Deciding to get married is a tough decision, it involves so much more than just loving each other. Marriage is an amazing experiment that nobody is really prepared for since everybody is so different. There isn't just one cookie cutter way to approach it, That being said I have found that we all share the same feelings and goals. Married couples want the same outcome at the end of the day, for all members to feel happy and accomplished with the day that just passed. I have found that if I come home and I want to just kick back and relax, my spouse echoes this same feeling. It would be unfair for both parties to not engage in some extracurricular activity that both can enjoy together.
Depending on our situation I would look for games that would scratch the itch of the season. These need not always be multiplayer experiences, I know my wife appreciates games that are different and have a great art style. Having some idea on what my partner in life enjoys really helps in figuring out what types of games to buy. What I found most important was figuring out what games would let us enjoy some quality time together. When my wife wanted us to exercise together I bought Just Dance. When we wanted to have family over for party games, I got JackBox. This all changed after the kid was born, my wife would spend many hours breastfeeding the little one. We no longer had time to play couch co-op games… or any game for that matter. I then started thinking what games she could play with just one hand available. I thought of adventure games immediately, I picked up Broken Age for her and she just loved it. She would play it for a couple of minutes while the baby slept and if she needed to put it down she put the VITA on standby mode and concentrate on more important things.
I noticed both of us were gravitating towards games that didn't penalize you for looking away. Games that require your absolute attention take away from other things you want to experience. After the kid was born gaming was no longer the first thing we would go to for fun. Now a days we spend a lot of our time playing with our child. She's at a stage where she's learning quickly and showing more of her personality. That being said, when the stars align where the kid is asleep and we have no more house duties to perform we try to get some game time. I have to admit that we typically default to NETFLIX when we can't decide on a game.
The same cannot be said about the next stage in life, the "empty nest". Let me elaborate, when my sister and I graduated my mother had all this free time in her hands now. This is a tough situation to be in if you stayed at home and had a strict schedule to maintain. Embracing this change was not easy, but my mother was determined she would find a new hobby. My mother enjoyed playing games, I take after her after all, but she simply never had the time to really sit down and play. I recall being away in college and getting phone calls from my mother asking me basic questions about the console. How do you turn it on? How do you start a game? How do I charge the controller? With time the questions evolved to be more game specific. After a few months she was already beating games like Grand Theft Auto 4 and Assassins Creed. I took notes of the games she was gravitating to, I always keep an eye out for good open world games I think she may like.
What I've learned from being a gamer is that it's an entertainment media that allows you to express yourself. It scratches certain itches that passive media doesn't. It's also is a good way to spend time together, some of my favorite gaming moments have been playing through GTA V online missions with my mother. She has learned so much on her own playing games that she is the one who guides me through the missions, I mean, she does have a 100 level advantage over my character.
Also the time both me and my wife share playing games, especially playing co-op games help us bond in a different way. Nothing like sitting next to your loved one playing Diablo 3, just busting heads and collecting loot. I especially enjoy my wife's indifference to all of the RPG elements and just asks me what she should pick. If I tell her "oh you have to use this armor" she will change the appearance and the color but not really care for the effects, all she wants to do is plow through the enemy horde and, of course, destroy all the crates with her Barbarian while I try to keep up with the mage.
I thoroughly enjoy sharing this hobby with my better half. Being able to share these moments with her gives us an additional link to the relationship that keeps us together. It's finding this common ground with significant others that help us strengthen bonds and build relationships. Whether you're into playing board games, hiking, playing clash of clans, watching sports, being able to share these moments adds to the experience. Actively seeking out games that we can share together, whether through gaming or conversation, is what I most enjoy about playing games. It is is as they say, "knowledge is power", but as a wiser man once pointed out to me, this statement is incomplete without others and should be "knowledge is power, only if it's shared".