Dear Dr. Bill,
My husband and I have been married for 3 years and he is addicted to videogames. We have an 11-month-old baby and I’m pregnant with another child. My husband doesn’t help with our daughter and I'm afraid this will continue with our next child. He doesn't do anything when he's home but play videogames and on weekends he plays for 9 to11 hours at a time. Please help me — I don’t know what to do.
Video game addiction has become a real problem in many families, and sadly it’s impacting yours.
Most people consider addiction to be related to substances like drugs or alcohol. But addiction can consist of anything that becomes such a priority to a person that he or she is willing to neglect friends, family, responsibilities and even their physical health in order to pursue it.
Given your description, your husband may require a formal intervention, such as the type used in dealing with an alcoholic. I’d suggest you consult with a licensed Christian therapist in your area, one who has experience in dealing with addictive behavior.
It’s likely that the counselor will enlist the help of your pastor or some of your husband’s friends or family members. He will coordinate a time when a group of you will sit down with your husband and confront him about the extent of his problem.
In a best case scenario, he will admit that he has a problem and will willing to get help for his addiction. But there’s also the possibility that he will react defensively and deny that there’s anything wrong with his behavior. In that case you’ll need to make some tough choices about what to do next.
I’d encourage you to get a copy of Dr. James Dobson’s book “Love Must Be Tough.” It will provide you with some practical guidance as you move forward.
Thanks for writing Susan. If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Culture Connection page.