Addiction doesn't just ruin the addict but everyone around them. Technology has sure made life easy for all of us. But it has also brought up new challenges in our life. What makes matters worse is that there is very little awareness about these addictions. These addictions begin as a hobby and usually, it is difficult to know when these hobbies become life-threatening. It is difficult for the person who is addicted to free themselves of their addiction on their own. Support from family is a must in the journey towards a better life. If you think your spouse is addicted to video games, you have to help them get better. So, how do you help someone with video game addiction?
Here are 10 things to do when your husband is addicted to video games to help him overcome his addiction and save your relationship!
How do I know if my husband is addicted to video games?
Before we look at things you can do to help, it is important to know the signs of video game addiction. Not everyone who plays a lot of video games is an addict. Therefore, it is important to know the difference.
Video game addicts get depressed or anxious when they are not playing. They worry about the game all the while that they are not playing it. They keep thinking about the game all the time.
As the addiction gets worse, they will stop doing other things that brought them joy. Their video games are the only thing that brings them any joy. Everything else loses its value as the addiction grows.
Because of this, their addiction starts to adversely impact their jobs too. they are not as focused as they used to be. There performance drops and issues at the workplace arise.
They get defensive when you try to point out that they play too much. Any attempt at separating them from their video games is met with extreme hostility.
1. Don't be a part of his addiction as a way of helping him out
If you and your husband have different interests, it might be a good idea to develop an interest in some of the things he likes. It is a good way of strengthening your relationship. But if you see signs of a gaming addiction in your husband, then this is the last thing that you should do. If you become a part of this environment, you will be enabling him rather than helping him out. You are not shifting his focus away from the games.
2. Start a conversation about the gaming when he is not playing
The first step in addressing this issue is to start a conversation. Your spouse doesn't know how their addiction is affecting you. In fact, they don't realize that their passion has turned into an addiction. Therefore, it is important to make them realize what's happening around them. However, you need him to be paying attention to what you are saying. So, the conversation cannot be had when he is playing the game because 90% of his attention will be there when you are talking to him. You have to choose the right moment when he is not stressed about the game and can pay attention.
3. Discuss but don't complain
You won't be able to help them by making this an intervention. This has to be a two-way conversation where your spouse participates as much as you do. So, maybe start with something like, “You have been spending a lot of time playing video games these days. It's not usually like this. Is everything ok?” Try to understand why they think they act the way they do. In this way, make them realize how their actions are impacting the people around them. Approach this in a way of making them aware of what's happening and show concern about their well being. Don't blame him or complain.
4. Don't make assumptions
When trying to understand where his addiction stems from, don't make assumptions. More important is not calling it an addiction. The moment you call it addiction the stigma with the word clouds the conversation. He will get hostile and probably not be interested in continuing the conversation. The idea is to get him to introspect. If you make assumptions about his actions, he will get defensive rather than seeing everything with an open mind.
5. Reach for compromises rather than a complete ban
You cannot help him overcome his addiction by getting rid of all the video games in the house. Or by putting a blanket ban on them. He will find a way to play, inside the house or somewhere else. The path to healing begins with small compromises. Ask him to spend some of the time that he spends playing video games on something else that he likes. For example, he can start by spending half an hour of the time he spends on video games to take a walk.
6. Make suggestions, not rules
When helping him develop new habits, it is important to let him make the decisions. If you force things onto him, he might not be able to live up to them. This will weaken his morale and any progress which is made will be lost. Give suggestions on what can be done, but don't make iron-clad rules. Give him the freedom to decide where he wants to start and how. Motivate him to stick to the decision he makes. It is more important for him to stay devoted to getting better rather than getting instant results.
7. Avoiding the issues won't make them go away
It isn't impossible for you to get frustrated and give up when things don't work at the pace that you expect. There will be ups and downs. He might fall back into his old patterns too sometimes. In these times, it might be a good strategy to not worry too much and give him some space. But that is different from ignoring what is in front of you. He still needs your help. While you shouldn't be pushy, you should keep a track of his activities and bring him back on the path to progress when he strays.
8. Don't get frustrated if he doesn't respond immediately
Like I said above, he might relapse sometimes too. Recovery from an addiction is a roller coaster ride. You just need to prepare yourself for the long haul. It might be difficult to get him on board with the idea of recovery. There is a very strong chance that he won't even see that there is a problem. You need to focus on finding solutions. Look for different ways to reach out to him. You know him well enough to know what will work and what won't. And you never know, he might surprise you too.
9. Be compassionate
His addiction is a problem that he needs to overcome. It might be affecting your life, but it is affecting his life the most. Therefore, getting angry at him or frustrated at the situation will not help him at all. Be compassionate about what he is going through. Try to help him the best you can and leave the rest to him. It is equally important for you to focus on yourself. You don't want to lose yourself, as you try to help him out.
10. Seek professional help
If you feel that the situation is beyond your control now, then it is best to seek professional help. Don't feel disheartened if your methods are not able to help him. The goal here is to help your husband recover. If you have to get help from a counselor, then that is just as good as doing it yourself. The hard part, however, will be to convince him to see a therapist in case he is not open to the idea. Find him a support group that motivates him in the right direction.