Having a family and being in the airlines

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by FlowMaster, Sep 3, 2014.

Help Support The Pipe by donating:

  1. Sep 3, 2014 #1

    FlowMaster

    FlowMaster

    FlowMaster

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    525
    Likes Received:
    0
    I never know if this is the right forum for these things or who to contact but I have no where else to go. My fiancé wants to break it off because she is nervous about the future (having a family, being home for holidays, birthdays etc.) What can I say/do that will convince her other wise? I hate to be the miserable (and lonely) airline pilot that could have fixed something.
    How do you be an airline pilot but be a family man.
    Please only sincere answers, i know this is a lot asking on the pipe but I need some input.
     
  2. Sep 3, 2014 #2

    jacburn

    jacburn

    jacburn

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,351
    Likes Received:
    5
    If you are not married yet and there is a lot of doubt, let her go. It is better to break it off now, than to have a divorce in a couple of years over the same concerns that she has now. Please do not convince someone to stay. The best advice is to marry your best friend and not someone you have to convince.

    Airline life is a pain and you will not be home for your family, holidays, parties, special occasions. Even if you are supposed to be off, you may not be home because of airline operations.

    P.S. I have been married since 1998 and I have a kid.
     
  3. Sep 3, 2014 #3

    George

    George

    George

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    She has valid concerns. I'm sorry but the life of a pilot is a hard one and becoming more and more difficult. It's better to break it off now than ten years down the road.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. Sep 3, 2014 #4

    scotts

    scotts

    scotts

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    2
    You are definitely in a difficult situation. I am fortunate to have found a woman (my wife of 24 years now) who is independent and doesn't mind being without me for a few days at a time. As for the holidays, most of us plan to celebrate birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. on an alternate day if we are not home. If it's just the two of you it's not really a big deal. With kids it's a little more work to keep the holiday special.

    It would help to know a little about your background, how old you are, where you are career-wise. Many of life's lessons are learned the hard way, but sometimes you can talk to someone who has "been there" who can give some good advice. Parents, Pastor, a favorite teacher or coach, or a mentor you know well can all give good advice in most situations. Obviously, some of those I mentioned can't always be depended on to give effective help, especially if they haven't been married or don't have children.

    I assume you have had "the talk" about your career and what it means to her. This is not a good career for a spouse who is dependent on you emotionally. If she needs you to be home every night you are going to have problems down the road. Sometimes a good friend or relative can be a "go-to" person when you are on a trip and she is stressing out or needs help with something. If you live where her parents/friends are, that can be a huge help when it comes to support. However, sometimes these relationships with friends and family aren't healthy and you are better off living away from them. If that's the case, they can actually harm your relationship going forward when the chips are down and you're two days from being home. They can give destructive advice to her when she's looking for some sympathy about how she needs you to be home and not in a hotel somewhere. Many marriages are torn down from within your extended family and friends.

    Life aint fair, is it? As soon as you think you are starting to get somewhere, something comes along to block your progress. I have talked to many co-workers who have had their marriage wrecked by their career. Sometimes they did it to themselves by not giving her the love and support she needed. Sometimes it was torn down by a relative or friends with bad advice or outright vicious rumors about your behavior that your wife believed because it fit her own ideas about you. Sometimes we do it to ourselves by a lack of understanding about what it means to be a husband and father.

    Regardless of the symptoms or cause, if she is not an independent woman your career is going to be difficult for both of you. When she's not happy, you're not happy! You are each taking care of each other, it is not a one way street. She needs to know that you are doing what you trained to do and what you love to do. That should make her happy, not upset. If she is inwardly focused, you are going to have a hard time. Every time you miss a birthday or holiday it is going to be your fault, not the airline's fault. You are at the mercy of your seniority, and you can only do so much to improve your situation at work. If she doesn't understand that or rejects that truth, you are going to have problems going forward. She needs to be educated about this career in order to understand and deal with it. Even if she does understand it, she might not be able to deal with it. Probably the most helpful quality in an airline spouse is being an independent person. Of course, it helps to know that before you commit to someone.

    Besides educating her and giving her every kind of support she needs, there are other things to consider. Can you move to a more favorable location? If you live in base and it happens to be where she can get positive support from family and friends, that is sometimes enough to make the difference. If you commute, it takes several days off away from being at home with her. Living in base is probably one of the most important options you have control over to improve the quality of your life, and hers. Sometimes you don't want to leave where you are or can't afford another move. Ask yourself this: what's more important, keeping your wife or your location?

    Marriage is forever, regardless of what the media would have you believe. When you look at her, do you see someone you are looking forward to waking up next to when you are 75? I know it's hard to imagine now, but that is what you are committing to. That kind of love comes with time, but most young folks don't put enough thought into what it means to be married to someone. Perhaps she is looking down the road and can't get past all of the nights alone she is committing to. If she is convinced that she can't live with that, you are facing a huge hurdle to overcome.

    Don't despair, tomorrow is another day. All of us have a cross of some kind to be bear. One thing you can count on with this career is change. What's true today will be different six months from now. Also, there are many airlines and other flying jobs out there you have the potential to work for. One of them may have a base close enough to drive to. Maybe it's a job that allows you to be home every day/night. You have options, don't limit yourself to where you are now. If she is important enough to you, you will figure out a way to make it work. The same thing goes for her. The "important enough" part may be the biggest question you need to answer right now.

    Take care Brother.

    If you'd like to talk sometime, send me a PM.
     
  5. Sep 3, 2014 #5

    scotts

    scotts

    scotts

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    2
    jacburn and George are correct...
     
  6. Sep 3, 2014 #6

    flygirl145

    flygirl145

    flygirl145

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    667
    Likes Received:
    2
    My husband and I are marriage coaches, we try and help couples. What you may want to look at is pre-marital counseling. Discuss all issues. Also go thru the process of how strong and deep is your love of each other. Marriage yes brings its challenges and we grow from those challenges. I do think if you can live in base and not be a commuter, for a new relationship this may help to maximize days off and not spend them commuting. And as mentioned above, can she be independent, does she have folks she can lean on for support. Are there some other wives she can speak to for support etc ( positive support not negative nellies).
     
  7. Sep 3, 2014 #7

    scotts

    scotts

    scotts

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    2
    BTW, it's good that you are thinking ahead about being a father. However, remember that you need to have a solid marriage first before being a father. She comes first. Your life will change when you get married. When you are single, it's all about you. All important decisions need to only be vetted through you. When you are married, now you have to pass all of those important decisions through her. You both decide if you are going to buy a new car. You both decide where to go on vacation, etc, etc. When you get married, your life changes. It's no longer all about you.

    When the two of you decide it's time to have children, your lives will change again. All decisions will be passed through the filter of: "what's best for our child?" Being married and having children changes our lives. It doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite sport or hobby, it means you know have to consider them before doing it.

    There is a huge difference between being single and being a husband and then a father. Many single people make the mistake of not recognizing this before saying "I do."
     
  8. Sep 3, 2014 #8

    FlowMaster

    FlowMaster

    FlowMaster

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    525
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for some candid answers. I'm new to the airline field, live in base, and only have about a 1 hour commute on reserve. I never would have took this job if i knew my life was going to fall apart. I'd take the crappy CFI pay if it meant to never feel this way. Any way, thanks for some insight. this woman's not something I'm willing to give up.
     
  9. Sep 3, 2014 #9

    azpilot

    azpilot

    azpilot

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Messages:
    2,486
    Likes Received:
    6
    Life changes on a daily, monthly, yearly basis. All sorts of others things will come up in marriage that may impact your relationship. She gets a new job in a new state, you get a new job in a different city. Do the counseling thing and be open and honest. If she can't hang with the aviation lifestyle then your choices are simple.

    1. Shake hands and see you later

    2. She can give a little and see what happens

    3. She can not change her mind and you can see what happens. The day she puts her foot down you either stay or leave. I always told my wife if she got sick of me being gone I would quit. Guess her boyfriend kept her happy because she never complained much. Married 16+ years in aviation for 11.

    How old are you? I got married at 29, now 45, our marriage has gone through so many changes that I have lost track. Guess what we are still happily married. You can't plan for everything.

    For now I am in a day trip flying job. That was my choice. I was sick of being on the road. No pressure from my wife. That could change in the future if she gets sick of me being home all the time!
     
  10. Sep 3, 2014 #10

    fazole

    fazole

    fazole

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Messages:
    3,460
    Likes Received:
    6
    This part of your career is only temporary. You will be based somewhere else eventually. Is she willing to move? Will it even be possible if you are based in NY or somewhere else very expensive? You may have to commute. When kids arrive, it becomes even more difficult. You're in a new city, no support from extended family, you're away a lot. She's at home with a baby and no local support. Would any family members be able to move in and help her? In many ways, this career is not for the married. Choose wisely.
     
  11. Sep 4, 2014 #11

    antbar

    antbar

    antbar

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Live in base, she'll be begging for you to get out of the house.
     
  12. Sep 4, 2014 #12

    FlowMaster

    FlowMaster

    FlowMaster

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    525
    Likes Received:
    0
    Waiting for that day! haha
     
  13. Sep 6, 2014 #13

    Hammer

    Hammer

    Hammer

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Messages:
    2,590
    Likes Received:
    11
    Well this speaks volumes. This job is NOT worth what you might be giving up. Family is everything. $ can be made other ways.
     
    FlowMaster likes this.
  14. Sep 11, 2014 #14

    wing-zero

    wing-zero

    wing-zero

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Hammer, speaking from experience, it can be rough on family. I joined XJT back in 2007 before me and my wife got married. My ideas of what 121 flying turned out to be completely different than what I told her. I originally commuted to reserve 1st 2 yrs. 3.5 hour flight to only be home 25 hours before I had to turn back to commute to the crash pad. You living in base is the best thing. Also invite her on one of your trips. Do an overnight somewhere if she is willing. Showing her you want her around as much as possible and that you're willing to go above and beyond to keep things good with her. The best advice I can offer, pray about it and put effort into it. It will work out! People outside the job don't understand the job. Clue her in on it. Take her on a turn or an overnight. Hope I have been a encouraging to you! There are plenty of us who would want to help you guys!
     

Share This Page