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The effect of computer games on your relationship

(52 Posts)
stomachinknots Tue 17-May-16 10:13:24

A recurring theme on MN Relationships seems to be women who are basically married single mums, as their husbands spend hours a day playing computer games.

Is this something you've experienced? I'm not sure I would/could put up with it, but for some it seems to have become the norm. Are todays blokes just permanent adolescents?

TheNaze73 Tue 17-May-16 10:31:51

Some are, some aren't. I think people that knowingly marry them & then moan are fools, if they think they're going to change them. If they pick up the hobby after getting married, then that's a different issue

SecretSpy Tue 17-May-16 10:35:59

Nope. DH spends maybe 15mins a week playing with DS on the playstation. No issue.

pocketsaviour Tue 17-May-16 10:39:11

My ex used to like playing FIFA on the PS3. I would play Facebook games, or read, or just surf the net while he was doing that. It wasn't an issue for us but we didn't have young DC to take care of, so not like either of us was ducking out of family responsibilities.

Unicow Tue 17-May-16 10:41:20

It's not computer games as such to me it's if ANY person does ANY activity so often that they isolate themselves from the family and responsibilities. All hobbies and interests are absolutely fine and healthy as long as there is moderation and compromise.

DaveCamoron Tue 17-May-16 10:41:47

I spend a few hours a week gaming, as does my wife and it's never been an issue. She's logged nearly 2000 hours on The Sims grin

hobybabo Tue 17-May-16 10:42:22

My relationship is enhanced by computer games, because we play them together! We spend some of our evening time together doing that, and it's actually more social and therefore healthy than both reading separate books/one on TV other on tablet etc because we are working together and communicating. Then we usually watch something together. If I'm tired before him I go to bed and he plays games that I'm not as keen on. He doesn't play during the day unless the baby is napping and we have nothing else that is more important.

I can see how it does become a problem, especially if one person is far more enthusiastic about gaming than the other, but it certainly isn't as simple as some like to make out, that gaming is always a problem, or always will become one.

hobybabo Tue 17-May-16 10:46:03

Agree with unicow it doesn't matter what the hobby is, it's the attitude and responsibility that go along with it. My DH isn't an eternal adolescent because while he loves gaming, he chooses family life over it. The choice part is important, if you're having to browbeat your partner into spending time with the children/washing up rather than doing the hobby that's a problem, whether he eventually does it or not.

stomachinknots Tue 17-May-16 10:47:07

That's cool that you both do it together -- seems like that side of things seldom gets a mention on here.

MagicMoonstone Tue 17-May-16 10:53:08

World of warcraft destroyed my marriage and screwed my XH up.

He couldn't moderate. He stopped functioning.... lost his job. Became totally entrenched in his own world.

He list total grip on reality and became agoraphobic.

He chose his games over his family and 8 years after separation still lives in "pixel planet"

A horrible waste of a life. He had great job, beautiful daughters and friends.

That's a really extreme case though.

VioletSunshine Tue 17-May-16 10:53:22

Me and an exP used to both play this one game together a lot, but we didn't have any real responsibilities aside from keeping our place clean, food shopping etc. I was probably on it more than him tbh blush

Twistedheartache Tue 17-May-16 11:00:01

Gaming was one (of many) factors in my marriage breakdown.
OW is a gamer - and has barely ever worked so has plenty of time for gaming.
I think like any hobby it's ok in moderation but not to the detriment of family life.
I didn't expect him to stop gaming or anything else post children, I didn't try to change him. What I did imagine would happen is that he would want to spend time with his children/family & that he would accept that children change dynamics & lifestyle. Sadly Peter pan never grew up & preferred gaming to his children. I think he spends more quality time playing with the children now 1 day a fortnight than he did living under the same roof.

shoeaddict83 Tue 17-May-16 11:01:43

My DP plays on PS4, some stupid Desitny game and Witcher. Did used to wind me up how oftern he did it, it got beyond a joke and especially as we only have 1 TV so would miss things we wanted to watch together as he was stuck gaming!
Eventually agreed he has 2 evenings a week when he plays if he wants to, one when i do back-to-back gym classes anyway and the other i have a club i go to , so he does it these times so we then have our time together too on the other days. Compromise and its worked well smile
When we have his kids over he sometimes goes on it with his son as he doesnt have a console at his mums house so likes playing it at ours, but never for too long.
Did get to a point where it was causing arguments which was just ridiculous, so this compromise worked well for us as it suits us both.

Mightywease Tue 17-May-16 11:06:26

While I do think that it is good to have separate as well as shared interests I agree that any hobby, not just gaming, which takes over and gets in between a relationship is not good.

In some ways at least with gaming it is possible to sit next to the person playing and read, crochet, post on here etc.. At least that is what I do when DH is playing but then as I am also an avid gamer I like sitting and watching what he is doing, a bit like watching a movie.

At the moment DH is also involved in another hobby which takes him out 2 nights a week which s great! Two to three hours of uninterrupted PS4 fun.

silverpenny Tue 17-May-16 11:09:18

Sounds like he just sees you as someone to pick up his used dishes to be honest. What are you actually getting out of this relationship? Do you want to change or are you happy with it - tbh you don't sound that annoyed....?

gleam Tue 17-May-16 11:11:31

I'm a gamer and dh isn't. I don't think gaming is any worse than cycling or marathon training. As long as you're not avoiding family life and your responsibilities.

All dc are gamers too.

mellysam Tue 17-May-16 11:17:04

DH and myself both enjoy gaming on the xbox. I work shifts so tend to play on my days off in the middle of the week and he plays in the evening when he gets in from work. Never had an argument over it.
I'm currently pregnant with twins so it will be interesting to see how much our gaming time reduces when the babies come along!

Ratbagratty Tue 17-May-16 11:17:53

I believe gaming can become an addiction, I was hooked, playing every free minute I had mostly on online games where you had everything including social interaction. I find people less judgemental in the games! My oh is the same but now we have our DD we play a lot less, I'll be honest I really miss it sometimes esp the social side.

00100001 Tue 17-May-16 11:35:15

AS PPs have said, it's not computer games that are the issue. It's doing any activity or hobby that detriments the family. Could be cycling, gardening, knitting, cooking - anything.

Computer games are a red herring.

People are "prejudiced" to gamers. They seem to think they "need to grow up" or something. But no-one would bat an eye lid at the same person having cycling as a hobby, or horse riding, or knitting. It's weird that people think it's OK to criticise gamers.

Whisky2014 Tue 17-May-16 11:39:47

I broke up with a bf as he just was always playing games. So boring!
Now im with someone who takes me fishing, hill walking, goes on holidays, days out etc. Soooo different, fun and exciting!

YorkieDorkie Tue 17-May-16 11:44:41

DH loves his Xbox and will usually play about 30-60 minutes at a time, maybe 3 times a week? He can be a bit huffy if I say would he mind not doing it now because of [reason] but that's usually because it's been a while and he'd been looking forward to some "man time". It really doesn't bother me but I wish he knew that I don't get to hand over the baby and have an hours "me time" 3 times a week. I haven't had a bath since DD was born and that was one of my pleasures.

stomachinknots Tue 17-May-16 11:46:41

I haven't had a bath since DD was born and that was one of my pleasures.

Holy crap.

kardashianklone Tue 17-May-16 11:54:39

I can only speak from personal experience, but I think computer games and becoming an increasingly popular and acceptable way of infantilising men. Essentially, it's just a game. Learning how to 'shoot' on a game does not mean that in real life you'd be a crack shot. Fast reflexes on a game does not mean that the user is a ninja in real life. I don't believe it has many useful transferable skills in real life. What it does do, is allow the player to absolve themselves from responsibility- kids, wife, girlfriend, cooking, cleaning....all of the things that children don't do, which grown men revisit by playing games. I think its the modern equivalent of locking themselves in a shed and playing with train sets. Now, we have grown men absorbed by screens, playing stupid games.

I am a bit bitter about this, as it was a strong reason why I ended a 6 year relationship. As a child, I played computer games (in the 80's it was all textris and pacman, nothing as fancy as today's graphics), but I grew out of them and, you know, had a life. But my ex, he remained absorbed in games. When I criticized them (or rather, the amount of time he spent playing them) he would get angry, defensive, and would claim that as he played 'strategy games' (games where you plan how to conquer a country, or take out a fleet of ships), that was different from 'mindless' games. It's all the same to me. It's not spending time with loved ones, it's not edifying yourself with useful knowledge, and more importantly, I think it is very selfish. I cooked, and cleaned around him, as he sucked his life away on the computer. He would switch it on first thing in the morning, and would be on it until after midnight. He had a massive beast of a machine, that whirred and made irritating sounds as it got too hot, and it sat on the dining room table, so we only ever had a few meals at the table. Always ate off our laps on the sofa. He would make a massive fuss if it had to be moved.

One day the new cleaner (the cleaner I had sourced and paid for because I was fed up of carrying his share of the cleaning load- he would do a quick burst of activity and then nothing for weeks and expect me to be grateful, but I think only ever did a couple of clothes washes in 6 years) accidentally unplugged the computer when he was on it; he screamed and yelled at her so much she fled, in tears, never to return. He was furious with me for hiring her, and her unplugging the computer was 'my fault'. (He clearly has anger issues).

I would always go to bed before him, and one night, I got up around midnight to get some water, and I caught him wanking in front of the machine. He pretended he wasn't. I don't care that he was wanking, but I just thought- he has a naked female in a bed in the adjacent room, and STILL he prefers the computer?! Bitch, please!

I was engaged to this man, and I knew that if I married him, my life would be that cautionary tale you see on MN. The disassociated husband who engages only with the computer, the full weight of wife work, career, and kids resting solely on me. And I thought, 'ah fuck that, I need to extract myself'. And so I did (3 years too late, but still).

A good friend of mine has a teenage son- he also spends a lot of time on the computer, hours and days at a time. I think it starts young, and I don't think the situation will get better- he will end up like my ex. Consumed by a screen. I understand men use it as their 'downtime', but really, how much downtime do they need? and why do men get the priority of their downtime over women's ? How many women say, 'sod the cooking and the cleaning and keeping the children alive, I'm going to go and play with my Barbies all day, look after yourself, yeah?'

My current boyfriend doesn't play any of these twatty candy crush games on the phone, or anything on the computer. I just can't tolerate it- I can't watch a man become slowly, intangibly, absorbed in utter, utter bollocks. I see them all on the train, in the cafes, on buses, fiddling around on their phones zapping primary coloured balls, or exploding animated goblins, wasting their lives on something that just fundamentally DOES NOT MATTER. It makes me hate them. I have no respect for them, I see them as overgrown toddlers, with their slobby clothes that don't fit properly, and yesterday's egg down the front of their suits, and scruffy hair, and unpolished shoes, and podgy stomachs and flabby arses (because they'd rather mess about on a screen than exercise, and it's easy to stuff fatty junk food into your mouth when sat in front of the computer) and I think 'yuck!' (yes, I know this is extreme, but it's how I feel. I realise I might have some unresolved issues from my ex. I am waiting for counselling).

I appreciate there are women out there who play games- cool (I'm not knocking you)- but I'm not dating them. And I would never date any men who prioritizes hours of computer time over me again. That's just my choice. To me, it's the equivalent of a man saying 'Hi! My name is Mark, I'm a grown man, and I like playing with my Power Rangers/ Star Wars/running around with light sabres or toy guns or toy trains'. We limit children's time on the computer, but we don't limit adults, because we assume they can self monitor. But some of these men just don't. They will abscond from their lives because they can, because the lure of the computer is the seductive siren call, and because the women in their lives are capable and competent at carrying double their share. And that, that just depresses me. I actually think it could be a feminist issue- not least because the majority of these games are aimed at men, featuring men, and the women in them tend to be very sterotypical.

So in answer to your question, yes (some) blokes are stuck in permanent adolescence, and society is enabling it.

(Mine is an extreme tale, but it has caused me so much misery. I'm telling it just in case anyone else is going / went through the same thing). I have no wish to insult the MNners out there who game.

Mide7 Tue 17-May-16 11:55:21

"People are "prejudiced" to gamers. They seem to think they "need to grow up" or something. But no-one would bat an eye lid at the same person having cycling as a hobby, or horse riding, or knitting. It's weird that people think it's OK to criticise gamers."

So much this. I haven't played much computer games since my daughter came long but I used to play regularly. People would tell often how I needed to grow up and how weird it was. Those same people thought nothing of spending 2 hours a night watching tv. Strange

YorkieDorkie Tue 17-May-16 11:56:33

I should clarify that she's 3 months old before you start picturing teenagers grin. I need to put my foot down don't I?

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