Divorce Online, a website dedicated to getting rid of that dead weight in your marriage, claims that 15 percent of the divorces it has handled can be attributed to spouses that are addicted to online games such as world of Warcraft and Call of Duty.
According to a press release issued by Divorce Online, an examination of 200 unreasonable behavior petitions filed by women using its service between January – April of this year found that 15 percent complained that their husbands were happier playing video games than they were paying attention to them. They called their "gaming addiction" an unreasonable behavior that lead to the divorce they were seeking.
The release also offers comments from one disgruntled 21-year-old wife from London named Jessica Ellis, 24, who married husband Michael in 2008.
"He was addicted to World of Warcraft but played other games now and then," said Jessica. "When it became serious he was playing up to eight hours a day and I threatened to leave. He then stopped playing World of Warcraft for a while and started playing Call of Duty instead but the amount he was playing just gradually increased until I could not take it anymore. It got so bad that he even organised to play on the day of our second wedding anniversary as we had decided to go out at the weekend instead. I was constantly trying to get him to cut back but he didn’t think he had a problem or was doing anything wrong until I told him I wanted to leave but by that time it was too late.”
They also tap professional game addict Ryan G. Van Cleave, who you may know from his book "Unplugged: My Journey Into The Dark World Of Video Game Addiction." The book is about how Ryan lost everything to his extreme addiction to World of Warcraft.
“A lot of the problem spouses encounter with video game addiction is that the non-gamer doesn’t appreciate that it’s an addiction," said Van Cleave. "This means it’s not a choice to spend so much time in a virtual environment versus time with the spouse and family. It’s a compulsion. Trying to explain video game addiction to a non-addict is a lot like trying to explain to a fish what it’s like to drive a car. It’s no surprise that ‘gamer widows’ feel so insulted and disrespected that the most common advice given in gamer widow chat sites and websites is ‘Run for your life.’ The reality is that with the proper professional support, a video game addict, like any other type of addict, can overcome the addiction."
"The increase in the number of video game addiction cases could be a consequence of the recession, or it might be being used by men in particular as a means of escape from an already unhappy relationship," Mark Keenan, Managing Director of Divorce Online.
Divorce Online is a do-it-yourself uncontested divorce website in the UK and has helped more than 68,000 couples file their own divorce proceedings without needing lawyers. For more information on Divorce Online, visit www.divorce-online.co.uk.