Reply To: Am I being an A$$?


So, about me. I’m a 50 year old psychologist who never realized he met criteria for AD/HD until my two sons were diagnosed. Lots to unpack and interpret there, but I tell people that I don’t live in your head or your house so I can’t tell you what is “right” or what will work in your situation.

However, generally speaking I would guess you want to be a wife and not a mother. Being in a position where you’re nagging at him or setting limits pushes you toward mommy world and away from wifey world. I would guess that your husband would be more satisfied with a wife, as well.

I have been someone totally addicted to video games. Again, lots to unpack there but I think there are a few main issues to think about.
1. There is a line between hobby and addiction. It is a line in the sand but its in danger of being crossed when it becomes dysfunctional.
2. Is it a social outlet for him? My youngest son socializes frequently through video games. He will play with 4-6 friends and the game is simply the club they hang out at. I wouldn’t want to take that away from him.
3. We have had a rule forever in our house – work before play.
4. Discuss ground rules – no cell phones during meals, conversations, etc. Set definite times for togetherness, family time, etc. where electronic media isn’t allowed. Maybe, also have protected play time for him so that he knows he won’t be disturbed during those times.
5. I don’t get the sense that you want to, but you can’t take away all sources of fun. As you’ve experienced, cutting down on the console resulted in increased use of other games. If he’s going to reduce overall usage, what can he replace it with that will be satisfying?
6. Similarly, is it a stress reducer for him? Does he have other methods to go to, instead?
7. You can’t make people do anything but you can help them if they want to do something else. It took me a while but I realized that I could spend my time playing or I could spend it on other valuable interests, but I really didn’t have time for both. I don’t know how old you folks are, but at 50 you become increasingly aware of how little time you’ve actually got to do things. The time I was spending playing became too valuable to me to spend that way. Maybe, if I won the lottery and spent all day in my pajamas I would then be able to afford to play games more, but the reality is that I got to the point where I felt like I just couldn’t afford to take that time away from other activities. It makes me a bit sad, at times, but it is the right choice for me. How does anyone feel when they have to give up time doing something they love?
8. Think about professional help. Perhaps, a bit biased here but is there the possibility that he, you, or both have a diagnosable condition that underlies some of the issues. Psychologists, counselors, pastors, good friends, family may be able to offer some perspective and help that is missing within the family system you’ve got.

Lots of issues to explore there. I hope that helped a bit. No, you’re not being an A$$ that I can tell. If you want a more objective opinion I’ll give you my wife’s number. She might tell you a bit of a different story.