Officers’ Quarters: A guild member’s “moral problem”
What can you do as an officer when you think one of your guild members is in a problem relationship? This week, an officer is losing a raider to the raider’s boyfriend and she’s wondering if there’s anything she can do.
The thing is: She shared her Account data with him and he told her repeatedly: “if you don’t change servers, one day, you’ll log in and be on a different server.” Yes: He would transfer her without her okay. The thing, that shocked me even more was: She doesn’t like that, but she would change servers to make him happy. This in itself is a massive red flag to me: She’s an active part of our guild, member of our raiding group – and he wants to drag her out of this just so she would be playing on his server?
I slept on this information last night (not well, mind you), and even more red flags seemed to pop up: Sometimes, he logs into her character and organizes her bags, throwing away things she “doesn’t need” (something she had told me a few weeks ago, laughingly). A few times, during raid, she played incredibly bad and when I whispered her “what’s wrong?”, she told me her boyfriend had been tinkering with her UI and the way her buttons are laid out, but don’t worry, she would get used to this.
… This might sound stupid, but: I’m scared for her.
I do realize WoW is “just” a game and everyone plays differently. I do realize that “real life comes first”. But… she seems so okay with this behavior that it really scares me. “Yeah, you don’t really need me anyway in the team and if it means he will finally stop bugging me, I’m going to change servers to play in his guild.” (not as a member of a raiding team, either: just: member of the guild)(Sure, she is at the bottom of our Recount, but she is part of the team and it’s awesome having her in our group just because she’s an awesome person :/)
Do you know if there is anything I can tell her? What I can do? I already told her that we consider her a very valuable member of our guild and team, but if he is doing something like that in a game, I’m afraid about how it will go on in their “partnership” in general :/
I think your concerns are reasonable, but at the same time, I would caution you against taking direct action.
The behavior of the boyfriend, based on what you describe, is manipulative. Your guildmate’s response to it, based on what you describe, is unhealthy. But remember that you’re only getting her side of things. You’re making inferences based on interactions that you didn’t witness firsthand, reflected through the prism of your guildmate’s perception of events. This is a very unreliable way to diagnose someone’s relationship, fraught with opportunities for misunderstanding. Don’t hasten to judge these two. There are layers to this situation that you can’t perceive.
It’s also possible that he threatened to switch her toon to his realm as a good-natured way of showing her how much he wants her there, because he really loves her and wants her to be part of his gaming life. Maybe he got rid of all her gray items to unclutter her bags. Maybe the new UI setup is far superior and will really help her improve as a player. Taken out of context, all of these things sound sinister, but they may not be. We have no way to know for sure.
It’s also possible that it’s even worse than we can see from our limited perspective: that he is a bully, maybe even a male chauvinist. Maybe his behavior in WoW is just the tip of the iceberg, and he doesn’t let her make decisions about anything in her life. Again, we just can’t know.
What you can do
Any time an officer tries to intervene in a guild member’s personal life, you need a compelling reason to do so. I’m not seeing one here — yet. I would certainly urge you to keep in touch with this person over Battle.net and check in with her from time to time. Maybe things will devolve from account shenanigans and realm-switching pressure to something more dangerous.
If you ever hear about him becoming violent with her, then it is time to take action. Otherwise, all you can — and all you should — do is to make yourself available to her and let her know you’re always willing to chat or offer advice. But always try to gather all the facts that you can about what’s really going on IRL before you offer any.
As for losing a guild member, yes, it sucks, but she has to make her own decision. Tell her she will be missed. Encourage her to keep an alt in your guild so she can check in with people. Reassure her that the door is always open for her to bring her main back if she changes her mind. Then let her go and wish her the best. It’s all you can do, unfortunately.
Technically it’s against the End User License Agreement for her to share her account data with her boyfriend, but reporting that will only get her in trouble, which isn’t what you want to do. I’m afraid your hands are tied. I sincerely hope that their relationship is a healthy one, and if not, that your raider realizes that sooner rather than later.
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