The popular game Monopoly Go almost destroyed my marriage, and it could be ruining your life, too. Here’s why Monopoly Go and similar games are a bad idea.
I never thought I’d be writing this.
I still feel so much shame and embarrassment, but I also know I can’t be the only one who has gone through something similar.
Monopoly Go almost ruined my marriage – and I almost allowed it to happen.
Just get to Board 42 playing my favorite board game? No problem.
Now, I kind of live in a tech-free world. Not on purpose, but I’m just way too busy to do anything other than the daily Solitaire and Wordle challenge.
I’d actually never even heard of Monopoly Go before this.
Now I’ve since learned that it’s one of the most popular game apps in the world.
I figured I’d download the app, play for a few days or a week, get to the level I needed, and uninstall it from my phone.
I’m writing this post only 8 days after downloading it…..
…. and I’ve spent $1,148.54.
I feel sick to my stomach.
Just looking at that number makes me want to vomit.
I actually had to stop writing this post at this point and go eat a tub of ice cream.
I can’t believe I did that.
And even worse than spending all that money was the fact that I almost ruined my marriage while doing it.
How Monopoly Go Hooked Me
Like I said, it all began in innocence – just trying to get to a certain level to get a gift card for my family to use for Christmas.
But I was honestly the perfect patsy.
I went into it knowing they’d try to get me to make purchases. But I’d done fine against Candy Crush, so I told myself that I’d be fine. I had my guard up.
But I had no idea just how skilled this app would be at pushing their agenda of getting people to buy things.
You see, you only get 5 rolls per hour. And it only takes like 5 seconds per roll.
And every time you run out of rolls, you have to close out of 4 different pop-ups that tell you all of the amazing, time-limited deals on how you can get 100 rolls for just $1.99 or whatever.
The free gift you get every 8 hours? You have to swipe past 3 pages in the Marketplace (where they tell you the current deals on rolls) before you can see it.
And then there are the cards you can collect, the competitions, and the prizes once you’ve met certain milestones.
The easy thing about Candy Crush was to say, “When I’m out of lives, I’ll stop.”
But with Monopoly Go, every time I set a boundary like, “When this competition ends, I’ll stop,” a new thing would start and I would be so close to winning a ton more rolls and being able to play longer.
Justifying Monopoly Go
One of the biggest struggles I faced with Monopoly Go was my current situation.
My fourth child was born just six months before, and he’s a terrible napper. And eater.
I spend over 8 hours a day sitting on my bed. I’m either feeding him (which requires both hands – one to hold the bottle, the other to hold a toy to distract him from realizing he’s drinking a bottle), or holding him while he naps (he will only nap in the crib for 30 minutes, then wakes up and has to be held to sleep the additional hour or so he needs).
I’ve gotten tired of binge-watching TV shows, or even General Conference talks. I read so fast, that it’s impossible to turn the page while also feeding a baby.
So a game on my app seemed like the perfect addition to my list of things I could do while taking care of this baby.
So I told myself that I needed this game so I wouldn’t feel resentful towards my child about having to spend so must time dedicated to just him.
I also told myself that I never use money for myself. I don’t go out shopping a ton, I rarely get a mani/pedi, etc.
I also don’t really pay myself from my income from my books or this blog. Extra money goes towards savings for kids’ future education, or purchasing a new car, or replacing a dishwasher.
My husband, on the other hand, has a project car that he loves. Each time we get bonus money (like a tax return), we put a certain percentage into a fund for it that he can draw from. He doesn’t have to check with me about how he spends it (like we do for other budget categories).
This was just my version of that.
Lying to Myself – and My Husband – About Monopoly Go
After the first day, the bank froze my credit card, thinking all the unusual purchases were fraud.
My husband asked me about it that night, and I froze. I was so embarrassed about how much I had spent, so I downplayed it.
“Oh, I decided to make a purchase on that app. It’s no big deal.”
And I went to bed.
The next morning, I told him it was more like just a couple of purchases. I apologized and said I was embarrassed, and he was very kind and forgiving about it.
I decided to uninstall the app.
Three hours later, as I sat trying to feed the baby, bored out of my mind, I installed the app again.
And I realized I could write a blog post about the game and then could write off any purchases, right?
So I used my business card for the purchases.
But then I realized the bank could shut it down, too, and my husband would get the notification.
So instead I bought gift cards on Amazon for Google Play and applied those.
As I sat and pressed roll after roll, it was like a Heart and Brain comic from The Awkward Yeti.
My brain was screaming at me to stop, but my fingers kept pushing “Buy.”
Why Monopoly Go Was Bad for Me
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like this before.
Even with my Crohn’s disease and having been on heavy pain meds, there was never a craving for them.
The closest I’ve come is being on prednisone and feeling the need to stuff my face and keep eating, even thought I was extremely full.
It was an addiction.
Soon, I was playing it nonstop.
Talking to the kids during dinner? One hand was pressing “Roll.”
Laying in bed at night and my husband comes over to cuddle, knowing I’ve asked him to do that since touch is one of my love languages? I was wanting him back on his side so I could pull out my phone and play without him seeing.
Waking up at 2am to take our 3 year old to the bathroom? Instead of going back to sleep, I was playing the game.
I was cranky with my kids, sleep-deprived, and pulling away from my husbad.
How Monopoly Go Almost Destroyed My Soul – and My Marriage
There’s a song from an old Especially For Youth (EFY) by Michael Webb called “Everything to Win.” It’s about selling your birthright for a mess of pottage, and it fits this scenario perfectly.
I almost threw away my marriage and my integrity…. for what?
A stupid game that had no real reward, no real blessing. A hollow thrill of victory about something that doesn’t even exist in reality.
In Matthew 16:26, Christ says, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
I was lying to my husband.
I was hiding things.
I was angry at my kids at being interrupted.
I was missing out on their fun things.
I wasn’t doing the things that bring me joy – like writing, reading, or blogging,.
I wasn’t “working” by finding deals on Amazon for my Faceook group, or working on my current novel.
And I wanted everyone to leave me alone, even my husband, just so I could keep pressing “roll.”
How I Rescued Myself From Monopoly Go
I was addicted.
In just 8 days of downloading an app, I had become addicted to it.
It wasn’t until the last day, when I realized I had bought FIVE $100 Google Play gift cards in 24 hours that I finally accepted it.
I needed help.
I went to my husband, who handled it with WAY more grace and forgiveness than I imagined. I already knew he was pretty perfect, but this experience just reinforced that noton.
Instead of getting angry, he expressed surprise and sympathy. “I’ve gotten caught up in games like that before,” he said. “Maybe not quite so much with the money, but definitely with the time.”
He encouraged – not demanded, but enouraged – me to uninstall the app.
He accepted my apologies and offered suggestions of where the money should come from (a combination of my budget of fun money, as well as the amount i had been saving up to edit my next book).
At my request, he set up a pin on my phone so that I couldn’t spend money without it.
Overall, Phillip demonstrated the amazing forgiveness and love that the Savior does when we make mistakes and commit sin, then go to Him for forgiveness.
And our marriage is healed.
I still feel so dumb; the next step is working on forgiving myself.
It’s also made me realize just how fallible I am.
I’ve been helping a friend of mine and her husband with living within their income. We meet every Sunday to discuss the week’s expenses, because she had made some decisions – without his input – that put them in significant debt.
I’ve never judged my friend, but I also never quite understood how they got to the point they did.
It was humbling to see just how easy it was.
Monopoly Go almost destroyed my marriage; I’m grateful I stopped it before it did.