Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Group Therapy - My spouse is addicted to W.O.W.

Welcome to Group Therapy.

Some advice is needed.

"Hello. I have a spouse that is addicted to World Of Warcraft, or WOW. If you don't know what that is, it is a computer game where you make your own world, build up your players, get into groups, play online with these groups, then fight to defend your world? Or something similar to that, I'm not really quite sure. He has to pay a subscription to be a part of it all online and he does. He stays up for HOURS playing this video game. It's insane to me.

We have only been married for a few years, and have no children. He's great about giving me time at night, most of the time. We do stuff around the house, watch tv together or go out to dinner or hang with friends, but as soon as it is time to go to bed he leaves me in the bedroom and he goes off into the computer room to play this GAME!

At first I use to sit and watch him play for a little bit. He made me a player, but I just don't get it or can't get into it.

He will play well into the night and often I will wake up in the early early morning and roll over to see that he is still up. He doesn't get a lot of sleep. And I'm worried someday that he's going to crack or something. Also I have noticed that lately it is earlier and earlier that he is wanting to play AND he's gotten to, I guess, a level where one night I suggested we go to a movie and he wanted to post pone it for another night because he HAD to get online because him and his group had planned some kind of battle or something?

You have to know that my husband is a sports guy really. He plays all of them and watches all of them. A few of his poker friends introduced him to this game and the more he gets into it the more I'm being put on the back burner.

I feel like it is a problem in our marriage right now, I've tried to talk to him about it but he compares it to me blogging or watching television, as just being an activity for him something HE would rather be doing. We are trying to have kids and I don't want this to be an issue when the time comes where we do have children.

I don't know what to do. I don't know if I'm over reacting and just being to needy. I have read online that this game has caused people to get a divorce! I can truly see that and it scares me.

Any advice for me would be appreciated." -- Frustrated W.O.W. Wife

Okay everyone. I decided to link up to the World of Warcraft community and the definition from Wiki about it HERE.

Discuss in comments and give your advice, WOW Wife will be reading your comments and maybe piping in. If you search the internet, like I did, you will realize this is actually really an issue for a lot of people! W.O.W is quite the big deal! And feel free to comment anonymously.


Goob said...

I guess my question is hour for hour, how does his WOW time compare to Wifey's blogging time? And what is the underlying reason for anger and frustration? Is it that he's not being "obedient" or is it that he's grumpy with you after not getting enough sleep, or is it that you're feeling rejected because he's spending his nights online instead of with you? Is he missing out on intimacy with you by picking WOW instead?

There are probably multiple reasons for this behavior and the escape to WOW may be a symptom, not the cause.

I'm not going to try to guess what the husband's reasons for doing this are, he'd be the best one to be discussing this with, but I have noticed a very specific pattern in our marriage...real-life stress = increased time spent playing video/computer games. When the stress calms down, he doesn't need the games as much. However, he doesn't have any subscriptions or play online in teams, so I don't want to assume that your situation is the same.

Jessica Stier said...

I guess I'll start out the discussion... I have dealt with this of and on in the form of a few different computer games, including WOW. It started about 10 years ago when the first big MMO came out, called EverQuest. My husband and his friends all started playing this game and it soon became an addiction. At one point all of us wives got our own accounts and played with them. For a while that was really fun. We had a common bond and we were all excited about raids coming up and helping each other to gain levels. They are very community oriented games and can be really fun. However they can take over your life. After a while all of the wives, myself included, got tired of it and wanted to get back to our lives. We all finally had to put our feet down. We all had to seriously discuss this with our husbands and help them realize that they were spending way too much time playing their games and living their alternate lives. It took a lot of discussion. Our guys still enjoy playing games together but it is kind of a running joke about how much time they will spend on it. So far they have all done pretty well at not falling too deep into that old pattern.

It sounds like your husband is in a bit of denial about the amount of time he actually is playing WOW. Maybe you need to track it in some sort of tangible way; perhaps keeping a log of how often he is playing and show it to him at the end of the week. Maybe you can subsequently keep a log of how much time you spend watching TV or blogging? You can compare.

My experience with the argument that you are spending just as much time watching TV is really not a good one. I often found that I would be mindlessly watching TV just because I didn't have my spouse to hang out with.

Another suggestion might be to sign you and your husband up for some kind of activity where you will have designated time together - maybe a dancing class or some other kind of couples activity.

Talk to him about how you don't want to completely ask him to stop playing WOW but you are feeling neglected. Maybe he would be willing to designate specific nights as WOW nights and not every single day.

I know what you are going through and I really feel for you. My best piece of advice, besides communicate, communicate and then communicate some more is not to totally put your foot down and say he is not allowed to ever play. MMO's seem to meet some kind of social need that our husbands are craving. I think it is best to try to come to an agreement where you are both happy with the results and not where one person feels like they are getting punished.

Good luck!

Missty said...

Bummer, I have heard others have this problem. The couple we know personally - she is a bitch - I would be playing games as well!

Not sure I like the "obedient" thing Cave hair said?? What? he has to be obedient to you??

Anywhoo. How is your sex life? Seriously. I can tell you my husband stops what ever he is doing, if I am giving him some great attention. ;o) lol

And do you nag. Not to put this all on you. But guys do the escape thing when we get naggy.

I would sit down and say something about how much you miss him and spending time with him.
But before you do - make sure you are being nice and not naggy for awhile. Then sit him down and tell it from the heart.

Maybe come up with whatever amount of hours is acceptable, etc. for both of you to blog/play games, etc.

And really I would try the power of .... just sayin'

Let us know how it goes. can't wait to come back and read other responses.

Goob said...

just to clarify, I wasn't trying to say that the husband should be obedient, I was trying to ask whether or not her anger is over him doing what he wants to do instead of what she wants to do. Definitely don't think anybody should necessarily be being obedient, but sometimes we get pissed off when our spouse isn't going along with OUR program, which pretty much boils down to we want them to be obedient, and if that's the source of the anger, then we need to fix our issues about controlling first before we expect them to give in. Nobody wants to be with a controlling spouse.

Hope that clarifies the "obedient" remark.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the video gzmes.

There are several chicks here (the blogusphere)that will tell you their guy turns down sex for video games.

Let me be perfectly clear.... there is no reason I can think of that would cause me to turn down sex. Something is bad wrong if the dood is turning down some hokie pokie for video.

I'd think the problems ran far deeper than video games. I don't get why any guy would do that anyway unless it pid or something. I guess I could see someone playing poker online if they were winning but other'n that I don't get it.

Isn't that for young'ns?

Anonymous said...

Forgot to follow comments.

she says "hey big daddy come on in here and gimmie some lovin" znd its on like donkey kong in Sageville. The WOW will be displayed shortly behind closed doors!

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone.

Jessica than you so much for your example. It helps to know there are others out there like my husband. He also has friends that play and I think that helps him rationalize it as "guys time" :). I think I am hoping it is a phase, that it will slowly let up in appeal?

Clan of Cave Hair-- I need to do as someone suggested and maybe track how much and see if it really compares? Thanks for clarifying obedient. No, I think its more I want him with me and I don't want to see him run ragged because he loses track of time because of the game. And what happens when we have kids? I will need him to rely on and help, not that he wouldn't help, I don't really know.

As far as what Sage iis suggesting, our intimacy is good, he's not to the point where he is choosing WOW over sex, but sex only takes so long and doesn't really keep him in bed with me. He more uses it has a short break in between playing.

He enjoys it so I can see it as a stress reliever, but

And that is what I keep saying, BUT.

It just seems to excessive for someone who has a partner and life! Which is me!

Frustrated W.O.W. Wife

Anonymous said...

Well I'm glad it hasn't gotten to that point yet.

I don't get it though. Seems immature to me. Not hatin on your guy but dang looks like he'd grow out of that.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I'm sorry there hasn't been as many comments on this as you were really looking for advice and a way to discuss this issue.

But I think if he's not being ornery because of his lack of sleep and he is giving you YOU time before U go to bed then why is it a problem?

If he never hangs out with you and is just work and WOW then feeling neglected that way is one thing, just wanting him to go to bed because you are maybe should be a chose your battles sort of thing? Ya know?

If that is HIS thing then let it run its course, soon something will replace that or he will just get tired and finally burn out, either way, you telling him would only cause him to take an independence stand...kwim?

And maybe try wearing him out during one of his breaks? See how that works out ;)

DGB said...

It may be easy to look at his playing WOW and think that because it's a video game that it should and can be something disposable. However, games can be as wildly addictive as anything on the internet, drugs, food, you name it.

This is not the first case of WOW widow that I have heard about. It's real, which is why I have vowed to never play it.

I think compromises need to be made by both parts. I think you guys need to carve out some time where the computer is turned off for both you. Plan some activites together, even if it's just watching a movie on the couch.

Yes, he's in the thrush of a new game and it's all he's thinking about. But this will subside as the novelty wears away. But you guys have to talk about it and work on it.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I totally feel your pain. My husband and I have 3 very small kids and all he does is play wow. laundry to the sky, no dinner (he refuses dinner so he can play), no sex life at all (he refuses sex to play)... and then there's me. I'm so resentful and hateful it's pathetic. Resentful that my kids don't have a real dad. I want him to play with the kids, watch sports and be a man for goodness sakes!! He has always enjoyed games but not like this. He freakin wears a stupid looking headset and plays from 8pm until 130 am and then can't get up to go to work. I am so hateful to the people that created this game.

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