I am a professional man in my fifties and I am in management and make a lot of money. The thing is I spend a lot of time playing video games in the evenings and on the weekends. It helps me wind down. However, this is not going down well with the wife and she wants me to go to therapy. I do not think this is an issue that warrants a therapist as it doesn’t interfere with work and at least I am not out getting drunk and sleeping around. She reads your column and I want to know if you agree with me.

—Gamer (United States)


You didn’t mention how much time you spend gaming so let me just ask you a few questions. Are the video games taking a disproportionate amount of your free time? Is your urge to play video games out of control sometimes? For example, are you unable to relax without playing video games? Do you feel like you sometimes use games as a way of avoiding dealing with stress or dealing constructively with the cause of stress? If the answer to these questions is yes, you may want to explore therapy and figure out alternative ways of winding down. Maybe even fun stuff, including more quality private time and also couples time, including sex!

Think about these questions. It seems that the games are causing some stress in your marriage. It sounds like your wife would like more quality time with you and also would like you to be more emotionally present with her rather than playing games. Is there some way you and your wife could compromise, perhaps spending more quality time together while still giving you time to decompress by playing the games.

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