My friend Corwyn sent me this piece from the London Times: Second Life affair leads to real-life divorce for David Pollard, aka Dave Barmy. Now we've all heard the stories of SL romances breaking up RL marriages, Dutch and Tenaj, Rene and Dina, but bear with me here, folks, this one has a new twist. It began in Second Life in the first place!
"David Pollard and Amy Taylor met in an online chat room in 2003 and married after discovering a shared love of the internet game Second Life. . . . The couple met in an internet chat room in May 2003 and within six months Ms. Taylor had moved from London to Mr. Pollard's flat in Newquay, Cornwall. They married at a register office in St Austell in July 2005 and held a virtual wedding for their avatars in Second Life. "
That alone would make you think that the idea of a virtual love affair should not come as a surprise to the wife here, but no.
"Ms. Taylor, 28, filed for divorce on the ground of unreasonable behaviour after her husband admitted falling in love with the virtual female character. She discovered the affair after a rare break from her computer. When she returned from a nap she caught a glimpse of her husband's avatar in a compromising position on a sofa with a female avatar."
So she goes to take a nap and hubby, who fell in love with her on-line, falls for another woman on-line. But wait, there's more. Is this the first time hubby has messed about on wifey in SL?
"Ms Taylor's suspicions were aroused in 2007 and she hired a Second Life private investigator. The virtual sleuth, called Markie MacDonald, caught Dave Barmy in flagrante and he apologised to his online and real world wives."
So as far back as 2007 he had different SL and RL wives? Do we see a pattern beginning to emerge? And what do the unhappy couple have to say about it?
"She said: 'I was so hurt. I just couldn't believe what he'd done. It's cheating as far as I'm concerned, but he didn't see it as a problem and couldn't see why I was so upset. He said I was just making a big fuss and tried to make out it was my fault for not giving him enough attention.' . . . Mr. Pollard, 40, said yesterday that his former wife was more interested in her life online than she was in him. 'If I wanted to spend time with her I had to ask.'"
You know what is really sad about this? Not that they are divorcing. But that they are sad people who both blew it. Yes, BOTH. There were expectations on each side of that relationship that were not being met. One wonders if they ever even communicated their expectations to each other.
Wake up all you lovers, RL and SL, out there. Love is NOT easy. Like anything that is worthwhile, it takes hard work. If you expect your partner (RL or SL) to spend time with you you need to get off you real (or virtual) ass and spend time with them! Make time. Go on dates, dammit. Spend a romantic evening AT LEAST once a week doing something nice for the other person. Don't just wait for them to do stuff for you! Do stuff together.
Find things you have in common. Is he a craftsman in RL or builder in SL? Girl, get him to teach you or at least be there helping him, admiring and critiquing his work! She writes? Dude, read her blog/poetry/stories and offer your advice and support! Look for ways you compliment each other and for pity sake COMPLIMENT each other! If nothing else, SL offers worlds upon worlds to explore together, and guess what . . . SO DOES RL!
You know, the sex may have been what attracted you to each other, but the connections you forge are what keeps your partner coming back for more. If there isn't more there, boys and girls, someone is gonna go looking elsewhere.