In a way this is sort of cute, but it can get nasty and they can push things until they explode and then the issue isn’t video games (or whatever), but the fact they are hurting each other in a fight or avoiding each other altogether.
Take the above words “Play Video Games” and replace it with:
- work in the shop
- work on his race car
- watch TV
- or whatever
and you end up with the same pattern: she complains; he resists. I’m pretty sure this pattern has gone on for thousands of years across all cultures, times and eras.
She’s thinking: I can’t believe he doesn’t grow up. I can’t believe he can’t see that I do everything around here and he’s taking advantage of me. I can’t believe he won’t change this. If he doesn’t take my ideas to heart, he must not love me or even want to be with me. It’s so simple. I don’t feel he hears anything I say. Why am I even here? He’s taking advantage of me. Everything has to be his way. He’s such a control freak.
He’s thinking: I can’t believe she won’t just relax. She can’t enjoy life. Everything is work and has to be her way. I can’t even relax in my own home. I’m an adult and don’t need another mom. I’m already working hard and she doesn’t appreciate it. She treats me like I’m 2. At least when I’m doing _____ I don’t have to worry about her unhappiness. Nothing makes her happy. I’m a piece of crap. Why did she marry me anyway? I can’t do anything right. She used to be fun. I have to relax somehow. Everything has to be her way. She’s such a control freak.
You can see how these attitudes can slip couples into complete avoidance of each other or a pretty hostile environment where mean things are being said and thought or even where they slip into physical altercations and before you know it someone’s had to call the police. Oh, boy.
Here’s a very curious fact: The average divorce is at 7.2 years.
Here’s a very curious fact number 2: Men take a little longer (on average) to grow up than women.
Here’s a very sad fact number 3) They divorce just about the time he’s starting to reach her maturity level.
Here’s an encouraging thought: With a little guidance from a guy like myself who has a little savvy the couple could have risen above this problem, learned to figure it out, come to a meeting of the minds, learn to handle their differences with a little more tact, figured out how to work as a team to reduce their hostility and learn to solve their problems together. Love is patient, after all! I wouldn’t say 7.2 years is very patient.
Still, I wouldn’t say playing video games four hours after work or even more every day is a very mature thing to do. I can see why it is really irritating and it very well may slow down your husband’s development as an adult. But your blowing up about it or cutting your husband out of your heart or your harboring resentments isn’t exactly helping the situation either and keeps you from being all you can be as a person and as a couple. It can seem like a log jam and you can’t get unstuck.
That’s where we come in.