Playing WoW with your Spouse

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.


7 Responses to “Playing WoW with your Spouse”

  1. January 31, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Depends on the size of guild, we have about 30-40 active raiders and at one point we had 5-7 couples who raided together with us. Usually all 10-14 didn’t raid at the same time however. We usually have so many that I hardly even noticed it until you pointed it out about your own guild.

    ^_^ I’m a big tabletop RPG fan as well. I’ve gotten the spouse to play D&D on many occasions.

    I got a similar response from my spouse the night I went to go buy WoW on midnight the day it was released. She went to be there with our friends and hang out. Or so I thought. She was standing there with us and she picked up a copy. She said “If I don’t get, I’ll never see you again. This way we can at least play together.” Ha! I knew it was a partial lie as she loves fantasy and video games as well. We’ve had a great time together ever since.

    p.s. I couldn’t find your email address or a contact page to send you a message. You could contact me when you have a chance.

  2. February 1, 2008 at 4:10 am

    Sorry about the lack of email address – the blog is still in the “setting up” stages. I just put contact information up on a page link just under the banner.

    The great part is that after my wife and I started WoW, soon my brother started and then HIS wife joined in. That makes a nice family/social group within the game. We have our own chat channel set up for family conversation. My other brother plays, as well, but his significant other refuses to even look at the game…

  3. 3 alda
    February 1, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    As my husband and I have different ingame interests, we often do not play together. He loves twinking for BGs and I love questing and exploring. If we are to play together, we have to plan for it and cross over into each other’s playstyle. So he’ll tag along as I lead us through quests or I’ll tag along as he leads us through BGs. It works out for us. =)

  4. February 2, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    That’s great. You guys sound very comfortable in your playing arrangement. In my situation my wife wasn’t really into gaming. If we had gone separate ways in the game I’m sure that she would have stopped playing after a short while. She didn’t play without me for the first several months that we played. Now, two years later, we can and do often play independently.

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