This is exactly why I stopped playing Final Fantasy XI all those years ago. At first I really enjoyed it, I was young, unmarried, and had plenty of free time to do the endless grinding the game requires. However as time went on I discovered that it was beginning to interfere with my life. I was staying up to 2 or 3 at night in the hopes that I might be able to claim some unique spawn that I needed for some weapon or another (along with about 100 other people I might add), I was farming monsters over and over again for materials for my linkshell and not even getting to the enjoyable parts of the game anymore. I even changed my character from something I enjoyed to a very cookie cutter build that was boring as hell to play because that was the only way people would invite you into a party. Sure I was 'winning' the game, but I was having a miserable time doing it. The game was becoming a second job, I was running home from work just to log in and start accomplishing whatever tasks I needed to do that night in order to keep up with the game. When I dared do something else like watch a movie or play another game, I felt guilty because I was falling behind the rest of the linkshell and then I felt stressed out because I hard to work twice as hard to catch up/
One day while I was sitting for my second or third hour looking for a party, the heavens opened and everything in my brain just clicked. Here I was sitting around in real life watching my avatar sit around in a game (MMORPG Inception!), neither one of us enjoying ourselves. So I logged out the game and never returned. My Paladin may still be sitting around in Jeuno waiting for something, but I'm not.
I still play games (classic and modern), but I only play games that are fun and stay far far away from MMORPGs. I also balance gaming with a decently active (for a nerd anyway) social life and spending time with my non-gamer wife. When a game starts to become a second job it's time to sit back and question what you're doing. MMORPGs are insidious in this regard because they demand constant attention. If you put a MMORPG aside for a few weeks to do other things then you're several weeks behind and have to work twice as hard to catch up. With any other type of game you can wait months if not years to finish it and your game doesn't care, it's still there waiting for you and you're right where you were when you left.