into the core of the problem. Most women being put off by their husband’s gaming addiction rarely say a word about it to their spouse.
Instead, they would sulk and stay silent. This is not a healthy response and would serve only to deepen the feeling of resentment.
Find a good time, especially after enjoying a rare, intimate moment. Tell him how his behavior affects your connection with him and that you wish to spend more time together.
Simple discussions about the subject would nudge his conscience.
Timing and choice of words (as you will see in the next point) are essential when communicating your issues to him.
It is crucial to avoid raising the discussion while he is in a heated gaming session. Your criticism might distract him and make him respond negatively to you.
2. Choose your words carefully
Your choice of words when addressing your husband significantly affects his reception of the message.
Move like a skilled negotiator. For instance, instead of accusing him of “addiction,” which is a pretty strong word, try something mild like: “Honey, don’t you think you have spent enough time on the console today?”
Words like behavior also have a negative connotation. This is because words like that feel like an attack on their person.
Instead of accepting that their behavior needs change, they would get defensive and spend the rest of the day arguing that nothing is wrong with their behavior.
To avoid derailing the conversation, choose a language that will help you convey your points and improve the chances of a favorable reception.
3. Make your bedroom a No-Phone Zone
If you have communicated with your husband and have convinced him of the effect of his constant gaming, the next step is to develop workable solutions.
One way to help your husband overcome this unhealthy habit is to set limitations.
This method works because it does not seek to change the situation drastically. Here, you limit his game time slowly until normalcy is restored in your marriage.
To achieve this, make your bedroom a fortress. What you are doing here is creating an environment where your husband feels comfortable.
The rule is that the phones must be kept away when he enters the bedroom.
This is particularly effective because mobile phones account for significant global gameplay.
4. Find the root cause of his addiction
Sometimes, playing video games is a coping mechanism for psychological problems.
Has your husband gone through any traumatic experiences recently? Has he been laid off from work? Or has your marriage just lost its spark?
Identifying the root cause will help you employ a more thoughtful approach to managing his condition.
For instance, if his addiction is due to idleness from being laid off from work, you can help him manage the condition by assisting him in seeking job opportunities in his field.
Mail his application for jobs and set reminders to submit them where necessary. A new job might be all he needs to get out of his headset and dump the consoles.
Even if it’s a marital slump, don’t worry too much.
Before you start Googling phrases like, “Should I leave my husband because of video games?”, consider raising the excitement in your marriage by making him his favorite meals, spicing up your intimate lifestyle, etc.
5. Try an empathetic approach
If your husband is deeply wired and addicted to video games, breaking out of it instantly can be tricky. Modern video games are super immersive.
The engaging visuals, endless challenges, reward system, and multi-player opportunity provide a deep gaming experience that can be difficult to pull out of, even if your husband desires to do so.
Treat his condition with empathy. Video games trigger high dopamine release and keep the brain pursuing more gaming hours.
The Empathy Approach is not an active way of managing his game addiction; rather, it enables you to view his condition more kindly.
It would also increase your bandwidth to tolerate his addiction.
Speak kindly to him and be suggestive rather than combative.
As stated earlier, nagging at him can have counterintuitive results, further worsening your marital situation.
6. Offer a compromise
One of the many effects of a gaming habit on a relationship is that it unfairly tilts the responsibility of managing the household to one end.
If your husband is a hard gamer, you will likely be left alone to do all the house chores.
You cook the meals, prepare the kids for school, tuck them into bed, do the dishes, and handle all other jobs around the house. This would undoubtedly take a toll on you.
In such a situation, he must help with the household duties.
Getting him to abandon his gaming session might be difficult, but you can ease up the situation by offering a compromise instead.
This strategy works with careful choice of words, as discussed earlier.
Say something like: “Babe, I have been running most of the errands at home, and it’s taking a massive toll on me, do you mind tucking the kids in while I do the dishes? It won’t take a minute, and you can return to your game afterward.”
Note the format carefully. Start with a complaint, suggest a compromise, and end by directing him to continue his activity.
This would ease him off the couch and, in some cases, even prick his guilt.
7. Avoid playing video games with him
When your husband spends more hours in front of a screen than he does with you, it can be tempting to think that playing with him can help you recover his attention. But this hardly works.
Besides being an unhealthy and unfair bargain, it enables your husband to continue in his habit.
If you do not naturally enjoy playing games, you will spend a lot of time doing something you do not love, which goes against mutuality in marriage.
You enjoy a good time by engaging in activities you love. So, instead of spending quality time, you resent him more for doing something you don’t like.
8. Consider going for Therapy
Your husband’s video game addiction will severely affect your marriage. But there are degrees to an addiction.
If your man is a hard-core gamer, staying up long into the night gaming and completely absconding from his marital and paternal duties, you should consider consulting a therapist.
Getting your husband to accept a couple’s therapy can be dicey because he has to admit that something is faulty in the marriage.
Many people suffering from addictions live in denial of their conditions. To convince him, try talking to him in a non-judgmental way. Make it sound like a suggestion.
“Honey, our marriage seems to be going downhill. I don’t like the direction it’s going in; how about we see a therapist for a change? Let’s try it once and see if it leads us in the right direction.”
9. Seek support groups
There are many online forums today that cater for women with gaming-addictive husbands. These platforms offer support, provide a medium for you to interact and share insight with other women on how they manage their husbands, and give you a sense of belonging and comradeship.
You are not alone. And the feeling that you have the support of women can lighten the burden and help you understand your husband better.
The negative impact of video game addiction on marriages cannot be overemphasized. If your husband has an unhealthy attachment to video games, it is natural that you feel sidelined.
To get to the root of the matter, you must unearth the underlying cause of his addiction. Knowing the cause of his addiction will reveal the approach you should take to handle his situation.
Unplugging your husband from the grip of immersive video games would undoubtedly prove difficult. However, if you love him, you should be willing to work.
Helping him out of his addiction requires empathy, healthy communication, and patience.
Before leaving your husband because of video games, consider the helpful steps listed above. Hopefully, they help you restore normalcy in your marriage.