Marriage on Minecraft

Brad says…

Minecraft is an addictingly simple computer game that is all the rage in 8 to 12-year-old boys. Since I have 2 of those I recently have done the fatherly things of falling under its clutches too. As I’ve fallen under Mincraft’s spell I’ve learned a few marriage lessons that I wanted to pass on to you as well.

I’ll admit I’m a bit of a gamer, but even more than games I have the habit of throwing myself into new activities, interests or hobbies full force. As I’ve come to discover a lot of other men have this same issue. It might be games, sports, cars, fishing, or other hobbies, but men often throw their “outside of work brain” into some other activity.Minecraft Marriage

Not a Bad Thing

These hobbies are really not a bad thing. They offer entertainment, distraction and fun. In my case it offers me the opportunity to connect with my boys by sharing a similar interest and language. (I wrote that last sentence just for my beautiful wife, but it happens to be true too!)

Slipping Away

The problem with these hobbies comes when they start to take up your precious resources that should be devoted elsewhere. The two most common resources that seem to disappear are time and money. I’ll admit money usually isn’t my issue. I’m the “saver” in our marriage, so usually I only fall in to activities or hobbies that don’t require much money. My issue is clearly time.

When I started playing Minecraft my object was honestly to understand what my boys were getting into. On the surface it seems like a really boring game. However once I started I was pretty quickly hooked. All the sudden I found myself playing for way too long.

Watch Your First

When hobbies or activities wind their way into our male brains we have a way of focusing on them above most everything else. We think about them, we read about them, we plan what we are going to do next with them. In short they become our priority. That is where the problem actually comes in. Hobbies are great, distraction is fine, but allowing them to overtake the God-given priority of your wife is wrong.

Where Is the Problem?

Sometimes wives hate their husbands hobbies, they have felt like they’ve been in second place so long that they resent any thought of the activity even entering their husbands brain. Other times wives don’t mind as long as there is some balance. You need to understand exactly what your wife thinks about your hobby. You might want to ask:  When is it hard for her? When is it fine? What are the boundaries?

Find the Balance

One of the best suggestions I can give you, and one I’m going to take myself, is give yourself a time frame for your hobby. Without making a decision we are apt to quickly spend more time then we plan.

If you are heading out to the garage to work on your car, then before you step foot outside say to yourself, “If I’m at this for more than 3 hours I need to stop.” Give yourself permission to enjoy your escape for a time, but make sure that time is a decision not a time slipping experience.

If you discover that you’ve been at your activity for more time then you had even anticipated then you need to figure out why, and really make decision on if this is something that you want to be spending that amount of time on.

Your Turn:

Guys – What are your favorite “distractions”? How have you kept your wife happy with your hobby?

Ladies – Are you a “gaming” widow, or other hobby widow? What would you like us guys to know about putting limits on our hobbies?

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12 Responses to Marriage on Minecraft

  1. I’ve never posted on here so here I go! My husbands hobby is fish tanks- he researches the fish, spends time setting up his tank (and re-arranging it often), cleaning it, and swapping fish with others or teaches friends what they need to know to start one. He often worries that his hobby will distract from us and asks me about it and now that we have a little one on the way he has been contemplating tearing it down and stopping for a time. This being said I asked him to keep it up! We had a season where he did not have a hobby to “putter with” and I could sense his frustration of not having anything to use as a way to unwind on the weekends and evenings. Plus, I’ve come to like it… yes there are times I see his wheels turning about a bigger tank and we both know that’s not feasible right now. But when we were dating he always asked me to go along with him to That Fish Place and now when he includes me in it I feel lucky to be a part of it and get a date out of the deal 🙂 This last tank setup he was sweet enough to stock it with a type of fish I have commented on being pretty. So now we have a pretty tank that he can putter with <3

    • Thank you for your comment! You got the point of my post exactly. I’ve had a series of “things” or “hobbies” in my life. They come and go, but for whatever reason there always seems to be something distracting. Which overall can be fine as long as it is in balance.
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. “In my case it offers me the opportunity to connect with my boys by sharing a similar interest and language. (I wrote that last sentence just for my beautiful wife, but it happens to be true too!)” Good man!!

    @ Sara: You were/are wise to jump on board with him. My aunt became a hunter (quite a seasoned one too) so she could hunt with her man! I admire women who will go to these measures to keep unity in their marriages! KUDOS

  3. Thank you Thank you for posting this! My husbands hobby is anything on his iPad. There are times I could put a sledge hammer in it. We have had many conversation about it and I never knew one little screen could cause so much frustration. He has definitely improved on this area and I have gotten better at understanding his time for “the nothing box”. One area that I believe women really need to know it that the mental escape is totally necessary for our men. One area men need to know is that if in fact there is an issue that needs to be felt with and your wife is trying to interact with you at the time you are away in your nothing box…please pause the game, raiser your head, and interact with us eye to eye. There are times that issues can’t wait and in that time we look to our man to interact with us. It’s the same respect you desire and need when you walk through the door after work or when you talk to your wife 🙂

    • That is the exact balance that every couple struggles with. I know that I sometimes miss the mark too. I’ve tried my best to pay attention to Kate’s needs first, and only allow myself to slip into the “nothing box” when those are done, but it just doesn’t always work that smoothly! Keep talking.

      Both of you working toward the same goal, with the understanding that each’s “side” is valuable is important!

  4. Hi, my name is Paul and I am a minecraft addict…

    Not really, but I could be. I started when it was in alpha. Like you, my son got into it and it was a good way for us to connect. I’d not played in several years but recently started again because several guys at chruch are into it.

    I do enjoy it, but I am aware of how much time it could eat. I actually dropped another recreational activity to make time for it, and I watch how much I do it. If I am not ready to set it down for my wife or anything else God calls me to it is a problem. As you say, it is all about balance!

  5. Since it’s confession time, I’ll admit to the fact that my daughters got me hooked on Hay Day. Silly little totally addicting farm sim game. Thanks for the reminder to be watchful about distractions. It’s easy to want to zone out when you are stressed out. But the truth is that connection time with Jenni is a much better remedy for what ails me.

  6. I’m a business owner… so my hobby is my business! Yeah, it’s kind of weird, but I get to decide the new software my business builds, so i get to fiddle around with new ideas and new code a lot, and eventually some of it makes to production with our coders and designers.

    Sometimes I feel a little weird that I spend so much free time on “work”… but I really do love it, and it doesn’t _feel_ like work.

    I do play the piano and some Starcraft 2 in my other “free” time 🙂

    I do have to temper my work though–I can get caught up in it, and the next thing I now it’s 2am! … … which it actually is right now 🙂