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The video game taboo should have died a long time ago; a recently published study from the Pew Research Center suggests that over half of Americans ages 18-49 play video games. But while gaming is more prevalent than ever, it remains mired in misconceptions. These stereotypes can plague marriages, particularly if one spouse games regularly and the other doesn’t.

Concerned spouses may wonder: does my partner’s hobby spell doom for our relationship? The answer, as is the case with all ‘problematic’ behaviors is: it depends. Spouses of gamers aren’t automatically doomed to divorce, but a lot depends on how the hobby is pursued and whether it takes precedence over other activities. The following factors could play a role in marriage quality among gaming spouses:

Time Spent Playing Games

Ask three different spouses what, exactly, constitutes ‘too much’ gaming and you’ll receive three different answers. There is no concrete point at which gaming becomes universally excessive. The specific number of hours may not be the real sign of trouble, but rather, whether extensive gaming time interferes with work, childcare, or other obligations.

Physical Health

Yes, DDR and Wii Fit exist, but no, most players do not focus on these physically-active games. Most gaming is sedentary, and often, accompanied by unhealthy beverages or snacks. Spouses who fail to maintain their physical health due to excessive gaming may experience moodiness and sexual dysfunction. Game-related sleep disturbances can also wreak havoc on marriages, particularly if gaming keeps both spouses awake at night.

Video games, like anything in life, warrant moderation. Couples who strike a game-life balance can enjoy blissful marriages. In fact, many claim that gaming is their favorite shared activity.

No matter the role gaming or other unique concerns play in your marriage or divorce, you can count on the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. for help. Reach out today for more information.