I love my husband so much. We’ve been together twelve years, have two wonderful baby boys, and we never have a problem unless it’s about his obsession with video games. I don’t mind because I love playing as well but he doesn’t understand that sometime he goes overboard with his hours of playing and I would really like him to spend some more time playing with the kids. I’ve talked to him, I’ve taken his games away but nothing works. What can I do?
Thank you for sharing your situation. It’s always a good idea to try to figure out why people behave the way they do so you can talk about it in a constructive way. Perhaps you might consider having some calm and kind conversations where you talk with each other about what’s important to each of you in the relationship. Try the following exercise to make the process easier:
- One person talks calmly and kindly about something important for up to five minutes. Make sure you talk when you both have time, there are no interruptions and you’re not already in a conflict.
- The other person listens without interrupting, giving advice, reacting negatively, leading the conversation or rebutting in any way.
- The other person gets to talk for up to five minutes while the other listens.
- Repeat the process until both of you can talk about things that are important to you with no interruptions and the conversations feel natural.
Very often, people in relationships genuinely care about each other and want to work on things but don’t know how to work together on a solution that works for both of them. Practice this exercise until it feels natural and then both of you can talk about a solution that benefits both of you. The idea is for both people to win.
As you talk with your husband you’ll get a better idea about his perspective and he’ll learn about you. As you come together and understand each other you’ll both be more open to finding a common solution. Remember that you both deserve to be in a relationship where you can talk openly about the things that are important to each of you.