My marriage is Candy Crushing

What you need to know:

Acknowledge that this hurts you and sends bad feelings within you

My wife is addicted to candy crush and other such phone games. Sometimes, she sneaks the phone under the blanket and plays phone games all night long that now I have started doubting whether she is actually playing candy crush or any other games for that matter. She is 39 years old. How do I tell her these games should be left for our 14-year-old son?

Gilbert Mujuni

Dear Gilbert,

This must be causing a bit of stress on you. Candy crush is one of the games that has hooked millions of people either on their mobile phone or laptops to an extent it interferes with their work and relationships like in your case.

Well, this obsession with the game can have similar effects of the urge to continue using even when the user notices the harm it is causing.

Unfortunately, this can ruin a relationship or even cause poor performance on a job.

If one starts to ignore responsibilities such as picking children from school, missing deadlines, or trying to hide from family and friends might be a sign that they are addicted to the game.

Recent studies are showing that gaming addiction is a psychological condition acknowledged in the latest diagnostic and statistical manual of mental health.

Addiction is an urge to do something to experience pleasure or get rid of discomfort.

I cannot tell why your wife is doing this but it could be one of these.

Children and teenagers are not the only ones vulnerable to video game addiction. Adults may also play video games for hours instead of engaging in work activities, devoting time to partners, or even pursuing productive hobbies.

Well since you are her immediate support system, take care of yourself first.

Acknowledge that this hurts you and sends bad feelings within you.

Get her to know how you feel; do you get angry? Frustrated? If you do, then remind yourself that it is your wife who has the problem and not you.

Find relaxing activities that help you feel better then arrange a meeting with your wife before she starts on the game.

Let her know how her behaviour is affecting you as an individual but also as a couple and the family at large.

Listen to her non-judgmentally ask her how you can be of help.

Let her tell you what triggers this behaviour, could she be lonely? Or replacing some hurting feeling? Or it could be it is a work-related issue.

This might set the space for speaking about the issue and probably referring her for a psychological assessment to rule out any of the mentioned psychological issues above and also to be provided an opportunity to reflect on how this game is ruining the relationship between you and her.

From a psychological point of view, addicts can suffer from long-term stress, potential sleep loss, and a diminished sense of accomplishment especially if the responsibility lies heavily on them to plug in the game.

So this might call for empathy from you to understand that addiction is a disease especially if one continues using even if they recognise the harm.

When you lash out at your wife for the behaviour, it is possible that you might instead enable it instead of helping.

Rarely does an addict say that they feel great about themselves, in most cases, they are battling within their own minds on how to stop.

Reader advice

What level is she on?

Diana Nyaka’Rwot

Just let her enjoy her peace.  Candy crushers are the best spouses you can get. Let her play in peace. Join her and compete and see who is winning. I am almost on 3000 and there is no way anyone will let me quit. This is for life. What level is she on?

Something is wrong with you

Blessed Jacob

Games have no limit chief. What if she decides to switch the TV set on and watch sports, would you say sports is for Men?

To me, just find out why she prefers the game the most than attending to you in the night. May be something is wrong and she does not want to tell you. Shalom

Let the woman play

Atuhairwe Goodchild Trevor

There is no issue with playing the game if she does her other duties.  I am also good at it but it has never stopped me from completing my duties. Let the woman play.

Candy crush is for all ages

Stephen Okia

First off all Candy crush is not just for 14 year olds.  I do not know where you get that from.  Leave her alone it is not drugs.

What kind of addiction is that?

Joselyne Jojo Kuteesa

The way I cannot play any phone games, I wonder how a whole 39-year-old would get addicted.

Please play with her

Patricia Namutebi

I and my partner both play.  If we help each other when we have failed to pass a certain level, we even steal time, the game its self is intriguing.

I too play before sleeping

Sierra Sarah

I am stuck on some level but every time I go to bed, I first play my five lives and then see if I will pass.

Once in, you cannot go out

Muk Baaba Muk

I support her because I am a Candy Crush addict too. You should get used once you start Candy Crush you can never get over it.

No need to worry

Phoebe Miriam

Let her play her games in peace at least she is not unfaithful or negligent as a wife....

Ms Kharono is a counselling Psychologist at Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation.