How To Help Boyfriend Or Husband Who Is Addicted To Video Games?

Does the husband play video games instead of helping with the baby?

Should you be mad at my boyfriend for playing video games?

How to get your boyfriend to stop playing video games and pay attention to you?

All right, gamer’s girls, before saying for sure “my boyfriend is addicted to video games”, let’s briefly recap the gaming addiction series before we face off here.

We first talked about the assumptions of Gaming Addiction (a.k.a. the “dark side”) in PART 1 – “Are You Or Your Gamer Boyfriend Having Gaming Addiction?. In PART 2 – “How To Stop Gaming Addiction? – Effects & Treatments, we went into more detail about what kind of addiction gaming is and how it affects your Gamer’s behavior and priorities. We began our return from the “dark side” at the end of PART 2, by making small changes to our Gamer’s habits. Unfortunately, that’s just the beginning of our journey.

Once a GG really starts to pull their Gamer from Vader’s grasp, GGs themselves, are confronted with their own “dark side.” Never underestimate the force! The force is tricky, and while you have the power to help, you also have the power to harm. So, beware, and watch your step! The force is strong with you, so, do not waiver from the task at hand.

As an addict, it can easily be overwhelming to seek treatment. It can make you feel judged, alienated, and embarrassed. Sometimes, just the act of looking for help can make a Gamer recess deeper into the game. This is where a GG’s support comes in. Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill to change psychological addiction. There’s no perfect recipe for a successful turnaround. There is, however, a general process to go through that’s on point with self-help. That doesn’t mean a Gamer has to “go it alone,” but they take responsibility for their recovery with the help of their GG. Below is the Process of Change that GGs can expect their Gamers to go through:

Process of Change:

  • Conscious Raising – Your Gamer will begin to seek info to gain understanding or feedback about the problem.
  • Counter Conditioning – He/She will begin to interweave substitutions for “over gaming.”
  • Dramatic Relief – They will begin to express feelings about game addiction.
  • Environmental reevaluation – Your Gamer will assess how the problem affects their physical and social environment.
  • Helping Relationships – Your Gamer will begin trusting and accepting support from others (A GG plays a big role here).
  • Reinforcement Management – They will offer themselves rewards for good behavior.
  • Self-Liberation – The Gamer will make a choice and commitment to change.
  • Self-Reevaluation – He/She will reappraise their personal values with respect to Gaming Addiction.
  • Social Liberation – They will accept their alternative lifestyle.
  • Stimulus Control – They will take control of situations and other causes which trigger the problem behavior.

To be honest, I think this process is equality, if not more important, for GGs to understand. If you notice, self-assessment and a commitment to change aren’t at the top of the list. Also, the process indicates several steps to be taken before “Helping Relationships” are introduced. (If you recall from PART 2, GGs can easily be viewed as the enemy.) 

Understanding this process can make or break a Gamer’s return from the “dark side.” The Gamer, first, has to recognize he’s either wavering on the edge or already dancing with the devil. That already makes up for four steps on its own! Oftentimes, a GG expects the process of change to be quick and simple. They think, “Well, if I could do it, so could he.” But remember, YOU reversing “over gaming” would, of course, be easy, because you’re not addicted to it. Using the “overeater” analogy, unless you’ve ever been fat or put on a fat suit, it’s difficult to imagine what it’s like to lose all that weight.

Especially, when confronted with setbacks and ingrained behaviors. A GGs support is pivotal on a Gamer’s return from the “dark side.” Calling them fatty and praying for an overnight change is only going to get your hopes up. And when all your little hopes come crashing to the ground, you’ll build an unwarranted resentment and doom the project to failure. You must use the force wisely. Who’d thought you had so much power, huh ladies?

GGs, go through the end of PART 2, review how you can begin to implement changes in your Gamer’s behavior, and stick with it. The process of change isn’t an overnight revelation. It’s habitual reprogramming. After you’ve successfully implemented a few changes, it will snowball and make new changes easier to digest and your Gamer will naturally begin to make further changes on his own. The goal of this process is to form a new relationship with gaming and other, alternative activities.

Remember, it’s ok to game – so long as there’s a balance in the force, you’re in good shape!