Our Marriage Improved When My Husband Bought an XBox

While I’m certain there are situations in which a guy (or woman!) spends a little too much time gaming and not quite enough time with his/her spouse, I’m in a different boat. My husband bought an Xbox after we got married and it’s been a great thing for our relationship.

  1. We’re both introverts. While we’re certainly happy to see each other after a long day of work, there are definitely days where neither of us feels like chatting with anyone, even each other. Since he got his Xbox, he’s created his own little “man cave” to which he can retreat when we’re both craving some alone time.
  2. I get time to do things I like. Which kind of runs hand in hand with being an introvert but could be beneficial for any extrovert as well. I have several hobbies I prefer to do alone. I like to read, knit, crochet, listen to podcasts… not really any team sports on that list. Of course, there are things we like to do together, but he doesn’t really like to watch me knit with my headphones in. Go figure.
  3. What a great excuse to get your chick flick fix. We all have guilty pleasures. I’ll occasionally scroll through Netflix, find the cheesiest PG-13 romantic comedy I can, and inhale a pint of Ben & Jerry’s while I watch it. There are also a select few bad reality TV shows I get sucked in to. I don’t need his input on the quality of my television/movie choices when I know they’re sub-par. I’ll watch them alone, thank you very much.
  4. He’s doing something he enjoys. Who wants to rob their spouse of the little things that make their day better? Sure, I don’t like the same video games he does so I don’t really get the appeal, but he has fun playing them. If he’s in a better mood because he gets to do something he likes, I’ll take it.
  5. Playing video games allows him to “hang out” with his friends. OK, not really, but kind of! He plays games via the internet that allow him to chat and play with his buddies in real time. We live in North Carolina and many of the people he cares about live in Minnesota. It’s like going home for an hour or two and spending some time with your pals.
  6. Spending time apart can be a really good thing. Even if it’s just time apart in the same apartment building. Sure, we both have our own jobs and friends, but we all know how nice it is to just go home. When you live with someone, they’re always there. You can’t miss someone if you spend every single spare moment together. The beauty of his XBox is that he can disappear into another world even when I’m 20 feet away.
  7. Having your own identity is importantNot that video games identify him or that trashy TV shows identify me. They definitely don’t, but it certainly helps to have something you like that the other doesn’t. We each have plenty of other hobbies that don’t involve staring at a TV and I cherish the time we do spend together snuggling in front of the tube. But the second we stop doing things we enjoy because the other person doesn’t, we have a problem.
  8. The Xbox is a sign of his success. I’m serious! For as long as I’ve known him, he wouldn’t buy anything he didn’t have the money or spare time for. That video game console was in the back of his mind for years but he knew it wasn’t a wise purchase before. He waited until he was financially able to splurge on a fun toy. That’s pretty cool, if you ask me.
  9. Playing video games is good for you. In moderation, of course. There actually are studies that show playing video games increases spatial awareness, memory, and fine motor skills. Again, moderation. Read books, exercise, and spend time outdoors too. That being said, I can certainly think of worse things he could be doing to kill time.
  10. Marriage doesn’t mean you have to be one person. This is similar to the point on identity but subtly different. Your identity is always important, but here, I specifically mean it in terms of a marriage. It’s so damn easy to just always do the things you both like. You eat together, you sleep together, you share all your possessions and even your finances. When everything is “ours” and you have a lot in common, abandoning all your silly differences is easy. The guilty pleasures and things you like doing alone, however, are not menial. If we weren’t married right now, he would head home after work and play XBox for a while because it makes him feel good. I would pop in my headphones and start knitting something I’ll never finish. Our marriage shouldn’t change that.
Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.