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“ My husband is always playing video games !” is not an unheard of complaint, especially in 2024. If your husband is always playing video games and it’s beginning to damage your marriage, there’s still hope. When couples work together to overcome their differences, anything is possible. If your husband is always playing video games, and it’s causing your marriage to become strained, you can try these tips to see if you and your spouse can work together on a compromise that makes both parties happy.

Can Video Games Cause Relationship Problems?

Yes, video games can cause relationship problems—especially if your husband is always playing video games. A marriage needs to be maintained constantly. While that may sound like a lot of work, maintaining a marriage can be pretty simple. Intentionally setting aside time to work on your marriage with your spouse can create the foundation for a strong marriage. However, a strong marriage can be more difficult to build if your husband is always playing video games. It should be noted that building a strong marriage will be equally difficult if it’s the wife who’s struggling to put down the controller. The point is that if you’re wondering, can video games cause relationship problems? The answer is a definite yes.

How Many Hours Should My Husband Play Video Games?

The answer to this is going to depend on your relationship. In some cases, a person would have the freedom to spend twelve hours per week gaming. But in other situations, a person may not have that amount of free time. For example a person with five children is going to be less likely to have time game for twelve hours per week than a person with no children. If your spouse is a gamer, it may be a good idea to work with them to set aside a specific night(s) of the week for them to game. At the beginning of the week, you and your spouse can sit down and plan out what the week will look like. Which nights are you going on dates, and which nights are you going to spend engaging in hobbies such as video games, yoga, or whatever else you’re into, If you’re not interested in video games, you could do something that you like on the nights that your spouse is playing video games. If you and your spouse have children, you could also switch off shifts. For example, one spouse watches the children on Mondays and Wednesdays while the other spouse is relaxing. Then, on Tuesdays and Thursdays the roles are reversed. Fridays can be date night or family night.

How Many Hours of Gaming Is Considered to Be an Addiction?

Because video games still relatively new, there’s no hard and fast rules created around addiction. However, if your spouse is neglecting responsibilities such as personal health, work, school, or social responsibilities (such as maintaining their marriage), that could be a sign of a problem. For instance, if your spouse has been fired from their job because they called in sick to play video games too many times, that could be a sign that they have a problem with video games. If you believe your spouse has an addiction to video games, it may not be in the best interest to corner them or accuse them of being addicted. Instead, you may need to meet with a counselor who can learn the specifics about your situation.

Don’t Be Accusatory

It’s important to have an honest conversation with your spouse about their gaming habits, but you run the risk of them shutting down, getting dismissive, or getting defensive if you come across as accusatory, controlling, or demanding. If your spouse—whether husband or wife—is a gamer, they’ve likely been raised in a household with time limits, bedtimes, and “hey, get off that dang computer wouldja?” Their prize for making it to adulthood, in their mind, should be able to game in peace after a stressful day at work—without time limits. Remember, if they’re really serious about gaming, it’s likely their hobby. Something they value and something that’s important to them. It might sound like this, “Hey, I know that you really enjoy this hobby so I want to make sure you get to do it uninterrupted. Would it be okay if we set aside two nights per week for you to game uninterrupted and three night per week for us to spend family time together?”

Don’t Expect Them to Give It Up

If your spouse was a gamer before you married them, chances are that they’re not about to stop just because they got married or had children. However, as previously mentioned, a marriage needs to be maintained. Your spouse is entitled to have hobbies, even ones you don’t like, so long as they aren’t harming themselves or others. The vast majority of people who play video games aren’t clinically addicted and are able to maintain a happy marriage and career while playing video games every now and then. Setting aside time for you and your spouse to pursue your individual hobbies, as well as setting aside time for you to spend together as a family may be the best compromise you can make.

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