Is Second Life Shaking up Your Marriage? You’re Not Alone

July 8, 2008 at 6:46 pm (Communication, Infidelity, Life, Love, Marriage, Polyamory, Relationships, Second Life, Sex) ()

As my blog has evolved over the past year or so, I’ve noticed some remarkable and possibly alarming trends in the search terms used by my readers to find it. Whether this is indicative of my burgeoning bevy of blog posts related to the topic or it’s facilitated by an increase in the preponderance of these personal ordeals, I’ve yet to conclude. But I thought I’d share with you a snapshot of the search terms used to find my blog just today. See if you notice a pattern:

meetup.com wife swapping
the boredom of long life marriages
are you in love with your second life avatar?
husband sl addiction
sl broken marriages
second life divorce
second life friend’s online
believes sl is rl
has second life broken up real life relationships?
polyamory divorce

For those who have followed my blog for awhile, this may seem like review as I’ve written about this issue before in different context. But I was so struck by today’s search terms that I felt it warranted another look. Because, as you can see from the list, it appears to be an epidemic of sorts: Second Life is having a huge impact on marriages and relationships all over the world. And more often than not people do not view the effects as positive.

So what gives? Why are so many people–men and women alike–falling in love online while still married to others in real life?

Now here is where I’m going to get controversial (bring on your contrarian views, my lovelies…all opinions are welcome here). In my [disclaimer: non professional] opinion it is because we have an unrealistic and outdated view of what long term relationships should bring us. I believe this is left over from the definitions of marriage handed down to us by our churches and our families–from an age when power dynamics and earning potential was distributed very differently.

In essence, in days past men were often the breadwinners (read “hunters & gatherers“) while women stayed home to raise the family and tend to the household. This dynamic favored long term commitments and partnerships based more on function than on the fever of infatuation or romance (aka love). That isn’t to say our grandparents weren’t in love. I’m simply suggesting it was a different kind of love based more on mutual admiration and utilitarian constructs than on weak-in-the-knees, heart melting passion.

So how does this tie back to Second Life? Well I think we’ve come to erroneously expect our marriages and long term partnerships to bring us not only functional families, but romance, passion, desire, and amazing sex “till death do us part.” And how’s that working for us? Clearly, it’s not. When we’re faced with alternatives, like the secretary down the hall or that  Second Life honey on the next sim, we are often drawn to options other than our real life partners. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

You may be surprised to learn there is terminology that covers this phenomenon: it’s called New Relationship Energy (NRE). Basically it means the very real, very physical sensations elicited by attractions we have for new people in our lives. In the polyamory community, it is perfectly normal to experience these feelings alongside a longer, more established relationship. But most of us haven’t drank that koolaid yet, although admittedly I have and my marriage–and my self esteem–has never been stronger as a result.

I want to ask that if you’re reading this because your marriage or partnership has been affected by your partner’s romantic escapades in Second Life take this moment to open your mind and really ask yourself what you’re expecting  your partner to bring to you long-term. Have you ever complained that “the romance is gone” from your marriage or that your partner no longer makes you weak in the knees? This doesn’t mean your relationship is necessarily over. It probably just means you’ve reached a new phase and have new things to learn and appreciate about your love.

And if you are the one who has found yourself feeling those stomach flips of a new crush, whether in Second Life or real life, try not to mistake that for an indication that you’ve finally found “the one” and you should toss out your long-term partner as yesterday’s garbage. What you’re probably feeling is simply the physical excitement of NRE and you should feel blessed and savor the swagger it adds to your step.

In summary (wow, I never summarize at the end of a post…must be important), use this experience as an opportunity to openly and honestly communicate with your partner or spouse what you’re experiencing. Try not to judge yourself, him, and/or her too harshly. Because all of these experiences are real and valid. They may indicate more serious and irreconcilable problems. Or perhaps they just mean you need to spice up your sex life and bring back the romance. Regardless, talk to each other. If necessary, find a good counselor to help you through it. Because only through self knowledge are we able to grow–and that’s as true for couples as it is for individuals.

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90 Comments

  1. Ravishal Bentham said,

    When you love someone you are committed to that person, heart and soul. In marriage it is codified and there is an agreed contract between the partners. If you stray then you betray the other no matter how far you stray.

    While I may feel close and have affection for others in SL it would never occur to me to commit my heart and my time to them to the detriment of my spouse. To do so is incredibly disrespectful of your RL partner. Honestly, you’re a dirty, lying cheat and in my eyes I would find you untrustworthy. Yes, I must concede a large percentage of people I know in SL do this and it has born out that they are in fact untrustworthy and unstable. I’ve been burned by the cheaters because they were lacking in character to begin with. When you leave the land of friendship and play and enter the land of betrayal you’re pretty much a lost cause. I’m wise enough now to limit my dealing with them and never get in a spot where I must trust them.

    • Robert said,

      a quote from another site..The people running the company do not use the product and they think the people who do are hopeless anti-social counter cultural freaks. I found it really disheartening when I worked there to hear the nasty talk about the customers. And the worst part is that many of those nasty talkers are now running the company. Remember folks someone is watching you “play” sl.

      • Chaz Maz said,

        No question about that… SL people are rats in a maze. And, at the end of it is your wallet and your self respect. Scooped up by… Profiteers.

        What do you expect?

      • Nicolia said,

        If they are truly watching us all play, then clearly they must be very disappointed in me. All I ever go there to do, is listen to my favorite Dj and dance.

      • Chaz Maz said,

        “All I ever go there to do, is listen to my favorite Dj and dance.”

        Funny… Most of us do that in REAL LIFE. So I guess YOU ARE another rat in the maze.

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  2. cindykesey said,

    @Ravishal – Thank you for your comment. As I mentioned, I respect everyone’s right to their own opinion. One thing I think you’re missing in my summary here is that my husband is fully aware and supportive of my other relationships and I of his. This is why our behavior is not betrayal, cheating, nor disrespectful as that implies we are behaving dishonestly. On the contrary, we are completely open and honest in both our actions and our emotions. And this has brought a closeness to our relationship that did not exist before.

    I notice you make several generalizations about people and marriage in your comment above. I caution you in that tendency and ask that you try to remember your opinions are and should be for your life alone. If exploring relationships out of your own marriage doesn’t work for you or your value system, then that’s great you recognize that and behave accordingly. But don’t form judgements or negative opinions of others simply because we don’t share your values. Each of us is entitled to our own set of values and deserves respect rather than labels like “a lying cheat,” “untrustworthy,” and “lacking in character.”

    Your comment is very important because it exemplifies the very reason I began writing about these behaviors and experiences in my blog. Many people I’ve met are struggling with the types of value systems you hold and are making life affecting decisions simply because they are afraid to talk with their partners about the natural feelings and emotions they are experiencing. If people think they will be called “dirty, lying cheats” because they are honest about how they feel, they will not be honest and more harm may be done.

  3. Ravishal Bentham said,

    My apologies for being somewhat general in my statements. Not everyone who forms bonds or partners in SL are necessarily cheating on their RL partners. It’s when they cross the line, and that line can be fuzzy, that it becomes a transgression. People accustomed to crossing over that line will cross the line in other parts of their lives, SL or RL.

    In my personal life I have known people who left a marriage to be with their lover, only to have that person, or themselves wreck that relationship. Like the old story of the scorpion and the fox the scorpion will sting you and cause your demise. Old habits die hard and the pattern repeats, over and over.

  4. Cybersex as an ethical dilemma « The PolyOldFart said,

    […] Cybersex as an ethical dilemma Filed under: polyamory — Tags: cheating, cybersex — polyoldfart @ 4:05 am I’ve come across several articles about online sex and the discussion about whether it is or is not cheating. My local paper had something from their online sex columnist about it. Is Cybersex Cheating? I also found a Second Life blogger talking about the impact of online relationships. […]

  5. Berta said,

    My husband tossed me to the curb yesterday. He is bringing me to my sister’s on Friday. He is in SL every non-working waking moment.

    • Lesley Reid said,

      My boyfriend is wonderful to me when he is not on Second life but when on it l feel l don’t exist he just shuts of everything around him and ignores me and talks to other girls telling them he wants them and loves them. Oh how that hurts me and if l say anything to him he says l am moaning its only a game but he is so adictided

  6. Daxiong Ling said,

    There’s a song by sung by Frank Sinatra that kind of exemplifies some points you’re making, in particular the NRE (see below). Although I don’t have a grand point behind this, I think this song is an early attempt at pointing out the human condition. Call it a first step in moving forward.

    Frank Sinatra – I Love My Wife Lyrics

    My thoughts may stray
    My eyes may roam
    The neighbor’s grass may seem much greener
    Than the grass right here at home

    If pretty girls excite me
    Well, that’s life
    But just in case, you didn’t know
    I love my wife

    My mind at times
    May dwell on sex
    If someone’s rating dreams
    Then most of mine I guess are double X

    So dimpled knees delight me
    Well, that’s life
    But just in case, you hadn’t heard
    I love my wife

    Like bait that wriggles
    And it makes catfish bite
    A lady jiggles
    And my eyes gotta light
    Upon so sweet a sight

    And if I shake
    Break out in spots
    Don’t fret, it’s not swine fever dear
    Your swine has merely got the hots

    If rosy lips invite me
    Well, that’s life
    But just in case, you couldn’t guess
    I love my wife

    My mind at times
    May dwell on sex
    If someone’s rating dreams
    Then most of mine I guess are double X

    If rosy lips invite me
    Well, that’s life
    But just in case, you couldn’t guess
    Or hadn’t heard
    Or didn’t know
    I love my wife
    I love my wife
    I love my wife

  7. Hurt First Lifer said,

    I agree, it is all about communication.

    My wife is in SL all the time also. I feel she ranks SL as 80% importance
    in her life and her first life at 20%. [ She sometimes “forgets” to have
    lunch even. ]

    I found out she was having an affair online by suspicious behavior
    (when you walk into the room, do they hide the Second Life window
    or zoom way out of the scene suddenly?).

    When confronted with email evidence of multiple online affairs over time,
    her first words were not “I’m sorry I did this – it is wrong”, but “I’m sorry you
    found out – I didn’t mean to hurt you”.

    As a result, I am having serious trust issues with her.

    We are working through this – trying to rebuild our marriage.

  8. cindykesey said,

    @Hurt First Lifer – I think you may be missing my point. I’m challenging all involved to ask themselves why both parties find themselves in this situation. Although conventional theory implies that, if the grass were just as green on our own sides of the fence, why would we wander to our neighbor’s pasture? However, that is an overly simplistic view, I realize. Why don’t you ask your wife with love and curiosity instead of “confront her with evidence” of her “online affair” and “suspicious behavior?”

    Second Life, especially at first, can be almost addictive. I experienced that first hand. Yet is does lose its luster after awhile. If she has just discovered it, this is a great opportunity for you to open some channels of communication with her and ask her inquisitively about her new passion. If you accuse her, she will most likely be defensive and evasive.

  9. Moi said,

    “Second Life, especially at first, can be almost addictive.”

    Almost?

    Very, very interesting post.

    As usual.

  10. betrayedbycybersex said,

    Moi,

    Cybersex can definately be addictive and also part of a larger picture – sex addiction. Sex addiction is not to be taken lightly.

    BetrayedByCybersx

  11. karen said,

    my husband has been on second life for months. he d.j.’s at clubs on there and makes (real) money. About 10.00 dollars a night. He has been ignoring me forever and i got really mad one day and said i can’t take this anymore and i think we should separate. He in turn tells me how he has never cheated and loves me but we have grown apart. He thinks its a good idea. He ignores me but he was playing monopoly with some of his sl friends. I told him if thats what you want i will play monopoly with you. So he wants to separate and i no nothing other than him. I am 36 years old and have been married for 17 years. We have one son who is adhd and with the wrong crowd , failing school and does not care. We are in debt as most people are right now with gas and the economy in general. So what do i do? I have thought about pouring water in thee computer. haha any suggestions. This needs to be addressed on oprah or something. Why don’t people know the danger of this game. My husband met a guy with no arms on there and says he can be normal on the game. Well great , i’m happy for him but , what about people that are losing real lifes like me.

  12. John said,

    Fascinating blog, let me tell you my story. Mid January 2008, my wife of 23 years discovered the SecondLife community and needless to say by the first week of August 2008, She left me, a fabulous lifestyle, a nice home and since our 4 kids our grown still left them in emotional pain and confusion. She chose to move into the city into a small 1 bedroom apartment with a network connection to her beloved SecondLife community. Now, don’t get me wrong, Secondlife has ligitimate use and from what I have seen of it, I find impressive by an artistic and technological point of view. In fact, I’ve seen commerce in all forms supported in the community. There are actually very nice people from all over the world and with the use of translators, the language barriers hardly exist. I won’t get too much more into niceties here. What I would like is to mention the darkside of this community.

    As I mentioned, after 23 years of what I thought was a loving and somewhat supportive marriage, she left. Why? because she found numerous boyfriends in SecondLife who in her words mentally stimulated her in ways I did not. Interesting. But I also, accidentally found her having lets say web cam relaionships with these boyfriends. i’ll get into that more later.

    Last year, my wife suffered a potentially fatal disease that required chemotherapy. Fortunately, she was able to beat the disease. Unfortunately, it’s believed that perhaps she suffered either some sort of brain damage or psychological damage. Hence, the choice of virtual reality over “physical” reality,

    Ok, now back to the SecondLife issue. What I found significantly out of character for my wife was her blatant deception and destruction to her integrity, self respect and dignity. Here is why I came to this conclusion, I am 49, she is 53. Not a bad looking woman and fairly good personality but nonetheless, 53. Not exactly a spring chicken and not exactly pleasing erotically. Yes, the webcam stuff involved full nudity and sexual mutual masturbation and she actually captured and recorded this stuff. I found that stuff after she left.

    Let me give a little history of our marriage, 4 kids a combination of hers, mine and ours and all were raised by she an I. We’re an upper middleclass family and have been blessed with bieng able to do the things we enjoy.

    I made a terrible mistake about 12 years ago and had a brief affair with a female acquaintance that I dearly paid for by both the damage I did to myself and character not to mention the damage to the trust afforded by my wife. She seems to really never let it go. But it was one time and I had hoped on learning from the mistake and just moving on from it. About 10 years ago, we got involved in swinging. Swinging is having intimacy with other couples. Full swap or 4 somesomes were the norm. We did this off and on for about 2 years til an abrupt end. She felt she did not like it and wanted out. So that is what we did.

    Now advance to Mar 2008, this gets interesting. If you do the math, we had been monogomous for the last 8 years. She mentions to me that she would like to get back into swinging again. I found this quite shocking as this was a full reversal of her previous attitude. I challenged the thought and she informed me that she had wanted to engage in online intimacies with her boyfriends in SecondLife. Well I was weak and bought into it. But, never really felt comfortable with the decision and after a few breif trists with other couples said I was not doing this anymore and also felt that the online engagements should also stop.

    This was the beginning of the end of end. yes, I believe our marriage was all but over long before and this was the perverbial crowbar that tore it apart. I have to take a significant part of the responsibility of the end of marriage but it is my belief that the SecondLife phenomena had a significant effect on her ability to make a sound judgement. I make mention of our well to do life and she chose to reject it. This was also hastened by bad advise from her so called online friends in SecondLife. i have discovered the conversations she left behind on the family computer and was in awe with the feeding of her mental state by a series of freindly advise not to mention a visit with a SeconfdLife Tarot card reader which also fed this. I also discovered that 3 of her many Secondlife friends had been going through a divorce since their inception into the community. Can’t say it’s realted but find it disturbing that this community is a conduit for the destructuction of marriage and most importantly the decay of the physical relation to the world. My wife has also strained and limited physical contact with our kids. The kids however are ever supportive of my pain and visit me quite frequently. She chooses isolation.

    Now here we are today, the filing of a divorce and her subsequent restraining order petitoned against me preventing me any contact with her mostly in SecondLife. And most perplexing, that same order of protection prevents me from any contact with her selct SecondLife friends online in which I find hard to believe as that they are psuedonyms. how do you protect a virtual person as opposed to real person from alleged harrassment?

    Well anyway, thought I would share this with the world and at time of this blog I have to say I am excited about the possibilities of my future and have been dating. i will not let this hold me back and I do genuinely hope that my soon to be ex-wife finds some sort of happiness. I have regrets but I am far from appologizing or forgiving but hope to get there.

  13. John said,

    BTW – This is a grab from ex-rife’s SL profile. “”Words cannot express the feelings in ones soul, but I have found that Sl comes close to doing so. I love the lack of physicial filters, here we meet souls:) “”

    Really? If anyone can explain what the heck that means, I’d appreciate it. I myself prefer the reality of the physical world though sometimes it is a challenge but, we are only human.

  14. “We love because it’s the only true adventure.” « Karasu said,

    […] “Is second Life Shaking up Your Marriage, You’re not alone” (July 8, 2008) by the “Cindy Kesey Show” talks about the changes in society, wonders about how those changes affect long term relationships and speculates about how that leads to virtual relationships. Regina Lynn of “Wired” warns “Don’t Dismiss Online Relationships as Fantasy.” […]

  15. Sea said,

    Wonderful blog!
    Honestly, here’s my personal experience in SL: been playing the game since August 2007.
    I’m married, RL, my husband plays SL as well. We run our sim together. Sit, side by side, whenever we are playing together. Talk and laugh about the fun we are having.
    I never looked for anything else in SL: personal relationships, emotional affairs, nothing.
    My attitude in SL is clear, I do not share my RL with any avatar I don’t know. My husband and I use voice chat a lot, so, we actually chat with people from all over the world and we have made friends!! It’s true.

    It’s my choice to use this wonderful tool to add fun to my life, my husband does the same. We actually share our Second Lives, we did not “patner” in SL.
    Just have fun, and also learn and practice my skills in a virtual world. The web and computers were never very important for me. So, I’m learning to make furniture, to script, I just take this “tool” as I said before and use it to my best interest.

    I must say I am not looking for emotional attachments of any kind. Not in RL nor in SL – I love my husband; so my family lives peacefully with the game.

    Somehow, SL seems to be the utmost experience on the web in “finding something we miss in our real lives”. Do you remember the beginning of “simple” chat rooms? The same thing happened!

    I always like to remind people not to blame a simple game of our own internal and emotional situations. It’s so easy to blame it on a game and not look at us , first…

    Addiction, yes, it may happen. Like all addictions, it means something for us, inside us… lets look in , search for the answers there.

    Well, this is my opinion, anyway.

  16. Rod said,

    My wife goes on for hours at a time and its so bad that she has gotten bed sores and bruises from sitting so long.Im worried about her and one guy in sl wants to call her and I said if he does im gone.She ignores our daughter while shes on and im at work.I love her with all my heart.What do I do?

    • Lesley Reid said,

      My boyfriend is wonderful to me when he is not on Second life but when on it l feel l don’t exist he just shuts off everything around him and ignores me and talks to other girls telling them he wants them and loves them. Oh how that hurts me and if l say anything to him he says l am moaning its only a game but he is so adictided

  17. mikah said,

    I am married for 2 years now.My husband left me just to be with her second life partner.
    Now i am dying inside.

  18. Rod said,

    Mikah I know how you feel.Weve been together almost 9 years and ive never felt so alone and empty.Sending a big hug your way.Its his loss

  19. Chaz Maz said,

    Second Life: Land of the WEAK home of the BROKEN

    First of all, I have been there, have done that. Had clubs, owned land, made friends, money, and fell in love. Second life on the surface, especially for the newbie and Entrepreneur/artist is a fun and cool place to make some friends, and make some money. It is looked at as supercharged chat room, a video game. But the nature of its name is where the insidiousness is. As much of a second life (SL) as it might be, in order to operate you still have to use your Real Life (RL) abilities. You do not follow a different thought and emotional pattern when in SL. You can only use what you know in RL. But kidding yourself is one of the appeals of SL. You eventually get lost in it.
    At first it is new and exciting. Like a new video game. Learning the functions that move your avatar around, visiting places and socializing with the natives. You are perfect, and you can fly. No sickness, no need for money (well not as much) and people don’t have bad breath and, as a “normal”, “intelligent” person, it is an interesting place to explore and learn. But it eventually becomes one of three things. 1. Boring, like a video game you have played over and over. 2. An environment to explore your creative ability to design and sell things. Or, 3 it consumes your psyche.
    The first two are what they are; the third is the meat and potatoes of SL. This is the one that is more consistent. Do you really think the folks at Linden Labs are spending their free time on SL.? No, they are spending the money they are making in RL (SL is a business so it is RL for them) on RL things.
    There comes a saturation point where you walk away or get sucked in. I will say this for the last time and it does not apply to you newbie’s, or the smart ones that are making money off the lonely. It is a place to hide from reality. It is a place where weak, lost souls go to escape from the depth and breadth of life. I will allow some latitude for you shut-ins. Some people have nothing else but the four walls of the room they are in. SL can provide a form of “human” entertainment that they otherwise would not be able to get. But, that just causes the shut-in to let go of their emotional self being even greater. This is a hard pill to swallow, no one wants to take a good look at them selves and most do not. But the covert nature of SL allows you to cut loose. Sort of the absolute power corrupts absolutely theory. People that stay too long get lost in it. And yes, justifying all the way, that it is just a game. For the predator, and a predator is weak by nature, it is a place to be free of thought and persecution. To dominate the weak that makes SL their home. And, it is a place for the weak to not be judged, a place that they can feel and accept that who they are is ok, even if it is with the few. Some people can handle the trials and tribulations of life, some can’t and they end up in SL. You start to see a symbiotic circle of relationships in SL. For the people designing objects to sell, they may not interact totally and directly with the person/s and, their sales may come from across the board. The newbie that is playing the “game” to the obsessed, but, the obsessed is a long term customer. Theses business individuals usually get in, add new product, convert their lindens to dollars or pounds and get out.

    The tragedy is the weak and broken. Don’t roll your eyes, In the Real World we are always conned with flashy marketing to get us to buy something or believe something in order to buy a product. Magic cream or potion. Don’t kid yourself; Second Life is about making money. Making money off of what? Our loneliness and our lack of self worth in the real world. HELLO, McFly!! It is called Second Life.

    It might be simple, you build a club, people come and visit or create a group, and you solicit for members. People get together and boom, you feel wanted and needed. Building your dream home in the clouds and littering your lawn with cool things like jets and swimming pools. That can make you popular. Walking in a park with your perfect Avatar girlfriend/boyfriend, no RL issues so it is a perfect relationship. That leads to good puppet sex. Mmmm nice. All this is accomplished by tugging on your weakness, your emotional frailty. Either you are not getting it in RL or are too afraid to face the truth of how to exist in RL. You can’t handle the truth and if you are a long term SL puppet, you just can’t handle life, Real Life. Don’t get me wrong, we all like to escape from time to time.

    In some places it is much darker, like I said before, predators hunting the weak. The Gorean Master and the slaves that he takes control of. This one is unusual, in that the Master has total control over the slave. The “slave” giving not only total control of their Avatar, and who can communicate to them, but also, control as to when they will or will not talk to what they can wear. Believe me this does carry over to real life. Imagine the fun of kneeling next to your Avatar Master and saying nothing. Second life being nothing more then a place to be told what to do, serving fake food and ale. You want to call it guided, or taught? Hey, what ever floats your boat? I know just a video game, right? This setup just allows the predator to get in that persons head and develop a false sense of security. Tell that to your husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend. Why you are glued to the PC instead of enjoying life, REAL LIFE. And, couples also get on there too, as couples, this is a nutty one. Worked hard all week, beautiful weekend, and, you both are on a computer, every free moment, building and designing that special home, having that child you never could have. (Yes, people do play the part of the child.) I find it unhealthy when instead of developing a better real life and real relationship in RL. You take that precious time and waste it. Yes, ok… You are free to do what you want. But there are plenty of damaged people on SL. And your fantasy could be causing them to loose sense of reality, along with your lost sense of reality. Their marriages, get funky, destroyed, their children get neglected. And you get a ridiculous God complex that makes you anti social in the Real World, which just plummets yourself deeper in to SL. Cha Ching! Sweet business you got Linden People.
    You have the 50+ couple that spends every “free” moment in SL being the King and Queen. Oh, and so good to their obedient subjects. At their beckons call, at their total command. Or, the sexual perverts. Ok, my opinion….. That can now live out the fantasy of doing it with a farm animal. Or, kneeling down and being the public toilet. Sex is rampant in SL. The anonymous nature of your avatar is something too. You really do not know if the man is a woman or the woman is a man, plenty of men that are living out their desire to be a Transsexual, or a woman. Plenty of women that want to love another woman, so she hides in the body of a man. I guess what you don’t know won’t hurt you. Hey, no one is getting hurt, no aids. Nicey nice. The soul is willing but the flesh is weak. So, the wall that SL provides, allows for an easier transition to experiment. Sad part is as your getting deeper and deeper; you are getting more lost in fantasy then reality and they start to blend. Actually, you probably were lost between the two to begin with. Now you go out into the real world. Take a break; meet one of your SL friends. Break the rule, cross that line; remember SL and RL are supposed to be two different places. People meet up, some get married, the rare few. But mostly it is a letdown, disappointment, and harm to others. It is a dirty little secret. Who wants to tell people that you got into that trouble because you decided to meet your “make believe” friend?
    Lips stay sealed, people get hurt. And in the end, the only place they feel right, the only place that people understand is right back on Second Life. CHA CHING!

  20. Cole said,

    Same here Rod and Mikah, and John. Wife left last week. Literally eat and breath SL. Found out that she was and still is having a relationship in SL. Sex involve. Notice whilst she was still here that the webcam and headphone was in constant use. Never thought anything of it, but when she left and I did some searching I now know why.

    It beggars believe that she throw 8 years of being together and being married for some guy she told me, when questioned, that is ‘happily married’. I’m now trying to put my life together and move on. Sad for relationships.

  21. Sea said,

    Please, don’t take my words as an offense, they are not…

    But, people should really look to their RL first… SL will never break a stable marriage. Something must have been wrong before wives or husbands enter this metaverse universe.

    It’s something that really doesn’t make sense to me… leave my husband because of a game? Or my family? It doesn’t make sense to me.
    If I had the slightest idea that was my feeling, I’d look into myself , to my marriage, first. I never blame my own actions on somebody else’s actions for my own reactions. Even less… a game.

    It’s simply another way of escaping RL, really.

  22. Chaz Maz said,

    No, we can stick our necks out and say. Nothing will break a stable marriage. But, if you play with fire you are going to get burned. Go for a walk, talk, hold hands. Fall a sleep together on the couch. Or lock yourself away in a room on cyberspace. They say family starts at home. Being on SL is a sign that you do not have a stable marriage or eventually will not. Just like anything, too much excess is not a good thing. Unless it is making love with you significant other. In real life.

  23. Cindy Kesey said,

    I love all the dialog on the blog. Diverse perspectives are a good thing. So please keep them coming.

    I mostly agree that Second Life seems to have a greater potential to highlight unstable RL relationships, rather than shoring them up. However I don’t agree that only your RL partner/significant other is the only one who can make you happy. I think there is a reason so many people are literally flocking to Second Life in search of something they aren’t getting in their lives at home…and that lack doesn’t necessarily imply their partners aren’t giving it to them.

    I’ve found that the chemical response to emotional stimuli in SL closely resembles that of many drugs including alcohol, psychotropics, etc. So we react in much the same way; we want more and more. Just like the alcoholic doesn’t necessarily imply a bad relationship, neither does getting caught up in a SL romance imply that somehow someone’s marriage is lacking or that they have found the avatar of their dreams.

    I cannot stress enough the importance of honest and open communication when it comes to SL and relationships, both in and out of world. Judgement, accusations, guilt, anger–all those emotions do little to help provide an open space where people can look candidly and critically at why they are there and what it is bringing them that their RL isn’t.

  24. Chaz Maz said,

    “and that lack doesn’t necessarily imply their partners aren’t giving it to them.”
    We are all allowed to escape from time to time. Some go to the gym, some to the beach, some get a hobby. But, when interacting in a way that exposes your emotional self. You have to let some of your guard down in order to communicate with others. Adding the extreme fantasy realm that SL provides. It gets dicey very quickly. Some get in, play around and get out. No harm no foul.
    Plenty of people do that. But the soup and nuts of the SL environment depends on you hanging on,. Then the question is hanging on to what.?

  25. Tricia said,

    My boyrfriend dj’s at different clubs. He dj’s every night, except, Saturdays. I found out that he has a girlfriend in the game. When I confronted him about it, he says that she is a girl who comes to the events he dj’s, and they hang out. But on her profile, she has sentences from their conversations that he is telling her that she is the best girlfriend. Of course, that hurts me a lot. But he says it is not cheating. My opinion, it is. Not physically, but emotionally. Plus he has sex in the game. And he gets off on it. So, even though is no touching, there is still physically stuff going on. And he, I think, SKYPE. I think that is when he is able to talk to people. I just don’t know what to do. All he says is it is cheating if they meet in RL. And he says that will never happen.

    • Rod said,

      my ex goes to alot of those clubs and says that she has a boyfriend thats a dj.Whats your mans girlfriends name on there?

      • Tricia said,

        Her name starts with an L. It’s probably not her. There are tons of DJ’s in SL.

  26. Cindy Kesey said,

    @Tricia
    The question of “cheating” in SL is complex. Do you think it’s cheating if your BF fantasizes and gets off thinking about another woman while masturbating? What happens in SL, while seeming very real, is in fact, just an experience that happens through our imaginations in our brains. That’s one of the things that makes is both intense and unreal at the same time.

    What I want to ask you more about is the health of YOUR relationship with your BF, not his relationship with his SL gf (and for the record–yes he is probably emotionally involved, and yes he’s probably Skyping her). How long have you two been together? How is the intensity of your relationship? What things do you both do regularly to stoke the fire between you?

    I ask these questions because they have a lot to do with why/whether men & women cheat. I believe feelings for others are natural and what’s unnatural is to turn them off when we get in a committed relationship. Ignoring them only makes them fester.

    What makes more sense to me is to talk about them. Try not to be defensive when your BF talks about his SL gf, but instead ask with genuine curiosity. Try to realize that, simply b/c he’s emotionally attracted to someone else, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s no longer emotionally attracted or committed to you.

    I’m reading a fascinating book about “cheating” called “Lust in Translation.” It’s all about how different cultures view cheating. While the book doesn’t condone cheating, it does point out how we’ve grown as a society to so vilify even the concept of extramarital intimacy. And in so doing we’ve essentially stifled our ability to discuss the reasons in rational terms. To me this is extremely dangerous.

    I do wish you the best of luck. Please feel free to check back. Many of my readers have wise words on this subject. I’m sure they–like me–are happy to help.

  27. Dennis said,

    Great blog. I too am watching SL: help with the destruction of my marriage. She spends most waking moments in SL, has close opposite sex “friends” and generally wanted very little to do with me. I have to share the blame here too, I’m far from a perfect husband but I still think I deserve better than this. At this point, all I can be is a spectator in the mess.

    My wife’s avi is very popular, she goes to clubs and it does start with an L.

  28. Chaz Maz said,

    “Try to realize that, simply b/c he’s emotionally attracted to someone else, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s no longer emotionally attracted or committed to you.”
    That is like saying that even if he is having sex with the next door neighbor since he still want ot have sex with you too. Then there is still an emotional relationship “commitment” to you. That lie if you want to believe it is not how a secure and long lasting relationship works.

    “At this point, all I can be is a spectator in the mess.”

    That attitude is what got you in that situation to begin with.
    She is your wife, put your foot down. Make the time and find the time to spend the time together then on that crap place.
    If you cant or she wont. Then she is not committed to the Marriage or sees that SL is more important then you.

  29. Chaz Maz said,

    One more thing…
    “The question of “cheating” in SL is complex. Do you think it’s cheating if your BF fantasizes and gets off thinking about another woman while masturbating?”

    You are kidding me right? Complex? Sounds like you are fooling yourself in order to have something you should not. How old are you? I do not say that with disrespect . But, that is an opinion of someone that has not had enough life experience.
    Fantasy is one thing. Physically interacting is another. Whether it be physical or “Virtual.” It all starts with communication. THAT removes the fantasy and makes it reality. SL is not fantasy or roll playing. That is the big lie.
    When people interact they are using their real human emotional and communicational abilities.
    It is one thing to masturbate thinking of some fantasy girl or boy, but if you are on the phone with them. Or in the room. It is a whole other ball game.
    Fantasy can bring you to the arms of your lover. Create an option to meet that fantasy and you might just end up in the arms of another. That possibility should not be there.
    You put a seat belt on for a reason.

  30. imdoingit said,

    well I will juss say this….I got hurt by my hubby in rl he cheated on me with my best friend so there went love and trust out the window…..I met someone very special to me in sl while me and my ex was trying to “work” things out….and it turned out that I fell in deep love on sl with another man that made me feel loved and special and we spent hrs laughing and talking and hes not a sex addict like my ex lol…..so thats what happened to me but my marraige was ruined first ….had this been b4 the cheating I cant say I wld have partaken in such cause I did love my husband till he betrayed me in real life:(

  31. Lee said,

    My fairly new boyfriend I recently found out…plays second life alot (as in every morning when he gets off work til he falls alseep… and then repeat) In fact he just purchased some hi-tech computer for better graphics. He is married on there. When he texts me he sends me messages like he is instant messaging…like cyber sex? ALL THE TIME… and he recently missed a date because he was watching a trans siberian orchestra concert with his SL friends…

    I should probably kick bozo here to the curb huh? I am not a young chicken, and he is 40…? Shouldn’t he be all up on me…since you know I am real?

    • ME said,

      Lee, I’d love to chat to you. I am in the (almost) same boat.

    • rob said,

      Sl can be so addicting.The SL romances affect a person deeply in the emotions.
      I know.
      It is an escape from reality that is so real so life like.
      Add to that the real person behind the avatar.
      Such a mix is monumentally compelling .
      The women are alluringly pretty.the guys are handsome.
      cyber sex is what it is,erotically charged and mutually gratifying.
      that is so addictive .
      So if he has it bad you may just have to cut your losses.
      I wish you well and hope the best for you and him.

  32. Al said,

    After reading some of these stories I can relate to what some people are going through. My girlfriend is on SL. She is on there every single day when she gets off of work. When I come over to see here she spends more time on SL and doing whatever on there then she does talking or spending time with me. Most times she acts like I am not in the room. I found out she has a boyfriend on SL. How I found out was when one of her SL friends IM’ed her asking if she was still together with her boyfriend. I confronted her with this and asked if she had a boyfriend on her and she said yes. I was very upset. Although she is not physically having a romance I saw this as her having an emotional romance. I didn’t know what to make of the whole thing. She says it is just a game but just how the way her friend was communicating to her it looked like a lot more was going on. She says she loves me but I don’t know what to believe from her or if she is actually in real contact over the phone with this person. I just don’t like that she is into this SL world. She seems to care about that more then our real relationship. I called her one day to tell her I would be over to see her to spend some time with her and she told me to come over in a few days. That would be better for her. She has never said anything like that to me and I think it is because she wants to spend her time on that game. Don’t think I can deal with this for much longer!!!!

    • rob said,

      I do not know your situation.It seems and her are not married ? This may be a blessing in disguise for you.
      SL has hooked her.
      Sl romances include cyber .
      The SL boy friend contacting her by phone could be just one more step to a RL meeting between them.
      I wish you well but dude you may have to prepare yourself to cut your losses.

      • Al said,

        You were right when you said that Rob. Back in May of 2010 my girlfriend now ex broke things off with me. She gave me a whole lot of BS why we should break up. When she broke up with me I asked her was there someone else and she told me no. Less then two months after breaking up with me she moved in and married someone else. The person she moved in with lives in another city so she packed up and moved to be with that person almost after breaking up with me. I am sure it is the person she met from Second Life because there is no way a person meets and marries someone that fast after breaking up with their long time boyfriend or girlfriend. We had been together for 3 years and I couldn’t believe she could do something like that. It had to have been the person from Second Life. It is the only thing that makes sense to me on how that can happen so fast. To all you people out there with a significant on Second Life, be suspicious and guard your hearts because if they are on Second Life all the time, there doing something they have no business doing with someone else!!!

  33. John Freeman said,

    I am 16, and my mom and dad’s relationship is falling apart.

    I’ve went through 4 divorces. I’ve started to see a pattern – the one who makes the most money, gets married. My mom has begun arguments to my current dad, saying “You are too agonising!” blah blah blah.
    Now, this dad feels like my REAL dad. I love him. He is the nicest one I’ve had! I don’t want some 40 year old virgin called Brad living here instead of my current one.

    I hate it, I don’t want my current one to leave. I NEED HELP!
    I might consider disabling her network and see if she can find something other then Second Life (Or should I say, Another Chance to GET A LIFE. ) But then she would suspect its my current dad, and then it would REALLY happen!

  34. Mykol said,

    Second Life is unhealthy and will eventually ruin all of your real life relationships, unless you’re in a relationship that is fantasy reality. I was addicted to the game for years, before I realized how much of my life I was wasting on it. To this day, I still struggle with my past addictions with sl and refuse to believe such tripe that being consumed by a fantasy life is healthy. I understand the concept of using your imagination, as it’s inevitable, but logically sitting endlessly in front of a screen, talking to strangers you’ll never meet and getting highs from seeking out new impracticable avatars is just not healthy for the long term life. Even though you’re not actually physically having sex, etc. while in sl, your brain believes you are just as your brain would deceive you to believe that Santa Claus was real as a child.. I finally have a healthy real life relationship with a girl i love, but constantly feel the second life monkey trying to jump onto my back again.

    • Mykol said,

      Second Life is unhealthy and will eventually ruin all of your real life relationships, unless you’re in a relationship that is fantasy reality. I was addicted to the game for years, before I realized how much of my life I was wasting on it. To this day, I still struggle with my past addictions with sl and refuse to believe such tripe that being consumed by a fantasy life is healthy. I understand the concept of using your imagination, as it’s inevitable, but logically sitting endlessly in front of a screen, talking to strangers you’ll never meet and getting highs from seeking out new impracticable avatars is just not healthy for the long term life. Even though you’re not actually physically having sex, etc. while in sl, your brain believes you are just as your brain would deceive you to believe that Santa Claus was real as a child.. I finally have a healthy real life relationship with a girl i love, but constantly feel the second life monkey trying to jump onto my back again. Also, second life is not an extension of yourself, but rather another crutch to support what’s broken in your real life.

  35. chainedangel said,

    I too have been deeply moved by a SL relationship. However, I do realize that it is amazingly easy to idealize a person that you never have to confront lifes day to day issues with. Like most people in long-term relationships, my husband and I have reached that “new phase” of our relationship. After 14 years our marriage is now more a partnership for attaining mutual goals. Raising well adjusted children, meeting financial needs, caring for extended family and supporting one anothers carreer aspirations. I love my spouse very much and have no intention of doing anything to damage this partnership. That being said, SL allows me to expereince the rush of new love again without causing RL harm. I believe that people have to approach any online relationships as enteraining and possibly enhancing RL not as a replacement for it. I have chosen my SL love carefully just as I chose my RL love. Both of us are married with families and have no intention of hurting those we love in RL. Therefore, we realize that any move from SL to RL would result in mutually assured destruction for all of us and act accordingly. Although I doubt that i will ever forget my Sl love, I do realize that one day we will both leave SL and each other behind and thats OK. It is my belief that people who allow SL or any other online behaviors to negatively effect their real lives are not behaving in a mature adult manner and basically need to grow up.

    • Neveragain said,

      Chainedangel, emotional infidelity is still infidelity. Many people in Second Life use the excuse that their real life marriage is weak, strained or unfulfilling, yet they spend hours diligently building and nourishing marriages in that virtual world. Why not invest the same time and energy into your real marriage. Cheating is cheating and I would know. I became emotionally attached to someone in game. I had to hide what I was doing when that person was inworld, whisper or text sometimes. It was a very deceitful existence. Most folks who are happily partnered in Sl are having sexual relations. You may not be physically touching but the feelings and sensations are very real. I find it odd how we usually condemn any act of cheating in the “real world’ but seek to justify and excuse it in secondlife. What I did was wrong and I do not know if I could ever tell my husband about it but I have left Sl permanently and will never return there. Let’s call a spade a spade. Even if Sl does not destroy your marriage it definitely does not really help it. If our marriages are bad or broken, we should either fix it or get out before we let someone else in. The folks who justify the nonsense would be singing a different tune if their spouse was the one doing it. Maybe my words are harsh but I am still completely shocked and very disappointed by my actions. I betrayed my husband’s trust and sincerely regret it. I never thought for one moment that I would be unfaithful. Don’t be fooled by the lies that Sl allows you to do and enjoy what you cannot in RL. This statement is for the most part code for “I have reputation to maintain in real life and so cannot be seen doing certain things so i’ll live all my vices out in this virtual existence where there are no consequences”. Sighs…

  36. Cassidy said,

    Sea I completely agree with you. The marriage’s probably did have problems before the game was ever introduced in to their life. I am only 22, yes I play SL and so does my husband. Sometimes we get into fights about what we do on SL, but they last all of 5 min and they are about really stupid stuff. Our marriage is strong, though it has just started really compared to others. But we both agree, they are just pixels, characters in a game, YES real people are behind those avi’s, I understand that. BUT you dont know the real person, I have a female friend on SL that is really a dude. THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A SEC. People are never what they seem at first in RL. And in in SL that is always the case. I think these people that are having issues with the game, leaving spouses and such, are ONLY seeing what the people on SL what them to see. A fantasy world, thats all it is. OK so here I will put my point this way. The grass may be greener on the other side, until you get there and find out ITS SPRAY PAINT. People love your real life, thats gods true creation and if you had a spouse that left you, you are better off with out them and it would have happened with or without the game. And if you are one thinking of leaving…THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE LIVING THEM FOR.

  37. RaphMyst said,

    Hey everyone,

    I’m kinda going through some issues here with my wife playing SL myself. I used to be a huge gamer in my teenage years, I’m talking 10 hours on average a day. My school and health suffered, and my socialization as well. But when I hit my 20s (and after a real bad breakup), I began weight lifting and put on 45lbs of muscle, I got out more and met people, and I eventually ended up becoming a state trooper. I met my wife during my police training and we got married back in January. We did go through some rough spots in our marriage in the first few months, both faults on my end and hers but I took it as just an adjustment period. During this time what didn’t help is she began to play SL. She spent less time with me, and even started to neglect time with our son. Our sex life went down the tubes for a month and a half. We used to have fights about SL now and again, she used to tell me she wouldnt be spending money on the game nor taking her avatar’s clothes off. That eventually changed… she spent over $300 dollars of our money within 4 months time, and then she started a ‘dancing’ job where her avatar would strip for cash, and she justified it as helping us save real money that way. The only thing she hasn’t done was have cybersex, and she promised me that wouldn’t happen. I believe her about the cybersex though.

    My wife doesn’t take too much initiative in a lot of things, so playing SL just made things worse. The house was hardly ever cleaned, she hardly cooked anymore, and it got to the point I was doing almost everything. And being a cop, I can’t have this additional stress… After reading some of these posts, I do agree that a good chunk of the problems with SL are rooted in the person primarily, in conjunction with their insecurities and RL problems. My wife isn’t in the best of physical shape, but Ive had to bug her for a whole year to come to the gym with me, but she finally started coming with me within the last couple weeks and enjoys it. In addition, she doesn’t have the best outlook on herself, she may even be discouraged at the fact we are having troubles having another baby… but regardless, she has issues within that Ive been trying to address to her.

    It got to the point I was ready to walk out the door and end everything… wow only married for 4 months and already on the brink of seperation. What got it to that point was the fact I saw her avatar cuddling with a dude on there and I was seeing text that seemed inappropriate (they weren’t having sex or anything though) and they were laying on a bed in her SL house. It got to the point I came home in the middle of a midnight shift and raised hell about it, and she of course tried to make me feel like an idiot saying it was just a game and that she comes home to me every night and etc. Then the next morning i was ready to end it until she started begging me not to leave.

    Since then thing’s have been better I will say. Infact, we even asked our son if mommy plays on the PC too much and he said yes. So she told him she would try not being on it as much. Truth is, unless I monitor it, she can get out of control and easily spend hours on it a day, if not all day. Lately I’ve been trying to work with her.. we’ve set up a little “SL Budget’ for what she wants to spend per month on her game, Ive even supported her with the ‘dancing’ job and would text her from work sometimes going “GO rip up the dance floor honey and make some money!” And as long as I’m involved with what she does, I feel better about it. I don’t feel like anything is being hidden from me.

    So I guess my only complaint right now is (even as I type this), she has this SL boyfriend now that used to be her ‘adopted brother’ (its rediculous) and I’ll catch her spending time with this guy. They won’t webcam or any of that, nor cybersex, but I think he’s got her phone number anyway for texting purposes. My thing is I don’t see the point of even having an imaginary boyfriend? I do everything I can to fullfill her needs. I do my share of the chores, I’m romantic, outgoing, funny, and I know she loves me, and I’ve talked to her in the past about this but she says its not me, that I’m not doing anything wrong and that I’m a good husband. She said the reason she had to pair up was because it was a requirement in her clan. And now shes in a new clan that dont make her do that, but she’s pairing up with another dude anyway. I just don’t understand… And she beats herself up when I ask her questions like these about SL because she thinks she’s not doing anything better since our near seperation. I don’t wanna seem like I’m interrogating her but it really bothers me when she does stuff like this without reason. I feel like she is getting sucked into something that is unhealthy because of her own insecurities she may have. I mean as I type this, she is dancing with her SL ‘boyfriend’ and has alot of this lovy dovy music playing at her house….

  38. rob said,

    I joined SL not long ago. I was delighting in new relationships with cool ladies whe RL are married and in their 50s .I also have hooked up w some young women complete with RL pics.
    I was having a ball.
    I thought.
    Then I began to become emotionally attached with 4.I considered them dear friends.
    Lovers each.
    I was spending all my free time ignoring my wife and immersed in SL fun.
    My wife saw the image of my avatar dancing with one of my dear friends.
    I took Sl off my desk top and quit SL.
    I went into a depression.I felt sad .I miss my SL friends.
    kind of like cutting off an emotional arm.
    But I may be maimed emotionally that is my fault.
    I chose my wife over the pleasures of SL .BOOYAH!
    My wife is forgiving still loves me .I do not deserve her.
    after reading the comments on this blog I never intend to go back.

  39. ChazMaz said,

    RaphMyst,

    “I feel like she is getting sucked into something that is unhealthy because of her own insecurities she may have.”

    One of those places you can’t compromise with.
    You are allowing her letting her cheat a little bit.

    You being a state trooper. I ask you this. Is is ok for someone you pull over to have a joint as appose to having a pound in the trunk. Do you let that individual go with a warning, believing they will not smoke any again?

    Love addiction is hard to shake. Its covert nature makes it hard for you to police. A tough love moment is needed, no compromise.

  40. Jonn said,

    2nd life destroyed my marriage, my wife was on that game 24/7 and even had gotten a partner. Here I am working like a dog on nightshift, trying to take care of my family never realizing my marrige was over. My wife went up to Canada to renew her passport and on 2nd day there she let me know she was not coming back, she was going to live with her 2nd life partner. While packing up her belongings to ship to her i found love letters she had written, but not sent from as late as a year and a half previously. I never did anything to my wife, I loved her, cherished her, and worked hard to provide for the family. Now she finds out things are not so great, but her and the partner are now stuck in a lease and she has no passport, so the only thing that changed is that a good man got his heart completely broken

  41. Identity Creation on the Net | Digital Media Cultures said,

  42. Just Me said,

    I, too, had an SL addiction. I found SL just as I became chronically ill and I was bed ridden. Never having been a social butterfly to begin with, I found it easier to talk and interact with people from behind the screen. I started off as an escort (SL prostitute) with hubby’s permission as I needed a way to bring some extra cash in. But that got stale very fast and I started looking for other ways to spend my time.

    I had a few “boyfriends” etc. and Hubby was aware the whole time. Every day, he’d tell me about his day and I’d tell him about mine in SL. He often read over my shoulder which I found annoying but it irritates me when I’m reading a book so no big difference there.

    We did go through a hard spell where he felt jealous of my time on SL but this came after years and years of neglect on his end and after I sat him down and explained that after years of him thinking everything in the world was more interesting than me, I decided to stop waiting around for him to make time for me and I found my own stuff to do.

    That resulted in a very long talk and things slowly got better. I was still completely open about everything I did online.

    I have to say, once the time issue was sorted out, it did wonders for our sex life. I would use my SL lovers as a sort of “fluffer” let them get me all hot an bothered (hubby is rubbish with foreplay) and then all hubby had to do was show up and have some fun. Must say, he really enjoyed not having to do so much leg work (I’m anti orgasmic…don’t have orgasms…so sometimes it can be extremely difficult to get me aroused).

    I’m not saying my online relationships are the best solution for everyone. But I feel far more comfortable about it with hubby in the know and I don’t think I would do the things I do if he weren’t aware and accepting of it.

    And I think that seems to be the difference. Those who hide what’s going on until it’s too late to repair the damage. And those who are open and honest every step of the way.

  43. Mia May said,

    I kind of get what the gentleman at the beginning of the comments is saying but it just friggin depends on the type of person on sl. I’m on it and engaged. I tell my fiance what i do on there (mostly hunts. they are addicting ^_^) But fuck, i’m sure as hell not flirting with every guy on there. the first thing i tell a person when they are hitting on me is that i’m with someone, i’m not interested. Sure its a really rare that someone is actually being faithful to their rl partner. Its not the game that’s making people cheat on their significant other, it’s the damn person. If a person is cheating on their wife or husband on a video game then they probably were in rl, anywhere, with anyone. SL is a game, that is all and for anybody that uses it in this way, i agree, is pathetic. If you dont have any self- control then you dont need to be on there. I love my fiance with all my heart and soul. I met him online on another website, Vampirefreaks, and he’s been there for me like on other. I would never replace him with a virtual man, it’s a waste. I just hope that any that would finds out in the end the mistake they’ve made. Directly on my profile says “SL is just a game, i dont take anything seriously here. Any that do, Get a damn RL!” I feel sorry for any that seriously do.

    • Mia May said,

      For all that are a victim to those people’s stupidity, i truly am sorry and it is truely the unfortunate weakness in humans that causes this trouble and pain. Just know that you are REAL people. The people that dont have to be satisfied with pixals and text for a relationship. I’m not. I go on SL as me, a real person with a real love for my Real fiance. No pixal man is going to change that. And i’m proud of that.

  44. genesis said,

    Hi, my name is genesis and figured I’d share too. I came across sl one day while i was looking for chat room and figured it looked fun, so i joined. After a few months i got bored and a quit. After being with my rl lover for 3 years we decided to move in together. Now before i moved in we were pretty happy i mean we still got all excited when we saw each other and we had out space. Moving in togteher really changed things, i noticed he played games more often than i had thought. I was lonely and could tell he was getting annoyed by me so i went back to sl. Looking for a passtime while he needed his space. After being in a relationship for 3 years you dont really get the butterflys anymore its not all mushy gushy love and at this point you know them pretty well. I know my bf loves me, but i feel that he doesn’t give me everything i want emotionally and there are come conversations i feel that i just can’t have with him. Recently i’ve been tempted to try sl relationships…. and even have had several crushes. These avvys talk to me on a real level that i am not able to with my rl partner. I think we turn to sl because we want something more. I’d never leave my rl bf for sl. But i dont think i should have to give up on a great connection with someone just because i’m in a relationship. I’m happier, he’s happier. and for that reason i think our relationship is less stressed. I’m not asking too much for him anymore. I know what he can give me and for everything he can’t, someone in sl can. If it wasn’t for sl i think i’d continue looking for him for things he couldn’t give me. I think my expectations of a life partner is too high. (not that i mean to be this way) SL helped me a lot in rl.

    I’d also like to note I’m an sl virgin. I never really understood the whole cyber thing. I go to sl for the emotional part of it. Nothing sexual.

    19/f/

  45. Jen said,

    I feel bad for all the people that lost husbands or wives to this game.
    I have to say I don’t see the game as that dangerous.
    I have been with my bf for 7 years.We have gone through some horrible times and some good.He has bi-polar and can be very hard to get along with at times.I can have fun and let loose in sl.I can talk to people that seem more normal and don’t argue with me the way he does.

  46. Ruth said,

    In 2009 I discovered my husband chatting on SL. We had seen a special on CBS about the animation/graphics in SL a year prior and my husband initially went on SL just to check out the graphics. He told me it was boring and a joke and that he had no desire to participate in it. Then he discovered the “underworld” of SL and began chatting and having cyber sex with other women on the site. I am very educated as is he, I was working 3 jobs at the time adjuncting at 2 different colleges to pay the bills and to put my husband through school. Evidentally he was feeling less than macho and this site allowed him to escape his RL.

    The night I discovered what he was doing I was livid and so heartbroken. I ripped the pc out from the wall and put the tower in my car…..in the midst of our screaming argument he said, “I need help! I have a problem”. He said he couldn’t stop looking at the site. I was in shock…….I am a tall, attractive, athletic woman who is very successful and who did everything for him so be stabbed in the back like this made me feel horrible, incapable pissed and unattractive.

    After calming down and communicating with my husband we decided to immediately book an appointment with an addiction therapist who then referred us to a sex therapist for sexual addiction. I honestly never thought therapy was effective or that sex addiction was a reality but I am here to tell you this experience with my husband changed all that.

    I asked my husband to leave and we seperated. I wanted to see if he truly wanted to make the marriage work and whether I wanted to stay with him or not……when I took my vows for better or worse I meant it so I tried to support him in his efforts and I also saw my own therapist. He joined a local sex addicts group and threw himself into his recovery.

    Through God, therapy, time and love we were able to come out on the other side and we communicate better now than we ever did. I feel sorry for anyone that is fooling themselves into believing that SL is just a game, it is a gateway drug like weed to bigger and badder problems.

    Second Life is like a turd. You can roll a turd in powdered sugar to make it look and smell better but in the end it is still shit and that is exactly what SL is……….a turd rolled in powdered sugar……..don’t be fooled, don’t buy into the hype.

    If you have to get on a website to escape your own reality you need to assess your own life and what you can do to better it NOT ESCAPE it.

    Good Luck to you all!

  47. KellyJo said,

    Let me start by saying that I am a happily married woman of 23 years in my 40’s with 3 grown children..with that said I have been visiting Virtual Worlds for several years and seen the up’s & down’s of the On-Line Love. Though not for everyone, particularly those who tend to be afflicted with depression or other forms of mental illness, virtual worlds can be very satisfying and often times a learning experience for RL relationships.

    Myself I have been in a 5 year Virtual Relationship (IMVU) with a very kind man who himself is happily married of 35 years with 4 grown children. We ave certainly had our ups and downs during this time with RL getting in the way of things. In the same sense he has learned a lot about how to treat his RL Wife & Family with more respect and kindness as when she needs him I let him go to her. We are together with no children and have a wonderful open life on the game together. This man was on the game for no other reason but to make friends and have something to fill his time while the long on call hours at work would consume him.

    I discovered SecondLife thru a FB friend about 10 months ago. Going into the game I had told myself that I would stay single and just enjoy being there. Well that didn’t last to long I met another wonderful man there Late 60’s, Married for 45 years, 3 grown children. Now the story of this man is quite different than the first one. I met him at a dance club, he approached me while he was dancing with another woman with whom he had been partnered to previously and they were trying to get back together…BUT and I say that widely…She had been cheating on him all along so in turn he went out during a short 2 month time and met several (cannot count them on 2 hands) woed them then dumped them. I was very leery of him knowing of his ways but gave him my time to talk to me and get to the bottom of this behavior. He was honest about his life on SL but at the same time very deceitful with women on the game. I finally broke down and gave him the chance, we partnered and now are 8 months into our relationship. He has been taught by me that women are not objects to be thrown around at a mans disposal, nor are their feelings to be toyed with even though it is a game. We are very happy together and have 3 SL Children a wonderful home and a monogamous relationship together. This man was on the game for reason that a happily married person should not be though. He was looking for SEX with women due to the lack of his RL Wife being a Wife and providing the things that wives should be doing. I know that will start a huge controversy about a Womans role but hey men are men and they want sex. I have taught him that he can have a productive relationship with his RL Wife without sex.

    WORDS to the WISE on Virtual Relationships:

    1. Treat others as you would treat your RL partner
    2. If you feel like your cheating on your RL then STAY off the game
    3. Never underestamate the power of an alluring person
    4. Show some respect for yourself
    5. If it’s ruining your RL get out!
    6. Leave the DRAMA in your head and away from the keyboard!
    7. ALWAYS be TRUTHFUL
    8. Enjoy the game, it is a Second Life ya know!

    Ok, now I play the game for reason unbeknownst to myself..lol I do enjoy meeting people, listening to live singers, exploring lands unknown and a variety of reasons, but I have always been totally honest with the people I meet about my RL. No reason to hide who is behind the Avi, she is just an extension of who I am in RL. They know that the game is the extent of our relationship and that RL love with them will never happen because I AM in CONTROL of who I AM!

  48. Salmon said,

    Sl is full of narcissists and deviants. Some of the most normal appearing avatars are into extreme s&m and slavery. It is acceptable or expected in the game. The twisted lies, people with Multiple avatars accounts and thousands of bored housewives with nothing to do all day goes is a playground for any sex addict. Many of them not only cheat on their real life partners they cheat on each other. It is an unhealthy environment where woman are popular if they are cheap and sleazy. People who wants their mom playing a stripper while they are at school? Sad pathetic addicts…people are manipulative and childish there.

  49. baidu456 said,

    Yo!. Absolutely dug reading your post. It was especially educational and effective. I trust you do not mind me writing concerning this post on my personal internet site. Will definitely link back to you. Luv the look and feel of your site! Merci.

  50. SLvictim said,

    SL is a home wrecker. My husband got involved with it 2 years ago and now he has left me for his virtual reality slut. We have been married 41 years with 3 grown children.
    He lived on that game from the minute he got home from work till the early morning hours since I realize now his slut lived on the west coast and he was on the east coast.
    I was never interested in the game, for it was a fantasy of life not reality. He was a DJ on this home wrecking game as I see many are and his fantacy turned for him into his own pathetic reality.
    I got home from work 8 weeks ago to find a note from him saying he has left me because we have nothing in common anymore. I could not reach him for days and finally he called and told me that he was on the west coast with a “couple” he met from SL. Well just 2 days ago after I had asked and he conyinued to lie about it he said he didn’t need to confess that I had figured it out and that he was with another woman and she gave him everything he wanted.
    The thing is I had no idea that he had been so hooked up in this fantaxy world that he not only left me but also up and quit his job and ran 3,000 miles away. He was not able to face the reality of my emotions and he still has not. He says many couples break up get use to it.
    This game has destroyed my life, it is not reality it is not real life. He has thrown his whole family away because of this home wrecking game.
    I am 60 years old and he is 61 we have been together since 16, he gave me no clue that he was going to leave me just got up and went. He can not face the reality of my emotions because he can not face reality anymore.
    He is going to be facing the real reality when I serve him with divorce papers and take him for everything I can get. This game is sick and it should get more attention for how many lives it has destroyed and I am making that well known.

    • Frank said,

      Hello SL victim, sorry to hear what has happened to you. I tried SL but I don’t like it.

      Some psychology college graduate objected to me when I called SL a game. He swears by SL and that it as a valuable and social network medium. I still say he is wrong. He lost his credibility with me one night when I came upon his home location and he had his avatar nude and having sex. Imagine that, a psychiatrist to be having sex in SL. And he wants to tell others how to think and act. He also uses his keyboard to navigate some car and boat on the screen for hours, and at times blurting out, “weeee.” This dude is around 27 years old.

      To all of you pro SL people:

      How is SL better than RL? How does the game and the pixels you perceive on the screen compete with the joys of things in real life? How do these pixels on a screen make you feel, compared to doing what you can do in real life? Please explain this.

      Thoughts please. What makes dancing in SL better than dancing in RL? What makes dressing up in SL better than dressing up in RL? What makes talking to someone in SL better than talking to someone in RL? What makes avatar sex in SL better than in person sex in RL?

      • Neveragain said,

        Absolutely nothing, Frank! The better avatars look, the worse the people behind the screen may look. Just ask them how many pounds they gained from just sitting around the pc and eating. The worse we feel, the more reclusive we become and the more time we spend I that cesspit. TURN OFF the PC sometimes and get some fresh air and meet real people.

  51. Chaz Maz said,

    I first posted here on 3/11/09. After reading all that has been said since.
    I stand by what I have written.

    Second Life: Land of the WEAK home of the BROKEN

  52. LillyMarlene said,

    My partner of 30 years is addicted to Second Life. I can’t talk to him. Whenever I come near the computer he quickly changes screens. I feel so alone.

  53. Frank said,

    Anyone that enjoys SL, I guess more power to you. But it’s not for me.

    Do you SLers play it in moderation? I think the medical community has done studies that show how unhealthy a sedentary lifestyle is.

  54. juliana SMITH said,

    my name is Mrs Juliana Smith i have been married to my husband for years now,my husband has been the perfect husband and the perfect father to my kinds my family was perfect i had 2kids, my happy married tune in sorrow and tears when my husband ex wife came and visited my husband and they started to hang out again, my husband would snick out at night and comes back the next morning, i saw some a test message in his phone and my husband was not there i read it and it was then i realize that he has been cheating on me with his ex wife, my whole world came turn upside down , it all became worst when he ask me to abort my 4weeks pregnancy, he started acting strange and he sees every thing i do as wrong and he would quarrel over little things, he would stay with his ex wife for days without coming home or calling, my marriage was falling apart and i new i had to do something before i loss him completely, i was searching Google on how to fix a broken relationship and i saw so many testimonies of how ASHRA has help them in marriage and relationship matters, i was desperate and i copied the email of ASHRA from one of the testimonies and i decided to write him and he replied me and i told him all my pain and sorrow, he then cast the love spell on my husband and he cast a spell to break the bond between my husband and his ex wife. my husband came home and all of a sudden he started crying and was begging me to forgive him and i ask him why he said he didn’t know what came over him, he called his ex wife and told her never to call him again and he change his number and email now my husband is bsck to his self and he told me he was never going to abort his baby that he loved children he now pamper me like its my first pregnancy ,thanks to ashra spell temple for the great work he has done, my advise for all having relationship problems is to contact ashra don’t seat, fight for who you love you can contact ashra on his email address : ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or call his personal number on +2348058176311 now

    yours faithfully

    MRS JULIANA SMITH

    • Chaz said,

      MRS JULIANA SMITH… You are an idiot.

  55. Kasha Lucky said,

    I am kasha i lives in uk and i was in a serious relationship with my ex guy for three good years.. One day we were in a dinner party, we had a little misunderstanding which lead to a Quarrel and he stood up and left me at the dinner party. i try to call him but he was not picking my calls so after than i contacted my brother and told him about it,my brother so much love me that he had to see him on my behalf,he told my brother that it is over between us.. Then i contacted a friend of mine that had this similar experience and she directed me to one of the spiritual diviner (maduraitemple@yahoo.com).at first i thought it was not going to be possible and i contacted him i was ask to come up with a little requirement,so i did what i was ask to do, after 3 days i was in my office when my ex guy called me and was asking me to forgive him and come back to him. i was very surprise it was like a dream to me,so ever since we have been happily c with one kid my lovely baby(Ceslav)…i wish you the best of luck…

  56. オメガ レディース said,

    ロレックス 値段

  57. darrol said,

    my wife is a stay at home wife by her choice but now she got into this game and has been on it every waking hour for over a month as a escort and im really torn as to how to handle her dirty talking to another man. she says its just a game but im not so sure any more any thought on how to handle this.

    • Chaz said,

      She is a fool, and so are you for not manning up. She needs to stop or take a hike. Pretty simple. Unless, you like that sort of thing.

      “It’s just a game” is code for, mind your own business.

  58. Sherry Turner said,

    happiness into my life after i saw a post on how he helped a lady called sylvia,i decided to contact him for help when i told this God sent man Dr shiba of olotospellhome on how my lover left me for 2 years without calling nor texting me,When i shared this my sad experience with Dr shiba he said everything would be okay within 3 days i was like am i sure what this man is saying is real,So i decided to give a try, what even surprised me the most at first i was also thinking he was a scam i taught he was like other spell caster who come online to add pain to peoples pain not knowing there feelings but to make money,But this great man Dr shiba is never like that his own is for good and make people to be happy with the one they love,Am just so happy,Even before the 3 days i just got a call from a man who has left me for 2 years saying he his sorry and that he wants me back to his life i was so happy,He invited me for a dinner which i meant him there and we bought talked and he said he wants to prove that he would never leave me for any other lady he engaged me and also make me had access to all his account am so happy all thanks goes to this great man Dr shiba a man who has brought back joy to my life,Please friends that needs help i would advice and swear that Dr shiba is the right man and not those fake ones who are online to make money and not to help here is Dr shiba private mail olotospellhome@yahoo.com dr shiba is the only one who can fix you your problem.

    • Chaz said,

      Sherry,

      You are a moron.

  59. Brim Nichol said,

    My name is cynthia and my ex-boyfriend dumped me 8 months ago after I caught him of having an affair with someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confuse and don’t know what to do, so I visited the INTERNET for help and I saw a testimony on how a spell caster help them to get their ex back so I contact the spell caster and explain my problems to him….. he cast a spell for me and assure me of 3 days that my ex will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my peter came knocking on my door and beg for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married. Once again thank you Dr Olokum spell caster, you are truly talented and gifted contact his email:LAVEDERLOVESPELL@GMAIL.COM

  60. MoMo3000 said,

    I left my boyfriend and first love 4 years ago because of his second life transgressions. It was very very difficult for me as I had been with this ‘man’ for 7 years and thought I would spend the rest of my life with him. He had other plans! He started talking to a chick from Spain (we live in USA) as well as a few others. Besides buying them stuff from the game, he talked to them on skype and msn chat. I had my suspicions and one day while he was at drill (Oh yes a Marine) I snuck on his computer that he left wide open and read some of his messages. I was heartbroken. He was telling some of these girls that I left him or he was single and they were falling deeper into the rabbit hole for him. That’s not even the worst part, what really floored me is I found a .avi movie of him and the Spain chick having an intense lovemaking session on second life!! Telling each other they love each other and sh*t. The f**k!?
    Needless to say I left him pretty much soon after that. How could I trust him again even if I wanted to?
    Proceed with caution if you know or care about someone that plays this game I’d hate for the same thing to happen to you as it did me.

  61. reallifecam com view 03_1 said,

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  62. Sam Axe said,

    Holy Crap!!! After 6 years this is still getting comments posted. My wife started SL a few months ago. This damn game is wrecking our marriage. I work and she stays home. We want it that way so she can take better care of our son than a daycare. So 45-50 hours a week I spend at my job busting my ass while she can do the light weight lifting. A little house cleaning, cooking and so forth. ( Not a bad gig for her because I do a lot of the laundry and cooking as well as all the lawn work.)
    Then BOOM. Lately, I never get a hot meal when I get home from work. Laundry piles up until I HAVE to do it so I can have clothes to wear to work. The kitchen is a nasty pile of shit because no one (including my other capable kids) will clean it up until I have to do that too. If I had the means, I would totally nuke everything to do with that fucking game. ALL YOU SHITHEADS THAT THINK YOUR ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS DON’T HURT ANYONE: You are retards who are giving a bad rep to people with real mental challenges! It hurts to see someone who is most important person in the world to you [have sex/ talk dirty/ flirt/ cheat on you /pick your poison] with other SL retards while you have to suffer them ignoring you and continuing their bad behavior. Never mind we hardly ever have sex anymore. I want sex with my wife. I want her to live up to her end of the bargain we made when we decided to spend the rest of our lives together. Yes, I am a butthead, and yes I need to work on my own faults. I want to improve our marriage, but God Damn Second Life is making that near impossible.

  63. John C. said,

    John C.

    I have been seeking for real help for years! I was cursed by a person that turn my life into hell. Lost job, friends and love, my life was a complete mess until I found this d.rrivers on internet. It was worth the price I spent with them as it came back to me in happiness and joy.email him for help now d.rrivershebalisthome@gmail.com

  64. Alanna said,

    My husband started playing sl because he said he was bored. Now he has a online sl lady that he has partnered with. He says he loves me and will never leave. He has told the people on the game I have died and when they hear me that I am his daughter. We have fought about this game many times. At times it sounds like things are getting serious. I offered to make a avatar to play if gets rid of her but he won’t. I try to go along. I have made him put everything on speaker so I can hear everything. He still gets made cause I ask him to not say certain things to this lady. He says I am home with you every night but I can not talk to him while he is on cause he gets mad.

    • Jonn said,

      Alanna it has been almost 6 years since I lost my wife to her SL partner. I have had the luxury of time to mend, heal, and examine what happened, all of which has helped me grow and learn. I feel for you, and would love to tell you that all is well in your marriage, but even you in your heart know that would be a lie. At this time I can say it is time to confront your husband d, that he must choose between the reality of the one whom has been with him, or the fantasy of his SL partner. You may not be his choice that does not reflect on you, but rather his emotional maturity. Either way do not let it diminish your sense of self.

      • Alanna said,

        Thank you so much. I don’t think I am ready to find the answer out yet.

  65. Will said,

    I have been married for 17 years to the only one I have ever loved, respected and truly trusted. Many a time I have found her to be doing things behind my back, escorting, dating, even a SL marriage. She has shared her Real phone and address information even gone so far as to meet people from there. I have also been on SL mainly as a way to share time and experience together. 9 years now, she has many “friends” none of which really know who she is how can someone from just online talking and time. Being with someone through the good and the bad is the only way to truly know someone which we have been through both. She constantly is saying He’s just a friend, repeatedly and not just for one I will add, It was sexual at times probably still is some now it’s companionship, doing the things we used to do together watching a movie, hanging out listening to music etc. I invite her to a move she prefers to go to a club in SL, I invite her to a concert she is busy with a “client” in SL. I have for many years been patient and tried to reason but any attempt can cause disaster and a huge argument. I recently decided to save up and purchase a sailboat as a family activity we talked and all seemed to like the idea of this, now she says she is fine and stays on SL at a strip club. Not working except in SL and yes she makes about $400 a month in SL which she could make in a week or less at a job. I have been accused so many times of cheating, betraying her trust or outright lying, I had about 7 people I talked to on there when I was in the game all of which now will not talk with me due to her behavior. The only way I can keep peace is to work, pay bills, and not interfere with her SL in any form or fashion. So these people that warn of the dangers of Second Life, Listen to them. They are real, the pain is real and so is the heartache when you see the one you love smiling because another man or woman says they look pretty today (even though its just a 3d avatar they see) and you say hello and get ignored or you ask about going to dinner and get “I don’t feel like it” and then they eat playing the game with someone else. Linden labs barely monitors events I have seen in my travels everything from harmless rp to down right illegal content. SL used properly is a great social media tool, but allowing it to be used in this fashion merely serves to degrade and abuse all of it’s residents for the sole purpose of greed.

    • Will said,

      So I thought I would leave a update.
      She left this afternoon after myself and our daughter asking her to put her family first above second life. We pleaded for counselling and even tried to involve friends and family she officially packed and walked out the door at 4pm today leaving us in the wind. Second Life can be toxic if allowed to. So those of you with someone you love tread carefully in SL for around every corner is danger for a real couple. I said goodbye and that I love you and hope you can find what you are looking for someday but sadly I fear you will look back upon this moment with sadness and regret.

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