Archive for the ‘Widows Corner’ Category

Advice from a former Video Game Addict

Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Hello Everyone,

I’ve been reading some of the posts on here, and was inspired to share my story.

Around six years ago, I found myself in the clutch of video game addiction. I was a young man, had an awesome girlfriend, had a mediocre job, and came from a close family. Nothing seemed to be out of place, and at the time I didn’t think that I had ANY problems. My thoughts concerning playing excessive amounts of video games were like the thoughts of most of the addicted husbands and boyfriends mentioned on this forum… “I’m escaping, I need time for myself, It relaxes me, it’s better than being at a bar… blah blah blah”. I know right?

The name of the beast was Playstation 2. It wasn’t necessarily an online game, and I wasn’t playing to the extent of some of the horror stories I’ve read here, but it was a problem in my relationship with my girlfriend and family nonetheless. One day my girlfriend spoke to me seriously about me playing games so much. She told me she was concerned about me playing so much, and felt neglected by me. I kind of brushed her off about it, and I excused myself from there being anything wrong with what I was doing. If anything it actually reinforced my reasons and determination for playing (I saw that my girlfriend was un-supportive and too needy)… but the contrary was true. A few days later my mother called me to come over. I went over and my girlfriend was there, and I guess we had a sort of a mini intervention. We all talked, I listened.

“My girlfriend had to go to the extreme of involving my mom”? (This was important)
This made me see that there’s consequences to everything you do, YES, even playing video games.
It was then I realized that I was replacing life itself with video games, I was spending more time with fake digital characters, and computerized violence than my girlfriend whom I (supposedly) loved. I saw the tears in her eyes and longing in her face to have me (the person who neglected her for so long) back. The very next morning I got up early and got rid everything video game related in my possession, and good riddance. It was a defining moment in my life. I was determined then to be a real man, and stop acting like a spoiled selfish teenager.

I thank GOD today that I went on to marry that wonderful woman. I  can say that I am truly happy, and have a successful marriage and career. I’ve also gotten a REAL hobby.

I also thank my wife for not giving up on me, she makes me more than I really am.

My suggestions to you significant others in these video game triangle relationships is this…

- Love conquers all, share your feelings with your mate, be patient, be brave, and be strong (we need help).
- Get a third party involved if possible, to be a mediator in the discussion of the problem. let it be someone that you both respect and has an understanding of the situation.

- Present them a clear list of choices or consequences that they will experience if their behavior doesn’t change.
- Follow through.. If you present an “ultimatum” be ready to back up what you’ve said you will do. This is worst case scenario, but if the person chooses an imaginary life rather than a real one with you… what can you do but make sure can take care of yourself (and your children).

There is always hope.

Thanks for reading.
-Nelson Castro (RazorJack)

New Widower

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

My wife started playing WOW in about December of 2007. Two weeks before our 38th wedding anniversary she came to my room and told me she was leaving me. She wanted to find “something different”. That something different turns out to be WOW. She plays 12-18 hours a day and ignores all other life. She refuses to answer the phone. She refuse to return emails. She is effectively gone into the game. She lives with my adult son and he tells me she rarely leaves the house and then only to buy food. She is supposed to find a job to support herself but after 2 months she still has not applied for a single job. I am destroyed by a video game and have no idea how to proceed.

Submitted by: Anonymous

Moving On

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

I’m not a Gaming Widow anymore.
I’m not sure if this site was in existence when I was an Everquest widow, between the years of 2000 and 2003.

He began gaming in 1998 (maybe sooner?), and was a gamer when we were in our courtship. However, it seemed he knew when to stop. He had a job. He was working on his advanced degree. We spent time together and he spent time with his friends. His gaming was relegated to late night and some weekend hours. And since it’s a hobby, that’s totally acceptable.

After we were married, it seemed his gaming increased. His friends also joined in the game. Instead of spending time together in the real world, they spent time together in the everquest world.

After our child was born, we decided financially it made sense for him to stay home for a few months with the baby. While his job had many rewards, it did not pay well. My job was enough to sustain us for a while. The plan was to have him go back to work once our child was no longer an infant and thus, daycare costs would decrease substantially. As it turns out, this plan was a HUGE mistake. Rather than use the time just to care for the child and our home, he spent a lot of it in front of a PC screen.

His gaming increased dramatically. So much so, that even on a trip to visit my family 1000 miles away, he tried to load everquest on my family’s antiquated PC. I was disgusted by his inability to give up the game even for two days.
A few months of unemployment turned into years.
Dishes were never washed. I had to hire out the lawncare. Garbage duty became mine. He did do some cooking, but I had to manage everything else in the house. Why? Because unless it was in Everquest, it wasn’t important. They even had gatherings of gamers….get togethers in reality in which non-gaming spouses were once again not the focus. After all, these people had important ‘camping the dragon’ reminisces and ‘looting plans’ to make. Anyone who didn’t understand these conversations was not even a consideration.

When my child turned two, the toddler began to attend a preschool. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for my spouse to begin a job hunt, unencumbered by the need to stay home and care for our child during the day.
How mistaken I was. This became an opportunity to game more.

At one point, he wanted me to join the game. I tried. But of course, by this point, his character was light years ahead. My character was a burden to him. And thus, it was not fun for me to participate. He didn’t help by mocking my inexperience in the presence of others. It was even less fun for me to participate when I learned that his ‘character’ was involved with a female ‘character’.
I was told repeatedly that it was just ‘for fun’, and nobody ‘took it seriously’. However, one afternoon, I was in the game by myself. I game across one of the people that knew my husband in the game. He asked how my inexperienced character got my ‘advanced level gear’. I joked that I was sleeping with (my husband’s character name). He flat out asked me if I was that other female character using a new account.
That was it. I was done.
Whether or not it was ‘all in fun’, other people recognized HER as his significant other. The fact that he made no effort to correct remained a sore spot for years.

At one of the gatherings, I was introduced to her. I could tell by the way she looked at him that whatever he thought their relationship was, she thought it was more. She was married at the time. I don’t know anything more about her situation except to say that shortly thereafter, she divorced.

I was tired of bearing the burden of absolutely everything. I was abandoned for a GAME. Reality was left behind for an imaginary world. Who tolerates this nonsense?
All of this was coupled by an obvious romantic relationship with someone who was not me.
We divorced.
The weekend after the divorce was final, the woman from Everquest had moved in with him. “All in fun” my ass.
But apparently, even she had her limits. After two years with him, she moved out. Apparently, the explanation was that she was disenchanted with what their life had become. I imagine she had visions of them building a real life, but I well knew: she became his income and housekeeper….just another person onto whom to pass obligations so he could keep gaming.

I still have to maintain a relationship with this man (little boy?) because we are parents. And he is still obviously addicted to gaming. I have seen the computer screen with a game on it on numerous occassions when I’ve picked up my child.
Makes me wonder what my child does while his father is busy in the world that he finds more important.

I’ve moved on with my life. I know I am better off now then I was during my marriage.

I know most ‘gamers’ don’t hook up with members of the opposite sex. However, I find that point to be completely irrelevant. Any obssession that excludes a spouse, whether it be an online game, golfing outings, or time at the bar, is not healthy.

Relationships have to be nurtured. There has to be mutual respect.

Anyone who makes choices that disrespect their spouse, that shun responsibilities because they interfere with ‘hobbies’,  that continually put ‘fun for self’ over ‘fun with family’, who can’t find the line between relaxing and excessiveness…..those people need therapy.
And I firmly believe ‘gaming addicts’ are seriously in need of a 12 step program. They have the same problem as alcoholics…..and the only way to make them stop is for them to give it up cold turkey. They obviously can’t be trusted to find the middle ground.

For the gaming widows/widowers out there, I hope your significant other’s obsession is short lived. Perhaps they, like the ‘other woman’ in my story will grow weary of the ‘imaginary life’….even if it takes years. However, it should be noted that not even divorce or unemployment will deter some addicts. Those are the type of people who will never stop unless they are forced to.
I wish all of you the best and hope you find what you need.
I found that what I needed was not to be ‘roommate’ and ‘housekeeper’ for a man-child that could never learn to find his way out of the gaming labyrinth.

Submitted by: EQEx

A Gamer Addict’s View

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

This is the story of how I got un-addicted to video games and had a blast while I was at it.   I was addicted to computer games, Diablo and Warcraft. I became so obsessed it was all I could think about.   If I wasn’t playing I was devising strategies in my head.   Eventually I could not tear myself away from the screen even to greet family at the door.   My wife started referring to herself as a Video Game Widow.   My finances were going down the toilet.

The sense of accomplishment I seemed to be getting from winning levels etc. was starting to feel really empty, but still I played.   This is when I realized there was another way to create excitement in my life.   I realized that I could approach my real life with the same principles as I did with computer games and thus create lasting results and satisfaction.   In order to solidify this in my awareness   I posted a post-it note on my computer monitor that said this… “I’ve got another game.   It’s called Life.” Underneath I wrote “Imagine what I could accomplish If I played Life with the same intensity I play these other games!”   It lived there for years.   I did have a few slips where I’d get caught up playing a game for “just a few minutes”… But I’d purposely look at that post-it note, remember my “New Game” and turn it off without trouble.

Now, the thing about addictive patterns is that if you get rid of one without restructuring your thinking, you’ll end up with another addiction to replace it.   Things were better for a while, but my troubles didn’t stop with the “Quit” command.

Although I was not playing games any longer, my illustration business continually failed to thrive, and my relationship, although slightly improved, was still fraught with confusion, resentment, poor communication, and a general lack of emotional intelligence.   The problem was not the game playing.   It was me.   I was afraid to change, afraid of any discomfort.   I was afraid of people’s opinions of me, afraid of confrontations (otherwise known as true communication).   I was stubborn and refused to release my attachment to the way I thought I should do things.   These are not attitudes conducive to success in life.   I sank.   And it was a long slow insidious sinking at that.   I hardly noticed it until it became unbearable.

Sitting up late one night, by myself, flipping through old movies and infomercials, trying to distract myself from ever looming fears of divorce and financial ruin, I came across the famous life trainer, Tony Robbins.   Tony was talking about the power of personal development to create real lasting change and the ability to create what you want in life.   Tony was offering me a user manual for this new game called Life I was trying to win at.   Within 15 minutes of watching Tony’s infomercial I knew that his program was exactly what I needed.   Since I was so broke and terrified of what my wife would say If I spent the mere $300 purchase price (It’s down to $200 today on Tony’s website) I asked myself “Who do I know who might have this?” and a friend popped into mind.   I called him up and he did indeed have it, and was happy to lend it to me!   The program was called Personal Power II.   Although this was a 30 day home study course I was experiencing major changes in my confidence level and my internal strength within two days.   That was May 2002.   Since then I’ve studied the teachings of Deepak Chopra, Robert Kiyosaki, Brian Tracey, T. Harv Eker, and Mark Joyner.   All of these teachers taught me incredible lessons through their seminars, books and audio programs.   I’ve discovered that as long as I’m learning and taking action and growing forward, I’m happy.

Here’s the irony.   One very powerful principle I learned from playing video games so obsessively is that no matter what the challenge is, persistence and creative thinking will eventually solve it.   I used the skills and passions I learned from playing computer games to take real action in my own analog (as opposed to “digital”) life, enjoy it even more, and transcend right out of my attachment to them… quitting the computer games themselves! I haven’t touched a computer game in any serious way in over three years.   I have no desire to.   In fact, now I have an aversion to them because my analog life is so much more compelling and exciting and rewarding and I associate computer games with that terrible empty sinking feeling I started to get.   My fears and phobias around connecting with people are a tiny fraction of what they used to be.   My marriage is the strongest and happiest and most fun it’s ever been.   My income has more than tripled, and I’m on my way to creating financial freedom.   I’ve created a powerful purpose for my life that carries me into amazing fulfilling work projects.   I’m 37 years old and my physical health is better than it’s ever been.   And guess what.   Aside from the fact that there’s no point in beating myself up over it, I don’t regret my gaming addiction at all because it has led me to a better place in my life than I was even able to imagine only five years ago.   It has allowed me to transcend to a new level.   I’ve leveled up.


If you’re interested in learning from some of these teachers you can get a lot of amazing training for free or nearly free.   Many of their books and audios can be found at the library.   A lot of their seminars are actually free or nearly free because they can use them as a forum to try and sell stuff to people.    One of the most incredible seminars I’ve ever been to was on a free ticket I got as a bonus for buying another product I wanted anyway.   That was T. Harv Eker’s 3 day seminar and the personal transformation that occurred in those three days were totally stunning.

Here’s a list of resources I got for free or nearly free.   You’ll see that a lot of these titles seem to be focused on the money, but at a very deep level they are about transforming yourself into a person who is deeply connected to your purpose in life (whatever that may be for you) and becoming the kind of person with the skills and integrity to make your dreams happen.   The money happens almost by default, as a result of who you become.   Believe it or not, this stuff can be learned and it can manifest in your life.

Al Anon was pre-game-addiction for me, but I feel compelled to tell you about it. It gave me the tools to unravel my convoluted thinking conditioned by years of dysfunctional living, and find a true emotional stability.   Eventually I drifted away from it and slipped back into my old convoluted ways.   Fortunately it laid a solid foundation for me to help me grasp the later stuff so much easier.   Al Anon is a free organization of group therapy run by the participants.   It’s for people who have been affected by addicted people in the course of their lives.   There are related organizations including Alateen, Alcoholics Anonymous, Over-Eaters Anonymous, Emotions Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous, and more.   It’s one of the most effective systems for personal healing I’ve ever experienced.   I’ll be forever grateful and respectful of it.   You can find it in the phone book.   If you call Al Anon they will direct you to the affiliated meetings you seek.   On the web it’s… .

Tony Robbins’ Personal Power II is soooo worth the purchase price of $200!   However, I managed to borrow it from a friend for free.   This course was the beginning of sustainable happiness for me.   Killed my 4 year funk in the first few days.   Tony, I’m forever greatful.

Deepak Chopra , what an amazing teacher.   Browse his books and see what you’re drawn to.   Health, wealth, spirituality… he’s a master of it all.   A Healer, King, Wizard, and Warrior in one.

T. Harv Eker has a free evening seminar you can attend.   He and his trainers travel North America and the world to bring these to the public.   This is a great eye opener, a great place to start.   You can find one in your area on the website…

For Harv Eker’s full 3 day seminar , Harv’s excellent book may still be offering 2 free tickets (see link below).   This is the 3 day seminar that transformed my life, and looking back it would have been well worth the $1200 to get in on the regular ticket price.   This is the course that redesigned my financial blueprint, and I owe a special thanks to Harv Eker and David Wood (they taught that seminar together) for that.   I’ve attended it twice now, and also happily paid to take another one called Enlightened Warrior Training Camp, which was a wonderful, character building, spiritual strengthener (not to be mistaken for “religious”).   If you sign up to any courses during the free seminar he gives you incredible discounts.   You can check out the book here…

Robert Kiyosaki’s is part of his educational company and they offer excellent free workshops in Canada where they teach you great stuff for free, and then offer you other more advanced seminars, books, games, etc. which, of course, you don’t have to buy if you choose not to.   In the U.S. they’re known as .   He’s also got an excellent series of books… and <gasp!> a computer game that teaches you the vocabulary and principles of investing!   (There’s also a board game that you play with real people where you can actually network during the game for your real business).

Paul and Layne Cutright are amazing relationship educators and trainers.   I learned some very powerful concepts while working on a project with them, such as using upsets as an opportunity to grow (I’m an illustrator, and as of this writing I’ve just completed the last of the images for the new coaching manual for their home study course, Secrets and Strategies for Successful Relationships ).   They’ve created a number of books and courses and even videos and audios.   You can learn more about it at…

Oriah Mountain Dreamer. I’ve been studying her work for months now.   Very moving and empowering.   Reading her poem The Invitation was my morning ritual for months.   It makes me feel stronger, more connected, more present and vital.   You can read it on her website at…

http:/ /

Mark Joyner is actually a marketing guru and an ex military officer.   He offers a free course he describes as “The secret science of getting what you want.”   This course is so straight forward and simple and right to the point.   He’s got a warm friendly approach with a gentle sense of humor.   Being the right brained arty type I am, my attention and energy is easily scattered.   I’m in the middle of taking his second course on creating money right now and it’s totally different from any other approach I’ve ever studied in it’s simplicity and directness.   After all the incredible mindset work I did with the other teachers, Mark Joyner’s course has given me the systematic procedure to putting that mindset to work and taking action immediately, never getting stuck wondering what the next step is.   This free course gives you an incredibly simple and effective planning system, work sheets you can print out that guide you step by step, all kinds of really practical stuff.   That one is free because he knows enough people that take the first one will want to pay the $98 bucks it costs to take the   second one.   And he has a third one on personal energy in the works as of this writing.   You can check out the free course here…

What do these have to do with the game addiction?   These are the guides that help me get the most out of this Life game. I’m still gaming.   That’s the thing.   I never really got over that fascination with strategy and problem solving and creative thinking that so hooked me on computer games.   I’ve simply redirected it towards the challenges and passions in my real life.   This game never ends.   I never have to quit it, because literally everything in it is part of the game!   And I love it!

Submitted by:

Scott Mooney, Illustrator, 2006


Monday, September 26th, 2005

I joined the gamer widow ranks but a month ago, stumped on how to proceed with my husband being “gone” so often that the “widow” title seemed fitting.    This was not to say we weren’t in love.   We were.   In fact, we were still so in love that I would sometimes catch myself in the very process of memory-making and think, ” This is what it’s all about, we have it, it’s here”.   Lack of love was not the problem.   The problem came when this enjoyment of such moments was eclipsed by the fear that the sun would go down with these “lovers” in separate rooms.

In reading and listening to the experiences of those in similar situations I began to believe the only route to peace-keeping was acceptance; tolerance; and “letting go” of the hope…and sometimes resentment.   I looked inward, certain there were changes I could make that would will him to change, will him to act .   Each strategy seemed to make his fortress of retreat more necessary for his survival.   In even approaching him I began to envision him peering at me through a small, sliding port-hole of a large door with inspecting eyes which begged, “What do you want?”   If I then made clear my intentions were only to demonstrate my affection, find out what he wanted for dinner, or tell him a story…the 1-foot thick door would be pulled open slowly and I would enter, tip-toeing over literal eggshells to hug him and settle down in his company.   However, if instead he heard, “We need to talk” through the peep-hole, the slide was closed and the reply given, “Go ahead!” through the door.   And I would.   I’d “go ahead” even though I knew he couldn’t hear me.   He was somewhere deep inside his creation; his stronghold of defence, feigning listening badly.   It was this imagining that led me to talk with someone else.   Someone wall-less for a start.

Everyone will have their own brand and type of support system; the people they turn to.   I found mine, and went there.   4 hours and a waste-basket of tissues later I felt justified in my concern.   I was willing to make sacrifices to have more than just a marriage, I wanted an awe-inspiring marriage, and I knew then that it wasn’t wrong to want that.   I drove home rehearsing my request that he think about “sacrifice”, and whether he’d factored that into a successful marriage.   I planned to explain how “compromise” sometimes isn’t enough…that if something is truly destructive it just doesn’t make sense to say, “Just a little bit?   Please?”   To explain how the bed was cold and the stone fortress was really not in harmony with the feng-shui of our home.   30 minutes of rehearsing, and 32 kilometres later I was home.   Target: Stone fortress hidden inside young-marrieds’ apartment; Mission: Share willingness to work and make more than compromise, but GIVE UP things to make more than a marriage, but a great marriage; Only established game-plan: Don’t say, “We need to talk”.

I don’t remember how it started, and I don’t remember all that was said, but I can recall this:

•  I expressed my feelings and hopes for us rather than the reasons why he should quit playing the game;

•  I repeated that I loved him and wanted to show that in my actions;

•  I begged him to consider my request in a space free of the “wedge” (between us); and

•  It hurt.

4 nights of worrying, 2 packets of M&Ms and scores of prayers later the hurting stopped.   Location: At the door of my school classroom; Event: A message from the office for the teacher; Contents: “Your husband loves you”.   Having heard and seen nothing of the man I love for days (even with the fortress in our lives this was highly painful and unusual), this note dissolved every illusory chain I felt now imprisoned me.   I re-entered the classroom and taught two damn good lessons.

I don’t know that it’s necessary to fill in the finer points of how this night ended, but I will list you this:

•  The account and game are gone;

•  He found a new job; and

•  I’m no widow.

I believe each of us lives in unique circumstances and relationships and expects unique things from their relationship.   I know we have different methods and ideas about the solution, and even how we perceive the problem we’re attempting to solve.

I can’t advise anyone on what will work for them or what they should want.   But I can tell you what I wanted, and what I got, and the three things it took.


I wanted to support my husband in 100% overcoming his addiction.   We tried “moderation”, we tried, “I can control it”, we tried it all.   I wanted wholesome recreational activities together and apart, I wanted active, affordable, reasonable activities with consequences in the real world; fitness / a stronger marriage / skills / peace of mind…instead of “hand-eye-coordination” and “friends” who are 90% likely to be in some way something other than who they say they are.

I got it.   I have it.   I love it.


1.   It required hurt for both parties, not anger

FOR ME what made this time different was that I hurt more than ever.   Every other “discussion” was dominated by anger and his pain.   This time was governed by love, expression of willingness to change on my part, and importantly expression of hope that he was willing to do the same.

The results hurt.   Both of us.   And I feel it had to.   Arrows that hamper one’s movement may be painless on piercing our armour, but will tear and bleed on being pulled out.   It had to hurt, and it required time and space.   What I hadn’t considered was that I needing to be willing to hurt while he figured it out. I believe if I had continued to wear my cape and non-verbally proclaim, “It’s your problem, so you’ll hurt while you give it up and I’ll watch” we would still be arguing.   Offering to hurt with him, even if more than I had foreseen, has made all the difference.

2.   It required a respected third party

Fishing, away from the distraction of his addiction, with a listening and encouraging friend separate from the situation worked something miraculous.   In speaking to this other person since, and telling him of that note I received in class he said, “I’m glad he took my advice”.   In asking why he’d made that specific instruction he explained, “I’ve learned that opposition to a happy marriage will creep back in without invitation and with the door of opportunity left only slightly open.   In order to ensure there’s no opposition to moving forward the door needs to be closed before the couple even enters the room of reconciliation.   I told him he had to do something between now and his seeing you for the first time that would guarantee you hugged when you saw each other, not worked up to a hug.”   We hugged.

3.   It required believing it could be an awe-inspiring marriage, and shutting up when it looked like it was happening.

A devout perfectionist and romantic, I desperately resisted accepting this was what marriage was about.   The moment I conceded that “this was him” and “this was it” I knew I was signing the prophecy of my future for more of the same.

Since that hug I have never raised the subject since.   Neither of us has apologised for anything and no one has accepted any blame.   The problem is gone, and we’re moving forward.   The “me” of two years ago in our marriage would have insisted “sorry’s” were said, accountability was taken, and things were “put in place” to prevent a repeat of the episode.   The me of now believes every “nagging” word and every heated “discussion” about the game has been enough.   He’s acknowledged his mistakes enough THROUGH HIS ACTIONS (i.e. stopping), I don’t need to hear it.   I don’t want to hear it.   I want to move on.   After all, a “Sorry” isn’t enough, it’s the ACTION I wanted.

I’ve acknowledged my mistakes by giving him the space to work it out.   I didn’t run after him when he slept somewhere else and beg him to tell me what he was feeling; insist we talk it out; and come home and play “happy family”.   I showed THROUGH MY ACTIONS that I knew my nagging and single-direction talking were only making things worse.   For him, my apologies after each “We need to talk” had only sent mixed messages - I wanted him to stop, but then I was sorry for nagging.   Finally I said what I felt and hoped for, and then SHUT UP, instead of then blurring my message with apologies.

Space and time have proven him, and I am the happiest and most secure in my marriage I have ever been.   If we can get through that, we can get through anything.

The beauty of leaving widow-hood is realising the one we love was never dead at all, but rather was “blinded potential” inside a fortress of defence we think we cannot penetrate.   Thus, without death, my husband is neither “re-born” or resurrected, but I have renewed and improved our mutual association, renewed our willingness to make sacrifices for each other, and renewed the reasons why we “signed up” for an eternity of each other’s company in the first place.

See you in the forums,

- The Katipo

Submitted by: The Katipo

A Lion’s Tale

Friday, June 3rd, 2005

I‘ve been a ‘Gamer Widow’ for about two years now.  My husband and I were married last May, we’re newlyweds, but it doesn’t always feel like we’re newlyweds.  In my own personal stereotype of what newlyweds are supposed to be like, they are all happy and romantic and all over each other in love and mushy and we are not exactly like that.  In fact, perhaps my husband and his video games are newlyweds!

Currently I’m a ‘WoW Widow’ also known as a World of Warcraft widow. World of Warcraft is a very popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing game, MMORPG, created by Blizzard Entertainment. My hubby started playing almost as soon as WoW, World of Warcraft, was released. Recovering from being a SOCOM II and Final Fantasy Online widow, I really tried hard to not get him the game and so I held out till about Christmas, but then his really good friend got it for him, so what could I do?

He convinced me to trade in the FFXI, Final Fantasy Online, subscription and get a WoW subscription for him instead, since I handle all the household finances, and I succumbed.

At first it wasn’t too bad, but very soon after he was starting to become really addicted and I didn’t understand it.  I would constantly talk to him about it and get very angry. So he cleverly decided that I needed to play too so that I could understand him better. I decided our marriage was worth it, so I joined up as well.

When created my own character on World of Warcraft he was already 15 levels ahead of me, and he was so enthusiastic about my playing and so excited about us playing together.  He even helped me level up, which translated to non-gamer-speak means he stopped progressing in the game to help me progress at a fast pace.  It actually felt really good to make those achievements as I reached higher and higher levels and doubly wonderful to see his reaction and enthusiasm as I advanced in the game. I felt like at least we were doing it together and I was a part of this crazy gaming world of his.

It wasn’t long before I got addicted too.  I found myself one day sort of ‘waking up’ after 12 hours of playing the game.  I realized that in that week I hadn’t cleaned, I hadn’t paid any bills, and the worst thing, I didn’t answer a phone call from my mom. (All my family lives in Canada, I live here in the US with my husband.  His family is my only family and a call from my mom means a lot to me).  When I realized what this game was turning me into I immediately quit.  I found myself dreaming about the game, having urges wanting to get back on. Boy did I ever start to understand my husband!

However, seeing myself reduced to that, I also realized how sickened I was by the addiction and disgusted that I could become that sort of person.  Thank goodness we don’t have children!

So basically, my situation is this: I still play from time to time, I am now a level 32 undead warlock. I try to play only once every week or two because the game never fails to make me stay on for over 5 hrs at a time, which I hate. My husband is now a level 60 undead rogue and still as addicted as ever.

The only thing is that now he can’t lie to me anymore. That is something I realized too. He used to lie to me, for example, saying ‘Oh baby I can’t pause the game, I’m not safe’ when I’d ask him to pause the game and I’d believe him. But now I can totally debate about how long it actually takes to get to a safe spot and judge when he actually CAN pause the game or not.

Likewise I know that when he says ‘Oh I’m just going to do this instance really quick,’ I know that means it will take him 3-4 hours because no instance is ever short. So I have the lingo pretty down pat and I find that so incredibly helpful.  Even armed with that though, I still feel lonely often.  I have chosen to really embrace that Latina in me and totally let him know how I feel.  The thing is, he doesn’t see it as wrong.  For him it’s his way of having ‘down time’ whereas I watch tv or read for my ‘down time’.

One thing I’ve definitely learned as a newlywed is that you really have to prioritize what you consider integral to your relationship.  For me it’s having an attentive husband who loves me more than anything or anyone.  Do I have that? YES.  I’ve learned to not have unrealistic expectations of my husband, no one is perfect 24 hours of the day.  I know him very well and I married him for who he is.  Do I still feel neglected at times? Oh most certainly.  But when I find the feeling of neglect to be really overwhelming I write about how I feel and talk to others who are in my situation or I talk to him about it, when he’s not playing of course!  All in all, the thing is, I accept that I am a Gamer Widow but I know that when I hurt or feel neglected, I can count on the gamer widow community to be there for me. I hope that my experience serves as a jumping point for some discussion and I hope that I can be of some help with other gamer widows or gamer widowers in terms of deciphering the ‘WoW-speak’.

Submitted by: Lyoness