My Boyfriend or Husband is Addicted to Video Games
What Can I Do?
By Dr. Brent Conrad
Video Game Addiction in Relationships
If you read the research and media stories on video game addiction, you may believe that it is only something that happens to teenage boys and single men in their twenties. Unfortunately though, many people (from teenagers all the way to those in their 60s) find themselves in relationships with boyfriends or husbands who are addicted to video games.
Of course women can also become addicted to computer games, but the research consistently finds that males tend to be more at risk for video game addiction.
For the partners of people who are obsessed with video games, it feels as if they are being ignored or even abandoned in favor of their boyfriend’s or husband’s latest computer game obsession.
Is It Worth Getting Upset About?
There are those who argue that if this is your situation you really shouldn’t complain too much about it – after all wouldn’t a drug, alcohol, or gambling addiction be much worse? In fact, even if your husband or boyfriend plays video games too much…at least he is right there at home with you and “not out at a bar somewhere”.
Not very comforting is it?
The fact is, you chose to be in a relationship with this person and he chose to be in it with you. And it is safe to assume that you both made this choice because you wanted to share part of your life with this person. To do so however, requires that you actually spend meaningful time together (not just “time”).
Meaningful Time Together is the Key
So what is meaningful time? The definition will obviously vary from person to person, but would you agree that this time has to (at the very least) be both voluntary and chosen over other options?
For example, let’s assume that the only regular time your boyfriend or husband spends with you is during the commute to work or school and for an hour or so during dinner. Otherwise, when he has the option he spends all of his time at home with his favorite console or computer game. His evenings and weekends are devoted to video games, not you…or anything else.
There is nothing wrong with having some alone time, even when you are in a relationship – in fact it is actually quite healthy. The problem here is not that your boyfriend or husband plays video games – you would likely be just fine with occasional play as a way to distress or relax at the end of the day.
The problem is that when given the option, he appears to be choosing video games over you.
How Your Boyfriend’s or Husband’s Video Game Addiction Affects You
Needless to say, feeling as though you are less important than a video game character is not what you were looking for when you entered this relationship. When someone is dating or married to a video game addict, it can have quite an impact on their self-esteem and their security in the relationship.
They may feel:
- Taken for granted
Given these feelings, it is not surprising that they start to wonder if the person will ever cut back on gaming time, or if not, whether they should remain in the relationship.
How Do You Know if Your Boyfriend or Husband is Addicted to Video Games?
While there is no formal diagnosis of video game addiction, an obsession with video games can definitely have a negative impact on the quality of a relationship. What are the signs that your husband or boyfriend is addicted to video games?
Take our informal quiz to get a sense of whether computer game addiction is a problem in your relationship.
Read the full article HERE on http://www.techaddiction.ca/