Real Answers from Real Pilots

Marriage Advice

Hi all! I’m new to this site so please forgive me if I’m posting this in the wrong category, or if this had been asked already.

I recently got my Private license ( have had it for about a month now) and I’m headed towards the airlines ( I just turned 18.) Ever since I was a child, I’ve always looked up to the airlines, so naturally - I set my heart ( and career) on them, specifically Emirates. And I’ve been extremely dedicated my whole life, telling myself “I’m going for the airlines, I’m going for the airlines.” But something recently made me feel a little uneasy about the airlines…A.I.D.S. ( Airline induced divorce syndrome)

I was online the other day, and read a couple statistics on the divorce rates for pilots. (almost 70%!) I want the “dream.” You know…the wife, the kids, the nice house, the dog etc. but I’m not too happy about being away most of the week (or even the month for that matter.) I understand that once you gain seniority you get first picks with schedules and days that you want to work / be off. How long does that typically take? I know each airline is different but I’m looking for rough numbers. I also understand that being away is just part of the job. Take it or leave it.

Any married airline guys ( or girls) here with experience on the situation? I’m really dedicated to working for the airlines and flying the big iron, but I also want to be there for my wife and kids. Granted, I don’t need to be there every single night, but 3-4 days of staying at home wouldn’t be bad. Hell, I think I’m being a little greedy with 3-4 days, but I’m just guessing how many days an average wife married to a pilot would want. Any tips on marriage and airlines? I know a big thing is finding a wife who is self dependent, and ok with being alone at times, but I don’t want her to be alone all the time and raise the kids by herself. I want to be present in my children’s life.

Any airline guys that can give a breakdown of what their schedule looks like and how bidding for schedules works / looks like? Tips on marriage life? Tips in general?

p.s sorry for the IFR clearance

George

George,

This subject comes up from time to time. As you point it’s a matter of having an understanding partner who’s on board with what you’re doing. There’s also something called compromise. As you gain seniority you gain better control over your life. While I don’t know Emirates schedule most airlines do long haul and do shorter duration trips as well so you’d only be away 2-3 days vs 4-5. Take a look over at the Schedules section and you can see what 3 different pilots with various seniority’s schedules look like. There are plenty of pilots who make their marriages work it just takes effort but then again so do all relationships.

Adam

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George,

For an idea of what our schedules look like, head over to the “Schedules” section of this forum.

No matter how senior you are, this job is about travel and you will spend a significant portion of your life on the road. Your marriage will be as strong as you make it.

Chris

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Hi Chris,

Thanks for the input, I didn’t even know there was a Schedules section! It really helped!

Warm regards,
George

Hi Adam,

Thanks for your info! I’m going to look more into the Schedules section and see how airline life works out!

Warm regards,
George