Thursday, December 13, 2007

Waking Up

Just skip reading this blog post. I'm all full of sad today and spilling it here.

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Six months ago I told Avril about Second Life, thinking it was a Sims-like MMO. My wife played the Sims and Sims 2, but lost interest in them over time. I think the games were too static and lacked the human spark that makes online games so much fun. She really jumped into Second Life. I'm impressed with the quality of the objects she builds and sells in her online store, which she says gets about 25K in daily traffic.

Three months ago I bought a second computer at her urging. My thought was that we would play games on the same nights and NOT play games on the same nights. I saw it as a win-win... more time with Avril and more time playing games. That was my hope... but that hasn't happened. She plays every day. I miss my wife. I love her. I told her I miss her. But she ignores me. For example, I gave her one of those Missing You cards and wrote a sweet note inside. She didn't say anything.

When I was a raider in World of Warcraft, I had troubles keeping games balanced with life. I was playing too much and cutting into the time we'd normally spend together. I was putting a strain on our relationship. I woke up. I made changes to when and how I play games. When I returned to WOW, it was with a better understanding of how to keep things balanced.

I don't know what to do. I'm worried to be honest. I feel like a fool writing about it here.

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P.S. Promise my next few posts will be about my recent UI changes or running Dead Mines with the 7S team or something, anything less emotional.

7 comments:

Tuebit said...

Wow. Hope you're able to overcome the challenges here. A sign of changing times ... it used to be *our* job to game too much and ignore the family.

Maybe you need to start playing second life too?

Game Dame said...

Hey, dude. You have done some nice things to try to get your wife's attention, but now it is time to be more assertive. You need to tell her that you two need to sit down and discuss this topic. Is there a time that you two get to talk away from the computer? For example, during or after dinner? "Honey, I'd really like to discuss how much quality time we get to spend with each other. I really miss spending time with you." Don't put the blame on her; use "I feel" statements instead. You're not trying to be passive aggressive and guilt her, but you're also not trying to make her defensive by being accusative. That's the first step: get her to talk to you about it. It's possible she doesn't even know how you feel so don't take for granted that she's ignoring you. Assume that she's just not getting the message yet. Talk to her from your heart. Tell her how you think your behavior as parents role models what your child sees. Most women really respond well to "talking about feelings." But, whatever you do, DO NOT compare her Second Life problem with your past WoW problem. Don't say stuff like, "well, I listened to you and I quit," or "if I can do it, so can you." Keep yourself out of it. Just tell her how you feel right now and let the past be what it was. Hope this helps.

Pai said...

Be upfront and honest about how you're feeling lonely and ignored by her. It's so easy to get so sucked into a virtual world that real life priorities get messed up... maybe schedule a fun trip (zoo, park) somewhere with her, and use that chance to talk more about your feelings about this. That way you can get her undivided attention while reminding her that there are lots of fun things to do in real life, as well.

Link said...

What are you people doing? I said to skip this post. But, seriously, thanks for the good advice.

Link said...

Um... so... we had our talk. And she says we're done and no point for counseling. How's that for a holiday bombshell? Still in shock. Feeling numb. Thirteen years together. Two kids. A dog. House in the suburbs. The talk was difficult, of course, but calm and good I think in the big picture sort of way. I love her.

gamedame said...

Oh my goodness, Link. I'm flabbergasted. I'm really sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to you and your whole family. Don't hesitate to ask if you need anything...

Stormgaard said...

Just sent a prayer yall's way.

I've been married 9 years myself (3 kids, house etc.) and I will say this much...

The first 6 years for my wife and I were very good. Years 7 and 8 were very, very, very hard. Hard enough to the point that we were close to where you guys are at. So far this year has been great (with the occasional aftershock from years 6 and 7.)

Obviously I'm not God so I can't give you a perfect answer, but I do know that outside stressors (read jobs and kids) can fuck you both up in the head more than you might be willing to believe and/or admit. For us - by making it through those stressors in years 6 and 7 - we're back to things being good again, and those 2 bad years are (thankfully) becoming just a bad memory.

I'm not saying stick together if that's not what God wants for you guys - but I know for us a good dose of stubborn got us through it.