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January 07, 2004

Comments

Okay, I do sympathise with you guys although I do not understand why you would want to quit Second Life? I feel privileged to be apart of this huge community and to have met the wonderful people I have. I am myself addicted but I have a balance between SL and RL. Quitting is not the answer, finding time and to balance both is the best option. I am a designer in Second Life, I create items in Photoshop and 3D modelling programs like hair and skin and actually make money from it and you would be surprised how rewarding that is, making money from art and having an on-line fan base for your creations. Do not give up Second Life, use it to your advantage. :)

ok ok.. guys what is that??!! Damn, ok SL is fun I play a lot yes... well I have also a lot of free time. Am I addicted... yes I am... but not unhappy or zombie. I mean I play a lill everyday when nobody is around me, or asking for attention. I have to say I never had RL friends... so is quiet easy to be at home and just connect and go out. But between a dinner with my best friends and to play... guess what I choose? and no.. donºt have turkey chill... as I always say on SL "RL first". My fiancee knows everything I do on SL. I have to say that I use it first to expose creativ work then to meet peopel. I think is an amazing world, but is see it like spending 2/3 hours in the gym.. going to a movie. Looking at tv... the only thing I notice is that I see less TV... normally when I see a movie I have my laptop front of me...

Any questions?

Its over for me, I finished my personal blog on SL Addiction Syndrom.

https://monymarkovaaddiction.blogspot.com/

Hello, all. I just wanted share and say these comments (minus the flame war) were inspiring. Within a couple hours of playing SL I was HOOKED. I have what you might call "an addictive personality". I played it for hours, and being a homeschooled teenager left plenty of time on my hands. For the next couple days it was practically all I did. When I wasn't in SL I was thinking about, and when I was I lied about what I was doing with my time. Luckily, after just a few days I recognized how unhealthy this was, and uninstalled it. And reinstalled it the next day. Then uninstalled it. I've been in RL for several days now, focusing on my First Life. Thanks for this blog!

I just started looking into SL around Thanksgiving. I am a freelance writer and thus work my own hours and have no boss to watch over my shoulder. At first I logged in a few hours here, a few there. However, SL soon took over my days. I haven't gotten much work done in the past two weeks.

I finally uninstalled SL today. I use a tool called "Leechblock" to block the SecondLife website so I am not tempted to redownload it. Unfortunately Leechblock only has a 24 hour lock on it, so I could very well download the program again tomorrow. I need to be strong.

Fortunate for me, I have not developed any strong friendships or relationships in SL. I did, however, start exploring sexual bondage-domination activity, something that I have been hesitant to do in real life (I am a shy man). It was electrifying to try it out in a safe environment, with no real-life consequences. I even applied to be the full-time slave of a dominant woman in SL. She hadn't gotten back to me before I uninstalled. If she had, I am not sure I would have had the strength to cut myself free of SL.

Its an insidious virtual world. It is amazing and so enticing. Everyone looks gorgeous there--I look gorgeous there! How can that not be addictive?

I'm steeling myself against reinstalling the program. I discovered this blog today, and it is helping me to see others who have had the same problem with SL. I will check in here when I feel weak.

Good luck to you all.
Evan

Olivia, thank you for your thoughts. I think you are right both about SL addiction being shorter term than some other addictions, and its potential to be dangerous nonetheless.

I am almost two years into SL and still struggling with it. Not long compared to alcoholism I guess... but not short either!

I wonder if these virtual reality 'games' are more addictive if you are a bit older. I am not a kid, but I see kids getting kind of addicted too.

If Eric is the owner of this blog I would like to thank him too as enid did. It has been really helpful to me! But if it goes away in January I know there are other places for help too.

Love from Sarah.

Eric,
I would like to thank you for keeping this blog going. I found so much comfort from this community as one who was the spouse of an addicted person. You have comments from so many aspects:
- the addicted,
- the people affected by their significant others' addiction,
- the people who can play SL without losing sight of their RL.
I think you should take all this material, partner with a clinical psychologist and get it into print under the genre of Internet Addiction. Perhaps you can make some well deserved money out of having provided this forum for so many people.

What I think and have seen all around me in sl, is that the addiction lasts for a relatively short period in time. And then I'm talking about a couple of months to a few years. So compared to alcohol or cocain for instance, it works very differently and the excitement just wears off after a while. You outgrow the addiction and become a little bored by your pixel life. Of course there are exeptions.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. Because in this relatively short period in which you are addicted you can lose your grip on reality completely with the risk of losing all that was valuable for you in your real life before you got sucked in.

And when you wake up after a while and look around you, you think: where IS everybody! Where WAS I. What a mess I have made of my life!!!

For myself, I think what played a part in me becoming addicted so easily, is that I am from a generation that did not grow up with virtual reality games like the kids nowadays do and so I was more vulnerable and sl could hit me hard.

Well...just some thoughts..trying to understand

Thank you Clover and Julia! I really appreciate your thoughts. It is nice to hear of stories that show you can withdraw from SL gradually rather than cold turkey, and perhaps achieve a balance between SL and RL too.

I think there is a common theme in both of your posts, which is that commitments in SL are what is dangerous. Commitments to people, and also to jobs and businesses -- these are what create so much of the "pull". And the irony is that, for me anyway, these are the things that make SL most exciting and worthwhile. :-\

Anyway I am doing better with my balance but not as well as you two are! But I am working on it and reading things here does help. So thank you again. :-D

Love from Sarah

Hi Clover and Sarah,

I know all about fighting an sl addiction, but it has not only been a negative experience for me. Being addicted gave me a better understanding for other people's weaknesses in any field. I always felt so strong and in control of my life. But I was NOT!

What helped me to overcome my addiction was a slow retreat and not a cold turkey approach. It has been a process of almost a year and I still log in to dress up my many av's and explore. But only a few times a week and not for hours and hours. For instance I loved to visit the creations of Burning Life a few weeks ago.

The price I had to pay for this balance, as I see it, was that I had to give up anything/anyone that was close to my heart in sl. If I had not given up my friends and my lovely little island (oh boy, that was hard!)I would still feel the strong pull. I loathed that pull and it made me very unhappy, but I could not resist it and came fully alive once the screen in front of me opened.

I know I cannot handle any friendships in sl anymore, partly because I see everyone in sl as a victim and partly because I am afraid to get attached to someone again with the risk of falling back.

So I live a very austere second life now and it suits me. No cheating in rl and sl anymore and no sl constantly playing on my mind. I have my concentration back and that is so valuable. I was a zombie in rl!

Life is a learning process and we learn through our faults and experiences. How can we feel happiness when we never feel sorrow?

This blog has helped me a lot in my struggle.

Love from Julia

Hi sara I posted to u 2 days ago but I dont see it, I used to take 2 weeks of in Jan to clear my head and get back some used up energy, one week may not be enough to change the brain to see sl for what it is entertainment. I am only on about once a week now and only for a few hrs, but it took some cheating on my rl husband in sl to wake me up and leave a distaste of sl. First thing I did was quite my jobs in sl, leaving me with less obligation, Second I gave up my house, having to pay tier or rent makes u want to get your moneys worth, I just rezz at a store and head out to the clubs to hear my fav dj's or catch up with friends that I have made in my almost 3 years in sl. I miss sl a little but I am healither mentally and physicaly and that is a good thing!

[Ignores flame war]

Took my week off. Felt good, but now getting sucked back in. Damn. I wish there were a way to find a good balance... If someone knows how, please tell me!!

Thank you again,

- Sarah

Wow!

???

You're bitter. I'm probably THE happiest person on earth. You know what I get angry about? WAR. That makes me angry. Aside from that I can honestly tell you that I'm the most peaceful, chipper person ever. Scum bags have stopped making me angry a long time ago. You should try meditating or seek the help of a professional. Stepping back from the PC helps also. Or pet a kitten. Or a puppy. Or any animal. They will love you back unconditionally.

You need a hug.

Love, Vanity

You are the one using undesirable language here, and being defensive. You have tried to twist what I said, which doesn't exactly work. You do not seem to care that women should have some warning before they run in world. You are the one who is living partly in fantasy and it is making you ANGRY.

Dear ???

You're so very disturbed. It's lovely what sick fantasies you have and how you're not ashamed to put them in words. You must have not read my previous blogs, I urge you to do so. I can only assume that you havent had the luck of finding people that listen to anything you had to say, well good luck and fair well. Should you dare questioning my posts again and respond to them by ridiculing the things I said -in the way you just did- then I urge you to find another site where people with such unintelligent input accumulate. Love, Vanity
PS. Interestingly, most violent crimes are commited by people who live in your very home. ??? who do you sleep with at night?

Is it only me then who finds a complete stranger urging a person to spill all problems and then check up on a person the next day extremely creepy... along the lines of a few serial killers and rapists, they began by being very very charming and seemingly caring... Yes, you could meet them in reality, but at least then you can judge face expression, body language and rely perhaps on that inner body warning that something isn't right... You don't stand a chance on sl of doing that - then they find out where you live etc... No best thing is to find real people in reality. Slave master was very very charming and had all the time for those ladies, they ended up rotting in oil drums in his garden... There are numerous stories of women finding such lovely men via this kind of cyber reality world- getting raped and beaten - and not reporting it out of being ashamed that they put themselves in the danger and basically invited their worst nightmare in. Promoting it is perhaps a tad stupid considering what can come out of it...

In my "not very humble" opinion :

-yes, you can get sucked into SL and spend hours even days at a time just doing superficial dumb crap.

-yes, you can make friends with people that will never care about you past your fucking pixel

-yes, you can start feeling responsible towards a business and spend too much time building something that doesnt really exist

yes, you could easily start neglecting you RL responsibilities and emerge yourself into a dream

BUT:

If one has a sound mind they simply will not do that. An easy way to see if people you call "friends" really, really care about you -- is to spill all your personal problems on them.

Hehe, I did that and the response was soo refreshing.
While someone I thought was a considerably good friend, said: "Let me know, if there is anything I can do for you here in SL!" In SL? What the f**k is wrong with you?
But I did have a couple of people who simply said something nice, that was cute to see. And good to know.
A complete stranger was my biggest hero though. He convinced me to spill it all, he talked to me about everything, reasoning it all. And checked back with me the next day. I was impressed and still am.

In SecondLife its not about the pixels, its about the person behind it. You can find people that share your interests, may it be art, music, fashion or role play. Interacting with the like minded is THE thing.
Then it doesnt matter whether you have a house, new clothes, a club, better hair and so on.
You could be a cardboard box and still feel the same about everything.
THAT IS what this blog doesnt say enough.

Looking forward to responses :) YAY

Dear Gerard,

Thank you so much for your story. Somehow it makes things easier not to feel alone, to know that others feel as you do. And I am happy for your success in getting your life back! Both for you and for the hope it gives me that I can do it too.

You are very welcome for the URL to Dylan's blog. And: I noticed the same thing you did there, the idea to focus positively, on what you want back from your RL, instead of negatively, on escaping SL.

I think that is a good idea because of something else you said which seems so right to me: for everyone who gets sucked into SL, there is a reason. So to make your life right again, you must understand that reason and address it, in your RL.

Dylan did this with his marriage and his work. In my case I am not as old as Dylan but I am approaching my midlife, and before I went into SL I think I was a little bored with life. SL gave me excitement and intensity, as it has for many people posting here.

So I will think about my RL and what I need to fix there, and what I have lost and want back. I will try to regain it, putting in time and energy as you say Gerard. There are still things I want from SL, but now I see that I can only have them if they are compatible with my RL.

I begin by going offline for a week, just a week, to see if I can do it. It scares me but it helps that in SL the person I am closest to has also had these feelings and we are helping each other.

Just this morning I got a message in email from a very good friend in SL, asking if I am coming back soon. I was tempted to go in, just for a moment, to see her and chat and explain. But I did not, and I am inordinately proud of this little achievement. :-D

Thank you again Gerard, and everyone else too.

- Sarah

Dear Sarah,

First, I would like to thank you for the address of Dylan Rickenbacker's blog. I've read through it all, I recognised more than I should, and it was - yet again - an eye-opener.

I hope you can get your life (your RL) back on track again, because - and this is essential, and something you will lose sight of when being in SL a lot - without it, you just won't be here anymore, not even in SL, just not. It sounds harsh, but to me, THAT was, what pulled me out.

Just like Dylan's, my life went down the drain, too. Having just lost a lot of money in a company that went bust due to malversations of my business partner, being unable to find a job and thus being stuck at home, I got drawn into SL. At first it was only meant to see if the place was really as good as the press said. Then I got interested, started doing more and more, found friends, found a lover, etc. I ended up spending full days in SL, just like Dylan. And, just like Dylan too, I didn't give my life the attention that I should, which also resulted in bailiffs at my door.

What struck me in Dylan's blog, was that he says you shouldn't focus on NOT being in SL, but on being in RL and what you want or need to do there. In a way it's no different from what I tell people at my job every day: don't focus on what's wrong, but focus on what it should be and get that done.

It worked that way for me, I guess. I had to get my life back on track, or we would lose the house, I would lose my wife and family. For a while there, the only prospect I had was to become a homeless person, the guy in the street, only having the clothes he wears. That's one thing I really did NOT want.

Of course it helped, when a friend of mine told me that I really HAD to do something, or things would really get bad for me. He offered to help me, and I started working on what I DID want. During that time, there just was no time for SL. I thought about it, very often too. But I just had to stay out of there to be able to get my life back. So I quit cold turkey.

It wasn't easy. There were numerous times when I wanted to get back, just logon again, dance, have sex, enjoy myself in that wonderful world...

But I knew I couldn't. So I didn't. I worked on my life with this friend of mine. He has this company to get people back to work, and he worked for me just as hard, or possibly even harder, as for his regular clients. That really helped me, and before long, I contacted a company that I used to work for many years ago, and they hired me! My friend helped me every step of the way. He helped me negotiate too, helped me get back into the rythm of work and coached me whenever he could.

I never told him about SL, or what I did there. I was far too ashamed of myself to do that. He just assumed that my apathy was from the company going bust. In a way it was, but it was worse than that. SL was a major cause. Now that I've been reading this blog again, I realise, that there's always a reason for getting sucked in SL. In almost all the posts about addiction here, I see such a reason. Someone suffered a loss, someone else was unhappy in his life, someone was bored, etc. The mid-life crisis that Dylan mentioned, could be a reason too.

Anyway, SL is often an escape, and at first, it's so beautiful. The people are so friendly, you can be whatever or who-ever you like, and they'll accept you as you are. It's lovely, it's beautiful, it's a paradise in which you can create your own world, your own person even, and just be happy. If something nasty happens, you buy yourself a gun and just blast it away. It's only after a being in there for a long time, when you notice what's wrong. While being in-world makes you feel good, your real body gets worse and worse for lack of sleep, lack of proper food, and you find that not caring about money has a price: it will cost you your internet connection too!

I hadn't read this blog for a while before I came back. My reason for coming back here, was that I actually went back to SL a couple of weeks ago. It was silly, actually. It was in my vacation, I didn't have anything to do (dolce far niente) and suddenly, I saw this email from an old SL friend. It was in an account I hadn't used for many months, since I'd left SL, and when I found it, I thought I needed to delete it, but before I did that, I just read through some of the mails. Most of them were just advertisements from groups I had been in in SL, some clothes or shoe stores, all of them outdated. But there was this one mail from that old friend, saying she missed me. And because I didn't have anything else to do, I installed the viewer and logged on again. It had been over a year since my last logon, but everything was still there, my whole inventory, my beautiful avatar...

I noticed that a lot of the "old" places had gone, there were some new places that I didn't know. Lots of people I didn't know, and for the first time ever when I was in SL, I didn't know anything to do! I looked up the names of some old friends, but none were inworld. So I logged off again, and went outside, to enjoy my vacation.

After that, I found myself wondering if I had missed anything in SL, if someone had logged on already, what had become of the club I used to work at as a dancer. So, that evening, I logged on again. Nothing happened. I got bored and logged off.

It took me a few weeks of logging on, getting bored and logging off every day, before I could let go again. After that I deleted my account and swore to myself that I would never go there again. It was a lot easier this time, but still, it surprised me how alluring it was.

I can't tell you what the best way of quitting SL is. For me it was cold turkey, but, like I said, I did go back in again later. I think the important part is, just like Dylan says, to focus on what you want in your Real Life, the one with your Real Body And Mind in it. Work on what you want to achieve. If you want to work on your marriage or your job, do that with all your heart, focus on it, spend as much time and energy on it as you can. As your RL gets better, you just won't have the time to be in SL, and after a while it stops hurting.

For me, that was the way to go. I hope it can help you move on with your Real Life, too.

Cheers,

Gerard.

OMG I had no idea... no idea anyone else felt this too!! Before finding this blog I thought maybe I was the only one. But so many of these stories ring true to me -- the ones by ginacler, by Lucy, by Lisa, the posts by Gerard -- and reading them I burst into tears.

I have been in SL for about 1.5 years. Initially I went in for work reasons if you can believe that... but that is not why I stayed. I stayed in SL to do things and explore parts of myself I did not even know were there before. In many ways it has been very exciting and intense. I fell in love in sl and still am. I have never spent the large amounts of time in sl that others describe (12 hours a day or more) but I have gotten drawn in anyway.

Now I never let a day pass without logging in at least once, usually several times. The idea of being away from SL for even a couple of days frightens me. I go to sleep at night thinking about what I will do in SL the next morning, and I always log in right when I wake up. I don't read much any more. I have let a lot of projects and interests slip away. I talk to my friends and family a lot less -- my sl friends are in some ways more real to me. I think I have become emotionally distant from my partner. I am crying as I write this but overall my rl seems to be fading away and does not seem interesting or colorful or fun anymore, not compared to SL.

It helps me so much to hear that there are other stories like mine. Thank you, thank you to everyone who posts here and to the blog owner too. I did think it was just me, because all my SL friends seem ok and well-adjusted but now I wonder if they really are ok. I want to get my rl back and I wonder if anyone could be so kind as to give me some advice.

For instance, is it better to go 'cold turkey' or to taper off gradually? Does it simply depend on the person? And I wonder what the goal should be: is it to be SL free entirely? Or simply to bring things into better balance somehow? I read also the story by Dylan Rickenbacker which is at https://bit.ly/3cSkmH and he seems to have come close to the edge of losing everything, but now has balance.

Thank you so much again,

Sarah

Ginacler,

It could have been a lot worse, moneywise. SL "sells" property, being an imaginary piece of land, on which you can build houses, plant trees, etc, and the fees they charge are quite hefty. Buying a whole island would set you back for $ 1000.00, but besides that, you'd have to pay $ 295.00 every month to keep that property. Of course you can buy parts of a sim or an island, but still there'd be re-occurring costs.

Now, that's not all. You can build stuff yourself, but mostly you'd have to buy something to put on your land. There are numerous shops for that kind of stuff in SL, and of course they have to make a living too, so they'll charge you a considerable amount for that.

The same goes for almost everything in SL. While there is a lot of free stuff to be had in SL, if you really want the "good" (fashionable) stuff, you'll have to pay for it. If you want to have sex, you can buy yourself a penis or a vagina, have some poseballs or a nice bed with it, and just watch your avatar going at it... And it all costs money. The deeper you get sucked in, the more money you'll spend.

I sure hate to say this, but please don't count on a higher authority to stop this. It's just a game, right, something to keep people busy on the internet, AND, being on the internet, it's hard to stop, because it's not just in California, it's worldwide.

For a support group, you might try https://www.olganon.org/ , they're pretty good. Hope you can pick up your life again and move on,

Gerard.

Gerard,
Thank you for that. Since I posted that note, I have learned so much more about this second life. There was one thing I did notice is that Linden labs, charges you every other week...the first charge that my ex had was for 70.00 for the year...okay, so why was he getting charged 21.00 every other week toward linden labs? Fraud, scam...I was under the impression of 70 for the whole year. First mistake with this company.
Second, yes we are all adults, but some are weaker, insecure of their feelings and goals in life, and like the cults of the past eras, this secondlife is another cult, drawing and preying on the weak and insecure. I hate what it has done to our relationship, but it is over and I only hope and pray with any luck that someone of higher authority will be able to put a stop to this or at least limit the activity.
He spent hundreds of dollars getting CD's to download so that he can be this "awesome DJ" and his "friends" are his protectors. God which there was a support group. I know a long time ago there were support groups for those that were victims of dundgeons and dragons. You don't hear too much about that one anymore. Any suggestions?

Dear Ginacler, you're absolutely right, SL is not a learning tool. Sure, it has been presented as such, but it just does not have what it takes to be a learning tool. How could it? You've seen what efforts one has to go through to be "in world", first you have to create an avatar, only to find out that it looks like something a child would draw, compared to all the others in the game, so, in order to do anything in world, you need to make that avatar pretty, find the right hair, the right clothes, etc. Next you need to learn how to move around inworld, you'll be amazed what it takes to climb stairs, for instance. Once you've achieved that, you've already done a lot of work, and what have you learnt? Nothing at all. There just aren't any useful things to learn in SL, and it just isn't the right environment for it.

SL has been presented as a new tool for teleconference, business meetings, a tool to present your business to the public, a way to do business even, like you could actually shop in SL for the right insurance, bank account, the best travels, your dream house...

It's none of that. Why would anyone go through the hassle of setting up a virual business in SL, to build an office there, a city maybe, when it just would not represent your business in the real world, and besides, the internet is a far better tool to draw your customers to you?

To the people in SL, it's a way to live out fantasies. In a rather childish way, like playing with dolls, but very convincing, because there are real people behgind the dolls that interact with you. You can make yourself as pretty or as tough as you like, parade around other people and show yourself off, you can be the best dancer in the world, you only buy some moves, and there you go, instant success! Of course sex is a huge part of SL, after all, people fantasize a lot about sex, so it has to be in there.

That's how it sucks people in. You imagine you're in this beautiful world, surrounded by beautiful people that all like you, you can have sex with anyone you like. They don't reject you, they encourage you, they're willing, you're welcome everywhere you go...

Sex in SL is kind of a glorified phone sex. You don't touch anybody, you have to do it all yourself, but that's alright. There's no disappointment either. Your partner doesn't smell, doesn't snore, doesn't have nasty habits, and if he or she might do anything you don't like, you can always get out. At least, that's what you think. Because your mind won't let you get out. It wants more of that bright happy world, and besides, people "inworld" are counting on you to be there, so you can't let them down. So you go in again, and again, hour after hour, day after day, week after week...

Your partner ("RL-partner", like RL is another world) nags at you, tells you you're overdoing it, tells you to stop, but how can she know how important it has become to you? You have a RESPONSIBILITY to be there, towards those beautiful people you love. You never think of what might be behind the avatar, is your lesbian lover really a 22-yr old woman from England? Or would she actually be a fat guy in his 40's? No, the avatar IS the person, it's what you see all day long, so it must be right, right?

Why would a company like Linden Labs make such a game, if it's not for education, if it wrecks so many lives? For the money, of course. Every pretty tropical island (they're ALL tropical in SL) brings in a lot of money, every month. And the stories only help. When you're in SL, you can tell everyone you're doing business there. Everyone's heard of Anshe Chung, right? If she made it, why wouldn't you? It's like the American Dream, everyone can be rich. Only they won't. Most people only pay money to be in SL, only a few actually earn money. But it's still a good excuse to be in there, also for yourself.

Wrecking lives? That's not Linden's resonsibility. After all, everyone in SL is an adult, and the CAN always get out. Linden's doesn't force them to be there. It's a free world...

Anyway, that's what I found SL to be. I'm glad to be out.

Hope this has helped,

Cheers,

Gerard.

Oh my, I actually found what I was looking for. I read each one of the entries and I have found myself in each of you.
My ex of recent weeks, we had been together for 12 years, not married, but happy. He had been on another game called America's Army and I totally loved that game. We had made several friends and actually did a road trip on the bike to see them. In July of 2009, a friend of ours introduced him to SL. They both tried to get me involved with it, however, I am not a very technical person and I am not very patient with many "twists and turns" to create an avatar.
Anyway, he became immersed in this game. He would come home from work, grab a beer, give me a kiss and off to his game he went. During the week he would be online from 6 pm until 1 am and over the weekend on for at least 12-16 hours with this game.
I noticed that his attention to me was a bit off, but I attributed that to mid life crisis or male menopause. He started ordering diet pills by the mail, going to the pool, or to the beach, he bought himself a crotch rocket. We had always had plans to start a chartering business and since we had moved to Florida,that was our goal...well as time went on and the summer of '09 progressed, we drifted into our routines. Oh, we were great, no arguments, and then it began.
He went to the store one day and came back with about 15 CD's that he had bought, downloaded them to the computer and uploaded them to SL. He created himself as a very handsome, well muscled, with long black hair and a vampire. His "girlfriends" were his protectors and such. I asked him one night to come out and watch a movie with me and he said he had "a turning" to go to.
The straw that ruptured us was one night I had to get something out of his "cave" as I call it, and there he was on SL, with his Avatar, fornicating with another one. What the hell was going on? Was this possible and who was she? He told me that it was just a game, that he had only done it twice. BS I said. It became apparent that his SL life was taken a much more realistic look into his own life.
He gradually turned more to his "girlfriends" to discuss our relationship and then without warning, he told his "girlfriends" that he was moving out and left me there wondering what the hell just happened.
He is in a high position at work, he has the females flaunting allover him including his boss, he started to have an affair, yet when I asked him what we can do to fix this...he just stared at me without any expression nor emotion. I had lost the man I love to a game and to its cult.
What are we supposed to do? All the literature on SL says that it is a learning tool. What kind of learning tool? One that teaches our spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends/partners, to cheat on one another? Does it teach them to leave their RL behind and pursue their dreams in SL. To me this is a cult, not a learning tool. If it was a learning tool to educate, then why do they permit sexual relationships in this game? I need some answers and everyone that I have spoken to, have said exactly what you folks have said in a nutshell...bad news. I feel for each and everyone of you because I know what you all are going through.

Sam, you're doing the right thing. My husband's SL addiction dates back to 2005. He agreed to stop and to go to counselling. In 2008, I discovered he was still in contact with his SL lover and still secretly conducting SL activities from work. His SL lover appeared to have backed off 'the sex part' when she discovered the turmoil happening in our real life. (Whoop de doo, what a moral person). I was middle aged and unemployed. I chose to stay and very much wanted things to be 'the way they were before'. It takes about two years to get over the hurt. We are still together. Happily? I can't say so. On the face of it we seem fine. Do I trust him? No. Are we as close as we were a long time ago? No. I am here because my sons are not independent yet. I am unemployed. The economy is terrible. Soulmates and sex are no longer goals in my life. Things are calm. We don't talk about it. This all might sound sad and lifeless, but it is my choice for now. But, for you, I think you are doing the right thing. You sound young. You shouldn't have to wonder what he's doing everytime you see him on his computer or when you go out or when he's at work or when he works late. I wish you all the best that is still to come.

Unplug the computer, throw it away if necessary, confiscate all money, credit cards etc. If she walks out - let her. If you walk out, you run the risk of losing your home as she won't be paying bills obviously. She will wake up fast enough - I assure you.

Man, Charles, that is really tough. I wish I had a good advice for you to stop all this and get your wife back to you and your son again, but if it was that easy, you would have thought of that yourself, right?

The truth is, SL swallows people whole, and though your wife is there with you, she actually isn't. She's in her other life, in a whole different world, being someone completely different, probably, being happy there, or at least, that's what she thinks. You've noticed that there's nothing in the real world that can get her out of there, not you having surgery, not your son, not the need to wash or eat, just nothing.

Some people have tried going in there to to reconnect with their spouse, to take her back to Kansas, so to speak. You might try that, but to be honest with you, I don't think that's gonna work. Spending so much time in SL, there must be a community she belongs to. That may be some clan, like a vampire group, or a Gor community, it may be a club in which she found "friends", and if she has to do, like you say, "important things" in SL, then there probably is some kind of obligation. She could be working, as a dancer or something, and there will be social pressure for her to be on there. If you connect to SL, and barge in as a newbie into her group, providing you can find it, then she'll probably tell you to leave or eject you from there herself - or worse. Though I'm really ashamed to admit it, when I was addicted to SL, the last person I wanted to meet in there was my wife. There is a reason for people becoming very secretive when they get immersed in SL - and it usually isn't pretty.

The only way to really stop it, is to cut the network connection. But if you do that, she will certainly find that a hostile act, and it will probably turn into a fight. She'll be mad at you for kicking her out of her world, making it impossible for her to do the important things she has to. There won't be a happily ever after, and you'll probably lose her if you do that.

There is always another way, you could move out of course (out of your own house!), but I really think the only way to end this involves drastic measures, like damaging her computer or cutting the network. On the other hand, if nothing happens, she'll just become worse and worse. Being up for 20+ hours a day, being concentrated behind a computer screen all the time, wears one out and makes one sick. I know, I've been there, and from what you're telling, I wasn't in as deep as your wife. I got out because I really had to, my life was going down the drain.

I'm sorry, I can't give you a clear cut advice on what to do. She's not going to respond to reason, and cutting her off will definitely drive her mad as hell. But I'm afraid that's the only way.

Wishing you all the strength you can get to deal with this,

Gerard.

Hi everyone. My wife is addicted to sl and i need help dealing with it. She becomes quite irritable with me whenever i talk to her about sl, and our son can't say or do anything around her without being yelled at. She is on every waking hour just about, pulling all nighters on there, then just staying up as long as its daytime again to do it all over. She has stayed up 40 plus hours straight because she has important things to do on there. I finally searched out this group after what happened this week. Just for background info, i am thr only one in the house who works. I come home and cook and do other household chores because nothing ever gets done otherwise. I had to have surgery on my leg two days ago, and am in a certain amount of pain as you can imagine. Yesterday being the day after surgery i had to get up and cook for my family because she was so busy on sl she didnt realize our son was hungry and needed to go to bed to get up for school in tje morning. I had to carry her dinner to the computer. I felt like total shit, physically and emotionally. I can't go back to work for 2 weeks, all of which i have to basically sit here and listen to her do her thing. I wish i knew what i could say to her to improve the situation, but no matter how kindly i suggest less time on sl, she gets mad and says she's an adult and i cannot tell her what to do. Is there any hope for me?

Dear Sam,

It must be very hard for you, with two young children, to find yourself alone with your husband only having eyes for Second Life. The best thing you can do now is leave him and build a life for yourself, difficult as that may be. Yet it's the only way. If he's that addicted, he won't just snap out of it, and it will only get worse. I hope you can find a place to stay for you and your children, and find a way to go on with your life.

My own experience with the game was interesting, intense and quite immersive. For two years I got into what my avatar represented, staying in for many hours at a time. At the most immersed I spent 16 - 18 hours inside SL. Reality occupied a distant second place. I learned many things about myself, but I also lost myself in the immersive environment and in the interactions with the people I met there. For all purposes, SL had become my life. It was only through my family that I was able to pull out of the game, recover, and keep on living in the real world. I'm happy to say that I've been SL clean for the past 6 months, and I've never felt better.

please help me i'm leaving my husband who is addicted to sl we have two childern ages 4 and a 3 month old that he ignors i pray and pray and pray

In trying to kick my own addiction to Second Life, I started to research addiction to immersive virtual reality worlds. What differentiates SL is there is nothing else like it. There is no goal, it is wide open. Not everyone becomes addicted, not all virtual reality platforms are in and of themselves "bad". However, so many people come into SL with good intentions, exploring, class assignment, researching for ways to use SL in productive ways. But, many of these people get sidetracked. Not all people with addictive personalities get hooked and not all people with no addictive propensities don't. There are innumerable outlets in SL to find an addiction.

Second Life is like visual herion. The intense emotions become experience, brain chemicals don't know the difference between real and virtual. You become addicted to the adreneline rush of whatever tantalizes you there. And when, whatever addiction - be it an intense romantice relationship, building, roleplay, money, power, celebrity, burns out-the habit of SL allows you to find another relationship or whatever, because your brain craves and needs that drug.

I've read this blog for years, but always rationalized. It's a game, right? Just cartoons. However, as you delve deeper into the visual, you lose touch with the real world. You disconnect, dissociate. You perfer your SL relationships over real ones. Your brain is plugged in, your brain begins to see all the cartoon dancing, sex and builds, as real. Because it's emotion, attachment, experience.

Second Life isn't going anywhere and people will not stop becomming addicted. Education about SL is the only way. Discussing the dangers that can leave families in ruins, children ignored. Just like other addictions, help and support groups and educated therapists will be needed as the probem becomes more wide spread. Just like alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, education can help those not familiar with SL.

I read in a previous post about protecting our children. There are virtual reality games for kids, like Habbo Hotel, where you can actually buy Habbo Hotel currency, just as in SL..with real money. Unfortunately, these games are priming many of these kids to graduate to more tantalizing immersive virtual reality worlds. So many parents just don't have the information, they look like harmless cartoons.

Again, virtual reality has it's place and it's inevitable. But immersive VR worlds like SL is not a game and the potential for addiction is great and addictions affect everyone...remember...the 1st priority of an addict is his/her addiction.

I'm an addict. I've been one for 5 years. I can't tell you how many times I've quit, cancelled accounts, reinstated them, how much money I've spent, how much I've missed in my real life, how much of that time cannot be reclaimed. And I can't just "check in" without being there for the next five hours. When we lose connection with our real bodies which sits in front of the computer for hours, and our mind and emotions are immersed in a world of no responsiblity, a belief of no moral boundaries, an "I can do and be whatever I make up", when in time it becomes no longer satisfying, just a race to find the next fix, trying to capture what got us there in the first place, everyone loses except Second Life a place that really doesn't care if you are there or not.

Thanks, SGA. We are all doing much better now. My relationship with my children is very strong and we all continue to honor the memory of their father.
That's the one area of RL I was able to keep private in SL. My hurt, my pain, and my true love for my children and my late husband was for me only!

I just want to say that SL itself is not just addictive, it's the Bloodlines game, the Sion chickens and other money making side projects that target your pocket. I ended up spending $800 of my RL money for what...to carry the title of Queen? I took away money from my kids just to have a title and have some fake love life with a guy that didn't even flinch when I told him I was leaving SL. As a matter of fact, he replaced me in less that a week after I left. Real love, huh?

Oh, I can't forget some of the dark places I ventured in to while exploring SL. One actually made me physically ill after going there. People can say that it's fantasy, but one would have to question another's sanity after observing some of the things I observed at this one particular place. Of course, I drank blood and spiked people as a vampire, so who am I to judge? *laughs*

All that is left to say is that my heart really goes out to those who have a loved one who is addicted to SL. Current and former SL addicts can never replace human interaction, human touch, human affection with a avatar, no matter how hard you try. It's trying to realize that and live in the RL that is the hardest thing once you get used to the SL thing.

Clover, it always breaks my heart to hear people say 'they are in limbo'. I think you hit the nail on the head so to speak, with what you say about the needing to know why part. So many people have asked themselves that same question through out time, lol for one reason or another. Sadly this is a question all addicts need to answer themselves-not just gamers or serial cheaters- to get to the place that ends the bad behaviors.

The truth is that it most likely has little to do with you, so try not to blame yourself too much. I know as women we feel the need to nurture & fix things. Although you can help heal your marriage, only he can heal himself. I am glad to hear he is now getting help and that you are willing to stay and try to work things out again. Perhaps you should view this as a start to real recovery rather than limbo. Hey positive mental attitude can only help right, ha? ha!

Besides no matter the answer it never justifies the betrayals from the behaviors. Much less the devastation it causes partners or family. If you take some time and read through the many, many pages of posts here they all have a lot of things in common. Yet the most common denominator I get from them all is loneliness and trying to fill a void of some kind. I think that's why gaming is so much more easy to become addicted to and has become such a problem now. Just as Anon. Lucy says below, it is as simply as shutting yourself off and thinking your escaping by turning the computer on. Good luck and keep your chin up!!!

Anon Lucy I am glad to hear you have come out of the 'zombie game haze' and can now try to cope with the tragic death of your husband and healing your family. Your kids really need you right now and you should be very proud of them for being able to express themselves so well for their age. Everyone grieves in their own way and there is no shame in that. Yet, what would be a shame now is to let the precious times of life with them pass you by in front of a computer. I am glad you realize that now and can unplug and tune into your family instead. That is the best thing you could ever do to honor your husbands memory. I know life can be scary, but letting it pass you by is the most frightening thing of all. Be brave ladies:)

I have lived my life in SL for four months. I was the queen of a vampire clan with my only SL partner by my side ruling as my King. Oh, I thought I was in love, boy was I wrong.

I realized that I started to have a problem when I started letting my chores around the house go, when I started unplugging my phone so I would not be interrupted, when I began to focus my entire day around what I was going to do in SL. My whole behavior changed, I became tempermental if I was questioned about what I was doing on SL, etc. I stopped spending time outside of my home with my kids, family and friends. I just wasted away behind that screen with drinks, pillows and blankets, numb to the outside world that existed beyond SL.

One day, my kids confronted me with tears. Each said that they were sick and tired of having to come to the computer room to get attention, how we never had family dinner together, etc. That day, I took a good long look and I cried so hard because I had failed as a mother just to be part of the SL game.

My husband died in IRAQ last year, I was lonely, and was looking for something to occupy my time. Unaware of the possibility of loosing control, I put all my time and effort into that game. My "King" wasn't there for me to pick up the pieces when I left, the people who really loved me were.

SL is a great place if you are just looking to explore and have a little fun on a rainy day. Beyond that, it becomes an obsession.

Thanks for the advice Peach, I wanted to protect the children from this but easier said then done they r in early teens and have heard us discuss it and yes sometimes shout about it. Yes it was my fault for letting him join my sl family but it brought us so close and we even got marrried in sl with all my friends there, I played the game very differnt from my husband, yes I flirted while out and about,but we had boundries and he crossed them on every level 3 times, she called him all the time and they talked for hours in the middle of the night, I checked the cell bills after he got caught for the third time, and I did not go back on sl much at all since the first time he got caught, I came on only 2 see him since he works out of town, but while I was with him, he was in Im with her and then sneaking to be her after I went off line, it hurts more then I could ever exspress here. He is getting help and I may join in soon, the probelm with trusting him again is that he cant tell me why he did it, what was missing in us that leads him back to his fantasy with her. Intill he can figure that out I am in limbo and thats a tough place to be!

I cannot help but think that when a person goes to sl and is prepared to trade those who love and care for them in reality for anonymous avatars from God knows where who may not even be the sex they think then is it really worth keeping the relationship? Lack of loyalty and honesty kills trust which in turn causes the loss of respect - basically the relationship is finished from then on. Honestly - who needs to love someone who drops them for total strangers - could even save time by blind folding and donating the offending second life player to the next stranger who walks out of the supermarket... it does actually equate to that anyway.

Sorry all, I see my post FINALLY showed up=a bunch of times:) Oh well at least we know it's working, ha! ha!

Why won't this post?????

Clover, although you do have a right to be mad at this so-called friend. The person that really deserves most (if not all) of the blame is your husband!!! It's very easy to put all your anger into the other woman as it's easier to be mad at a stranger than deal with the real issues at the heart of your problems which is your marriage and your husbands betrayals. And yes you have a right to be mad at yourself because in a way you helped create the problem by encouraging him to go back into the game after you knew he was already cheating on you there. Sort of like taking someone you know is an alcoholic to a bar for 'just one drink' thinking it won't harm them or you as 1 drink is really no big deal, lol.

You say you were in a 'roommate phase' which means you were already having problems before this virtual cheating started. You say you 'healed over the Summer' but apparently that wasn't the case on his part since he is still sneaking around with this other person. Since he now claims 'the game is for losers' I would be more worried about them cheating & getting together in real life more than just in the game. Especially if he is texting her while away on business as this is usually a natural progression for most players who fake partner in the game. I know there are some that will claim the game saved their marriage and is a great place to date their real life spouse,ect..ect... Yet for the most part this is just a cover for an already troubled situation that usually ends in a similar pattern to yours with them partnering up with others & claiming their marriage is now better than ever, lol!!!

Lets be real & clear, going outside the marriage never makes things better in the marriage. And putting effort into other people & situations certainly doesn't count as working on your marriage or making it better-in or out of the game. HA! HA! It seems you have confronted him on the latest things you have found and he now claims it's over-again. Yet I know that must sound fake and hollow since as you say you have already heard this once before. At this point all you can do to heal this situation is make what you want & expect from him very clear. This means you might have to give up the game yourself if you expect the same from him-are you ready for that? Set clear boundaries, as in no talking or communication with the other woman-including no meeting up in the game, texts or IM's outside of the game as well.

Perhaps he thinks this is 'not real cheating' since it is just in the game and not in real life as many have made that claim before him, lol. Yet if he is sneaking around creating Alts and sneaking off to be with her, than we both know the answer is that it is indeed real cheating. On some levels he knows this too, but being surrounded by others in world who claim this is acceptable behavior makes it even easier to convince himself he isn't in the wrong and that it's still no big deal. Trust me, I learned that with my own husband who was being told by his entire guild to partner up with someone and that it was no big deal as 'everyone does it in world' lol! Then as soon as he did this the guild started to pressure him (as well as pressure from the new wife who was single in the real world) to meet up in real life despite them all knowing he was married in real life---see a pattern there with addicts trying to make others as miserable as themselves?!?

SL isn't a real game it's more of a fake soap-opera and people crave drama to keep the otherwise boring place going and make it all seem exciting and more real, nothing more. What surprises me is that men would be so into this since in real life most wouldn't waste 2 minutes watching a soap-opera on TV. And are usually the first ones to claim what a waste of time they are, lol!!! Perhaps you should try couples counseling also as this may open up the lines of communication that were stalled even before the latest events in SL.

The one thing that is certain is that your kids should not know or be put into the middle of your adult situations!!! Leave them out of it and let them remain children. They will learn the jaded ways of the world soon enough on their own without your mess. Children should not have to choose sides in their own homes and pitting them against their father by letting them know 'daddy is at it again' might seem like a good guilt trip to use but children should not be used as weapons-not even with the good intention of saving your marriage!!! You didn't say the ages of your kids so perhaps they are not clueless and if nothing else over hear the fights between you two? Yet a child (of any age) wants their home to be their safe sanctuary from the world and it seems this is not the case if they are losing faith in their father due to extra marital affairs via the computer or in real life. As a child of divorce I can tell you it's no fun living in a home where your parents fight, argue, or live like unknown roommates and that this affects not only their own self-esteem but the rest of their lives and the way they love others in return. Sadly the only answer here is to work at saving your marriage and that involves trust. The question is whether the two of you can re-gain it enough to believe in sticking it out? If not then perhaps you already know the hard truths ahead of you & your children. I wish you the best of luck and please keep us posted!!!

Clover, although you do have a right to be mad at this so-called friend. The person that really deserves most (if not all) of the blame is your husband!!! It's very easy to put all your anger into the other woman as it's easier to be mad at a stranger than deal with the real issues at the heart of your problems which is your marriage and your husbands betrayals. And yes you have a right to be mad at yourself because in a way you helped create the problem by encouraging him to go back into the game after you knew he was already cheating on you there. Sort of like taking someone you know is an alcoholic to a bar for 'just one drink' thinking it won't harm them or you as 1 drink is really no big deal, lol.

You say you were in a 'roommate phase' which means you were already having problems before this virtual cheating started. You say you 'healed over the Summer' but apparently that wasn't the case on his part since he is still sneaking around with this other person. Since he now claims 'the game is for losers' I would be more worried about them cheating & getting together in real life more than just in the game. Especially if he is texting her while away on business as this is usually a natural progression for most players who fake partner in the game. I know there are some that will claim the game saved their marriage and is a great place to date their real life spouse,ect..ect... Yet for the most part this is just a cover for an already troubled situation that usually ends in a similar pattern to yours with them partnering up with others & claiming their marriage is now better than ever, lol!!!

Lets be real & clear, going outside the marriage never makes things better in the marriage. And putting effort into other people & situations certainly doesn't count as working on your marriage or making it better-in or out of the game. HA! HA! It seems you have confronted him on the latest things you have found and he now claims it's over-again. Yet I know that must sound fake and hollow since as you say you have already heard this once before. At this point all you can do to heal this situation is make what you want & expect from him very clear. This means you might have to give up the game yourself if you expect the same from him-are you ready for that? Set clear boundaries, as in no talking or communication with the other woman-including no meeting up in the game, texts or IM's outside of the game as well.

Perhaps he thinks this is 'not real cheating' since it is just in the game and not in real life as many have made that claim before him, lol. Yet if he is sneaking around creating Alts and sneaking off to be with her, than we both know the answer is that it is indeed real cheating. On some levels he knows this too, but being surrounded by others in world who claim this is acceptable behavior makes it even easier to convince himself he isn't in the wrong and that it's still no big deal. Trust me, I learned that with my own husband who was being told by his entire guild to partner up with someone and that it was no big deal as 'everyone does it in world' lol! Then as soon as he did this the guild started to pressure him (as well as pressure from the new wife who was single in the real world) to meet up in real life despite them all knowing he was married in real life---see a pattern there with addicts trying to make others as miserable as themselves?!?

SL isn't a real game it's more of a fake soap-opera and people crave drama to keep the otherwise boring place going and make it all seem exciting and more real, nothing more. What surprises me is that men would be so into this since in real life most wouldn't waste 2 minutes watching a soap-opera on TV. And are usually the first ones to claim what a waste of time they are, lol!!! Perhaps you should try couples counseling also as this may open up the lines of communication that were stalled even before the latest events in SL.

The one thing that is certain is that your kids should not know or be put into the middle of your adult situations!!! Leave them out of it and let them remain children. They will learn the jaded ways of the world soon enough on their own without your mess. Children should not have to choose sides in their own homes and pitting them against their father by letting them know 'daddy is at it again' might seem like a good guilt trip to use but children should not be used as weapons-not even with the good intention of saving your marriage!!! You didn't say the ages of your kids so perhaps they are not clueless and if nothing else over hear the fights between you two? Yet a child (of any age) wants their home to be their safe sanctuary from the world and it seems this is not the case if they are losing faith in their father due to extra marital affairs via the computer or in real life. As a child of divorce I can tell you it's no fun living in a home where your parents fight, argue, or live like unknown roommates and that this affects not only their own self-esteem but the rest of their lives and the way they love others in return. Sadly the only answer here is to work at saving your marriage and that involves trust. The question is whether the two of you can re-gain it enough to believe in sticking it out? If not then perhaps you already know the hard truths ahead of you & your children. I wish you the best of luck and please keep us posted!!!

Clover, although you do have a right to be mad at this so-called friend. The person that really deserves most (if not all) of the blame is your husband!!! It's very easy to put all your anger into the other woman as it's easier to be mad at a stranger than deal with the real issues at the heart of your problems which is your marriage and your husbands betrayals. And yes you have a right to be mad at yourself because in a way you helped create the problem by encouraging him to go back into the game after you knew he was already cheating on you there. Sort of like taking someone you know is an alcoholic to a bar for 'just one drink' thinking it won't harm them or you as 1 drink is really no big deal, lol.

You say you were in a 'roommate phase' which means you were already having problems before this virtual cheating started. You say you 'healed over the Summer' but apparently that wasn't the case on his part since he is still sneaking around with this other person. Since he now claims 'the game is for losers' I would be more worried about them cheating & getting together in real life more than just in the game. Especially if he is texting her while away on business as this is usually a natural progression for most players who fake partner in the game. I know there are some that will claim the game saved their marriage and is a great place to date their real life spouse,ect..ect... Yet for the most part this is just a cover for an already troubled situation that usually ends in a similar pattern to yours with them partnering up with others & claiming their marriage is now better than ever, lol!!!

Lets be real & clear, going outside the marriage never makes things better in the marriage. And putting effort into other people & situations certainly doesn't count as working on your marriage or making it better-in or out of the game. HA! HA! It seems you have confronted him on the latest things you have found and he now claims it's over-again. Yet I know that must sound fake and hollow since as you say you have already heard this once before. At this point all you can do to heal this situation is make what you want & expect from him very clear. This means you might have to give up the game yourself if you expect the same from him-are you ready for that? Set clear boundaries, as in no talking or communication with the other woman-including no meeting up in the game, texts or IM's outside of the game as well.

Perhaps he thinks this is 'not real cheating' since it is just in the game and not in real life as many have made that claim before him, lol. Yet if he is sneaking around creating Alts and sneaking off to be with her, than we both know the answer is that it is indeed real cheating. On some levels he knows this too, but being surrounded by others in world who claim this is acceptable behavior makes it even easier to convince himself he isn't in the wrong and that it's still no big deal. Trust me, I learned that with my own husband who was being told by his entire guild to partner up with someone and that it was no big deal as 'everyone does it in world' lol! Then as soon as he did this the guild started to pressure him (as well as pressure from the new wife who was single in the real world) to meet up in real life despite them all knowing he was married in real life---see a pattern there with addicts trying to make others as miserable as themselves?!?

SL isn't a real game it's more of a fake soap-opera and people crave drama to keep the otherwise boring place going and make it all seem exciting and more real, nothing more. What surprises me is that men would be so into this since in real life most wouldn't waste 2 minutes watching a soap-opera on TV. And are usually the first ones to claim what a waste of time they are, lol!!! Perhaps you should try couples counseling also as this may open up the lines of communication that were stalled even before the latest events in SL.

The one thing that is certain is that your kids should not know or be put into the middle of your adult situations!!! Leave them out of it and let them remain children. They will learn the jaded ways of the world soon enough on their own without your mess. Children should not have to choose sides in their own homes and pitting them against their father by letting them know 'daddy is at it again' might seem like a good guilt trip to use but children should not be used as weapons-not even with the good intention of saving your marriage!!! You didn't say the ages of your kids so perhaps they are not clueless and if nothing else over hear the fights between you two? Yet a child (of any age) wants their home to be their safe sanctuary from the world and it seems this is not the case if they are losing faith in their father due to extra marital affairs via the computer or in real life. As a child of divorce I can tell you it's no fun living in a home where your parents fight, argue, or live like unknown roommates and that this affects not only their own self-esteem but the rest of their lives and the way they love others in return. Sadly the only answer here is to work at saving your marriage and that involves trust. The question is whether the two of you can re-gain it enough to believe in sticking it out? If not then perhaps you already know the hard truths ahead of you & your children. I wish you the best of luck and please keep us posted!!!

Clover, although you do have a right to be mad at this so-called friend. The person that really deserves most (if not all) of the blame is your husband!!! It's very easy to put all your anger into the other woman as it's easier to be mad at a stranger than deal with the real issues at the heart of your problems which is your marriage and your husbands betrayals. And yes you have a right to be mad at yourself because in a way you helped create the problem by encouraging him to go back into the game after you knew he was already cheating on you there. Sort of like taking someone you know is an alcoholic to a bar for 'just one drink' thinking it won't harm them or you as 1 drink is really no big deal, lol.

You say you were in a 'roommate phase' which means you were already having problems before this virtual cheating started. You say you 'healed over the Summer' but apparently that wasn't the case on his part since he is still sneaking around with this other person. Since he now claims 'the game is for losers' I would be more worried about them cheating & getting together in real life more than just in the game. Especially if he is texting her while away on business as this is usually a natural progression for most players who fake partner in the game. I know there are some that will claim the game saved their marriage and is a great place to date their real life spouse,ect..ect... Yet for the most part this is just a cover for an already troubled situation that usually ends in a similar pattern to yours with them partnering up with others & claiming their marriage is now better than ever, lol!!!

Lets be real & clear, going outside the marriage never makes things better in the marriage. And putting effort into other people & situations certainly doesn't count as working on your marriage or making it better-in or out of the game. HA! HA! It seems you have confronted him on the latest things you have found and he now claims it's over-again. Yet I know that must sound fake and hollow since as you say you have already heard this once before. At this point all you can do to heal this situation is make what you want & expect from him very clear. This means you might have to give up the game yourself if you expect the same from him-are you ready for that? Set clear boundaries, as in no talking or communication with the other woman-including no meeting up in the game, texts or IM's outside of the game as well.

Perhaps he thinks this is 'not real cheating' since it is just in the game and not in real life as many have made that claim before him, lol. Yet if he is sneaking around creating Alts and sneaking off to be with her, than we both know the answer is that it is indeed real cheating. On some levels he knows this too, but being surrounded by others in world who claim this is acceptable behavior makes it even easier to convince himself he isn't in the wrong and that it's still no big deal. Trust me, I learned that with my own husband who was being told by his entire guild to partner up with someone and that it was no big deal as 'everyone does it in world' lol! Then as soon as he did this the guild started to pressure him (as well as pressure from the new wife who was single in the real world) to meet up in real life despite them all knowing he was married in real life---see a pattern there with addicts trying to make others as miserable as themselves?!?

SL isn't a real game it's more of a fake soap-opera and people crave drama to keep the otherwise boring place going and make it all seem exciting and more real, nothing more. What surprises me is that men would be so into this since in real life most wouldn't waste 2 minutes watching a soap-opera on TV. And are usually the first ones to claim what a waste of time they are, lol!!! Perhaps you should try couples counseling also as this may open up the lines of communication that were stalled even before the latest events in SL.

The one thing that is certain is that your kids should not know or be put into the middle of your adult situations!!! Leave them out of it and let them remain children. They will learn the jaded ways of the world soon enough on their own without your mess. Children should not have to choose sides in their own homes and pitting them against their father by letting them know 'daddy is at it again' might seem like a good guilt trip to use but children should not be used as weapons-not even with the good intention of saving your marriage!!! You didn't say the ages of your kids so perhaps they are not clueless and if nothing else over hear the fights between you two? Yet a child (of any age) wants their home to be their safe sanctuary from the world and it seems this is not the case if they are losing faith in their father due to extra marital affairs via the computer or in real life. As a child of divorce I can tell you it's no fun living in a home where your parents fight, argue, or live like unknown roommates and that this affects not only their own self-esteem but the rest of their lives and the way they love others in return. Sadly the only answer here is to work at saving your marriage and that involves trust. The question is whether the two of you can re-gain it enough to believe in sticking it out? If not then perhaps you already know the hard truths ahead of you & your children. I wish you the best of luck and please keep us posted!!!

My marriage is on a rocky path since my husband joined the game, I was on 1 1/2 before he decided to check it out for himself, we were in a roomate faze in our marriage intill he came in the game and swept me off my feet. At first I told only my best friend that my new man was my rl husband but I let the bomb drop after a month of being out with him and is so funny 2 know how shocked all my friends were. My best friend warned me not to share our happiness with others because there would be someone there who would try to break us up, well she was right is was another of my best friends, she got in his IM everytime we got online, she wouldnt even give him a chance to rezz, they both swore they were only friends and I believed them, only to find out he had made a alt to sneak on just to be with her. My heart is broken and I now mis trust my husband and hate her. We healed and went back to sl a little this summer but he was never on much because he said it was for losers and then I got a text that he meant to send her and I found out they were doing it again behind my back, so every time he leaves to go to work {out of town} for his 4 days I am thinking they r calling eachother and sneaking on sl again, he says its over this time, BUT i HAVE HEARD THAT BEFORE, we have 2 kids who lost a lot of faith in there dad when they found out he did it again just as I was trying to get back trust . I hate this woman so much, she is unhappy in her rl marriage and will suck the life out of any man that is willing 2 here her complain!

cathy: It sounds as though you know what you have to do, you just don't want to do it. If your RL family is worth keeping, you have to quit SL and never look back. There is no such thing as dipping in for a quick roll in the hay. It is all or nothing, and you need to choose nothing, or nothing is what you will end up with in RL. You can do this. You love your children. If you don't love your husband, then that is a separate problem, but it is also a problem that SL won't help you solve (and if you do love him, you absolutely need to stop twisting this knife between his ribs, which I promise you is what SL feels like to him).

An alcoholic can't have "just one drink," ever. You can't log in - you just have too much to lose. What you can do is talk to your husband about why you craved the experiences you found in SL, and help him help you find some of those experiences with him in the world he and your kids inhabit. You have taken an enormous, important step by coming here and telling your story. Please keep that success going by walking away from SL, and recommitting to your family. I really hope to see you posting of your success at doing just that.

i started SL in march because i was bored with porn, i became addicted instantly.my husband was working abroad so i could stay on SL all night long even though i have 3 young children {luckily i have a nanny] i am an active person always busy and good at taking care of myself,but i found myself lying in bed for hours on the laptop, i had loads of lovers and fell in love twice for men that weren't interested in having a relationship. i suppose if i'm honest i was looking for someone to love me..i'm a romantic. then one night i met a man who was heartbroken from a relationship,i'm a person that likes to help people and we spent a lot of hours talking and gradually i felt that he was drawing me to him, he was interested in me.he knew i was a slut on SL and would ask me if i was ever going to have a serious relationship on SL, suddenly i don't know how it happened but i was deeply in love with him,even giving him my real name.disaster struck when my husband read some of our conversation.i was forbidden to ever go on again,of course i was right back on whenever i could and got caught 4 times, each time an horrific fight would happen with him threatening to leave me and me not bothered just thinking about keeping this mans identity secret. i have now had to swear to a terrifying promise that i can't even write into words never to go back on SL. its been a tough time for my husband and i and i'm damaged by the whole experience. i think constantly about my avatars and my life in SL and want to be back there but i know its wrong. day by day i'm slowly drifting from it, but i really miss the sex and wander can i just slip on for that and not get pulled in again. SL consumes your life and takes over,

Hello SL addicts, I used to be 120% addicted as well, I am guilty of it, of it all.

Its been ages I dont come here a blog that really helped me by reading and sharing similar stories to mine. Being off-sl can be done and life changes completly.

I had to find boredom plateau. Yes, for me it was all the same, stupidity and falseness everywhere that is SL. Disappointments everywhere. SL its really boring but you need to find it out for yourself, with long many hours, before discovering it.

But what a big price to pay for that cheap game?
I am still paying my excesses. So I urge you to please become bored of SL as soon as you can, its very dumb and dull once you think of it.

There is one door out at "boredom plateau", find it!

Ok, I think I have done it. I deleted all my inventory. All the good skins, all the valuable items. Otherwise it will not work. I tried many times. Uninstall and install...uninstall and install. I've been addicted for 4 months. Maybe it doesnt seem a lot, but it is 4 months of my RL!!! During this time I wasnt reading books, wasnt waching TV, didnt wach movies (and if i did, i did the brakes all the time to log in for a while). I couldnt focus on my studies. I didnt do my HWs. I didnt think i am addicted. I had my limits in SL. I never did sex with married guy. At least, I always asked first if he was. Never wanted a SL relationship. Never took money for sex. So I thought I have all it in control. So why I just couldnt delete it?? I ate my time and thoughts. For nothing. And obviouslly I didnt have a control of the situation, the control was an illusion.

Lgt
Be so proud of yourself. You are doing great. pat yourself on the back and enjoy life again as you have been doing. You inspire those still addicted. Best of luck!!! You have your life back

Well, I am back from vacation and have a few weeks off before my next semester begins in school. It was fun to go on a vacation. (I went to visit some friends in a part of the country I hadn't been in awhile). When I was addicted to SL, I never wanted to go out of town because I couldn't be certain that I would have a stable internet connection to use to connect to SL. I had to travel for my job, back when I was addicted to SL, and I used to try to get back to my hotel room as quickly as possible so that I could play SL. Internet connections in hotels are very shaky, and often, I would not have a stable connection and I would freak out. This doesn't even address the huge problem that I was not interacting with any of my co workers or clients, but was sitting in a hotel room playing a fantasy life. This time it was great to get out of town. I walked around, I saw a couple of movies, I had dinner out with friends. I didn't check my email for a couple of days. That's so different than my SL addicted days.

Sometimes when I couldn't get a stable SL connection in my hotel room when I was out of town, I would go to a Starbucks and play there. Now my club was raunchy, so it was really strange for me to be playing SL, with headphones on, in Starbucks. It seems so strange to me that I would have been that addicted that I had to go to play.

Anyway, just some thoughts...

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