Marriage and Gaming
It’s every gamer’s dream to marry another gamer and share a wonderful passion together. However, when it comes to love, you can’t choose who you will fall in love with nor who will love you back. If you, a gamer, don’t find yourself married to another gamer, it’s not game over, as shirts today imply. It just means you need to level up your most used avatar...yourself.
No Ball and Chain References
The common reference to a spouse is that of a ball and chain. If you’ve listened to your wife, and many other wives, not only is that phrase frowned upon, but more often than not, it is downright offensive. Saying this phrase implies that your spouse is tying you down and preventing you from entertainment, goals, or anything else that you’ve set yourself to do. The first step in being in a married relationship as a gamer is to understand that there should always be mutual respect.
Is My Marriage Successful?
I’ve known my wife for 7 years and as of March 2017, I will have been married to her for 6. We’ve had many challenges along the way. One of the recurring challenges is an age differential. She arrived on this earth 12 years before I did, which is a whole generational leap. We grew up in different eras, experiencing different things, and with different ideals of what and how to be entertained. Regardless, we do share three very important common interests that make our marriage successful: Our love of food, our love of traveling, and our love for many things geek. In this concoction of interests, our geekiness helps create a portal to a successful marriage between a gamer and a non-gamer.
What Makes Things Work?
After proposing to my wife on January 01, 2011 and after having our euphoria settle down a few days later, my wife approached me with a serious yet hopeful look. I asked her if anything was wrong. She said, “Before we get married, I need you to read this book.” She handed me a book called, “The 5 Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman. You see, my wife and I are both college graduates and we are both in education. It seemed only reasonable that we educated ourselves into what to expect from a marriage. According to the National Healthy Marriage Research Center, “Hispanics with post-high school education are more likely - to divorce.” Being part of a statistic that is prone to getting a divorce, I took my wife’s request seriously and read that book from cover to cover. This book covered the 5 love languages necessary to fill a metaphorical love tank in order to have a successful marriage. Though we assume that making, “small deposits of time with our spouse,” will make for a happy marriage that allows us to game to our heart's content (Mark Heywood, circa 2016), the truth it is not a one-size fits all solution. The five love languages are as follows:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
These love languages apply to all participants in a marriage. Briefly explained, your spouse’s main love language may be words of affirmation, meaning that she or he can have their love tank filled by constantly hearing words that reaffirm a good job. Positive phrasings or reassurances are key to making that type of person feel loved.
If your spouses main language is that of quality time, then you need to spend time with your spouse to make her or him feel loved. However, it’s not as simple as having them in the room with you while you game. What you want to do is, turn off your console, plan a date to a location away from reminders of the mundane daily routine, and really listen to each other’s conversations. The conversation could be a silent one, just being there, uninterrupted by any technology and hearing one another’s heartbeat.
The third love language covers someone who only feels loved when they receive gifts. This kind of person’s love tank is filled by the act of giving. Now, giving doesn’t mean constantly buying expensive gadgets or jewelry. You can give a love letter, make a gift from scratch, or even give your last piece of food, like the last fry or cookie, to your paramour. An alternative to this love language is that the person’s love tank may only be filled by allowing that person to give you gifts. I fall under the alternative category.
Yet another love language is known as committing acts of service. From all the aforementioned love languages, this one is the one that most men struggle with the most because of our selfish nature. In order for you to fill your spouse's love tank through acts of service, you need to selflessly act on behalf of your spouse to fulfill something that may either need to get done or that would be appreciated. An obvious example is doing household chores. It is erroneous to assume that women are the only ones that should be washing clothes and dishes. However, I venture to say that this happens more often than not. While men cause ruckus with their sports entertainment and video games, women are usually in the background tending to household chores (or vice-versa). Don’t wait to be asked to help around your home. Take a notice of what needs to get done and do it without bringing attention to it. More importantly, learn to do it because you want to do it for your spouse, not because you know she or he expects you to do it. That therein lies the secret to fulfilling this love language successfully.
Unsurprisingly, most of men fall under the fifth love language...the physical touch. There are many women whose love tank is also mainly filled with the physical touch but statistically, men take over this category in a heartbeat. In this love language, one’s first thought is sexual intercourse. Expanding on the metaphor of a love language, sex could be considered a colloquial tongue, but there are other finesses to that language, such as foot massages, back-rubs, or even a simple act of holding hands. If you know of a couple that rarely holds hands that is because their love language is probably not the physical touch. On the other hand (no pun intended), people who constantly kiss and hold hands in public, even long after marriage, are bonded even stronger through the love language of physical touch. I, too, land under this category and I constantly seek my wife’s hand when we go to the movies, when we walk around the park, or even while driving. I crave her touch to feel loved and she knows this, so she looks for opportunities to fulfill my need just as I look for opportunities to fulfill her needs of quality time and words of affirmation.
Finally, my words do not do justice to the knowledge that the book, “The Five Love Languages,” has taught me. Though that book is not specific to gamers, it is a great way to level up our knowledge in understanding our love partners better. This way, we can be sure to satisfy them in their specific needs and keep their love tank filled with the appropriate fuel, thus allowing us gamers to play and fill our gaming needs tank.
Noe Monsivais (Trobadour_XP)
is an English Literature teacher at an early college campus by day. He is a YouTube content creator and is currently working on getting his Masters in Educational Technology and Leadership. His favorite thing about people is when they #KeepitTRO (True, Respectful, Original). You can follow him and his crazy antics at:
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