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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.
An excellent post!

I want to add just one thing. I have a friend who is a professional skier, and is in Europe for 4-5 months in the winter away from home. It means the world to him to come to his girlfriend who supports him and always has his favorite cookies waiting for him.... My thinking here is that your wife lives for the support you can give her in a job that requires a lot of travel.
 

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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.


He said she wasn't doing her part. Where did he say he thought it was 100% her responsibility? I think you should go back and re-read the thread before jumping down someone's throat for something they did not say.
 

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I assume you both work?

Jetlag is really tough, so exhaustion isn't that unusual and it can take days to recover. I know that it takes a couple of days for me to recover form jetlag on a business trip.

Some things to think about:

If you both work, is your income enough to hire house cleaners, order food etc to reduce the total chores that need to be done?

If she is this tired now, don't even think about having kids. That might be a good discussion to have with her.

Does she enjoy her job?


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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Both my brother and I work overseas. Jet lag and time zone changes effect people in different ways. I'm back at it in one day where my brother takes about 4 days.
I do not have much advice for you but just a heads up that it can knock some people down pretty hard.
 

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Rather than judge, try to gain insight. Read up. Jet lag can be REALLY hard on some people. The lack of motivation is a common symptom. If it’s just after big sleep I understand. But if it goes on, I would begin to wonder if long haul flights are a good career choice for her. Especially being newly married
 

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Two common circumstances here:

I know those in same Aviation jobs. And myself had a run of heavy, heavy 10 years of travel, gone for days, working days/nights.
It's just life, one just chooses to have a work schedule they learn to perform, while traveling to do it.

One:
Travel based work means traveling itself becomes a skill, like any other.
In today's aviation industry, Attendants have better care than ever before because of safety issues and lawsuits possibilities "if abused". They are given rest times.

When one cares to, there is ample time to get needed rest when traveling, today, no company wants a zombie working with the public in especially a possible emergencies sometimes environment like being on an aircraft.

Rest time is mandatory set aside by their Union, many Attendants are in a Union or some form of organized group that support regular work hours and rest time, wherever they are.
They are shuttled to hotels, given time to eat and sleep, and shuttled back to return aircraft.

Are required to have rest times on ling international flights.

With good work skills and ethics, you work, eat, and sleep, just wherever you are, and can follow a reasonable work to sleep pattern that many have no issue with.
It takes discipline, but it's just life.

Two:
It's possible she treats every work trip like an opportunity to go to clubs or hotel bars every night or what ever days she's off the aircraft in whatever location.
If every trip is a party at the destination, or in "off hours" she will need time to recover when she "gets home". A bad way to travel. Shows no discipline.

Jet lag/time changes adjustments are real but those successful travelers know when getting home a good meal, then the first nights sleep, and one is in fair shape the next day, and much back to normal the next.
*if the whole trip wasn't work/party/work/party etc, without taking advantage of the rest times that are available.

To cap it off, crew members have easy times getting on/off aircraft as "known crew member" lines are virtually not existing, they go right onto aircraft when getting back on planes, as they are pre-screened, have completed background checks, and badged, making less or no stress when in/out of aircraft/hotels, when flights stay over wherever.

Some people don't stop that mentality the whole time, others do, and it's normal to have a nice home life too.

There's plenty of room here, from what I've read in OP posts, for her to be a party type, combined with a sense of entitlement, and maybe some laziness.

The obvious circumstance is that she's not valuing your relationship.

Traveling for work isn't a get out of jail free card excuse.

Many, many, many adults travel for work and have great home lives.

This is all first hand knowledge.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
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?
Thank you for the response, very insightful. I think you hit it on the spot with her being emotionally deaf to my needs and pain. Very often I feel like I have to schedule my life around in order to suit her, example being: waiting for her to wake up to go for dinner, not cleaning or vacuuming when she's asleep, not having friends over due to her sleep, having blackout curtains ( I hate dark rooms, would rather wake up to the sun :grin2:).

In relation to tasks for family, it's just us two. However, we do have plans in the future to bring a child to this world. To be honest, I am quite worried about the prospect. Currently we have a cat together where for the most part I do the "dirty work"
 

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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.
Quite the opposite of what I mean. Apologize if there was any miscommunication, I did not mean to impose it is her duty to serve as a housewife on top of her job. What I mean is for her doing her share as you mentioned in your post. To be fair, I am okay with doing most of the chores, but the lack of initiative and her reasoning is what troubles me.
 

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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?

Your third question resonate with me. We got married without living together and hence the situation now. Did I see it back then? Not to this extent. Do I believe if it will change? I do not know, she claims this is entirely on her profession and is definitely not like this if she wasn't a cabin crew :shrug: .

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

Right now we are still early in the marriage, so I don't want to lose hope and trying to communicate communicate to her the importance of meeting in the middle.... Whether she'll eventually understand is up in the air.
 

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Did she take her whole "social media" days during which she did nothing when she was single?

Or did she participate in life and get sone **** done because she didn't have you doing it all for her?

She was more or less the same. She would leave all her chores ( dishes, laundry, errands) when she feels like doing it, sometimes a week or two later than should be.
 

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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.
Thank you for the excellent post! You are absolutely right, I keep stressing communication and planning ahead of time as a main factor for success in our marriage. I have to keep working on with her is her entitlement to sleep, phone, repeat.... She does go out of her way sometimes to go out with me in the city or do some fun event that I've planned ahead of time. However that is not much the case when it comes to chores.

Ex. She had 5 24 hour off days at home. Naturally, I told her to rest up her first day( even the second) and help out the house on the third or fourth doing simple tasks. Her response was that she needed those days to recuperate. I do not understand her logic nor do I think I am in the wrong. Out of respect for our relationship I bite my tongue. So yea I think we are lacking communication and compromise ......
 

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She was more or less the same. She would leave all her chores ( dishes, laundry, errands) when she feels like doing it, sometimes a week or two later than should be.
I think this is at the root of the problem. Getting these things done promptly, or even "at all" is not important to her and never has been. It is important to you and probably always has been. Now you two are married and living under the same roof.

From her perspective you're pushing YOUR arbitrary cleanliness/procrastination standards on her as being the RIGHT way to live and she's not "doing her part." But she's lived as she has all these years with no issues, perfectly happy. She sees that as the RIGHT way to live and you pushing her to do stuff that 1) she doesn't feel like doing and 2) does not even need to be done right now in her mind, does not feel like doing "her part" it feels like doing made up work simply because it's how YOU want the household run.

So what to do?

I think you need to have a conversation with her where you are NOT judgmental about her DIFFERENT standards. Explain to her that these things are important to you and you had an unconscious assumption that you two would have the same standards and be sharing the workload. You realize now that was presumptuous of you, but you had no idea how frustrated and unsettled you would feel sharing a house with someone where not only are you not on the same page about these things, but you feel you can't even take care of them yourself because of her sleep schedule.

You don't want to impose your standards on her, but right now she's passively imposing her standards on you. Can you two agree how the household will be run? When things will get done? Who will do what? Can some work be hired out? Does she care if you vacuum while she's sleeping? Can you GENTLY point out the sacrifices you're making (black out curtains, etc.) to accommodate her needs and let her know you want to find a way to accommodate BOTH of your needs.

Also - how important is being on a flight crew to her? Would she consider a different career? I'm telling you, the disruption to sleep is REALLY bad on mental and physical health, and frequent time a part is really hard on marriage in general. You need time together to remain connected. Especially if you're going to have a child, will she really want to still be traveling constantly for her career? And wouldn't it be nice to have a plan for getting the household tasks done in a way where things are running smoothly before adding the stress of an infant to the mix?

So:
1. How do we resolve the household chores issue so that we are both satisfied?
2. How much one on one time should we spend together as a couple to keep our marriage strong and stay connected?
3. Would she consider a career with a better schedule and less travel, especially since you both (I assume) want children at some point?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I think this is at the root of the problem. Getting these things done promptly, or even "at all" is not important to her and never has been. It is important to you and probably always has been. Now you two are married and living under the same roof.

From her perspective you're pushing YOUR arbitrary cleanliness/procrastination standards on her as being the RIGHT way to live and she's not "doing her part." But she's lived as she has all these years with no issues, perfectly happy. She sees that as the RIGHT way to live and you pushing her to do stuff that 1) she doesn't feel like doing and 2) does not even need to be done right now in her mind, does not feel like doing "her part" it feels like doing made up work simply because it's how YOU want the household run.

So what to do?

I think you need to have a conversation with her where you are NOT judgmental about her DIFFERENT standards. Explain to her that these things are important to you and you had an unconscious assumption that you two would have the same standards and be sharing the workload. You realize now that was presumptuous of you, but you had no idea how frustrated and unsettled you would feel sharing a house with someone where not only are you not on the same page about these things, but you feel you can't even take care of them yourself because of her sleep schedule.

You don't want to impose your standards on her, but right now she's passively imposing her standards on you. Can you two agree how the household will be run? When things will get done? Who will do what? Can some work be hired out? Does she care if you vacuum while she's sleeping? Can you GENTLY point out the sacrifices you're making (black out curtains, etc.) to accommodate her needs and let her know you want to find a way to accommodate BOTH of your needs.

Also - how important is being on a flight crew to her? Would she consider a different career? I'm telling you, the disruption to sleep is REALLY bad on mental and physical health, and frequent time a part is really hard on marriage in general. You need time together to remain connected. Especially if you're going to have a child, will she really want to still be traveling constantly for her career? And wouldn't it be nice to have a plan for getting the household tasks done in a way where things are running smoothly before adding the stress of an infant to the mix?

So:
1. How do we resolve the household chores issue so that we are both satisfied?
2. How much one on one time should we spend together as a couple to keep our marriage strong and stay connected?
3. Would she consider a career with a better schedule and less travel, especially since you both (I assume) want children at some point?
Thank you that was was insightful. I think you are fairly spot on as well. We did have several conversations / arguments where I raised the same points you brought up :
  • We are different individuals and have very different personality, we need to find middle ground
  • Due to different values and prioritization we disagree. There are "thresholds" for both of us. Example: She must have blackout curtains (sacrifice on my part) vs I must have a clean sink when I come home
  • She is passively imposing her standards on me through sleeping and I have to adjust my schedule in accordance to her. To this she disagree
We do hire cleaner here and there when the mess builds up every other month. I try to do my part and SOME of her part, but it's tiresome tbh. Example being she would do her laundry but would leave it in the washer and I would need to go out of my way to hang it up. To answer your questions

1. How do we resolve the household chores issue so that we are both satisfied?
That's the thing I'm unsure. I brought up the above points, but either she doesn't / refuse to understand or she is too hardheaded to meet in the middle.
2. How much one on one time should we spend together as a couple to keep our marriage strong and stay connected?
Ever since I moved to UAE, I tried to look for activities we both can do ( outdoor, shows, etc). She does sometimes go with me if she's not tired. However at the same time, through time we been together she has not suggested nor done any planning the other way around. Is it due to sleep or lack of interest I don't know.
3. Would she consider a career with a better schedule and less travel, especially since you both (I assume) want children at some point?
That's the discussion we had as well. I implored her to go learn a new skill at her LEISURE time so she can eventually transition out of the industry. I provided paid learning portals and such to her to support her cause. Heck I even told her if her passion is drawing go be a street painter for all I care, as long as you bring home "some" money and contribute. But to this day I have not seen any effort from her due to lack of "sleep".

I don't want to make it sound like I'm bashing her. She does have a lot of good qualities. However, this is a huge issue I feel taht would need to be solved sooner than later. And what is there for me to do if she refuse to meet you in middle??? :(
 

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I don't want to make it sound like I'm bashing her. She does have a lot of good qualities. However, this is a huge issue I feel taht would need to be solved sooner than later. And what is there for me to do if she refuse to meet you in middle??? :(
Hmmmm. This is not good. She is not taking your legitimate concerns seriously. It sounds like you have told her these things bother you, and her reaction is that she really doesn't care. Or that it's your problem.

Unfortunately, the reality is that even though you love her and she has good qualities, her disregard for your feelings, and the sacrifices you are making, will eventually overshadow the good and kill your love for her.

I don't know how you've brought the subject up before, how DIRECT you were, but I think you need to basically say to her:

We need to talk. I know I have told you I am unhappy about certain things, but I don't think I have been clear about exactly how concerned I am for us. Is this marriage important to you or not? I am beginning to feel extremely resentful and it is affecting how I feel about you and being married to you...


I think the marriage builders program would be good for you two if you can get her to do it, because it emphasizes the importance of one on one time together and how bad job-travel is for a relationship. Having someone else explain it might go over better than you asking her to change. I'd recommend the home seminar because it has videos you can watch together. (If you just go for something to read, good luck getting her to take the initiative and actually do the reading.) https://www.marriagebuilders.com/the-online-seminar-and-home-study-courses.htm

You can read about their basic concepts here: https://www.marriagebuilders.com/a-summary-of-dr-harleys-basic-concepts.htm

As for her not planning things, I think you're going to have to take the lead on that one yourself. Just like household chores, it's not important to her to go out and do things. I'm the same way. If someone else plans stuff I'll go along and have a fine time, but I swear I rarely think "Oh, I'd love to go do xyz..." If you could get her to agree to spending x amount of time together, just the two of you, phone free, that would be a big win in itself and I think would really pay off in getting her back into the relationship. But you'd probably need to do the heavy lifting of coming up with ideas, at least for awhile.
 
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