They call it AIDS, short for Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome, and it's a serious problem. Pilots are away from home a lot. They get lonely. They are regarded as prime catches by the sort of people who fish. Meanwhile their spouses are home alone a lot. They get lonely, too. The pilot comes home tired, which may mean cranky, or uncommunicative or apathetic. Lack of communication, lack of sex, infidelity. Marriage breakdown. The guys say, "don't get married, just pick a woman you hate, and buy her a house."
I wasn't going to write about this phenomenon, because, like night stops in Shanghai, crazy flight attendant parties, and inflight meals that don't come out of my own flight bag, I thought it was something removed from my aviation orbit. And then I found out that one of my own co-workers is a victim.
As she said, it can happen to women, too. A long time stable marriage, with a child, and then he suddenly left her for another woman. It was so shocking. I don't even know her that well. I almost wished she hadn't told me. Take it as a warning, if you will. Or take it as a reminder to act on your priorities and cherish every minute of happiness. My condolences to anyone who has been affected by a the break-up of a long time relationship, whether aviation-related or not.
I took a long time to post this, because I suspect the pilot in question reads my blog. I'll take it down right away if asked.