Should I quit playing................?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Rockin John, May 1, 2003.

  1. Few things in life are black or white, especially where relationships are concerned. So in making this post you'll have accept that the full story is just too long to tell.

    The band is just a hobby: it's my only hobby. We reherse once a week assuming we can all get on the same night. We gig 3 or 4 times per year.

    Things at home have never been that good and the marriage is in name only. Having said that we've an 8 year old lad who's brilliant. I'm 50 this year; she's 5 years younger.

    Recently she's been acting strange. That could be a hormone thing, I guess, but she's not said. She'll phone me at rehersal and want's me home. Or she'll ask me not to go that night. It's wearing me down cos I'm constsntly on edge waiting for the mobile to ring. Or there'll be some hassle before I leave which gets me wound up. Either way, I don't enjoy playing, can't do the vocals, etc. I feel I have to comply (sometimes) to avoid the nastiness for the sake of my lad.

    She says she doesn't mind the band. Says it's better when I'm out the house, in fact. But I can't stand the tension over it. It's affecting the other members, too. I can't be pulling out of rehersals like that, and what if we had a gig and she did it?

    I've offered to let the band look for another bassist / lead vocals if they want to do more gigs. Not accepted so far but how long can I go on letting thm down? And I'm not sure I want the getting home @ 2am thing. I've spent a few £££ on gear and built quite a bit of stuff for the band. Bought an SM58, 2 weeks ago.



    Any wisdom, guys?

  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    If you think your marriage can be salvaged (and want to try) then quit the band and get your home front in order.

    BTW, staying together just for the sake of your son is NOT a good idea in the long run as many folks who grew up in homes like that can tell you. You can't hide a dead marriage from your children.

    See a counselor and good luck.
  3. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    ditto this, makes a lot of sense. Best wishes to you Rockin John, that's a real tough situation.
  4. Been there, done that....

    I suspect that the band is not what is bothering her, but something deeper. I agree with the suggestion of joint counselling to get issues to the surface. Sometimes these things can be resolved once they are on the table, but many women (some would say all) have difficulty resolving and expressing what they are feeling to their mate in a way that the man can understand. An impartial 3rd party with counselling skills can help this.

    Speaking from experience, counselling didn't save my 24-year marriage, but it did save my life and let me go on in a better way than things were. I would have stuck out a few more years until my youngest daughter (11 years old at the time) was in college, but that wasn't in the cards when her mom pulled the plug.

    Best of luck. Get counselling first and talk about the band issues separately after that before coming to any conclusions.
  5. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Hi John,
    I'm similar age group, 3 kids (4,8,10).
    It's your hobby right? She has NO Right phoning you,getting you to come home/stay in unless there's some kind of emergency or other.
    It's YOUR TIME, YOUR Space and it's all part of who you are.
    You say it's marriage in name only but you obviously care about her enough to leave your mobile on.
    Why not invite her along to a rehearsal? - That way she might see how much it means to you.
    I'm lucky I guess, my wife's very supportive (she even bought me an amp!).
    Not being sexist, but it could be a hormonal kind of thing with your wife, she's around "that" age.
    In which case she'll probably need some support.
    But it's a 2 way street, you need it too.
    DONT give up on your playing - you'll regret it later!
    Best of luck!
  6. It's not the band as such that's the trouble. She'd do it anywhere I was: she's done it whilst I've been at work before now.

    She suffered with post-natal illness quite badly after the boy was born: went on for years. I think she's getting depression again now. She seems to panic, as though the world's on top of her. Despite how things are between us, I don't want to be discompassionate. After all, there might really be an emergency one day. But I can't have her calling me back whenever she feels like it, from where ever I am at the time.

    Like I say, there's much more to it. Funny thing is, tough, when she's OK she suggests songs we could do, says good things about my voice, etc.

  7. We tried councelling, 2 or 3 times over the 24 years. We know there's no where else to go other than a lawyer.........

    We promised the lad that we were going to try to make things better and, to some extent, it's worked.

    She's strong willed and knows how to use her vocal skills to get what she wants, putting up superb arguments why black really is white. I'm hopeless at it: guess the result of that.....

    I've thought for a while that, as far as the marriage goes, she would benefit from the enormous shock that would come if I left. She appears to have the impression that 'Easy Street' is for the taking if I weren't there.

    I certainly don't want to pack up playing. Have I therefore, gotta be firmer with her?

    Or is it best to cave in to her will?

  8. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    John, it sure sounds like she may have some form of anxiety disorder or OCD. I suspect medical intervention is in order. The symptoms you describe are very similar to those demonstrated by the wife of a friend - meds helped tremendously in her case.

    Good luck!
  9. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I'm 24 and single, so take this for what it's worth... I would not "cave in" to her will. In the long run that is unhealthy for you, her, and your boy. You have to find some sort of accomodation with each other. By interrupting your practices and your work, I think she's trying to make a grab for your attention. She may need to sit down with a mental health professional herself to sort some of this out.
  10. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    This is one important detail to me. If this is your only hobby, maybe it's pretty important to you.

    This is something that you should investigate. Obviously I don't know any details of your situation, but it sounds like she's lonely. Maybe she cares more about your marriage than you think. If that's true. Maybe you can patch it up, making it more enjoyable for both of you.

    You don't enjoy playing? Or you don't enjoy playing because of her? There's a big difference there. If you don't enjoy playing anymore, then you probably should quit, or at least take a serious break from it. If it's because of her new attitude, I say again, I think you should explore it and find out what's really going on. If you can fix things up with her, a huge part of your life could improve. That will make everything better, including music.

    See statement above again.

    Perhaps your band would be willing to go "on hold" for a while, doing other projects with other people, while you sort out your life. I know it's a long shot, but if I was right about what's going on, it could be a great opportunity for you. In my opinion, that would be more important than a band that plays out 3 to 4 times a year.

    Good luck!!!
  11. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Check your P.M.
  12. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    it's never best to cave into anyone's will. i'd suggest seperation.
  13. You guys rehearse one night a week or less and gig 3 or 4 times a year? I'd try to see what else is up with her, man, because that's not a whole lot of time you're away from home anyway. I started reading your post and thought "Probably spends two or three nights at practice and gigs on Fridays and/or Saturdays." Do you do other things that prevent you from being with the family-- work late, other hobbies, etc.?
    What else would bother her specifically about the band? Does your band play in shady venues or get to partying? (Or do you guys play that badly that she's embarrassed? ;) )
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Sorry to hear about all this John - lots of good advice, but in answer to your original question I would say - NO definitely do not give up playing, whatever else you decide.

    OK so splitting up has been mentioned and if this happens, then you will feel very isolated if you have no other interests - you will certainly need something like this to keep you going.

    If you manage to resolve differences, then I think it is healthy to have some leisure time when you are doing your own thing - everybody needs this - something for yourself. One night a week is not too much, by any means!

    Maybe the problem is that your wife doesn't have "something for herself" - a hobby or class - something that she does on her own and is just for her? Maybe this would be the answer - Monday you go to rehearse and say Wednesday or Thursday, she goes out to do something - I don't know what she's interested in - Yoga, Painting, Music Appreciation ;) - whatever, maybe this would make a difference?
  15. Good morning, folks....

    Thanks for the responses.

    To Paul A, thanks for your PM, I appreciate your trouble and kind thoughts. You should have had the reply: sent late yesterday pm.

    The marriage has never been that good but, somehow, we've managed to keep together. There have also been quite serious money troubles over the years, fueled by her liking of home shopping catalogues. That's caused serious rifts between us. (BTW, NONE of the music gear I've bought has come from the housekeeping: I've sold my own stuff to finance it.)

    Mr Turner and others are probably right about separation. But it seems to be one of those things where we seem to be unable to live togeter or apart. Funnily enough, when things are OK between us, they really are OK. The bit I can't really handle is the suddeness of the need to (say) call me home. A week in advance I might arrange to reherse on a particular night the following week, and she'll agree. Then when that comes something might come up that she believes is more important and expects me to agree. If I don't, there's trouble.

    To answer others' questions, no I don't work late nor have weekends away, nor anything else like it. My bit of music is all I have. I do enjoy the music, but I can't handle it when I'm up-tight about things going on at home.

    And, no, I really don't want to pack it in. In any case, I'd never find another set up like the one I'm in (free rehersal time, secure free gear storage, etc).

    Complicated, ain't it?


  16. I haven't got a whole lot to add to what others have said, no new advice to give. Just think of this John - you are important too! You cannot live your life being there for someone else! You have to have a good life too!

    I have been separated for 10 months now, and we are heading for a divorce - we have both moved on, and are now much happier because of the move. There sound like a lot of similarities between your circumstances and mine, there will also be a whole lot of differences!

    You need to make the right decision for you! It's a tough one, becuase your decision will affect others close you - your wife and son.

    Anyway, feel free to pm me of you want - to chat, vent, rant whatever!

    But always remember - you are important too!:)
  17. Thanks Mr Boom. Nice of you to make the offer.

    I remembered you were separated from previous posts. Think our kids are similar ages, too?

    I'll drop you a pm when there's more time.