"I browsed your site and the testimonials & stories scared me. I'm glad that this resource is here, and I want to tell you about my boyfriend. He played EQ before he met me, and whenever he talks about it I feel like he thinks it was the best days of his life. I start to feel jealous that maybe he does think it was better than now even with me in the picture. He talks so proudly about when he and a buddy started up a guild years ago, and he repeats and puts emphasis on the words when he mentions that "everyone" looked up to the two of them. It's sad because I know there are plenty of real live people who have a high opinion of him and esteem for him, but he can't see it and wants the EQ respect instead.
Right after last Christmas we were both having a hard time financially. He mentioned WoW and the way he brought it up was that we could use it as a hobby we could do together since we do not live together. I said I would think about it. No sooner had he mentioned it then he admitted he had already bought it. At first I thought nothing of it and was happy he had a hobby - he didn't seem to have any when we met. I personally couldn't get into WoW in the beginning, even though he came over and showed me how to make a character and get around in the world.
Then he began pressuring me to play because, as he put it, he refused to get into the game without my support because he knew he couldn't have a relationship and the game at the same time. He told me up front that he would be involved spending alot of time playing, and wanted us both. I felt like I was holding him back from doing something he wanted to do and was excited about, so I bought the game, which was over my budget, and I played just to spend time with him. Unfortunately we saw each other in real life less and less, as he thought game time could take the place of quality time. I called him on it and he blamed his absence in not wanting to be around my family I was living with. The amount of time we spent together per week never improved after the game intruded in our lives.
Later, I became more and more motivated to play and let things like housework slide. My best friend would call and I would only pretend to listen. I flirted with WoW guys out of boredom and my boyfriend would get mad, yet I sat for hours online waiting for a response from him to acknowledge I was there. The only one I was ever serious about flirting with was my boyfriend, though. And in his eyes, I couldn't play for him, I had to play for me because he wanted me to like it. When I realized what was happening and came up for air, my boyfriend would get on my case about not being online and he'd make me dive back down again. He rationalized that he felt better when I was online because he knew where I was & wasn't going out getting into trouble. In the meantime, he spent alot of in-game money on my character and bought her expensive gifts to entice me to play, but all the while pressuring me to level faster. In my warped mind, I thought maybe he did those things for my character because he couldn't afford to buy me nice things in real life.
Now I have slowed down as I have been disillusioned with the effects of the game, but I don't mind playing every once in a while. I already let our guild know that I only want to play a couple nights a week, tops. I enjoy the forums more than playing, really, and play my character now just out of guilt knowing that my boyfriend and others helped level and outfit her. Plus I am going to start school again soon and I need to find a better job.
But to this day my boyfriend is a different story. Sometimes he will make excuses not to come over because he had to work, but I know it's because he wants to get online. He used to stay the night on the weekends sometimes two, three nights at a time but now he is more picky about when he comes over and only comes out in the middle of the day to where we only have a short time together before he takes off in the middle of the night. When he does come over I can tell that he just wants to check the Auction House, and he wishes he'd never have come so he could be playing in the privacy of his own home. Or sometimes long after I have gone to bed I wake up and he's on the computer making inconsiderate clacketyclackety sounds on the keyboard if he hasn't already left. Or during the day, I will step away from him for just a short time to check my hair and when I get back he will be on my computer. He has
told me playing the game is better than sex. When we have problems, he retreats into the game even more and I've had to come online & type in caps to get his attention. Even during a phone conversation the night before I went away on a vacation, he was busy playing the game and wasn't focused enough to say he would miss me while I was gone or even to have a great trip - two basic civilities I was longing to hear. He continues to be extremely irritated when he plays, and I have watched and wondered why someone would play a game that makes them so angry.
In truth, I don't know how much time he is spending playing WoW since we are not in the same household, but he sounds addicted to me when it affects our relationship and time together. We have been together almost three years now, and he gave me a promise ring not too long ago. I am unsure about it and don't always wear it, even though it is not a serious proposal, because I feel neglected while the game is in our lives and I'm not sure how much longer I can feel like the third wheel even though I view WoW as a hobby of mine, as well. Whenever we have a huge fight, he lets me know that he is not always going to have the game in his life, either, and threatens to start going out and finding girls instead of playing the game. It's wierd because he wants all the respect the game can give him but at the same time he looks down on his main hobby as a geeky thing to do - "I don't want to live my life like this," he says, when he acts like he has better things to do with his time than me. He forbids me to talk about WoW with my family and gets embarrassed if I bring it up in public. Then when we are on the phone privately, the game is all he can talk about and I get tired of hearing about it because I want to talk about real issues or even positive things. Also, in the same week he gave me the ring he made a post in our guild forums stating that he would work time with me around the raid times. I think it should be the other way around but least I know where I stand. I feel like WoW is just as bad as another woman sometimes."