Dear Aviation Husband, Five Things I Need From You

Dear Aviation Husband,

First and foremost, I want you to know something infinitely important–something which I know I do not tell you nearly enough–I am so very proud of you

When I see you button up that crisp white shirt, slip on your epaulettes, and pin those wings to your chest, my heart swells with uncontainable pride. When your aircraft sails overhead coming in for another smooth landing, I want to shout out for all the world to hear, “That is my husband!” 

Not a day goes by that I do not contemplate the incredible skill it takes to fly a plane, the loneliness and temptation you face on the road, or the great sacrifices you make for our family. It takes a strong, intelligent, talented man to do what you do. Quite frankly, you amaze me.

That’s why I love being a pilot’s wife–your wife! I love knowing you are living out your dream and I get to be a part of that. I love knowing that you are not stuck in a cubicle somewhere when your passion is to soar. I love your willingness to provide for our family, even if that means we are sometimes apart.

My feet may be planted firmly on the ground, but my heart is in the sky. I love it because I love you. 

Most days I am killing it. Most days I take this aviation life by the horns and I wrestle it into submission. Most days I get it all done and shake my fist victoriously at the chaos. Most days I am freaking Wonder Woman!


But oh, the ‘some days.’ Some days I miss you so much it actually, physically hurts. Some days I feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities of being the one left behind. Some days I feel like I am completely and utterly failing at motherhood, wifehood, and life in general. Some days just plain get the best of me.

Don’t misunderstand. I am not complaining. I would not trade you or our life together for anything in the world. I just want you to know because not only are you my husband, but you are my best friend in the entire world and my closest confidante.

If our aviation marriage has any chance of surviving, we have to really see each other. We have to understand the world from one another’s perspective. We have to be candid about our successes…and, yes, even our failures. We have to tell each other what it is we really need. Otherwise, we’re just another aviation marriage statistic waiting to happen.

And that? It’s simply not an option. I chose you and you chose me. We chose each other! You are my husband; I am your wife. Our marriage is worth fighting for.

I know I’m not the perfect wife. Far, far from it. I am, however, a good wife. I love you. I am faithful. I work hard to keep things running while you are away. But I want to be better. I want to be everything you need and want me to be. I want you to look forward to coming home to my arms. I want to fill you up, encourage you, satisfy you. I want to be a great wife.

But I need your help. In order for me to be a great pilot’s wife, I need a few simple things from you too.

1) I need to know you miss me. You are my best friend, my lover, the man I choose to do life with. When we are apart I often feel lonely. That’s a good thing! It means you are a man worth missing. When you drop me a text, leave a little note or gift for me to stumble upon, or find a moment in your busy schedule to fit in a quick call just to say you are thinking of me, it changes the trajectory of my whole day. Those long stints of radio silence are hard on the female heart. When you come home, show me! Kiss me like you mean it. Hug me and don’t let go. I want to feel your love for me. I’ll love you back fiercely.

2) I need you to appreciate me. I know that it’s easier to see the things that haven’t been done than the ones that have. I endeavor to make you happy. If you come home and the dishes are not done or the house is in shambles, it’s probably because I spent the last three days silently shouldering a slew of problems that I didn’t want to burden you with while you were working–junior puking his guts out, the dog running away, me having the flu, the air conditioner breaking. Again. If you come home to chaos, love me more not less, because it’s probably been a hard turn. Tell me how proud you are of me. Notice the things that did get done out loud. Affirmation drives me to be even better, but constant criticism drives me to resentment. You don’t have to tell me the laundry isn’t folded and the dog needs a bath–believe me I know. Tell me I’m amazing and I will be.

3) I need you to support my dreams too. We spend a lot of time figuring out how to make your career work. Our home, our schedules, our activities all revolve around the nuances of the aviation world. I love encouraging and supporting you in your dreams. However, sometimes my identity is consumed by being a mother and/or wife. I have dreams too! There are things I want to accomplish and passions I wish I could pursue. Don’t let my hopes and dreams become crushed beneath the wheels of a 777. Ask me what I dream about. Find out the deep passions of my heart. Encourage me to follow my dreams. When I feel fulfilled and understood, I am a better woman and a better wife.

4) I need you to be with me when you’re with me. We spend a lot of time apart. A lot. When we are together, I don’t want to fight your phone or your tablet for your attention. I want to you to look up at me when I speak, engage in conversation with me, hold my hand when we walk, climb in bed and snuggle next to me. I know you have a to-do list a mile long. Ask me to join you on your errands, or say yes when I ask if you want to join on mine. Take a moment to have an uninterrupted cup of coffee with me. Be with me when you are with me. Make loving me your number one priority. Our moments together are few and precious. Let’s make them count!

5) I need you to have eyes for only me. I know that we live in a world filled with temptation and you have a career of ample opportunity. However, in order for me to fully surrender my heart and body to you, I have to trust that I am your one and only. Pornography, adultery, strip clubs, flirtation with other women–these things destroy my self-esteem as a woman and leave me hurt and guarded. I want to have mind-blowing sex with you–lots of mind-blowing sex, and I’m pretty sure you do too! But in order to do so I need you to have eyes for only me. I need my body to be the only one you look at unclothed. I need you to desire only me, pursue only me, caress only me. If you give me this precious gift, I will become stronger and more confident in life…and in the bedroom.

Marriage is not a one-way street but a beautiful dance of reciprocity. I know I have to work hard to give you the things you need too. But when I feel safe…when I feel unequivocally loved and cherished…I can and will blossom as a friend, a lover, a wife. I deeply desire to be a better wife for you. I deeply desire to take our marriage to the next level, to satisfy you as my husband, and to experience the exceeding joy that a great marriage brings. I know I’m not perfect, but every day I promise to strive to be better. However, I need you to promise me too.

I love you. Let’s be better together.


Your Pilot Wife

**Check out the companion blog: Dear Pilot Wife, Five Things I Need From You here

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18 thoughts on “Dear Aviation Husband, Five Things I Need From You”

  1. Perfect–if there was a “love” button instead of a “like” button, I would have pushed it–you nailed this one, thank you…airline wife 28 years, military aviator wife 20 years👍

  2. Maribeth Howard

    This is beautiful and is so true for all marriages. As an aviation mother I plan to share this with my pilot daughter.

  3. Cherie Fife Brown

    I’m not sure how I found your blog, but I’m glad I did and wanted to subscribe because I enjoy your writing and approach to life with a pilot. It brings back so many memories of my Mom and Dad. He was a commercial pilot for 32 years, hired in 1945 by United after flying B-17s in WWII, leading the first pre-dawn bombing and radar reconnaissance over Normandy Beach. My Mom was a strong, supportive, loving pilot’s wife, although in the first years, they wondered if he’d have to quit, because she was so alone (far from her family) and lonely. The communication you’re offering and the support there is nowadays for spouses is remarkable! As a pilots’s “kid”, I joined my Mom at the Flight Wives’ Luncheons (as an adult) which was a wonderful support for the wives, and a look into other pilot families’ lives. We rarely struck up regular friendships with eachother because, of course, everyone had different schedules.

    After my Mom passed, and my Dad was in his 90s, my sibs and I took turns taking my Dad to the Retired United Pilots’ Luncheons here in Denver. He was a member for 34 years, retired longer than he had flown! I loved the comradery of the pilots, the “inside” stories and jokes, and the passion for flying. The wives often joined them, and about 5 years ago, they had their first female retired pilot join them. Instead of calling themselves the Good Ole Boys, now they’re The Good Old Pilots.

    Sadly, the Pilots’ Wives don’t meet any more, with most of the WWII and Korean War pilots gone. This generation has too many other things going on, of course, including being flight attendants and pilots themselves, as well as anything they want to be! I wish we could have pilots’ kid’s groups but it seems an odd name for people in their 60s. I would encourage spouses, however, to still get together, with their kids along sometimes, and also read and write these great blogs. I really didn’t totally understand what my Mom’s life was like, or even my Dad’s, until I was grown. As I mentioned, my Mom was lonely the first years and now it would be considered depression, even though she was an accomplished concert pianist and composer. Since there wasn’t much understanding about that, she became a volunteer member of the National Mental Health Association where she helped in many areas of mental health. She even led a workshop on how to cope with pilots’ wives husbands being at home so much more after retirement. Being a profession almost as difficult, and often preceded by military lives, these women and now men, face great challenges adapting to sharing lives that had been lived very separately. Women, especially in the 50s-70s became the “head” of households that Dads didn’t participate in as regularly as they do now. It was much more of a shock than other career retirements to suddenly be together all the time and have to share decisions and activities that often had been experienced very independently.

    So, thank you for the time you take to touch lives that have much in common. It’s needed and, I’m sure, greatly enjoyed by many.

      1. Cherie Fife Brown

        Thank you for letting me ramble on! Maybe Google saw so many words associated with flying that it finally sent you my way. I look forward to continuing “flying” with you on your blog.

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