By Randi Reed
Some of the perks that come with working in the music industry are like Candy Land for grown-ups…which can lead to trouble at home. But what guy wouldn’t jump at the chance to go to a party at the Playboy Mansion or to the best strip club in town? Following are some tips for couples to minimize the fall-out. We recommend reading both the guys and gals sections, so you can each see where your partner is coming from. (Note: The scenario of this article is that the guy has the music industry career, but the dos and don’ts apply for any music industry pro and significant other.)
Do’s and Don’ts for Guys:
1. Do be honest and ask yourself whether your girl has a legitimate reason to worry. Have you done anything to give her reason to worry, or is her fear based on what someone else did in her past?
2. Don’t put yourself in situations that make it more difficult for you to be faithful. If you get into trouble when you drink too much, go easy on the alcohol. If sushi makes you want to put the “X” in sex, have something else. If lap dances get you in trouble, enjoy the strip bar but skip the lap dance. If the smell of a certain cologne drives you crazy and you happen to meet someone who’s wearing it, politely avoid her.
3. Do help your significant other deal with her jealousy ASAP, unless you want her stuck like glue to you at every business function and calling 20 times a night to check on your whereabouts.
4. Don’t reward her jealousy if you’ve honestly done nothing that warrants jealous feelings from her. If she gets mad at you for going on Guys Night Out and you’ve truly done nothing wrong, don’t buy her gifts or cater to her to try to make her happy. On a subconscious level, gifts and attention are what she gets out of being bitchy. Encouraging it does not help her. (Remember, you teach people how to treat you.)
5. Don’t bring her everywhere in an attempt at jealousy prevention. This does not solve the problem. (If you were a plumber in a building full of beautiful women, would you let her stand by the sink?) Also, few people will tell you, but having the girlfriend or wife around at every business function gets obnoxious after a while. The tighter the budget and schedule, the more everyone hates it.
6. Do realize that jealousy is an emotion based on fear and insecurity that was caused by past experience. The only way to get someone over their insecurity is to prove that you are trustworthy.
7. Do call home regularly, on a schedule you set in advance (such as a short call every night between soundcheck and dinner or every other night while you’re waiting to go onstage). Alternate phone calls with email, text messaging, or IMs if you like, but make sure you find time to connect voice-to-voice on a regular basis.
8. Do make time for a longer call once a week to really connect and find out what’s going on in her world.
9. Do talk often enough to feel connected, but not so often that you feel “trapped” in the relationship.
10. Do let her know that just because you may have the busier or more exciting career and that it requires most of your time, it doesn’t mean she’s less important in your heart.
11. Don’t stay in a relationship with someone who asks you to choose between your career and the relationship. It’s a no-win situation.
Dos and Don’ts For Gals:
1. Do understand that guys need Guys’ Night Out, so take the time to develop your own friends and interests away from your guy. When he goes out, you have plans too. Men like secure, confident women.
2. Do analyze where your feelings of jealousy are coming from. Has THIS guy actually done anything to give you reason to worry, or are you accusing him of a crime a guy in your past committed?
3. Do realize that if a guy is a cheater at heart, location doesn’t matter–he’ll find an opportunity. If he’s not a cheater, he won’t, regardless of opportunity.
4. Don’t call your guy (or demand that he call you) while he’s on Guys’ Night Out if he’s never cheated on you. Give him the opportunity to show you he can be trusted.
5. Don’t give your guy grief every time he calls or comes home from the road. This is not the time to fight, cry, nag, be bitchy, or make him feel bad for pursuing his dreams. It will only push him away from you.
6. Do let him know you miss him but that you’re doing OK. Not having to worry about what’s going on at home makes him feel good about the relationship, and he’ll be happier to see you. He’ll also be less stressed-out and will be less likely to look for sources of stress relief.
7. Don’t be needy. If you’re normally high-maintenance, be a big girl and learn to handle things yourself when he’s out on the road. Let him take care of things when he’s at home if he likes to, but for the sake of his sanity, learn to do things for yourself when he’s not there. Guys like to feel proud of their significant other. Make him proud.
8. Do get a handle on your jealousy. You chose to be with a guy who’s in a business that surrounds him with beautiful, sometimes aggressive women. But you’d probably feel jealous regardless of what business he was in, so don’t make it all about his career. Let him show you he’s trustworthy.
9. Don’t keep someone on a tight leash. It only makes them want to escape.
10. Do realize that men aren’t mind readers. Be direct, open and honest if you want honesty in return.
11. Don’t play games. Saying you want one thing and expecting him to do something else isn’t playing fair.
12. Do understand that music industry career requires a huge time investment on his part.