Husband, Companion, Level 85 Shaman

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The above poll just popped up in my news feed, and I thought it was worth meriting a little more thought than a simple “I AGREE WIF HUSBAND”. The website this post comes from is pretty crazy in general, but this one hits close to home for me and my gamer friends.

In any relationship, interaction and “together time” is essential. You can’t neglect those things and expect to be with someone very long. In the attached poll, we have a “neglected” wife and her gamer husband.

Per the wife, the husband works 40 hours a week and spends a few hours a night in his games. Not the most productive use of time, but I digress.

This whole post has the undertone that their relationship is being neglected, back-seated by his game. Despite the fact she mentions the he spends time with her on the weekend, goes out together with friends, etc. she feels he is setting her to the side and acting adolescent.

Nothing in her post strikes me as even remotely off-mark. Even if this wasn’t World of Warcraft (a massive timesink if there ever was one), he’s giving a few hours of his night each night to a hobby that he enjoys. Some husbands have sports games. Some have their garage. Some have TV shows. Some have naps. He chooses to play games in his spare time.

She mentions she considers anything in excess of 1 hour is excessive. Really? 1 hour? What can someone even reasonably accomplish in a game or otherwise in 1 hour? Can you really expect the wife to put similar limitations on her own hobbies? She can only scrapbook for 1 hour. Can only watch her TV shows for 1 hour. Can only talk to friends for 1 hour. Can only shop for 1 hour. Can only get her nails / hair done for 1 hour. Excess of that is a waste of her time and her relationship’s time, goddammit!

Then she mentions that gaming is too “high school” for someone his age as if she doesn’t have hobbies that are shared across wide demographics. If we were limited to things specifically targeted to people “our age”, well, I hope you don’t like Pixar movies or amusement parks or a host of things that are fun no matter your age. That, and the fact gaming’s chief demographic is 18-34 (probably in his age range). And you better believe that range goes up when you start talking MMOs and subscription models come into the fray. Her reasoning is very dubious.

If the husband were neglecting her, the relationship, or other necessary things then I’d agree there is an issue. Games don’t take priority to real life. But attempting to control someone’s hobbies because they are “unworthy” or “unfitting” in your eyes is a very selfish thing indeed.

Remember folks: just because you can’t see yourself doing it doesn’t make it wrong.

If you’d like to give your two cents to this poll, do it.

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3 Comments on “Husband, Companion, Level 85 Shaman”

  1. Oestrus says:

    I can actually see both sides of the issue. I raid three days a week and I am not usually online the nights that I don’t have to raid. For someone to spend three to four hours every day (Monday – Sunday)playing is what I believe to be too much time spent online.

    However, I strongly believe that gamers do best by dating other gamers. Only another gamer is going to understand such things and be secure enough to know that their partner playing a game is not directly related to how strong their relationship is and how the other person might feel about them. Odds are if they have been gaming for just as long and just as seriously they are going to understand and it wouldn’t be an issue.

    This isn’t something that just snuck up on them overnight. He seems to have always been into gaming. She had an opportunity to delve into this before they took things further and she either didn’t or went along with it anyway, for whatever reason.

    I think in the end the couple could stand to communicate more and possibly seek a compromise. He doesn’t need to be online 7 days a week and she doesn’t need to be suffering silently and then proclaiming he isn’t even trying to fix things. You can’t fix a problem when you’re not aware it even exists.

    • Kuri says:

      Yeah, it seems this problem is an amalgamation of many problems left to fester over time. It probably started with the wife thinking WoW would just be his next mild obsession, when it turned into a long-term one.

      Also, I agree that gamers are best suited to date other gamers. I’ve seen gamers date non-gamers, and the results have never been pretty. It usually results in the gamer being guilted out of their hobby or the non-gamer feeling dejected.

      I think where gaming gets most of its flak is from the “physical presence” issue. If your partner’s out playing basketball with work buddies or even in their garage fixing something, they’re physically away for a few hours. They could be out every single night, but they’re out of sight and thus out of mind. Gamers enjoy their hobby at home- usually right in the middle of some common area. The non-gaming partner feels like the person’s present and available, when they’re really wrapped up in what they’re doing like anyone else enjoying a hobby. The non-gaming partner feels ignored, the gamer can’t understand why they’re so angry, and a rift is created.

      In this complaint, the wife says that he amply balances his time with the family and social obligations. He spends his time unwinding each night in-game instead of in the newspaper or on the TV. I don’t see this as unreasonable. I see this as more of a hurt partner taking aim at something she doesn’t understand or relate with.

      • Oestrus says:

        But at the same time, I was burned by another gamer and I have seen it happen before. I actually met a previous long term boyfriend through the game and he played far more than I did. I moved out of state to be with him and I made it clear that I wasn’t moving out there just to have our only contact be across from a desk while we played. Sadly, that’s where it ended up and he started to resent me wanting to do more with our off nights and it went downhill from there.

        So being a gamer does not automatically mean you will have a better shot than a non-gamer would. But it certainly upps your chances.


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