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