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
Just Winging It: Prayers for My Pilot Wife (autographed)
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