…for Gen X and younger is a fairytale! Much to my wife’s dismay.
My wife has been pondering the answer to the caption above for 19 years. We dated for 2 and have been married for 17. Early on, she probably accepted it moreso than now. I was early to mid 20’s and most guys engaged in some level of video games. Little did I know she had an expectation that over time I might lose interest and no such thing has occurred. For those of you ladies reading, maybe a support group can be formed because my bet is your husband is no exception. BUT, as all things allow…compromise can be found. I will share the balance I try to keep as well as a couple reason’s why generation X is still gaming.
When will these guys grow up?
The problem is that’s a bad question. It implies that a certain level of maturity is missing in those that enjoy games yet there are all kinds of other types of games (board games, card games) we played as kids that plenty of adults still engage in. Plus there is a maturity rating on video games and many are specifically made for an adult crowd based on content. Game makers realized they had the first generation (80’s kids) that grew up gaming. That they had to mature with their audience while continuing to appeal to the younger generations as well. I certainly do not advocate for any man to shirk his other responsibilities in life with a hyper focus on becoming a video game pro, sitting on the couch, eating Cheetos, leaving everything else up to his spouse and family. But if this is an interest, a hobby, or just a way to enjoy yourself for a little while letting the stress of work melt away, then I am all for it. To me its no different than other relaxing activities like reading a book.
I would still play even if I did not have kids. We have a Wii and a PlayStation console. I enjoy games on both platforms from the most basic Mario adventure to the more complicated Overwatch mayhem. But if you have kids, they likely enjoy video games and who better to teach them and even team up with them than dear old dad. Fact is my oldest son still cannot beat me on several games although he can tear me a new one on Fortnite. I get back at him by doing Fortnite dances in front of his friends. Even his twin sister enjoys playing Minecraft with me and my 8 year old son joins in on the fun with other games like Rocket League. Many an hour of belly laughing fun and bonding has occurred with me and my three over some good game-time.
Any topic of interest whether it’s camping, cycling, crafting, boating, cooking, or underwater basket weaving can become too highly prioritized. That, I believe, is what may cause strife with any husband and wife duo over the topic of gaming. If its too high on your priority list, then you have crossed the line and need to come up with balance. Your wife should not feel like games are more important than her. She should not worry about the amount of time you dedicate to it and whether or not you are going to perform your part in the family unit. Simply put, be a man…not a man-child. These are the general guidelines I set for myself:
1. I typically only play when my wife is completely and utterly otherwise occupied. Out running errands, out shopping, unavailable for me to hang out with or help in some way.
2. If she is home, again only when she is occupied and will not mind or on the weekend when kids can certainly be involved.
3. Whether gaming with children or on my own, I try to limit my total time to less than one hour.
4. Allow for your wife to have indulgences that you don’t find particularly awesome…like shopping at Target! Or more recently for my wife, Hobby Lobby (post soon to come on that trip).
Let me know in the comments what your gaming horizon looks like in your home and how you feel about it.
That’s my two cents…keep the change.