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A First-Aid Kit for Gaming Widows

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If your significant other is so into video and online gaming you feel like you aren’t in a relationship anymore, have I got a to-do list for you: 1) Pack Your Bags, and 2) Leave the Premises.

If this is too simple and insensitive for your tastes, perhaps you’d rather attempt to win back the man of your dreams by rewarding approximations of behavior and using creative distraction. If this sounds to you like an out-of-context excerpt from Parent magazine, you’re not alone, but before you think anyone’s suggesting a woman should treat a man like a child, the list goes on to include deceit and dress-up. The latter is a little iffy; could go either way –- child or adult. Let’s see how it plays out (pun intended).

In “Seven Ways to Win Back Your Gaming Spouse,” Yahoo!’s Mike Smith advises gaming widows to incorporate aspects of the gaming world into their marriages and domestic lives in an attempt to woo their loved ones away from virtual reality. From the use of positive reinforcement (mimic a game sound when he does something good around the house) to turning off the electricity, Mr. Smith’s to-do list reads more like a parenting manual for those women whose children have ADHD and/or are teenagers.

If the idea of a wife playing mother to her man doesn’t turn the Mrs.’s stomach, perhaps she could turn her desire to be desired over to Milla Jovovich by watching many a gamer’s favorite, Resident Evil, with her beloved. Once your sweetie is all fired up, and before the movie ends, Mr. Smith advises moving it to the bedroom, donning game character costumes, and kicking it up a notch with night-vision cameras. These kinds of costumes and cameras are not difficult to find, according to Mr. Smith.

While sharing in your spouse’s interests and sexual role-playing is all good and fine, it should cause at least a bit of bristling on the back of any woman’s neck that this “how-to” list includes both time-honored parenting techniques and blatant manipulation of a grown person. If your sweetheart must be bribed or tricked into doing something, it’s a good bet his heart — or any other body part you were hoping would participate — won't be in it, especially once he realizes he’s been had.

If your husband responds to what works on a child, it’s a good bet you married someone whose body is grown, but whose mentality isn’t old enough to drive, vote, or buy liquor, much less raise a child of his own. It should come as no surprise to gaming widows, then, when the same man who is avoiding housework suddenly avoids work altogether, or uses his work to fund his hobby instead of paying his share of the bills.

Apparently it’s too much to ask that a grown man act like a grown man. I don’t even want to think about how Mr. Smith would advise sports widows and those whose husbands’ addiction to porn has rendered them unable to perform with a real woman.

You know, ladies, there are men who act like men –- even as they enjoy the occasional game, online or on the course. It’s a fiery red flag of trouble that will only worsen over time when you find yourself in a relationship with a man who would rather (insert distancing behavior here) than (insert desired behavior here). If you’re determined to take that red flag into marriage, be sure to pick up some bleach on your way. You’ll need it later to whiten the cloth for your surrender.

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About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.
  • Teri

    Uh oh, you’re starting to sound a little like Dr. Laura!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/diana_hartman Diana Hartman

    heh heh…except i didn’t call the wife a whore…

  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/39420/joanne_huspek.html Joanne Huspek

    I wonder if this method will work on Type A personality workaholic spouses?