How To Play Games And Stay Married

Are you and your spouse competitive? If so, you know that a rousing game at the table can often lead to arguments, frustration or disappointment. But applying decision making and strategy to games can help in the game of life! Don't miss lessons in learning how to work together...

My husband and I love to play games. We enjoy card games, board games, physical games and just about any other type of game there is.

Lately, we have been addicted to playing Settlers of Catan. (If you have never played, you must! It is a great game to enjoy with family and friends.)

However, the first few times we played Catan, it became a source of contention in our marriage because it involves strategy and decisions that can at times hinder each other from winning. And when a husband and wife are competitive, such as my husband and me, the frustration stirs quickly.

All of sudden we would find ourselves bickering across the table, taking each other’s moves personally. I wondered why my husband would do such a thing, translating in my heart to being unloved. It was personal.

This is not the first time my husband and I quarreled over a game. In fact, while traveling in Africa we played Phase 10 almost every night (another great game to play). It never ended well as both of us strived to claim the winner’s spot, anger, disappointment and frustration rising up when we lost.

Playing games is not the problem. The issue boils down to our hearts and how we respond to each other throughout the games we play. It has taken my husband and I time to understand that games are good and the quality time we share together as we play is awesome, but that we are responsible for our responses to each other while playing. We also had to understand that it was ok for each other to be strategic and that we shouldn’t take it personally. We also had to learn that winning was fun, losing was ok and that enjoying the game was the best thing we could do for our marriage.

I know we are not the only married couple who has fought while playing games. If you and your spouse love to play games and want to stay married you must control your responses toward each other. Keep your attitude positive and your words kind to each other. You can be competitive and try to win, but be ok if you lose. There will always be a next time! When you play together focus on the quality time you get to share and be thankful for that! And lastly, every once in a while, when your opponent, your spouse, least expects it do something nice in the game that helps them out!

If you and your spouse don’t play games I want to encourage you to! Playing games is a great way to get to know each other better, spend time together, and practice character building like self-control and patience. Click HERE for a list of great games for married couples.

Go Play! And be nice!

– Jennifer Smith

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One Comment

  1. We’re not big game-players…my wife and I have a sanctuary for abused and abandoned dogs, and spare time…and space…and cash…goes to them. They deserve the very best we can give them, for their small and loving souls were pushed to the breaking point. This is their home now.

    Added to that, it would seem (according to my doctors) that I’m terminally ill, and indeed am no longer well enough to work, so my wife is the breadwinner.

    But it’s still a good life. Today we had the chance to take a few minutes to admire (and for her to photograph) the most spectacular New Mexico sunset I’ve ever seen.

    I used to play rugby, and loved it – a hooligan’s game,played by gentlemen.

    But I learned then, and can apply the lesson now – it was about relationships, and about sharing.

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