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Drama Mamas: Can you keep calm and carry on?

We all choose how to react to the world around us. Nobody's exempt -- we're so much more than the sum of our knee-jerk reactions to life. Yet it's also true that harnessing raging emotions is hard, especially when things hurt, and sometimes we're just not up to the task.

When continued pain seems inevitable, sometimes treating ourselves with respect means making a measured retreat. The trick is knowing which situations merit dogged perseverance and which deserve said measured retreat.

Hey Drama Mamas

I am a raid leader for my guild, I handle guild progression and the GM handles farming and alt runs, After a long struggle we finally are all set up to make some serious momentum in Mists of Pandaria after using DS to bolster our ranks. Furthermore about 2 years ago I brought my girlfriend into the game and guild.

Recently one of the guild members we picked up in dragon soul started raiding heavily with us. He quit his other guild where he had lots of friends to join us. I am a tank and for our progression I asked him to be my Co-tank. We did arenas together for a while and became fairly close. Then the other day my girlfriend (also on the progression team) and I broke up. If that was not enough, she then started dating my Co-tank. I found out that the two of them had been in contact ever since they first raided together.

I would like to take this moment to defend her decision, it was a long time coming and there were numerous other reasons why we broke up. This is not a case of some girl trying to mess with everyone's mind, she is a very warmhearted person. I have been doing everything I can to make this easier on her, including taking responsibility for the break up to the guild.

The guild does not know yet, I told the GM that something had occurred but not any detail. I know my GM and his backup officers and I know that they will probably not take sides. (one would but he is on a long break and though he might return any day, the odds of it are slim) The GM would pick me if forced to choose, but the other guy is not hotheaded enough to confront him.

I have been unable to log on early in the day because I don't want to encounter them and the other night mid-raid I became completely emotionally compromised and had to leave.

Additionally I am an officer in another guild on my server that is still starting out and have made very good friends with another guild on my server where I know I could join a raid team. I do not want to leave my guild but I understand I may have to.

Save me Drama Mamas!

Sincerely, A tank in need

Drama Mamas Keep calm and carry on ANYDrama Mama Lisa: Situations like these are opportunities to ask questions, Tank in Need. I find that if you can stop picking at the details of a situation long enough to cover the broader questions, you'll make enough spaces in the tangle to peer through and see what needs to happen.

Here's what would be on my list:
  • Once you get over your initial shock, would you be comfortable staying in the guild if the three of you remain on friendly terms?
  • Would your feelings change if the three of you remained on civil yet not exactly friendly terms?
If you think the three of you can get past the changes in your relationships, there's no real reason you can't stay put if that's what you want to do. Younger commenters and those who've experienced nasty breakups in their own lives might advise you to cut and run, but the fact is that continued social interaction with exes is pretty common as you get older. Time and experience weave all sorts of crazy strands in the web of life, and a clean break from situations gone sour isn't always in the cards.

On the other hand, if it looks like acrimony will mar raids for the three of you and the rest of the raid team, the smart thing to do is seek fresh horizons.

Ultimately, the question before you is whether or not you can -- and want to -- keep calm and carry on. Are you devoted enough to progressing with this team that you're willing to lead it past the awkwardness and discomfort of interacting with the other couple on a constant basis, despite whatever you might feel? Or will interacting with your ex always be the grain of sand in your eye that ruins your vision of what WoW should be? Is it just not fun anymore?

Things are different now. Be realistic about how you feel, and think about where you'd like to be playing a few weeks from now. Then put yourself in a position to enjoy what you want from the game. It really is that simple.

Drama Mamas Keep calm and carry on ANYDrama Mama Robin: Tank in Need, I agree with Lisa that exes can play together happily in the right situations, but I'm not so sure that's in the cards for you. I don't think things will get nasty; your ex and your co-tank don't seem like those type of people. It sounds like they are hoping for an amicable resolution to all of this, and they may even do their best to make it happen.

The thing that makes me worry about you is your current emotional state. While you are very clear-headed and fair about the whole thing, you are also deeply hurt. You don't play so you can avoid them. You can't make it through a raid without violating Starfleet Regulation 619 by becoming emotionally compromised [insert nerd noise here]. Being so upset may be due to the initial shock, but it also may not go away any time soon.

If you don't see an end to how upset you are, I highly recommend you leave the guild as soon as possible. Your friends will still be your friends, but you will be removed from constant contact with a relationship that gives you pain. Happily, you have not one but two choices here! So many people in your situation have no place to go after a breakup. Decide if you want to help a start-up or to continue raiding, then get to it.

Important note: Make certain that you leave your current guild under good terms. Talk to the leadership and explain the situation. You did a great job being even-handed when telling us your story, so keep up the good work. You don't want people to take sides. You don't want to place blame. Just say you would be more comfortable leaving the guild, and don't leave any opening for them asking you to stay.

Talk to your ex as well, but without any guilt trips. "Hey, I hope you two continue to be happy together, but I have to separate myself from the situation. No hard feelings and I'll see you around." Keep it short and sweet, making an excuse to log off right afterward. You aren't looking to have a discussion -- and definitely not an argument. You just want to inform and move on.

I do wish the best for you. Keep in touch!

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with advice from the Drama Mamas. Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at Please remember that we can't reply to individual letters privately.

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