Couples Conflict: TV vs. Online Gaming - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1859 Words
Date:  2023-01-11


For many years, television and football have been a traditional source of conflict between many couples. This came with the spouses fighting for the TV for attention. However, in recent times, the new form of entertainment that is taking over is online gaming (Blaxhall). The young boys and girls who were the pioneer generation to spend most of their childhoods engrossed in the virtual reality of video games are now grown and gotten into romantic relationships and marriages. It is, therefore, vital to understand how modern marriages cope up with this advancement.

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While it may seem obvious for adults to spend hours playing computer/video games, a repeated activity or a hobby may easily translate into an obsession which may result in friction in the marriage. I believe that too much of anything is poisonous, and video games are not left out. They are a thing that people, irrespective of their age, can easily get addicted to. I have never met a casual, adult gamer; it is either all into it or not into it at all (Austin). Video games are very atypical in nature. They draw one from reality and take them far more than other activities that are accessible just by the touch of a button.

Gaming is, therefore, a very sensitive topic and regrettably something that has a negative impact on a lot of marriages. While gaming on its own may not necessarily ruin one's marriage, its precedence on the gamer over his/her marital responsibilities may ruin your marriage (Aaron & April). Gaming may not be interference on you or your spouse of you enjoy playing together, as this enhances the bonding among you. However, if you feel distant from your spouse, or get constantly nagged by your significant other regarding your gaming habit, it would be time to pause and think about the effect the habit is having on your marriage. I experienced the same thing, as an addicted video gamer and realized the following ways in which video games hurt my relationship without my knowledge.

It encourages emotional cheating. Most of the video games are a subset of larger universes where gamers join online communities and forums and have live conversations via headsets with other gamers. In the process, as a gamer, I end up talking to other gamers, who are people I barely know, about my personal lives more than I talk to my significant other. This encourages a more and real emotional connection with the other gamers than with the person that I am obliged to, who is my wife. This may negatively affect my relationship.

It creates a false sense of stress on the gamer. Video games increase the heart rate and cause me to feel like I'm under stress. Therefore, the more the time I'm engaged in the games the more the body and mind are exposed to pressure and stress. The effect of this constant exposure to non-beneficial things would be felt in my marriage the moment I lose a game, either fairly or unfairly. The result of the stress coupled with the loss of the game would cause me to feel irritated and short with my partner as if what had taken place was a real problem (Hertlein & Hawkins).

I was forgetting that it is all fake and just cyber-related issues, while the real interaction with my wife was getting interfered with. This influence may also be accompanied by the types of games that I play. Some genres are totally harmless, while others are extremely sensual and violent. Therefore, the constant exposure to violence, harsh language and sexuality may influence me to think, feel and act in a manner that may not appear pleasant (Coyne et al.). I may get easily agitated, snap my spouse or become less impatient and caring as a result of the games I play.

It leads to the nagging of one of the partners. As a gamer, I constantly put my partner in a position where she had to nag consistently. "It's time to sleep," "we'll be late," "You still haven't checked the mailbox..." all these issues come to life just because the video games have taken my attention. This may also come in handy when it comes to emotional satisfaction. We would not go to bed together as I would take her thought of going to sleep early as an excuse to stay up and continue to a video game. This would kill our sex life. Such nagging result in conflict, misunderstanding and later disagreements in marriage (Redmond).

It creates an exclusive club with other gamers. Highly skilled gamers usually develop their own language with other gamers. That was the same case as mine. We had stipulated jargon for the game, which makes it more interesting and exclusive. This also causes the game to consume our minds and conversations (Smith). However, the impact is felt in my wife as she felt left out since the conversations are centered on things that she knows nothing about. Excessive video gaming, therefore, means that she is constantly left out and in the process ceases to be part of my world, which she is supposed to. This may result in poor emotional connection and communication as she would feel less valued (Redmond).

It leads to petty fights, i.e., fights over the TV. While this may not seem like a big deal, it surely is and may even result in serious quarrels and disagreements. Excessive playing of video games involves constantly sitting in front of the TV for over five or six hours a day. Moreover, the other partner would never find the TV unoccupied and would be forced to always ask me to stop what I was doing, so she can watch something. This acts, if not taken carefully would be the cause of conflicts and misunderstandings in the marriage.

One prefers gaming to getting on simple errands with their partners. This may also not sound like a major issue, but is quite vital especially for a couple. Excessive video games cause me to prefer gaming than accompany my wife on simple errands such as those that involve going to the grocery store. This causes us to miss out on some vital bonding time, which plays an important role in getting us to know each other better (Smith). Performing such duties alone at the expense of playing video games would result in detrimental effects on our marriage as one party would start feeling lonely or with more obligations than the other.

It brings the feeling that life is boring. There are times that video games create worlds that are so enticing and thrilling than the real one. In the process, I would start to feel discontent and even depressed about my life. On the other side, my wife would feel lonely and bored, since she would be forced to undertake all the responsibilities in the house by herself. This can easily cause an emotional disconnect among us and establish a perception in us that life is very boring, which is critical for a marriage.

It establishes a false sense of control. The gaming world provides a player with a lot of control. As gamers, we are loaded with weapons, directions and control the players the way we feel like to attain a specific goal (Coyne et al.). We have total control over our characters, what they can do, how we treat them and what they do for us. Excessive gaming may cause us to have these thoughts and attitudes embedded in us to the extent that we start thinking that we have the same power in the relationship. In the actual, or real sense, we do not. Exercising such controls in the house results in marital conflicts, which have negative impacts on the relationship.

It contributes to financial problems. Gaming isn't free. The games and their accompanying equipment come along with some financial burden. Some games are quite expensive. Therefore, as an excessive gamer, I would be forced to chip into my pocket to obtain the necessary tools required at the expense of my family. Moreover, the time that would have been invested in working towards my financial goals as a married person, would be spent in playing games that add no value to the family. This may result in a heavy financial burden not only to me but also to my better half, and this would ultimately result in conflicts accompanied by our inability to sustain ourselves. The time should be better spent working extra hours at a part-time job to save more funds or even set up financial goals for the family.

All these do not justify that gaming is bad, or that gamers in one way or another make poor spouses. It is important to have some entertainment time as a couple or even alone. Moreover, gaming also has a positive side of bonding couples together, which is a vital ingredient for marriage. However, this is only applicable in scenarios where both partners enjoy gaming. The context of the essay is that, just like many other things, i.e., alcohol, gaming, if left unchecked, would become addictive, distorting and damage your marriage. It can easily distract one from the most valuable and wonderful relationships in their life. Studies show that excessive gaming is often aligned with anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. It causes the addicts to develop a distorted view of reality and cause them to be emotionally detached (Blaxhall).

If you are caught-up in excessive gaming and are experiencing such issues, then it's time to make some adjustments. This can start by setting time limits for gaming and not letting gaming to be the only reality. Focusing most of your time and energy on your family and marriage would bring farfetched joy and more fulfillment and meaning that any existing game (Aaron & April). After an analysis of the effects of gaming on my marriage, I made a vow to become game-free. I vowed to be closer to my family than ever before and to endeavor to improve my relationship with those that I love and truly matter in my life.

Works Cited

Aaron, Jacob and April Jacob. Is gaming ruining your marriage?, 2017.

Austin, Julia. How Video Games Harm Relationships More Than You Think., 2018.

Coyne, Sarah et al... Gaming in the game of love: Effects of video games on the conflict in couples. Interdisciplinary journal of applied family studies.

Hertlein, Katherine and Hawkins, Blendine. Online gaming issues in offline couple relationships: A primer for marriage and family therapists (MFTs)., 2012.

Redmond, Dustin. The effect of video games on family communication and interaction. IOWA State University, 2010.

Smith, Jamie. The relationship between video game use and couple attachment behaviors in committed relationships. Scholars archive, 2013.

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Couples Conflict: TV vs. Online Gaming - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 11). Retrieved from

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