An Xbox ate her marriage

(Nick Galifianakis for The Washington Post)
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By Carolyn Hax
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 8, 2010; 12:00 AM

Dear Carolyn:

A little more than a year ago, I married my wonderful husband. Things were great between us, until his mother bought him an Xbox for Christmas.

My 34-year-old husband now spends, literally, every waking moment playing video games. Before, we used to enjoy cooking dinner together in the kitchen; now he plays when he gets home from work while I cook alone. He stays up late and plays while I sleep. He plays instead of doing any kind of chores around the house. He is not the least bit embarrassed to play when friends come over.

I have repeatedly asked him to curtail his game-playing, to no avail. I feel like I married a small child, and that gaming has taken over our marriage. I do not know what to do.

Newlywed No More

Have you been blunt with him, and said that you essentially see your marriage as over?


I have told him, repeatedly, how much his game-playing obsession offends me. It has become a sore topic. Yet he continues to play for hours on end. I refuse to attempt a conversation while he's playing and leave the room if it's on.

At first, I figured it was just a phase. Now, I view it as an addiction consuming our marriage. And his family gave him a gift card for more games! I fear what they will give him this Christmas.


Saying it offends you is different from saying, "I feel like I married a small child," or that you don't feel as if you have a husband anymore.

His neglect will alienate you to the point where you no longer love him or want to remain married; you can plan on it. Often, though, the only thing that wakes spouses up to the possibility of getting dumped is the sight of the other spouse actually leaving, with no interest in coming back.

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