Gaming addiction can drive any spouse mad, but before you decide to leave your husband, find out if he’s actually addicted or likes to play games for fun. Once you understand it’s an addiction, collect your thoughts and talk with them when they aren’t playing games. Let them know how their addiction is impacting your relationship. You can also try to fix a schedule for them and arrive at a compromise for gaming hours. Find out the real reason behind why they love playing games so much and see if there’re signs for them to need professional help. Try to exhaust all your options before you make any big life decisions, such as leaving them.
Tired of watching your husband play games in and out of the day? Does it feel like his addiction is impacting your relationship and everything else? Then you’re at the right place to figure out what to do next!
Game addiction is a real issue, just like an addiction to any other thing. While playing games for a while or a designated time on the phone or a gaming console is normal and nothing to be worried about if you see your husband spending more time than necessary; it’s a real issue!
Let’s take a look at what you can do next!
Is video game addiction a real thing?
Playing gaming can be one of your husband’s hobbies; it helps release stress and can make them happy if they enjoy doing this activity.
But what if they’re constantly playing games to the point where it affects their personal life and relationship with you?
The World Health Organization has added gaming disorder to the 2018 version of its medical reference book, International Classification of Diseases. But the American Psychiatry Association’s manual, the DSM-5, didn’t.
The DSM-5 has included a section to let people know the warning signs of gaming addiction to help people and the medical professional identify it.
A person must have five or more of these signs in a year. Signs to look out for gaming addiction in your husband include:
- Thinking about gaming all or a lot of the time
- Feeling bad when he can’t play
- Needing to spend more and more time playing to feel good
- Not being able to quit or even play less
- Not wanting to do other things that he used to like
- Having problems at work or home because of his gaming
- Playing despite these problems
- Lying to people close to him about how much time he spends playing
- Using gaming to ease bad moods and feelings
There’s a fine line between people being enthusiastic about gaming and being labeled as an addict.
Finding out if your husband is a gaming addict is a big step towards solving the issue. It might hamper your relationship with them if you start accusing or labeling them even though they’re just enthusiastic about it.
You must tread carefully and identify if your husband shows five or more of the above symptoms. It could also signify other issues your husband could display by immersing himself so much in these games.
Ways to deal with your husband’s gaming addiction
Seeing your husband spend day and night in front of the games while he should be spending quality time with you is where the problem starts to grow.
When you see the signs, it’s challenging to solve things rationally but easier to lash out at them to tell them to stop playing games so much and ”grow up!”
But this will only make things worse for your relationship. Simply telling them to stop playing games won’t solve your issue.
1. Sit down for a talk
It would help if you had a plan to convey your feelings rationally to them. Don’t start discussing this issue when they’re in the middle of the game but wait for when they’re taking a break.
What little time they spend apart from playing games is when you tell them you need to talk with them. It’s best to gather your thoughts and points to let them know how their gaming addiction affects you, your kids’ life (if any), and your relationship with them.
Instead of labeling them as an addict or shouting, try to talk rationally with them and let them see how it’s affecting everything around them. When communicating, use “I” more than “You” so they don’t feel cornered or blamed.
Usually, transparently conveying your feelings can have a more significant impact than you think. Though it might take some time before you get through them, this is the right way to let them know of the issue here.
2. Try to understand him
As important as it is to convey your feelings and how their gaming addiction impacts everything around them, it’s vital to listen to them and understand their emotions.
Get to know what they like about gaming so much and in an understanding way. When they see you’re trying to understand them, they would let their guard down and tell you the real reason behind this addiction.
Sometimes, it could be an escape from reality or a way to have something where they’re constantly winning compared to their real-life where a person quickly faces failures.
When you know the reason, it becomes more apparent if this is something you can solve on your own or if it’s something that needs professional intervention.
Who knows, playing games together might have a positive impact, gradually lessen the overall time, and even make your marriage stronger!
3. Compromise on game time
Instead of packing up their video game console or throwing it away, try to handle the situation gently.
You can’t go cold turkey on them, so talk to them about how you feel there’s not enough quality time that you two spend together.
Whatever little things they do around the house, appreciate them, but also let them know how it makes you feel when the help isn’t equally divided.
Come to a compromise where it would be better if they played for an hour or two and you won’t disturb them during this time. But after done playing, he should be more included in the relationship and the household.
If fixing time doesn’t help you, then you know the addiction has gone beyond normal ways to help deal with it, and now professional help is much needed.
4. Denial and help
Most people don’t realize they’re addicted to playing games and that they need help. Your husband could be one of them!
It’s easier to be in denial than to realize you have a problem that needs solving. Since every problem needs effort to solve, most people rather be in conscious or unconscious denial.
If talking with them for a long time doesn’t yield any results in solving the gaming addiction or doesn’t lessen it even a bit, then let them know how it’s best to seek professional help.
That constant playing is affecting not only your relationship but also other things in their life.
If your husband isn’t ready to seek professional help yet, then at least help convince him to join a Facebook group or a community to help with his gaming addiction.
You should also join them to let them know you’re there for them, and it’s best to research such communities before blindly joining any community.
Is gaming addiction a sign of depression?
Many families also worry about depression if a family member is addicted to gaming. As a spouse, you might wonder if there’s any association between depression and being addicted to playing games.
No association was found between the development of depression and exposure to video games. So, if you’re worried that playing too many video games might cause your husband to go into depression, that is a myth.
Although if your husband already has symptoms of depression and then indulges in games, that could withdraw them from the real world and worsen their situation.
Excessive video game playing to the point where it has become an obsession or an addiction is also commonly associated with adverse mental health outcomes.
When people ignore their necessities, it affects their psychology and is associated with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
It can create the following issues:
- Internet gaming disorder
- Social dependency
- Negative social engagement
- Excessive screen time
All these issues do affect a person’s cognitive psychology.
Why do video games ruin relationships?
Playing video games isn’t bad unless and until it takes over your life to the point where it affects your personal life and those around you.
If someone’s partner is addicted to playing video games, it will impact their relationship. There are many signs to know if your partner is a gaming addict. Once you find a resemblance with the signs, it’s easier to talk to them about how their gaming addiction affects your relationship with them.
There’re various ways to talk to your partner about it and let them know how their actions affect things around them.
What are the signs that your marriage is over?
There can be various signs in marriage which might not be tolerable to a partner. While some are easy to figure out, other signs are mostly objective and depend on the person and their relationship with their partner.
It’s easier to give up on a relationship than to try out to make it work. If you think there’s still room for the relationship to get to work, then make sure you and your partner are both involved in making it work.
Remember, one person can’t make a marriage work.
Is addiction to video games a mental illness?
As of 2019 World Health Organization has recognized gaming addiction as a mental illness, making it a part of its 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (IDC-11).
How many hours of video games is an addiction?
If someone plays games for over 10 hours daily, it’s considered an addiction, and it might affect their personal life to a great extent.
When your husband is addicted to gaming, it’s easier to snap at them and decide to leave them, but it’s a decision made in rage.
There’re many things we say out of anger. Therefore, it’s necessary first to understand if your husband is an addict. Talking to them and letting them know your fears and how it’s impacting your relationship is an essential step.
Before making big decisions, exhaust all your options and give your marriage all the chances you can. If your partner is willing, they might take some time but will gradually succeed in leaving their gaming addiction behind!