Monday, 28 April 2008

Horror stories

Yesterday, I had a bit of time on my hands, so I had a search on the net for other pilot's wife blogs and groups. I wish I hadn't really; there are quite a few, and so many seem to have something in common - they are FULL of horror stories.

Now, a large factor in this will of course be that people seek out help when they're in trouble, and don't tend to bother when they're not. It's human nature. And then of course there is the so-called "troll" factor, those people who deliberately post inflammatory stuff to get people going. But these reasons can't account for all the stories, of course.

Once you meet (and start to go out with) a pilot, people never tire of the old jokes about having "a girl in every port". People at parties, work colleagues, and even close friends, start to have joking (but slightly meaningful) conversations with you about what they've seen on TV (ever seen Mile High?!) and ask whether it's like that in real life.

Pilots, it seems, have a reputation! They're all supposed to be ultra-virile, gorgeous and loaded, and lacking in morality. Faced with a beautiful woman, they're supposed to just drop their trousers and open their wallets. And, of course, be adept at leading a double life (ever read The Pilot's Wife?!)

A lot of the horror stories you read are similar. Wives whose husbands turn out to have other families, wives who discover their husband is sleeping with someone else from his airline, husbands who discover the big world out there, and start to find home life tremendously dull.

Of course these stories make me sad. Each one is a personal tragedy. But that's what I think they are: personal. Generalisations are pointless. Each man or woman is different, can make different choices, has a different relationship, different morals, different beliefs. Some pilots will have affairs, just as will men and women from all sorts of walks of life. That's just who they are!

And others won't.

But, I hear you say, flying has an image for cheating, doesn't it? Well, yes, it does. That's because the men and women who do it often get to stay away from home for long periods, and if they wanted to cheat, they could, easily. For some people, I think, that's far too appealing to turn down.

I still maintain, though, that, as an individual, everyone has a choice, and the vast number of pilots and crew I've met through my husband are faithful. I can think of a few notable exceptions, but then, can't we all think of those from our friends, in all sorts of jobs?

Finally, then, it just comes back to good, old fashioned trust. I trust my husband. No matter who he's with, where in the world he is, or how many people flirt with him, I know he'll put me first. And so, no matter how many horror stories I read, I won't be having any sleepless nights.

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