I recently finished my Masters dissertation titled Couple satisfaction in female partners of male shift working pilots. As some of you might know I am married to my best friend who is a pilot and I am proud to call myself a pilot wife. For my Master’s thesis I decided to study pilot wives and partners specifically and what impact their husband/ partner’s working schedule has on her couple satisfaction. This post is a short summary of the conclusions of my research to share with my fellow pilot wives and pilot partners.
My study had 276 participants who were all wives or partners of pilots. The ladies completed an online questionnaire that I created and I analysed and interpreted their responses to come to my conclusions.
I found that with increased age and relationship duration in the middle stages, couple satisfaction was lower. One reason for this could be that there are children to take care of and life’s demands get overwhelming to the participants. Couple satisfaction was also lower for participants who had children than for those participants without children. One reason for this could be that the ladies often have to take care of their children and take a lot of the domestic duties in the home on themselves due to the pilot’s schedule.
The number one negative aspect about being in a relationship with a pilot was his schedule. The other negative aspects that followed partially as result are loneliness, solo parenting, domestic duty overload and physical and psychological problems. Other negative aspects found by the less satisfied participants was lack of trust, pilot’s personality and financial and communication difficulties.
A good thing to highlight from the study is that most of the participants were reasonably happy with their relationship. Interestingly some participants experienced the pilot’s schedule as positive and cited him being home more often and having the opportunity to miss each other as positive aspects. The positive aspects of being in a relationship with a pilot was independence, travel opportunities, job fulfilment, the aviation lifestyle, excitement in the relationship, communication, personality of the pilot and lastly financial security.
I think the study gave meaningful results and that it will give the pilot wife and partner community a voice and my hope is to help them realise how fellow pilot wives or partners are experiencing their relationships.
Please comment below if you would like to know more about my study, or if you have any questions about it.
Till next time…