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Monday, November 14, 2005

Strengthening Your Marriage with Halo

In my last post, Ted requested some advice. I, being full of advice, decided it was time to help a brother out and share my secrets of how playing Halo can actually strengthen a marriage. I am devoting an entire week to why Halo strengthens marriages.

These posts will be full of outside links supporting my reasons. So, for those of you who are non clickers endulge me and at least skim the articles.

For those of you not aware of what Halo is, click here for a brief description. If you are really into wanting to learn about it, watch the video review. Long, but very in depth.

Reasons Why Playing Halo Helps Strengthen Marriages [part 1]:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder
This old, but true idiom bears the relevance of this entire discussion. Women are hesitant to let their husbands play Halo. They feel threatened somehow that men are replacing their wives with this game. Their feeling in this matter, while usually ungrounded, are however their feeling and feelings can't be argued with, only supported or changed. This is an attempt to support those feelings while changing them.

In all seriousness guys, how many of you would honestly say, "I would rather hold my X-Box controller all night, every night for the rest of my life in exchange for never holding my wife again." Even with unshaved legs it's no contest. Am I right? The rumble in the controller is nothing compared to the soft touch of a woman.

The key here is for women to realize that after spending several hours away from our wives, we love to come to them and express our love. We've missed them and we want to spend time with them. In a parallel scenario, imagine a husband has a 2 day work trip. Upon returing home, usually the only thing he wants to do is spend time with his wife. This is the exact same thing that happens after playing Halo. Men are more fond of their wives at this point assuming his wife is happy to see him too.

From what I've observed, read about and listen to others talk, this seems to be one of the major problems Halo poses to marriages. Women, feeling inferior to it, become defensive and then lash out when husbands finish playing. This does nothing but drive a wedge between the relationship. Men, you must understand that your wife has been absent from you also, and she is now fonder of you too, so you must devote the time to communicate to her and listen to her. Women, this is a great time to ask about how the game was. Show an interest and watch what happens to your man as he tells you all about his adventures of the evening. After the shock wears off that you've just asked him about it, better yet even know something about it (hint: ask him if he likes the newbie combo or the grenade and battle rifle combo better) you will be amazed at how nurturing he becomes to your needs.

Understand that this is a process. Like anything that strengthens a marriage, you will run across some rocky places before you find smooth ground. Both need to be patient and remember a stronger marriage takes work. If it didn't, everyone's marriage would be strong. My wife and I have certainly had some rocky places concerning Halo, but in the end our marriage has grown as we've learned to overcome our differences, spend more quality time together and communicate more openly. I can honestly say I love her more now than I did before I started playing Halo.

The most important thing to remember is
Men: Halo is a great hobby, but is not your wife.
Women: Halo is a stupid video game you will never understand, but in the end, your husband will come back to you being more fond of you.

This great article has the following points: (I adapted them for Halo)

Absence makes the heart grow fonder when:

  1. Both members of the couple are committed to the commitment
  2. Both members keep their partners visible to the people around them - as well as to themselves
  3. The arrangement meets the needs of both people
  4. The arrangement is within each partner's physical "intimacy zone"
  5. Focus on Halo when playing and on each other when you are together