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Drama Mamas: Love and marriage and WoW

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.

This is the story of how a World of Warcraft duo saved a marriage and how the end of the duo now threatens that marriage.

Drama Mamas,

Hi! I'm a newlywed, but I have been with my husband for the better part of three years and I have been living with him for about a year now. When I first moved here, I didn't play WoW -- I was mostly into console gaming. However, our relationship began to get rocky and we decided that we needed something to bond over. He seemed to have so much fun playing WoW, so I decided to give it a try, and I loved it. He created a character specifically to play with me, and it was a blast. Five months of playing and six days /played on my main character, I finally hit 85 and got into some minor endgame content -- the quests, the heroics, the gear. All of this was leading up to the hope that I could join his guild with him -- the top raiding guild on our server -- and continue to play together.

That was not the case, though. With a pretty good item level, a good knowledge of both of my specs and complete willingness to learn and work as hard as RL permitted me to, his guild declined my application. I was as upset as one can get over something like this, but my husband assured me that it was all okay and I could just start my own guild.

So I got together some of my RL friends who played or wanted to play and started my own guild. My husband put one of his alts in it to support me, and my friends were leveling quick with the help of some of my alts, and I even managed to recruit a few people. It was going great until I started talking about recruiting a core raid team and maybe gearing his alt a little better so he could go with me. Now he wants to pull his alt out of my guild and put it back in his original guild, and he wants nothing to do with me and my endeavors in-game.

Sure, I want to raid and experience endgame content, but more than that I want to do it with my husband. Without him, Azeroth just seems so much less appealing and I find myself running around Stormwind's Trade District, bored, until I finally give up on the concept of doing a dungeon or two with my husband and move on to another activity. I know it's just a game and not everyone gets into the top raid guild, but this game gave my husband and I something in common to connect over and talk about, and got us through the hardest part of our relationship. If there's any advice you can offer me, I would appreciate it so much! :)

Thanks,
Alone In Stormwind


Drama Mama Robin: Let me get the steps straight here:
  1. You were having issues in your marriage.
  2. In order to bond, you created a duo in WoW.
  3. It worked.
  4. This duo took you to max level.
  5. Your husband has since dumped the duo.
  6. When you asked to join him in his guild, thus continuing to play with him, you were denied.
  7. Your husband's solution was for you to create your own guild, while still not really playing with him.
  8. So now you are in a different guild playing with other people, and sometimes his alt tags along.
  9. When you tried to get your own raid group together including your husband's alt, he got upset.
  10. Now, in a huff, he doesn't want to play with you in WoW at all.

I'm rather ticked off at your husband, but let's not dwell on that. It seems to me, Alone, that you are again having issues in your marriage. An activity that used to be shared between you has now gone back to becoming his activity with his group of friends. Now, it's good for couples to have friends to have fun with separately. It is also healthy for each partner to have a hobby or two. All time spent together can lead to Really Bad Things. But no time spent together leads to Really Awful Things.

I think you need to remind your husband -- calmly, rationally -- that the reason you started playing WoW in the first place was to create a bond to help your marriage. It worked. Now, if he doesn't want to continue to play WoW with you to strengthen that bond, what is his solution? What are you going to do to replace the bonding experience? When talking to him, you really need to impress upon him (again, calmly and rationally) how important this is to you and how hurt you are by his decision not to raid with you.

You like playing WoW, but perhaps another activity with him might work better than the one where he is neglecting you. I highly recommend that you both try to come up with a replacement solution. If you can't, I think marriage counseling may be a good idea. I fear that if this continues, you will go back to really rough times.

Whatever you do, don't tell him I think he's a petty, selfish jerk. That will just exacerbate the situation and cause smelly drama. My extremely low opinion of his behavior is irrelevant and should not be brought up at all.

Drama Mama Lisa: Well, ain't this grand. Thanks to your husband's selfish maneuvering, your marital partnership is actually is a worse position than it was before. Both of you are now firmly ensconced in groups that give you even less time to be together, and you're still not playing with each other at all.

I hope that your husband's simply suffering a temporary loss of perspective after being bitten by the Raiding Monster. We can all sympathize, I think, with his not wanting to leave his raiding guild after your app was denied. It's probably a possibility he never considered. Still, sometimes those possibilities do come to pass -- and now it's up to him to deal with the situation that he himself created.

So here you are. He's got his guild, you've got yours. You're essentially playing two different games, just like you were when you were playing console games and he was playing WoW. The only thing that's changed is that unless one or both of you are willing to give up playing with your guilds, WoW now cannot be your common interest.

At this point, it's back to square one. You need to figure out as a couple what sort of togetherness time you really need. Are you both willing to make the changes to let WoW be that tie that binds? If not, what will that thing be? How will you schedule WoW to work around that? (Notice the priority there -- WoW works around the marriage, not the other way around.) It may indeed come down to getting some outside help, as Robin suggests, to work through these negotiations, especially if your husband remains blinded by his preoccupation with raiding. You both seem savvy enough to have opened the conversation before, though, so I'm betting you'll be able to push through (maybe not easily, but I believe you can do it!) to pinpoint your mutual needs and reach a happy solution.

Good luck, and let us know what develops.

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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