The Video Game Epidemic

This is a bit of a ranty one, reader beware.

The only thing my husband wants for Christmas is Sony’s Playstation VR.  He is absolutely never getting it.  Here’s why:

I occasionally enjoy seeing or spending time with my husband, and electronics make that very difficult.  He is a computer technician by trade and works full-time from home as a support specialist for our company’s CRM system.  His days is broken up into the following chunks:

  • On the computer answering computer questions for work.
  • On the computer waiting for a call.
  • On computer for fun.
  • Watching television while eating.
  • Playing solitaire on phone while watching television while not eating.
  • Listening to music with noise cancelling headphones while cooking/scooping cat litter/using the restroom/etc.
  • Playing video games.
  • Going to sleep listening to an audio book with noise cancelling headphones.

It sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I’m not, and to prove it, I want to tell you about yesterday.

Yesterday, I got up at 2:00am to clear off my car and prepare for my snow-trek to my job 90 miles away.  I started work at 6:00am and worked until 3:30pm, at which time I drove home and arrived at 6:00pm.  During this time, I can only assume that he was sleeping and working, which for him is 8:30am until 5:30pm.  When I arrived home, he was still browsing the internet.  I announced I was going to do some yoga, then shower, and he should make dinner.

I yoga’d and showered and reappeared in the kitchen where he was finishing up dinner with his headphones on.  I raised my voice to my “outside voice” to see how he was doing, and was greeted with a gesture to his headphones and “What?”.  I mimed taking the headphones off.  He rolled his eyes and lifted one ear slightly.  I shook my head and walked away.  Not worth it for small talk, especially since he was clearly disinterested.  I’m reading these signs correctly, right?

We sit down for dinner, which is always in the living room with a television show because he refuses to eat at the dinner table (I surrendered this fight a long time ago) and at any rate there are shows we watch together that we won’t see unless we do it in this time.  He sits on the floor at the coffee table, I sit on the couch.  When he finishes eating, he pulls out his phone and climbs on the far side of the couch and plays solitaire.  I run through the finances quickly on my laptop to make sure we’re still green (barely, ack, Christmas) and put my laptop down to finish the show.  We play another couple episodes.  A couple times, I ask him to put the phone down, and both times he reminds me that he likes to play on his phone while he watches television.  I give up.

Around 9:00pm, I say I’m heading to bed, because seriously, I’ve been up since 2:00am.  No acknowledgement.  I do as I say I’m going to… then toss and turn for a couple hours and don’t fall asleep.  This is vexing because I need to be up at 3:00am the next morning and I need sleep.  Finally, at about 11:00pm, I crack and ask him to come to bed.

He gives me a look.  It’s the teeth-clenched, eyes-narrowed, are-you-freaking-kidding-me-right-now? look.  I stop, look at the screen, and frustrated, say, “Oh no.  You’re playing video games.  Or course you won’t.”.  That was a bit snippy and unnecessary, I suppose, but I was tired.  I go back in and eventually fall asleep.  He still doesn’t come in.

3:00am this morning.  My alarm goes off.  The bed is empty.  Light trickles under the door.  I curse out loud, because seriously?  I have to get up for the day now, and lo-and-behold, he’s still playing video games.  I snap at him and he begrudgingly packs up and goes to bed.  I get ready for my day, and here I am.  I am left to presume he was gaming for the last 6 hours and ignored all the precautionary alarms on his phone which are supposed to keep him from doing just that.

Not all days are as bad as this – he usually stumbles in around 1:00am and wakes me up then (he thinks he’s quiet, but he’s not) and I go to sleep for another couple hours.  Some nights it’s just computer browsing, not gaming, but… do I have a right to be frustrated?  I feel like this is not one of my overdramatic things, because the immersion in electronics is an epidemic for him, one we’ve discussed (read: I’ve reminded him of and he’s shrugged off and disagreed about) multiple times.

I have no issues with computer time.  I have no issues with video games – I play them myself on the weekends, if I have any spare time.  I do have issues with the fact that it seems like my husband is swimming in ones and zeroes all day every day and doesn’t even want to come up for air.  I even have to directly ask for intercourse… we won’t go into how I feel about that whole process, but it’s not like I’m the blocker there, either.

I don’t know.  I’m starting quite to feel like it’s just me and he’s using the electronics to flee from me, to the point where he’d rather not speak to, see, or sleep with me if it can be avoided.  The last month and a half it’s gotten worse and worse, and I’m at my wit’s end about what I can do about it.

Sigh.

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I strive to be intelligent, creative, brave, strong, patient, kind, and happy. What more is there in this world?

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