AIBU To be disappointed in DH not talking to me over his guitar?

(77 Posts)
koalasrock Fri 26-Apr-13 13:45:21

My DH has decided recently that he wants to play/practice on his guitar most evenings for a few hours. He has an electric amp, which he puts at what he considers a low level. He also listens to a coach (normally American) on youtube on his computer and plays along to that. This is in our Dining Room, and it can be heard from every other room. He is basically playing the same chords over and over for a long time.
Over the past couple of weeks I have asked him, very nicely (because he can be very sensitive about it) and only TWICE, if he can possibly turn it down a bit. He did turn it down begrudgingly.
Two days ago when he had already been playing for over an hour and a half I asked him to come and talk to me, and he said he would when he'd finished that song. I asked him what he was playing (Brown Eyed Girl), I then commented that it didn't sound like that song on the computer (ie the youtube backing). Thirty minutes later he was still playing, another song though, so I jokingly said that that definitely didn't sound like BEG, to just try and get him to finish as he had said he would (he had been playing for a couple of hours at this point). Well, he then went a bit mad at me, telling me I couldn't be less supportive of him doing something he enjoys, that I'm always basically implying that he is rubbish by asking him to turn it down and that our friend C would never try to stop her husband (who plays in a band). I tried to say that was ridiculous, that I have been really patient with it, particularly as it is noisy and he does play it a lot, and he never thinks whether it is perhaps a bit unreasonable to assume that everyone else wants to hear his guitar playing, practically every night.
To cut a long story short, he is now not speaking to me. I tried to break the ice yesterday, but he basically said that he was very cross at my lack of support and that he was expecting an apology, particulary as he has now twisted everything I have said to me effectively saying he is shit on the guitar.
I have again tried to counter with I have been supportive, it is a bit unfair that he is so selfish about it and that frankly, he is being a dick.
Most people don't assume that they can just start playing guitar in the house every night and assume everyone else has got to like it. I suggested that if I took up violin every night he wouldn't like it.
So, we are now not talking and I have not apologised! He also tried to involve our youngest ds (13) by asking him if he found his playing 'so offensive', and this has really pissed me off, although DS sort of said it was noisy.
This all seems really petty, but I initially trod on eggshells around the volume thing because he is very sensitive about it. I really don't know why, but he really is.
But, hand on heart, I haven't been unsupportive, and I'm a bit disappointed that this is such a big deal to him and he is so determined to twist what I said, but then he does do that. Am I being unreasonable to think I have been unfairly judged as being unsupportive and then in thinking he is actually being selfish anyway?

valiumredhead Fri 26-Apr-13 13:53:44

He needs to get some earphones.

You need to practise a lot when you begin to play an instrument, it's really bloody hard and comments like 'that doesn't sound like it should' will piss anyone off especially if they are as keen as your dh sounds.

Are you annoyed about the noise or that he's practising so much? Tbh if my dh told me to stop practising the piano I'd tell him where to get off! Ds plays the guitar non stop atm, it's something to be encouraged imo.

BlingLoving Fri 26-Apr-13 14:04:47

Well, I can see both sides. As valium said, it's annoying when you're practising and someone makes a comment that it doesn't sound like whatever it's supposed to be. But at the same time, non stop practising of this sort can drive a person crazy if you have to listen to it.

Can he get headphones if he's using an electric amp? DH spends a lot of time playing and either uses headphones or plays very quietly. Also we are lucky as he's able to play in a room that is slightly seperate from the rest of the house.

As for the request to "come talk to you" that's something different. I totally sympathise with you. But I think that it's a bit unfair to tell him to stop doing something so you can have some attention. What's better, is to say, "You get to do music every night, I'd like us to have one night together to chat/eat/watch a movie" and agree what night that is. I know that if I was enjoying reading my book in the evening I'd be annoyed if DH was constantly popping up and telling me to talk to hmi. but if we'd agreed it was an evening for us to spend together,then of course, I wouldn't be reading in the first place.

So YANBU but you are being a little insensitive.

pollyblue Fri 26-Apr-13 14:08:26

i play the violin and it (any instrument) is relentless practice, playing the same scales/pieces etc over and over again. A lot of what your DH plays probably won't sound like its 'supposed' to, because he's learning....

However - has he got headphones he could use? I've got a mute on my violin so i can practice when others are in the house. And is he having lessons? A lesson outside the house with a tutor will give your ears a break, and give him some constructive advice and effective 'homework' to do between lessons.

YoothaJoist Fri 26-Apr-13 14:08:46

YABU I think. If you let him get on with it unmolested he'll lose interest eventually. Basic psychology, innit?

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Fri 26-Apr-13 14:10:52

Headphones are your friend husband plays bass, i feel you

DiscoDonkey Fri 26-Apr-13 14:12:00

I think maybe you are being a bit unreasonable. The guys trying to learn something and you are making jabs about it not sounding like the song it should be. A bit unfair I think. On the others and he needs to get head phones!

valiumredhead Fri 26-Apr-13 14:13:05

I would have killed dh had he said anything to me in the early days of learning!

You said a couple of times that he can be 'sensitive'. What do you actually mean by this? In what way does his 'sensitivity' manifest itself (since it is obviously not sensitivity to the comfort of others).

My first thought is that he should not be practicing with an amp, but with headphones. He is engaged in a solitary pursuit, so he should be keeping it to himself. The rest of the household are being effectively dragooned into being his ever-more-reluctant audience, I'm sure the rest of you would like to get on with your own hobbies/activities without the distraction.

Oh, and YANBU.

MaterFacit Fri 26-Apr-13 14:19:10

I'd be tempted to get another instrument (drum, flugelhorn, didgeridoo, one man band costume?) and play in the next room tunelessly and noisily. Accuse him of being unsupportive if he complains.

<really really grumpy and unreasonable today and this has brought back memories of brother's endless fecking trumpet 'practice'>

Seriously though, he is being unreasonable. He is ignoring you and not taking your wishes or comfort into account. He needs some headphones.

RawShark Fri 26-Apr-13 14:20:13

Most evenings for more than two hours would test my patience. Think bling has the gist of what I think

koalasrock Fri 26-Apr-13 14:23:26

I haven't told him to stop, I have only asked him to turn it down a couple of times when I have been trying to concentrate working on the computer in the same room. Nor did I say that it didn't sound like it should, I was saying that backing on youtube didn't sound like Brown Eyed Girl, it was an innocent observation not a personal insult!

I have been happy for him to practice, and I would never dream of telling him to stop because he enjoys it.

What I am pissed off about is how uber-sensitive and angry he has got about it.

I should probably also point out that DH has been playing his guitar for over 20 years and can play, he is just going through a new phase of trying new songs, and both of my kids have been actively encouraged with their instruments, but there was no way they would have practised for hours every night!

quoteunquote Fri 26-Apr-13 14:25:42

Sound proof summer house with an internet connection, is where everyone should practice, it's made family life much better, well worth it, we built it with mainly reclaimed stuff, kept costs down.

Oh good grief - that would drive me insane!!
I can remember my sister practising guitar (just a normal one) when I was younger and then the clarinet!
Just a total nightmare - it's like drilling in your head.
Ask him to get some headphones.
And rather than apologise for saying what you didn't actually say, just say to him 'I'm sorry my comments made you feel (a certain way)' blah blah blah - so you aren't saying sorry but you are, IFSWIM?
I'd be really pee'd off about him ignoring me as well. That is just childish behaviour and not something adults should do.
Grown ups are usually educated enough to have a conversation and compromise - it's what it's all about!
Good luck.

LadyVoldemort Fri 26-Apr-13 14:36:56

I feel for you here. I had an ex who was glued to his guitar and harmonica, he'd be playing them at every opportunity he could, even when sat watching a film together or trying to get to sleep. It drove me mad! Now I know this probably isn't an option for you, but what really worked for me was leaving the bastard grin

Seriously though, he needs to invest in ear phones. It's only fair.

chocoluvva Fri 26-Apr-13 14:38:58

You have my sympathy.

My DH play electric guitar too. Apparently, it's no good at all if it isn't loud, like the music he plays in the car which he has listened to for the past thirty years

What is it with men and their excessive hobbies? Golf - EIGHTEEN holes - takes all day, football - involves shouting before, during and after the match etc etc.

IMO it goes without saying that playing loudly all evening is selfish of him. Do you watch' your' programmes on the TV so loudly that the whole household hears them? You're completely within your rights to insist that he uses headphones. You shouldn't need to have to ask him.

I'm sorry, but electric guitar playing does not sound pleasant unless the player is very skilled; all that buzzing, feedback, whining,screeching. The thing is, your DH is probably picturing himself on stage playing to an adoring audience, escaping from RL into a little fantasy world...

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 14:39:51

What's behind his decision to increase his practice? He seems to be both remarkably committed and remarkably touchy about needing to get better at guitar. Has he shown this level of commitment about anything else before?

StuntGirl Fri 26-Apr-13 14:40:17

My partner is in a band, he plays guitar and bass most days. He generally practices in the bands practice room (and band rooms are usually converted and soundproofed mills/warehouses/etc for a reason!) When he practices at home he does so without plugging the amp in. He will occasionally plug the amp in and turn it to its lowest setting, but this is during sociable hours (weekend afternoons say) and when I have nothing else on or am out.

Your partner is being a bit silly, electric guitars aren't known for being quiet or sociable. He needs to compromise a bit. Headphones for definite at home, or an actual rehearsal room elsewhere.

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 14:40:37

x-post - basically it sounds a bit mid-life crisis-y unless he does this kind of thing all the time...

Grammaticus Fri 26-Apr-13 14:41:25

Headphones.

Nagoo Fri 26-Apr-13 14:42:15

yy to headphones, and actually no reason why he can't practice without anything plugged in.

another bassist DH

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 14:42:33

oh, also - scheduling some evenings out of the house might work. IME people in a phase-craze find it much harder to work up passion for it when their audience disappears.

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 14:43:20

and another thing! my DH practises electric guitar (he's very good) unplugged. you can still hear it perfectly well for practise purposes in a living room.

Tailtwister Fri 26-Apr-13 14:45:22

Earphones or you can even practice without the amp on.

If he's just starting out he will need to spend a huge amount of time practicing if he wants to progress. If he isn't getting lessons already I would definitely recommend it. It will give him some focus and give you at least one night off!

You can get practice amps that aren't anywhere near as loud as a normal amp, or, as has been suggested, he should use headphones.

He's being an arse, if he has been playing for 20 years. If he was just starting, I might have some sympathy with his comments about your comments. But he isn't, and I don't.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 26-Apr-13 14:45:36

YABU. Leave him alone. I write in the evening and if my DH took the piss I'd be very angry. I spend on average one night a week with him exclusively. We do have days together with the DC but that's enough imo.

Nagoo Fri 26-Apr-13 14:58:22

Do you write with a REALLY LOUD pen?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 26-Apr-13 15:10:50

Headphones will do the job. He shouldn't feel the need to show off with conspicuous practice, it's not like he has to prove something.

I am trying not to use the phrase "Is he normally this needy?" He is taking up a hobby which requires him practising daily. Some encouragement would be a nice gesture. Try not to make quips about his ability. We indulge DCs and the ones we love and in return they support us.

Comparing your level of support to your friend C is might beg the comparison to her H's talent so if he thinks that through I don't think your DH will repeat that. Chances are he'll get frustrated after a while but another hobby might be a bigger more costly headache.

I'd probably look for something you enjoy equally to occupy yourself. I don't know if this is a long held dream or the latest in a line of hobbies. It shouldn't mean making you or the DCs feel sidelined.

StuntGirl Fri 26-Apr-13 15:15:21

Nagoo grin

Jux Fri 26-Apr-13 15:37:06

DH plays guitar but he's been playing for 500+years. When I or dd are in he either uses headphones, or a tiny practice amp on v low volume - and all doors closed etc. When he's alone in the house he cranks it up. He's at his noisiest (except when alone) when he's teaching, but that's fair enough. Even then, it's not that noisy.

If your h is serious about learning he needs one to one lessons. Learning from the internet is OK if you already know what you're doing, but it's far too easy to fall into bad playing habits which are then really hard to break.

koalasrock Fri 26-Apr-13 15:46:53

Sometimes my OH is an absolute rock, but he does struggle with not ever being able to think of himself as ever in the wrong at all in any way, ie he refuses to believe that he snores and his instant response is that it is me. He sleeps like a log but I am woken most nights by his snoring, but if I mention it it is as if I am accusing him of murder, so I don't mention it. T'was ever thus, I am afraid, and that is why I trod on eggshells re the volume. I didn't nor ever would comment on his ability, so I don't think I wrote my post very well. I want him to enjoy playing guitar, but I think the headphones suggestion is one I'll request when he deigns to speak to me again!

binger Fri 26-Apr-13 15:54:03

My dh plays every night also but he's brilliant - I still don't want to listen to it though. He plugs his headphones in - job done,

Tell him to stop being bloody selfish and use a pair. There are loads of really good quality headphones available which won't spoil his enjoyment.

@ Nagoo!!!
I'm almost crying here - brilliant!
grin

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 26-Apr-13 16:17:18

Brilliant Nagoo.

Liked your mention of the violin earlier OP. Or how about bagpipes?!

ZZZenagain Fri 26-Apr-13 16:19:40

just get the headphones for him yourself.

Now is a good time of the year to get yourself out of the house jogging, if you can face it, or something else. Winter will be a right drag though but he might be better bythen.

youloveus Fri 26-Apr-13 16:21:32

I feel your pain grin My husband used to play the acoustic guitar most nights, which was fine as I could still do things I wanted to do without his music being too intrusive, we live in a small terrace with no room for him to have a practice space and with 2 dc asleep it meant he had to sit in the living room with me. However 2 years ago he switched to alto saxaphone, joined a jazz group and basically alienated the entire neighbourhood, and me! In the end we got electricity to the shed and he now spends every evening in there tooting away, and on a thursday he's out at his jazz class. So although the noise issue has been addressed I now never see him! he disappears to the shed the moment I take the dc upstairs for stories/bed, he's so obsessed with the sax, there is hardly any room in his life for anything else. It's taken me a while, but I'm fairly used to being a sax widow now wink though occasionally he doesn't come back to the house till gone 10.30pm, weekend that's ok, but mid-week I'm off to bed by then, so we don't see each other at all!

Headphones/practice amp are your answer, but as for conversation I think that is a victim of a man and his music hmm grin

GirlWiththeLionHeart Fri 26-Apr-13 16:27:07

Yanbu why are you tiptoeing around him? Tell him to turn it down or get headphones. Very selfish,

valiumredhead Fri 26-Apr-13 16:27:34

I agree, just buy them yourself.

MonstrousPippin Fri 26-Apr-13 16:54:17

He might need a new cable so he can plug his computer and the guitar into the amp so he can listen to both the guitar and backing track on the headphones at once, but it can be done, so don't let that reason stop him.

My soon to be DH is a professional musician and guitar teacher so he plays for hours every day both for work and pleasure - I totally feel your pain. I'm as supportive as I can be, after all it's his business, but he also appreciates that sometimes noise is noise no matter how good the player is.

One nifty little gadget is the pocket guitar amp which could make a nice gift for him. They take batteries, You plug your electric guitar into it and a pair of headphones, pop it in your pocket and then you can go anywhere, e.g. the garden, without having to cart loads of equipment with you and needing a power socket. Have a look here:

www.musicroom.com/se/id_no/076913/details.html

Perhaps a gift would show you support him... hopefully he wouldn't take it the wrong way and see it as something that gives him freedom to move around the house with his guitar?

5Foot5 Fri 26-Apr-13 17:07:02

Your DH is being unreasonable by taking over a shared area of the house and imposing his practice on the rest of the family.

Both DH and I play "loud" instruments (he is tenor sax and I am trombone) but neither of us would practice in the living / dining room where the rest of the family are. When either of us wants to play we go to an upstairs room and shut the door. Of course you can still here it in the rest of the house but not so bad that it disturbs what anyone else is doing. If DH is playing I can hear him a bit but I can still hear the TV or whatever else it is I am doing elsewhere in the house.

Can your DH practice in a spare bedroom and/or get headphones?

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 17:11:16

actually, now i think about it i'm sure DH mentioned there is an iphone app to allow you to use it as a mini amp?

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Fri 26-Apr-13 17:20:08

If he's been playing for 20 years, he should at least be able to play brown eyes girl! It's one of the first songs I taught myself to play.

Headphones or a teeny practice amp, you get ones like mini Marshall stacks that clip on your pocket.

And unless he is working on lots of effects with pedals or new techniques, he doesn't really need to plug it in anyway, he's just being selfish.

Jux Fri 26-Apr-13 17:32:47

Yup, lots of times I wander past dh's studio and see he's practising, just not plugged it in. (He is a pro player as well as teacher. He suggests that you remind your oh that high volume can distort the sound for the audience so that playing it quieter may help you discern the song he's playing grin; but if he's been playing for 20 years then - even though there is truth in it - he may not accept that).

ArtemisKelda Fri 26-Apr-13 17:50:16

YY to headphones. My DH is a guitarist too and has set up a home recording studio in the attic. He always practices with headphones on at home, we have small DCs so he needs to keep it down.

He makes as much noise as he wants at the bands practice room, its in a warehouse so no neighbours to disturb.

He will also happily spend hours each day practicing but does spend plenty of time with the children. I just get on with my own things when he's practicing, studying, mumsnetting etc.

JumpingJackSprat Fri 26-Apr-13 17:52:34

My dp plays guitar if i dont fancy listening to it he sticks the headphones in or plays unplugged. Although hes now put the notion of me playing bass in my head so we can jam and is going to teach me :D i guess thats not a solution youre interested in OP?!

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 17:52:53

tbh it sounds like the issue really is that he can't deal with criticism and is a bit wrapped up in himself, isn't it?

omaoma Fri 26-Apr-13 17:55:26

I mean, by the sound of it you'll make neutral comments about headphones or unplugging, and he'll be offended that you're telling him what to do, you don't want to hear him play, cramping his style or pissing on something he loves. if you then said 'lots of people who are professional musicians do that' he'll be offended that you think he's somehow not in the know or have sought advice from musos behind his back thus patronising/humiliating him.... I'm guessing.

Uppermid Fri 26-Apr-13 17:56:24

Don't ask him about headphones, just get them.

Re the snoring, video him on your phone, he can't deny it then can he!

aldiwhore Fri 26-Apr-13 17:57:16

Buy him a pod and some good headphones for his birthday and enjoy the peace.

YANBU to wish him to engage with life and his family as well as his guitar though.

I practice an hour a night without it ever impacting on family life or time with my DH because they are important too!!

"tbh it sounds like the issue really is that he can't deal with criticism and is a bit wrapped up in himself, isn't it?"
That was what struck me too omaoma. His 'sensitivity' (but insensitivity to others), his overreactions, OP's walking on eggshells. And playing for hours every evening using an amp and not headphones? All that's missing is a flashing neon sign above his head with an arrow and the words 'look at me, look at meeee'.

Vizzage Fri 26-Apr-13 22:06:23

I'm a musician and I find the tone is often better if it's loud. Volume is tone, as they say! Perhaps he will get really good if you let him practise and then you'll start to love the music! My other half is a really good pianist and I love hearing the music coming from our piano room. Your DH sounds pretty cool to me!

FriendlyLadybird Fri 26-Apr-13 22:39:51

Headphones. And occasionally go out and let him make a lot of noise. I speak as the wife of a professional guitarist.

And, yes, he's probably going to get touchy if you say anything that might be interpreted as a criticism of his playing. DH doesn't do that, but he knows he's good. DS sure as hell does, because he's still learning.

shhhiamaman Sat 27-Apr-13 13:17:56

To the OP:

For a (mainly male) guitar players view, here you go smile

http://forum.musicradar.com/showthread.php?129089-Mums-discuss-guitar-playing-husbands

shhhiamaman Sat 27-Apr-13 13:18:55
DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 27-Apr-13 14:02:58

I know a 'golfing widow' who resents the hours her DH spends out golfing and my husband took motorbike lessons in his early 40's and loves going out on his 'bike so perhaps your H considers he is doing you a favour by being safe at home.

Is he speaking to you again?

Grumpyrocker Tue 30-Apr-13 09:53:04

My wife usually tells me to turn it up a bit as she enjoys listening to me play.

But then I haven't spent 20 years failing to master Brown Eyed Girl. smile

Grumpyrocker Tue 30-Apr-13 10:06:34

"What is it with men and their excessive hobbies? Golf - EIGHTEEN holes - takes all day, football - involves shouting before, during and after the match etc etc."

Some people like to have interests in things that aren't watching Eastenders and posting on mumsnet.

chocoluvva Tue 30-Apr-13 11:47:24

Women are less likely to put their hobbies before the needs of their family. Go to a class/group once or twice a week.....

Hope the OP's DH goes on mumsnet and reads this thread.

Crinkle77 Tue 30-Apr-13 11:54:09

Think you are going to have to find a compromise somewhere. Can you suggest that he limits to an hour a night or he only practises on certain evenings? Perhaps you could find a hobby of your own and disappear for hours and see how he likes it

Mumsyblouse Tue 30-Apr-13 11:57:08

Headphones or plays in another room. Quite easy no need for his new hobby to overtake conversation/normal life.

My husband uses headphones if he is playing a game on the computer/anything noisy/so do I.

KittensoftPuppydog Tue 30-Apr-13 12:09:13

Headphones, obviously, also though, I have times when I go out- I take a class in something that interests me- and he has the go ahead to go bonkers while I'm out.
Get him to join a band. My dh has been in a few and usually spends one night out a week practising in a studio.

I love the fact to go along with learning to play the guitar he has also turned into a 14old stroppy boy as well wink.

xyhere Tue 30-Apr-13 17:35:14

Full disclosure: I'm 3 things which may not endear me to you folk - a guy, a dad and a guitarist. Also, this is going to be an epic post, because this sort of situation bothers me and causes strife where there really doesn't need to be any.

However...I thought I'd try to help here, because I may even have something useful to say ;)

It's often not quite as simple as "using headphones" - as has been pointed out, he's following YouTube videos. That means he has to be use something which allows him to hear both the guitar (the amplified sound, or something like it) and the video itself. While this is possible (and I'll tell you how in a sec), plugging headphones into his amp is not going to to it. In fact, most amps don't have a headphone output (plugging them into the speaker output would fry the headphones and release an awful lot of smoke) and when they do the sound is often so bad it's like somebody shoving ice picks into your brain via your ears. Trying to practice like that is impossible (I know, I've tried).

Thing is, he probably isn't even aware of a way to have all the audio run through the computer so he can hear both his playing and the video through his headphones.

There is, however, a way to do it but it's going to cost a bit of money. Firstly, he needs to get a decent low-cost audio interface (M-Audio Fast Track should do it - these are around £50 if you shop about a bit - and they're easy to set up). There are much better, and much more expensive, interfaces about but if he's just using it for practice then that shouldn't be necessary.

Secondly, he'll need a bit of software on the computer which will take the raw sound of the guitar and make it sound like it's running through an amp - Amplitube Custom Shop is free to download and install, and comes with a few decent amp models and effects. It may even sound better than his current amp. He could also buy new models for it in the Custom Shop part, so he can sound more like his heroes smile

An extra bonus of this is that he could use this hardware and software to record himself playing. Listening back to that could well help him improve his playing - that's not me saying that he's crap, just that there's always a way to improve no matter how good you are.

So that's the helpful bit out of the way...now for the opinion (I'm bracing myself already). It sounds to me like you're both being unreasonable and insensitive. He's ignoring everybody else in the house by retreating into his world while he's playing. While every musician does this, it's pretty inconsiderate and - generally - shouldn't be done, because even from a purely selfish perspective the inevitable friction is never going to be conducive to good practice.

However, the OP is also being pretty insensitive. Several things are fairly obvious:

1 - He loves playing guitar.
2 - He may not be of a high standard (playing Brown Eyed Girl repeatedly to get it right suggests limited ability).
3 - He's very aware that he's not playing at a high standard, but lacks the guidance to get better.
4 - He doesn't know how to improve, and is getting frustrated.

As his wife, you have a reasonable expectation that he be more considerate, but he should also have a reasonable expectation that you would also have spotted points 1-4 above since you're supposed to know him better than anybody else.

My suggestion - tell him you've researched it with musicians, and buy him the audio interface I mentioned above. It's pretty cheap (as these things go), and it will be a step on the way to him getting what he wants - being a better player - as well as you getting what you want.

Approached the right way, the compromise is on both sides: yours is purely financial, and his is in changing the way he does things (to what will - at first - appear to be a worse setup) to make you happier.

xyhere Tue 30-Apr-13 17:50:37

Just an addendum about the "he's being overly sensitive" thing. Guys tend to be very sensitive about the flaws they perceive in their abilities in the same way ladies do about the flaws the feel in themselves.

Please excuse my use of the stereotype (sorry, I'm dealing with this exact issue with my daughter at the moment), but say you'd put on a couple of pounds and couldn't shift it no matter what you did - and then, when you're feeling a down about it, he pipes up with "Cheer up! I think you look much better like this - cuddly's always better!". He might think he's being supportive - and probably genuinely so - but to you it sounds like he's just confirming your suspicion that you're fat.

I'm 99% sure that's how he feels about the OP's comments.

LadyInDisguise Tue 30-Apr-13 22:40:00

As his wife, you have a reasonable expectation that he be more considerate, but he should also have a reasonable expectation that you would also have spotted points 1-4 above since you're supposed to know him better than anybody else

Well as her husband, I believe he should have known that playing the guitar for hours on the evening, day after day was going to be difficult for the OP. He should have had a reasonable expectation that this would have been too much noise for her (and not nice to hear thanks to his own limited ability...).

Sorry but he is the one who has changed the rules and is introducing something new in the house (his music for hours and hours) so I would expect him to take others into consideration. And as a husband and a father, to know that this would be hard to cope with for his wife and children... After all, he knows for a long time don't you think?

And why should it be the Op who is finding a solution to the problem when he isn't even happy to talk about it but goes in a sulk???

You were right xyhere this isn't going to be an acceptable way of looking at things

(Good point on the technical side though. This will not be as easy as that to find a solution)

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 30-Apr-13 23:47:18

My DH is allergic to dogs but I grew up with pets maybe I should revive that whim and borrow a dog. It'll impact on the whole household, I may not be very good at looking after it but DH can lump it. If he makes any comment I can shout and sulk and drag the kids into it. Oh better still wait for him to buy me a dog grooming kit and toys for the dog after all that's what happens in other homes, DH will be denying me my fun.

thezebrawearspurple Wed 01-May-13 00:10:02

yanbu, it's not fair for him to inflict his noise on the whole house for hours on end, you're the one who has to suffer. I'd offer him a choice between headphones or divorce. The impact noise pollution has on your health isn't worth indulging anyone for, stop tiptoeing around him, he's being an inconsiderate arse and needs to know it.

ChippingInLovesSpring Wed 01-May-13 00:24:41

Donkey grin

MusicalEndorphins Wed 01-May-13 00:29:18

Being around musicians for over 40 years, most do play all the time, music is their passion. The headphones are the only way to go unless, they have a sound booth.

MusicalEndorphins Wed 01-May-13 00:31:17

PS I agree with the mention of you jamming with him.

StanleyLambchop Wed 01-May-13 09:15:23

YANBU. I had an ex who was obsessed with his guitars, drove me mad! That was back in the days before the internet- guitar tutors on You Tube sounds like a whole new level of hell for guitar widows!

He definitely needs to get some earphones, and does he have to practice for so long- could he not cut that down- it is quality not quantity- surely his fingers must be tired after two hours!

How well do you get on with your neighbours? They must be able to hear it too (our current neighbour plays guitar, with amp, it comes through the wall like nobody's business!) Could you pop round and explain, and ask them if they would mind knocking on the door and asking him to keep it down? Sneaky I know, but it might stop and make him think if there are complaints from outside the family.

You do need to sort this though otherwise you will probably end up completely snapping and chucking his guitars out of the window or something.

Jux Wed 01-May-13 11:39:57

I used to know a guitar widow who did just that! All of his "beautiful babies" out the window!

I haven't really felt the need to do that with dh's 20-odd babies, but he is more considerate vis a vis noise levels (but his drummer has a massive studio in the middle of nowhere where dh can let rip whenever he wants). Oh, and when dd was a baby he got annoyed when she cried, and I didn't have to out to him too often that maybe the very loud guitar didn't help.....

Jux Wed 01-May-13 11:40:36

...point out to him too often ....

HumphreyCobbler Wed 01-May-13 11:54:51

Your DH is being entirely unreasonable. He obviously struggles a bit if he has been playing twenty years and it takes him such a long time to master a new song. Does he want to join a band? Maybe that is why he has suddenly cranked up a gear, and why he is maybe so sensitive about his lack of progress.

My DH is a bloody brilliant fiddle player. I still don't want to listen to him play for hours every night, neither would he expect me to.

TroublesomeEx Wed 01-May-13 13:45:06

Get him to either wear earphones or practice without the amp plugged in. It is possible. It's what I do when I'm practising at home and other people are in.

xyhere Tue 21-May-13 16:44:37

Apologies for resurrecting this - I completely forgot about it...

LadyInDisguise - I don't disagree with you. In fact, if you read my posts carefully you'll see that I do believe he's being inconsiderate. However, I know from bitter experience that these things are rarely resolved by one person pointing fingers at the other and refusing to budge. Hence my suggestion that both sides are at fault in the way they've handled the situation (despite the fact that he clearly kicked it off), and perhaps a bit of behaviour modification at each end might lead to a situation where everybody's much happier?

To be clear: all I'm saying is that both sides need to take responsibility for the fact that they've been insensitive and inconsiderate - to varying degrees, obviously. That's what adults do.

KhaosandKalamity Wed 22-May-13 14:18:34

YANBU my partner also plays, but would never actually plug in the amp while practicing at home. It was never discussed, he just knew it was not nice to force everyone else to hear his practice (which I was pretty impressed with, and made sure to let him know it was appreciated). No matter how skilled they are the same few chords on repeat for any more than 10 minutes would do most peoples heads in. Does he support your hobbies and give you hours at a time to focus on your own thing?

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