bands Vacations

The Downside of Being a Band Wife: How To (Not) Deal When Your Husband Is On Tour

10:01 PMDollie DeVille


Being a "band wife" definitely has it's up and downs. Right now I am dealing with the downs. I normally don't talk about the inner working of my "woman brain", but I really feel like I need someone to talk to today.
That is what these blog things are for, right? I have read some similar posts on a blog site I just found, Road Widows. They helped me feel less alone, so maybe I can pay it forward and help someone else.

My husband is gone on his first tour and I am dealing with the feeling of loneliness. By the time he gets back we will have been apart for two weeks, much longer then we have ever been apart since we met (one night). I don't know how the other band wives do it. The only thing I can gather is that they actually like all the alone time they get when their husband is gone. Or sometimes the couple doesn't seen to even like each other that much when they are together. Either way, it takes a special type of couple to be able to survive in this arrangement. I don't think I am one of those people though, which I have always been clear about with my husband, should he one day become a full time touring musician. 

People say that the best way to overcome the loneliness is to have hobbies. I have always prided myself on having hobbies outside of my marriage. So, during his trip I tried my best to occupy my time, even taking my own vacation with a girl friend, working, and taking another weekend trip. So far it hasn't helped. I still feel alone. 

I think the hardest thing is not knowing what is going on with my other half. Not only am I missing out on the new experiences he is having, but I hardly even know where he is at. I hardly know what state he is in on any given day, where he is playing, and who he is staying with. They are busy getting from one location to another, trying to cram in sleep, food and minimal sight-seeing in-between. So I understand why he doesn't have time to text or call. 

So instead I just hear about the trip like everyone else does- on facebook and instagram! While every picture makes me happy because I get to see his smiling face, it is also like a stab to the heart. He is having lunch? I love lunch! He is looking at a lake? I like lakes! He is watching the Neanderthals? I have always wanted to see them! I think it makes it that much harder on me because I really love the music too.   

After a week of no call and only a few texts such as "flight landed, getting a quick bite to eat" I was starting to get a bit bummed out. My woman mind told me he must be happy to be gone and be away from me. Then he calls me out of the blue at work and I lost it. I did the worst thing I could possibly do. I started crying immediatly and acted like I didn't have time for his call. So that call lasted about, ohhhh 45 seconds. I wait all week for a call and that is what I do. What a stupid woman I am. To my defense, it was really bad timing. It was my first day back in the office, I had just gotten a really rude email (the kind in all caps), I was sick and PMSing. After that call my whole day was ruined. I was lamenting the fact that I ruined the one chance I had to talk to him. Then of course, I was thinking about how being mean to your husband while on tour is the worst thing you can do because there are a lot of women on the road ready to be nice to him. Not that he isn't 100% trustworthy, but my mind can wander. As we know, women are ruthless! All I wanted to do all week was talk to him, and I ruined it thoroughly. I knew he wouldn't want to call again after that. Who would?  

Since that call our texts have been strained. He is his normal old self but I am battling with trying to be helpful and be happy for him, but at the same time I am sad and resentful for being left alone. I know it is so stupid and I shouldn't feel that way (so no need to tell me that), but I can't help it! As I write this I am fighting back the tears yet again. F you Aunt Flow! 

Have I mentioned yet that I am not cut out for this long distance thing? I'm really not. It has never worked out for me. I know I sound so stupid, especially to women whose husbands tour months at a time. But I am a newbie here. If I ever figure it out, I will make sure to report back. 

XOXO
Dollie




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55 comments

  1. awwwww Sugar Booger!!! I'm sorry you are feeling like this! Zach is totally awesome, and I'm sure he's missing you a ton too!!! It's okay to have fun without your sig other. Hahahaha, I'm in the opposite boat, myself, been single for over 15 years, not sure I could handle being around someone so often. hahahahah. Don't worry! he'll be home soon, and all will be well! If I was closer, I'd take ya to a lake. ;)

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  2. It doesnt make you stupid or sappy to miss your husband, especially when you spend every day and night with him 99% of the time. It makes you normal, and I think when you stop missing him when he is away, even for a night, thats when you worry.

    I'm sure there will be people wanting to give you hell because so and so's husband is in the military and gone for a year and how dare you cry over two weeks. You know what they can do? They can shut up and go bother someone else.

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    1. Yes, I have always said I have the utmost respect for mil wives. I know I couldn't do it. I'm not strong enough, and I know that.

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    2. I as a military wife I take personal offense to Mysti Luxes' comment. It's a tough job and not all woman are cut out for it. This is just a suggestion and I don't know if it's in your budget but you could always meet up with Zack half way through his tour. Military wives will sometimes meet up with their husbands while they are deployed in a safe port.

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  3. Will it help any if I tell you that altho my husband is The Sexiest Man on the Planet and we are BFF's and gross the kids out constantly with smooching....after 20 years I would KILL for 2 weeks on my own?! 2 weeks apart can do nothing but reinforce how much you love and need each other. At the start of our marriage we were apart due to circumstances for 6 weeks, and it scared the hell out of my husband and he has refused to leave me alone for any length of time since. It will all be GOOD, don't worry! xx

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    1. Ah, thank you! Your comment about killing for two weeks apart really stuck with me!

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  4. Awww, I wanna hug you! I think we have all been there. I always get upset during these scenarios too, especially with the hormones and pms funtime. After I am unfairly rude to my darling due to my own insecurities, I am always kicking myself..."why did I do that!?" kinda thing. So, I really do try to plan something that takes some time to complete to occupy my time. Some project that I need all the time he will be gone to accomplish. Then I have something to be excited and show him when he arrives home. Like, "look, I painted the walls pink!" :) Sending hugs your way!

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    1. Ah, thanks Jen! I do totally change stuff around the house when he is gone. lol!

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  5. Be honest about the call gone wrong. You won't distract him or ruin his day by texting him that you have something important to say, then explain you've been stressing over the call and keep counting down the days. Its sweet how much you two love each other and how close you are. Life will be normal again soon with the two of you eating little vegan meals and buying each other cute things at antique malls. Hang in there lady.

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  6. I really know how you feel because some years ago I had to leave my husband (just boyfriend at that time) alone in France for 1 year... I lived in Canada for my last year of University.... it was so hard... I was really alone not knowing anyone first... At that time, no Facebook, no IPhone... Telephone was expensive so only one call per week... Can you imagaine????
    I missed him but I tried to make new friends and visit a lot but I must confess that it doesn't work really well... I was really happy to come back home... (I even refused a job in Tahiti to go back home)... Hopefully, he waited for me and we are still together after 16 years...

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    1. Wow Laurence, that would be really hard!!

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  7. Sending you hugs! I can definitely empathize with you. My ohter half has been out of the country for quite a long time for health reasons. It's very hard to go so long with short phone calls and facetime about once a week.

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  8. Our women's minds are quite annoying sometimes, friends, relationships, work... we tend to let it take over... Chin up doll! You got tons of girls who love you and are here to support you! Chat anytime with me!

    xoxo

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  9. I feel for you! My dad is a pilot and so my mom has lived like this for over 25+ years (especially when he has been in training at new jobs, he'd be gone for two or three months at a time sometimes). It's not easy, but you'll figure out how to make it work for you. While my hubby isn't gone for long stretches like that, I'm married to a cook/bar owner who works SUPER long and really late hours, which means we almost never see each other except in passing when one of us is getting up and the other going to bed. Hang in there!

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    1. That would be really hard! I guess you just come to appreciate the time you have together more!

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  10. Hang in there poppet! I really feel for you, it can be very difficult when we're missing our loved ones. My other half is a full time musician, and he goes to the US every year for a whole month. At first I was a wreck the whole time he was away, but when there's stuff you can't get out of (he has to work!), you just have to get through it. Now I use the time to plan stuff that I can't do when he's around - I go and stay with girl friends in London for a weekend of cocktails and dancing, I take on more work to earn extra cash, I get the sewing machine out and start a few projects, and I watch lots of musicals and invite friends over. I hope it gets easier for you and you can find a way of making it work. As for bad communication, a welcome home cuddle melts it all away! P x

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    1. Thanks so much Porcelina!! Thank goodness for cocktails, right? ;)

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  11. You're being so hard on yourself! I agree with Sonia, let him know what happened. And then, please, ask for what you need! Like you, I would need a little more contact and a little bit of reassurance. That's nothing to be ashamed of. And you deserve to have your needs met! Just be honest. You can be happy and helpful to him while still acknowledging that you're finding his absence difficult and painful. I'm sure he wants you to be happy and he wouldn't want you to worry all by yourself.

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  12. Ok first, it's fine for you to be upset. Feelings can't be wrong because feelings aren't facts. They just are what they are.

    That said, I find it a little hard to believe that once a week is all he can spare for a phone call. I did the semi-long distance thing with my now-fiance for 3 years and we talked every night we were apart. Even if he had to work 20 hours straight he'd step out for a 2 minute call to say "I love you." It's amazing how much of a difference that makes.

    Second, I have been with my soon to be husband almost 10 years, and we haven't spent a night apart in years - but I am finding that having more time for just me, to worry only about my wants and needs (and the cat's), is something I appreciate more as time goes on. It can wear on you to deal with someone else's quirks day in and day out. So it's possible that over time, you will enjoy having a bit more breathing room once in a while.

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    1. I love that saying, I say it all the time. It is so true!

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  13. Its rough, especially when your have been with the one you love for a while and then suddenly BOOM! He's gone. Its weird for your brain to try to adjust to this. I know, because my then-fiance-now-husband and I had to go to different universities after going to college together for two years. Career wise, it was beneficial for both of us. But I always had my man there whenever I wanted or needed him. He has always a support for me, but when he was gone, it was hard. In fact, I did a similar thing two weeks into the new arrangement. I actually got mad that he was late in calling me. I apologized later, but I still felt bad about it.

    One of the things that helped was that he and I made a priority to call each other every night. Even if it was for five minutes, it helped.

    Keep on swimming sweetie! You and your husband will make it work.

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  14. Don't feel bad at all! My fiance isn't a musician but he is an engineer for road construction projects and sometimes has to go work on projects far away. Last summer while we were in the middle of buying our house he got sent 5 hours away and was gone from April to almost the end of October. He was also often working 15 hour days and weekends so time to talk or come home didn't always happen. It was the worst time ever. I felt so lonely the whole time, I missed him and felt completely overwhelmed. I got grouchy with him plenty of times when he called. He understood when I explained it later and tried to make it up to me in any way he could (hello new purse and back massage). It is hard being without the one you love and it is even harder when you have a big imagination (I feel you and thinking about the other girls). Hang in there!

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    1. Imaginations are terrible aren't they? ha ha ha. Thanks for the comment Snarkling!

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  15. Aww Dollie! I totally get it! My husband is a musician and as loyal as they come but it still is hard when they have to travel without us for any length of time. Just know that you are not alone in feeling like this. We should start a wives of musicians group on facebook! :) Keep busy in the meantime and try not to speculate. xo
    Michele

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    1. I joined the Road Widows FB page and I love it. :)

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    2. Guys, Im just reading through the blog to feel better, but Im going thru the same thing. My boyfriend of 8 years is a musician and you would think I have learned to cope with it. Im from NYC and we moved to Delaware about 2 years ago. Don't have friends just his family that lives here as well. But its lonely and I feel at times like Im going to go crazy because he goes MIA for days and dont hear from him. Sometimes I feel like he's ignoring me. Like today, I feel sick to my stomach and don't know how to cope with it because I haven't heard from him in 2 days. Please some words of wisdom?

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  16. I know how you feel! Like, exactly. James and i just spent three months apart..part of the fun of being an Air Force wife. I'm so glad he's out now..he used to be all over the place, and not able to call..he'd get to go to cool places, too, while I was at home with the kids in the cold English winter. The worst was when he went to the Canary islands, he hadn't called for days, then when he finally did he told me their hotel was on a nude beach. Arghhh!!! I never got good at the being apart thing. And you know what? I'm ok with that. LOL

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    1. This made me LOL. I would DIE! ha ha ha. You are a trooper, that's for sure!

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  17. You shouldn't feel bad about feeling however you feel! Keep trying to make the best of it

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  18. I feel for you. My husband travels for work, and although he isn't gone for weeks at a time, the time he is gone feels awful. I just try to keep my head up and slog through it, but it does suck sometimes.

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  19. I've been with my man for 7 years in December and I love when he goes on tour! LOL!
    (He plays with Truly Lover Trio, a kick ass 8 piece band and some other bands here in UK/Europe.)
    I get creative when he's out, totally diving into my craft boxes, revamping/renovating things and get stuff done.
    I totally understand you tho, 2 weeks is quite a long time but it will be sweet and awesome when he gets back and hopefully he bought you something really nice too!

    Just hang in there, you can do it!

    (A really good advice is to go to the gym or go swimming, then you'll be tired and you'll have an endorphine rush so you won't feel so down.)

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    1. I didn't know that! How cool. Thanks Miss Rascal!

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  20. Oh honey. I feel bad for you. I have no words of wisdom. But please know you're a beautiful young woman and I'm one of your biggest fans. Love reading you.

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  21. Hang in there. I'm not sure it ever gets easier, but you learn to keep yourself busy and distracted. My husband of 23 years goes on location often for short and long periods of time and I miss him terribly every time. Look forward to the day he comes home and you can throw your arms around him and hold tight.

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  22. I am here for you, lady!! :) When I got married in 1996, my husband was in the Army Infantry (11B!). There were months that would go by when all I got was a 30 second phone call or a 2 minute call (if I was lucky!). When my guy retired, he went into the civilian world of government contracting and now he travels a couple times a month (usually Mon-Fri). I am so happy those military years are over and I am glad his trips are shorter but wow, do I hate being on my own during the week! Especially when I go to bed at night! Every bump, bit of wind, or house settling and I get freaked out! When I am feeling down, I go to the gym, sew, craft, or organize my makeup bin. I will have dinner with a girlfriend or we meet for coffee. I hang with the cat and we watch Golden Girls with sushi takeout. Being busy helps but what really helps you get through is the love. The love you have for Zach and his love for you. Never forget the reason you are married: LOVE! Sure, there will be ups and downs in a marriage. There will be lonely times like this but just remember it is your love and devotion to each other that gets you through.

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    1. I bet! I couldn't even imagine. I totally get scared at night when he is not here. The dog and cat help though. :) Thanks Tara, you are the best!

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  23. It was nice meeting you (kind of...I had a shy fangirl moment which does not EVER happen to me) at the School of Rock n Roll. We flew in from Texas to support Corinna, Corinna and meet all of you beautiful people! We had a blast even with my zipper bursting open during our first dance :-)

    I know what you mean about the seperation anxiety of being away from eachother, my husband and I have been dating since I was 14 (15 years together now) more than half of my life has been spent with him and we've only been apart maybe 5 days EVER. He works a rotating shift and spends two weeks working nights every two weeks (two weeks days, two weeks nights) but at least i get to see him for about 15 mins in the morning and for about an hour in the afternoon. I would say it gets easier but it never does. Chin up buttercup!

    Belle

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  24. I'm so happy I stumbled on this post today. My fiance and I got into a huge fight last night about the possibility of him touring a greater portion of our first year of marriage. He does production work, and while I know the money would be really great and help us get out of some debt and save for a house, he was also gone for 10 weeks this summer on tour, and I hated it. I try to be supportive, but I totally know where you're coming from. It sucks, and it's hard, but I guess it's a sacrifice you have to make to be supportive of your man...

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  25. Oh god I'm so glad I'm not the only one having these feelings!! I always feel like I'm being so stupid, but it's like what somebody else said that you're so used to being with them 99% of the time that when they are away it just spins you out! I always am ok for the first few days and if my partner is good with his communication and I can feel he misses me, but then once he starts getting into the tour and caught up in what the band is doing, I can start to feel him thinking less about missing me and concentrating more on what's going on around him. This really hurts me and while I try to be happy for him, it sucks to feel like a second priority all of a sudden and no longer as important as when we're together every day. He says nothing changes, but I can feel when he's caught up in what's going on and when we talk he's kind of disengaged and doesn't sound very interested in talking to me, I hate it :( He says it's in my head and that he does miss me and maybe it is, but it still hurts, I feel so rejected and empty and it makes me so angry that when he comes home rather than being happy to see him I'm just angry at him....meeeh...

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  26. If he is touring stateside I am wondering why you aren't getting at least one phone call a day? My fiancé has been touring for a very long time.. when we met he was no longer touring which was great for me- Yay! I get the hot drummer but he is retired from touring! - well he started touring again and for the last year he has been away more than he has been home. I totally feel you, and it does get easier. I would communicate with him about having more phone time. My fiancé has been in Europe for 2 weeks now and although we don't communicate as often as we do when he's touring in the states, he skypes me at least 2 times a day with texts in between. There's no reason he can't make more time for you, communication is important in every relationship regardless of where you are or how busy you may be. If he has time to facebook and instagram but no time to call his wife he's got his priorities backwards and it may be your job to express to him that you're having a hard time and would like to be a priority.

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  27. If he is touring stateside I am wondering why you aren't getting at least one phone call a day? My fiancé has been touring for a very long time.. when we met he was no longer touring which was great for me- Yay! I get the hot drummer but he is retired from touring! - well he started touring again and for the last year he has been away more than he has been home. I totally feel you, and it does get easier. I would communicate with him about having more phone time. My fiancé has been in Europe for 2 weeks now and although we don't communicate as often as we do when he's touring in the states, he skypes me at least 2 times a day with texts in between. There's no reason he can't make more time for you, communication is important in every relationship regardless of where you are or how busy you may be. If he has time to facebook and instagram but no time to call his wife he's got his priorities backwards and it may be your job to express to him that you're having a hard time and would like to be a priority.

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  28. I'm a band wife to a singer in a VERY popular hard rock band. My friend sent me a link to your blog. She said you sounded sad. I don't know how long you've been together, but I've been with mine for 8 years, and I promise you... It gets easier. I used to feel like you're describing. Don't get me wrong, you'll always miss him and worry about him, but over time, once you visit him on the road in different places, you get to know the boringness of road life, and most importantly, you establish firm boundaries (mine knows he needs to call me every day before he goes to bed so I know he's safe) you will have a greater sense of understanding. Plus, it's your time off. How many women are lucky enough to get "me" time. I like to give myself makeovers and buy something new and sexy so that he knows he's coming home to a treat. ;)

    Hope this helps a lil. It's the cliff notes version, but I decided not to write a novel xoxo - HM

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  29. I feel your pain, doll. My guy is gone on tour anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months at a time. It's especially hard when he's in other countries with time difference and lack of wifi that become factors against our favor. I just keep busy! And when he comes home, it's like the first day we fell in love....all over again!

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  30. Please let me know if you find a way to deal with this. My current boyfriend is a musician but he hasn't toured in the years that we've been together. Now he's in a new band and it is taking off FAST. I am so proud of him, but soon he will be touring the country for the first time since I've been with him and he aspires to continue his career as a touring musician until retirement. I think he's planning on proposing soon and the ONLY thing holding me back is his career. My biggest dream is to have a close family. He and I both want kids and we both dream about marrying each other. But I want a husband who's there more than half the year or less, and I want my children to grow up with a present father figure. I'd never ask him to give up his dream, I wouldn't want him to, I just wish his dream was a family-friendly career. Also, I trust him 100% now, but groupies and fans worry the hell out of me!! I am going to get older, bigger, and less energetic. Meanwhile he will always have young girls throwing themselves at him while he's under the influence. I worry about a future with him all the time, but if it weren't for him being a rockstar, I'd jump at the chance to spend my life with him. Any suggestions from anyone? Is it possible that I can be happy with him, even as I'm older?

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