This note was posted in the comment section attached to one of the older posts... because it tends to get buried there, I decided to repost it as an actual post. Kindest thanks to the anonymous poster to giving us his/her story - I know how hard it can be to gather up the will power and see through a change, even though it may be for the better. Welcome to your life :)
"These stories are an absolute representation of my own life--except for the fact that I am the one in the relationship with the mmorpg addiction. A month after World of Warcraft was released I began my adventures into the world of Azeroth. At first it was casual fun, but it soon turned more serious.
...Where to begin...
After playing WoW for about two weeks, at an ever increasing amount of time each day, I decided that my current computer was less than desirable to run the game well. So, after scheming for about three days, I went behind my wife's back and purchased a brand new, state of the art computer, racking up thousands on our credit card bill just so I could have better graphics and less lag. When my wife found out she hit the roof and that computer has been a sore spot in our marriage since. It was at this time that I started exploring the different character types/races and changed my main to a human priest. While creating my character I chose female and customized her looks so she was quite attractive and thought of a pretty name. I told everyone that I wanted to play female because they always get free loot and help in-game. Personally though, and this is quite weird, I wanted a good looking girl on the screen to look at. I named her "Marion". Well, as time progressed I found that being a priest enabled many doors for me to be involved with guilds/groups and people talked to me in-game constantly asking me for help. This was extremely rewarding and made me feel needed and appreciated. I made several friends online (albeit I only knew their character alias) and for the next four months spent every available moment with them. I missed out on my newborn son growing when I was just a room away. When he began crawling I set him in the port a crib next to me in computer room, gave him crackers and bottles of milk, and completely ignored him for hours at a time. It got worse when I became unemployed and neglected to find a job to supplement my wife's income just so I could level up "Marion." And Marion had become more than just a character. She had become the woman of my dreams. Beautiful, funny, could kill dragons and everyone wanted her in their group. She was the opposite of me growing up: Shy, last to picked for sports, and kind of a slob. I began having dreams of her at night. At this point I realized something was dreadfully wrong, but I could not stop playing her. The climax came one early morning, after having stayed up for twenty hours playing world of warcraft. My wife needed a ride to work so I had to pull myself off the computer, load the kid in the car, and drive her there. Not more than a minute after we got in the car, drowsy and irritable for having to give up my game to take her to work, I blew up at her over a very innocent observation about my gameplay. A massive argument ensued and punches were thrown while driving downtown in a major city. My wife showed up at work with a large bruise on her cheekbone and I went home with several bruises on my shoulder. There was nothing to describe the horror I felt at having hit my wife because I was irritable for having stayed up playing WoW for too long. I called her and sobbed on the phone to her my apology and sent her flowers. Sitting on the couch, I realized WoW had taken control of me. So I called my wife, told her my plan, said I loved her and deleted WoW off my computer. I then broke my WoW cd's, threw away my manual, and swore it off forever.
But that didn't last long...
Two weeks went by and I called up blizzard tech support, told them my discs had been destroyed and wondered if they could send me new ones for free. They consented and a week later I was playing "Marion" again. What I should've done was delete "Marion" in the first place thereby giving me little incentive to go back. After all, she was the highest lvl I could go. A month later, after a long talk with my very understanding and wonderful wife, we decided I should delete marion and delete the game all together. My life is returning back to normal and, though I hate myself for missing the early months of my first childs life, I am enjoying it so much. Plus, I have come to realize that my "Reality" wife is someone I want to devote all my playtime to. Not some artists rendering of a woman that doesn't exist.
I will admit giving up WoW has been extremely hard. I think about it everyday and have weaned myself to checking the website only a couple times a week. I have tried other mmorpgs to play casually, after making rules of conduct for them with my family, but they just don't compare to the gameplay of WoW. (Those included Knights Online, FFXI, Everquest II, and IRTH online). Tonight, just before seeing this website, I half jokingly said to my wife that I could still load WoW back on the computer and start over. After reading these posts I think I will go to the computer room and break those WoW discs also.
I think it's about time I get addicted to the Role Playing Game I have right in front of me: "My Life." --And this one doesn't require a new computer :)"