We get letters...
It seems like every year, we hear stories like this one, but don't put much credence into them until it happens in our own home. Today, we have a letter from a listener who's husband is starting to let technology get in the way of his patriarchal duties:
I live in Plainview and have a problem with my husband, who's from Lubbock, that started just after the holidays. We've been married for 25 years, and he's been a great husband and father to our kids. However, on Christmas, I got him a PlayStation 5. Since then he has almost completely cut off our family to sit in front of the TV and play that stupid game every chance he gets. When he comes home from work, he turns on the game and starts killing zombies or something for hours on end. He won't even come to the dinner table anymore, and doesn't come to bed until well after midnight after playing his game. How can I get him to put down the controller, and reconnect with his family? I just wanted to do something nice for him and I feel like I made a serious mistake. Please help, Thanks. (name redacted)
So, this guy gets a new PS5 and decides that World of Warcraft (or something), is more desirable than the real world, right? Obviously, this brings up questions.
Is the game interfering with going to work and providing for the family? If not, I'd imagine that our hero needs a little time to blow off steam, depending on his job.
Also, when you say he's "cut himself off" from the family, is he locked away in a spare bedroom or is he playing in the living room?
Admittedly, I'm in my early 50s and love video games as well. However, I see both sides to this argument. This could be a "release" of some sort for your husband, in that if he's never had the opportunity to play games in the past, this may be a new shiny toy that he may eventually get over. The "newness" needs to wear off. After all, you just got this for him a couple of weeks ago and the novelty is still there.
Plus, if he's still working hard and putting food on the table, that's a plus. But, yes, the key is to draw up healthy times and boundaries for him to enjoy his game and still be a great husband to you and father to his kids.
Or see if there's a game that the two of you can enjoy together and make it a family activity. After all, there's no activity that a wife enjoys more than sitting on the couch next to her husband killing radioactive zombies in tandem...right?