There is something attractive about gaming couples. It's not just that people all over are jealous of those whose significant others "get it", but there can be a significant bonus when people come in a pair. Especially if one of the pair is a healer or a tank... or a healer and a tank combo. Of course, this also comes with its fair share of problems for raiding guilds... what if one player is brilliant, while the other can't seem to stay out of the fire? To get one, must you take the other?
Gaming couples are also often drawn to other gaming couples. The pre-raid fish feast can become like something of a dinner party. I have a very extensive friends list, and sometimes I imagine that every single gaming couple on my server and faction is on my friends list. This scenario is actually one of the reasons for my guild name... after about the 8 millionth dungeon run in which I recruited some of my couples-friends to join us, a guild mate cleverly inquired whether I was starting the Lothar Swingers Club. The rest is history.
As someone who is one half of a gaming couple, I've had plenty of people tell me they are jealous of my circumstances. How nice it would be to have someone with whom you can share your gaming hobby! For the record, this attitude usually comes from males. Read into that what you will.
So let me go on the record right here by stating that gaming and raiding with your significant other is definitely not all hearts and butterflies.
Even if you aren't both competing against one another for a raid slot, there are still plenty of problems. Look, raiding is a tense environment and therefore can add a lot of stress to your relationship if you aren't careful. If you're sitting at your computer, alone IRL, screaming at the monitor and throwing your keyboard against the wall, there's no one there to see you act like a fool. However, your significant other may not be so impressed with that clever curveball you just threw with your mouse.
Remember this - when you have a criticism to make of another member of your raid, you have to make an effort to say something to them. By this, I mean you usually need to key vent to yell at them, which gives you a slight moment to reconsider whether this is what you really want to do. When you are sitting next to the person who just took a nap in the fire, there is no brief moment of pause to reconsider before screaming at them for being a complete idiot.
If you're pissed off at someone in your raid, or just generally ticked because things are not going well, there is a scapegoat sitting right next to you on whom you can vent all your anger. This is not exactly what one might call "ideal relationship conditions". Heaven forbid that person try to tell you how to play your character or class. Try sitting quietly while the other person leads a raid, and you just know they're doing it all wrong.
The worst part is when in game squabbles and real world arguments collide. Oh, I'm terribly sorry, did I forget to heal you? It must have been because I was so distracted by how fat you implied my ass looks in these jeans. Dear me, I simply didn't DPS that snobold down fast enough to prevent your death. I wonder if it was related to you calling my mother a shrew? Sometimes wife aggro is a lot worse when your wife is a fellow gamer.
It's silly, though a bit funny, to bring real world arguments into the gaming universe. But it's much worse to bring the gaming disagreements into the real world. I really am ashamed to admit how often my anger has been sparked by something my fiance did (or didn't do) in game that left me in a huff for the next day. Don't touch me, you loot-whoring nazi of a raid leader! Why didn't you stick up for me when so and so complained about my abilities? Why is your gear not properly enchanted and gemmed? Why haven't you paid me back for all that Mooncloth I sent you? I'm actually quite bad about it, embarassingly enough.
So, I write this post as something of a public apology for doing this. Also as a reminder that though the game is not "real life", the relationships and the people within are. I'm very lucky to have someone who shares my love of gaming, and I certainly have no wish to discount that. But that doesn't mean there aren't some struggles in spite of it. Balancing a real life with gaming can sometimes be a lot easier when your partner shares your hobby... and sometimes it can be a lot harder. In truth, if you have deep seated relationship issues, oftentimes gaming together can bring them out and highlight them.
However, I do have to say that the time my fiance wiped the CoS group because he was busy buying me a Bouquest of Black Roses is one of my happiest memories. Especially since I don't mind at all that I've received a lot more in game flowers than I have IRL. They're cheaper, and they don't die ;)