My guild has at least five husband-wife pairs in it. Is that normal?
I have a wonderful wife. She and I share a lot of hobbies, but then we also have a number of separate interests so that we are not always in each others’ space. One area where our lives have always diverged was video games. I love ’em. She doesn’t.
Now, she and I both enjoy the fantasy genre in movies and books. We read the same things growing up (we have known each other since we were fourteen years old). We see the same movies. She even started playing tabletop games with me like AD&D and TORG through our high school and college years. But she never liked the need for manual dexterity and snap decisions that are typical of video games in general.
Two years ago, I decided that I was in a place in my life where I could fit an MMORPG into my schedule. I liked the look of WoW, but I knew that it would eat up a big chuck of my free time. So I asked my wife if she would mind if I started playing the game.
Rule #1 about gaming with your spouse… ask her first. Its as big a commitment for her as it is for you.
To my surprise, she was curious about it. After looking at screenshots and videos online, she told me, “You can buy the game and play, but only if I can play too.”
As you can imagine, this thrilled me. Now my hobby could also become time spent with my wife. We bought two copies of the game and set it up on our computers. I let her choose the race and get first pick of class.
Rule #2 about gaming with your spouse… let her be a big part of the decisions. Don’t just play for yourself and drag her along for the ride.
She chose Night Elf (of course) and decided to be a druid. With her healing, I chose a dps class, which is how I ended up as a rogue.
We started playing nightly after putting the kids to sleep. We didn’t play every night. If she wanted a night off, usually I took the night off too. When I got two levels ahead of her, she started to get annoyed so I let her catch up.
Rule #3 about gaming with your spouse… don’t make her feel like she’s holding you back. Make sure that she is getting as much out of the game as you are.
The most important part of the experience is that we played together. We leveled together, quested together, ran instances together. Any time that I did stuff without her she let me know about it. It gave us something new to share. We could talk about it in our spare time (which we didn’t always do – no point in obsessing).
Rule #4 about gaming with your spouse… turn it into quality time. Don’t be competitive with her. If your toons are together, then its almost like you are together, too. But way better looking and with cool armor :-)
We leveled all the way to 60 together without really doing much separately. After BC, once we were in a new guild, we did get a little more independent. But by then she was a pro – the top healer in the guild. And I love her more for it.