Gamers need lovin’ too!: How to love and live with a Gamer

Guest post by Twitchii
-342 : guinea pig pwn
Who wouldn’t love this little gamer!? By: Katherine McAdooCC BY 2.0

My husband is a gamer. Not a random “whenever I’m feelin’ it” kind of thing, but a serious GAMER. He will take it any way he can; Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Xbox, Playstation, online gaming, MMORPG… you name the acronym, and he either plays it or has played it with a passion.

I, on the other hand, am most assuredly not. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll try anything twice. Truth is, I usually don’t have the attention span to really get into these things like he does, and he’s completely cool with that.

I know we can’t be the only couple out here like this. It’s inevitable in this day and age of gaming that there are multitudes of gamer/non-gamer couples. Yet every single person I know has asked me at least once “How does that even work? If he’s always on [insert game here], how is your relationship not suffering?!”

There are some very decidedly nice perks about gamers:

  • Some of the most involved, insightful, and fascinating conversations I’ve ever had are with gamers.
  • They can concentrate like no one I’ve ever met.
  • And they’re quick and creative as hell when it comes to a good joke.
  • Then there are the hands… Ooooh, the hands of a gamer know where to find ALL the buttons!
  • Have a problem? Bring it to a gamer, they’ll pull some voodoo up-down-left-left-A-B-left magic, and come up with solutions you never even thought of. Their problem solving skills are pretty much maxed out.

I can honestly say my favorite times together are the random conversations we’ll have while he’s gaming and I’m doing whatever project I’ve got on my plate at the moment. For us this works very very well. Being an independent person, I can do my thing while he’s off getting his fix of screencrack, then we’ll meet up after for snuggles and Monty Python/Doctor Who/JD@TE, etc.

Everyone knows a gamer, and while you don’t necessarily have to marry them, I do strongly suggest that you now go find your gamer and give them a hug… Just make sure they’re not killing something first.

Comments on Gamers need lovin’ too!: How to love and live with a Gamer

  1. Nice article! I’m married to a gamer, and I agree that it has its perks. While I used to love to play World of Warcraft, I haven’t really gotten into any of the games on the 3 different systems we have. I’m glad that he has something that he enjoys and is a stress reliever for him. I like having my own time to do things like read a book, and it is nice knowing he is having his own fun and we don’t have to entertain each other. There are times we bond over games like Castle Wars or Dominion. Even when he is playing a video game that I’m not into, sometimes just sitting on the couch together while I surf the internet can still be enjoyable time together.
    Also one thing I really appreciate about gamers is that games can be something that is scheduled around other activities instead of vice versa. Growing up, I remember feeling frustrated at how other things would have to stop when a sports game was on that my dad would want to watch. I have no doubt that there are benefits to any interest including sports, but I have to say one of the things that I like about having a husband for a gamer is the ease in which it can fit around our schedule (stopping anytime something else is going on and starting anytime he wants).

    • Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ There is something particularly awesome about lounging listening to them play while you do your own thing. Some of the things said by him and/or the game are just friggin’ hilarious.

      • In my relationship, I’m the gamer and my boyfriend is the (mostly) non-gamer. He likes to watch me play games, but he also loves to snuggle on the couch next to me and relax/nap (especially when I play Skyrim because he finds the music really relaxing). He’s a morning person and I’m a night person, so it works out pretty well for us.

  2. As a gamer marrying a gamer, I can’t really think of much to add to this post, other than that I find this whole “But how can you marry a gamer” thing really bizarre. It makes me wonder what other people’s lives are like.

    • My husband and I are both gamers…so when I see things like this I’m like, “WAT”. Sometimes my husband will be playing ME3 downstairs in our computer room, and I’ll be upstairs on the PS3 playing FF13 or Portal. I also like to watch my husband game when he plays interesting games like Uncharted 3 or Arkham City.

      Here is actually another tip for non-gamers: Don’t interrupt (or avoid) when a gamer has hit a frustrating part of the game.

      • Heh, I was considering a follow up post on the etiquette a non-gamer needs to learn for living with serious gamers. Like, if you want to make an announcement about dinner being ready, tell the GM. He will decide the best time to inform everyone else. Do NOT try to inform the group in the middle of a combat scene. Or, if you have to walk in front of the TV during a video game, watch your timing for fights, duck low, and do it as quickly as possible. I had more and then realized that I was writing my “follow up post” in the comment.

        • I was just going to comment exactly this. Also, it’s important to remember that when a gamer is playing they’re in the zone, and it’s hard to shift gears. Sometimes my ex husband would come up behind me while I was playing to give me a hug/kiss/initiate sex. He thought I should stop what I was doing when he did this (there were greater issues in our relationship), but when I was in the middle of a quest it was really difficult to stop and it really annoyed me. It wouldn’t have bothered me if he gave me a quick kiss or squeeze (with no greater expectations) during a non-crucial moment; or if he said, “Hey, I would like some snuggle time with you. Can you save the next time you get to a good stopping point?” There’s a polite way and a rude way to go about it.

        • Another option for passing the TV is to ask them to pause. Most console games can be paused at any point, but there are good and bad times to do it so I find it’s best to let them choose.

          When my husbands playing I’ll just duck past if I know the game and can judge when he’s not doing anything crucial, but if I’m not sure I’ll say “Can I go past please” and he’ll pause.

    • I know, right?! The first time someone asked me how it “works”, I was literally slack jawed, then I just kept running into the question. I’m still trying to figure out why it’s so mystifying to others that a non-gamer and gamer can work out. We’re just like any other couple really…I think… ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I think it’s just like any other couple. Don’t other people occasionally get distracted into things that they can’t easily put down? I wouldn’t try and distract someone currently elbow deep in cookie baking either. Perhaps it’s because MMO gaming tends to imply other people involved who you don’t want to disappoint, while the cookies won’t care if they end up trashed and restarted.

    • I’m a gamer who married a gamer too. Even when I really get into a game and will want to spend hours playing it, I try to take breaks in between to tell my hubby I love him and talk with him a bit. We also have some games that we play together (right now it’s Resident Evil 6), and find time to do other hobbies/activities together outside of our gaming.

        • haha the FH and I do that all the time on WoW. It helps us get into the game, but it’s weird when you realize you could just take off the headphones and talk norma XD

    • im dating a gamer. I’m almost nonexistent to him. If we don’t Work out I’ll never date another gamer again. It’s like pulling my teeth and hair out just to ask him to do something. I understand some games you just can’t pause. So I would tell him please take care of it before you go to bed. He doesn’t. He forgets. Then I say please take care of before you go to work. He forgets. First thing he does in the morning on his day off is go straight to his laptop to play games. The only time he gets up is to get something to eat and drink and use the restroom. Hmm so you don’t see the dirty dishes or the trash that is overflowing? How about fix the broken garbage disposal or call someone to fix it? How about clean the shower or sink or toilet that you use? Well I guess I have nothing better to do after working and going to school full time just like you.
      Some days after dinner I’d ask him to go for a walk with my dog before it gets too dark. He would say, Yes my love. Anything for you but just One more game. Next thing you know it’s dark. I leave with the dog anyways and cry during the entire walk.
      He claims to everyone that he knows how to divide his time for me and his game. Oh if only they knew. When I sleep over at my mom’s he tells me he misses me. How so? Miss me cooking and cleaning for you? Always doing things by myself because of “one more game”!
      I knew he was a gamer when we met. He did give me his attention. I guess this is what happens when you get too comfortable with someone.
      But hey, at least he’s a nice guy.

  3. Gaming can put a little pressure on a relationship too, sometimes it feels like getting a high XP or kill ratio is more important than spending time with your loved one.
    We’ve come to a compromise that there are certain nights of the week that he can game without me moaning (only rule is that we have to eat dinner together) and I get full control of the tv and DVR in the other room ๐Ÿ™‚
    And there are other nights where there is no gaming and we share tv/DVD decisions

    • I try to be conscious of the amount/quality of time my boyfriend and I spend together, and if I’ve been playing a lot I will tell him when I’m at a good saving point and ask if he would like to do something together. Sometimes he says yes, and sometimes he tells me to keep playing because he sees that I’m into it, or because there’s something else that he wants to do.

      I don’t think he’s ever asked me to stop playing, which is pretty amazing (because I wouldn’t blame him if he did). I think he’s more patient when I play for hours on end because he knows that I’m willing to stop periodically to check in.

    • Very much this. I think the reason why the gamers are mystified when they hear “how does that work?” is because they haven’t had the problems the non-gamer in a relationship can have. Gaming is a hobby like any other, but a *lot* of gamers have gotten absorbed enough into the hobby that they’re using it as a replacement social life. It can be very hurtful to a partner to be turned down for real life fun in favor of some pixels on a screen. Think of how someone would feel if they were reading a book and you said “hey, wanna go out for drinks with friend x,y, and z?” and the answer was *always* “No, I’m reading”. Sure, sometimes you need a night in with a good book, but part of relationships are compromises, which means, while you can have that night in here and there, a steady diet of it will absolutely kill a relationship, because your partner wants a relationship with YOU, not you-by-a-gamer’s-handle, not the tv screen, not their selves, but with YOU. Some, SOME, not all, gamers get so obsessed with higher XP or achieving some imaginary victory, that they neglect their actual friends in favor of some middle aged Asian man pretending to be a 14 year old nerd girl pretending to be a barbarian/mage/thief. I enjoy video games, and I’ve lived with hardcore gamers, but it is, frankly, inconvenient for those around them. The only way I’d ever live with a gamer again would involve a separate tv, noise cancelling wireless headphones FOR THEM, not the non-playing person, and an arrangement that involved “real life comes first, then pretend” on the social schedule. I like the certain nights arrangement. It gives both members a specific time to do what they want separate from each other. I’d say that’s a good idea in any relationship, and with any interests. It forces a balance, too, so someone doesn’t slide over the edge into obsession and start disconnecting from their relationship. (note: I am a voracious reader, and I am DEFINITELY someone who needs my me time, but it’ll also be a cold day in hell before I duck and squeeze by in my own home for fear of tantrum)

  4. I’m married to a gamer. When we first moved in together 5 years ago his WOW addiction was terrible. We almost broke up over it. He no longer plays WOW but still plays other online games.. just less. It’s only really an issue if it gets in the way of other things. He works, goes to school and is a great husband. I have no complaints. It helped that we found games we could play together, Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Left for Dead, etc. I have no right to complain anyway, he doesn’t complain about my Doctor Who, Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, or fanfiction addictions. : )

    • My now husband and I almost broke up over WOW when we were first dating as well; we had some serious fights about it. When it came before everything, school, being healthy and me, I had some serious issues. We compromised that he wouldn’t play WOW anymore because we both knew there were serious issues surrounding his addiction to it, but he still plays other games, to a much lesser extent.

      It still bugs me when I feel like I’m second fiddle or there are a lot of late nights in a row, but I have become much better at voicing my needs and wants than I was.

      • WOW is highly addicting – I’m not allowed to play it anymore cuz I’d lose track of the days sometimes. I’ve now limited myself to D&D one night a week, which my husband likes cuz he gets to spend the evening relaxing by himself. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • That’s why I purposely avoid online games that depend on my friends being online, or where the world moves on so that you miss out on things while you’re not playing. Games that effectively penalize you for the time you aren’t playing are dangerous for me.

    • Yay for makin’ it work! We had the learning curb too in the beginning. One thing we agreed on, is the computer stays in the living room. This way we can still converse and enjoy the others’ company while he gets to game.

      *side note, now I have to look up Benedict Cumberbatch because that name is just awesome

      • Yes! We have always had an all computers in the living room rule (it applied to roommates, too in the roommate days) because we all spend so much time on our computers that otherwise we would never socialized. It forced us to abandon our nerd hermiting instincts.

        • Getting iPads unexpectedly worked for us–now we can be in the same room together and messing about on the intartubes while the other is watching TV, reading, gaming, or whatever. And we end up sending each other funny pictures, making comments, etc., so we do interact.

      • yay for Benedict Cumberbatch! I have a pinterest board dedicated to my “list” you knowโ€ฆ that list.. he dominates it. find me if interested in viewing. Ashleyannzombie. : )

      • Yes to the computers in the living room. I did have to add the request that he turn off the voice that says “We need more minerals” because, you know, otherwise I’d lose my mind.

  5. As a former gamer spouse(we divorced for other reasons), a lot of this is accurate. But in my personal experience, there can be severe issues too. Many a night I went to bed alone and found him still gaming when I got up the next morning, which made me feel very unimportant. Our sex life began to revolve around raid times(WoW), he even ‘offered’ to put the laptop on my back so he could do both.

    If anything; I learned to vocalize my needs, wants, and boundaries. Which is helpful in my new relationship.

    • With any hobby/activity, there’s always going to be extreme situations. I’m a big believer in the whole ‘everything happens for a reason’ thing. I’m glad you were able to learn and grow, even if it didn’t work out like expected.

  6. I’m married to a gamer, but he’s no where near as addicted as he was say 6-8 years ago (before we met). He plays DnD, the odd game of Magic, and quite a few video + computer games, but thankfully He doesn’t ignore me for hours to play them, he typically plays when I’m out doing my own thing (although Monday night Dnd is a sacred ritual). I’m a hoop dancer and performer so I spend tons of hours at classes, rehearsals, workshops and jams. I’m super grateful we each have separate hobbies that we’re passionate about. It makes our relationship stronger and it’s easy to buy each other presents. Not to mention I have a borderline internet addiction, so I understand:)

  7. Ah yes, the joy and sometimes frustration of dating a gamer. My boyfriend will game pretty much non-stop. He was gaming much more when we first started dating but as he realized we were going to be a “serious” couple, it meant spending time away from the keyboard. He joked I’m the only girlfriend to get him away from the keyboard. He says he uses the games as something to relax and recharge. I can relate to that as I am a serious reader and have been known to sit for HOURS just reading. It works out because we can be together in the computer room, him playing and me reading.

    However, there can sometimes be a sense that he’s not listening to me when I talk to him. I’ve learned to be firm and (nicely) say something along the lines of “I want to talk when you’re done” or “Can you take a break?” Usually his breaks are only a few minutes after those suggestions. Even then, he’ll realize that he’s done with the game for the day and we’ll do the usual couple stuff.

    Every now and then I’ll get into one of his games for a week or twice, but honestly I just don’t have the same focus he does with it. Though he still adamantly believes I will join him on League of Legends.

    • This! In the beginning of our relationship, it took me some time to really “get” that I unwind by reading and my now husband unwinds by playing video games. Once I stopped judging, both are valid, equally good ways to relax.

      We make a point of doing things together a few nights of the week, but we also like doing our own things around the house, or different things in the same room (gaming/reading), or going out with friends separately.

      • Oh goodness. I’m the same way. It took me FOREVER to realize that Viking’s League-playing was like me reading. I think it actually took him going “You know what reading does for you? That’s what killing little goblins that explode into coins does for me.”

        I think a part of it is that gaming is often portrayed in a very negative way, like it’s a waste of time, or its turning you into a zombie, or making you violent. As non-gamers, we have to get over those pre-conceptions and see it for what it actually does and is instead of judging our partners or friends for their hobbies.

    • Yay for finding the balance ๐Ÿ™‚ !! It’s interesting to see another couples ‘game-language’ as the Hubs calls it. Usually he knows I need him for a bit if I start asking “Are you killing anything? No? Gooooood.. *maniacal laugh* “

  8. I’m married to a gamer and it is ruining our marriage. We haven’t made love in 7 weeks now because he doesn’t come to bed until 3-4am when I am sound asleep. He sleeps in late and then goes to work, comes home and does it all over again. He has neglected our pets, the housework, me and our relationship. I communicate to him that he needs to sort out his responsibilities before he games, he gets angry at says it’s not his xbox. He takes days off work to “sort out his life” and he ends up wasting it on the xbox, and if I say anything, it starts a huge fight. I can honestly say I hate that xbox, and if we end up divorced, which is highly likely, I will never date a gamer ever again. I realise not every gamer is like that, but this has been the worst experience of my life, and it is truly ruining every aspect of our relationship.

    • I’m really sorry to hear about your situation. Regardless of the problem, to have a relationship on the rocks just plain BLOWS. There have been rare occasions when the Hubs gaming will get a little overwhelming (we call them “autopilot” moments) but honestly, from what I’ve learned by being w/ him, as well as from other gamers, is that the obsessive game playing is usually a symptom of the real problem. Maybe agree to a tech-free day together? This could give you the opportunity to ask him if everything is really ok, or if he’s got some depression/anxiety about other things. This could also serve as a good time to relearn why you two fell in love in the first place. Regardless of the outcome though, do what is good for you. I send biiiiig cyberhugs and a cuppa coffee (or tea, if you swing that way). If you need an ear, I’m always happy to lend mine ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I have to agree with Twitchii here, while relationships on the rocks suck, normally getting obsessively into the game is a symptom of a problem, using it as an escape. I’m a gamer myself, and well, the last time I got really into a game, it was WoW, and I was unemployed, living my parents and boyfriend with no real friends around that were easy to visit. I was stressed out and felt like wasted space, but in game, I had all kinds of impressive achievements and things to be doing.

      I hope it works out with your husband. =X I don’t pretend to know what’s up with him, but obsessive gaming is normally more “I’m stressed for other reasons, and this is not stressful.”

      • This. I’m a gamer who is prone to depression, and I find that I play a lot more when I’m feeling down. Escaping into a world where I’m powerful and effective, where problems are solvable and my real-world problems don’t exist, is very therapeutic for me. As long as I don’t completely disconnect from the real world, of course.

    • I get this, when we got to the point where he wouldn’t eat with me or even turn around when I brought his dinner into his office I had to leave because I couldn’t stand there having my self esteem sucked out of me in favour of a screen. I would end up talking to myself because I was so lonely. We had no physical intimacy anymore and if I said something in passing by while he was gaming he would startle and get grumpy. That’s not the man I used to know and thankfully I got the old him back, a year later. Now he plays games for about two hours a night and I can cope with that. He treats me well if I want to talk or something while he’s gaming. Honestly I can’t pin down what happened to fix it, it was a horribly dark time and I really feel for you. If it had not have changed so dramatically for us, it would have meant the end of our relationship for me, absolutely. Please look out for yourself, it can be just like a drug or alcohol or gambling addiction. Think about the basic human qualities that you need, just to provide for your emotional wellbeing, in a relationship and fight for them for dear life. If you can’t get them, I wish you the very best in moving on. All the hugs!

    • They sounds really frustrating and miserable:/

      That sounds like pretty severe depression, to me. Gaming addiction like that is often a sign that someone is unhappy and feeling out of control on their life and is spending all their time gaming because that is the only place where they are feeling successful and rewarded. Is your husband showing other signs of depression?

      If trying to get him to play less isn’t getting you anywhere, maybe there is a deeper underlying problem that needs to be addressed. A good therapist might be able to help him sort things out. Maybe he needs antidepressants. Maybe he is unhappy in his job. Maybe he is dealing with some major change or facing some threat in his life that he doesn’t know how to deal with.

  9. Thanks for your kind words. We never have days off together as I am off Sat/Sun and he is off Thurs/Fri. He has had depression in the past but solidly refuses help or even considers he may still have it. He clearly does but there is nothing I can say or do to get him to accept help, any help, even mine. Any time I try and bring up he spends a lot of time on the xbox, he gets angry. When I come home from work and he is playing it, I don’t even get a hello because “you can’t pause live games”. I know why we fell in love, but that person is gone, sucked into the lifeless hole that is gaming addiction.

    • As someone who fights depression as well, I can get this completely from both sides. You can’t make someone get help, even if they need it. Sometimes it’s just a matter of stepping aside, and letting them fall. Just remember, that doesn’t mean you have to fall with them, or that you have to let this harden you in any way. Even crappy situations give us something to learn. I really do hope everything works out, no matter what the outcome.

    • I don’t know if this will help or not, but I’ve been on the other side of this relationship; I used to use the internet to hide from the problems in my real life that were (mostly) caused by bipolar disorder.
      Your husband is right, in a way, when he says the xbox isn’t the problem – it’s no more the problem than alcohol is the reason some people get drunk every night. Keep in mind that it’s probably the only place he feels in control, and from his misguided pov you selfishly want to take that away from him.

      You’re not selfish, but maybe you should be a little bit. You can’t *make* him quit gaming, or get help, or do anything. No matter how hard you wish or nag or threaten. Your best bet is to take care of yourself, whatever that means to you.

  10. Gamer SOs FTW. ^^ I spent all last night Minecrafting with my long-distance relationship SO and it’s nice that we have that medium to connect through. Also there is something neat about creating D&D characters with your SO and connecting on a creative level.

    Also, the hands. Yes. The hands.

    I see a comment above from Bally about a gaming habit ruining a relationship, amd while my former relationship wasn’t ruined by a gaming habit, I do remember the annoyance of him coming to bed at 3-4-5 a.m. I talked to him about it and we agreed to keep the LATE gaming to the weekends, and the average gaming (midnight, 1, 2 a.m) to the other nights (we’re students so that was not so bad.) *hugs to Bally* I hope the best for you.

  11. I just have to say I stumbled on this website a few days ago for the first time. It kinda felt like coming home!! To find so many people in one place that has a life like mine is amazing.
    My husband use to be the same way, totally addicted and sucked into games. I had to streak naked in front of him to get his attention. For the first 3 years of our relationship he would complain that we never were intimate but then never came to bed with me either. Well hello! How can we do anything if you wont come to bed?? But after a lot of conversations and compromises we finally got it to work out. And i have to agreee with the large majority of you, sometimes sitting on the couch and watching him play the games or reading is the a great way for me to unwind to.
    Have a great weekend!!

  12. My husband and I dealt with the gaming issue as well. My biggest lesson was not hinting, but firmly telling him my needs. He still comes to bed later than me, but always tucks me in and cuddles with me for a while. His WoW friends know he always stops to have dinner with his wife, some of them have started doing the same. It took lots of talking and compromising to come to where we are now.

      • I love this, there are compromises and learning in any relationship of course, but the things we learn from the gamers in our life have their own “flavor” lol. Sarkat, keep working at it, to be able to communicate your needs and desires comes in handy ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I’m a non gamer married to a gamer. He stopped playing MMORPG when we started dating, and even reduced his gaming a lot when we moved in together. Now he’s back to his usual self, i.e. gaming every single night. It’s mostly OK for me because I go to bed eartlier than he needs to, and I enjoy alone time myself (I sew, I write, whatever). Sometimes I wonder what life would be like with someone who had high-attention needs, and if I do feel lonely sometimes (let’s face it: when you’re depressed, living with a gamer is not exactly the best thing), I think we found a good balance.
    Some things I won’t compromize over though are: always eating together when we’re home together, and going out (for a drink or for shopping) at least once or twice a week. It doesn’t sound like much, but it works well for us.

  14. I know I married a gamer, and have to agree with those that talk about not having the attention span for the more “committed” games. For us it works out fine if he’s off playing D&D, because I know all the guys in his group [my brother and another long time friend].

    When my brother and I were younger, he was still in high school he was very focused on games to the point of not really talking about much else. I finally figured out though if I could do little things like watch him plan, listen while he discussed the great [insert the great and wondrous item or game element here], or sometimes actually playing myself. This did not make me a hard-core gamer, but it did leave me with a wonderful relationship with my brother.

    And I think it has paved the way for me to be understanding of my husband’s interests. We also try limit those times that he’s off with the guys or online and make plans for things to do together.

  15. I was a non-gamer when I married my husband. He games every chance he gets, and isn’t choosey about the type. He plays Xbox, Wii, D&D, Solitaire, board games….. When there isn’t a game handy, he’ll make one up. I frequently find scraps of paper around my house with numbers written on them. They are him working out game systems while waits in line for things. He’s been diagnosed with Aspergers and games are his fixation. It can be frustrating because all he wants to do is play, and I don’t always want to. I want to talk and interact with him. We’ve compromised by setting aside time to develop a board game together. He’s developing the mechanics and I’m working on the “flavor.” He gets the satisfaction gaming and I get the pleasure of his company.

  16. I am married to a semi-serious WOW player. He has some pretty intense anxiety issues and he turns to WOW when he is stressed and can’t get something out of his head. We haven’t had any issues, he plays while sitting on the couch so I tend to sit next to him and read or watch TV. He stops now and again for a quick kiss and cuddle and usually finishes by 11pm or midnight on the weekends.

    And I love the comment about a gamer’s hands – I have to agree!

  17. When I was dating my now husband,it was my first experiance with a real gamer. Something that worked for me was ‘killing him with kindness’. If I think that he is too focused on a game and I’m feeling neglected, I try to be extra considerate to him. Make him a snack, bring him a drink, or give him a back rub while he plays. 100% of the time he is somewhat startled by this and will ask if I want him to stop or give me estimated time of game-ceasing. If I’m nice about it, I think it makes it much easier for him to peel himself away. Sometimes doing this is HARD if I’m feeling resentful, but in my experiance it works. It was also initially hard for me to recognize his gaming as a valid stress reliever/hobby. I tried to learn and understand one game, he LOVED that I was trying, and I ended up really enjoying it.

  18. Ooh doggy, what an issue-I’ll try not to repeat what’s been said above.
    1) my mother was all over me about marrying a gamer- I told her my boss leaves the house for 8 hours for golf , my cousins leave for whole weekends to hunt. My husband is always home and available for me. I leave out the multiplayer challenges when speaking non gamers.
    2) anyone involved with a gamer knows the issues. I found the houses that could accomodate a couch in his office were the best. This gave me the option of lounging in there with him, but Also allowed me to close the door to have quiet time away from him.
    3) got him the expensive headphones that let in some external noises – doorbells, phone calls, me screaming when a cabinet fell on me. That helped a ton.
    4) having a dedicated night for raiding (with high level players) where I under no circumstances interrupt him unless 911. If he raids on another night, I’m allowed to interrupt him and he has to pause, even if the game is not. I’m lucky to have what I understand is a fairly skilled player and his GMs allow him some room cause they need em. I do ask him if he can talk on those nights and sometimes it’s fine. But if it’s not and I need him, I tell him. That’s at about a 90% success rate.
    5) I ask him to tell me about the games he is playing. When panderia came out, I gave him a solid week of uninterrupted gaming cause he needed to level up. That was a need he didn’t even know to ask for, but my gamer friends told me.
    6) gamer community – my husband has a ton of gamer friends I have met and they are almost all in a relationship with nongamers. One wife was having a particularly difficult time and his friends noticed an escalation in his single shooter games and they sat him down and said- you’ve had enough- move on. She couldn’t do it because we don’t “get it”. But his friends saying it helped. He had to quit cold turkey but now regularly raids in WoW and can keep it under control.
    7) chores are a pain- I can’t figure out how to get him to realize house before gaming. We are working on it. I recently read a book called Five love languages. It was targeted a married heteros with a pinch of religion, but if you can strip that away from whatever your personal relationship is- I found it quite helpful. I need quality time (not tv, not lunch) he needs physical touch. So I need to come over and kiss him (just a peck) while he is gaming and he feels loved.

    Good Luck Bally- I hope you can figure something out. I’ve heard of a spouse starting marriage counseling without the other. I think a professional could offer some ways to change your situation . Wishing you the best-

    • I totally gave up on the house before gaming. I like a clean house before I can relax, but he wants to relax before cleaning, so I’ll do the things I want to do around the house and make a mental list for him. Then when he’s done, he’ll ask me for the list. This only works if he eventually stops gaming, and if I don’t just do everything (I call this an “angry clean”). Sometimes he’ll also do his stuff in between games. I’ve come to see that (in our case) him doing his share of the housework without me getting angry or resentful is more important than when he does it.

      • Have any of you tried (and Iยดm bringing this idea from another post on OBH, Iยดve never tried it myself) an online housecleaning game you and hubby can play “earning points” on the house chores each of you perform?

        (Hubster just bought PS2 because heยดs really stressed and I just peeked in here to see what Iยดm in for… :S )

  19. Nice article!

    I’m a girl gamer who happens to married to a guy gamer. Playing together on Halo 4 can be pretty fun, as we’re an awesome team. Basically, I end up running people over with a vehicle while he snipes from far away. Oddly enough, it’s turned into our daily together time but it works for us.

    For all of the non-gamers out there, I would suggest to first give his or her game of choice a chance. Who knows, you may end up loving it and being awesome at it. =)

    If you hate the game, then make it a point to set aside some time where you two can be together, away from the console/board games/computer etc. Like have dinner together each night, or make it a point to go out to a date night sorta thing once a week. That way you have the together time that you’re craving, and he/she still gets to play his video games.

    Also, you can always use his/her gaming time to your advantage. Make that time, your own time to do your own hobbies (knit, paint, read, plot world domination, etc). You don’t have to spend every minute together. Sometimes, it’s actually healthier to have some personal time apart.

  20. I am engaged to a gamer as well, and he has corrupted me. Or at least a little more. I started playing D&D in college, but never got into video games until we started dating. There are some games that he has gotten me into (ie Skyrim) that I can’t leave alone. My favorites though are the ones we play together. Pretty much any of the LEGO games on the PS3, Guild Wars/GW2, or LOTRO. We make a silly date night out of it. We make easy to eat foods for dinner, plug in our headsets and game.

    I have to agree whole-heartedly that some of the most interesting conversations I have had are with my fiance. And he is definitely very quick witted with his jokes, and great to have around if there is any kind of techy issue. While there are times I wish he wouldn’t game as much, I wouldn’t have him any other way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. I am a gamer married to a gamer. My husband plays more games than I do, but we have the same mentality and understanding regarding games and etiquette while the other person is playing. We even brought our Wii on our honeymoon, and had a great time playing Pikmin 2! Part of which sounded like, “SON OF A– this freakin’ game!!!” but it was genuinely fun. ^_^

    One thing we bonded over when we first met was a mutual love of the Pokemon games. He told me once that he had showed his ex how to play when they were dating, and she said, “That’s cute, but you can’t play that tomorrow.” I was like, huh? For him, playing games in his downtime really is like reading books is for me. If I was dating someone who said I couldn’t read books, or didn’t understand that reading was important to me even if they weren’t a big reader themselves, I would feel very misunderstood and unhappy. I think there is somewhat of a stigma against gaming as a legit pastime; in my mind I equate it to snooty English gentlemen of a bygone era sniffing, “Young ladies spend too much time filling their heads with all these silly novels!”

    We do make an effort to ensure that our preferred hobbies do not take up our time to the point that either of us feels neglected. We frequently used to go to bed at different times and my husband would stay up and play games; this didn’t really affect physical intimacy, however, since we work weird schedules anyway and have to plan around roommates not being home, so afternoon is sexytime. ๐Ÿ˜› To anyone who is concerned about different bedtimes, I’d suggest planning your intimate time as an activity in your day, and not tying it to when you’re going to be in bed for sleep.

    There are also games that my husband wants me to play *with* him, and we try to make time for that with regularity as well. It helps that he built me a new deck, and now he has yet to beat it!! XD

    A note for non-gamers: games can definitely be a spectator sport. I had a great time watching my husband play Red Dead Redemption; it was basically like watching a movie that I would not otherwise have seen, since I’m not good at shooters. Ditto Batman: Arkham City.

  22. I’m a gamer living with a gamer in a house with one Tv and one computer! Our only problem is sharing so we can each play a bit of our game! I find myself waking up super early so I can have my game time! This works because he gets home before me and can play his games. We’re also working on bedtimes and intimacy, I’ve found really getting to the point and not hinting around the subject helps! I enjoy it now because he cuddles me until I fall asleep, then goes back to the game….. The downside to this? Listening to pause menu music drifting in from the living room as I go to sleep! ๐Ÿ˜›

  23. i love being married to a gamer, too! he’s a leveled up master ninja & has been since birth. there are pictures of his mother playing atari when she was pregnant. i think it really works out well for us & probably for a lot of other couples as well. i’m a very independent person who MUST have personal time alone to do my own thing. so when he’s playing, i take the opportunity to have me time. also, even though i never gamed when i was a child, he’s really taught me to appreciate the medium. he’s really good about getting games that we will both enjoy. he plays & works the controls & i solve the puzzles. he calls me his game-co-pilot & we both have tons of fun together. i think people assume that being married to a gamer means you don’t get any attention. this may be true in some cases, but certainly not in all.

  24. One of my faaaavorite things to do is play through a Zelda game with my boy guiding me and fighting the bosses (after I’ve tried once)
    It totally works with my crafting. He gets the couch and the tv and I get alllll the rest of the space in the living room.

  25. I love my gamer wife, but it can be tough as a non-gamer to live with/understand gaming stuff. I grew up with very little gaming in my house, whereas she grew up with 3 computers in the livingroom for the kids to get their game on. I’m definitely not used to having to yell over the noise to let her know it’s time for dinner, or going to work with her on the computer and coming home with her still on the computer. I love her, and support her gaming, but it was tough sometimes feeling like I was taking second seat to a video game. There have been a few fights over negotiating game time (“Babe, it’ almost midnight and you’re yelling, come to bed!” “Just one more round!”), especially since we both have jobs and I have school, so we don’t always get to spend a lot of time together.

    It has gotten easier as time has gone on. I’ve gotten used to her gaming, learned to not interrupt when she’s in the zone, and have found some great tv shows on demand while she’s on the computer. When I see she’s gone to a place I can’t go (you know, that moment when you realize you haven’t spoken in a couple days because they’ve been in the game, the dishes have suddenly piled up around the computer, and any time you tap them on the shoulder they turn on you like you’re amputating a leg), I let her know that maybe it’s time to take off the headset, put the dishes away and maybe take a walk and talk about what’s stressing her out. Gaming is fun, pleasurable, and even educational at its best, but a serious escape method/addiction at it’s worst. I’m all for the occasional marathon weekend (Doctor Who Marathon? YES PLEASE), but when I can count on one hand how many time’s I’ve spoken to K in the last week, it’s time for little conversation.

    That said, being with a gamer pretty great. ๐Ÿ™‚ Her geekiness complements my geekiness quite nicely– we go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong (I could watch Grease 1000 times and not get bored). But maybe it’s not being with a gamer that’s great, maybe it’s being with someone who I love and who loves me in return.

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