Incurable Disease

Thepilotwifelife/ 12 comments

“Hello. My name is Angelia. I am a pilot’s wife.”

Sometimes when I announce that particular life fact, it feels like I’m revealing some deep, dark secret to a sympathetic support group beneath the cold, unfeeling fluorescents of some damp basement room.

Or like I’ve been diagnosed with an incurable illness.

Because that’s how people react.

“Ooooh, darling! Bless your little heart. I’m sooooo sorry. It must be terrible being married to a pilot and being alone so much. You might as well be raising those sweet babies all by yourself.”

Insert unbridled clucks of sympathy and pity pats a plenty. But how can you blame them, really?

Because to be completely and utterly fair, sometimes  [a lot of times] we act like we’ve been diagnosed with an incurable disease.

It’s a woah-is-me mentality.

Some of us have embraced a life of tepid misery and we… Well, frankly we roll around in it like a dog on a rotting carcass–covering ourselves in the putrid scent of our misery until that’s all anyone can smell on us.

So they pity us.

When a new pilot wife enters our midst the common question is, “tell me how bad it really is.” Not how good–how horribly, miserably, terribly bad. Spill it, sister.

And boy do we ever.

“It’s terrible being married to a pilot. I might as well be a single parent. I feel like a broken divorcee most of the time. My life is sooooo much harder than the average human being.”

Except it’s not.

The pilot wife life is not a bad normal, just a different normal.

Every husband–pilot, retail manager, doctor, and accountant alike–has his quirks (and heaven knows, every wife too).  Every career has its ups and downs. Every marriage has its trials. Every life has moments of joy and sorrow.


Sorry, ladies, but we simply do not hold the exclusivity card for life difficulties and marital trials. And it’s time we stop acting like we do because it’s ruining our marriages.

We have a choice to make–a choice to live this life with exceeding joy or a choice to live it in self-inflicted misery.

I choose joy. 

Look, like any job or circumstance, the pilot wife life is what you make of it. We can certainly continue to sulk and bemoan all the things that are beyond our control, after all there are plenty to choose from. But there is profound beauty and joy to be had if we only choose it– if we live every ounce of our pilot wife lives to its fullest.

I adore my pilot. And I do mean adore! He is my everything. My husband, my lover, my companion, my best friend in the entire world. I choose him. Over and over, I choose him. Not because he’s perfect or life’s perfect but because he’s mine.

And I am his.

You see, he chooses me too! I love being his pilot wife. I love the ‘me’ time, the independence, the excitement, the travel.

But most of all, I love seeing the man I chose excel at the passions of his heart. I get to be part of that! I get to be his encourager. I get to be his parachute when he falls and his wings when he soars. Just wow.

But here’s the kicker. He does those things for me too because marriage is reciprocal.

Of course, I hate when he leaves and can’t wait for the moment he returns home, but I live for the moment he comes into view standing outside of C departures, the moment he takes me in his arms, and the moment his lips meet mine. It’s almost like we get to experience our ‘first kiss’ over and over again for the rest of our pilot wife life.

We choose this life. I choose him. He chooses me! Every moment of every day…is amazing. Even when it’s not. This life is perfect in its imperfection because I get to do the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows, the laughter and the tears of this crazy, chaotic life with the man I fell in love with and married–my pilot.

I received some slack for a recent blog (Distance Makes the Heart Grow Distant). However, I don’t apologize. Sorry, girls. I just don’t. TRAVEL is a good acronym for every single marriage–aviation, not aviation, newlywed, long-wed, struggling, or soaring. It is a recipe for joy!

Talking openly with your spouse, rejecting negativity in your life, allowing time for fun, clinging to your vows, forgiving freely, and loving no matter what—those are healthy applications for healthy marriage!

Look, I know we are all at different places in our marriages and that’s okay. More than okay. 

This communityis about loving and supporting each other no matter where you fall on the ‘marital bliss’ spectrum today. It’s about passing down pilot wife wisdom and preventing others from making the mistakes we have made (and suffering what we have suffered).

It’s about finding a new way–a better way–to live this life and seeking out the joy that some of us already have and all of us so desperately want to experience.

Pour positivity into your life. Find what works for you. Live life vivaciously. Surround yourself with great people. Appreciate your blessings. Seek joy. F.L.Y.

Your husband is not your enemy. He is not expendable. He is the man you fell in love with–the one you gave your heart to. He is the person you stood at the alter with and promised to love and cherish forever.

Being a pilot wife? It’s not an incurable disease; it’s an indescribable blessing. It’s being married to a passionate, talented, hard-working man who gives freely of himself so that I can have a great life. There’s a lot worse things, believe me.

So yeah, I choose joy. And I’m inviting you to choose it with me.

Angelia (A Fellow Pilot Wife)



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  1. My favorite post!!! It is a great life. I recently had numerous new pilot.wives contact me and I made a post recently about ups aND downs. All careers and lIves have them. The downs make us greater so we can have ups!
    Keep posting.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Thank you for this post. It’s the first one that I’ve read on your blog and it is so realistic of the pilot wife lifestyle. I appreciate your insight. The sentence “The pilot wife life is not a bad normal, just a different normal,” is so true. When I compare my life to my friends, it seems almost impossible or just insanely stupid sometimes, but you’re right, that it is just a different normal. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for reading! You would probably enjoy the one entitled To Live a Pilot You Must Learn to F.L.Y. Pilot wife life is chaotic, but I love finding beauty in it! Welcome aboard!

  3. Loved this, Angelia! I definitely am bookmarking your blog. The way you described your thoughts reflected mine so perfectly.
    I especially loved the part of our pilots returning home… exactly how it feels for me (my pilot is a Captain for United). Its the happiest part of my day when I see my fiance pilot again, feel him hold me tight and taste the kiss I had missed while he was gone.
    When he’s on the road, we make use of video chats every chance he gets. We’ll share screens on skype so we can watch a movie “together” online. Or he’ll take his iPhone with him when he goes out to dinner so we can “eat” together. We keep our cell phones on speaker every night he is away so that we can hear each other sleep on the other end of the phone.
    I am blessed that I can work from home, as I can oftentimes adapt to his trips’ schedule as much as possible so that we are on the same body clocks, not only when he is away but then we are on the same schedule when he returns home.
    Right now he is on a flight back from SFO to EWR; he had to sit for quite a few hours because of aircraft maintenance issues… won’t be getting into EWR until 1 am EDT. He’ll go to a hotel for the night and stay there for 24 hours before flying back out to SFO…. and then repeat to EWR, sit 24, back to SFO, back to EWR and then finally return home. I’m waiting up for him right now! 😀
    The life as a pilot wife is definitely no the world’s idea of normal, but for him and I, it is our normal. Our love holds us together as it has the past 5 years and I would never trade him for anyone else. <3

    1. That last part exactly! Itbis our normal. ❤️ Your post reminds me of another pilot wife I adore. She and her husband use Skyyin the cutest ways! He once Skyped her at the top of the St. Louis arch so they could experience it together. So sweet! Never let this go. Be intentional every day.

  4. 29 years married to pilot, raised two kids together and it’s been a great life. He missed a few events along the way, but that’s life. My kids are flexible (birthdays and holidays happen twice at times), we are all well traveled and we are all independent. In kiddo years I always had friends with equally odd schedules who had my back in case his schedule changed, and I did the same for them. When he was off, he was totally ours spending lots more time with family than many with conventional jobs that often still involved travel, late hours and after hours email, etc.

    Would be a tough life if you did not trust your spouse or if your specific situation, e.g. children with serious health problems, made those lone parent days impossible to manage.

  5. Do people really express pity? I’m sort of shocked. As we prepare to enter this life upon my husband’s military retirement all I can think of is how much better it will be than our current lifestyle. Maybe it’s bc most of our peers are also military that I find it shocking anyone would express pity. Having spent more than half of our 13+ years married apart, including pregnancy, birth and raising kiddos – I’ve rarely felt pitied so I’m just so thrown by that. I’m not sure it’s something I’d know how to process. How in the world do you react?

    1. For some reason it seems like people see military life as heroic and ours as pitiful, which is crazy since you spend much more time apart than we do! There are some pilot stigmas that come first to their minds though, I guess. I’m excited for you to enter this life! It will be amazing for you being with him so much more. ❤️ As foer reacting, I always react with positivity! If someone says ‘it must be hard being a pilot’s wife!’ I respond with, ‘I am so blessed to be a pilot’s wife!’ Etc. Welcome to the commercial aviation family! Excited to hve you.

    2. My husband is retired military as well. Being a commercial pilot wife now and the life that comes with it is wonderful! I have never had someone express pity, so that is surprising to me too. All of my military wife friends just express their joy. My teacher friends just think I have a glamour life! I wouldn’t know what to say to someone that expressed pity except, “It’s a pretty great life”!

  6. My husband is a contract pilot, so most trips are not scheduled too far ahead. I just roll with it if we have plans. Occasionally, friends will express pity that I am attending something alone again. It doesn’t really bother me to be alone, but I do hate that he has to miss fun stuff. Our kids are grown, so we do not have that challenge. We are so fortunate to have the technology to Skype and FaceTime.

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