Nobody could ever warn you about the “perils” of being married to a musician. You have to live them to truly appreciate the creative mind, the highs and the lows and the all consuming hunger that they have to constantly write, play, perform and share their babies (songs) with the world.
Your musician will be selfish, moody and often downright miserable but also sensitive, driven and totally focussed on a goal that only they know about and are usually unwilling to share.
If you are married to a musician prepare yourself for lots of time on your own while they are off creating their interpretation of musical excellence. I mean a lot! You may struggle to recognise them!
Don’t think that you are unimportant; however, don’t expect to be number one to your musician. You are their constant support but don’t expect the same in return as the only thing that really matters to them is music. They won’t admit this, they will vehemently deny this but it’s true!
You will also find that your musician spends an awful lot of time explaining to you how much work they do, when the grass if 3 feet high, walls remain unpainted, gutters remain leaky and despite the fact that you have relinquished two whole rooms for musical usage your living areas are still piled with equipment!
Fully expect to remind your musician constantly about practical things. The walk past the 3 foot high grass, the unpainted walls, the washing pile and the leaking gutters. They forget that shopping doesn’t magically appear in the cupboard, pets can’t feed themselves; you have to put petrol in the car, water in the washer bottle, electric in the meter. This stuff is unimportant to a musician. They also forget to eat. Remember that one!
Your musician cannot take constructive criticism, even from you. It will be a personal attack taken to heart and sulked about for months. Save yourself the trouble, “That is great dear, I love it” Learn it, use it!
No matter how many gigs your musician does it’s never enough, they will book four or five in a row not thinking in advance about the logistics, ignoring the fact that after two they are knackered so the last three will be below par. You will never be able to socialise, you work every weekend. But it’s all about the numbers! My gig list is bigger than yours!
Be prepared to accept the fact your musician always need another guitar, drum, microphone, stand, speaker, lead, strings, lights, banners, video, album, single, photo session, merch to sell at gigs! You will never have any money.
Your musician will justify this by saying we will make it back when we gig and sell it. You see the garage full of unsold stuff and the bank account draining away. Yet you still allow them to buy more whilst silently screaming to save the arguments!
Your musician will at some point decide a European tour is just what they need to break into the next level. This actually costs them more money to do than they will earn. But it is the only way forward? You are not allowed to point this out as you are stifling their career!
Your musician will hate other musicians, they may be friends outside of music but that disappears when in competition. I think this is universal from the bottom of the ladder right to the top it even happened in Genesis!!
Your musician will be constantly wondering how other musicians got a certain high profile gig when in their opinion they are better known, have better songs and would be much better than them at that gig. That gig they never applied for or knew about, point this out at your peril!
Your musician will never accept that gigs in pubs are frequented by people that want to hear cover versions; they want to sing along to songs they know. Most have no interest in original music no matter how proficiently it is written or played, how quirky your band is or how talented you collectively are. This applies despite their knowledge that the three cover versions they have in the set get a better response than the originals at every gig they do!
I might sound like I am not enjoying being a music widow, this isn’t the case. I love my husband; I love his creativity and passion for music. I enjoy being part of his band and also the duet gigs we do together. I love that he is doing something he enjoys instead of a job that made him ill, but to love a musician is HARD WORK.
I admire and respect anyone who takes a musician as a spouse and makes it work. I also hope I continue to be one of them!