Sunday, July 7, 2013


Boys... pour yourselves a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and keep the bottle handy.  Ladies... get out a glass and keep the box of wine close by.  The good news is, I am going to save you $347.00 (plus shipping and handling).  The bad news; we might be here a while.

It has come to my attention that there are seminars you can attend, and a 6 hour (ugh!) dvd course available for purchase; all about improving Pilot/Spouse relationships.  To the best of my understanding, the theory is, the qualities that make someone a good Pilot are in direct conflict with the personality characteristics that make someone a good spouse.  Okay.  I get it.  Just do an Internet search of "Pilot personality traits" and you will get a bevy of profession articles on the topic.  Even the "great and powerful" ALPA has acknowledged this.  But the secondary point doesn't ring true for me.  The theory (again, to the best of MY understanding) goes on to say that Pilots are not born; they are trained.  If we can train someone to embrace the qualities that make a good Pilot, we can train them to exhibit qualities that make a good partner.  REALLY?

If the theory were valid, here's what would happen.  At the end of 6 mind-numbing hours of dvd lectures, we would have PilotHusbands who rubbed our feet, changed diapers, fixed things around the house, talked about their feelings, and ACTUALLY cared about what happened at our last book club meeting.  HOWEVER, after removing the "Pilotness" from our PilotHusbands, we'd have planes falling out of the skies.  Face it.  That which drives us crazy in the marriage, keeps everybody (including our PilotHusbands) SAFE.  So.... save $347 and Cowgirl Up!

Reality check, my Sisters.... you CHOSE to marry a Pilot.  Or, you chose that really cute boy in college who said he wanted to go to Law School until he took his first flight lesson and then you had to drop out of Grad school to help pay for his flight training... (Oooops. Sorry. That's me).  Anyway, I'm just suggesting that we knew what we were getting into.  Do NOT change him!  The things that drive you crazy are the very things that make him good at his job.  Instead, learn to adapt and cope.

Let's take a moment to address some of the Pilot personality traits.  Pilots are self-sufficient.  Being married to a Pilot is like owning a cat.  They do their own thing... until they are done doing their own thing... and then they want to snuggle aggressively, regardless of your schedule.  If you own a cat, or a Pilot, you have to let it do its own thing, and appreciate it when its ready to be loved on.  If you can accept that from a cat (who doesn't help pay the mortgage), why can't you tolerate it from a Pilot?

According to the research, Pilots have difficulty trusting anyone to do a task as well as they can.  This is why your Pilothusband leaves you alone for days at a time with your child, and leaves you to deal with the diaper rash, colic, and strep throat, but comes home and tries to micro-manage your every move.  When he starts to lecture you about child care, do NOT engage him in a long conversation (especially if it involves "feelings"-- that's a Pilot's Kryptonite).  Instead, just say "Roger that".  This is the most useful, beautiful, awesome phrase on the planet.  It neither admits wrong-doing on your part, nor superiority on his; it simply lets him know you heard him... and he will let it go.

Generally speaking, Pilot's are unemotional.  This makes them good at dealing with an emergency.  They analyze the data, and choose to act accordingly.  However, this makes them cold and insensitive in personal relationships.  Hello?  That's why we have girlfriends!  Feeling unappreciated?  Fat?  Overwhelmed?  Lonely?  DO NOT DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR PILOTHUSBAND!  Get a sitter and meet the girls out for cocktails.  Can't find a sitter?  E-mail me at to get it off your chest.  But under NO circumstances are you to discuss sad/uncomfortable/discontented feelings with a PilotHusband.  No good can come from that.  You are simply setting yourself up for failure.

It is widely acknowledged that Pilots prefer to modify their environment, than change their behavior.  This is why they are willing to change bases to stay on the same equipment.  Keep this in mind before you drag them to a dinner party or a Parent Advisory Council Meeting at your child's school.  Your PilotHusband is who he is.  He will not change.  Think twice before you subject him to an environment he doesn't like.

The personality characteristics list is extensive, but I don't want to turn this into a boring 6 hour dvd  lecture series.    All I'm saying is there are a lot of qualities that any sane woman would find maddening.  But there are a lot of good ones, as well.  Separate the wheat from the chaff.  Love that which is admirable, and deal with the other stuff.  You are a PilotWife.  You are part of a sisterhood.  Rely on your sisters.  Do not expect that from your PilotHusband that he is unable to give.

Please check back to this site for my upcoming dvd series:  You Married a Pilot... Suck It Up.  Available soon for only $299.00!


  1. Love, love, LOVE this! Spot on. Seriously, I can email you? I may do that next time I have a "feeling" (heaven forbid!) in an attempt to avoid a three-day argument. Lol.
    Christina (married to a B767 pilot, have a three-year old daughter and just had identical twin boys...oh, and I've been known to slap my children whenever an airplane flies overhead so that they will eventually develop a Pavlov-like response to know, every time they see an airplane, they will automatically feel pain...;-))

  2. Yes, email me any time it gets crazy. Love the idea of Pavlovian training. Sadly, it may be too late. Our son turns 7 this week and already has a log book, with 2 water landings and take offs in a sea plane. Yep... I'm screwed.