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.



I am in a long-term relationship with a man who is very kind and polite to me but he is almost on autopilot and I feel like he never really listens to me. When I try to talk about my feelings, his eyes glaze over or he becomes even busier with work. How do I improve this relationship? I am not happy but I also care about him a lot and don’t want to leave him.

—Is There More Than This? (United States)


You can do your part but ultimately the relationship will not change unless he himself is willing to make some changes. Sometimes when people are working too much and perhaps not sleeping enough, this lifestyle can affect their cognitive functions such as focus or the ability to really listen. Another factor could be that some people feel overwhelmed when dealing with emotions (theirs or someone else’s) and they check out even more than they already are because they get overwhelmed and go unconscious to what’s going on around them or even inside of themselves.

Perhaps you can simply tell him how much you care about him and say that, because you care about him a lot and you’re invested in the relationship, you’d like to figure out a way that you can connect on a deeper level with each other. One thing you might want to try is couples therapy (and possibly individual therapy for him). Maybe you could also explore meditating together, or a grounding exercise like yoga or couples’ yoga, or spend more time together outside in nature where they are less distractions. You might even want to explore orgasmic meditation or tantra as well to help you both connect more deeply.

If he is unwilling to make any changes, you will need to decide whether the pleasure of being with him outweighs your feeling of not being heard or feeling like you are with someone on autopilot. Also, I encourage you to examine if this feeling of not being heard or of being on autopilot is something inside of you that he is simply reflecting back to you. I encourage you to work too to own your voice and your own consciousness and see if you start to notice some changes in him as you are working on yourself.

Much love.



My husband of twenty-three years is addicted to porn. He watches it on the Internet, staying up late at night in his office, and hides magazines in the garage and other places. His porn life has largely replaced our actual sex life and on the rare occasion we do have sex, I feel like a live blow-up doll and it makes me sick and I’m pretty much at the point I don’t even want him to touch me anymore. We’ve had many conversations and now fights about this but nothing ever changes. What do you recommend?

–Fed up (United States)


Porn addiction is an extremely common problem these days in “developed” countries. Whether porn itself is a problem depends on the couple and their agreement with each other, but when it’s affecting your satisfaction with the relationship, particularly in regards to your sex life, it is definitely a problem. And your comment that you feel like a live blow-up doll suggests that he isn’t emotionally or energetically present even when you two are actually having sex.

When someone’s addicted to anything—whether it’s porn, drugs, alcohol, or work, they’re usually running away from something in themselves, so it’s important that your husband get counseling or therapy to get to the root of this issue. Once he’s been in therapy for a little while, I would recommend couples’ counseling as well. Eventually, you might even want to look into taking a tantric class together so you can rebuild your relationship and sex lives on true intimacy, helping both of you be fully present in the new vibration of your relationship.

Great job at looking at this issue in your marriage.

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