The kids that grew up playing video games are now adults who continue to enjoy this pastime. Sadly, some of these individuals now struggle with a gaming disorder. When your spouse is addicted to video games, it can feel like their console or computer is a third person in your relationship. Their compulsion to game becomes more than a way to relax — it can feel like they’re absent from your marriage.
If you’re frustrated by your husband or wife’s video game addiction, there is hope. Your relationship can heal if your partner is willing to admit that they can’t control their gaming and they get help.
Do Video Games Ruin Relationships?
Yes — excessive gaming can put a strain on relationships, creating frustration and distrust. There are a number of ways that video games and gaming addiction can cause marriage problems. You may feel some or all of these emotions when your spouse is sucked into their game:
- Fear that your husband or wife seems to only care about video games
- Isolation when your spouse is entrenched in their virtual world
- Disappointment or hurt that your spouse chooses gaming over time with you
- Poor self-esteem
- Resentment or anger that you bear the brunt of responsibilities at home or with your children
How to Help Your Gamer Husband or Wife With Their Addiction
You cannot force your spouse to quit gaming. However, you’re not doomed to put up with this behavior forever. Here are some things you can try to help your husband or wife realize they have a gaming addiction:
- Communicate with them about how their excessive video gaming makes you feel.
- Give examples of how gaming is impacting your relationship.
- Let them know that you feel like you’re handling most of the responsibilities at home and that you need opportunities to get away as well.
- Find new activities and friendships on your own. This shift may help your spouse realize what they’re missing out on.
- Encourage your spouse to discover alternate activities to replace gaming.
Just like any addiction, it’s crucial to avoid enabling behaviors that could push your spouse toward video gaming. This behavior could include:
- Nagging your spouse about how much time they spend gaming.
- Accusing your husband or wife of loving their computer or console more than they love you.
- Bringing them snacks or meals because they don’t want to stop.
- Offering to join them while gaming as an opportunity to spend quality time together.
- Covering for your spouse when they miss out on work, family or personal commitments.
Professional Help Is Available for Gaming Addiction
If your spouse’s gaming has crossed over from being a fun pastime to an obsession that’s impacting your marriage, it’s time to seek help. At Gateway Foundation, we offer life-saving addiction treatment for a wide range of addictions, including drugs, alcohol and process addictions like gaming. When your husband or wife comes to one of our treatment centers, we work to develop a personalized approach to their care based on their specific needs.
If you would like to learn more, we invite you to contact us today to speak with a member of our caring team.