You may or may not know that Sean is in a band: Widow Sunday. So, when he’s not hanging out with me, making me dinner and driving me to craft stores… he’s usually at band practice, playing shows, on tour, filming music videos, doing photo shoots, etc.
Seriously. It’s like a full-time job. So much in fact, that recently when people ask me what my husband does for work, I completely forget about his 9-5 and say almost immediately “he’s in a band”.
It’s a funny thing to date be married to someone who has a whole other life… that doesn’t always necessarily include you. And it’s so easy to get mad, or sad, or frustrated, or annoyed… that they’re unable to commit to attending a wedding two months from now, that they can’t take you on date night Friday night, or that they need to spend Sunday sleeping because they just played back-to-back shows for the last 3 nights. And it most definitely was so difficult trying to plan our own wedding!
I won’t claim to be a saint or a pro, or say that I’m the most accepting wife in the whole world. Nope. Don’t worry. There are definitely times that I whine and cry when I can’t have my way. But, here’s what I’ve learned in the three and a half years of being a touring musician’s girlfriend and new wife.
1. Get a life: Yep. You heard me. In so many relationships people are so dependent on each other. They do everything together. But in certain situations (like this) you need to have your own stuff to do. Have hobbies, have interests, have friends. Have things to occupy your time.
2. Support from afar: Seems mean? Well, it’s been my experience that my support is better suited from home. It’s unnecessary to attend band practices or go to every last show. It’s just impossible. If I did that… it would cut into all my time completing #1 (getting a life).
3. Be there when it counts: Not to say that every show isn’t a big deal. The fact that venues want their band to play and that people go out to see them every single time is a huge honor. But let’s face it: some shows are more “exciting” than others. Those are the times you should be there… in person.
4. Smile and wave: When you do go to shows there will inevitably be people there that you’ve never met before… and your husband/boyfriend/whoever will appear to be their best friend. Don’t worry about it. Smile, wave… they’ll introduce you eventually and then you’ll be expected to carry on by yourself for the night. It’s generally not okay to force them to stay with you, or to be mad when they can’t sit and talk to you the entire night. Try to mingle. If you’re like me and have trouble with that… just try NOT to be on your phone playing apps the whole night. It’s really not acceptable.
5. Appreciate and show respect: At shows especially… you need to clap. For everyone. Even if you strongly disliked the band that opened for them. Clap. Smile and wave. Tell them how great they were. On a similar note: as awful as it is… it’s really easy to judge other people when you see them. It’s important to remember that everyone at their shows… enjoys their band in some way (at least enough to bring themselves to buy a ticket and make it out). So don’t make fun of their fans. Don’t start anything. You never know who they may know.
6. Communicate: Clearly, with busy schedules it’s easy to lose track of time and miss a call-in. So, don’t set your guy up for failure. Leave things open-ended, “call me from the venue” rather than, “call me at 7”. On the same note, in the age of smart phones it’s really easy to keep in touch. Just make sure they pack their phone charger.
7. Don’t interfere: It’s not okay to manage the band. I guess, unless you’re paid to do so. But even then — Sharon Osbourne was definitely in the wrong. So don’t be a Sharon. The band is theirs… not yours. And while your home life and living situation may ride solely on the success of said band… know your place and stay there.
8. Keep your ears open: They will consistently ask you to listen to their newest song. Make sure you listen. It’s their craft, their passion and their love. Just like you want him to dote over your brand new DIY project… he wants you to notice the work he’s put into his music. Can you blame him?
9. Accept and embrace: Plans will get canceled or changed or modified. Things will have to be cut short, moved around or postponed indefinitely. There will be tears (from your end, I presume) but it’s okay. Accept it. And embrace it. Or else, you’ll just be bitter.
10. Fear not: Music may come first (even though he says it doesn’t) but I promise if you do the rest of these things… you’ll be a very close second. Maybe even a 1.5.