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Drama Mamas: WoW vs. relationship

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Neglect her once, shame on you. Neglect her multiple times ...
Dear Drama Mamas,

I have a little bit of real life drama that's preventing me from playing WoW. It goes like this, I started playing WoW shortly after release, I got to level 60 at a little below average speed but eventually got into a good raiding guild, though we never progressed past MC, I still had a lot of fun with them.

Soon after that, I started dating this wonderful girl who I could never convince to start playing, despite the fact that she's a gamer. It took until patch 3.1 before she finally broke down and bought the game, after setting up her account we both rolled characters and started playing together whenever we had the chance, and it was a blast! We both had so much fun playing together and she grew to adore pvp, things were great.
Then, I goofed up, big time. My guild started doing a lot of the high end raids of wrath, first Ulduar then ToC, I went into pure hardcore raid mode, if I wasn't in a raid, I was preparing for it. After a few months of this, my girlfriend started to feel not only neglected in WoW, but in real life too.

Fast forward a few more months, we moved in together, and I, for the most part, stopped playing. Things started to get really good between us again and we were really happy, however, at the time I had recently lost my job. After we lived together for a few weeks, my girlfriend went out of state to visit her extended family for a week, this was right when the patch that added the Lich King encounter into the game was released. So, as soon as she left, I hopped onto WoW and didn't stop playing that whole week, even though I promised her I was going to go job searching.

To make a long story short...ish... she came back and told me that I acted like the game was more important than her and that even when we did play together I always made it seem like I wanted to play more with my guildies than with her, after a long long long fight, she told me it was her or wow. I chose her, but, and I hate myself for admitting this, I was bitter.

It took me months to slowly realize that she was right, I did let myself get too drawn into the game and I never went out of my way to make it seem like I actually wanted to play with her, in reality I had some of the most fun in the game with her, farming for raptor hatchlings and dragon whelps, farming quest items together, we even got her first random world epic while questing together, I miss those times. I've tried to convince her of this in the past, but she said I was just saying that because I just wanted to play again.

It's approaching 2 years since I last logged on, and for awhile I really didn't feel any urge to play the game, even after Cataclysm hit. I haven't made any attempt to convince her to play for over a year now.

But the last few days I've been reading about patch 4.3, as well as all the things that have hit prior to it, and while yes, it has been making me want to dust off the old main and get him to 85, what I really want is to roll up new rooms with my girlfriend again and see all the changes that came with the Cataclysm. A lot of time has passed and we have made a few jokes about wow that she didn't appear to be bothered by at all, but I still don't know how to approach her and let her know that I want to play the game with her again, that I want to have that bonding experience with her once more.

I thank you for at least reading this,

Clueless Shaman
LisaDrama Mama Lisa: OK, Clueless, let me slip this soft, fluffy clue right into your lap: the Blizzard Pet Store. Surprise your girlfriend with some sweet, snuggly WoW love. May I direct your attention to the plushies on page 2 that come with bonus in-game pet? That's your ticket, right there.

I'm going to take you at your word. If you're playing straight with us with your intentions and desires, here's your boss strategy:

Once you've got her smiling with an armful of huggable WoW memories, come clean. There's nothing complicated here -- just tell her how you feel, already! Tell her that as consuming as hardcore raiding can be, what you miss most is playing with her. Remind her of some of your favorite moments. Point out how quick and easy playing casually has become in today's game. Reassure her that you're not interested in hardcore raiding with the big dogs, that your goal is to make a leveling partnership and share the game with her. Let her know that if she thinks it sounds like fun, she can reactivate her account, log in, and use the gift code to claim the matching in-game companion pet -- and if she's not interested, that this cute little fluffy is the end of it.

And then mean it.

(And if you don't really mean it or you can't stick with the plan: Shame on you, sir. Shame.)

RobinDrama Mama Robin: The Spousal Unit and other significant others have performed the actions of Lisa's advice on occasion.

"Oh did I screw up again? Here, have a TARDIS; oh, and I'll deign to play with you again."

I plug in my toy a few times to hear the noise, play my high-level character with him a few times, and then it's back to his old antics. It's the same thing with spouses who cheat and then give flowers and jewelry. The cheated or neglected person in the relationship has to decide if he or she really wants to trust ... again ... and be hurt ... again. Or is it time to move on and break the cycle?

You seem to have more than just a gamer's love for WoW. You have a bit of a problem. It's one thing to prefer raiding to farming for pets. (Farming can become tedious no matter whom you are with -- completely understandable.) It's another to neglect really important responsibilities in order to be in Azeroth full time. Yes, job searching sucks. It and moving both make me go into the fetal position and hope that a fairy godmother will show up and make it all right. But you have to have employment to fulfill basic needs. Spending that week playing WoW wasn't just perturbing your girlfriend -- it was endangering your home and ability to provide food and clothing.

Your girlfriend has been burned multiple times, and I doubt that an admittedly adorable Wind Rider Cub (The Spawn calls hers Lionel) is going to make her forget that. If you are going to suggest this to her, you need to address her concerns beforehand. Have a strict gaming schedule ready that you will keep to. Add in non-gaming date nights as well as specific chore times. Use a tool that you both can share, such as Google Calendar, and make it clear that you know what your issues are with the game and that you are addressing them seriously. Be open to any changes she wants to make, and under no circumstances should you get defensive or pouty if she refuses.

I think it might be a better idea to forget World of Warcraft all together (even though patch 4.3 is tempting) and pick up another MMO with her to begin as a duo. There are a bajillion out there, and Star Wars: The Old Republic is coming up soon. Consider beginning anew where there is no emotional baggage. But still implement the schedule. You'll need it for your relationship and your possible addiction problem.

Good luck to you and let us know how this turns out.

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at Robin@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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