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Can the Nintendo Wii Save Your Marriage?

Don Fourtner

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At first thought, this might seem impossible. But I assure you that the cost of the system is considerably cheaper than marriage counseling; and certainly more effective. If you have teenagers, your contact with them has likely become limited as most of their free time is typically spent behind closed doors in interactive video games and online chat. It could also be the case that your marriage has become somewhat jaded and most of your free time is spent in individual activities that don't require interaction with your spouse. Because I and my wife both enjoy movies; we will occasionally spend time in the same room watching the latest DVD. However, conversation is limited or non-existent; lest we interrupt the on-screen dialogue.

Enter the power of the Nintendo Wii into your household. My wife started talking about a Nintendo Wii after she read about the Wii fit online. Her previous exposure to the Wii consisted of my son's constant request for the system whenever a major holiday rolled around. I would have never thought she would ever be interested in spending hard earned money on a gaming system as she has never played my Nintendo 64 and is quickly bored with online games.

Who was I to argue? After all, she used her E-Bay profits to purchase the system. Other friends and relatives had units that I've played and it certainly was the most innovative gaming system I'd ever seen. I wanted one. Who amongst us have ever heard the statement; ‘I hate my new Wii?’ No pun intended.

It would be important to note that I am extremely competitive. If I was a contestant on the Moment of Truth television show, in which participants answer personal question after being strapped to a lie detector test; it would quickly be revealed that I think I am a better athlete, smarter, better educated and an overall better person than my wife. This lack of humility has likely contributed to part of the problems in our marriage.

Shortly after hooking up the system, which took longer than it should have because I ignored the instructions and I am a man; the interaction required in the games became very apparent. I immediately became humbled when my wife quickly knocked me out cold the first time we played the boxing game. Thinking I surely knew more about golf than she did, she promptly beat me by 6 strokes the first time we tried it.

I had read once that non-competitive women excel at video games because they start with low expectations and thus are more relaxed. Surely this was the reason for my early defeat. After beating her high score in Link's crossbow training, I discovered an amazing thing that has never happened before in any of my earlier competitions. There was no gloating, sense of superiority or immediate drive to play again until I won. I wanted to pass on tips and tricks that would help her improve her score.

We actually held real conversations while playing together in the game. My wife stayed up past nine on a weekday. We walked upstairs at the same time to the bedroom for the first time in months. The Nintendo Wii has defiantly improved our interactivity with one another and has spilled into other areas of our life.

There is one caveat when considering this type of alternative marriage therapy. It is very important that the purchase is your wife's suggestion. My wife purchased the system thinking the Wii fit would be a great way to get in shape. The suggestion that she might need to get in shape must be avoided at all costs. It's funny. The original reason for buying the product has not been realized as we still have not purchased the Wii fit. At this point, we are enjoying the few games we have. Together.

Don Fourtner
Coldwell Banker Town & Country
Sequim, WA. 98382
Sequim Real Estate


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