Here is an extended email communication with someone who has been on both of the issue:
"I sat down and started playing the game one day. At first he said "see honey, it's fun!!! But the first night he went to bed alone!!!!!! You would have thought the world was coming to an end. I was evil. The second time I got an "Are you gonna play that damn game all night" :) So what do you do? prove you are better than him and get up and go to bed or basque in the glory of his frustration? Well I got such a kick out of the whole thing I went to bed. Didn't even throw in a now you know how it feels (yet). I wanted to drag it out a while. When he didn't get dinner or have clean underwear? It got worse. The third time he went to bed alone we finally had it out. He got up at 3 am and I was still no the game. He threw a fit. It was the funniest thing. I was eating it up (probably not healthy but it felt good) Even when he was playing and got in bed at some ungodly hour I was there waiting. Now I have the nerve to let him go to bed alone! Hypocrite.
Anyway he got my point. He plays less and I still play sometimes. We are in the same guild so we play with the same people. At least we have something in common. 90% of our conversations are about armor, spells, or leveling up. But we talk now, a lot. We seem to "like" each other more.
I had decided "If you can't beat em, join em". May not have been the right answer. And I wouldn't even recommend it. I now understand how addictive it can be, and he understands how it feels to be on the outside and neglected (well as much as he is able to understand). But the only other option was divorce. I figured I would try this for a while.
The main difference now is I still work, cook, clean, do laundry and take care of the kids, play with the kids, etc. I play after they are in bed. I understand priorities and I make myself earn my play time. He hasn't gotten that point yet."
A follow-up email:
"I had to check out the site and the opening remarks about "if you think you are someone who can play eq responsibly.." made me think. Of course I do!!!!!!!!!!!!
At least I thought I was playing responsibly, in comparison to my husband I am, but after analyzing the situation further, in reality I'm not. I "try" to only play when the kids are in bed and usually only one or two nights a week and a little on the weekend, but if there is a HQ group scheduled or other event (and I am able to get HIM off the computer) then I'm there. To justify playing I would make myself "earn"
my play time. If I'm not playing EQ I'm cleaning or helping with homework or playing with the kids or doing his yard work. So I thought I had it under control. When he's not on he's laying on the bed watching TV. But my house isn't as clean as it used to be, the laundry pile is bigger than it used to be, the fridge really needs to be cleaned out, we won't talk about my car, I haven't taken the kids to the park or a movie in a while or to see their grandparents. So in just the few months I've been
playing "RESPONSIBLY" life has gone even farther downhill.
Anyway after reading the blogs yesterday I actually considered going home and just deleting my character. I don't want to be to my kids what he has been to me for the past year. I don't want them to feel what I felt before I started playing. I don't ever want them to think they don't come before the game. But I have a feeling in the past few months there have been a few times where they may have felt that way.
But, I didn't delete the character. I didn't play or have any desire to play last night (just one night). Baby steps right? I looked at him sitting in the chair from the time he got home to the time he went to bed. Not sure he even spoke to the kids, and I just thought how PATHETIC is that. Then I thought to myself..that was you Friday night. Did the kids stand behind me thinking the same thing?"
And her last email (I sent a response following her email but forgot to save it ... the gist of the message was about how it's not about stopping gaming but finding balance in life):
".... I actually feel better knowing I wasn't as in control as I thought and that I am going to do better. My husband plays so much that I really don't get on much but when I do I'll stay up till 1 am and then try to get up for work at 5 or 6. And If I wasn't on I was thinking about it. Thinking of excuses to go home from work early to get some uninterupted play time. It's crazy. Just glad that I've "hopefully" come to my senses. Didn't play again last night. Everyone went to bed early and I thought about it, but I didn't.
They put me in charge of our Heritage Quests. So I have a duty that I feel responsible for. I think that is what really drew me in I went from playing once in
a while to...I have to get on to see if they need something!! Update the web page, etc etc. They got along fine before I came and they will get along after.
It is a good escape so I am sure I still will play. I've never played video, computer or online games, so I can't believe I got sucked in so easily. My husband
has an addictive personality and has played games his entire life, he played 7 hour after he got home yesterday without pause, just tossed him his dinner and he was happy. I'm sure he is enjoying my decision to cut back though I haven't mentioned it. The kids are happier and kept busy, the house is clean, everyone is fed and he can enjoy his life in Norrath."