In full disclaimer I must admit that I am writing this “advice” post as I near the end of what’s been one of my most emotionally difficult weeks of this year. In the midst of new city challenges, missing my touring husband, struggling with reoccurring health issues, having half of our house’s flooring ripped out to the sub floor (which spreads a nice chemical dust from the 1960’s linoleum all over the house), I finally got to the end of the week and woke up to a bed bug?tick?weird flea? infestation on Saturday morning when most of the pest control places are closed. That was it. I lost it. I pretty much cried the whole day and just wished over and over again that I could have a “normal” husband that was a dentist or some guy in an accounting department. Someone who could have been there to help me get ready for the floor demo and move that 54″ tv out of the den a few days before. Or maybe he could have been home when the flooring workers forgot to put our couch back inside from the car port at the end of the workday and I had to figure out how to drag it into the garage by myself. Or just there to give me a hug when I wake up in a bed covered in bugs that several exterminators can’t identify.
Over the years I’ve been away from the one I love most on birthdays, Valentine’s Days, New Years Eves, Thanksgivings, and I even graduated from a Masters program without him there to cheer me on. I’ve had multiple breakdowns triggered by lawnmowers not starting and at least one that involved a jar that I couldn’t open. It’s not easy. I never want to make it seem like I don’t have dark days (or dark weeks for that matter) in dealing with this life, but I also don’t want to dwell on the negatives too much and give them more power than they should have. So, just remember through all these thoughts on how I try to make this work that I, too, have days when I don’t know if I can do it anymore and wish I didn’t have to. But, like everything in life, there are pros and cons and I’m sure those dentists and accountants have struggles in their lives as well…here’s what I would suggest:
1.) Make the time you have together special. This simply means you should have fun and do special things together when he is around! I know it’s SO easy to get sad the closer it gets to them leaving, but instead of pouting for 3 days before he leaves like I used to, I try to enjoy every last second instead. Make the most of the moments you do have and when he’s gone, use that time to dream up special things to do when he gets back. Having events to look forward to can really help mentally and it makes the time go faster since you are prepping for those things in the meantime. I love shopping anyways, but it’s always more fun to go look specifically for something to wear when I go visit him on tour next or a dress for when we go on a “yay, you’re home!” date.
2.) Learn to communicate well. This one is a big deal. Being apart can set people on edge and it’s easier to get into fights over stupid stuff that wouldn’t normally matter. Since we’ve known each other for 13 years already (I met him when I was 17) we went through the rough learning-to-comminicate stage of the relationship years before we got married, so we’ve had really good communication since then when we are together. However, add in the distance, off hours, time zones, international calling challenges, and Skype cutting in and out (I can hear you…can you hear me? wait, you’re frozen), and it’s not as easy to keep your cool. From the moment he leaves until he comes back, I feel like I’m just one bad event away from a breakdown and that mental room that you usually have between going from calm to panic mode just disappears. It’s like you’re always living on the edge of a cliff and one stubborn spaghetti jar lid can push you over the edge. Anyways, do whatever you can to work on your communication skills (see a professional if you need to) and then learn how to adjust that as needed once all the stresses of touring are added to the equation. Also, try and be in touch with each other as much as you can! Send videos and text photos of what you’re up to during the day so you feel more connected, write letters or postcards, send him with notes to read throughout the trip, stuff like that. I usually have a post-it note from Todd up on the mirror while he’s gone so I can see it everyday. It’s the little things that help.
3.) Set a “time apart” rule (and stick to it). It’s really important to sit down and talk about what your max time apart will be. This may be different for each couple, but agree that you won’t go more than x amount of time without seeing each other when he’s away. Try and stick to that agreement as best you can, even if it means spending extra money for flights during long tours—it really helps. Because flights can get expensive, I have a monthly fund that I put money into called the “Laura See Todd” fund. That way, I always have money I can use when I need to buy a plane ticket to go out for a few days. And as time goes on and seasons change, your time apart agreement can be flexible too. Our agreement used to be longer but I reached a point where I just couldn’t do that long anymore so we shortened the gap. Most wives will say they have a two week breaking point where they feel pretty good when he leaves, but once it hits two weeks apart they start to lose it a bit…
4.) Have something to do while he’s gone. Throwing yourself into something you love helps the time go so much faster and gives you a distraction from wallowing in sadness. So get that degree you’ve always wanted to earn, start painting, running, cooking, or blogging—whatever! Just give yourself a sense of purpose outside of work hours if you don’t already have some solid hobbies. I like picking a home improvement project to do while Todd’s gone and there’s been a few times where he’s come home and I’ve completely repainted or made over a room and it was a really therapeutic and fun way to focus my energy during those weeks. If you need to have a day or two at times to binge on Netflix and snacks with the curtains drawn, that’s ok too. I usually have a few dark days when he first leaves on a long trip where feel too down to be creative, but just don’t let yourself stay in that place. Get up and get moving eventually.
5.) If possible, get a pet! (Or at least a human support group) Probably the best thing I’ve even done is add two little furballs to my life. My kitties keep me from feeling lonely more than anyone could ever know and it’s great having another heartbeat around the house when you feel a little down. They can’t help me move tvs or couches, but they help in lots of other ways. If you really can’t get an animal due to housing restrictions, try volunteering at a local animal shelter. They always need helpers to work with the animals and those furry guys will end up helping you more than you are helping them. Having a few close friends that know how to cheer you up when you need it is also a big help. Whether they are fellow band wives or not, just people that care and can come help you when you need it are invaluable. My personal faith in God is also a big thing for me as well and helps me keep life in perspective. It’s good to be reminded when Todd is gone that I’m never alone and I’m always being watched over and cared for.
6.) Complain just the right amount. Look, you feel alone, everything is wrong, life sucks, and it’s all his fault—I know! But, you have to be careful with how much you complain directly to your guy about all those feelings. Too little honesty about your inner thoughts will disconnect you and you’ll end up bottling up your resentment until you eventually explode, but letting him hear every complaint will not go well either. You should be able to express how you feel with him, but remember that it’s stressful to be the person on the road too and if every time he talks to you, you are crying, complaining, and blaming him, well, neither of you are going to enjoy the communication you do have when you’re apart. Believe me, I made that mistake for a long time until I realized it was hurting and not helping the situation. It feels like it’s his fault that he’s gone and you should get to whine about it, but it’s not good for every conversation to be only about that. He feels bad he’s gone, you feel bad he’s gone, and nothing really gets resolved (unless he decides to actually quit his job) and then you spent all your phone minutes that day on sad things. Try and have good connections and conversations when possible, vent to him on your really bad days (totally cool), but have a girlfriend or hobby that will distract you or let you vent the rest of the time.
7.) Trust is key. One thing I hear a lot about in emails from other band wives/girlfriends is that they do trust their guy buuuuuut “you never know what can happen on the road with all those fans around” so it makes them nervous. I’m sure that there are cases where trust has been broken before and that makes being apart so much worse, but being able to fully trust your partner takes that anxiety out of the equation and makes being away from each other a little easier. It’s not that you are naive and only live in a world of rainbows and sunshine, but being apart and having trust issues do not necessarily go hand in hand. I know a lot of people that miss their guy, but don’t have anxiety in that area because of the relationship they keep going and they have measures to keep that trust in place. There are for sure bands that are more and less “family friendly” and I love that he works with other people that are just as committed to their wives and family. There’s no bro code where anyone is covering for anyone else’s stupid choices on the road. They do things like only hire dude merch workers and crew to keep anything from potentially getting weird, and as a wife, I really appreciate that. So, that being said, I know this is a lot easier if you don’t have a past where trust was an issue or valid reasons, but if trust isn’t strong between you right now, consider seeing a counselor who can help build it back up again. Totally worth it!
Sooo, how do you handle this life if you have kids? Ok, I’ll give you my short answer here—I have no idea!! We only have two cats, so I can’t even begin to give advice on this one. I definitely see the struggles other wives have, especially once the kids are old enough to know when their Dad is gone, but I haven’t gone through it myself so I’m really not qualified to speak about it. I will say though that it’s been one of the reasons we haven’t had kids yet. The idea of a helpless tiny human is scary enough for this professional worrier, but thinking about having to do it alone a lot of the time (while still trying to work) is terrifying. I don’t have my family living in the same city as some do (which seems so helpful if you can pull that off) so even though we still want to have kids someday, I have no idea how other people do it. If you have advice on this, then let me know!
Side note: I have heard a few times over the years that I’m just “using my husband’s fame instead of being my own person” and I’m a shell of a human that must be totally dependent on his career and can’t do anything original of my own and blah blah blah. First of all, if I was trying to live off of his “fame” well, then I didn’t pick a very clever strategy because while they do well for being a professional band, they aren’t exactly The Beatles and most random strangers I meet in the grocery store aren’t familiar with their work. I mean, I hope their notoriety continues to rise because they deserve it, but just being Todd’s wife at the moment hasn’t propelled me to the big leagues of anything in that sense.
I certainly never feel like I’m so one-dimensional that I only have being a band wife to offer to people. I present myself on this blog (and in my posts over on ABM) as a whole person that talks about lots of different things, not just the band wife aspect. But the title “ the band wife/blogger/artist/singer/cat lover/pizza fanatic/theology buff/shopping addict” is too long to make into a blog title, so I couldn’t really use every aspect of my life as the visual theme. It’s just one part of me, not the whole thing, but it’s a part that affects my life A LOT—much more than the other adjectives. It’s a very big deal to have the person you’re married to gone for up to 9 months out of the year and that can’t help but get into every aspect of your life. I don’t always know his schedule past a week or two unless he’s out on a pre-booked tour, so it makes planning our life extremely difficult. I never even know if I can throw him a birthday party until the week before because he may not be here and it’s impossible to plan big trips and be certain he can go (he had to miss half our trip to Costa Rica last year when shows were scheduled at the last minute).This career choice effects everything we do as a family. And on the flip side, while it’s totally true that I am a “band wife” so Todd is a “blogger husband” and has to deal with all the photo shoots and home decor choices that go along with his title. It’s not who he is overall, but he has to deal with certain things having a wife for a full-time blogger.
And in that same “your life is all about your man” aspect, I think for a healthy relationship, it’s got to be give and take on both sides and not just about him. He has to listen to what you need and support you in following your dreams as well or it becomes very uneven. While I spend a lot of time supporting Todd, he spends just as much time supporting me and being willing to sacrifice on his end for my dreams and wellbeing. And for me, it makes a big difference that I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I ever said I can’t do it anymore and Todd had to pick touring or me, he would choose me. But, in the same way, he knows that I would never ask that unless I was really at the end of my rope. I can’t just throw that threat around because I had a bad day. It’s the big red button to be used in a real emergency only. And hey, not everyone has to tour forever. I mean, your guy could be in The Rolling Stones and still playing out in his 70’s and you do this life for a long, long time, but maybe you agree that this is for a season and someday he’ll do a more stationary role in music (or whatever else) and be home more. Not everyone has to travel in music forever.
And just one more thought before I conclude this pep talk. This life, well, it’s not for everyone. If you just started dating a musician and you think, “I don’t know if I can or want to do this life” then maybe it’s not for you and you need to walk away even if he is a great guy. If you are married to a musician then I obviously hope you can work it out in some way if you realize you can’t do the band wife thing since marriage is a serious commitment, but don’t feel like a failure if you aren’t built to handle it or can’t handle it forever. People have different tolerances and different breaking points so you really have to dig deep and know what’s possible and worth it for both of you. I will say that it’s true that you don’t know how strong you are until life demands that level of strength. While I’ve had my share of weaknesses, I’ve also surprised myself at how resilient I can be. For me, right now, it’s still worth it. Even with the week I’ve had, even with making the scary jump of moving to a new city for his career, when I see him play and doing what he should be doing I know in my heart it’s worth it. I may not feel that way forever, and if I eventually don’t I know we will navigate that new chapter together, but today, right now, I’m proud to be all the many things things that make up my whole person. And for good and bad, being a band wife is one of those things. It’s like I always remind myself, “It’s not how long you wait, it’s who you’re waiting for.” If you are also a band wife, you aren’t crazy or irrational to miss the other half of your heartbeat. It’s normal and I’m right there with you.
Hurry home Todd. Your girl is here waiting…
Every couple really is different, and I love hearing about how you and Todd make it work. Thank you for your honesty in sharing about the dark days!! My wife is visiting her family in Virginia (for just a week) right now, and while I enjoyed the solitude at first, it’s tough being solely responsible for the dog/cooking/cleaning/hosting. You’re tough, mama!!
My husband is also in a band and has been for the last few years (he was in one in college as well but took a few years off as we established careers etc…) Luckily his current band does not tour so he is usually not away more than 2 days at a time while he goes to record. He did travel for shows from 2012-2014, mostly just extended weekends. After 2 years I was having a hard time handling him being gone almost every weekend and was really happy when he decided to leave the band to pursue his own project that wouldn’t be playing live. Even though my husband was never gone for as long as Todd is, I can really relate and appreciate these types of posts as I am sure other band wives do as well. It’s always good to be reminded that you’re not the only one going through this and to see tips on how to not let it get to you. Love your blog in general and your posts on ABM! I hope everything starts to look up for you regarding the flooring and bugs!
I (thankfully!) don’t have to do long distance anymore, but I found a great app while my partner and I were apart that makes communication that much better. It’s called couple and it’s fantastic. I would highly recommend for any couples!
Thanks so much for this post. My long-term boyfriend travels regularly with a band and is gone an average of 2-3 weeks at a time. There have certainly been ups and downs and it takes a lot of trust and understanding to make it work. I love reading your posts to know that there are others like me that have the same struggles, but in the end wouldn’t trade their guys for anything! Good luck with the renovations!
OMG I feel so bad for you! What a terrible week you’ve endured! I have a serious phobia of bed bugs so waking up to that infestation would’ve sent me straight to the mental institute — or I would’ve burned the house down with no remorse. 😉 I hope they get all that straightened out soon. Wishing you much sunnier skies!!
Oh, and I live in Nashville so if you need a helping hand with a rouge couch on the carport again let me know! 😉
Thank you for this!!! I can relate in a same but different way – my boyfriend (of 3 years) works in commercial photography and this year has been a huge travel year for him. He’s been gone 20 weeks total so far this year, some of that was 3-4 weeks at a time. So I definitely have gone through those different phases like you talked about – I used to get angry at him on the phone and we would waste our only QT to talk fighting. I also used to say/text “I miss you” alot but i realized that’s not so productive either. So I have to force myself to see the positive and instead of saying I miss you, I’ll replace it with “I love you” or “I’m thinking about you” with a funny meme or video so it makes us laugh as opposed to feel bad.
And omg – trust. Touche.
I totally understand how you feel….my husband is a fire captain so we don’t live the typical “normal” scheduled life either. (He’s also in a band so many times when he is home, he’s off practicing with them!) We’ve been married 17 years and he’s a had a crazy schedule the whole time, we’ve got 2 kids (11 and 13)….while at times I do feel like a single mom, to the kids it’s normal dad isn’t always home. It can be frustrating when others just don’t get how our schedule works, firefighters work 24 hour shifts and sometimes for days and weeks. Great blog post and just remember you’re not alone!
There’s nothing that ruins the ego more than people thinking that what they are doing with their life is bigger, better and more fulfilling than what you are doing with yours. Happiness is relative. What makes them happy and fulfilled may not have the same effect on you, at the exact same time that it has an effect on them. Some people like to walk the same path as others, and others like to make their own. They need to pay attention to theirs and not judge/pity others who live a “different” life. You are on your way to somewhere where they are not supposed to be and more than likely you lead a happier, more fulfilling life than them.
Whenever I encounter a sly comment from another person (women mostly, which is worse), I think about this. It’s a reminder that this life is not for everyone and that’s ok. When I look around and notice those women’s lives–you know them, the ones that “pity” you–more often than not they have a normal relationship and that’s great for them. Women like us however, we don’t settle for normal. We want extraordinary and that’s exactly what you have. 🙂
This post was so great to read. I was in a relationship with a touring punk musician for years and it was extremely hard for me. While we weren’t married, I faced many of the challenges you listed, here. I wish I could have read this back then, it would have given me some much needed encouragement!
I really like you. 🙂
Love this post! Rings true for lots of types of relationships. 🙂
Cute beanie and cool jacket 🙂
BLOG M&MFASHIONBITES : http://mmfashionbites.blogspot.gr/
I really appreciate and enjoyed this post! I’m not a band wife, but my man works complete opposite schedule of me (day shift/night shift). Even though we live under the same roof, it feels like we never see each other. So this post rang close to home. Thanks for being open and sharing your thoughts!
From one certified, bonified, professional worrier to another, thank you for such a heartfelt account of life as a band wife. My husband is a scientist and spends time away from home, too. I relate to all you’ve shared and struggle with many of the points you’ve made. My biggest struggle is not resenting him for being away – its not his choice – its his job. So, when I become a little crusty, I make sure to pull back and take a deep breath. In the end, he does his job not only because he loves it, but its his calling….as being his wife is mine! XO
This is such an awesome post. I so appreciate you opening up with honesty and vulnerability. It makes your blog feel so genuine. My husband was in the marine corps infantry for the first 4 years of our marriage and I feel like between trainings and deployments our lifestyle had some similarities for sure. I can understand the feeling of “okay my husband is not here and Its the middle of the night and there are fleas all over the puppy we just rescued. (insert all the FML emojis). Or it’s three am on a Sunday and my front load washing machine just opened mid load and flooded my entire apartment and husband is literally on the other side of the planet. It’s not so much that you can’t handle those thing alone. Its that feeling of being on a team without your team mate that just sucks. One thing I would do to cope is have things planned to look forward to when he WASNT home too. I would have special yoga classes and snow board trips and fun things that I enjoy that my husband may not love as much as I do. Then even though I was bummed that he was gone I still had my Sunday soccer game or next months snow board trip to look forward to. Hang in there and good luck with the bugs!
I 100% needed to read this. My husband is no longer in a band but he travels 5-6 months out of the year for his job. It’s so difficult and the way you described feeling on the edge all the time is exactly how I feel when he is gone. He started traveling for work 3 years ago and has added on a few more weeks each year, this year being the worst. But! I am navigating my way through it and learning to love our crazy life. Thank you for being honest and open about your life. You are a gem.
Thank you so much for your post! My boyfriend (of almost 14 years!) is also a musician, and my work also has me traveling a good bit. Your list really helped put things into perspective as I’m in New Zealand at a work conference and he just flew home to the US for gigs. I couldn’t have read your post at a better time! Thank you for being you and sharing – I needed this! 🙂
I feel you ! Even though my other half is home almost every night, I definitely identify with this struggle of jar opening !
Thank you for also sharing the bad, and well done for being such a good band wife (this post makes me feel bad for my latest comment…)
Oh, don’t worry Manon! You asked about it in a kind way, and that’s totally fine. I have just had it said in a less kind manner, and that’s what I was talking about. You’re totally fine!
my man spent half a year abroad. fulfilling his greatest wish to ride his bike half around the world. while i am home working and studying part-time following my dream. with him coming back in 3 weeks we did manage this whole thing amazingly good. although we missed each other very much, there were no allegations, nobody made claims and there was no whining on both sides.
“when someone ele’s happiness is your happiness, thats love”
Oh, Laura! I feel you, lady! My husband and I live in Nashville – he is a touring musician as well – and I have handled 99% of all the moving details each time we’ve moved. We recently bought a house here since we know we’re settled now and both came up with the grand idea of painting all of the kitchen cabinets (which I know you just did too) – and when I say “we” I mean “me.” And I’m so over it. I have learned how to do many things on my own as well as kill many spiders all by myself (I’m still not ok that one.) I agree with you though – throwing yourself into other things (especially creative things or if you’re insane like me, you sign up for a 5K), planning girl nights, etc. It’s a strange life somedays but knowing that he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing – and is happy doing – definitely helps.
(At least Nashville offers warmer weather?? Yay for that?!)
I really enjoyed reading this. I am not in the same situation, but due to the circumstances I am living alone (with furry friends!) and recognize the struggles you are writing about. Actually, your topic is very universal, it is about how to live your live on your own and be in a firm relationship with someone at the same time.
I know you’re incredibly busy with ABM and the move, but I wish you’d post more frequently! I love your blog! From one Pittsburgh gal to another 🙂
OMG he’s so lucky to have you!
I’m leaving my boyfriend right now… one of the reasons is that he trains hard for triathlons and has very little time for his relationship. sigh.
I know how hard it is……
I envy your love and commitment. you go girl!
I’m not a band wife but can totally relate. My boyfriend travels every other month to China for work and I hate it. It got old fast and I have those same struggles. I never woke up in a bed full of unidentifiable bugs (ah!) but there is this dark cloud that looms over me when he’s away. I eat cereal for dinner a lot mainly because I just don’t have the energy to cook another meal for one. It’s hard hanging out with other couples and feeling like the third wheel. He misses out on so much back home when he’s gone. I can’t imagine what that will be like when we have kids. I can imagine you have these same fears (if you want kids that is!). Thanks for those tips! And I think Todd is super lucky to have a lady like you. 🙂
Such a great post Laura. Thanks for being so open and honest too. You rock and are a big inspiration!
Wow. Thank you for this post. I totally relate. My husband is also a musician and this post really resonates with me. His travelling has lessened over the past few years, but now he owns a recording studio and is working 20 hours a day some days/weeks in a row depending on the project. I even have a fur-baby that could be Charlie’s twin brother ;). Whenever I feel really down about how much my life is effected by my partner’s career choice I think to myself “Would he be the best version of himself if he sacrificed this passion?”. I know he wouldn’t. This is what makes his blood flow. I am grateful to have such an amazing partner that inspires me with his passion and creativity. That being said, dealing with bed bugs all by yourself is a kind of hell-on-earth.
My thoughts are with you during this particularly difficult time. We love reading your blog, so feel free to post more to use up time 😉
I love this post! I have been in a very similar situation, though due to different circumstances. To make a long story short, my husband was transferred overseas a few years ago when we were still just dating; I basically dropped school, my work, social life, etc. to go with him, and he wound up traveling a lot of the time. I can definitely relate to the huge learning curve that comes with having a traveling spouse. I especially like that you mentioned about complaing the right amount. I think it can be hard to not feel a bit of resentment (even though you’re trying your hardest not to!), especially when you’re having a bad day or week. I found I had to consciously remind myself that it was a choice we had made together to be in that situation.
Hang in there, girl! You’re so not alone in this.
This was a fantastic post. I loved it so much (my boyfriend is not in a band, but he is an actuarial consultant so he’s gone every week Monday-Thursday in a different state and timezone), and I love how many people were able to connect with it. You are an amazing, strong person. Thank you for sharing this advice, and thank you for being the band wife/blogger/artist/singer/cat lover/pizza fanatic/theology buff/shopping addict. I hope your week gets better!
I live in Amsterdam and just saw that Mutemath is coming to town in February!! Will you be coming along for that trip? It would be fun to meet you! 🙂
Oh man, I wish I could! Sounds like they are tight on space for that trip, so I don’t think wives can come this time. Wish I could! Hope you get to go!
This. This is amazing. I first met my now-husband almost 7 years ago when his band first officially started to tour. I was going through a pretty difficult transition and then having to learn to how deal with him traveling and being gone a lot was definitely a learning experience. I remember during those early days just loving our times together but also fighting a lot. We dated for 2 years before we got engaged and slowly each year, the band would pick up more and more dates. Now they’re at the point where we go to church together maybe 5-10 times together a year. If he was traveling this much when we were first dating, I don’t think we could have handled it. I love my husband. I love his ministry. I love being a part of it. But boy oh boy is it one of the most selfless things I could do. A lot of my friends don’t understand and don’t really care to truly understand. They always end up saying in such a sad tone ‘awe, David is gone again?’ Well, yes, obviously he’s gone because he isn’t with me. Every week/month/year is different (as I’m sure you can understand) but I wouldn’t change this crazy life for anything. Oh, and we just moved to Nashville like 3 weeks ago and he’s gone for 15 days so yeah, this adjustment has been interesting for sure ;).
I know this is an old post but I somehow came across it just when I needed to! I’ve commented before because my husband is a baseball coach so is gone for all of spring training/baseball season.(about 8 months) We are in the middle of moving (or should I say I am in the middle of moving) he’s not home so I am coordinating everything (4 out of 5 moves I have done alone) the apartment we were renting in the meantime had a mice issue (which seriously grosses me out) and I finally had a breakdown! Unless you’ve done it I think its hard to understand just how hard it can be to be alone when shit hits the fan. I’ve definitely had some “I can’t get the jar open” meltdowns! We have an every 3 week rule, and I won’t go any longer than that not seeing him or I’m contemplating suicide (I kid) it doesn’t help that we have opposite schedules (night games when I have to be up at 6am.) But It definitely helps just hearing that I am not alone in the struggle. Maybe someday I will be able to go with him every season but that’s not happening yet! 🙂
Moving by yourself is THE WORST!! Blech! I had a major breakdown when our house was infested with ticks this past year, so I totally get that desperation. So sorry you’re in your tough season of the year, hang in there, you aren’t alone!
Thank you!!! Your blog post saved me today. My boyfriend who I currently live with is about to leave for his first (major, longer than 2 week) tour and I have been having totally hard feelings about it. Trying to be super optimistic and plan girls weekend trips and fill my time with my kitties and projects as well. Thank you thank you for all of this blog! He’s also the biggest Mutemath fan ever and we’ve seen them play many times in LA. Just again, thank you.
Aw, so glad it could be helpful to you Ariana! Hang in there, you aren’t alone!! 🙂
I’m not a band wife but the lead singer in a rock band. Our guitar players wife is unhappy and wants him to quit. I dont know how to help or if I even should. I can understand how she feels but its becoming a problem.
Well, it’s definitely an issue that needs to be decided by them (not a whole lot you can do about it) but I guess if you have control over trying to make the schedule and atmosphere as family friendly as you can, that can sometimes go a long way! But yeah, ultimately it’s something they need to figure out if they want to continue or not…
Ooooh girl, bless this post. I need it right now. Been dating a pretty well off band guy for about a year and a half now and though it doesn’t get any harder, it deffo doesn’t get any easier when he’s away. It’s harder to make trips to visit him too since the other guys and I don’t get along. They’re on tour with mumford right now though so I should be more psyched
Aw, good! Glad it was helpful for you! It doesn’t really get any easier for me either but just remember you aren’t alone and hang in there!
Thank you so much for this post – it was truly helpful. My boyfriend is in a well known band. He has been gone all month, and will be gone all of January. It’s a lot. My biggest issue is the “trust” part… How do you not worry about other women on tour? It’s so hard because I trust him, but I don’t trust THEM (the women). I find that I’m fine when he’s communicating, but it’s when he hasn’t responded for hours when I start to overthink things. How can you calm your thoughts during these moments of anxiousness?
I know it’s hard sometimes, but I think it really does come down to trusting your guy at the end of the day. I can’t stop girls from flirting or trying to get backstage and I’ve been 10 feet away from Todd while he’s getting an offer for a 3-way (the girl didn’t seem to mind that I was in the room) but I trust Todd to react to such behavior in a certain way and that confidence is what keeps me from worrying about that stuff. Like I said, I think it’s different if you’ve had real reasons to mistrust someone in the past and counseling is probably needed to keep that relationship in a healthy place, but we have established boundaries set up to help each of us make smart decisions when we are apart and we need to make sure our communication is always healthy and adjust if it’s not. So, I don’t trust other girls either, but I do trust my guy and since I also know that he’s human (like I am) and people can make mistakes we have set rules to keep us from getting in the position where it would be easier to a mistake. But even if you do all those things you still have to let go and fully trust until you have a real reason not to, and that’s the scary part of being in love and sharing a life with someone, but the flipside is that you are always worrying and kind of miserable and that’s no fun either…hope that helps!
I don’t even have a boyfriend but it was honestly so refreshing to read this as a 25 year old woman who hasn’t found someone to spend forever with. Like you said, building that strong communication is key. This whole post had me almost in tears (but I am at work so I had to hold back) I must be super emotional. Thanks for letting your heart and soul out here it helps more than you know! You are such an inspirational lady, beautiful and kind – hardworking and humble. <3
Aw, so glad it could be helpful to you! Thanks for reading Mackenzie!
I need help, Been happy Married for 20 years he has been in soooooo many bands i have done my best always but it seems the older i get its getting harder and even worse now he is in three bands and the new one is a girl singer and they text every day for there new band they are forming. i know he loves me.i am his love. but this new band he is so happy and him and the girl singer talk text everyday i can look at the texts and its like another women in our marriage she single what if she was married would her husband be ok with this i love playing pool what if i was on a pool team and i was texting a guy on the team everyday saying what a great shot teach me more.
Yeah, that’s a tough one. I think that’s a problem that you can have in any relationship no matter what the profession involved (he could be an accountant and she’s on the company softball team so they text about softball practice and games or something). That’s where it’s good to both set boundaries with the opposite sex that you both agree on so you don’t feel worried all the time, and if that’s not something you can work out together than I would definitely suggest meeting with a counselor to talk it through. Relationships are hard enough at times without having trust issues get in the way, so do whatever you need to so you feel like you’re both on the same page! Hope you figure out a good spot!
do you know any band husbands? Do you think men go through the same thing when their wife is gone on tour? I only know of the opposite and feel like either 1) men cant handle it and don’t pick women to be their future wife if the woman is in a vocation like that or 2) women would stop touring to ‘settle down’ . I’m curious to know what you think and if you know of a couple in that situation and the realationship is successful.
I do know some band husbands! It usually has slightly different challenges anytime you switch gender roles in a situation (like women have to think about being pregnant on tour or have to take kids with them if they are exclusively breastfeeding, etc) but I don’t know enough about the “band husband” world to speak on their behalf. I know they definitely miss being together in the same way and have to make sacrifices or have certain careers if they want to be able to go out and visit on tour, etc., but not sure if there are really major differences in general. I mean, the above opinion in my post isn’t meant to speak for all band wives either, just for little old me. Good question though!
Thanks for the post. I realise you wrote this a few years ago but so relevant to my situarion. My partner is going to USA on Tour this Saturday for months and I don’t know when I will see him next. I’m in Australia and work full time so not easy to just jump on a plane. Tour life can be tough, living on a bus but being left home alone sucks. But it is totally amazing when you see the band playing in front of thousands and playing with bands they idealise.
It was great to read I’m not the only one in this situation. Thank goodness for FaceTime and fur babies! I would be so lost without our dog. It’s a tough gig band GF/wife, hats off to you all!
Yes, SO thankful for pets too!! Glad you at least have some company, hang in there!
Man, this blog helped me loads and scared the bejeezus out of me, I feel- I’m really in for it. My guy of 5 years, is a well known muscian about to tour after many years in hybernation.
I’m excited and terrified. It often feels like, the beginning of the end. Although we are very happy and “two pees outta the same pod, I feel strongly that he will give in to sexual impulses. He’s been faithful thus far (I think) but, we would joke, in the past, of all the women he’s been with while touring. Now, all those giggles are cursing me…and those old conversations are, loud and clear. I fear he will stray. I feel stupid to stick around -that the inevitable is around the corner. He’s older now and we need the doe-this is a driving force for him. He’s getting all rock starred up while I support him, I’m feeling inadequate and uninteresting. He won’t do counseling so please advise of the realness of what i might be facing. PS-we have six dogs and i awoke to weird bed bug bites recently too. About to loose my mind but, keeping cool. Thank you!
Oh man, I wish I knew what to tell you! I think you both have to be equally committed to each other and to doing what’s necessary to protect your relationship (even if that seems “uncool” at times to fans or groupies). So, I hope that even if he’s not interested in counseling that you can work out some boundaries between the two of you so you feel like you can trust him when he’s away! If he’s not even open to that then I think it will be really hard for you to feel confident in trusting what you have, but don’t forget that you can always seek advice from counselors even if he won’t go! It may be helpful just to help you see that you can stay or if you need to go…good luck, wish you the best!
I can’t tell you how much I needed your post. My boyfriend (almost 4 years) just left for a month long European Tour with his band. If you have time, I would appreciate your take on this scenario… Warning: I feel a little raw and emotional right now.
Our situation: We are both musicians in rock n’ roll bands (I’m 33 – He’s 37). Let me make this clear… I have always dated and fallen in love with musicians. As a female rocker with many years of touring behind me, I know what the road is like.
I know you should never compare your current relationships to previous ones (at least that’s what I’m told), but I have always been in bands WITH my partner (Lux Interior & Poison Ivy of “The Cramps” or “Mickey & Silvia” type relationships,) But this man doesn’t seem to see us as equals in that way. He doesn’t want to be in a band with “his chick”. I don’t feel like his sexy rock n’ roll queen — the way I’ve felt in past relationships. I hate the things I am thinking and saying… I hate this version of myself… the “needy” woman.
NOTE***He does not actually make money from touring with this band. It is 4 men in their late 30’s & 40’s that pay out-of-pocket to keep doing this. He has a history of getting too wasted on the road with these guys (drugs & alcohol), which has caused him to fall off radar with me and not communicate with me when he’s away,
ex: “Sorry babe my phone died and we took a lot of LSD.”
***He cheated. He cheated on me while touring with this band 2 years, so more anxiety around that.
***He WAS going to fly me out for the last 5 days of this tour, but he told me “no one in the band wants me to go”. This really hurts my feelings. I thought they were my friends.
Laura, I just feel like an idiot. This is the 3rd year in a row he has missed my birthday. I feel left behind. It hurts my pride, seeing as how I consider myself to be strong Joan Jett type female with plenty of my own things going on. I just really miss that “Sonny & Cher” thing I have had with previous relationships when it comes to music. I don’t like this new insecure me.
Do I just shut up? Do I just need to keep working on myself? Do I get the fuck out of this relationship and move out while he’s gone?
I have made all the mistakes of the days leading up to his departure; crying, freaking out, etc. Now I am in even more agony…
Any advice? Sorry for the rant… I’m just hurting a lot right now… And haven’t been able to find anyone that relates to this. Thank you for letting me vent, ladies. <3
Well, I would certainly never presume to tell someone to stay in or leave a relationship when I don’t really know the whole story, but I will say that it doesn’t sound like this relationship makes you very happy from what you’ve said. I hate that Todd is gone a lot, but it’s because I miss someone that treats me really well, cares for me, makes me smile and laugh, has earned and is worthy of my trust, treats me as an equal, and wants to be with me as much as possible too. I think your relationship should be the best thing going in your life, even if it has some difficult components, and it should make you feel like you can be the best version of yourself…I don’t hear that your relationship makes you feel that way. I would definitely talk to a relationship counselor either together or solo to help decide if it’s a good situation to be in for both of you, but either way I hope you get some clarity as to what you want and if that’s what you are experiencing now! Hope that helps in some way!
This is the first blog post I have read where I can relate to so deeply. My boyfriend is a roadie (rigger & crew chief / camera man). He is constantly on the road, and sometimes at home for weeks at a time (when he is home we barely have issues) The only difference with my situation is he lives in Las Vegas and I live in Tampa at the moment. I had lived in Charlotte for 15 years and decided to move with my family for a little while. However, I am out of my comfort zone getting adjusted to Tampa & feeling lonely at times (and even sometimes depressed). We have been doing long distance for about 4 years now (on & off). Recently, we had a bad fight, we have been having issues with communication lately, and when you throw long work hours and irritation… things got bad….
I hadn’t heard from him in a real long period of time, I called his phone and texted him (even called his hotel room) … I was going nuts! He FaceTimed me as soon as he got to his room and explained to me he was loading out and didn’t finish till 4am , I was still super upset & lashed out because his lack of communication…(a simple text could’ve helped)
I feel like my meltdown during this last gig was an obstacle to his job, he was busy being crew-chief and this gig was unlike any we have experienced. Now he is on the way to another tour, we are supposed to meet in Miami and in Orlando soon. I feel guilty because I feel as if I am a burden to him and his career… It is hard being apart, I miss him so deeply, adjusting to this move has been super difficult and not having him here like I wish makes it sting more …. It makes me feel like I am incapable of handling this or I am concerned he is second guessing our relationship … I want to be supportive of him and his career , not a burden ….
How do you make things right after a big meltdown? Not just with the relationship but with oneself ?
I needed this, I just started down this road and so feel like this isn’t what I signed up for. I literally googled “my man is in a band” and ran across your blog. Thank you so much for sharing bc today hasn’t been a good day for dealing.
Hi, I came across your blog in a moment of confusion. I was actually seeking advice on dating and possibly marrying a musician on the rise.
When we started dating three hesrs ago, I never thought that he would be signed by a r. label and now everything is happening so fast, I recieved the news a couple weeks ago that he is being sent off for 3 months on tour for the first time.
We love each other so much, that I don’t know if that is clouding my judgement, because, as I come closer to my 30’s I find myself wishing a stable happy home with kids and someone to come home to.
Should I stay or should I go (yes, cliché, like the song, lol) Help!
BTW, I love your conviction, your husband is very lucky, I really hope he can trully appreciate it, thank you for sharing.
Man, that’s so hard for me to tell you what to do! I think you do have to consider how much you want to be together, if you can ever be on tour, what your personality is like being apart, if he thinks he’ll tour forever or just for a season of life…there’s a lot to consider! I think you have to talk about your biggest wishes and goals in life and see if there’s a way to make them both happen with a few compromises along the way. I don’t think either one of you will be happy if you have to give up everything you love and hope for forever for the other person, but sometimes we can delay or tweak some dreams a bit to make a relationship work if we really want to be with them. Hope that helps a bit and good luck!
I am in tears after reading this article…but tears of joy and for obce, in a very long time, RELIEF! I cannot thank you enough for having written this. You have gone through more hardship with the time apart factor, however, my boyfriend is a music producer and he’ll go to the studio and be out all hours of the night, barely say anything to me, and I’m not used to that. I had a dark past with relationships and have had serious trust issues because of them. And being this is the first time I’ve ever been with someone in the music industry, I’m not used to how different of a lifestyle it is and the hours and what all is entailed, so it was very difficult for me to adjust at all to this. I definitely trust my boyfriend hands down and know that he is in fact faithful and loyal. However, I spent many, MANY days, nights, etc…crying and getting extremely depressed and thinking I’m not wanted or loved or that because we got into so many arguments that he would want to find someone else because I was no longer good enough, but after reading one statement in particular that you wrote, it clicked! And finally, I feel like my eyes are open and can finally have peace in my heart and my life. Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!!!!!
So glad it was helpful!! It’s not an easy life for sure so just make sure it can be worth it for you too!
Hi, I know this post is old but I came across it and it is just what I needed! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that feels this way. I have been with my boyfriend for nearly 3 years and he is always flying out to places on tour and while I absolutely love that he is living his dream I can’t help but feel angry at times when he is gone. I am also a musician so I travel a bit to, but it’s definitely not something I want to do forever! I agree it takes some getting used to and I couldn’t imagine my life without him but it really is hard work, especially when it comes to social events he can never attend you do end up feeling pretty single at times lol! But I know that I would be so bored with a run of the mill life! But yeah the loneliness is a killer sometimes but it could always be worse plus I love seeing him play he is bloody amazing! I try to look at it this way it’s his job like anyone else and he has to work I just try and enjoy the time we do have together. Ultimately life is forever changing you never know what direction you’ll go in next so just enjoy the ride x
Thank you for this!! My man is gone at least 200 days of the year on tour and somedays just suck. I moved to Nashville to end our long distance relationship and it is incredible when he is home!! However, when he is on the road, I struggle a lot. I am that person in a new city not knowing anyone. I do have a full-time job – so that helps. I also go out to see music quite a bit, but I am by myself….feeling weird and self-conscience about being by myself in a club. Ha ha! But, obviously I was looking for more support and your blog helped a lot. Thank you!!
I know you posted this years ago…but for some reason i came across it today. Feeling abit down today… My husband has been on tour since December…We have two little ones, 5&4 years of age. His missed Christmas, our Anniversary and the kids birthdays. Looks like i will have to move house alone too. We have to make the sacrifices for our families, and also for our husbands who love what they do….sometimes its just too much. Crying at a tap that wont open was a possible melt down for me. I cant wait for April to arrive just to spend time with him for 2 weeks before he leaves for his Europe tour.
Thank you for your blog….it helps to know I am not alone.
Sam from Cape Town, South Africa
You aren’t alone Sam! I know how hard it is…hope you are back together soon!
I’m glad I’m not alone in this lol . My boyfriend is a roadie and is the hardest thing I ever had to deal with . No one understands how I feel , he cheated on me once and it’s been 200% times harder to fully trust on him since then ,when groupies are around the band and crew . Sometimes I wonder myself if is worth it , waiting for a guy who is on the road and not being able to share the right amount of time Making you feel alone even tho you’re in touch constantly. i feel like this touring thing is never gonna end . But when I see him and we spend time together everything that makes me doubt about it disappeares . And I even have come to the point where I want something more serious and he doesn’t seems to be fully there so I’m confused if I should take a step back too. I am glad to know I’m not the only one dealing with this . And actually there is someone who really understands how it feels to have a significant other on a band /crew and have to deal with distance and all that comes with the road.
Loved your blog !
It is such a hard life and I’m sure even harder to be in it with someone who you aren’t sure is as serious about you as you are about them. I hope the answer becomes clear for you!
I’m so late to the party but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your blog. I am a career journalist and very rarely take the advice of articles (maybe because that’s all I see)… but I actually think yours is quite helpful. I’m a band girlfriend. For the past three years, the last words I ever want to hear is “I’m going on tour.” I’ve yet to master telling him how I’m feeling when he is pumped up to be going somewhere new. I’d never ask him to quit… but there have been many times we would swear off a tour for this month to this month… but he would get asked to fill in for someone for a nice amount of money and he would take it. People look at me like I’m crazy or share no sympathy for emotions of the ebb and flow of this life because after all “I chose it myself.” Basically, I just emotional vomited on your comments. LOL But I did want to say, from one writer to another, thank you for your transparency. Life with him, well, sometimes it sucks… but life without him sucks harder. I look forward to seeing more great and honest stuff from you!
This is probably a super old post. I found it on google and interestingly enough… it’s comforting to know I’m not alone. I saved this for times I want to run far away and live a normal life. I’m getting married and suddenly after 2 years I realize music isn’t going anywhere. Not that I completely hate it but trust is hard for me. Most of all, I took away that I spend a lot of the time we do get is spent worried or arguing. Thank you for shining light on this. From one band wife to another. ❤️ Thanks for opening up.