My husband is an online gamer and is now ha ving an emotional affair online.

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dazedandconfused
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My husband is an online gamer and is now ha ving an emotional affair online.

Hello everyone,

I am just here seeking advice and support....my husband has been playing the same MMORPG game for years. Gaming has always been a hobby of his. We are both individuals who enjoy doing our own things. In the past, my husband has always been able to turn the game off when needed and attend to his personal matters. My problem begins more recently. A few months ago he joined a group of other gamers who logon at certain times and do "events" together. These events became an intrical part of his life to the point where he was declining going out and doing social things so that he would not miss events or if he did go out or spend time with myself or friends he would always cut it short so that he could be home in time for his online events. I was upset by this, and I spoke with him about it but I did not wish to sound like a nag, (it's not like I did'nt KNOW this is how he enjoyed spending free time in the past) I just became upset when I felt like it was impedeing on our real life.

The past month or so, I have noticed a complete change in his demeanor. He has been keeping the computer room door closed, he has been using a headset so that I can not hear both ends of the conversation, his sleeping patterns have changed and he is up all hours and when I would walk into the room he would close up windows and become defensive. Finally, one night I confronted him. I walked into the room late at night and he became extremely upset. He asked me to leave, I refused. He asked me again, I refused and instead sat on the couch and said I was not moving until he told me what was going on. He logged off and we talked...I asked him if he was talking to a woman and what was going on. He said that there was a woman on his game that had "feelings" for him. I asked him if he also had feelings for her. After a few attempts, he admitted that he has feelings for her and that they had been talking for about 4 weeks. I was totally devastated. He keeps telling me he loves me and that he is not going to throw our marriage away on a "whim", but at the same time he won't separate himself from her or stop talking to her. He says seeing me hurt crushes him. But I don't feel like it crushes him because if it did he would do everything in his power to fix the problem. He says he needs time to "think about things" I finally just asked him flat out what this means. And he admitted that he is unsure of what it means and when I asked him if he has actually considered walking out on our marriage he says he doesn't know. That whole conversation was full of "I don't knows". He doesn't know what he feels for her or why and he says that scares him because he says he would never cheat on me (his definition of cheating is physical) but I already feel cheated on and like my life has spiraled out of control. He says he is fearful of these feelings because he does not know where they come from. I have asked him if he loves me, if there is anything I am not giving him or there is anything I should do differently. He says he loves me, there is nothing I could do differently and there is nothing I am not giving him and he does not know why he feels "connected" to this other woman.

I know he talks about me on the game all the time, all the players know he is married I have myself spoken to a few of them. I am also angry at her for pursuing a married man. ANd I am angry with him for betraying me like this. And I feel like I am constantly grasping at straws and feeling like he doesn't care even though he says he does because he wants to "figure things out" first and then draw a conclusion. Before this all went down, we had a wondeful marriage, never argued, lots of love and support and sensitivity. We have always been very connected as a couple.

Now I sit, totally devastated like the rug has been pulled out from underneath me and he my best allie feels like he is now sitting on the other side. I don't know what to do, I'm confused and hurt. I don't know what to make of this situation. But it is painful. I am here because I truly need to feel supported right now...any thoughts?

gsingjane
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Dear Dazed, Welcome to our

Dear Dazed,

Welcome to our site. You are not alone. You are not the first - you are FAR from the first - spouse to be hurt and depressed and devastated by a partner's cheating on the internet.

I'll be straight up with you: on this site, we believe that cyber-cheating is... cheating. If you read the stories of gamers who became caught up in online "affairs," they will, to a person, tell you that the feelings and the blowback were identical to what would have ensued from a physical relationship. Your husband says it isn't "really" cheating because it isn't physical? Well, good for him, but too bad because he isn't the one who gets the sole authority to define the terms here. Suppose he were kissing another woman passionately... would he be able to claim it wasn't cheating because they didn't have sex? How would your husband feel if it were YOU having this relationship, and he was the one sitting on the couch? Would he be peachy with the idea that because you didn't think it was cheating, it wasn't?

Cybering is a great outlet for folks who are experiencing the urge to stray, but don't want to go through all that messy business of no-tell motels and lipstick on the collar. They can fool themselves into thinking that they're not doing harm, because it's all in cyberspace. Then, too, the "other person" can take any form, present any set of desirable characteristics, because it's all ultimately a fantasy. Your husband can project any vision that he has of the ideal woman onto this woman, because he doesn't ever have to see her brushing her teeth or when she has the flu or even ever in person.

We cannot tell you what to do about your marriage or about the fact that your husband is expecting you to tolerate his adultery. That is only between the two of you. What we can affirm is that, yes, he's cheating, and you have the right to be angry about it. Some cheated-on spouses will deliver an ultimatum... others will give the spouse time to "work it out"... some will confront the "other person"... some will just give up and settle for what they can get or come to some kind of an accommodation where both spouses are allowed to stray. It all depends on so many factors that we can't know, such as whether you have children, whether you can support yourself, the history between you - and we would be being extremely presumptuous to tell you which path to take here.

It is possible to salvage a relationship that has been harmed by adultery. It is possible to heal, I've seen it happen. But it takes a gigantic amount of work on both sides, and has to be initiated by a commitment on the part of the straying spouse to rigorous honesty, not nebulous promises of "things working out."

Good luck to you, keep coming back......

Jane in CT

Solei
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My heart is breaking for

My heart is breaking for you. Sadly, I know way too much about situtation. While I can admit to you, embarassingly, that I was in your husband's shoes I can assure you that most romance born in game-land are simply that _ a game.

He doesn't know this woman. He thinks he does. He knows that he likely lends her gold and outfits her with quality armor.

But he hasn't spent hours holding her hair back when she's vomiting from the flu like a real life partner has.

He thinks that talking to her for hours on end in voice chat is the key to their intimacy.

But he's never stared into her eyes and felt the whisper of her voice in his ear like a real life partner can.

His ego is boosted because he bravely slays any creature that seeks to harm her.

But he doesn't know what her favorite shoes are.

Or her favorite shampoo.

Or her favorite movie.

Nor does he know her fears, and hopes. Other than attaining max level and scoring epic gear.

It's not real, my dear friend.

Trust me. I know. I have beenthere more times that I'd like to count.

Once the smoke-and-mirrors of the online lust and infatuation fade, the two involved are usually left panicked, resentful, and more alone that they care to remember.

I could write pages upon pages about this because I, sadly, have been there. More than once. More times that I care to imagine. :(

I remember minimizing windows. Insisting the door remained closed. Always clearing my chat history on Messenger programs. Worrying that he'd be recording my voicechat program.

Hmm.. All traits of a decietful coward with worry issues. But my character in game was brave and confident -- so I could easily hide behind that facade.

Again, I am terribly sorry you're going through this. I wish I could remedy this for you. Please know that I am here to listen -- anytime. With love, Solei

-6 Years Free of Online Gaming-

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Dear dazed, my heart too is

Dear dazed, my heart too is breaking for you - I know exactly how you feel and it's not fun. Solei, inspiring post, thank you for that. *sighs*

"If the idea of love seems to leave out too much of the mystery and too little room for miracles, perhaps you're failing to see the obvious - miracles are all around us."

dazedandconfused
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Thank you all for your

Thank you all for your supportive and inspiring words! It is nice to know that others have been through this as well. My husband and I have a good history and we've had a wonderful marriage. I am putting my faith in that right now. I am not a believer of divorce unless it's absolutely necessary...I don't believe marriage is something you just walk away from...it takes work and it takes time and I am willing to give him both...and he has been showing me that he feels the same way..he has been doing more with me, we've talked about it...we've talked about EVERYthing..we always have and I think we are lucky in that way...tonight I told him that honestly, if she didn't exist we would have absolutely NO problems and without the shadow of a doubt I don't believe we would have ever found ourselves in this predicament. That's what makes me sad....without this small hiccup..we have a wonderful marriage that a lot of people strive to acheive. I am not prepared to just toss it aside....once again I thank you for your kind and supportive words. Keep 'em comin' I really need everything you've got right now!

Much Love,

Dazed

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I"m sorry that your husband

I"m sorry that your husband has let the spark pass to someone online he's never met

dark (not verified)
Hello Dazed, I think it is

Hello Dazed,

I think it is cheating. It makes me think of another time when physical coupling between lovers was less ubiquitous and sharing of feelings and desires in letters was the accepted way to conduct affairs.

A couple of thoughts and ideas:
- marriage counselling (there is even an online guide by frank gunzburg
- you may need to take a position that this is cheating and you wont stand for it, he must stop it in order to keep your marriage intact
You cannot let it go on unchecked - you owe it to yourself - perhaps the gaming part is the bigger issue and that may have to stop too

It is going to be tough. Please be strong and my prayers are with you.

- dark

gsingjane
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Good morning again

Good morning again Dazed...

Forgive the "psuedo marriage counseling" but...

When one partner is cheating, whether online or otherwise, it's a symptom or a sign that there are larger problems in the relationship. It might be simple boredom, it might be buried anger, it might be immaturity - nobody can know from this remove but - my feeling is, if you're solely focused on "this little problem of this particular woman" you are probably fooling yourself. If your marriage were completely fulfilling to your husband and things were as completely wonderful as you say, he wouldn't be doing this.

My recommendation to you is that you work on trying to figure out what else is going on with your husband and your marriage, rather than just excising "this woman" and putting a band-aid on the rest.

I know this isn't what you want to hear but my guess is, if you don't, you'll find yourself back in this same situation with another woman in six months time.

Jane in CT

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Dazed, Many people have

Dazed,

Many people have experienced this very situation here on one side or the other. I am sad to say that I experienced this on your husband's side. All the red flags are there, being secretive, closing the door, not wanting you to be involved in what he is doing in-game and sleeping habits changing, so he can be alone and meet up with another in-game. I did all of these things. My in-game partner and I were bonded. Which is married in-game. I played with him for a good year before we bonded. When you play with another person to the level of degree that it is in a game the intensity is very real. In your mind you cannot separate feelings like this from "real" feelings in your real life. That is the very problem with gaming, your in-game feelings are the same as your real life feelings. They feel real and your mind cannot separate them. Cheating in-game is exactly that in your mind. If you were to cheat physically you would feel the same way as you do when you are cheating in-game. The powerful feeling is the same. Really, mentally, such as in a game, it is even stronger because without the mental thoughts physical cheating would not have the same affect, and, believe me, all the mental feelings in a game are very, very real and intense.

The only way to stop something like that is to choose to end it. To walk away and realize that your real life is more important. That you have history with your real life partner and a life you have built together. Your in-game life is lonely...you sit in front of the computer "alone" for hours at a time. Even though you are experiencing all the mental and physical emotions of attachment you are in the end, "alone." If you were to cross over and become involved with the in-game person it is not the same as in-game, anyway. In-game is not real but only fantasy and everything would change and not be the same as in the game. This is what people have to realize about gaming and it is such a hard lesson.

I am so sorry you have had this touch your life. It is not easy for anyone that is affected by it in any way. It ruins lives without a doubt if you let it. Gaming is an addiction and any addiction affects peoples lives in the end the same way. I hope your husband is able to rise above the game and realize that his real life is so much more important than a fantasy affair. There is hope...and it can be done. My thoughts are with you.

Ciontea

Nothing ever stays the same...everything is always changing. Life...impermanence.

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Dear dazedandconfused, There

Dear dazedandconfused,

There is really amazing material for you in the above 3 posts. We do not know how old your husband is, or if you have children, but here are your answers. And the points made by Jane are especially good ones. But there is something missing from the equation for which she presents an answer. That is that you are talking to us about an addict. The real question is, what drives the addiction? You don't know. I wonder if the cheating has grown out of the addiction to the game; the game as described by Ciontea? If so, then what to do?

I think it comes down to the addict dealing with their addiction. This little affair that is taking your husband out of reality and in which he has stopped considering you, and the damage that he is causing to your marriage with this alliance, is but a symptom of his addiction. They say that no one can make an addict stop until they want to . I hope that he sees the futility, senselessness, meaninglessness, and nastiness of his attachment to this woman soon. But I think the really dangerous mistress, though, is the video gaming. This is what he really needs to stop.

Serena

"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself." Albert Einstein

"You don't get to choose how you are going to die. Or when.
You can only decide how you are going to live. Now." Joan Baez

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Dear Dazed, I too am so

Dear Dazed,

I too am so sorry this is impacting you. As with Ciontea i had an intense relationship for 5 months with my gaming partner. The feelings were very very real and intense, and that was just as addicting as Evony. The relationship grew stronger and more intense, as the months went by. I'm telling you this, because I feel that it would be easier for your husband to walk away now than it will be in 4-5 months from now, so i want to convey some urgency for getting this to stop if you can or he can. Looking back now, i clearly do feel that it was cheating. We never met, never intended to, as we lived 1500 miles away from each other and neither of us wanted divorce, but we not only fantasized meeting alot, but poured our hearts out to each other, played the game together, strategized, argued, laughed, loved, cried, and supported each other. Its important for you to understand that you are up against something very very powerful. This level of intimate exchange of thoughts and words and emotions is like living inside someone elses head and having them live in yours.

We rationalized to each other and ourselves that we weren't doing anything wrong because we were not meeting up and having a physical affair and because our marriages were unsatisfactory. All the way up to the very end, when he finally opened his eyes, he chose me over his wife and family for where he put all spare time, love, energy and effort. How sad is that ~ to love something that is not real. To make life's priority a game and a fantasy. I thank god that he woke up and went back to the real world, and that i'm now finding my way back. I will never do this to another woman again. I can't apologize to her, but I will apologize to you. I"m so sorry. It was and is a terrible thing.

Ariadne~
Letting go again - Change is never easy, I fight to hold on, and I fight to let go.

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Need advice

My boyfriend is a gamer and he spends all night for the most part online and i have a gut feeling hes doing something he souldnt. Hes always playing lol or wow and typing to people and sometimes mubbles outloud while typing and it seems to me all he ever wants to do is play video games all the time and yes he dose spend time with me..but still he plays no matter how much i b****. I dont like it at all. Lastnight i was sleeping in my chair in the computerroom and he was online playing wow and talking to people and mubbling and i swear i woke up and pretended to sleep and i had my eyes slightly open and he looked over a few times and went back to typing... I feel as though he lying to me about things though he claims hes not a cheater and never will be but my gut is telling me somethings up but im not sure if im right are wrong. And we almost constantly argue over his game playing and almost broke up once..he will not stop playing these games..and talking to him is pointless sometimes and says i have jealously issues. I need advice guys

Angel

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Hi Fallen Angel

Hi Fallen Angel

It is not uncommon to hear about online relationships which make the partner feel they are being cheated on. If he can get away with it he is likely to continue.

You need to figure out what you want from a relationship, and figure if he can give that to you. If he is addicted then it will be hard for him to be that person for you. Are you prepared to wait for him in the hopes that he will recover?

My best adivce is that you read all the sticky posts on the public and private spouse forums and keep coming back. Look after yourself. You can only control what you do and think, not him. Think how you can stop enabling his behaviour so he might start to 'wake up'.

INFO

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My husband is an online gamer...

Hi Dazed

I've read all these posts a couple of times and it really makes me sad. I just can't realize how someone would through away a real life marriage or relationship to get involved with a virtual one. I guess people are always looking for something that makes them feel special and looking for that new somebody who doesn't know all their faults and weaknesses. I think It is so wrong.My husband religiously plays Vikings: War of Clans and considers his Wolves friends real people in his life that he goes into withdrawal if he can't check in with them numerous hours of the day. I have argued with him that these are virtual people and they don't exist in the reality of his world. He is hurt by that and even cries when I don't acknowledge that they are real life friends  and buddies of his. He also chats  many hours with this one woman who I think also calls him on the phone. It is cheating. No two ways about it. We are spending six days in Cabo San Lucas with a couple friends of ours. My husband couldn't wait to get to the room so he could get Wi Fi and resume the gaming and the chatting. It is an addiction, an illness, and a disease. I'm becoming immune and I don't know if I care enough for him even though there are tears of anger in my eyes. Each case is individual. I can't offer any advice to you. I can just say that you will know instinctively and intuitively what is right for you and follow your heart!!! Hope Courage Faith Hawkwoman

Dianne Benko

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  I had a very similar case

  I had a very similar case with them, my husband left me with my two kids for no reason, he said his no longer in loves with me, He walk away , he never  called me or the kids,

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I am so sorry to hear this.

I am so sorry to hear this. You are lucky you found out. I was in the dark for almost a year about my partners suspicious activities.

Ravyn
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im in the same boat as you

i been haveing the same problem with my husband but when i confront him on ot he just keeps reasureing me that he has no intentions of leaving me or cheating and she is only a sister to him but i worry becuase he is 25 and she is 15 and in 3 years she will be legal age and even thou she lives in another country im worried he may tru to go there or have her come hear when she is old enough to leave home and come hear to be with my husband,but he just keeps saying it wont happen and he loves only me but he still keeps talking to this girl and sometimes he goes in the other room to whisper quietly so i cant hear what hes saying and its really disturbing to think they may be plotting to hook up when she is old enough. im 44 and like i said hes 25 we have a 19 year age difference between us and i feel he isnt yet ready to settle down even though he swares he is with me. he said im his heart and hes my soul and he dosnt want anyone else but if so why dose he keep constantly talking online with another girl he calls sister. i cant understand why he sais he loves me everyday but always talking to someone else.

Ravyn Moon Nyte

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Hi Ravyn

Hi Ravyn

Perhaps if you log the time he spends between each of you, the meaning will become clear. Words are cheap. Actions matter.

INFO

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Spouses/SO's of addicts click here

Parents of addicts click here for advice

Help for video game addicts click here

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