Things You Never Noticed ‘Til Your Spouse Stopped Raiding

My better half and I have been gaming for over 10 years now, and raiding together for a good chunk of that time.  When my husband took his latest job, it made our raiding schedules entirely incompatible, and just too darn difficult to coordinate.  However, now that I’m the only raider in the house, I’m starting to notice all kinds of odd behaviors that never bothered me before.

Really, on the whole, I like to think I come across as some nice, warm person who you’d like to spend the evening chatting with.  In reality, while a raid is in progress, I am constantly rolling my eyes, snapping out disparaging commentary about your most recent raid strategy, and in general, being a total witch.  You’d think I’d know this about myself by now, but before, I was always talking TO someone–namely my spouse–because we were in the thick of things together.  Yakking about the FAIL helps me relieve the tension of raiding so that I’m not stark raving mad at the end of a 3-hour wipe-fest; however, it’s a bit disconcerting to find yourself being THAT catty… even if the mic isn’t open!

Oh, but it gets a bit more neurotic from there.  Fortunately for me, I’m a pretty swift auditory learner, so having someone spend a minute breaking down a particularly nasty section of the fight really helps me get it straight in my own mind.  However, who has time to stop every pull to explain that crap?  Never fear, Windsoar is here!  When returning from a particularly nasty screw-up, I talk myself through the problem.  Later, I might write a post, or send a tweet for advice, but when I’m in raid mode, I’ve found to many tabs rolling is really distracting.  Since I can’t count on someone else imprinting the FAIL in my brain, I do it for myself, which leaves me mumbling incoherent bursts of random abilities, positioning, and other raiding crap to myself.  When I had a raiding partner, I could explain it to him, thus eliminating the stigma of talking to myself.

I’ve also noticed that my vocabulary during an encounter has noticeably regressed to four major words: fuck, shit, damn, idiot.  My husband arrived home from work during a particularly brutal encounter a couple of weeks ago, and threatened to set up a swear jar for raid nights.  I, of course, shared this with the raid, and now Roksi and I have a growing list of places we could visit–Haiti, China, Pluto for a mining expedition–that we can now afford based on our current swear jar fund.

On a more QQ note, this is the first time that I ever felt like my spouse had the glazed look of a non-WoW person who you’re talking about a game too.  While my husband still plays, is diligently working on another character, and continuing to spruce up his main, he has little to no interest in studying raid strategies or discussing end-game encounter tactics that he won’t be employing anytime soon.  Despite that, he remains my greatest cheerleader, oooohing over the raid’s upgrades, cheering when I’m jumping up and down with excitement over a new kill, and generally, encouraging me to continue enjoying the an activity he knows I love.

Are you the only raider/gamer?  Does it make you feel weird!?

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21 thoughts on “Things You Never Noticed ‘Til Your Spouse Stopped Raiding

  1. I am – my girlfriend doesn't game at all (unless you count pokemon on a GBA emulator and a large Petz breeding ring, which I don't), so when I have to rant over the stupid, it generally involves explaining how things SHOULD go first. She's picked up a bit of the lingo, though, and the basic IDEAS of gaming, if not the experience of it, so I can launch into a rant now without having to stop and explain most of it, but it's still odd.

    Though it's nice that she can ask a question and then wait patiently when my response is "hang on, aggro".

    • This is the first time I ever understood when people complained about their SO not gaming. Fortunately because he HAS, and he LIKES TO, he totally understands my schedule and whatnot, but I think it gave me a little glimpse of what it'd be like to have a spouse who games and one who doesn't.

      • My spouse doesn't game – at all – so it's strange looking at the *other* side of the fence, of couples who game together. I play very quietly because of kids in the house, but also because if I start randomly chattering at my computer, it really startles my spouse.

        So I PvP in complete silence, on mute, often with a Jane Austen movie playing quietly in the background, and only get on Vent when absolutely necessary. We usually have to wipe once before I hop on for a raid. Even then, I don't talk much while 'working' (which is very unlike me, my guildmates know I like to talk.)

        Explaining the Lich King kill, and why I was practically sobbing with relief, was an interesting experience.

  2. I tend to only get angry when I'm the one making the mistakes. I'm very hard on myself, but not really one to get impatient or angry at other people. I get furious at myself if I am making silly errors.

    • I was actually going to say the same thing. I rarely get bent out of shape over other people's fail (unless it's absolutely glaring), but when I screw up, I get seriously angry. My husband does still raid, and it makes him nuts.

      This could be anything from "I should have bandaged there" to "Why am I 1000 dps behind the other moonkin?" I mostly try to keep it to myself now to keep my husband from thinking he's married a lunatic.

      • I'm trying to learn to self-edit the horrible cursing since it's not generally in my vocabulary, but I've noticed that it's spilling over into other aspects of my life which I don't appreciate. However, I've noticed that while I can get the volume down for the most part, I'm still failing miserably! And he has the audacity to say "speak up!"

    • I know I make myself sound like I'm foaming at the mouth ^^ I'm generally yelling raid instructions at people I notice doing BAD STUFF, but since that isn't my role any longer (and I'm very new) I keep my mic closed and grumble at my monitor. Most of my profanity is definitely self-directed… or at least yelling at the boss for doing crap I can't heal through yet — I mean, can't he wait 5 seconds?

  3. My husband generally raids with me, and I do abuse the poor guy with my ranting. I mostly get angry when I screw up, and its nice to have him tell me I'm not stupid (even if I don't believe him). Of course I also complain about other people/things to him – it's better than bottling it up. It's also great to have someone to discuss strategy with, as a sounding board. I would really miss that if he stopped raiding.

    If he didn't raid, he could absolutely not be around me during raid time. I can't handle the slightest bit of distraction. He often comes home from work while I'm in a heroic, and I usually make a big mistake and die while my attention shifts.

    • In some ways, having only yourself is nice because it's easier to forgive people that seem to be cranky or doing a bad job for the night. On the other hand, when you're the one doing a bad job (and I am currently FREAKING OUT about my raid performance in some respects) it sucks not to have a trusted confidante in the raid who can say "it wasn't you… really!"

      Fortunately, we've always gamed in the same room, so when he gets home he tends to futz around doing his own thing which isn't a problem for me… as long as he doesn't expect me to respond, I'm good.

  4. My spouse stopped raiding in November 2009, the week of our Yogg-Saron kill. She then canceled her subscription in January of 2010, and hasn't looked back. As she was always my co-raid leader and general sounding board, this was really hard for me in the beginning. Still is. The last couple months we raided together was pretty rough for us. Her heart wasn't in it anymore, and so her performance was lackluster at times. We would snap at each other, and in a way it was a relief when she threw the towel.

    On the other hand, I will always miss having someone to gab at, someone who used to be as passionate as I was about our casual raiding progress. She usually takes a bath or does other stuff while I raid, but when she's in the room, she will tell me when I sound particularly harsh as raid leader.

    • That sounds like a hard decision to live through from both perspectives; however, I definitely understand wanting/needing a sounding board. My husband probably knows more about boss abilities and tactics than he ever wanted to know right now because in order to explain why something worked/didn't work/pancake I have to explain some of the mechanics.

      However, having a personal sounding board vs. a raid leading sounding board are two different things, and I think I would horribly miss having that when it was in place for so long!

  5. I really do miss raiding together. Even with the muttering and grumbling and the occasional "Oh Come ON!", when all was said and done, it was enjoyable. Never the thing that I was truly into in the game, that's always been exploration and seeing what's over the horizon.

    Here's hoping that things will turn around soon, and we'll be able to kill internet dragons together again, honey!!

  6. I must confess that Lathere and I lived together for a short period of time (6 months or so) and I couldn't raid in the same room with her.

    And from what you describe I think she plays exactly like you do! It was certainly hard to believe that she was enjoying herself (even though I know she was).

    Just playing from another room helped a lot.

    I like things to be relatively calm and peaceful when I'm playing.

    I do know that my housemates now get pretty annoyed at me when they need to ask me important things during raid blocks. I give a good impression of someone who is listening and taking up their side of the conversation… except I don't remember a word that was said later 🙂

    • Hah. I get in trouble for that all the time when I'm reading, whether online or off. Apparently I make all the correct mouth noises, but nothing is processed. My husband now patiently stands there doing a cat impersonation (I will stare at your forehead until you acknowledge me) and only start speaking when he's SURE I'm paying attention!

      I can't imagine how FUN I must be to live with 😛

  7. It gets even better (worse?) when kids are in the house. For example, I was SO in the dog-house on the first Lich King kill because I actually yelled and woke up the baby at 1:30 in the morning. The wife was not happy.

    I tend to mutter and sigh quite a bit with fails. But the successes can be loud.

    • Oooo, that's a rough one. I don't know how/if/when I'm going to handle the kiddo transition. We might have to soundproof the gaming room!

      • We use a white noise machine, and we have since she was an infant. It helps her sleep, and it also allows us to get stuff done after she's sleeping (including, yech, chorecraft) since our house is fairly small and noise travels well. Ocean noises ftw.

  8. There are raids when "fuck" loses its oomph, because I've inserted it into other words as well.

    Then there are raids when "fuck" is always said in the middle of a laugh, and usually because I forgot to breathe.

    Personally I rant to my roommate — who doesn't play WoW at all — during my breaks & afterwards and then I either realize while I'm describing basic raid things like roles that I'm either being pissed out my ass for no real reason (& then I get over it) or that I have a valid point (& I rant some more in written form). Either way, I feel better afterwards. 🙂

  9. When I used to play Counter-Strike I'd type like some freakish, maladjusted sailor. I managed to earn several bans. Over Vent, however, I rarely swear; to the point where after a good year with my last guild I was known as "the nice guy".

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