3 Relationship Signs You're a Video Game Widow

Are video games creating a wedge in your relationship?

Have you ever wondered if your partner or spouse could be addicted to video games? Do you find yourself getting into more arguments, more resentful or lonelier around your husband? Women who do not play video games and have partners who play video games excessively are colloquially known as “video game widows”. One research paper reviewed a “World of Warcraft Widows Forum”, an online support group for women that had a partner that played the popular multiplayer online game “World of Warcraft” (WoW). These women had partners who were often absent because they were too busy playing this online video game.

3 Relationship Signs You Could Be a “Video Game Widow”

The researchers found 3 broad “overarching themes” common in these relationships; major effects on family life, unmet needs from excessive game playing partners, emotions such as hopelessness, anger and frustration. If you are experiencing these signs in your relationship, you could be a video gaming widow.

1. Major Effects On Family Life

Video game widows often experience serious effects on family functioning due to their partner’s absence whilst playing video game excessively. They may be left with increased or all the house work because their partners are busy playing games online. They may experience increased financial difficulty because their partner would rather play video games instead of working or spends money on expensive video gaming equipment or in-game virtual currency. Widows may have to spend more time caring and looking after the children. They may also experience disruption to the family environment because their partner is talking loudly during late night gaming sessions.

2. Unmet needs from your partner

Video game widows often desire more attention from their husbands for not only themselves but also their children. Even when at home, fathers may often be on the computer, leaving children feeling neglected and wanting more of a relationship with their fathers. Video game widows often report feeling invisible, with relationships lacking in intimacy and feeling as though they come second best to the video game.

3. Hopelessness and Anger

Video game widows often find themselves getting into arguments with their partners. They may want to remove or destroy the video game. They might ask their partners to choose between the game or their relationship. Some widows may separate or divorce their ex-partners. Other times, video game widows may not trust their partners to keep their promises to cut down or find their partners playing their video game covertly.

Help Is Available

If you are experiencing any of these relationship signs, you could be a video game widow. Although not diagnostic of video gaming addiction, this may warrant further exploration or clinical assessment with a mental health professional. You might like to look for ongoing support for your partner, but also for yourself. This may include couples, family or individual therapy. If your partner can no longer play video games casually or in moderation, then a period of abstinence or detoxification may be required. If you would like to have a telehealth consultation with a psychiatrist who assesses and treats gaming disorder, all you need to do is submit your GP’s referral here.