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Pilot lifestyle - What to expect

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Guest moester

I'm 20 years old and have 2 years left of college. My soon to be husband is thinking about becoming a pilot.

I think that by him being away, i am going to be unhappy and the relationship is going to go sour by not being together like regular married couples.

I'm worried that when he is gone all the guys "team up" to go to bars and have a bunch of good looking chicks around because they know they can get away with anything.

I think that being away will only distance us, and make me unhappy with the relationship, instead of growing as a couple. i know i will never be able to accept or be happy being "with" someone who is never really "with me."

-Out of sight, out of mind-

[ 04. November 2006, 05:04: Message edited by: Toro ]

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I think that by him being away, i am going to be unhappy and the relationship is going to go sour by not being together like regular married couples.
I have been happily married for 9 years, and have been away for a lot of it. How many people are overseas right now, away from their loved ones? How many are coming home and getting divorced. Some, but I would say it's a vast minority. It is what it is.

I'm worried that when he is gone all the guys "team up" to go to bars and have a bunch of good looking chicks around because they know they can get away with anything.
Sounds like someone's a little insecure. Do we go out? Most do. Do we drink? Most do. Do we look at chicks? Sure. I'm not going to sit in my room and study the unabridged dictionary. However, I have stayed faithful for over 9 years of marriage. It's called trust. Look into it.

I think that being away will only distance us, and make me unhappy with the relationship, instead of growing as a couple.
That's one way to look at it. The other is "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." I can't think of anything better in the world than seeing my two kids charge me with my wife just a few steps behind as I walk off the airplane after a deployment.

If I was your husband, I'd be worried about leaving YOU behind and who'd be "taking care of my unhappy, unfulfilled wife" when I was TDY.

i know i will never be able to accept or be happy being "with" someone who is never really "with me."
Tell ya what, either talk with him about it, or cut your losses and save yourself the attourney fees, the litigation and the fight for the custody of the dog and get out now.

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Guest juliecole

I met my current husband of nine years while we were in our sophomore year of college, we were both 19 at the time. He was doing ROTC then and I was a nursing major.

I remember that I had a lot of questions and concerns regarding his future, but I focused on myself, my friends, other things that fulfilled me, especially my education. I put all the concern and questions on the back burner to try to get myself in order. For example, doing well in school, completing my education, setting up internships and studying for the nursing boards. At 19 or even in your 20's you are better off taking the time and energy to invest in yourself than your boyfriend/girlfriend at that time.

We had been dating for 3 years when he left for nav training. Did we talk about me moving with him to follow him through months of training, many moves just to be together? We sure did, but maybe I was just too practical at 22. Was I going to miss him when he was at training? Did I worry that we might grow apart if he was in TX and I in NY? But did I want to give up a great nursing job, move to the area of the country where i knew no one but my "boyfriend". Did I want to give up health insurance a secure job, my friends and family to follow him around through training? No We did the long distance thing; it stunk but we managed to see each other every six weeks, racked up huge phone bills and got married 18 months later.

In those months, we BOTH accomplished many things professionally and grew to know each other, and more important, ourselves better.

This forum is a great way to learn about military life. Use the search functiona and read lots and lots of threads, if you feel you really need to. Personally, If I was 20 and in college again, I would have been too busy studying, working, writing resumes, having fun with my friends and with "Scooter", than to be posting questions on a military aviation forum about military life.

You asked for advice and guidance.

Here is my advice for you.

You are just 20 years old, finish your education first. Do not interrupt your education to move to be with him. Focus on making yourself the best person you can be. He should be doing the same. If he has the flying bug it will always be with him. There are alot of hurdles to be passed to get a pilot slot, so enjoy your time now with him now and work on your relationship so you won't have to worry about him "when he is gone all the guys "team up" to go to bars and have a bunch of good looking chicks around because they know they can get away with anything".

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Guest AFwife62406

I agree with Tankerwife, although I basically did exactly the opposite with what she's suggesting. I met my husband while he was in his 5th year of college and I was in my 1st year of my 2nd bachelors degree. The plan was for him to go to pilots training and me to finish the last 3 years of my nursing degree and then we'd see where we were at the end of those 3 years and go from there. This was the plan almost exactly a year ago. In a matter of 1 week, I decided to quit school, cancel my student loans for the next year, quit my job, pack up all my stuff and move from Wisconsin to Florida to be with him. Have I regretted for one minute my decisions? Nope, not at all. We got married last month and I am fairly certain we probably never would have gotten married if I hadn't moved with him since we'd only been dating for a month before he left for ASBC. However, I am 5 years older than you are, and I already had a bachelor's degree to fall back on until I can finish my second one.

As far as them going out with the guys while they're gone, in all honesty, I'm not all that thrilled about that taking place either. But the man I married is the most loyal person I have ever met in my entire life and I know for a fact that he would never do anything he thought would hurt me, no matter where he was or who he was with. It's not the most pleasant thing to think about the man you love out ogling other women, but if you don't trust him to not take action, you might want to rethink your relationship. Decent men aren't out trying to figure out what they can get away with.

Good luck.

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Guest Fuse

The main points I've received from my experiences is that if you think you will be unhappy being commited to someone who you will not see for a length of time, you WILL be unhappy, and so will he. He will need %100 support from you. Easy to say, hard to do. My suggestion is to keep an open mind and research. You've made a big step just posting on here. At the same time, keep a realistic view about how he feels. He is trying to do something great with his life. If he decides to do this, you have a few options. 1. Be a part of it and focus on the great aspects of it. Make a life of your own where your stationed. 2. Go with him and be depressed. This will drag him down as well. It will not only effect his life, but also his work. 3. Leave him. Let him move on with his life and dream.

I'm worried that when he is gone all the guys "team up" to go to bars and have a bunch of good looking chicks around because they know they can get away with anything.
This kind of throws up a red flag. As a few have mentioned, there is a close bond between these guys so there will definitly be some visits to the bar. If he is a good man (and obviously he is if your with him, right?) then trusting him not to be unfaithful shouldn't be an issue. In the same breath I say that, I will also say I think it may be a common fear in military relationships.

I beleive military relationships have to be on a completely different level of trust, respect, and determination than a "regular" married couple. That's why I'm looking into ANG.

Good luck on both of your decisions.

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WOW. Do you trust your man?

Doesnt exactly sound like it.

Contrary to popular belief, some of us do have morals. I dont have to cruise for chicks and hump everything that moves, despite my natural instincts. Do I look? I dont look, but I wont turn away either. Do I touch? Hell no. Not worth my time.

I simply live in fear of my wife! I have no doubt that straying would bring about the end of my marriage. She has told me that on several occasions and I have told her the same. In addition, shed most likely kill me. Then she'd go to jail and I'd be dead. So where does that get me? All for a piece of a$$ that 'no one will ever know about'? Hell no, thank you!

And let me tell you... someone will ALWAYS know. Not only that, if people dont know, they will still talk... people are people, even in the Air Force. They love gossip. My wife is stationed in Texas and I am in Washington. So far she has had 3 people ask her how the divorce was going because they'd heard she was divorcing me. They have also asked her how some of her male doctor friends were in the sack because they 'heard' they were sleeping together.

YGBSM if you think its only pilots that have the opportunity to shack up. My wife is more faithful than anyone I know. She shrugs off the idiocy of the masses because she knows I am faithful to her.

Thats what it comes down to. Is your man faithful to YOU? Dont get me wrong, temptation is everywhere. Especially after a long day and a few drinks. Thats usually when the British Airways stewardesses show up wanting to talk to you and have a couple more. Ive always gone home alone. Its not that difficult.

AND, by choice, I am in a military relationship since my wife is in the USAF. So we are apart for over 10 months a year. On average, I see her every other month for about a week at a time. We still make it work. Its HARD work, but its so worth it. YOU will be in a situation where your husband will come home to you EVERY NIGHT, except when deployed.

YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY.

Good luck. Hope I dont sound preachy, but its all true, love it or hate it.

Chuck

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Guest Rainman A-10
Originally posted by moester:

I'm worried that when he is gone all the guys "team up" to go to bars and have a bunch of good looking chicks around because they know they can get away with anything.

Don't worry, he is young. It sounds like he will likely be a PW SNAP. SNAPs don't push it up. PW SNAPs don't even go into the squadron bar and they find a way to jink out of most deployments.

Deployments aren't the problem for you're relationship. You will have to watch out for the man chasing female pilots in the squadron. Uh-oh!

Honestly, only the old guys are cigar smoking, skirt chasing, strip joint loving, paycheck gambling booze hounds. That means if your man is less than 40 years old you're safe.

If your hubby wasn't a pilot when Reagan was the boss and everyone knew they were probably going down in flames within the first few minutes taking on Ivan, you don't have to worry. The opportunity for long term survival in combat changes most people's daily mindset.

It sounds like the best job for your man would be some sort of home business that doesn't include access to the internet where harlots are lurking around trying to wreck your happy home.

Good luck!

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Guest moester

i have a few more questions::

1- what is in it for us as a couple, and ME myself, for him doing this job?

2- how often would he be away for the air force if he was a fighter pilot?

3- since i would be moving to be with him, what would i do in a new place to meet people while he was gone {if he had to be away}?

4- how long are the deployments? and where would we live? how often do most people have to move? And when would things start to settle down? Are there any benefits for being in the military/air force? What ARE they?

5- By the time any of this happens, i will have a Business Administration degree, i can tell that every time i read a post by a wife they are nurses, would i have any use for this degree on a base or moving around with him? While i am finishing up my degree he will be working at a regular job and also getting some flight hours on his own time.

[ 31. July 2006, 17:32: Message edited by: moester ]

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Guest AFwife62406

I guarantee people are going to tell you to search for a lot of your answers. I tried asking the whole deployment length for fighter pilots last week and didn't have any luck getting an answer. They said that what the deployment lengths are now are irrelevant to what they'll be later on and you can't make your decisions based on that.

#1 What's in it for you as a couple is kind of up to you as a couple to decide. A few months ago I was ALL worked up about my husband going to pilots training - thinking I wouldn't have any time with him, I'd spend most of my time alone, while he'd be off with the other trainee's studying, or working out or flying or whatever. I had a really bad attitude about the whole thing. I finally figured out (reading this board REALLY helped) that I need to look at his training as something we're BOTH going to complete. Yes, he'll be the one flying and studying, but as his wife, it is my duty to help him out as much as I can so he can be successful. Whether that's by taking care of all the home stuff, helping him study, cooking for him and his classmates, giving him his space to do what he needs to do - whatever - his success will partially depend on my attitude about the whole thing.

#2 I can't help you with at all. I have no clue.

#3 I was worried about this one too. It's not easy moving away from all friends and family, and I've not been part of a spouse group yet, but it's really not that bad. You meet people where you normally would - in your neighborhood, at work, etc. We even met a couple from the AF when we bought a car from them and we've hung out quite a bit since then. Right now we're part of a volleyball team that has nav and pilot LT's on it. It's all guys, but they're really nice and don't seem to have a problem with me being part of the team.

#4 Again, I have no experience with this, but from what I can tell it just depends with the deployments. Where will you live?..... lol. Honestly that's impossible to predict. Probably near a military base somewhere in the world would be my guess, but since you don't know what he'll fly or anything, I don't think anyone can answer that for you. On average, I think people move about every 3 years, but again, that's not set in stone. We're going to be moving 3-4 times in the next few years I think for his training. Military benefits can be looked up online.

#5 I have a bachelors in business management and a year of a bachelors in nursing done also. (I'm not a nurse.;).... yet.) I've found that finding a well paying job is tough. You'll put the degree to use, but it is tough sometimes finding a job. I'm running into the problem right now of not being in a place long enough to get a decent job. We're going to be here about 8-9 months and then move again and live there for under a year I think and then move again. It's hard to get employers to hire you and train you when you're only going to be there for a half of a year or so. Not impossible, but it's difficult.

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Guest Rainman A-10
Originally posted by molester:

1- what is in it for us as a couple, and ME myself, for him doing this job?

A trophy husband.

Originally posted by molester:

2- how often would he be away for the air force if he was a fighter pilot?

He would have a mistress. That mistress will be his airplane.

Originally posted by molester:

3- since i would be moving to be with him, what would i do in a new place to meet people while he was gone {if he had to be away}?

The USAF family will take care of you. It is a wonderful network full of people who will understand exactly what you are going through. You will make lifelong friends.

Originally posted by molester:

4- how long are the deployments? and where would we live? how often do most people have to move? And when would things start to settle down? Are there any benefits for being in the military/air force? What ARE they?

He will be deployed. You will move a lot, especially early on. Things can settle down in the middle of his career if he chooses to go the school/staff route. Things will become hectic again towards the end of his career if he is on a leadership track. There are many benefits, too many to mention.

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Guest corbynaylor

Well, I was raised by a viper pilot, my grandpa flew F-86s, and my sister married a viper pilot as well, and I guess this is all my family knows, but my advice is this:

Start drinking Jeremiah Weed early.

Learn how to play crud and be BETTER than he is at it.

Learn to love his friends and his lifestyle.

DON'T be offended by swear words (you should probably even learn to say a few).

Don't try to compete with his airplane.

The Air Force will take care of you... and then you'll NEVER want out...

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1- Learn to TRUST your guy.. with out that, your relationship isn't worth a damn.

2- deployments are deployments are deployments... almost everyone will have to go through one, if not more. They aren't fun, but, thats something the your guy signed up for when signed the papers saying "I'm going to join the USAF". Deployments are what you make of them. If you live by the phone day in and day out, if you think "Oh, he hasn't called me... he must be at teh bar looking at other chicks.." thats going to be a long long long deployment.

3- are you type A personality? If you want friends, you will have them.. they aren't just gonna come to you.. well.. There's the O club, there's getting a job, or taking classes at the local college. There's going the gym, there's "Hearts apart"(or something similar)if he gets deployed. The "friends" are out there, YOU just need to go find them.

4--read "2--"

5-- Depending on the base you go too, and the community around that base.. You can also get a civie job on base. Spouse's get priority to job positions, with the exception of Vet's or current military Ret.'s.

As far as that nursing comment goes.. I've wanted to be a nurse since before I met my now DH. To be honest, its a job that will always have high demand.. I can go anywhere, and *almost always* have a job.

Fuse know's my take on this. I think I came down the hardest on him about his wife(ex?).

Monica will be nicer then I will be so talk to her.

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Guest Fuse
Originally posted by lcgsdmama:

Fuse know's my take on this. I think I came down the hardest on him about his wife(ex?).

Still a wife. =)

I think most of these posts are answered with common sense for the most part-even my questions and issues. "Will he deploy" yeah, you know he will - it's the military. "Will he be cheating on me?" Only you can answer this, but if he'll cheat on you it has nothing to do with the Air Force - it will happen in your own home. "i know i will never be able to accept or be happy being "with" someone who is never really "with me."" - no question in there, that's a statement. That + husband in military who most likely will have to take a tour or two = You not accepting or being happy with it.

I think you made the original post for the same reason I made mine - we wanted someone to tell us our gut instinct and common sense was wrong. We wanted to hear someone say everything will be great and perfect and it will work. All we can get is the advice of how it HAS worked for some, and isn't impossible with the right attitudes and personalities. It can and has worked great for many people, but it doesn't always work that way.

(How do you like my Dr.Phil impression?)

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I've been married for 5 years. 1.5 years of that was enlisted as C-130 aircrew, and the rest has been at school (I'm going back in 5 Jan). I was gone at least a few days a week, sometimes a few weeks at a time, on flights. I hit the bars with the boys, had a good time. I even jumped on a grenade or two and danced with the friend of a chic that my single buddy was trying to work. But when when it came to closing time, I went home... alone. I NEVER went out without my ring on, it was on display for all to see. My wife went out to bars with friends while I was gone. She got hit on, she accepted drinks from guys, whatever, she never went home with them.

Part of it may be that the two of us can't hide a guilty conscience for $hit, but its mostly just trust. Do I have a good time on my own? Of course. Does she like the idea that it is possible for me to have a good time without her next to me? Of course not. Most women I know don't, but hey, that's the job. I'm not going to sit in my room when my planes broke for 3 days in Bermuda, I'm going to have a good time!

Bottom line, do you trust him? If so, that solves most of your problem. Me personally, I'd say finish your degree, you'll never regret it.

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Military aside, it seems like you have some huge trust issues. You need to either fix them, or stop thinking marriage is going to work. Because even if he works a 9-5 for the rest of his life and never goes into the military, you're lack of trust in him is still going to destroy your marriage. Figure this out for you guys, or just cut your losses and move on.

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Guest DomesticallyDisabled

It's great that you're looking ahead and asking questions. Has he been selected for pilot training? Realize that the first step is making it through pilot training. After that you can worry about some of that other stuff! If he doesn't go to Sheppard for UPT, getting the fighter track is not a given either. There are too many unknowns to speculate...just take it one day at a time!

I have been with my husband through UPT, IFF, RTU and several years of his operational life. The best advice I can give you is to keep an open mind, be flexible and have your own life.

Yes, no matter what airframe, they will be gone on deployments, and they will hang out with the boys at the squadron/bars. They need their "man time".

Their hours can be long, and they will need time to study and prep. You will really appreciate the time you do have together, and will appreciate how solid your relationship becomes when you're dealing with issues from 6,000 miles away.

I really like his life, but have my own career and life, so that i'm not living exclusively through his. Don't be "that wife".

[ 24. November 2006, 16:16: Message edited by: DomesticallyDisabled ]

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Originally posted by DomesticallyDisabled:

I really like his life, but have my own career and life, so that i'm not living exclusively through his. Don't be "that wife".

I find it interesting that you say that:

I'm also on afots.com, and I was told by some one.. one of the Mods, that if I wanted MY career, that my family would fail. He told me that there was no such thing as having your own career and a GOOD military Family.

The best part of that convo was that Dave backed me up, and told me that he wanted me to have my career(minus a few choice words we said about that mod).

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Guest JerseyGirl
I really like his life, but have my own career and life, so that i'm not living exclusively through his. Don't be "that wife".
I trust that you are not including stay at home moms in the category of "that wife".

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Guest stusakss

Jersey brings up an awesome point, being a stay at home spouse is the best job ever, it is rewarding, the results are visible every day, anywhere the military moves you, you already have your career laid out...the benefits are many.

My wife is a full time Mom, and neither one of us would do it any other way, I know to each their own...I just can't see the other side if their are young kids in the house.

Oh yeah, she TOTALLY has her own life away from the squadron...living her own life and doing her own thing, and supporting me. Life is good.

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Guest JerseyGirl

Got it...apologies to all, I'm a little senstive on the subject.

My husband is in the Air Force...HE went through pilot training, HE is the pilot....I am here to support him, keep things running at home so he can focus on flying, and I am certainly proud of him. Sometimes it does stink to be a "single" mom, but I always thought that "AF wife: the toughest job in the Air Force" was so silly...I'm not flying million dollar planes, I'm not making decisions that could kill me or my crew, I don't have to leave my home and be away from our girls for months, seeing God knows what.

I am not "that wife"...I've said it before, as far as what my husband does ignorance is best for me...I know he is a pilot and I know the plane...otherwise, I haven't a clue. So, when people start talking shop, you might as well be speaking Russian to me.

On the other hand, I was pregnant - WE never were pregnant!!! (A fact I like to remind my husband of every now and then, even though our youngest is nearly 3 ;) )

[ 25. November 2006, 19:24: Message edited by: JerseyGirl ]

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Guest FlyersFlyer

I have been dating my boyfriend for 4 months and he is getting commisioned and leaving for UPT in march. I keep being told that i need to get used to the idea of not having a whole lot of contact with him. People also keep telling me that i need to decide now if i can handle the "military lifestyle" and if i have any doubts to jump ship now... for it to be fair to him. I kinda feel like he gives me the nice version of being in a relationship with someone in the airforce. I really love him, but i admit i can be a needy person at times, which i realize is not the best personality type for someone who is with a military man but.... i can't much change who i am. i guess what i am asking is, what are the op schedules usually like? how frequently will he be gone once he finished with UPT at a time and for how long. what are the wrost case scenarios and what are the best. any advice about my situation?

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Guest Bender

I'm pretty sure I know what I think "needy" is, but I'm going to give you the benifit of the doubt and assume that you don't fit my definition of it.

Having the desire to have him around and get attention, use your toys with you and the like is all fine and good. I'd assume he wants to do that too. What you can't be is so dependant that you can't survive sanely without him around for at a minimum 4 months at a time. Deployments can be as long as a year (although that is rare compared to the basic aircrew 4 month deployment.)

If you are going to go batty apes_it psycho b1tch while he's gone and go find another hedgehog to fill the hole (in your heart, of course) then I'd agree with the "jump ship early" routine.

If you are a sane individual that is sufficienty independant in life and can live happily based upon yourself and who you are then you'd have nothing to worry about.

I'm no expert or anything, but simply the fact that you can say you're "needy" (even on the internet to people you don't know,) you aren't all that "needy."

Of course, I tend to reserve that description for some serious F'ed up chicks I've known in my time.

What was the question again?

Anyways...if it doesn't work out, send me a PM....with a picture. ;)

BENDY

Edited by Bender

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I think Bender's rants generally belong in the "What the Captain means..." area

I have been dating my boyfriend for 4 months and he is getting commisioned and leaving for UPT in march. I keep being told that i need to get used to the idea of not having a whole lot of contact with him.

Four months is nothing - definitely nothing to get spun up about and worried about planning out the rest of your life. I'm assuming that you're not going with him to UPT? In that case, you are correct that you will not get to SEE him a lot, but there's not reason why you couldn't have CONTACT with him. They don't restrict you from telephones and email in UPT. Depending on how far apart you are, he probably won't be able to visit you often, but there's nothing from preventing you from going to see him (just realize you won't have much time during the week).

People also keep telling me that i need to decide now if i can handle the "military lifestyle" and if i have any doubts to jump ship now... for it to be fair to him. I kinda feel like he gives me the nice version of being in a relationship with someone in the airforce.

That's total crap. How are you supposed to have any idea of what the military lifestyle is like when you've never experienced it? I don't know who has been talking to you, but are they even in the military? If not, stop listening. Talk to military wives (you'll find them on this forum) and take their advice. If he's the one giving you information, where is he getting it from? I know that as a single Lt in UPT I could make some speculations about the military lifestyle for wives, but I really didn't know jack $hit.

I really love him, but i admit i can be a needy person at times, which i realize is not the best personality type for someone who is with a military man but.... i can't much change who i am.

I think you'd be surprised. Don't see it as changing who you are, see it as adapting to a new lifestyle. My wife has actually done the role reversal twice - she was very self-dependant when we got married and became a little more reliant on me over the years. When I left for a year, she had to figure out how to go back to being on her own. It wasn't easy, but she did it just fine.

i guess what i am asking is, what are the op schedules usually like? how frequently will he be gone once he finished with UPT at a time and for how long. what are the wrost case scenarios and what are the best. any advice about my situation?

There is no answer to this, period dot. This will vary with the airplane he flies, where he is stationed, what his job is, and a number of other possibilities. He could have a tour where he isn't TDY more than a few weeks at a time. He may stay on his normal AEF cycle of 4 months every 20 months. He could get tagged for a 365-day TDY to Iraq. There is absolutely no way of knowing.

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