S.O. vs WoW. Where do you draw the line?

Originally posted 2010-07-27 13:06:49.

This is a topic I never thought I would need to talk about, as me and my husband both play video games with each other, but with what I have been seeing around the web (many many times at the wow_ladies live journal, which is a wonderful place for males and females alike to chat about WoW ) and in the guild I am in, it is a topic that needs to be discussed.

Jealous of a Game?

A few weeks ago in our 10 man, our resident resto Shammy, I will call him ShammyA,  got online and sad he would need to be AFK for a bit that we should just pull trash and not wait for him. No biggie! We pull trash in the Blood Quarter and wait a bit for him to get back. About 20 minutes he emerges and apologizes to the group. Now, being the only female in the group I get treated like one of the guys, so this allows them not to watch their tongues and to be blunt around me. However tonight, my femaleness was put to use.

I get a tell from ShammyA saying he was having some “gf aggro” as we like to call it. I laugh because this is something that is said by random members of the group sometimes. He tells me it is bad that time and she went to bed telling him to stay on the couch. He let me know that she hates his gaming and cannot stand when he is on and not paying attention to her. ShammyA let me know it was getting so bad that she would flip out and they would fight every raid night. I told him that this was a common thing to have happen with couple with very different interests. But to give her time outside of the game and have a talk with her about why playing is important to you.

The raid got called early due to people needing to leave. ShammyA then asks me what he should do now. I tell him to go and see if she is awake, if she is to just talk to her and calm her down. Let her know that he is there for her and understand she may not like the game, but still needs to respect that he does. The next day I found out that it worked! She was talking to him again and everything was peachy! Wonderful I thought, hoping this was not going to be a trend in his relationship.

 Strike 2!

Cut back to last night. We were working on getting some achievements down, when ShammyA logs on, joins the group, and then goes AFK again. I ask the raid leader if he is coming back, to which I get the response that he had “gf aggro” again. Oh boy, here we go again! After being AFK for around 30 minutes, ShammyA comes back and logs off. The raid leader then says over vent, “Well, he says if he wants to keep her, he needs to go.”

This hit me like a ton of bricks. He actually had to leave a game he does not even play very much of, except on raid nights, to appease her. We just were doing easy mode achievements, so it did not bother me that we 9 manned them. What did bother me is that someone was so upset over another enjoying their hobby.

This is where things get messy…

Maybe it’s because I am female AND a gamer that makes this entire situation seems so unreal to me. I understand wanting to spend time with your significant other, I really do. My husband and I have mandatory WoW break times that we follow and we never eat a meal while we play. This is just something we do to make sure we are not too addicted.  But to hate someones hobby so much that you force them to not participate in it. I feel this is absurd.

Now I do not know the full situation or even both sides of the story when it comes to ShammyA, however I know gaming can be a pretty serious topic when it comes to couples. There are some people who have been married for a while that like the gaming break from one another. Our GL and his wife worked it out so he could be on a 9 server every night and they still get “their” time in. One of my best girlfriends told me that when her husband plays games, it is her release and it gives her the freedom to read or watch a movie with interruption.

Maybe it gets easier once the couple gets married and they are needing to find their own space. For younger couples who are living together, this separation from the couple sphere might be more than some can handle. There are also stories about how people get divorced over WoW. I think that is a little extreme don’t you? (Again, not saying here this is a horrible thing to happen, sometimes it takes moments like this to bring out the worst in someone.)

Is there hope for a resolution?

There is always hope. As my mom always said what is meant to be will be. So what sort of ways can couples work out their issues? First and foremost, both parties need to sit down and calmly address the issues. Turn off the games, turn off the tv, and just let it be a partner moment. Talk about how each other feels and get it all off your chest. I know you guys out there do not usually like the mushy stuff, but if you want to play and keep your partner, this is one of the best first steps!

Talking could even be your last step. Once you both understand how each other feels, there is usually an easier time letting your partner participate in what they love. Maybe you will see that you are playing too much and cut down your WoW time on your own. Or your partner could really see that you are not playing some mindless video game and are actually interacting with close friends.

If you need a bit more help, work out an arrangement. Your partner only raids 3 nights a week from 9pm till 11:30 pm? Well that seems like a fair amount of time to play in the evening. What about weekends? Oh you see your family every weekend for 5 hours? Another great time for your partner to WoW it up. I know how most people feel about being on a schedule with a game. You feel like you are being controlled but even if your partner and you have a date night every Wednesday and you cannot play that night, that does not seem too bad does it? Some of the men in my guild will not even play until their wife and kids are in bed and since we are a later evening raiding guild, this works out.

Another option is seeing if your partner will try WoW with you. I know this happens less often, but it is always worth a shot. Who knows, they may get surprized and love the game. If your partner is willing to try out WoW, you should also try out a hobby that your partner loves. Finding common ground is always useful in a growing relationship.

There are many ways to find a happy balance for personal time and couple time in a relationship. But fighting and creating anger is never a good idea. So take a breath, realise they are probably just mad because they are feeling ignored to a video game (I know my mom feels that way when she calls and I am playing WoW), and talk.

Do’s and Don’ts of WoW love/hate.

  • Don’t yell. This will only make things worse.
  • Do talk. Be calm and productive.
  • Don’t get violent. Punching walls is NOT the answer.
  • Do breath. Deep breaths help calm the heart rate and the mind.
  • Don’t threaten. When someone feels they are in corner, they can get defensive, making the situation much worse.
  • Do come up with solutions.
  • Don’t blame.
  • Do remember why you fell in love in the first place. <3
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I am a 29 year old from Pennsylvania. I am married to a wonderful husband and we have two children both named after super heroes! A girl who is 4 and a boy who is 1. Most of my time is spent working, being a mom, and gaming.