Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

It’s not me, it’s you.


So, I’m going to do the unthinkable now and shatter the illusion that living with my pilot is bliss. Recently, we’ve been going through a rough patch…  This year has, without a single doubt, been the hardest of my life… For those of you who aren’t regular readers:

  • December – My work at my prior job dried up, and I got very ill, barely avoiding hospitalisation
  • January – I was notified by te company I had been contracting for for 2 and a half years, that they were going under, and could not offer me any future work
  • February – Spent fruitlessly job hunting
  • March – I nearly lost my biological dad, as he ended up on a life support machine in ITU after a pacemaker operation
  • April – I got a new job, but tragically lost my step-father under extremely traumatic circumstances the next day, then got fired for grieving 2 weeks later, and found out the day after that that my biological dad was terminally ill. Then my Mum had a breakdown, and Bf got stranded in Asia for 2 weeks by the ash cloud that grounded all European flights
  • May – I didn’t bother to celebrate my birthday… I just felt too traumatised by april, and was stressed out at at the prospect of Bf being trapped away again by the ash cloud…
  • June – We went away on a few trips which was nice, apart from Bf stressing me out about spending time with my kids on holiday
  • July – I started my new job, amid a ton of stress from Bf about ‘the impact that my job was having on our family life’…

Yeah, that last bit made me laugh too… Seriously, the long-haul airline pilot had the audacity to complain that ‘the responsibility of having to look after his own daughter (my sons were away with their Dad) was taking it’s toll on his free time and affecting his life to a point that he wasn’t happy with.  I wanted to shout at him “HELLO!?! My life has revolved around fitting in with your career for the past 4 years, I moved homes and areas for his career, stayed home to mother his child because I struggled to find childcare that would fit around his career, put up with the stress of him starting a long-haul career, which he didn’t make easy, and he stands there whining that he has to babysit his own child?!?!

Then he had the cheek to get all misogynist on me when I asked him to get some washing out of the machine that I put in before I went to work. I got home from a day at work, to find his model aeroplane in parts all over the table, and our daughter being entertained by the neighbour’s child… He had been building his model all day, and hadn’t taken our daughter out to do anything, simply let her play with the neighbour’s kid and watch TV… He had made her lunch, but that was the extent of his efforts.  He also hadn’t bothered to hang out the washing… It was just ONE thing for crying out loud!

When I asked him why, he shocked me with his response… He shouted “I dont know ANYONE else who has to put up with this from their WOMAN! This is b*llshit.  That is woman’s work!”  I was literally stunned into silence (but not for long)… Recently, he’s been hanging out with a friend who I used to really like.  This man is a pilot that Bf trained with in his cadet days… He now works for another airline, but lives close by.  He is married to a wonderful woman that I have had the pleasure of meeting a handful of times… She was not what I expected though.  Bf told me early into our dating, that his friend wanted to be a long-haul pilot, and was dating this girl from the far east, but that he couldn’t work out why, as she barely spoke English, didn’t ‘get’ Western humour, and he said it couldn’t have been the sex, because from what he could tell during their house-sharing days, they never did it… I asked if he was faithful to her, and although he never mentioned specific details, he indicated that he had ‘heard’ about things happening which would indicate ‘not’.  I must adit, knowing that they had met at uni here in the UK, I was a little surprised at her apparent inability to communicate  well or grasp the culture, and her willingness to be in a relationship like that.

Bf explained that he felt that his friend just wanted a wife who would be loyal and who’s nature was to accept his career goals and personal wishes without question!  In short, that the cultural differences and communication barriers were trumped by his desire to have an ‘obedient’ wife.  I was pretty stunned, but Bf didn’t seem to have a high opinion of it either.  Over the years, news filtered through to us… It seemed that they were getting married. I said, well there must be more to it then! Bf seemed sceptical. They had not invited anyone to the wedding except immediate family, and he said the wedding only came about because they had expired all of her student, girlfriend and fiance visas.

Some years later, I arranged a big party, and invited this man, and his now wife to come.  I found her to be not only pleasant, but also very articulate and switched-on.  When I said this to Bf, he said she definitely seemed to have better communication skills since the last time he saw her, he noted that it was only logical that she would become more Westernised, since she was living in the UK. Last summer, they moved near to us, after he was given a base transfer by his airline.

Initially this was great, he and Bf get along very well. It was summer, and they often went out flying models and riding bikes together… It had a very positive impact on our relationship, but with hindsight, I think it likely that his friend was happy at the move, and the summer put a positive spin on life for his friend, which rubbed off on Bf.  Then, as the winter drew in, the novelty of relocating had worn off.  This area is expensive to live in, and they could not afford to buy a property, and his wife was working in the city.  I remember once asking him what it was she did, and his dismissive response was something along the lines of “Oh some kind of administrative crap… Keeps her busy until she has babies.” This was my initial first-hand indication that he was not quite the ‘charmer’ he portrayed.

As the nights drew in, healthy outdoor pursuits were exchanged for swimming sessions, followed by binge drinking sessions at the pub.  I can only imagine the topic of conversation, but I got little flashes of it on occasions when Bf came home drunk… He was often aggressive and verbally abusive when returning from drinking sessions with this guy (something he doesn’t do when he drinks with other friends).  I’d say things like I bet your friend doesnt go home and say stuff like that to his wife! Only to be met with retorts along the lines of “Believe me, life is not happy in THAT little camp.”

2 weeks ago was the final straw, I said to him “Listen, I am working more hours than you are right now, the least you can do is look after your daughter and hang out the washing!”  He said “I am the main bread-winner and I pay the lions share of the bills!”  I literally could not believe my ears! Surely we were a team? I have turned down very highly paid jobs over the years in order to prioritise our family and facilitate his career! I argued this point, only to be told that I had promised him that I would not prioritise a career over motherhood, and that I should do something less demanding!

I nearly exploded! I explained that I was not prioritising a career ‘above’ the needs of my family, but that I did want and deserve a fulfilling career! I am lucky enough to have found something that I consider to be a decent career, with the flexibility of working part-time and to be able to work from home for some of that time. Then I realised the source of his comments, and suggested that he might be better off finding himself a far-eastern bride to put up with his misogynist crap… His response “maybe I should… ‘you lot’ (westernised women) want equal rights, but you still expect to be treated like a lady!”

I seriously don’t know how I stayed so level headed and calm, because his comment made me want to rip off his head and shove it up his arrogant arse! Instead, I said “Oh, is that right? …Is your Daughter included in that generalisation too then? Do you want her to grow up believing she is worthy of having respect, equality and love; or do you want her to be with someone who expects her to raise a child, keep house and hold down a job whilst her partner idly indulges in a ‘part-time’ hobby career and fannies around with toy planes whilst complaining how hard done by he is that she doesn’t pull her weight?” Bingo! That comment hit the mark, and he came down of his stupid high horse. He apologised, and just said he was struggling to adjust to me working so hard.

Then just over a week and a half ago, he ended up on another unplanned binge drinking session with this friend… He had been supposed to be home by 7pm for a special dinner I was making just for the 2 of us.  I rang him at 6:30 to ask him to grab an ingredient I had forgotten from the supermarket on his way home.  Out of nowhere, he said “I am not going to be home within the next hour… It’s been brought to my attention, that I shouldn’t put up with your shit!”  I hung up the phone on him, shaking with anger at his venom, and his friend’s obvious disrespect for his wife, and clearly me too!

I sent Bf a text saying “I did not deserve to be spoken to that way, if you want to get into this state with X, then please dont come home like it… Stay with him, since he loves your company so much when you’re drunk, as I do not. I’ll see you tomorrow x”  It took all my effort to put the kiss, but I didn’t want to have an argument with him drunk.  He did come home very quickly after that, and pretended to forget his prior comments, but when I declined his drunken amorous advances, he sneered at me… He was apologetic the next day, but it means nothing to apologise if the person keeps doing the thing they’re apologising for!

A few nights later,  I went out for a girl friend’s birthday night out. We had a fantastic, funny night and had a few drinks and danced like we didn’t care!  I received a lot of male attention and it made me realise that Bf needs to buck up his ideas.  I am not a bad catch, I have a good job, adorable children, I am intelligent, I take care of myself, and damn it, I deserve respect!  I had kind of forgotten that in all the trauma of this year, and so had Bf!

I didnt lap up the attention, despite the way he’s been behaving of late, I do love Bf and I respect the boundaries of our relationship, but a few days later, one of the men in question, a friend of a friend, sent me a Facebook friend request and a message with his mobile phone number, saying it would lovely to hear from me if I ever fancied a chat.  I accepted his request, not with the intention of acting on his flattery, but  I guess because it was flattering, and Bf hasn’t been so appreciative in quite some time.  I feel rather ashamed with hindsight, as I would not have wanted Bf to do the same to me.

Then Bf went out on another drinking session with ‘First Officer Misogynist’.  When he came home, he was pretty disrespectful, he even threw a tea-towel in my face!  It might sound petty, and it’s hardly domestic violence at it’s worst, but it did hurt and I was very upset by the total lack of respect.  I started to type a text message to my new Facebook friend to complain about Bf, but then thought to myself ‘why am I doing this? This guy has clearly expressed an interest in me, I have no interest in him, and all it will achieve is confusion.’

So I stopped typing, put my phone down, and talked out my feelings with Bf.  I made him understand why his actions were inappropriate and hurtful.  Then I got a call from a good friend and was upstairs chatting, and Bf appeared at the door way, with my mobile in his hand, and a face like thunder… It took me a few seconds to realise that he had gone through my phone and found the drafted message that I never sent… I had forgotten to clear it off the screen.  Just my luck to get caught when I had already resolved to do the ‘right thing’!

He called me every name under the sun, and naturally wanted to know who the guy was, etc.  To be honest, I had reached my limit. I was so calm… I apologised, because even the thought of sending that message had been entirely inappropriate, but I told him that he had been awful to me recently, and that I had come to realise that I didn’t need to put up with it, because there were plenty of men who would appreciate me if he didn’t want to make a go of it with me!  He jibed back with some pretty insulting words, but we did eventually make our peace, though he was still in a bit of a sulk when we went to bed.  The next morning I woke to find an empty bed. He’d apparently been up pacing the house since 5am feeling sick… I didn’t care. I have felt like that a lot recently and he has not been too great at being there for me through my grief… A part of me took comfort in it, at least this man was not the robot-pilot I had started to believe he was turning into! I was glad to see his pain, because it meant that he was still capable of feeling emotional about me!  I think my shift in attitude was a wake up call for him…

He had to go on a trip a few days later, and I got so many texts, Skypes and calls, that I couldnt fail to feel appreciated! But when he got back, he arranged to go for a ‘swim’ and drinks with FO Misogynist again. My heart sank on the phone as he told me, but I decided not to try persuade him not to, as this just seems to amplify his resentment and anger. Instead I said, “okay, but if you get drunk with him, don’t bother coming home tonight…. If you get drunk, stay at his place in the spare room, because I dont want you coming home to treat me like dirt!”

Then I went to a work leaving do.  I was on annual leave, and so wasn’t planning to go, as I had my daughter with me, but I thought, oh heck, why not?  At 6pm I got a text from Bf, and didn’t even bother to check what it said… Knowing he was out with FO Misogynist, I could safely assume it would be something that would piss me off.  Then I saw a missed call from him, and called him back.  He could hear music and asked me where I was, I could hear concern in his tone.  He told me that he was home, he had come home early to spend time with me!

I stayed out a while longer because it was a work do, and being a new-ish job, I was enjoying a chance to talk to my new colleagues outside of work.  When I got home, Bf was depressed, my boss had suggested we go back, but he said he was too tired and gave me a ton of grief to guilt me out of going back without my daughter.  I stayed, but I said, “remember this feeling of the boot being on the other foot next time you are on a trip and I get pissed because you stayed out until silly o’clock!”

I asked why he had come home and not stayed out drinking with his friend.  He said that he could not stay with his friend, because his wife would not appreciate the two of them getting back to hers drunk! HA!  FINALLY! A break through, FO Misogynist might be feeding MY bf with all this ‘don’t put up with her shit’ rubbish, but underneath it all, he knew which side his bread was buttered. God I loathe men who portray false bravado, and dish out misogynist advice, and then creep home to their wives like obedient puppies!  I think maybe the penny had dropped with Bf too. I hope so.

Then he told me I had changed over the past few months (by which he meant I am less tolerant of his ‘my way’ attitude).  He blamed my job, my friends, and anything else besides his own shitty attitude… I told him a few home truths, and said that since my Dad died, I could not see the point in putting up with his attitude when he drinks with his friend, and comes home with a rotten attitude.  I think I even said ‘you dont like it when the boot is on the other foot do you?!” Then he confessed that he didn’t, and that he didnt want to be my next ex, and watch someone else take his place.  I found myself softening a little… He hasn’t displayed vulnerability for so long!

We went to bed, and an hour or so after I went to sleep I was woken by him kissing me… He had tears in his eyes and he was very tender and passionate, treating me to some tenderness that I have missed for a long time.  I asked him where all this came from, and he said “you wanted something different.”  My heart melted… I had really thought that FO Misogynist had stolen ‘my’ Bf away from me forever, but he was back!  He told me over and over again that he loved me, and spent the whole night with his arms wrapped around me, and I think that something clicked and he finally ‘got it’.

I have to say, that was over a week ago now, and he is still being extremely appreciative and loving and mindful, so I am feeling extremely positive about our future again.  I guess in some ways, the grief has taken its toll on both of us, still is.

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24 Responses to “It’s not me, it’s you.”

  1. I just don’t even know what to say. It’s a hard position to be in, supporting a man in this career. It’s hard to balance the needs of each other, while allowing adequate space to be individuals, and keep a strong relationship when time together can be so erratic. It’s been a tough year in my relationship as well, but I’m feeling hopeful that the worst is over. I wish you the best with Bf, and know that I’m always happy to lend a listening ear.

  2. I’m glad you were able to come back together… The lack of basic respect and understanding is detrimental to any relationship… Recently, my husband was very disrespectful to me, focusing on his own desires, being utterly selfish, and extremely disrespectful to me. He never feels the need to apologize to me in these situations, expecting me to just “get over it”… Well, he got a wake up call when I sent him a rather detailed email saying that if he is going to continue to treat me in the manner that he had been, I would not be home when he returned from his shift. I’m not sure he realized exactly how his behavior made me feel until that point. I received a phone call within 15 minutes of sending the email, apologizing for everything. He’s been true to his word since then, understanding when I have been unable to do something for whatever reason, giving me space when I need it and company when I don’t. Now, we both strive to treat each other with respect, even when we disagree. It is definitely a start in the right direction.

    • It’s crap when they lose sight of how important you are to them… Also totally annoying that they should need that wake up call… Still, thankfully at least for us, that wake up call seems to have had the desired effect x

  3. Thank you for your freshness and honesty! I really appreciate the “realness” of Britons. It seems Americans always try to portray a rosy picture all the time for fear of anyone finding out their faults. I’m sorry you’ve been having a rough go of it. Here’s to things continuing to turn up!

    • Ahhh, Spotty, I have missed your comments. How are you? You are always welcome to honesty and ‘realness’ from me. I dont know any other way to be!

      Thank you so much for your supportive words, you honestly dont know how comforting that comment was to read 🙂

      • You’re quite welcome! I have to admit (since we’re into being honest) that I’ve been lazy and busy so I sometimes skip or quickly gloss over your lengthy posts. But for some reason the other day I was compelled to read this post and I’m glad for it.

  4. Partner

    Sorry to say but I’m totally shocked by this post. I’m aware of the personal difficulties that you have had this year – that was too much for one person to bear alone. I’m utterly stunned that your BF has anything less than supportivem, especially considering what you have been through.

    I understand what you are saying about his friend – but ultimately your BF has to take the responsibility for his own views and behaviour. The way he has behaved towards you is totally, totally unacceptable. Why was he going through your phone? This sounds like very controlling behaviour.

    I’m glad to see you recognising your strengths and that you are not self-projecting his views on women. Hold on to what you know is important and true. Don’t stand for any crap.

    • Hey Jem…

      I know, it sucks! But as much as you think, hope and believe that when you need someone the most, they will ‘get it’ and be there for you… They might not-even if they do love you… Why? Because underneath it all, we are all ultimately selfish beings.

      Bf can be very controlling, and I think that my recent weakness and misery has meant that I have lost myself a little and become a bit of a doormat.

      In my relationship at least, it would seem that Bf actually needs my strength!? You will be pleased to hear that he is still behaving like a model boyfriend… So I think he just needed an emotional kick in the bollocks… Rest assured, I was happy to give him one!

      • “But as much as you think, hope and believe that when you need someone the most, they will ‘get it’ and be there for you… They might not-even if they do love you… Why? Because underneath it all, we are all ultimately selfish beings.”

        See I just don’t buy that. If you have been through what you have had to cope with over the last year, your partner should be the one holding you together, not taking you for granted.

        I don’t think we are ultimately selfish, I think we have the capacity to consider others above ourselves and to put their needs before our own, especially when its really needed.

        Glad to hear that he’s being more considerate now. I hope this continues and what happened before was a one-off. I know you are too smart to put up with any nonsense anyway 🙂

  5. Hey love!

    I’ve been away from the blog world for awhile and I returned today to read this sad post. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to deal with this crap. My jaw LITERALLY dropped when I read the line about the washing being women’s work. I know I would NOT be able to put up with a guy who truly felt that way.

    I really hope this was just some funk that your BF has passed through. Please don’t put up with that if it continues though. You deserve better.

    I really hope the next few months get better for you. I know it’s been a tough year.

    x

    • Thanks Elsja,

      I know, I think you and I had much the same reaction! I think he was just being a tosser and throwing a childish tantrum. Ever since he threw his toys out of the pram that day, he has not complained about doing washing or hanging it up, and I have stopped ironing his shirts as a silent protest/punishment…

      I think we all push buttons in arguments at times. He knows he pushed me too far that time I think!

  6. Dear, I think you are quite naive after reading your past blogs regarding your BF.
    To assume he does not “binge” drink on his trips and only does whilst home is presumtive. Most men are poor at changing their behaviors when they are up to no good. He does not appear to be totally comitted to you if he verbally abuses you.

    After all this time and a baby together, he is hesitant to marry you for a reason, although this reason may still be unknown, but may be for the best. I would tread carefully in expecting marriage and pushing that issue.

    • I am brutally honest. His hesitation for marriage is not unknown… He is not totally at ease with his role as a step father, and is struggling to accept that he doesnt have to be perfect at everything.

      I also happen to know that he doesn’t “binge” drink when he’s away because he always calls me to say goodnight and I know what he sounds like when he’s been drinking. Though in his very early long-haul days, he did a few times, and decided after making a fool of himself, that he’d rather not mix heavy drinking with work.

      It sounds to me like you are applying your own experiences in your relationship to interpret mine.

      Bf only “binges” with this one friend, and since he doesn’t work with the guy I have no concerns about that, if I did, I’d have written about it.

      I think that trying to implant insecurity in me that doesn’t exist is a little bit toxic, one thing i am certainly not, is naive. Thankfully I am in a better place than I was a few months ago.

  7. Hi Partner of a Pilot,

    Every now & then I pop onto your blog – can’t believe the awful year you’ve had.

    I genuinely think men are the weaker sex – they can’t bear it when their wives or girlfriends don’t prioritise them. They talk a good talk, but when we really need support, they can’t walk the walk! Good Luck, hope it turns around for you!

    I’ve started a blog too – it’s kind of mandatory at work! Hope you come and visit! http://www.hometruthsblog.blogspot.com

    x

    • Hi Carrie, thanks for your kind words. I keep meaning to ask you how your new job is going. Do you also have a wordpress blog too? I only ask because your picture shows up on my wordpress blog. I think blogging is a very interesting experience, and I’ve learned so much from it.

  8. Oh no Dear, saying you are naive was never to make you feel insecure, it was just to make sure you realise that many men are not able to committ for many reasons, and sometimes they just will not tell you why. They don’t many times due to their own insecurities and lack of will to committ in a relationship.

    Realising this would be good for you, so you do not set yourself up for big heartbreak. I am strong believer that a way a man acts around his woman is just a sample of how he acts when not around her. So do be careful. Yes, I have lived a bit, and do have experiences; and it is good that you keep him away from his friend who appears to be a bad influence. Hopefully he will not be around such people while at work. I wish you the best.

    • Thank you for your kind response Marissa, and thank you for clarifying. I dearly love Bf, and know he loves me too, but can sometimes act in a misguided way.

      I think he can be pretty immature at times, which is very frustrating, but I have started to realise that although I cannot force him to change, I can define my boundaries, set expectations for what I will and won’t tolerate and how I will deal with things that fall outside of my boundaries.

      I have said that if he chooses to get drunk with this guy again, then I want him to stay over at his house and not bring it home to me.

      I am not going to tolerate being spoken to like crap for no reason, just because he drank with someone who clearly doesn’t like me…

      As I say though, in fairness, he hasn’t yet done it again.

  9. You have been through so much recently, you must have been feeling things that I hope you will never have to feel again. Reading this I was relatively aghast but when I got to the end all I found myself thinking was ‘Good Girl, you are back! You have stood up for yourself, put him in his place and it has worked a treat’. He does love you, of that there is no doubt but he lost his way for a bit. I hope this was the pinnacle of this situation and that (quoting Yazz of course) ‘The only way is up’ lovely 🙂 xxxxx

  10. Hi, you sound like a wonderful woman, I am glad he finally realized what he stood to lose.

  11. HI dear,

    I’m new to your blog, but wow you truly handled your man the correct way and ‘Im so glad things worked out well.

    I’m an Asian, but have been brought up the western way, with a western mindset, which means my bf who is also a pilot doesn’t get away with any bullshit. I speak my mind, and we talk openly, but as it is in all relationships, we have our set of problems.

    Anyway, I look forward to read your posts!

  12. […] may be because I have gone through so much this year, it may be because I am missing the support from doing my intensive mindfulness course – now […]


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