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First time poster. I am seeking advice from anyone in the aviation industry. My wife and I have been married for about an year now. She is a international cabin crew with differing routes across the EMEA region. Now one of the biggest issues in our marriage thus far is her sleeping schedule and lack of productivity.

To summarize, she would often sleep 12-16 hours at home after a long haul flight from the destination she just came from. I understand the job is mentally and physically exhausting, not to mention jetlag from all the different timezones. A good sleep is much needed after her shift. The issue stems from the time at home after she wakes up. She claims she is still mentally and physically exhausted to do much of anything such as unpacking, house chores, laundry, and time spent together outdoors. To her, she feels she is entitled to her version of "do-nothing" (social media) day. This leads to frustration on my part where as I will be the one taking care of the household chores, any tasks for the family, taking care of our cat and so forth....

She states this is perfectly normal among most cabin crews and they need to rest and sleep a lot ( which I understand, I try not to distrub her when she is actually sleeping). My problem is the productivity afterwards. So my questions are to anyone that dealt and is a spouse of anyone in the aviation industry:

Is this normal? Or more of a personality trait rather than the profession?

If it is normal, how do you guys cope with their of lack of productivity or am I seeing it in a different way?

Any advice ?


Thanks all
 

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Sorry to have you here JM.

I would not tip your hand yet as to what you know or more importantly, how you know it. I do agree with NLLH's shock and awe approach though to mess with her mind and last few days of her "holiday". Let her start worrying and stewing with regard to what you know.

Also do you know much about the POSOM ? You should mess with his mind (especially if he is married) too. Nothing like stress and worry to result in a limp pecker!
 

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Sorry to have you here JM.

I would not tip your hand yet as to what you know or more importantly, how you know it. I do agree with NLLH's shock and awe approach though to mess with her mind and last few days of her "holiday". Let her start worrying and stewing with regard to what you know.

Also do you know much about the POSOM ? You should mess with his mind (especially if he is married) too. Nothing like stress and worry to result in a limp pecker!
Wrong thread? :laugh:
 

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We never lived together as I was in the USA and her in the ME region. I know what her schedule was like but didn't know the extent of productivity scale :|
Some people hold up better to massive disruptions in sleeping patterns (due to time zone shifting) than others. Your wife may be one of those for whom the consequences of disruptive sleeping patterns is pretty bad, which, of course, makes her choice of profession somewhat questionable. A domestic schedule would be much kinder, but the international routes are what pay best and offer the most time off.

You're in a tough situation, because from your standpoint, she's gone for quite a while, stuff needs to get done, and she gets back and wants to play on-line cards or games or scrabble or FB instead of re-integrate with the family. You haven't mentioned anything about intimacy. I'm guessing she's a bit emotionally tone-deaf to recognize your own pain.

Do keep in mind that what she's doing is not much different from what many of us have experienced, from wives who, in many cases, aren't even working. Your wife *may* at least have a reason for it that's not related to a larger issue. May.

I would suggest the first thing to work on would not be re-integration with housework but rather re-integration with quality time spend with you. What can the two of you do that would be relaxing to her and take the place of on-line computer stuff? That's going to be REALLY tough, because she's established a ritual, a routine, and the longer that goes on, the more difficult it will be to break. It's a good thing you're encountering this and dealing with it so early in your marriage.

By the way, you reference "any tasks for the family." Does the family include a child or children, or just relatives, cats, etc?
 

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I think you married a lazy woman to be honest.
I have lived with airline staff and I never seen any of them pull this ****.
Regarding jet lag, this is something that airline staff learn to adapt to or else they change careers. If she is partying while on an overnight trip then this will explain why she’s tired,nothing to do with jet lag.
 

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We never lived together as I was in the USA and her in the ME region. I know what her schedule was like but didn't know the extent of productivity scale :|
Got it.

I work a 12 hour night shift rotating over 2 weeks on a 4 day 3 day schedule.

It messes with your time off no doubt.
 

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Got it.

I work a 12 hour night shift rotating over 2 weeks on a 4 day 3 day schedule.

It messes with your time off no doubt.
I get this but the woman in question sleeps for twelve to sixteen hours after a flight and then needs a day of “social media time”.
I think she needs a career change.
 

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I get this but the woman in question sleeps for twelve to sixteen hours after a flight and then needs a day of “social media time”.
I think she needs a career change.
Ha ha ha, Andy, of course, you caught me trying to back out gracefully from a thread, that I dont plan on posting in. Lol.

You are a solid guy Andy, much respect!
 

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Let's condense the nonsense.

Do you know what you want?

Do you believe she is capable of delivering on what you want/need?

Was this behavior already present when you met and were dating and you didn't see it, or believed it would change?

What are you prepared to do if it's apparent she can't?

So I gotta be honest here ... I'm wondering what kind of housework you are expecting her to do if she is often not home for prolonged periods?
 

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This leads to frustration on my part where as I will be the one taking care of the household chores, any tasks for the family, taking care of our cat and so forth.
If you're BOTH working - which you both obviously are - then stop your damned whining as though every single domestic chore at home is the responsibility of your wife and that you're doing her some kind of 'favor' picking up her slack.

If you both work, then you're both responsible for 50% of the domestic chores and child-rearing - that's called doing your share.. What the hell do you think - that she's the only one who has to work outside the home AND take on 100% of the domestic chores on top of it, while you get to come home and lay on the damned couch every night?

That's some real stinkin' thinkin' right there if that's what you're implying.
 

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I'll say that I've long thought Aviation is a terrible industry for long term relationships.

What makes it appealing to a single person is obviously the excitement, new places, new people, weird hours.

But it's hard to make plans like that. Long hours. messed up sleep schedules, airlines going out of business, airline strikes, weather interfering with flights, etc. And then so many other single people you're hanging with has to make it an endless possibility for temptation.

So I think my suggestion would be to see if it's possible to transition to something less exciting but more reliable?
 

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My dad was a commercial airline pilot for over 25 years. He started domestic and for the final 5 years or so of his career he flew international. He never had jetlag from his trips, either domestic or international. He didn't have a decrease in productivity transitioning from domestic to international. My dad landed and would jump right into chores at home, dinner with people, activities, etc. The only thing different he would do would take short 15-20min naps sometimes. Those would refresh him and keep him energized. Sometimes I think social media and internet surfing makes you more tired. I bet she would do better if she took brief naps or take a walk outside instead.
 

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I asked a friend who was a stew for 20 years. She said when she first started it could be draining, but it settled down as she adjusted. With seniority she was able to get more flights that eased up on the crazy schedule. So maybe get her to try changing her schedule.

As to what to do now, the word for you is "communication". And it sounds like you two do so. Continue to discuss needs and how best to meet them....
 

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First time poster. I am seeking advice from anyone in the aviation industry. My wife and I have been married for about an year now. She is a international cabin crew with differing routes across the EMEA region. Now one of the biggest issues in our marriage thus far is her sleeping schedule and lack of productivity.

To summarize, she would often sleep 12-16 hours at home after a long haul flight from the destination she just came from. I understand the job is mentally and physically exhausting, not to mention jetlag from all the different timezones. A good sleep is much needed after her shift. The issue stems from the time at home after she wakes up. She claims she is still mentally and physically exhausted to do much of anything such as unpacking, house chores, laundry, and time spent together outdoors. To her, she feels she is entitled to her version of "do-nothing" (social media) day. This leads to frustration on my part where as I will be the one taking care of the household chores, any tasks for the family, taking care of our cat and so forth....

She states this is perfectly normal among most cabin crews and they need to rest and sleep a lot ( which I understand, I try not to distrub her when she is actually sleeping). My problem is the productivity afterwards. So my questions are to anyone that dealt and is a spouse of anyone in the aviation industry:

Is this normal? Or more of a personality trait rather than the profession?

If it is normal, how do you guys cope with their of lack of productivity or am I seeing it in a different way?

Any advice ?

Thanks all
How many days off does she get in a row? Day 2 back does she become more productive?

I am the same way as her, if I go on a business trip, the next day I am just a zombie. But I'm also a pretty "low energy" person regardless when left to my own devices.

If you have a lot of days in a row together when she's OFF her shift, you might consider the first day back a continuation of the time needed for the work stint.

But if your life is a matter of she's gone (and you're alone and doing everything) and then she's back and you might as well be alone and doing everything, and then she's gone again... then it's not a matter of is this normal or not, but rather is this what you both want your marriage to be like? It sounds like her job is NOT good for marriage. Would she be willing to look for a job where you can both be on the same schedule? Is she open minded to putting effort into the relationship so your bond is good and strong?

There is an extremely high rate of infidelity in relationships where one person travels a lot. You need time TOGETHER, paying attention to each other, to feel connected. Feeling connected is usually very important. Especially for women.
 

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Speaking as an airline crewmember for over 25 years, yes it is common. It is widely known as "Recovery Day". And then there is also "Prep Day" the day before the next trip.

Partly it is physical fatigue, and partly it is a psychological need to not be moving and not be on somebody else's timetable.

Re-read Deejo's comment above. While the details revolve around your spouse's job, the issue is whether she will attempt to modify things and whether it will be enough to keep you happy in the marriage. This will take some months to shake out.

She can (and should for her long term health) modify her sleep schedule on trips. If she is crossing many time zones she should attempt to remain on her home zone as much as possible even if it means being awake and active in the middle of the night at her destination. Careful use of light doses of melatonin and caffeine can help her regulate her wake/sleep cycles. But many trips have atrocious schedules, like red-eyes which completely mess up circadian rhythms. She should investigate working different types of trips even if it means having fewer total days off, less desirable trips, different and less desirable days off, or lower pay. She should control her food as much as possible by bringing healthy food and avoiding junky unhealthy purchased food. She should be sure she is staying very well hydrated.

I find having something specific planned when I get home helps prevent wasting a lot of time. Part of the psychological thing is, in a way, there are 2 very distinct lives going on. One is at home, the other is away. When we go on a trip we are away for several days, not just at the office for 8 hours. Your office is in your home area. Everything is the same. The radio station in your car, the local news, the weather, where you sleep, who you hang out with. For flight crew everything is different from home. So there is a period of adjusting back to being at home. On a trip everything is work. There's no home things going on. All the home things can only be done on the few days off. Couple the re-entry process with needing to not be on a schedule (to the minute) when things have to be done and it is easy to just vegetate for a day at home.

So try to get her to have something to do an hour or two after getting home, or first thing the next morning. Even if it is just a calm walk in the park or visiting a family member. Not a specific set time (like a movie), but a general plan. After dinner we'll walk the dog.

I would approach it with her as an undesirable part of her job, not as something she is failing at with you. Enlist her cooperation. If she understands that you'll be making breakfast in the morning (doing something yourself to help her) but then the plan is to go for a bike ride to get moving, she can see it as a team effort.

Having something in mind to do when she gets home will help. She'll be thinking about it during the trip and especially on the last leg home. So she'll be visualizing being home even while on the trip which speeds up re-entry.
 
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