Recently BRK posted about how to resolve wife aggro. This has become a serious issue in my family. My issue may even be a bit more extreme than BRK's questioner.
My wife cannot make the leap that my playing WoW is on the par with her playing POGO and reading romance novels. She has never liked the fact that I am a gamer but was more tolerant of my playing non-MMO games. I have always enjoyed RTS games and have occasionally dabbled in the FPS realm. I think the big difference is that, with other genres, I was always able to quit on a dime and help with whatever she needed or focus on whatever she wanted. With MMO's I can only do that 90% of the time. I have a hard time explaining that when I am in a party, and especially in an instance, I feel have an unwritten contract with those with whom I am playing. I have committed that I will help them and feel compelled to stick it through to the end - or until we wipe, at the earliest.
Keep in mind that my highest level toon was a level toon is at lvl 40.
Part of the issue arises from the fact that I play on game cards. As I approach the end of game card play time I tend to play more, trying to get the most out of my potential play time. I moved to game cards because it freaked my wife out that I was spending $15 a month to play a game that I already spent money on. Remember, this is my first MMO. The fact that I gave up one lunch a week to cover the cost did not seem to mollify her.
So now I buy game cards every two months. That way she doesn't see the outflow.
Maybe I should use the Disneyland season pass analogy. Up until about a month ago we lived in Southern California. We have five children. This means that we go to Disneyland. When we did the math, it made sense for us to get season passes. After we got them they became even more valuable. If you have ever been to Disneyland at a peak time, you will realize how miserable it is. One of the funniest phrases we heard at peak times came from parents threatening their kids. The threats were along the lines of "be good or we'll leave." Laughable because most people spend hundreds of dollars just to get to and then into the park. Very few people are willing to spend that kind of money just to leave. They never do and the kids pick up on it quickly.
Enter the season pass holder family. If the kids start acting up, you leave. You can do this because you can come back the next day, or the next, or the next, and on and on. This gives the threat validity.
The other thing it does is when you show up and the park is just wall-to-wall, you just leave. You don't feel bad - except for the poor souls that will feel obligated to stay just because they have invested so much just to be there.
The monthly subscription does the same thing. If I don't get to play today or if I only have 15 minutes to play and then I have to log - no big deal. I can come back the next day, or the next day or . . . well, you get the idea. When I am on game cards, I don't feel the pressure until it gets down to the last couple of days. Then I spend way more time than I should because I don't know when I'll get a new card.
That is where I was this week. Game card was running out and I hadn't purchased a new one. I prefer to shop around because I can often get them right at the subscription price after taxes. I really hate paying more than the subscription price. I found one place that would put me on an auto-ship and it would end up being the same price as the subscription, but that kinda defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it.
This is what real estate between Rock and Hard Place is like.