Dear Dr. Bill,
My husband and I have been married for a year and half and we’re expecting our first child in a few months. I’m concerned about his fascination with computer games — especially the ones that involve a lot of battles and war. Every night when he comes home from work, he goes straight to the computer and will play these games until 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning.
I’ve tried talking to him about the amount of time he spends gaming but he doesn’t seem to care. I’ll admit that I feel cheated since I don’t get to spend much time with him during the day. But now that the birth of our baby is approaching, I’m worried that our family will end up being 2nd place to a computer game. What should I do?
Heather, computer game addiction is becoming a real problem in many families, and obviously it’s impacting yours.
Most people consider addiction to be related to substances like drugs or alcohol. In reality, addiction can consist of anything that becomes such a priority to a person that he or she is willing to neglect friends, family, responsibilities--even their physical health in order to pursue it.
It may sound extreme, but 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 counselor in your area, one who has experience in dealing with addictive behavior.
In a best case scenario, your husband will admit he has a problem and be willing to get help for his addiction. But he may also 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.
Regardless of what course of action you take, you'll need the support of friends, family, and a caring therapist.
Thanks for writing Heather. If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, just click the “Questions” link on the Culture Connection page.