Marriage and the Road: Part 2

I am in Arizona right now...Rock and I packed up and headed out a couple days ago to stay with my sister and her sweet fam for the next 3 weeks. The bittersweet feelings flood in as I leave my Nashville home for a chunk of time and enter into my old world with sisters and brothers that I spent 20 years with day-in and day-out. We were home schooled and I literally went from sharing a room with my sister to sharing a room with my husband. and day-out completely applies.

In these weeks apart from Phil the phone is my best friend and hated enemy. Texts and little chit chats on the phone can easily leave me feeling disconnected and annoyed at the physical distance between Phil and I. We are gifted with solid deep conversations here and there, but they can't be predicted. They just show up and many times leave me with my jaw hanging wide open at the depth we were able to dive into together. But...most of the time the conversation are filled with details about what foods we ate/are eating at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; what the weather is like in two separate places...usually one of us loving the weather we have and the other disliking theirs. We talk about Rock's attitude at the moment, whether he's being sweet, spicy, or a combo of the two. As well as the details from last night's show...were there any glitches, anything noteworthy?

Most days I end up wishing I could look Phil in the eye when I tell him I love him. I wish I could hold his hand or see his facial expressions. A couple months ago we found ourselves in a bit of a rut...the empty phone conversations were piling up and all the work I put into taking care of Rock was leaving me wishing Phil could come scoop me up...just the way I do for our son. In the midst of the distance I was handed a realization. My mind went from being dead weight to doing jumping jacks. I was sitting in the corner chair in our bedroom as my heart and head connected to the same thought.

The long distance communication gets hard because generally (the the exception of a video chat here and there) all I have to go on is Phil's voice. When we are having a conversation I can't do the things I want to do...I can't lay my hand on his shoulder and I can't smile or frown at him. The non-verbals don't exist anymore, so the only thing we can give each other is a voice and a listening ear. I realized in that moment that we have to work hard to give each other what a "normal" face-to-face conversation gives. We have to choose words that comfort and understand, ears that listen as though we are snuggled up next to each other. The frustration finally made sense.

I'm grateful to this day for that moment of realization. I felt enlightened and challenged. I am now free to be frustrated without wondering what is wrong with me and then decide to get over the dropped calls and interrupted conversations to try again. To hug Phil with the words I choose and to hold his hand with my listening ears.

The work in progress continues!


  1. sunny, please start a blog on this subject. i think it hits home for A LOT OF US! its hard, there are days (like today) that i want to just throw up my hands and go home. i mean after all we are doing this for our family, but without the family sometimes we wonder "wait... why are we doing this?'.

    i (we) have been where you are. your not alone.

  2. I have the most amazing gift of a wife in the entire world.

    I love you, babe.

  3. Stephen,

    Thank you for your words. I know the road life is unique and hard for all of us. One of the many reasons we moved to Nashville is because we thought there would not only be music opportunities for Phil, but that there would be more support for me as a musicians wife.

    Although I have found support here and there, for the most part it's been difficult to find other wives and moms with touring husbands. It can be really easy to just get together and complain about how things are, but I think there's something to be said for pure community and support for couples and families with touring dads (or moms for that matter). juices are flowing. I'd love to be a part of something to create more of a solid ground for this kind of life...if its possible :)



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