How Diablo III Told Me My Marriage Was Over

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.

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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.

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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 tiffanydaniellec@gmail.com.

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).

    • Haha, I feel you there. While my wife isn’t a gamer by any stretch, if we play anything competitive against each other (board games etc) she goes for me when I least expect it. Part of my enjoyment of playing with her is this fact though.

    • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 ™’ 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

      • He: let her “die” in a video game

        Her: cheated on him for months and blamed a video game for their divorce.

        No equivalency there, at least in the real world

        • So you necro a thread from 5 years ago to tell me that you still can’t read?

          Both of them were cheating. Both. The two of them. So the relationship was clearly fucked. The relationship didn’t end because he let her die in a game, she realised it was already beyond salvaging because he had no interest in playing with her as a teammate.

          So, to reiterate:

          He: cheated on his wife
          She: cheated on her husband
          They: were both in a shitty, loveless marriage, both acted like terrible people and are both better off being done with it.

          • I know this is 5 years old but only just stumbled across it, so you’ll need to forgive my tardiness on this reply.

            I read the entire article and at no point did it say anything about the husband cheating. It was stated near the beginning that they were both with other people *after* the divorce process started, and she revealed that her new relationship started well before that, but said nothing about when his did. We can not assume, going only by the information provided in the article, that he was also cheating on her. It’s entirely plausible he moved on and found someone else once the marriage was confirmed to be over and the divorce process had started.

            The only thing we know *for sure*, given the information provided, is that SHE was cheating on him, and was doing so well before the Diablo III incident. We know nothing about what he was doing at the time. Sure, he *could* have been cheating too for all we know, but this is never said in the article so we shouldn’t assume it (yes, she mentioned the “late night gym” thing, which you can read into if you want, but that’s possibly trying to find something that’s not there). Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

  • 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 =(

  • 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”.

        • 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?

          • 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.

  • I hear a lot about how men are cheating bastards, but all the cheaters I’ve ever known or read about have been women. There seems to be a large proportion of women who are self-interested jerks who think they’re the centre of the universe.

    Great you got around to imparting the information that YOU’RE A CHEATING WHORE Tiffany, halfway through your bawwwwwwwwww article about what a terrible person your husband is for being a dick in Diablo 3. You don’t deserve sympathy, you deserve to be mocked like the self-centred brat you are.

  • I love how all these comments treat a relationship as such a black and white subject.

    Seriously guys, first off his behavior of late night gym sessions sounds suspicious to me. Second why was she cheating (Yes Why, not a question of if, because she was but a question of why)? It wasn’t physical because the relationship was 2092km apart so she was cheating emotionally because that need wasn’t being fulfilled within the relationship. And I’m not sure of the timeline here but she was trying to get her husband to fulfill that emotional need. She wanted to try counseling to attempt to save the relationship he didn’t want to.

    And despite the cheating on her part this guy had pulled some pretty big douche moves like saying she doesn’t deserve to be in the Diablo 3 Beta because she hadn’t played Diablo 1 and 2? She wasn’t a big enough fan of the Diablo series to play it? As for letting her die, making a failed attempt or even acknowledging he couldn’t save her would have been better than ignoring it.

    I only have her side of the story, I know I don’t have all the facts and I won’t even pretend there is justification for cheating, as a betrayal will always hurt more than a break up. The relationship was dead neither of them where willing to admit it.

    • This article is stupid. Co-Op games as a test of a relationship because of the team-work required? Kinda nuts. If the argument was – I have fun playing Coop games with this person, then I guess there wouldn’t have been a story here because it would have just been – I like/love this person because we enjoy doing things we enjoy together.

  • I honestly can see why you felt that this is a story worthy of sharing with the public, but nothing to do with this story was worth posting as in the long run you’ve hurt what reputation you have to readers with this article, you can already see the people crying “Cheater” and others nit picking the subjective way this article was written.

    A lot of us would rather read about the healthy gamer guy & gamer girl relationships out there than this relationship that from what I’ve read about it i can only say was clearly toxic from the beginning, we have all been in toxic relationships i had a girlfriend who cheated on me with 5 other people two of which were (are?) female, and even though she has been engaged for the last year to one of the men she cheated on me with, she is still out there sleeping with anyone and everyone she can, was it because she wasn’t a gamer and I’m an avid gamer, No.

    I admire you for posting this story, but the connection to gaming is slight at best, if anything gaming let you see their true colours but it didn’t make or break either relationship (unless you count the way gaming seems to inform your opinion of people) people either work in a relationship or they don’t.

  • oh god Kotaku
    did you seriously post this
    some chick that needs games to determine her relationship was over
    her relationship which she was cheating on
    Kotaku, you’re ruining my weekend
    Kotaku
    pls

  • A lot of people her seem to be obsessed with the “cheating” thing.
    Its not really such a big deal, its being prats to each other that’s destructive.
    “Cheating” is just a symptom.

  • I think the new boyfriend should watch out. If they do get married and have kids his wife might decided to “keep her options open” again. The first husband should have made more an effort but Tiffany shouldn’t have cheated either. If you’re dating someone while MARRIED then you obviously don’t love your partner enough to be in a relationship with them

  • Here’s a thought; don’t base your relationships around video games. Hot tip – guys who play lots of video games are typically disaffected and don’t work that well in relationships. Also cheating is not cool, break it off first.

  • I’m going to have to agree with everyone else on this one…

    It’s really hard to have any sympathy for you in this situation. While reading the article you came across as quite immature and in my opinion I don’t think you’re ready for a serious relationship with anyone, let alone long distance ones with guys you meet online. Maybe that’s your problem, maybe you need to try to build relationships with the people around you, not avatars, especially ones that ask you to have their children while you’re still married to someone else.

    It just seems like you’ll take whatever you can get?

    Of course I’m pretty ignorant in all this as I don’t actually know you, but this is how you come across. I think you need to take a decent look at yourself and sort your shit out before you commit to someone.

  • I felt that there was a lot that this article didn’t explain or care to acknowledge. Biggest thing for me was why did she cry herself to sleep after he let her die? Seems like a bit of an over reaction. Of course there’s obviously more to the thought process between “omg he let me die” and tears being shed. But it wasn’t explained so I was just like LOLWTF. Then she revealed to be cheating. and in the vein of her article. SHE.REVEALED.TO.BE.CHEATING.

  • this whole forging a relationship through gaming is terrible?
    gaming with a partner is nice but its not what makes or breaks a relationship – unless well thats the ONLY interaction you have with each other, then that pretty much sounds doomed to me.

    try doing other things together like eating out, cinema, sex, walks, hanging out with friends, sex, you know…. relationship building activities that actually involve physical contact or stimulate your mind.

  • Read with an open mind up until the part where you admitted you were a lying cheat. I hope your boyfriend cheats on you, dumps you and leaves you sad and alone for the rest of your short pathetic life. The end.

  • Ignoring all the cheater issues, and the talk about the previous relationship. Especially while drunk drunk at 3 am, I’ll try to make a point about what think the article might actually be about.

    Co-op gaming to me has been a godsend in more ways than one. It brings people together in a far healthier way than competitive gaming. I love a good kill in Halo, but a song played well by a a group in Rock Band or Guitar Hero or that boss kill in multiplayer Borderlands 2 is a MUCH better feeling to me.

  • I’m going to go against the grain here and say that shit happens, life isn’t perfect, I’m glad you found someone else and the fact you’re being honest about your indiscretions is admirable;

    However writing an article on “How Diablo III Told me my Marriage was over” and then stating “while that isn’t the only thing that made us fall to pieces, it certainly is among the reasons” gives us the impression that you are someone that over thinks things way too much and if something that small can make your come to such a blinding realization about the state of your marriage i would honestly suggest speaking to someone professionally trained in dealing with whatever issues you have/had and take some time away from any relationship to get your head straight (if you haven’t already done so).

    Don’t get me wrong i know first hand that when relationships get to the point of you looking elsewhere you seldom make the right decisions and everything that goes on from that point gets harder, but a simple (and obviously very emotional) conversation stating you aren’t happy and are having feelings for someone else would have been the easiest way to have dealt with the situation. No its not an easy thing to do but thankfully i still speak to my previous partners and we still enjoy each others company although it didn’t work out – live and learn.

    My apologies if this post seems pompous or condescending it wasn’t meant to, just a friendly piece of advice and a hope that you are happier than you were 🙂

  • I wrote a long comment, but erased it. You ain’t worth it, Tiffany. I hope your ex finds someone who respects him enough to NOT cheat on him.

    Karma gonna be a b*tch when it catches up with you…

  • maybe counselling was a good idea if you cried over getting killed in diablo and used it as a metaphor for your relationship with your husband.

    If you use video games as a litmus test for your relationships you’re gonna have a bad time

  • Yep, one word to ruin the whole article. Cheater.
    You are what you are, and to think you will have any type of respectable relationship with the person you were cheating with on your husband???? you are an utter fool.

  • Hang on, you say you’re still with this other guy and yet just a fortnight ago posted an article about your OkCupid profile?! Are you looking to get your fingers in ANOTHER online pie?

    EDIT::My mistake!

    • That was somebody else

      “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.”

  • I understand the need to disclose, and there is something to be said about the expectations of positive team-building relationships. What I think is really sad is that the author thought it was unusual that her husband did not have the same level of emotional engagement after a separation, pending divorce, and sense of betrayal. It is sad, don’t get me wrong, but I can understand why the “ethic of care” had disappeared from the cooperative games. However, I am not a counsellor so cannot comment further on the type of relationship you had. All I can do is comment on this article itself.

    The title of this article is misleading, because it was not the cooperative gaming that brought down the relationship, but a whole lot of other factors. Cheating. Personal priorities. It was evident that the relationship was deteriorating before either person picked up a gamepad, and I think the author was aware of this before Blizzard was accused of being a homewrecker. What this article has demonstrated is that humanity is complex, beyond the “stereotypical” gaming behaviours that Tiffany has discussed (indeed, the level of caricature is a bit concerning, and something that women in games have been fighting against for a very long time).

    What I find really sad about this article is that it is not actually an article for a video game website. It is an article about the end of a relationship, lightly salted with a gaming garnish for a bit of added readership. This is why people are responding to it negatively. Choose a different target audience, Tiffany. I have fair respect for you, but this is a bit below your usual high standards.

  • I’ll try and inject a moment of clarity here amongst all the judgment.

    Yes, the real issue is her cheating, not the game.

    But the true story is what that tells everyone about her issues.

    She’s obviously mentally unwell. She has problems with attention, and self-absorption – which can be seen from the very act of writing the article, much less the content.

    Rather than just pointing fingers and blaming, a more productive approach is to realise this is very common in women throughout society – generally stemming from difficult childhoods/early lives.

    Yes, she may indeed be a ‘cheating attention whore’. Great, we established that, everyone feel good and righteous?

    Now the more important questions to ask are ‘why is she this way?’ and ‘what steps can she take in her life to ensure it no longer is an issue for her and those close to her?’

    In my experience, ’emotional cheating’ (as opposed to cheating by those people who literally don’t know any better) is something that tends to happen to more women than men (because it’s a common combination that women with insecurity issues end up with less than emotionally open men due to the sheer prevalence of both conditions).

    It’s a serious issue but one that very few people think through as they are too busy judging. Rather than just being self righteous twats, more currency will be gained by folks acknowledging the problem and considering how it can be dealt with in both specific cases and as a general social issue.

    Oh and by the way I was recently cheated on by my partner of over a decade. I don’t judge her for it and I’m helping her understand why she did something she regrets more than anything else in her life and deal with the childhood abuse that wounded her to the point where she would do something I would never consider.

    • You’re a sucker. I don’t know, maybe you aren’t, but I have known too many guys and girls in the same position you are now (helping their ex try to cope and understand why they cheated on/abused/manipulated them and every single one has turned out the same – a realisation of the truth – that their ex is slowly getting better while they rapidly deteriorate and that their ex still doesn’t care that they are hurting them. There are professionals who can help her, who would do a (no offense) much better job of it than you, if only because of your ties to her. Maybe you are the single person in this situation who is not going to come out even worse than they were when they broke up though. I doubt it.

    • You should really send her to a psychologist for that. No, really. Even if you were an APA accredited psychologist you’re WAAAAAAY too close to the situation.

  • I like to say that the couple that doesn’t goddamn cheat on each other, stays together.

    You don’t need Diablo III to tell you things, you need to seek professional help.

  • Good god this is terrible.

    Maybe you should have considered being an adult? Thinking video games are a good means to mend a collapsing marriage is so hilariously naive, it’s actually quite sad.

    Try finding your morality in the real world. Maybe that’ll help you to stop making such idiotic decisions in the future.

    And if you truly believe Portal 2’s co-op (or any other co-op game-type, for that matter) is a good “litmus test” for a relationship, you may want to reconsider what you think you know about relationships. And what you think you know about video games.

    This was honestly the worst thing I’ve ever read about video games.

  • What…the…hell? This is truly the weirdest article I’ve seen on Kotaku…To me it seems Tiffany has some sort of severe mental illness and needs professional help. O.o these are definitely not the words of a sane, healthy minded person whos grounded in reality.

    I am seriously getting the impression that shes got a few screws loose…

  • Ok. I think i’m going to break the mold here a little.

    Now, i’m on the same ground as everyone else, there is never a justifiable reason for cheating. But I don’t condemn you for it. People, when their hearts and heads are put into these sorts of “broken relationships” especially if you are a submissive person, or scared, will often lead into seeing someone behind the partners back. It is bad regardless. But nevertheless, its not the main reason for my comment.

    Everyone is using THAT fact as a reason to disregard everything else she has said.
    You do not know the timeline of events that lead to this. So leave it be.

    The fact of the matter is, she has created a Parallel between Relationships and Gaming.
    Her Ex-Husband spoke of Diablo 2 as if it was the Holy Grail. memories of Days forging teams and looting dungeons, sheild and sword. Spell and bow. etc etc.
    In playing this with her husband, she expected to be put into the same place. Strengthening her relationship and (perhaps) saving it?
    Him letting her die is, more of a Symbol. Letting their relationship die as “its just not the way it works”.

    Regardless, Well done for expressing it. It could of been written better. Perhaps attempting to explain your motives a bit more? Regardless, you’ve paid your dues by your marriage ending. Best of luck in the beginning of the New Game. ( see what i did there? heh )

  • For the sake of all your future relationships, I sure the one you have now is based on mutual trust, love and respect. It sure as hell does not sound like either of you really were living for the other in your first marriage, which is probably why it was doomed to failure.

  • A lot of people are passing judgement here, missing the point of the article entirely. The article is about how games work in a relationship, and how co op games can show how well two people may work together. There seems to be a bit of a witch hunt going on here, with a lot of people saying that she deserved to have her relationship fail because she was cheating.

    I find it interesting how most people are choosing to ignore the fact that the writer mentions that both parties were seeing other people. Long term relationships between adults are complicated and never black and white. In a lot of cases, two people simply grow apart and begin to lead increasingly separate lives. This can be caused be a number of factors, and often cannot be simplified by pointing the blame at a single person.

    This article doesn’t give you details about how they were seeing the other people, but it’s not the main focus of the article.

  • “I DIED IN A VIDEO GAME! TIME FOR A DIVORCE!”
    Oh, wait, that wasnt it…
    “I DIED IN A VIDEO GAME! TIME TO GO CRY MYSELF TO SLEEP!”
    Id say grow a pair, but… well… you know…

  • Wow the author of this is all levels of crazy. If a girl randomly pulls out a DS in the middle of a date and plays away at it for a few minutes that should raise a pretty big flag.

    The reaction she had to getting killed in D3 softcore is pretty amazing too. You have to be pretty crazy to think your marriage vows apply to video games and decide its over based on something unimportant like that.

    Get help. Or you know go away where no one can find you because you are such a glorious screw up of a person.

  • This article is hilarious. Games is seriouz busniess guize.

    I’ve read a lot of terrible articles on Kotaku, but this one is exceptional.

  • Stopped reading when she said she was cheating.
    Your marriage ended because you cheated, not because your husband let you die.

    Jesus what is wrong with people these days?
    Bloody hell……

  • You’re a fucking freak, you were cheating on the guy and you’re nagging him about hitting the fucking gym? So what if he didn’t save you from the intense aggro, lose some gold and move on you wreck. Shits your fault dun dada. Hope your new boyfriend reads this and dumps your ass because of trust issues.

  • Just have to chime in on a few things; first off dying like that in d3 is a fact of the game, he didn’t “abandon” you to let you die. The flow of the game is you play with other people but your on your own, this isn’t wow. No healing class. No tanking class. Pure dps.

    But to people who are bashing you for “cheating” which honestly is your husbands fault for not being emotionally there for you, (I have a theory that women and men cheat for different reasons, and women cheat when they are emotionally neglected among other things) he was asking for it. It’s not like he gave it his all and you went behind him, he’d given up too apparently, game over.

  • Wow, I can’t help but wonder how old some of the commenters here are with responces like “YOU’RE A CHEATING WHORE”!?!
    Really?
    Grow up, in an adult relationship shit happens. Yes she cheated, but by then the relationship was -in all probability- already dead, even if she hadn’t realised it. Sometimes things don’t work out, It’s not either parties fault really, it’s just how it is.
    It truly bugs me that so many people read the article and jusped to the decision that Tiffany was entirely to blame. If she was getting what she needed from the relationship it is unlikely she would have cheeted, maybe if she’d done something different her ex would have talked more, or gone to councilling or something. In the end it doesn’t matter two people who where connected drifted apart, and hence things came to an end.
    Whilst it is often easier to blame someone, most of the time stuff like this isn’t anyones fault.
    I can sympathise with both the author, and her ex, as no-one likes to see something they once thought would last forever crumble to dust.

    I think a lot of the commentors here need to grow the f— up.

    • I agree with the majority of your post, but this I must point out:
      “Grow up, in an adult relationship shit happens.”
      A relationship where letting someone die results in the affected crying themselves to sleep and judging that that was the “it’s all over” moment is hard to categorise as an adult relationship.

  • So your relationship was dead because he let you die on the skeleton king in D3 and not because you were fucking someone else? Suuuure..
    I’d have let you die aswell. In future don’t cheat on someone and blame a video game for making you realize. The second you were with that other guy should’ve been a bit of a red flag.
    You should have dumped him and just said you were unhappy rather then make things a complicated mess. You’re as much to blame as him. If not more

  • Cheating isn’t the end of the world for some people. I can’t appreciate how people think that polygamy is the scummiest thing on the Earth. I’ve been on every side of that particular equation with both male and female partners; yeah it’s a bit shit if they lie about it, but honesty is so much more important to me than fidelity. For myself, I know that every partner of mine that has decided to seek sexual company outside of the relationship has done so because I was lacking in one way or another (emotionally/physically/mentally), which I totally understand and I take responsibility for (read: not blame, responsibility).

    I personally feel a lot of correlation to this article – like she said, it’s not about the fact that he let her die – it’s not that he didn’t listen – it’s that he heard her plea for help and did nothing whatsoever about it. A partner who does that may have the same reaction to other pleas relating directly to the relationship. He may not identify that she is not as content, she might think he can see those markers but is ignoring them, like in the game. I find infidelity would be near the top of the list of likely outcomes from such a relationship.

  • Alright….

    Having read the article in the entirety, it seems like BEFORE Diablo 3 launched, her HUSBAND was spending late nights at the gym, which meant he wasn’t coming home until after midnight MOST nights.

    Red flag 1.

    Diablo 3! He told her she didn’t deserve to play Diablo 3 because she hadn’t played Diablo 1 or 2!

    Red flag 2. He’s a douchebag for saying something like that. Good partners do their best to encourage their other to enjoy things (games) that they did. In fact, my boyfriend hasn’t played any of the Diablo games, while I am a Diablo 2 veteran. I encouraged him to play D3 and D2, except he really didn’t like D2.

    Red Flag 3: He IGNORED her pleas for help in a game. He didn’t justify his actions, he didn’t say ANYTHING, he IGNORED her. I’ve had my bf frantically ask for help many a time – whether it’s minerals/troops/vespene gas in Star Craft 2, helping kill mobs in WoW, or building more traps in Orcs Must Die 2. We work together, we don’t ignore each other. If we cannot help each other, we COMMUNICATE. – I have no minerals! I’m also dying! I’ve run out of coins for traps! I’m at Kun-Lai while you’re in Krasarang Wilds!’

    She’s pleaded with him to make the relationship work, including counselling. He says No. So she asks a guy she knew long long ago to come play Portal 2 with her. He lives over 2000 km away. He’s obviously liked her for a long time and suddenly asks if she would have his children, she say yes.

    And most commentators here seem to think that
    1. She’s banging him (Unless he has a 2000km long dick, she’s not)
    2. She’s cheating on him by saying yes. (Emotional cheating, which a lot of guys seem to conveniently do, and deny the importance of such cheating too.)

    Conveniently ignoring the fact that there were all sorts of red flags that her husband might have been cheating on her BEFORE Diablo III, BEFORE Portal 2.

    In a sense I do agree with her that cooperating in a game can be a litmus test for relationship compatibility, or current state. Ignoring pleas for help because of your own self-interest in not getting a repair bill, or rolling need on everything even though you two have agreed to roll greed, can be indicative of what a person really thinks of the other one.

    Aka. I believe my needs in something completely ‘insignificant’ as a game, are more serious than your needs’.

    Also games are ‘insignificant’ eh? All these cries of ‘It’s just a game’, by (What I believe are largely male readers who take their games SERIOUSLY*) are proof of hypocrisy and double standards.

    Yes I am a female gamer, and I have a gamer boyfriend. We do our best to save each other (in game and in real life) and work together because we’re in love and we care about each others needs.

    Hell, we even cooperated to make a gay and lesbian couple in Sims 3. He was completely amused at my ‘porn-rock-star’ gay guy, while his lesbian girl was a kleptomaniac filling her underground lair with stolen stuff. Good laughs abound.

    Go ahead and flame me. I have a working relationship which is probably over 9000% more than what some of the commentators have.

    • Solid argument until you said “9000%”. When multiplying, that number is viable, however when surveying you’re dealing with a number between 0 and 100.

    • except she was cheating on him the whole time. ever notice how cheaters always find a way tp blame the person theyre cheating on and lying to?

  • This is the funniest story I’ve ever read. It’s written so seriously, presenting a nice dark irony to the humor. What a ridiculous human being this lady is.

  • so you had been cheating on him for months and the fact he didnt support you in a video game convinced your marriage was over? What reality do you live in?

    And now you want sympathy?

    Serious professional help is what you need. No sympathy here.

  • I used to say “what consenting adults do in private is their own business”
    These days, however, I say: “What consenting, INFORMED adults do in private is their own business”
    Being informed includes knowing the other is in a relationship, and / or knowing the other has an STD.

    So, in this article, I wonder: did the guy 2000Km away KNOW she was in a relationship? What did he think was the status of that relationship? Did she deceive the husband, the boyfriend, or both? Was the husband deceiving her?
    I’ll never know. More to the point, since I don’t know any of the people involved, I don’t particularly care: passing judgement on strangers is a tactic over-used by tacky reality TV shows [cough Married At First Sight cough]

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