Sunday, 31 July 2011

Pilots and divorce: It's not pretty

Whilst idly reading Pprune's (Professional Pilots' Rumour Network) Middle East forum this morning, I came across this.

In a thread entitled "ex-wife", an Emirates pilot asks his Middle Eastern pilot colleagues:

"Does anyone know how successful an ex-wife would be at obtaining all your EK pay and contract benefit history, including provident funds for the time you worked at EK if her lawyer served a a court order for the information? "
Which translates as:

"I'm getting divorced, and I don't want my ex-wife to be able to access any of the money I've made while I've been out in Dubai. Granted, she moved over here with our children, gave up her career and friends at home, and spent years living in a hot desert while I flew all over the world, but sod it, I hate her now, so I don't want her getting any of the money she thought I was making for all of us."

To be honest, the question alone shocked me enough, but as I read further down the thread, some of the comments made my blood pressure shoot up even more.

For example:

"Sell all you have and go into cash, physically hold the money. Keep this burried in the garden not safety dep box (no annonimity in dxb anymore)
Have no money in any account anywhere in world. Hold the cash.
Run up as much dept and personal loans as possible. All goes into the pot + and -.
When the lawyers ask about the dissapearing assets, say you where scammed when you tried to buy gold bars in BKK/JNB/Deira. The rest you lost gambling.....sorry."

"I think perhaps that my present First Officer has the right idea...'Why get married when all this free skirt is around, it's a bit like taking a ham sandwich to a banquet.' "

"Anybody know what happen if you don't pay the full child support amount?
Is it anyway that they could impound your salary from a European country? "

The fact that this sort of view is the majority not the minority on this thread is really a huge cause for concern. What sort of people are these men? I'm amazed at all the bitterness and vitriol.

I do think aviation is an easy route to divorce if a marriage is weak anyhow. It's a tough job for any family to deal with, with frequent absences, moving away from a home country, tiredness and financial instability all coming in to play. My husband often jokes that he's amazed if a Captain he flies with is still on his first wife. And it's not really a joke; it's true, they're definitely in the minority.

And the fact that divorce proceedings often get nasty is not an excuse to refuse to offer financial support to your wife and children, particularly if it was you who opted out of the marriage.

Girls (and boys!) I suggest you have your say on that thread. They deserve to have a bit of a reality check, I think!


  1. Hi there - it has been a while (I no longer keep my blog). I am getting a divorce from Cpt. J - it has been a nightmare. I justed wanted to say that it has little to do with his job. He turned out to be a scoundrel and that could be any man in any job. =)

    1. Divorcing a Capt for a major airline, he is relentless in making my life difficult. Apparently I've never known him. The person I married (can't say man) who would talk endlessly about his integrity and his honesty. His words"he was the most honest man I have ever known." Instead I found I've never met anyone who could lie so much and be so vicious. He joins the scoundrel club. I bet he could be the scoundrel president. He evidently has too much money and time on his hands because he continues to look for excuses to go back to court.

    2. ”Cpt J” is the farthest thing from a scoundrel. He loves his son and wants to be with him more than anything. But I guess it is easy to criticize when your ego is bruised, huh?

    3. I know this is slightly off topic, but I can't find an answer online. Are you asking for flight benefits in your settlement? Is this even an option? My soon to be ex, claims that I can't even ask for it, but I am doubtful. Any reply would be welcome.

    4. Can you have flight privileges awarded to an ex spouse? Married 18 years.

  2. Regardless of profession you can't make an honest man out of a jerk, liar, cheater etc. Sad, that men don't possess the pried they used to in their responsibly to their family. What happend to honor.

  3. I spoze that this thread has to pop on a blog titled as yours is. That said, I'm hearing some really sour grapes here and not t he sort of thing that I expect to find in the otherwise FUN blogs that I read. I do believe that I'll trim my list yet again, at least in part because this one does not post enough. Thanks. It has been a fairly good run. but this one is over the top. C.

  4. Dear anonymous C, Sad as I am that my blog is not "fun" enough for you, I have to say in my defence that it's not meant to be entertainment. It's a place for my thoughts (often my rants!) and I've long since stopped worrying about how many readers I have. As for sour grapes - if you think my measured prose above is that, I suggest you read that pprune thread. It's bitter, vile grapes. Of course people get divorced every day, often for the better, but that much hatred and miserly behaviour is shocking, and that's why I wrote about it.

  5. Works for me. I'll read a bit more. Thanks.

  6. Sad. Disgusting, really, that men sometimes can't do such a hard thing with dignity. I do agree with Anonymous, it's not really the profession, but rather the person. (Although does this profession attract that type of person...?)

  7. I too have been following the Pprune thread mentioned here, and I've found it disgusting, sad, even frightening. I know that divorce happens in all walks of life, but it seems to me that marriage is the overall butt end of jokes in commercial aviation.

    I've traveled with my husband a bit, and I've stood silently in the background as pilot after pilot raged on about his ex or soon-to-be-ex and "HIS" money, "HIS" house, "HIS" toys ... and how unfair divorce courts are to men in general.

    How often I've longed to step into their diatribe and mention how many of us wives have given up careers of our own, even activities we once enjoyed or groups we once belonged to just so that we can be available (at home) for our pilot spouses. Not to mention the wives who are stay at home moms.

    My own husband, (married three times before me) was positively gleeful when my position for an aviation software firm was eliminated. He was practically jumping for joy when I couldn't find another job in the following 6 months. All the while begging me to "retire" saying I didn't need to work outside the home because he "made enough money for us" ... US ... not "HIM" but US.

    And I'm willing to bet that many of the complainers on the Pprune thread said much the same thing to their wives! Only now they're pissed that a court is ordering them to spread the money around. What utter b.s.

    Frankly, when I agreed not to pursue another job per my husband's request, I was worried if I could end up one of those wives with nothing to show for her investment in the marriage. We don't have children together, but I've certainly contributed to our marriage, our home and our life together.

    It would be unconscionable for my husband to think he can simply walk away and leave me high and dry. Yet again and again I read and hear about men (pilots) wanting and/or trying to do just that.

    Maybe we women need to get better educated in how to avoid or should the need arise, fight these battles. Looks like the pilots on Pprune have girded their loins, why should the wives?

    Finally, I enjoy this blog thoroughly, just the way it is. Please don't change a thing!

  8. I love this post, along with MANY of your others...I'm a fellow pilot wife and absolutely love that there are others out there like me! Keep speaking the truth! =)

  9. Thanks for sharing your experiences here on your blog --- I enjoyed this post, and I'm looking forward to more.

  10. i wonder why people are so concerned about money that they cant even see their wives and kids and push them into dig with their own hands just becaz for them money is everything

  11. 25 years, four children, put aside my career (as a lawyer) to happily raise our four children , now Capt. Ego wants out, has been hiding assets, money, opened separate bank account, diverted paycheck, etc. He has spent a lot of money on his selfish hobbies, hunting, gun collecting, motorcycles,skiing etc. (nothing screams "mid-life" crisis like a huge Harley sitting in the garage). I went back to work in a temp lawyer job as very hard to get back into career after a 15 year absence. He stopped maintaining our home, has waged a campaign of meanness, cruelty towards me in front of the kids. He is a completely different person. His family is dysfunctional , has no one to advise him in a positive manner. too arrogant to go to counseling. His fellow "pilot" friends show no respect for the sanctity of marriage or appreciation for those that make it possible to pursue their unique job with the peace of mind that the family is well taken care of at home.

  12. I'm entering a divorce with a pilot. He is all the above. Lied to me, cheated, got over $100,000 in compensation from his company and doesn't want me to have a dime. Ran up over $50,000 in credit cards. Got a girlfriend who moved to my same town. He always told me not to work and I didn't for 8 years. I'm working now. Now we're divorcing and he told me I can't have half the money or flight privileges. Is this true?

  13. Yes, money is the bottom line for pilots. I married my husband 12 year ago and it was trouble from the beginning. He was in the military and went to the airline. The culture is to carry a photo book around to show pictures of you house, your wife, your toys, and your vacations all the things you "own". He uses the phrase "my money" all the time. I am highly educated women with 2 children who has worked tirelessly to raise the kids with some sense of normalcy and still manage to salvage a job so i can at least buy clothes and other necessities. My husband lives in his own unrealistic detached world. After 12painful years of marriage, we finally found a therapist that figured out that his absurd verbally and physically abusive behavior is is highlighted by Asbergers. It makes sense now. Many pilots likely have this and if you find yourself in a mental mind game your entire marriage with someone who is emotionally devoid and verbally abusive, look up being married to an Aspie. Now you know why your husband chose his career and why your marriage has failed.




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