24 answers

Is Your Husband Addicted to XBOX/ PS3 Games?

If so, how do you deal with it?

My husband is overall a great guy and a very good father except when he gets stuck playing video games for hours on end. We've tried time constraints but he doesn't stick to them because 'there's no save point until I finish this section'.

What can I do next?

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My husband is the same way. I let him play for a little while then If I need something I take the baby to him. Also if I need some me time, I take the baby in there with him and say here he needs some daddy time:)! BTW, we have a 7 month old boy. Sometimes I have to remind him that he has a family.

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My husband - no. Me - sometimes. But I'm better now! Games are a beautiful and attractive waste of time. I love them. It's almost meditation. But when all is said and done, what have you really accomplished after spending hours achieving the next level? Try to judge the level of your husbands addiction. Would he try to finish a level if the house were burning down around him? If yes, then the man needs some professional help. I try to put it in perspective. On the one hand, it keeps me from SPENDING money doing anything else. On the other hand, it keeps me from EARNING money doing anything else. I've trained myself to say (to myself) - 'it's just a game - I can play it again at any time' and with that I pull the plug and walk away. Not everyone can do this on their own. I also tell myself it's a great retirement plan - to be able to spend all day playing once all my work is all finished. Some day, I'll be able to play 24/7 if that's really what I want to do. But right now I've got a life to live in the real world with my family and I don't want to miss any of that.

1 mom found this helpful

I have the same problem... please share ideas...

I'm sorry LV but I had to giggle when I read your post! My son is 9 and I get that "excuse" all the time! :) My husband played pc games all the time when we were newly married before we had kids. There weren't PS3s or Wiis back then. He's "grown" out of it....not sure how young you guys are...but hopefully yours will too! Good Luck....I know first hand how frustrating this is!

Didn't read the other responses, but we don't have any game systems in our house because I saw what it did to my brother and sister in law. They divorced because he had a serious issue/addiction to gaming. She said the last straw was when she came home and her youngest was on the toilet crying and her husband was too busy playing games to help him. I know some people joke about it, but if you really think its an addiction, nothing will change if nothing changes.

YES!!!! My husband is definitely a gamer. He doesn't deny his addiction, but through time he has learned to control it. Also, I used to completely resent his playing, but then he asked me to play World of Warcraft with him. I was immediately addicted to that game (lol). Even though my husband is considered a gamer, I can easily find myself distracted with other hobbies and interests...when I get involved in a project my focus is 100% on it until I am finished. I no longer see the gaming as an addition, but as my husband's hobby/interest. I wouldn't appreciate him asking me to give up my interests so I try to see things from his perspective. After we found our balance, gaming hasn't been an issue. AND, it's also something we can do together at times. My latest addiction--Rock Band!

Oh my gosh, yes! It's not XBOX/PS3 tho, it's World of Warcraft (see another post below). I advise you to never let your dh get near this highly addicive PC game. Both my teen son & dh play it. My husband is worse than my ds, however. I can easily say I hate this game!
I've tried reasoning that speding so much time gaming was not setting a good example for our child, etc. but nothing worked. Finally I had to get angry...GRRR. Now we compromise. Dh plays a certain number of days per week and that's it. Lately he's spending more time in the real world and fewer in the virtual one. And what do you think results from this? Yes, more real things get done around the real house (too bad dragons are going un-slayed out there somewhere).
During game time, I now take time for myself ("me time" as opposed to "me working around the house while dh plays" time). I take time to read, catch up on email, do my nails or get a manicure, take a yoga class, etc. It makes the situation far less frustrating.

Good luck & thanks for sharing. It's good to know I'm not alone! ;)

~K. (of-the-real-not-virtual-world)

MY husband is beyond addicted. I ask strickly that he wait until after the kids go to bed to play. He does, but he plays for 6+ hours after that. There is no cure for my husband, but I am thankful that I know where he is, he's not out carousing and he's not drunk or anything else. I do insist that he spend at least one evening a week with me doing something I enjoy, Otherwise I take the time to engage in my hobbies.

Good luck.

No, but I think I could find the breaker-box if he was. ;-)


HAHA...Yes my husband is very addicted, but then again I am addicted to facebook. For my Husband, video games is a way to relax, and destress, which I totally understand. It can be very annoying at times, but he also takes the time to play them with the kids as well and will get off if I need him to do somethings. Just understand that he needs his time and its much better than other things he could be doing to occupy himslef. Just find things that you can occupy yourself with (like mine being facebook)

lol i laugh because my ex (you can guess why) started playing world of warcraft (WOW) several years ago. I quickly grew tired of being ignored FOR DAYS bc he was too involved in the game, so in order to spend time with him i started to play wow. it was a blast we had a great time and it wasnt long at all before i was addicted. well a year passed... me on my computer and him on his. It was almost like the only time we interacted was over the game. I decided then to fill his day with honey-dos that we would do together. while doing these lists it seemed that the conversation would always turn to wow. so when he was done he would jump on the computer... i felt horrible. i thought that it was me, so i started working out, cooking wonderful meals but saddly still going to bed alone. I got tired of being ignored so i went back to the only way i knew to interact with him... wow. so another year passed and i grew p@##%d that he would rather spend his time with a box than with me. so i was mentally DONE!! i spent the next 6 months planning where i could go and how i could recover from this neglect. the good part of this story is while i was on wow i met the wonderful man that is now in my life, but he lived 1200 miles away. I then realized that my ex had also met someone while on the game. so we decided then that it was officially over!!! so in a way i am greatful for wow. i finally found the love of my life... he moved to tx a year ago and has been an amazing partner in raising our little girl... and we still play wow... only in moderation!!

My husband is addicted too, although it's World of Warcraft on PC, and he also plays a live action role play (LARP) game, which is played in person once or twice a month and online some days. Sometime it's very annoying that he is so active with these games (the LARP is also a club with positions that members are elected to). But, as he says, it's his break from reality. I try to make sure he's not over-doing it. And I've learned that if he is doing the online LARP or even just chatting/emailing, if I need to talk to him, he has to stop and look at me or he won't be paying attention!! lol That really drives me crazy. He might say he's listening and then turn back to the computer & start typing, so I just stop talking LOL

When we were first married, my husband played as soon as he got home from school and work. He only got about 3 hours of sleep at night and ignored me our entire first two years of marriage. On an average day, he would play over 12 hours and an an average weekend, he would play about 40 hours.

There were even nights he stayed over at his parents house playing with his dad and I wouldn't see him for a whole day or two later.

Amazingly, I got pregnant (lol) and his gaming got worse. Not only that, but gaming for that long turns a person into a cranky, controlling, aggressive person, so the rare times he was aware in our relationship... he was mean and nasty, and started to become abusive.

To make matter worse, he wore a boom headset so that he is totally unaware. I could be dying and moaning and on fire right next to him and he wouldn't have a clue b/c of those headsets.

I actually left him, 8 months pregnant. I took him back under the conditions that he put a major time limit on his games and had a major behavior change.

It was a huge addiction that was ruining our lives. We only had one tv and no computer at the time, so I just sat alone for hours on end and cried. Really, it is the online gaming where people are calling him up and asking him to get on, inviting him to more parties and such that kept it going. But, these people have addictions too and probably no life or unhappy families as well.

Well, that was 7 years ago, and though we have had several relapses and my phases of internet addiction to deal with as a result of being ignored... we are still together with 2 children now and are quite happy.

We put nice little rules on the times he was allowed to play, but his addiction just started to creep back and then after another year, we had to get tough to nip it in the bud. Oh, and when he wasn't gaming, he was online at gaming sites looking up new reviews/games/conferences...

What we did was:

1. Sold all of his games except for his 2 or 3 favorites (we only did that maybe a year ago but I wished we had done it sooner).

2. He was only allowed to play for so many hours a day. Like another mom said, he had to eat with us and go to bed with us. No playing at all on Sundays b/c that was family day and Saturdays he could play all he wanted, so long as he helped with chores, cooking, being a parent, going to family outings...

3. Game content, when we had kids, I did not want certain violent games around my children. Those games are reserved for after kids go to bed, and I am even picky about what is allowed in. No scary zombies, evil weird gory games or with excessive cussing (he didn't play them much to begin with). First person shooter and such are okay.

4. An addiction cannot be overcome until it is replaced with something else. My husband got another hobby to help distract him. Also, playing to destress is okay, but if it is a game that causes stress, eliminate it and replace that with another activity or game.

5. We made more date nights, more outings with the family, anything to get us out of the house and away from the games.

6. We found a game we liked to play together. As odd as it sounds in our situation, we liked playing Fable or ezmuze or Mario and stuff together or with the kids. It helps him replace the game time as HIS time and turns it into a family activity.

As far as this statement, "because there's no save point until I finish this section'"... I would just go and turn it off and say that life doesn't have a save-point either. Well, first I would ask him to stop then at the next check-point and he would just start the cycle back up again.

Oh, we also had professional marriage counseling.

One thing my husband told me after he had his addiction under control, is that it didn't make him happy. He used it as an escape from life and that escape only made everything worse.

Also, now, he only plays for about 3 hours a night only about 3 nights a week. Uninterrupted and when the kids are asleep, and some weekends he plays more. He is a happier and more successful person as a result.

This talk is pretty long and on a religious note, but it helped my husband see how detrimental the gaming was to not only our family and relationship, but to him as an individual as well.


Good luck, it is a very tough road and I hope you all make it through it.

Like so many others that have posted, my husband is addicted to WOW. I did play for awhile with him, but I got to the point that I had so much to do I stopped. He can play 6 or more hours at a time. We did have a long discussion about his playing and laid a couple rules down.
1. he has to stay involved with the children.
2. he has to "tuck" kids in at night.
3. he has to eat when the family eats and not with his computer.
And although not a rule he now asks me if there is anything that needs to be done or helped with before he plays. I have found my own things to do so I don't feel neglected anymore. We have been married for almost 12 years and he has always been a gamer whether on his computer on PS2, game cube, PSP, etc....

I would sit and talk with him about his gaming, but do not force him to give it up, it would just be asking for tons of arguements. Also a caution, if your husband comes home with a World of Warcraft disk that someone says is cool, throw that thing away! Once he plays that is it!

My husband doen't play xbox or ps3 but he plays an online game. He plays after the kids have gone to bed and often stays up VERY late. I don't like it but it's HIS sleep he's sacrificing. Playing games during hours when kids are up is just too tough. I think it's a reasonable compromise to wait until the kids have gone to bed.

I'm in the same spot! My hubby sits on the computer playing counterstrike....I absolutely hate this game. Once the headphones go on the world around him doesn't exist. I sure would like some advice on how to keep me from the constant feeling of being married to a 15 year old.

I understand he needs his "me" time but I think 4+ hours a day is more than enough "me" time. But maybe I am a little selfish, but I don't leave the house but being a sahm is still work and I don't get even an hour of "me" time a day.

Oh My gosh I feel the same way it drives me crazy when I ask my husband to do something and he says I am almost done with this game. I feel that all he wants to do is play video game. I always disconnect the Internet.

I would suggest game nights. Perhaps twice per week or once per week and one Saturday per month or something like that. The downside of waiting until after the kids go to bed is that they will stay up late. It isn't just "his" sleep that is lost. It's your time too because they can be too grumpy to be with or they can spend the next night catching up on sleep. Either of which is just as bad as playing the games.

Also, this save point stuff. It's true. But I noticed that after playing one or two sections of a game, I had an idea of how long a section would take. So if it takes 30 minutes and there is only 15 minutes left, don't start the next section. Unfortunately, that means giving up 15 minutes of precious gametime. Not many will do that. (hahaha!)

hahhaha! I have to laugh because we have a Wii and can't turn off the game until my husband reaches a "save" point! You are right about the time constraints not working- plus I hate feeling like his mom telling him it's times up. I can offer a couple of suggestions that have helped with us- play with him- get a game that is a two player game and just sit for a couple of hours and play with your husband- think of it as an in-expensive date- or you need to catch him before he starts the game and get him involved in something else.
If I would like to watch a movie with my husband- I have to have everything ready to go before he turns on the game, or we get out a board game to play with the kids or use the "I don't want to inturupt your game, so can you help with this first?"
We do have the no video games on school nights rule- but that only works until the kids go to bed. One thing I have realized though is that the video gaming is one way my husband is able to unwind from work. When we lived closer to a park, he would go out and shoot baskets for a couple of hours to unwind. Sometimes guys need "me" time too, so keep that in mind and let him play for a little while.
Hope this helped a little! I know it can get frusterating- maybe it's time to just sit down by him with a good book while he plays!

XBox became a problem in our household as well and my sweet husband gave up his gaming system altogether. They just don't realize how quickly time passes when they get involved in the game.

My husband works full time but as soon as he comes home at 5pm he goes on the ps3 and doesnt come off until he goes to bed around 11pm. Im ignored totally. He bought me a laptop so I would go on that and not want to spend time with him; hes trying to get me hooked as well. He actually lost a job once due to gaming addiction.

My husband is the same way. I let him play for a little while then If I need something I take the baby to him. Also if I need some me time, I take the baby in there with him and say here he needs some daddy time:)! BTW, we have a 7 month old boy. Sometimes I have to remind him that he has a family.

Both my husband and I are gamers. My husband is a computer techie and I know it is his way to take a breather. So I've learned to handle most of the little things around the house and now that the girls and I watch tv in the other room, it relieves MY stress at watching him play. I would suggest playing with him once your baby is asleep (my middle daughter and husband play together) and suggest one day a week for the both of you to just be together. I'm arranging with my husband for once every six weeks we take a break and just be with each other. I own several businesses so if I complain about his games, I'll get it right back about being busy with work. So compromise - even if it is just a sitter and a movie (Avatar is great - don't get the game or you will never see him lol) or an evening out with dinner and a hotel (the new Hyatt in Garland is very nice) so you get one-on-one time.

Thanks for letting me feel I'm not alone!

My husband is not, but my brother is. I can't understand how his wife puts up with it. He gets so carried away on that thing that he forgets he is supposed to be somewhere, looks at the clock and realizes it's 3 in the morning and he was supposed to meet friends for dinner at 7pm.. He has become a recluse because of xbox and online poker. I would burn it if my husband was as hooked as my brother, just take it out back and spray it down with lighter fluid and prepare to roast marshmallows! Everybody deserves a hobby or some down time but an addiction is an addiction and my brother is addicted.

yes! before we had kids I used to play too, but now I just don't have the time. Now he plays but only when me and the kids are gone to my mom's on the weekends or after we all go to bed at night so it does not really cut into family time. If it is affecting your time together (and not just some time like all the time) then I would talk to him about it. It is just like anything else, if it is coming between you then it is a problem and needs to be addressed

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