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Hurt Feelings
#2791736 12/15/18 08:20 PM
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I began learning piano at 57 years old and now, 2 years later, I'm doing okay. Not great, but I enjoy playing. This whole time, my husband has never said one word, either positive or negative, about it. I figure he is just tolerating me. Well just now, he hurt my feelings. I know it's dumb, but it was like a jab in my heart. I have a book I am using that has a cd of the music. It helps me to know what how the piece is supposed to sound. Well, I started one of the songs and he came up the stairs right at that moment and said with laughter, 'I thought, wow, she's doing a lot better!' I didn't even know what to say at that point. I just closed up the piano and went somewhere to cry for a bit. I think it was the laughing that got to me and the fact that he didn't try to even fix what he said. I'll get over it. Maybe I'll go back and play something really loud and really awful.

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Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791737 12/15/18 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by DutchTea
I began learning piano at 57 years old and now, 2 years later, I'm doing okay. Not great, but I enjoy playing. This whole time, my husband has never said one word, either positive or negative, about it. I figure he is just tolerating me. Well just now, he hurt my feelings. I know it's dumb, but it was like a jab in my heart. I have a book I am using that has a cd of the music. It helps me to know what how the piece is supposed to sound. Well, I started one of the songs and he came up the stairs right at that moment and said with laughter, 'I thought, wow, she's doing a lot better!' I didn't even know what to say at that point. I just closed up the piano and went somewhere to cry for a bit. I think it was the laughing that got to me and the fact that he didn't try to even fix what he said. I'll get over it. Maybe I'll go back and play something really loud and really awful.

I don't even no what to say about that. That's just horrible. I hope you don't decide to quit piano because of this. Just remind yourself you are playing for you, and not for him!


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Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791740 12/15/18 08:44 PM
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Nope. I won't quit. I love to play too much.

Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791744 12/15/18 09:01 PM
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I obviously don't know the relationship with your husband and whether or not he's supportive of your playing or you in general.

Having said that, I wouldn't let it bother me overmuch. The truth is we ask an awful lot of our families/partners when we play the same bar over, and over and over so a little jab as "payback" for the hours of listening to you practice seems like a small price to pay.

I usually try to vary my practice routine between true "practice" where I'm working on something new and "performance" where I'm playing something I can play well so I don't put too much of a burden on those who share the house with me. Even with that, I get the occasional "boy, I'm glad that's over".


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Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791746 12/15/18 09:02 PM
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Spouses can really be rude, and not even realize it. Don't quit-get even-by continuing to play and get better every day!



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Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791751 12/15/18 09:21 PM
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The issue has nothing to do with music as such or how well you play, but is concerned with manners and common courtesy. If the remark was merely hastily tactless it was bad enough; if it was deliberate it was a lot worse. Regardless of objective standards a spouse's endeavours should always be given encouragement. I agree with the others' posts in that, difficult as it seems, your best course is to forget the comment and concentrate even harder on enjoying your music to the full, with or without his approval. I have found, over the years, that the underlying cause of comments such as his is frequently based in envy.

Last edited by Ted; 12/15/18 09:25 PM.

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Re: Hurt Feelings
Ted #2791754 12/15/18 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Ted
I have found, over the years, that the underlying cause of comments such as his is frequently based in envy.

I think it is sad that the subject of "envy" is even arising in talking about spousal relations... But then again, we see all sorts of spousal relationships, including one which the people in the US are in the front row for (i.e. Kellyanne Conway & George Conway). So I suppose spousal relationships come in all flavors.


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Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791756 12/15/18 09:53 PM
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While this issue is tangentially piano related, this seems hardly the forum for airing spousal differences. Whatever support and encouragement this forum might give, this is an issue that has to be worked out between husband and wife. Support, if needed, should come from those close to those involved, not from strangers who don't know the dynamics of the relationship.

Regards,


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Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791757 12/15/18 10:11 PM
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Thank you, everyone, I'm feeling better now. Interesting varied comments. I do think there probably is an element of envy since he doesn't play. And also an element of annoyance that I interrupt his quiet time. Knowing him, he does like to tease so there's that too. I guess I'll give him a pass this time, but I certainly would like some of that encouragement. Maybe I'll talk with him about it. He can be oblivious to things that matter to me. It's nothing personal, it's just how he is.

Thanks again!

(edit: just read that last comment. Well, now I feel awful again. Airing my spousal disagreements in public?! Wow. Sorry to have offended.)

Last edited by DutchTea; 12/15/18 10:13 PM.
Re: Hurt Feelings
BruceD #2791759 12/15/18 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Support, if needed, should come from those close to those involved, not from strangers who don't know the dynamics of the relationship.

Why are you saying that strangers couldn't help?

I mean this situation is very obvious: they should discuss installing the silent system in their acoustic or buying a digital and practicing with the headphones.

Why is OK for professional musicians to use the word "woodshedding" for their practice, but nobody should use it towards an amateur musician?

I remember long time ago there was mail order electronics catalogue called DAK Industries (I think the founder was Drew Alan Kaplan). On the outside pages of that catalog they would sell infrared wireless headphones. The catalog number was "Marriage Saver", exactly like I spelled here. Was it wrong to offer it like that?

Last edited by 90125; 12/15/18 10:23 PM. Reason: corrected names
Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791761 12/15/18 10:18 PM
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I've often had similar things said to me. It was never belittling, so I've always found it funny.

The opposite has happened as well. I used to be very self conscious about playing, and when there was nobody home I'd let myself loose on the piano. One day, many years ago, my mother was out and I didn't hear her come home. She said she thought it was a recording.

I have no doubt that you'll be mistaken for a recording too. These things happen in their own time.

Last edited by johnstaf; 12/15/18 10:27 PM.
Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791766 12/15/18 10:32 PM
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Playing piano or any music instrument is a personal thing. My family is into business. When there is a family gathering all we would talk about is financial matters. It's always take care of your bank account first. I play my music practically everyday. This is something I wouldn't discuss at the dinner table. Coming from a non-musical family doesn't help. A number of people in the family have taken lessons but they are just focused on their career at this point. Nobody really has any appreciation for music-making (playing music) besides just turning on the radio and let the music play.

Fortunately I'm playing with a music group. Whenever we have get-togethers like before Christmas, somebody would be at the piano and someone else would be singing sort of thing. Of course we all want the people closest to us to appreciate our music playing but not everybody is into music. At least I have a group of like-minded people that I socialize with regularly.

I've enrolled in group music classes for adults before. At least I met people who are interested in music. I don't have to be around people who would only talk about money all the time.

Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791769 12/15/18 10:42 PM
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Playing/learning the piano for most adults is an intensely private - yet not silent - endeavor. It is very difficult to share this learning process with another family member. Sometimes awkward humor or teasing is the result.

Hubby was trying to bridge a gap with his joke; instead he widened a gap.

Maybe tomorrow DutchTea will wish to discuss this with him. Or else just forget it and carry on. Or practice only when alone.

Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791775 12/15/18 10:56 PM
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When you are first learning to play piano it's hard to find support because beginner piano can be hard on a loved one's ears. When my son first started piano, my husband and ILs were very negative about his playing. My MIL used to tell me that my husband would complain about how much the noise bothered him. Over time and as he improved the negative comments dwindled. I bet you'll find the same.


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Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791782 12/15/18 11:03 PM
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In the beginning, many of us don't sight-read our pieces that well. It takes a while to learn a piece and to others around us it's a distraction. Fortunately I have a keyboard at home and I usually keep the volume low or put on headphones. Now that my playing improved I still keep the volume low when I'm practicing. Some piano have a switch by the foot pedal that allows you to lower the sound when practicing.

By the time you feel comfortable playing a few pieces people can relate to they'd appreciate your music.

Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791785 12/15/18 11:16 PM
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Or... jut simply give him a psychological slap by waiting until he does something and telling him a variation of the comment he gave to you. Sometimes I do this to people. It lets them know that if they trip me up, I trip them up right back. Whether we carry on tripping each other up is up to them. Not very subtle I grant you but can bring people in to line quickly, if you fancy the strict approach.

Alternatively, have we really thought carefully about what he meant? It's hard to defend him, but I feel like we should try and check if this isn't a clumsy social faux-pas. More of a spur of the moment "wisecrack" than a well thought out joke. He was basically just being a prat for a minute. Perhaps a misjudgement. Perhaps he's feeling awful about it.

Or - perhaps not. You be the judge. I'm sure we've all made a backfiring wisecrack or two in our time.

Perhaps just ask him about it? If it was a backfiring wisecrack and you kind of lash out back at him, then you might risk yourself being the one that ends up getting it wrong.

Depends what kind of relationship you two have that determines your next move on this, without knowing you both reasonably well I would have thought it's quite hard for us to judge his context. Only you can guess that.

Originally Posted by DutchTea
'I thought, wow, she's doing a lot better!'


Example. I know it's a reach, but are you sure he wasn't laughing at the fact that he thought it was you playing, and not actually anything to do with you and your practise? So "Oh I'm such a prat, for a moment I thought it was her playing" - in other words laughing at himself?

Only you know really what he meant but just raising the point that with some people, this situation could be possible.

Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791787 12/15/18 11:25 PM
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I might have said something like that to a family member as a joke, and they might have said it to me - we’re a thick skinned, joking bunch and can see the humor in such a comment without getting offended. I might have played a recording and said to my wife, “getting better, right?”

Anyway, I don’t know the tone of the comment or the relationship or personality types, so it’s impossible to make an informed comment on the interaction, but it wouldn’t have bothered me. However, if it really bothers you, you might want to talk to him about it a little. Maybe he needs an aural break. Maybe it was just a quip with no significant meaning at all. I am careful not to overdo my piano practice time. I wouldn’t assume he’s jealous, he may have no interest in piano at all.

Finally, we all have thoughts going into an interaction that color the perception of a remark, sometimes inappropriately.


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Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791792 12/16/18 12:22 AM
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“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”—Lao Tzu
I am nervous playing in front of others, it is better now. My husband would say why can't you play in front of others or play something when people come over. You've been taking almost 5 years. I tell him, when you start taking lessons and playing in front of people then we can discuss this issue. Has not happened yet.


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Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791795 12/16/18 12:39 AM
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We can always count on Deb for some good wisdom! One thing, though, Deb is that I began to play for others this year, at about 5 yrs, and like doing it. That is why I feel it important to develop and maintain a small, level appropriate repertoire to be able to play a least a few favorites of yours at any time. Two years (OP) may be early for this though.


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Re: Hurt Feelings
DutchTea #2791801 12/16/18 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by DutchTea
I began learning piano at 57 years old and now, 2 years later, I'm doing okay. Not great, but I enjoy playing. This whole time, my husband has never said one word, either positive or negative, about it. I figure he is just tolerating me. Well just now, he hurt my feelings. I know it's dumb, but it was like a jab in my heart. I have a book I am using that has a cd of the music. It helps me to know what how the piece is supposed to sound. Well, I started one of the songs and he came up the stairs right at that moment and said with laughter, 'I thought, wow, she's doing a lot better!' I didn't even know what to say at that point. I just closed up the piano and went somewhere to cry for a bit. I think it was the laughing that got to me and the fact that he didn't try to even fix what he said. I'll get over it. Maybe I'll go back and play something really loud and really awful.


I had to laugh out loud myself when I read this!
Men's humour is still intact, after all the snowflakes have done to stop it!

I guess by now he'll be suitably contrite (might well have cost him a bunch of flowers or more) and all will be restored. But if he isn't, put him in his place. Make him pay!
Women will never understand men.
Men will never, ever understand women.

Our brains, and therefore perceptions, are different. I for one, am glad about that.


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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