General Question

BeccaBoo's avatar

Is it normal for a 31yr old male to be addicted to the xbox?

Asked by BeccaBoo (2715points) May 28th, 2011

Especially when he only plays alongside youngster’s and neglects me and our baby? Hmmmmm….how do I approach this rationally?

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43 Answers

janbb's avatar

Normal/not normal is a trap you don’t need to get in to – it is hurting you and your baby and needs to be addressed.You should be getting more of what you need from him.

flo's avatar

Even if everyone tells you it is normal, (which I don’t they will because I don’t think it is) it is still something really unhelpful, right? Is it a new toy? Maybe he will get bored soon.

marialisa's avatar

Throw it away or sell it!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It’s not about normal/not normal. It’s definitely inconsiderate, selfish and neglectful. Remind him when he decided to become a cohabitating partner and then father that he was taking on more sharing, more responsibility outside of his own needs. He’s also setting a poor example of marriage and fatherhood to the kids he plays games with.

poisonedantidote's avatar

If we define “normal” by using standards and averages, then I would say it is normal, seeing as so many people spend lots of time on video games. Productive? nop. Normal? kind of.

I don’t think video games in the problem here, the problem is effort and participation. Video games is just the label we are using in this particular instance. If it were not video games, it would be beer and sport, or building a boat or something.

Approach with catuion, I would assume most guys would take it kind of personal. “Stop playing video games all day long!” can often sound like “Let me control you all day and tell you what to do, no free time for you!”.

Ajulutsikael's avatar

I agree with @Neizvestnaya. I went through a situation like this with an old relationship. The thing is that he could also be in need of some time to himself. A new baby is a big thing for a guy and he might need some time away from family life even if he doesn’t realize it’s hurting you. I had gotten into many arguments with my ex while he was playing online with his friends. If anything you should try playing with him. Studies show that families that game together stay together.

It is normal for someone his age to still be playing video games. It’s just entertainment and the average age for a gamer is in the 30s, especially for Xbox. I’m 28 and still play a lot of games, my children also play and so on.

I’m sure you have made it obvious that this is affecting the relationship and in his mind you are probably focused on the baby so you don’t notice his absence. He might also be a little jealous that the baby is now getting your undivided attention. Try setting more time with each other. If this is a recent thing, expect it to go on for a month or so, if he always got involved deeply with playing online then you might really need to talk to him. Anything can become addictive if it’s used as an escape and there is no mental control. Reason with him and try understanding why he’s doing it.

YARNLADY's avatar

Many adults are facing this problem, and it needs to be treated the same as any other addiction, with professional help.

trickface's avatar

Be careful not to believe anything/anyone that says the xbox or the game is the problem, it’s in fact the addictive personality.

The media has played a big part in making people believe that video games are more influential than they actually are.

It’s not the video game that is addictive, it’s just fun and relaxing. It’s not the video game that makes someone violent either, that problem comes from the mind. Thanks to all this debate there was a ‘Video game addiction clinic’ set up in The Netherlands and within a few years the owner of the practice declared there is nothing within any game that makes someone addicted to it, this statement would go against any sort of profit drive he may have had.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Addiction or just paying more time gaming than paying attention to their families, people need to put the controllers down, get off their butts and take care of the spouses and children they chose to make lives with instead of remaining single.

marinelife's avatar

Anything that takes away from your relationship and your child is not good. He needs to limit his playing time to some reasonable amount daily.

Is he working?

BeccaBoo's avatar

Thanks guys! Here is the thing I have a problem with. Our baby is now 15mnths old and needs his dad, he gets shouted at for fiddling with the controllers and trying to switch it on (even though he has already worked out that this will get his dad’s attention). My man is a builder (but does not work so spends from morning til about 2am on this thing) I have 2 other kids in the house a 10 and 7 yrs old (both boys) and they are starting to see this as normal. Rather than moan at him all the time (and believe me i have) I just tend to go out with the baby and the kids. However I am now getting a little sick of this and the example it’s setting to my other kids. I need to come up with an argument that he can’t get out of. I don’t wanna live with a sponging bum anymore!!!!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@BeccaBoo: There’s this super neat fluther feature in each post called, Share Question. Click, enter his email address and hit send.

BeccaBoo's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Why would I do that? I don’t want him to know what you all say, I want him to GROW UP!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@BeccaBoo: Good luck with what you choose, I understand your irritation with the situation.

marinelife's avatar

@BeccaBoo One thing you have to accept is that you can’t change someone else’s behavior. You can only change your own.

Your husband is not working (has he ever?) so he is probably clinically depressed and using the XBox as an escape from his intolerable reality. If you can, get him to see a therapist. If not, to see his doctor. Anti-depressants could really change things around.

If not, all you are left with is changing your own behavior, which would mean not tolerating his game playing and enabling it by continuing to support him financially.

Pandora's avatar

Throw the thing out and then tell him when he gets a job and can afford to buy one with his pay check, than he may buy another one.
Or just tell him it is time he act like a grown up because you signed up to be married to a man who would handle his obligations instead of run away from them. You did not sign up to be his mom.
Is it normal for a man or anyone to retreat to a world of fantasy so they can ignore the feeling of feeling like a loser. Yes. He is probably depressed about not having a job. However, he lost all priviledges to wallow in his sorrows and lick his wounds the moment he had children he has to provide for and set an example. All he is teaching them is that it is ok, to give up when things get tough. He needs to get his resume together and start applying for as many jobs as possible. He doesn’t need the perfect job, he just needs a job to gain a little self respect. And in the mean time he already has a job. He can help out with the kids.

BeccaBoo's avatar

I would love to tell you all he is depressed, but honestly he is not, he just a lazy bum who does nothing but play xbox and eat alot. Talks to kids on there and makes me resent him more because he neglects our son. I would love nothing more than to throw it out but my other kids use it too, so why should they miss out?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

This is horrible @BeccaBoo, did you know he was such a bum before you two made more kids? He’s not likely to change if he thinks he’s ok the way he is. All you can do is appeal to how he wants his kids to think of him since he seems comfortable and dismissive of your irritation. You have to ask yourself if your love of him and his love and care of your children is greater than the embarrassment, disappointment and poor role modeling he provides.

Personally, I couldn’t have any attraction to a partner like that. My libido would be cringing if not already run away. Being a mom to an adult “child” is such a turnoff.

JLeslie's avatar

Most of us here are addicted to fluther.

Seriously, all addictions are similar, just different modes. Fill your time with something else, and deal with whatever situation you rather avoid,

softyice04's avatar

It’s just normal because it’s just for fun right ?

Pandora's avatar

In that case, throw him out and keep the xbox. That will teach him.

augustlan's avatar

The game is not the problem, here. Your husband (and your marriage) is. Deal with that, pronto.

BeccaBoo's avatar

Luckily we are NOT married, however i do love him and we do have a child, so owing it to my son I need to make it work. However, I am fed up and after talking to him at great lengths today, I get in return “I want to work and be the man that you want me to be” not 10 mins later he is back on there and has been since! Aaaarrggghhh I give up. I will resign myself to being an xbox widow, he could be doing worse things right?

augustlan's avatar

@BeccaBoo Well, sure, he could be doing worse things. But why would you want to be in a relationship where you have to resign yourself to anything?

I want to make clear that I’m not bashing the guy for being a gamer. My husband is in his 50s and plays a ton of xbox. It’s not a problem for us, though. It is for you, and you shouldn’t have to live with it if you hate it.

snowberry's avatar

In this case, it’s as if he’s got a girlfriend. Only instead of a girl, a game has stolen his mind and time. In many ways it’s as if he’s abandoned you. He’s not there in any way, except that he eats, he’s still a warm body in your house, and he still has sexual privileges, but that’s it.

You are absolutely correct that you need to be concerned about what this behavior is teaching the kids. But let’s flesh this out a little bit more. First, he’s teaching them how a man treats his wife. Unless a “bigger”, more significant man shows up in their lives, are likely to think that’s what their marriage may look like. They may rebel or embrace it, but unless they get counseling themselves before they start a relationship, they very well may end copying yours in spite of their best intentions.

You also need to understand that you are teaching him how to treat you, and the kids are learning this also. In the end, nobody in this house will respect either your husband Or you!

If after a lot of praying, wishing and talking, you may decide you have come to a turning point. If you do, make sure you do it with a clear head. Don’t give in to drama, EVER. It will turn him off faster than he turns to his X-Box now. At that point it will be time to give him some sort of ultimatum. Something along the lines of “It’s divorce or counseling, I don’t care which, but you need to choose quick or you won’t have to choose.” If/when you do this, don’t back down again, so be very very sure what you are about to do, and have your plans made, so you are not caught unaware.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You should have addressed it previously. Was he doing it before you had the baby? I’d never tolerate this kind of dumb thing especially if he doesn’t put in time he must put in, as a parent. It’s heartbreaking to see adults with little baby spouses sometimes.

luke101's avatar

A 31 year old playing the XBox all day is totally normal behavior.

Women and men are totally different beasts. The truth is – in most cases a mans mind is a lot more active then a womans. A man will feel like he needs to “do” something whether it is working on the next flying car, making the next facebook, going to school, or playing games on XBox. What ever it is that he is doing – his mind will be active and engaged. Most women do not play games as often as guys do, even when they dont have babies. But, women will still want the guys attention regardless if they have a baby or not.

If this guy is not playing on the XBox all day I wonder what he would be doing? He will not just be doing nothing – that is not in the nature of men. The XBox is distracting him from chasing women.

luke101's avatar

What I suggest you do.Here are some things you can do

-Spend some time with him playing the XBox
-Make him want your attention
-Make him need you
-Show him some attention by appealing to his interests
-Help him pass a level in the game (John, maybe after we pass this level you can get some diapers)
-Never tell him to do something – always ask in a nice way. Try asking with a small smile

-Start improving yourself (mentally, physically, and spiritually)
-Set some goals for yourself
-Always try to be happy even when you are hurting
-Do not blame it on him (its negative for you and him)
-Show him just a little affection (touch, kiss on cheek) (wow..good job for beating that big monster – something like that but you know your husband best)
-Do not make him feel guilty for playing the XBox
-If the baby starts crying (Let him hear you say – “Baby” lets get you some milk so you dont disturb dad)
-and more.. Just Don’t expect him to help you: then when you don’t expect it, his help will come.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@luke101 “The truth is – in most cases a mans mind is a lot more active then a womans. ” – what?! LOL, you’re very wrong. And your advice ‘make him want you, make him need you’ – seriously? And just don’t expect him to help you? Why not, he’s a father, he needs to parent, it’s not about expectations, it’s about what he MUST, simply MUST do just as much as the mother.

BeccaBoo's avatar

@luke101 I can see your a little deluded on what life is really all about! Improve myself??? (when and where would i find time to do that when i have to do EVERYTHING and look after my children). I have absolutely no interest in the xbox, so why the hell should i play it. Seriously re-read your post’s and then see what your woman thinks. Personally I think you come across as a sexist pig, with deluded idea’s on relationships.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Ta love, could not agree with you more! I mean seriously, I HAVE TO IMPROVE MYSELF Hmmpfff!!! :-)

luke101's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Do you know why the divorce rate is so high? Everyone is thinking only of themselves. Women think by having a baby will make the man change. Then when they find out the man wont change they want to break up or get a divorce.

luke101's avatar


1. I can see your a little deluded on what life is really all about! Improve myself???
A. Don’t look at the negative in this statement. Let your husband see you trying to improve yourself. Then he will want to join you

2. (when and where would i find time to do that when i have to do EVERYTHING and look after my children)
A. I have seen single parents that have 10 kids with varying ages. They pulled through and encourged kids to help out and help one another.

3. I have absolutely no interest in the xbox, so why the hell should i play it.
A. I have no interest in knitting, crotchet, or golfing. But I have participated in these events with my wife so we can spend time together.

4. Personally I think you come across as a sexist pig, with deluded idea’s on relationships.
A. Don’t always look at the negative. There is a reason teachers call on boys more. There is a reason coaches are harder on boys. There is a reason girls tend to look for guys that are smarter then themselves. There is a reason there are more male billionaires and inventors then female. This is the truth not sexist.

BTW: I would never show that post to my wife as she will only look at the negative.But seeking out the negative in things are only human nature.

JLeslie's avatar

@BeccaBoo What if @luke10’s ideas work? What I mean is, then you have a guy that needs all that shit. Probably your husband is just addicted, and needs to overcome the addiction like any other addiction. He needs to acknowledge it is taking time away from his family and hurting your relationship. But, I do think he is probably avoiding something. If being with you was more fun than the xbox, he would be spending more time with you. I am not saying there is something wrong with you, but with the relationship, or something in his life. I do think men need a certain amount of attention, need to be postively reinforced, and like when their SO’s take interest in what they are inteested in. Women like it too, but for men it is more of a requirement for a relationship I think.

JLeslie's avatar

@luke101 I really don’t get how teachers calling on boys has anything to do with it? Sucking up to male ego is one thing, but children in a class, I find that horrible.

luke101's avatar

Take a look at some research here. It has some good info

JLeslie's avatar

@luke101 Your link seems to say socioeconomics is the most important determinate to doing well in school. I would think men grow up to be macho, needy, immature idiots because from childhood they are favored by parents and teachers, so men are basically trained to suck up all the air and attention in the room. I don’t see any argument for why it is acceptable to give a male student more attention than a female.

JLeslie's avatar

@luke101 I still don’t see your point. That link shows teachers are fuckheads, reinforcing boys undisciplined behavior, and discouraging girls from speaking up or expanding on answers. In the school example the teacher is culpable, she is reinforcing the different behavior between the sexes. The teacher should do better. In a marriage example, a woman needs to decide if she wants to deal with the attention seeking, needy, selfish husband or not. Possibly he can be enlightened and change, but overall his parents and the school system probably failed him in the relationship department and he doesn’t know any better. Plenty of men do know better and are great spouses.

BeccaBoo's avatar

@luke101 Firstly, I have 3 children, I work full time, do the housework, run around after my children and manage to spend quality time with my SO (He is NOT my HUSBAND!!!!!) I have no down time for myself because I just don’t have time for any. So on a day to day practical level, how am i supposed to find time to sit down and play xbox for hours, while making it clear to my lazy bum of a man, that its perfectly ok for him to sit on his backside all day, not do anything around the house and leave all the childcare to me and the older 2 kids. I can’t even go to the toilet without having the baby with me because he can’t look after them. So why should I encourage this behaviour and play along with it. It will only leave it open to him and trust me I know how it works, that his behaviour is acceptable.
Realistically think about your advice and put it into action after what i have told you and tell me that you would allow it. In the mean time i am incredibly stressed, under an enormous amount of pressure not just at home but work too and I come home to an xbox zombie.

As for your comment – If this guy is not playing on the XBox all day I wonder what he would be doing? He will not just be doing nothing – that is not in the nature of men. The XBox is distracting him from chasing women.

That’s what a guy with all that spare time does is it? Chase women when they are bored? God help us all, who are in relationships, with partners who have 5 mins of boredom a day then!

I do not always see the negative, I am looking for a practical and reasonable way to treat my SO problem and get him to see what he is doing is damaging our family and this relationship, although i have told him this it seems to go in one ear and out the other.

luke101's avatar

I see they you are from Africa. Here in USA we have a law called child support. That is in place when a man makes babies with several women and decides not to support them. The law holds the man financially responsible for the children he has brought into the world. This way the man will not irresponsibly create babies that he cannot support.

Of course, it is wrong for a guy to ignore his woman while she has just had a new born. There is no excuse for that. But, when a woman is in need nagging the guy will not help in most cases, and will usually make the situation worse.

It sounds like you are giving up on the relationship and ready to move on. Is that true?

BeccaBoo's avatar

@luke101 Nope your wrong again, I’m from a lil old country called the United Kingdom!

And no I am def not ready to give up on my relationship, I love this man, his only flaw in my opinion is that he plays the xbox way too much and does not spend enough time with his family.

And as for nagging, waste of time in my opinion!

Baby is 15months old, not a new born either, so at an age where he wants to be around his dad.

JLeslie's avatar

@BeccaBoo I apologize for referring to your SO as husband. I think your SO will stay the same because he can. You are not going to leave him it sounds, he has no incentive to change probably. You called him a lazy bum yourself. You want him to change, he needs to want to change. Does he? I feel for you, you obviously want your relationship to be better for all the right reasons, including him being a good father to your children. I think you should try therapy to help you both communicate. He might not be saying everything he is concerned about, everything in his head, not just about you, but about life, what he wants from it, his frustrations, his disaapointments, and he may not understand what a positive impact his helping you a little would have on the home environment.

Maybe approach him as wanting to improve your relationship, rather than it being about him not pulling his weight or being lazy. It puts him on the defensive.

mattbrowne's avatar

Addictions or obsessions are never normal.

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