Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Struggles of a Band Wife

As most of you know, Leland plays in 2.5 bands. He joined his first band shortly after we started dating and played with the same guys until a year ago. When he played in that band it rarely got in the way of our relationship. I liked when he went to band practice and enjoyed seeing him play. They usually played shows every other weekend. Last October that band broke up because we were planning on moving.

At first we both really liked that he didn’t have band practice three times a week and I especially loved that I didn’t have to hear them practice in my basement three times a week. We were in a state of bliss.

That only lasted about a month.

After that we started arguing all the time. We were always together and were getting pretty damn sick of each other. During the summer it became clear that Leland needed to play in a band again. I needed some time to myself and he needed to do something that made him so happy. So he joined a cover band that plays hard rock music. A week after that, he was invited to join a death metal band. Since Leland is metal at heart, he couldn’t pass it up. I even encouraged it. I was happy for him and was happy to see him so happy.

For the past few months, Leland was practicing with both bands but only playing shows with the cover band. He played maybe one show a month. I thought it was perfect.

Now the metal band is ready to start playing out and the other guitar player is booking shows like crazy. Between both bands, he is playing a show nearly every single weekend. This does not make me happy. I have and will always support his music, but I cannot handle not being able to plan things for our life because he is booked with gigs. The madness has just started and it is already getting on my nerves.

What’s a band wife to do? I don’t want to tell him what he can and can’t do, but I also don’t want to miss out on doing things that I want us to do together because of the band. Do I try and limit the amount of shows he plays each month? Or do I let him do what he wants and then hope that he will realize that he is missing out on time spent with me? I tried talking to him about it and he says it will only last for a little while, just until the metal band gets more exposure. But in my experience, the more exposure a band gets means that they are offered more shows.

I’m getting frustrated. Can you tell?

26 comments:

Adorably Distracted... said...

I go through the same thing with hubs job... he's a college soccer coach... practice every day and games on the weekend and some week nights. I feel like my weekends are shot and I hated it the first year!! COULDN'T STAND it! This past year it actually grew on me. It's part of who makes us who. And I've learned to live with working around games and such because of how much he enjoys it. Some times it just takes a while to get used to things! good luck!

Kaela said...

Hmmm this is tough. You don't want to be demanding but you want your needs met as well. Personally I think him choosing one band is a good compromise, although that brings you back to worrying about being demanding.

I would maybe ask for a more concrete definition of what "a little while is". If it's a month, you can probably muscle through it by using that time to accomplish some goal of yours. If it's longer than you would like, tell him how you're feeling and hope he takes that into consideration!

Dual Mom said...

Hope that the band really sucks and no one books them?

I got nothing for you. Most people bug me so the alone time wouldn't bother me at all!

sarah said...

hmm that's tough. if it were *me* i'd say give it some time... a couple months if you can stand it... and see what happens. who knows, one (or both) of the bands could break up for one reason or another! but because it's his passion and it's clear you want to be supportive, i wouldn't try limiting or stifling it...just yet. however, i think like kaela said, you two need to have a frank discussion on what exactly "a little while" is, and what the next steps you two will take if "a little while" starts looking like "a long while," and so forth. good luck, girl!

Heidi said...

Awe, that does sound tough...

Maybe ya'll just need a little sit down time to just talk about it - discuss reasonable expectations BOTH of you have about his gig/band commitments. I agree, choosing one band, sounds like a good direction too...

He says it's only for a 'season' okay, so what is a reasonable amount of time for that season to end you may ask.

Then, when that time comes sit down and re-evaluate - has it slowed down? If not, then what changes need to be made?

Make sure to focus on how you feel about the situation (do you feel lonely? un-important? share that) - the fact that you MISS HIM and the time you'll not have together rather than focusing on 'letting' him do something.

If you let him know your needs and concerns, yet give him the freedom to make a good decision, hopefully he'll take your feelings to heart while deciding.

I think balance is key - try to come to a common understanding about what that looks like for both of you.

Sassy Chica said...

so cool for you hubby, yet I can see how this can be disturbing for you...I have no expertise in this area, therefore will not offer an opinion either way. I will however keep my fingers crossed and a wishful heart all works for the best for you and your Rocker Hubby!

Smooches,
Sassy Chica

Intense Guy said...

If the band thing takes off - he may end up quitting the "day job"... so make sure he signs a good contract!

(Serious, Heidi said it all)

Melissa B. said...

My BIL is a jazz man. Which makes my Lil' Sis a Band Widow, I guess. She goes along with the guys sometimes, and also works as their PR person, but there are some nights when he's out working and she's doing her own thing. It's a life that she enjoys, but I imagine there has to be a lot of give and take in their relationship to make it work...

Tracy said...

As a coach's wife of 16 years, I can tell you I understand. My husband was gone the entire time my kids were growing up - it was needed (money) but it was so lonely at times. hugs.

aladdinsane12 said...

i say start your own band, some jem-esque kinda thing, get bigger than both of lee's bands, and then see how the tables have turned!

seriously though, i would probably wait a couple of months, see how things are progressing, and if they don't change, remind him of what he said about the gigs slowing down a bit.

heartinhand said...

I've been married to a workaholic sports nut for twenty years, so I totally get that whole taking a backseat thing. What you need to do is tell him how you feel and then go out and do your own thing. Don't sit there and wait around for him, go out there and live your life. Someday, you'll have kids tying you down (?) and you'll wish you would have gone and done things. So do them now. Hang with girlfriends and take that time to do things just for you. Then when he's ready to be with you, you'll be ready to be with him too. Give take yin yang.

michelleFFTL said...

i have a fair few friends in bands and i think its a bit harder to arrange things with them because of their bands, so its kind of similar. I think maybe the best thing he could maybe do is choose their shows wisely.. Not all publicity is good publicity..
But i think talking about it a bit more seems like a good idea, wait a little while, like one or two months, and tell him you really love the fact that you are getting your alone time, but your missing him alot too, just don't blackmail him and it should be fine haha.

xx

carma said...

very interesting theory Leland has - of course more exposure will lead to more gigs!!!!! You are best to step in now before things get outta control. MB is now getting together with all sorts of skating buddies here, there and everywhere. Always plans. Not quite the same as being a band wife, but still frustrating!!

Speak your mind. You don't strike me as one to suffer in silence ;-)

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

Sorry! I am no help because I, like Dual Mom, love my alone time!!! But I can understand your situation.

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Gosh, I'm racking my brain here. My husband is a geek so the only group he'd be ask to join is "Pocket Protectors Club" or "I Love Bill Gates Association." But I think that if it were me, I would give it a trial period. Say that you'll let him try it for ___ amount of time to see how it goes for both of you. Then you could both reevalate the situation and see what you could live it. Hugs and I hope it works out!

"And so our stories go..." said...

My husband and I never try to tell each other what to do or "limit" things. However, I love to be alone and so does he. Sorry I can't help.
Mary

Gregorio Martino said...

I can tell and you have good reason to be upset. I too think it will lead to more and more time on the road and less and less time with you. If there were some end in sight that would be different. Best of luck to you.

Duchess of Tea said...

Thank you darling for your good wishes, we both appreciate it tremendously. My dad had a marvelous time and is already looking forward to his next birthday.

Love & Hugs
Duchess

WhiteSockGirl said...

You frustrated? Never! Did not even notice,..

Ok, seriously now,... I am in no position to tell you what to do, and what not. Not my thing to prescribe to people. Plus, I would only advice people if they want to royally mess up their relationships. I am an expert in that field.

From what I have read thus far on your blog, you two have a really solid relationship. So, I am confident you would totally sail through this, and come up with the right answers. You always do.
Strongs, girl, strongs!

WhisperingWriter said...

I'm not sure. Do you have to go to all his gigs? I'd just let him go alone sometimes.

TheSingleGirl said...

There is never any in between, I'm tellin' ya.

I don't have a band man. But I DO have a man who currently has 2 project vehicles going. He works all week, so guess what the weekends get used for?! Engines and primer and trannies (not the he/she male kind) and spark plug bullshit.

I feel your pain. Kind of. I put my foot down about being abandoned both weekend days in my least confrontational kind of way.

*Balance vibes for you*

allycupe said...

Thanks for stopping by on my SITS day, I greatly appreciate it, and now I'm here to spread the comment-love!

By the way I could challenge you to the whole best parallel parking in the world thing. I'm spectacular at it...I'd kick your ass...just sayin'

Secretia said...

I think it's ok for you to want quality alone time with him. It's easy to become over-obligated to things, sounds like he is. Hope you work it out!

Secretia

sarah said...

just stopping by to let you know there's an award with your name on it on my blog! come see and have a great day! xoxo, sarah

kys said...

I'd probably wait it out a while and see if things slow down or not.

Enjoy your alone time while you can. It could be worse, you could be getting on each other's nerves again.

Michelle Hoad said...

I feel your pain. For me, it's not a band, it's hunting. My husband has one lease and told me yesterday that he wants a second lease. It's not so much the money (I'm lying) but the time away from home. He is already gone every other weekend hunting one, but to hunt two, he will be gone constantly. UGGGHHHH.