Is Your Spouse Jealous Of Your Songwriting?

I love my wife.  I’ve loved her since shortly after I met her.  But I also love songwriting- and I’ve loved songwriting LONGER.  I don’t know if I’ve ever loved songwriting more than I love her… but I know for sure that she’s sometimes FELT like I love it more.

I hope you won’t make this same mistake.

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My wife, Emily, knew she was marrying a songwriter.  “Monday Morning Church” had just been a hit single for Alan Jackson when we met through her brother, my roommate and a fellow songwriter.  She knew I was a songwriter, but there was no way she knew what all came with that.  Honestly, neither did I.

I’m not ready to confess all the painful details, but let me just say I’ve wounded my wife a lot over the years, and songwriting has usually been the blade.

I’ve let songwriting carry me away from her too much.  From days in the writing room to nights in the home office or at showcases to just being gone in my mind when I should’ve been fully present with her and/or our children.

Why was I gone so much?

Fear, partly.  Songwriting is a a very, very competitive business, and there is ALWAYS more you can be doing.  Couple that fear with a lack of faith – faith that God is in charge of my success, not me – and you have the perfect recipe for workaholism.  Add in the fact that I love love love songwriting, and it’s even easier to get sucked in.

And when this priority imbalance leads to hurt feelings and conflict, where have I usually turned?  To more work and songwriting.  Music is my alcohol.   Songwriting is my drug.

Songwriting has been my affair.  And my wife has rightfully felt cheated.

I’m not sharing this post to air my dirty laundry.  It’s embarrassing, honestly.  I’m not the husband I promised I’d be.  Thankfully, God has enough grace to cover me, and He’s doing the (painful) work of making me more like Christ.  He has a long way to go, just for the record.

I’m writing this blog post because I want to spare you and your spouse from making these same mistakes and causing or feeling the same hurts.

Songwriting is NOT more important than your marriage.

You didn’t stand in front of God, family and friends and vow to be faithful to songwriting “till death do us part.”  You made the promise to your husband or wife, not to music.

Take some time today to really be honest with yourself.  Have you been unfaithful?  Have you been cheating on your spouse with music?  Go ask your husband or wife if they feel cheated.  You might not like the answer.  But don’t go into defensive mode.  Just shut up, listen and honestly consider what they have to say.  It might be time for an apology.  It might be time to take a break from writing bridges.  It might be time to start rebuilding them instead.

Love is more valuable than love songs.

 

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

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To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

Click Here For The Book

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Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far. SWP 4

10 thoughts on “Is Your Spouse Jealous Of Your Songwriting?”

  1. Brent!! WOW!! Thank you so much for your courage and bravery in baring your soul on this subject. It’s really easy to get swept away by passion and drive from all the creative juices that are constantly living in our heads. You just helped me and probably countless others be able to let go of the obsession. At the end of the day, aren’t we always writing in our heads anyway? Besides, God’s got this!!

    Just another honest, side note – it’s tempting to get a discouraged when a songwriting friend
    has success. That’s just a cover for jealousy.
    Sure, a part of you is happy for them. But, if you realize that God’s in charge, you can relax without coveting their success.

    God bless you, Brent! (And Johnny, too!)

    1. Professional jealousy is real, that’s for sure. Try to think of it like golf- you’re not really trying to beat the other golfers. You’re trying to beat the course. And thanks for the kind words.

  2. As a lyricist I can identify with Brad’s issues. When I get into the “Zone” to write; little else matters. As a writer you never really never know when the urge to write strikes you. Certainly when you are in a relationship you need to be cognizant of your wife’s needs and writing can interfere and create friction.

  3. Brent, I remember doing a phone mentoring session with you maybe 3 or so years ago. In scheduling the chat, you mentioned that you couldn’t do a session much into the evening because of family time. That stuck with me… and I think about that often. I cannot say that I’ve been that strict in setting aside family time like that… but I think about your comment often. When I’m working on a song, I honestly am obsessive… hard to stop working. I’m a mother and wife and naturally my time is not my own during specific hours of the day. But I am constantly fighting this obsession and I know my family feels it. My best “alone time” though is after everyone has gone to bed. This is why I am a very sleep deprived songwriter.

  4. Sounds to me like you’re trying to slow down the competition a bit. Haha just kidding. As a father of 3, busy General &Vascular Surgeon, and guitarist/songwriter, I know what it means to juggle. I always make time for my wife and kids as they are my priority, but I need to take a little care of me too. It keeps me healthy for them, and my wife wouldn’t want it any other way! BTW it’s our 18th Anniversary today, and I love her more than ever! Say hi to Johnny D for me, and keep the Climb coming. Always great stuff coming from you guys!

    Paul (doc7string)

  5. I don’t think this is a matter of being a songwriter as much as whatever a person/spouse does and just ignores his or her loved ones. I’m not a workaholic, I just love writing music and it is a part of me. Workaholics actually never accomplish much. But I write more music than anyone I know of, professional or amateur. And my writing has nothing to do with my family, wife or child, parents etc… it is just what I do. I play while my wife has the TV on at night and I try to play softly of course. But she knew I was a songwriter before she married me. If she said it bothers her that I write and that I must stop, that would be grounds for divorce. Did Jack Nicklaus’ wife tell him to stop playing golf as she didn’t like it? I would not have the negative attitude in my house as it would affect my writing, let alone my golf swing. I am 100% serious on this point. But I do give much to her… I don’t drink, take drugs, do not smoke cigarettes, refrain from profanity, never have hit her, and try to be a good all around husband and father. But my wife should never say that she dosen’t want me to write, and fortunately she has always supported me. But hey, if not, D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Sounds like a hit song! LOL

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