How Diablo III Told Me My Marriage Was Over

I like to say that the couple that games together, stays together. I'm not alone in that sentiment, either. I'm sure there are lots of couples who integrate gaming into their day-to-day interactions and manage to get along just fine. But just because I like to say it... well, that doesn't make the statement true. Unfortunately, I only know this through first-hand experience.

My husband and I met online, like a lot of people do these days, and he liked to say that he fell in love with me on that very first date.

I have a habit of hiding behind a gaming handheld when I'm really nervous with someone new. It wasn't long into that first meeting when I dug into my purse. I pulled out my Nintendo DS, and just kind of fell into it for a couple of minutes before closing it and going back to him. He swears that that moment, right there, was the moment he fell in love with me.

I still don't know what he saw in me at that moment. Was my nervousness merely indicative of the sort of unshaped person he was looking for? Did it make me look more submissive, perhaps? Maybe he just wanted someone who played more games than he did. I haven't really gotten an answer, and that's OK. I'm not looking for answers these days.

***

This year, we separated, and the divorce process has yet to really get underway, despite the fact that we're both pretty happy with other people at this point. What I realised most recently about our separation is that the way we played together this year said a lot about where we were in our relationship.

Two games managed to show me it was all over. There wouldn't be any turning back. No rolling a new character for a fresh start, no "maybe I'd be a lot happier in this marriage on ‘Very Easy.'" These games, which were very different from one another, weren't the problem, but they were certainly illustrative.

I wasn't an idiot. I knew when the snowball started rolling down the hill. After one of our (increasingly common) serious talks that left me bawling, I told my husband that we needed some time to ourselves. We needed a couple of hours away from the distractions (read: other people) just to see if there was anything to salvage. I wanted to make it a weekly thing, even.

I wanted counselling. He said no. So, us being us (or perhaps me just being me), we picked a recent downloadable PlayStation 3 release to play together.

OK, so I wasn't an idiot then, but I sure was stupid to think that a couple of hours was going to do a lot for us. Maybe hope kills brain cells.

I wanted counselling. He said no. So, us being us (or perhaps me just being me), we picked a recent downloadable PlayStation 3 release to play together — The Simpsons Arcade. He'd played it a lot as a kid, since he could visit an arcade on a semi-regular basis. I hadn't ever managed to play it before, but the show, as well as the game's genre, are among my favourites. The best part (to me, for this occasion) was that it was all co-op. No fighting each other allowed, only working together.

In a sense, going back to this kind of game was the perfect thing to do. We were going back to basics, trying to figure out the essence of "us", whether that was particularly painful or not.

Here, the pain was minimal. We actually finished the game in about half the time that was allotted in our schedules, but we didn't want to go back and do it again so soon, so we perused the menus and that was really just... it.

I don't think playing something together really "worked", but then again, I don't know what I expected. We came, we played, we went back to our (increasingly separate) lives. Honestly, we never even spoke about the nothing that happened again.

And playing together weekly never happened either. That time would be the next to last.

The absolute last time we played a game together was the Diablo III launch. He had been waiting the better part of a decade for this game, and I had only been waiting the better part of a year. The way he talked of high school LAN parties made its predecessor sound like the ultimate in companionship gaming. Bonds were forged, and loot was had. I wanted in on this.

I got my chance during the game's press preview for the beta. I could finally get a real sense of what the game was like (and find out just how well it would run on my MacBook Pro). I installed the game and started playing while my husband watched, and man, it's like something was just weird in that room all of a sudden.

I didn't deserve to play, he said. Mostly because of the fact that I had never touched a Diablo game in my life. Does that really compute? I'm not sure. I offered him my computer and told him about that last open beta push before the game's release, but I don't know if he ever went for it.

I didn't deserve to play, he said. Mostly because of the fact that I'd never touched a Diablo game in my life.

In any case, we finally made it to release night, and after his late-night gym excursion, which could bring him home well after midnight most nights at the time, we booted up, avoided error messages (perhaps due to blessings from Deckard Cain himself) and went for it.

I made my gal a Demon Hunter named Ariadne (named after my similarly classed WoW toon), he got started with a Barbarian, and off we went.

Since I'd already done all of this before, I was directing things pretty well, but trying not to be too overbearing about it. It was, in my opinion, so, so cute to see my husband so excited about exploring New Tristram. We went on for about an hour, and then it happened.

He let me die.

In co-op, enemies scale with you and the size of your group. When I had played before, there wasn't much of a problem (with the exception of that damn Skeleton King) because my enemies were scaled for a singleplayer game.

So, here we are, fighting our way through the very beginning of Act I and we separate and all of a sudden I manage to aggro everything in a pretty large radius and I don't know how that happened and they're attacking and oh my god sweetie I don't wanna die hey can you help me they're killing me um seriously can you help because I can't get range and I'm mostly good for range attacks and... dead.

He let me die. In a room where we would often simultaneously play our respective MMOs with chairs sitting literally next to one another and desks that were touching, he let me die.

With me verbally asking for help, he still let me die.

Yes, it's just a game. Yes, I could come right back to life and keep going (and I did). But I still cried that night before I went to bed because he. Let. Me. Die.

While Ariadne came back again, prepared to handle the onslaught alone, part of me didn't. We were over.

Yes, he was wearing headphones, but he heard me. I confirmed as much later, when we were done for the night. Oh, "it's just how you play," he said. Oh, so it was normal to ignore your partner. It's just "normal" to not even deviate from your loot-grabbing activities to save your wife from monsters. I gotcha. (Except everyone I've ever told this story to who has any Diablo experience is always as shocked as I was.)

I guess it's too much to expect "‘til death do you part" to extend to the virtual world, to avatars that aren't even programmed to express the sentiments behind such vows.

While Ariadne came back again, prepared to handle the onslaught alone, part of me didn't. We were over. Really over, and nothing could save us. It wasn't until after this moment, though, that I really accepted that as fact. It wasn't just that He Let Me Die, it's that he was so nonchalant about it, even while tears ran down my face.

I left our home the next week. I've spent the majority of this year in the kind of depression that you really only seem to get after someone very close to you dies and there's nothing left to take its place. Once I left, things got better, but I've really only been replacing one kind of sad with another.

***

There is a spark in my life, thankfully. If there wasn't, I probably wouldn't have made it to today, to be honest. I have a boyfriend now (and I've had him for over a year now, so you do that maths — I'm a cheating cheater, and while that isn't the only thing that made us fall to pieces, it certainly is among the reasons).

I'm not like Patricia Hernandez, who wrote not too long ago that she just plain doesn't list gaming as a thing she's into on her OkCupid profile anymore. It's there, it's something I'm open to talking about, but if you're creepy as hell about it, I'm just going to ignore you. My guy... he's not a gamer. Not in the traditional sense, anyway. He's pretty "meh" about most games these days, despite still fitting in the occasional Age of Empires game (and this is the very first version of the game). He has a Wii, but who doesn't? The thing's ubiquitous.

So, OK. He doesn't play a lot of games. That's fine. It doesn't bother me in the slightest. But when we first started getting a little more serious, or at least as serious as an online long-distance relationship can get while you're still married, he did mention having a copy of Portal 2. This, by the way, was the best thing ever.

I'm a Portal maniac. I love GLaDOS' acerbic humour more than almost any game character as a whole. She may be what amounts to a sentient operating system, but still, my point stands. Best character. Oh, and the part of Portal where you play with portals is pretty good, too.

So I knew Portal 2 pretty well by this point. Hell, after my town was flattened by a tornado and I used the game as a bit of a way to return normalcy to my life, I wrote to the game's co-writer, Erik Wolpaw, to thank him. (His response was to say thank you, "but [I] didn't actually say the game was any good." For the record, sir, it's excellent.) I had been through the co-op campaign with someone else, but I didn't know it like the back of my hand yet.

So it was only natural that I bugged him to play it with me. After a lot of IMs, he finally installed the game and it was on. Part of the beauty of online play is that despite having about 2092km between us at the time, it only felt like mere inches.

We stumbled together through it again. What struck me most was the fact that this time, it felt truly cooperative. My first partner, to whom I'd lost my co-op virginity (gasp!) was smart enough and well-versed in game design, so if we were stuck, he almost always figured it out. When I tried to play with my husband, it fizzled out after about a half-hour, because the portal mechanic just isn't his thing. I get that. (Sort of.) Also, I don't think he liked taking too many directions from me. (It's possible that this theme may have existed for a while.)

You know, he and I hadn't even met in person yet. But here we were, handing off edgeless cubes and hitting buttons and being willing to try things even if they don't work. I was able to actually teach him some things about the game — no, you can't carry things through the emancipation grids — and, as a bonus, the game did feature voice chat. So it was a fantastic Skype replacement too.

Here we were, handing off edgeless cubes and hitting buttons and being willing to try things even if they don't work... Playing with him just felt right.

Playing with him just felt right. I don't know how else to explain it. Maybe I should just say it was like having the knowledge that there's someone out there in the universe who just understands you. Maybe this means more to me as a woman, but if things weren't clear, he would wait for me to explain them and ask questions until he completely understood whatever task was at hand. Like, oh my god. Dream guy.

It wasn't long after that first play session before he decided to ask me something. This something was prefaced as a "weird" something, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

He wanted to know if I would have his children.

And perhaps this sounds stupid, or like an uninformed product of lust and at-the-time completely unfulfilled sexual tension, but I... uh, I said yes.

I said yes not just because I love him, but because while we were playing, I literally had the thought, "Huh, this feels like real teamwork. I honestly think I could have kids with this guy if this is how well we interact."

It'll be quite a while before I have to live up to any of that, sure. That is, if both us as a couple and the plans for everything that happens before kids shake out. But over time, I've felt like a game — a silly game about screwing with physics — is really a better litmus test for relationships, having children with someone, and other serious endeavours than anything else I've encountered (you know, aside from actually doing any of these things). It's puzzling, challenging, and occasionally you just want to throw up your hands and give up. All of that sounds like parenthood to me. Except for the part of parenthood where you don't get to sleep. I hear that's a thing.

Ultimately, I think we can learn something about ourselves and our relationships with others when we take the time to play with other people instead of against them. Maybe you don't always like what you see, sure, but it's worth the effort. How's that competitive personality going to work out with another person? Are you the sort who gives up control too easily on a shared screen? Does that translate to you giving up control in your life? It's something to examine, for sure.

As for me, well...I'm ready to learn some more about the people I love. Just as long as it doesn't involve Diablo III. That one still hurts a little.

Tiffany Claiborne is the former news editor at GamingAngels.com. You can reach her on Twitter at @kweenie, or by email at [email protected]


Comments

    On a lighter note, my wife not only lets me die in co-op games, she outright kills me in a lot of reaction-based PVP games (she's a violin player and has hands made out of pure dexterous evil).

    Last edited 01/12/12 3:15 pm

      Gotta love a woman with fast hand movements... -_-

    You cheated, so your relationship deserves to have died.

      no, her husband didn't follow her around and die with her while she agro'd every single monster in new tristam. Thats clearly more important than the cheating bit.

      yeah this girl is on crack. I mean, if her character was hardcore she would have a point, but she cried because she got sent a few metres back to the last checkpoint. Really?

        I have cried by being sent a few metres back to a checkpoint... CURSE YOU I Wanna Be The Boshy!

        I get where you are both coming from but I don't think she is actually trying to justify cheating.
        I felt that that article was just explaining how gaming helped her realise and process realities about her relationship.

      Agreed with ^
      Wow... being the person who wrote this article, you come across as self absorbed, childish. It seems like you are living in a bubble... incredible, did you read, and then reflect on your own piece?

      This ^^

      I am yet to find any situation where cheating is acceptable. If it this is what it took for you to realise that your marriage was screwed, you were right in seeking counseling. In fact, I'd give warning to the next guy to steer clear.

      On top of that, this article was so poorly written that I had to re-read sections to even understand it. At least the last spiteful woman article (http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/08/my-okcupid-affair-with-a-world-champion-magic-the-gathering-player/) on the Allure Network actually read well.

    I did enjoy reading your article but it seems a little self absorbed and arrogant to say that him letting you die in a game, something that is such a fleeting state in a virtual world and one that has no punishment was when you realised your relationship was over.
    IT WAS OVER WHEN YOU STARTED CHEATING ON HIM! Maybe you just realised when he let you die in the game that you'd let the relationship die by poisoning it by bringing another person intimately into your life. He might've just sensed your apathy toward the relationship in general.
    And I'm sure he'd feel like a chump if he went and got counselling with you and you were just rooting someone else anyway.

      Agreed with the first part. Interactions in a co-op game aren't an accurate metric for determining the stability of any relationship. Perhaps it can serve as a mild indicator. However, in this article it would appear that this point in the game was not a metric but something akin to a realisation.

      What I can't agree with, something that so far in these comments is a majority sentiment, is the notion that the breakdown of of the initial marriage is a direct response to the author cheating. None of you had a complete or reasonable understanding of the dynamics in that relationship or the subsequent breakdown, and it's likely that decrying the admission of the author's cheating is the work of personal prejudices.

      A smidgeon of independent thought would lead anyone to question what the complete picture of the author's situation would be, before making a sound judgement.. Have the respect to not label a person until there is factual certainty beyond that of a single statement.

        http://static.rateyourmusic.com/lk/f/u/f9ca9bc8b2d5ce5396a137048b29483a/4023497.jpg
        Bullshit. What Bullshit. A smidgeon of INTELLIGENT thought would say "Hey, This woman cheated on her husband, but where supposed to buy what shes selling in terms of blaming games for her infidelity on a PRO GAMING WEBSITE"

        Cheating is unnacceptable. Full stop. If your marriage/relationship isn't working to the point where you start looking for other companions, end it first, then move on.

        The only thing cheating leads to is mistrust and hurt.

    So many #WhiteGirlProblems on here today!

    Enjoy your aspergers, unfaithful swine.

    Oh my god; this was just abysmal. Was this article written by some angst-ridden teenager? It was just utterly pathetic.

    I'm pretty sure it was the MacBook all along. Who plays games in MacBook? You can't take someone seriously if they choose to play d3 on MacBook instead of a pc.

      I see what you did there... laaaaame.

      Last edited 01/12/12 1:00 pm

    Sorry your relationship didn't work out. Never a good thing.

    With that out of the way, whilst I'm sure your article was meant to be heartfelt and affecting, it was actually really poorly written. To the point where I had to reread. Several times. Unnecessary overuse of fragment sentences. Reduced comprehension. Increased frustration.

    This time of writing sustained over multiple paragraphs is incredibly fatiguing to read and as a result... tl;dr.

    Kotaku as a whole is really bad at this 'New Games Journalism (tm)' thing. This, and the article written by the socially stunted person who didn't grasp how people cared for children until they had played 'The Walking Dead' really just make this whole site look like it's a gaming blog for journalists with Aspergers.

    Yeah, I got to the cheating part as well and thought "And I should have sympathy for you why????"

    Granted I know Relationships are one of the hardest things we as human's endure...but seriously, you were cheating on him...clearly the relationship wasn't stable in some capacity for whatever reasons...did you ever stop to think that maybe he let you die in Diablo simply because he was fed up with the state of the relationship and it was a way of expressing himself? (some guys don't like to express, rather we hide behind walls some times) Maybe he had his suspicions? Maybe he was just fed up you and the way your relationship was as a whole? Maybe he was faithful and was hurt to think someone he cared about was sneaking around behind his back

    I say maybe to all of this because I don't know exactly what happened or the exact timeline (whether the Diablo event came before the cheating or not)...maybe your boyfriend was just as unfaithful as you were...maybe you were just two idiots all along.

    But reading this article and then getting to the cheating part...all it did was make me say "And you felt the need to write about this on a GAMING WEBSITE why?"

    Clearly I see the point it's trying to make about gaming and relationships in general...but in the end, all the gaming part did was tell you that something was over...something that should have been expressed to you when you started CHEATING on the guy in question...

    So again, what part of this is supposed to provoke sympathy or empathy from my end??? Not that I demonize the writer either...hey it happens in relationships every day, it clearly wasn't meant to be...you can't demonize someone for that...but there are certainly better ways to go about it then sneaking around behind someone's back.

    Then again, we're all fools in relationships as it is

    So you were cheating on him IN REAL LIFE but it was the fact that he let you die in a co-op COMPUTER GAME that was the real problem?

    Holy shit, Tiffany, you really do need professional help.

      Lol yeah, I mean unless he had an uber Barbarian with l33t mob pulling abilities (doubtful after only an hour of play) what could be have done to save you?? That's what I don't understand. You say you pulled a huge mob in a wide area, what did you expect that he could have done to help you unless he had teleportation abilities to get to you quickly and a nuke button?

      Sounds like he's better off to be honest, and you need to seek professional help to separate reality from what transpires in a video game...

    So did nobody read the part where they were both doing it? Because they were both doing it. She cheated so she's a bitch or a whore or whatever. Howabout the husband? It's ok right? because his wife was cheating on him! Derp, derp, fucking derp.

    I have a question for you: Have you ever made a bad decision? Have you ever regretted it later, or in hindsight known how bad it was but you did it anyway? I'm sure most of us have. This is pretty much what happens when a lot of people cheat. Tiffany's mistake was not ending a clearly poisonous relationship and I suppose she probably wishes she had seen the end coming sooner.

    Fact is, long term adult relationships are complicated, messy, often hurtful and never black and white. People cheat. It sucks. It more often than not ends the relationship. Sometimes it can be salvaged. It doesn't automatically make the person undeserving of common respect.

      The husband isnt coming on here trying to validate his reasons on why hes a cheating scumbag on "She let me die in a video game" And the fact is the only thing we know is he is with somebody else NOW.
      But the fact you think cheating is just a bad decision shows how how of depth you are with reality.

        Yes because the entire thing was her trying to validate her behaviour and not at all a personal account about how a leisure hobby can affect your life.

        Her one throw-away comment admitting fault and making no attempt to justify her actions clearly shows that the entire article was a vanity piece intended to make her feel better about her poor life choices.

    Dear Tiffany. Thankyou. As a male 'basement dweller' Ive always wondered how hard it is for a woman writer and female gamer in a male oriented field to go about their business and to get recognition. You were doing so well, then you make confession that youre a cheater and pretty much ensure that everybody who had read the article to that point turn on you completely reinforcing the female gaming stereotype and WHY they are looked upon so negatively.
    I would say i respect you being honest about cheating, but that would be a lie.
    Youve tried to make the parallel between games and relationships.
    If you could let us all know WHICH game(or games) made you decide to cheat on your husband, (even if in your mind it was over) so that if the rest of us are lucky to find a woman we dont somehow ruin the marriage because she dies in the game, well that would just be swell.
    And Kotaku. Specifially Kotaku AU. Stop putting these stupid fucking troll pieces on your site.

    You cheated on him, he let you die in a game. You got what you deserved. Oh and the divorce, sounds like you deserved that too.

    I proposed to my fiancee via Civ V so she was pretty upset when I declared war on her.
    Now we are fine and she even wins sometimes, but at the time she was reading into it a little too much.

    Got to the point where you cried because he let you die in a video game. Decided he was crazy for being with you to begin with. Then I see in the comments that you cheated on him too. Why bother making this open to the public?

    I'm really confused about kotaku...

      Agreed. What the hell is this?

      Yeah. I think part of the problem is that the site is a mess in terms of its priorities, opinions and beliefs.

    Interesting how the rest of the content is overshadowed by the revelation at the end, which is certainly reflected in the reactions based on the comments.

    At the start of the article I felt bad, thinking "I see/hear so much about divorce nowadays, it's depressing." I want to get married one day, and it is honestly starting to scare me a little, that so many couples seem to fall apart for seemingly no good reason. Though by the time the article was over I guess I saw a pretty good reason (or the effect of the reason, at any rate).

      Did you though? I was reading it thinking while I'm sure this sucked in that "first world problems" way unless something bigger happens this seems like a poor reason for a marriage to fall apart, or perhaps begin and maybe That was the real problem here. but then the big thing was him letting her die in a video game, I was no longer on board there, before the cheating thing came up at all. it only served to worsen matters.

      The point of the article is that it takes teamwork to make a good relationship. Cooperative gaming can be a very good indicator of how well two people work as a team.

      Many couples fall apart, but it's never for "no good reason". It's usually because one person in the relationship has withdrawn their affection and support. This can drive the other person to seek that affection from another person, as we've witnessed in the article.

      Many couples also stay happily together, or at least, satisfactorily together. No couple is ever happy 100% of the time, and it's how you cope and compromise in these negative moments, which truly indicate how good the relationship is.

      If you meet a good team player, and are a good team player yourself, then there's every chance the relationship will last a lifetime. Don't be afraid. Be eager and enthusiastic. Good relationships can, and do, happen every day.

        She pretty much withdrew the affection and support shit when she plopped another dudes meat wand in her mouth while she was still hugging up next to him at night. In the game of life, she left "him" to die.

          You did read and comprehend the article, I hope. You do realise she was cheating by having an online relationship; having her emotional needs catered to by someone other than her husband. As far as I know, virtual reality hasn't yet come so far that a person can fellate someone over 2000kms away, through haptic suits.

          Last edited 03/12/12 12:13 pm

    I'm going to try not to be too judgmental here, but I recommend you re-consider how you structure these articles. I appreciate trying to bridge the virtual with the reality, and to some extent I agree - gaming is the perfect medium to interact with people on a new level.
    However, your article should explore the socio-psychological aspect of co-operative/competitive gaming and draw comparisons using real-world interaction metaphors.
    As tumultuous as a divorce may be, it's unprofessional to write a biased life story with so little empathy. "Like, oh my god. Dream guy." is not a standard of journalism I would come to expect from an article on Kotaku. Maybe try blogging instead.

    Last edited 01/12/12 4:21 pm

      Editorial. It is an opinion piece. Newspapers have them too, so leave your condescension at the door, k?

    I'm usually all for balanced responses and not insulting the author, but I have to admit I'm struggling here, I read it twice to try and mitigate your circumstances but most of the comments seem pretty spot on, shit happens and by no means do i think you're the devil, but this is the first and I hope last time I ever read someone say the moment they knew their relationship was over was when their partner let then die rather than when they cheated on him. You sealed it as over the moment you started seeing another person, moral judgements aside that's simply an oft observed psychological truth.

      EVERYONE INVOLVED WAS AT FAULT LEARN TO READ I DONT EVEN

      I'm done in this goddamn topic. We have a situation where a man and a woman were both being unfaithful and almost every response is OMG BITCH WHORE DIE. You people are incapable of basic reading comprehension.

    I was reading this, paying attention... I reached the part where you cheated and I couldn't read further. What would you have done if you could have gone to counselling, announce you cheated on him for over a year? Your relationship was set up to fail the moment you neglected him for another. =( I'm sorry but you let your marriage end by not addressing problems when they started. diablo 3 didn't tell you it was over YOU told yourself it was over long before and then strung him along. Sickening people =(

    letting team mates die is called strategy not a reason for crying

    I read up until the "he. let. me. die" thing."

    That's funny. Seriously, it's just a game. It took that for you to realise that your marriage was in trouble???

      People are very good at denying that they have a problem. Regardless, the author knew her relationship had a problem before the game. It just took the game to convince her that it had to end, that the problem could not be overcome.

      That's a big moment, and if it took a game to do it, then it's more than "just a game".

        Not if she was already cheating on him. Then its just a woman trying to shift the blame.

          While she did cheat on her husband by forming an online relationship, two things make me think that she wasn't shifting blame. She wanted to go to marriage counselling, and she freely admits to the secondary relationship.

          As far as I can tell, she genuinely wanted the marriage to work. If her husband had played ball, then she would have likely given up her online relationship. When she realised that it just wasn't going to happen, then she moved out.

          It's always tough to come to any true conclusion based on one side's story, but certainly from the information at hand, it's not as simple as you make it out to be.

            If she genuinely wanted the marriage to work, she wouldn't have had one foot out the door already by seeing another guy. What kind of message would you get if your boss was saying "I really want this company to succeed", while reading through a list of job advertisements?

              If only it is so simple. People being people, they can do entirely contradictory and irrational things. It's very possible to genuinely want your marriage to work, and yet seek to fulfil your emotional needs with someone else. I believe that if her husband had stepped up his effort with the marriage, she would have given up on her online relationship.

                I believe that if her husband had stepped up his effort with the marriage, she would have given up on her online relationship.

                Ohhhh, so the fact that she was cheating on him is now his fault then, is it?

                Last edited 01/12/12 11:09 pm

                  Considering that he is also in another deep relationship shows that he was doing the same thing as her. It's no ones fault, they just grew apart.
                  However the purpose of the article is about whether gaming together works in a relationship, yet everyone is going after the author with pitchforks due to one sentence.
                  Not to mention it was an online relationship, one that may have originally been friendship. Neither one is without blame. I just want to point out a few things.
                  Their marriage was already on the rocks.
                  He was also seeking comfort elsewhere from the sounds of things.
                  He has never met the person she was conversing with.
                  She made an effort, but perhaps he saw it was futile. Now can we stop the witch hunt?

                  Ohhhh, so the fact that she was cheating on him is now his fault then, is it?

                  *sigh* I really wish people wouldn't put words in my mouth. I didn't blame anyone. I am not pointing the finger at one party or the other. As far as I can tell, they're both at fault.

                  From the one-sided view in the article, I believe that the marriage could have been mended if he had stepped up his effort.

                  @scree

                  It's depressing that once someone mentions the word cheating it's as if almost nobody read any of the other words.

                There also seems to be the assumption that she sought an affair. As though she decided to just up and go meet a guy at a bar. The article gives the impression that she made a friend who helped her cope during a rough time and it led to more. Not saying cheating is ok and that she's guilt free, but it's crazy to imagine that after being emotionally neglected, in a relationship the other person doesn't seem to want to fix, you'd develop feelings for someone who actually wanted to talk to you.

                Plus if I'm reading it right the affair was after she'd proposed marriage counseling. That's not something either party wants to do, so if your wife says 'this isn't working, we need help to get it back on track' you either go, make a serious effort to fix your problems on your own (and if it doesn't work out you go get proper help) or you sign your divorce papers. You don't say no and expect to just tough it out.

                Don't get me wrong, I'd like to think I'd never cheat on a partner under any circumstances, I like to think I'd be strong enough to either fix or end a broken marriage before the concept cheating ever became an issue, but this was a mess and he played just as big a part in it as she did.

                I like you deek, you've a good view on the complex nature of a relationship.

                You can all go pitchforks and fire on the author but it takes two to make a marriage work. I'd bet the cheating happened after the idea of counselling and for her the lack of desire to help mend the bonds of the relationship is a signal that he doesn't value it or want it to continue. Cheating is a horrible thing and I don't condone it one bit. But you can't honestly think it's a simple as black and white, it's something that is derived from a lack of fulfilment to very complex emotions that would usually get stimulus. Two people made this marriage fall apart.

                I enjoyed the article and given the personal nature of the story, thought it was written perfectly. The examination of the role a gaming habit can play in a relationship was interesting. And I'm glad to see a more mature article on this site.

              Women are like monkeys in a tree, they need to have a firm Grasp on the next branch before they let go of the last one.

    People are making a lot of judgment calls on someone who they've only read two thousands words on. She cheated on her husband, so what? If you don't think she deserved sympathy, then don't giver her sympathy, but if you think it meant that her marriage deserved to, and should of fail, then fuck you.

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