The Cheating Pilot

When Steve and I started to date, I was a senior in college. I was young, didn't know squat about aviation, and I was falling for a pretty great guy.   He drove a nice car, always paid for dinner, always opened my car door, and treated me like a queen.  In my eyes, this guy was a great catch and I was excited to be in a relationship with him.   

The first wind I ever got of the stereotypical "cheating pilot" thing was while I was at work for my internship. Steve and I had been dating for only a month or so, at this point.  As we were waiting in a conference room for the meeting to start, I was making small talk with a colleague. I mentioned that Steve was a pilot and her response was, "oh you better be careful". Yeah, because you know so much about this man I am dating.  Little did she know that he was flying corporate at the time, with hardly an overnight on his schedule.  His day consisted of flying from point A to B, , waiting at point B for hours on end, and then back to A again.  All with the same Captain.  No flight attendants.  Little interaction with passengers...

And thus started the stereotypical 'pilots are cheaters' ... 

I should add, Steve DID get laid on a trip once. Well, aside from the times where I joined him...

Back in 2010, Steve's pairing took him to Hawaii, and it was the first LAX to Maui flight on the 737.  Because of that, there was a bit of a to-do upon arrival; pictures were taken, and the whole crew got laid.

And you bet that when Steve got home from that trip he was all "I got laid."  Yeah, yeah honey, go on...


Want to know my take on pilots and cheating?  Let me start with one fact.  Of ALL the pilots I know, which at this point in my life is a decent amount, I only know of one that has cheated.  One.  Let me repeat - one.

My point is: in average America, with the average pilot, he is not cheating on his wife.  So there you have it, any girlfriends out there that are worried about entering into a relationship with a pilot. 

The only cheating I know about, on a good handful of occasions I might add, is that pilot wives are the ones to cheat on their pilots.  I have said it before, and I will say it again, it would be quite easy for a pilot wife to cheat on a pilot.  

Take us for example, I know Steve's schedule and when he is due home.  I have multiple websites that track his flights. Hell, I even have ATC websites where I can get an audio confirmation that he is working a flight (if he is the non-flying pilot, of course).  If I call his phone and it goes straight to voicemail, I know he is in the air.  I can track his every move.  I, therefore, could plan carefully for an affair.  Let me add the fact that I have never cheated on Steve, nor do I have any intention to do so.

Have I ever worried about Steve cheating on me?  Never.  

Why don't I worry about him cheating on me?  Good question.

I have said over and over that I believe trust and communication are the two essentials for a successful marriage.  And just this past week I came to the realization that there is another essential when it comes to being married to a pilot. 

When it comes to being married to a pilot, a pilot wife must have high self-esteem. Weren't expecting that, were you?  Took me 11 years of marriage for this to dawn on me...   

I have high self-esteem.  Yes, I think highly of myself.  Now, don't think I am all cocky and high-and-mighty, because I am not. I am actually quite humble.  But, I do know I am good at what I do, and that I very competent.  I have had high self-esteem for as long as I can remember.  I have never struggled with this.  Ok, maybe I didn't think so highly of myself when I gained 60 pounds with each pregnancy and I felt like a cow.  But, that was short lived and passed.  I don't know why I have high self- esteem, but I consider myself fortunate since I know a lot of women struggle with this. Steve also helps with my self-esteem.  I know he loves and and desires me, and that sure does make a girl feel good about herself.

So, when it comes to being married to a pilot, you must have trust, communication, AND self-esteem.  (And here I thought the pilot was the one to have self-esteem. Six Typical Pilot Stereotypes

Trust, self-esteem, and communication are the essentials that give me what I need to know Steve won't cheat on me.  

- I have trust that Steve won't cheat on me.  Steve and I have had mutual trust from our first date, pretty much.  The trust we have in one another has always just come very easily for us.  From the beginning we set the standard and haven't strayed from it.  

- I trust that he will communicate with me if he starts thinking about straying.  I believe that cheating isn't only about sex.  I believe that cheating starts with being unhappy in a relationship.  If Steve is unhappy in our marriage, I trust that he would tell me he is unhappy.  We would fix it before it got to the point of cheating.  (And I am actually speaking from experience here.  There was once a low point in our marriage where I was unhappy and had thoughts of straying.  I didn't stray.  But, I did tell Steve of my thoughts, while he was on the road no less, and we got through it....stronger because of it.)  

- As for the self-esteem part of mix, I don't worry that he wants to get in another gals pants.  I just don't.  I know that if Steve strays then he would be in a world of hurt.  I contribute to this family immensely, and I know he wouldn't risk losing that.  

Lastly, I want to address what happens during  I think that many couples don't put enough emphasis on the importance of sex and keeping one another satisfied.  Time and time again I hear that couples don't have sex anymore or rarely have sex.  I hate hearing this.  Again, I think it is such an important part of marriage that keeps a marriage happy.  I keep Steve satisfied at home, as he does me.  I wouldn't want it any other way.  As Dr. Laura Schlessinger once wrote (which I blogged about in How to be a Better Pilot Wife), if you serve prime rib at home, he won't go looking for a fast food burger while out.  I think there is a lot of truth in that.  I don't want Steve looking for any fast burgers, so I make a point to serve prime rib at home.  Knowing that Steve is satisfied adds to my assurance that Steve won't cheat on me.    

I don't believe in the whole "pilots are cheaters" stereotype...I never have.  I know too many faithful pilots, wholesome family guys, that override any of the negative talk out there.  I believe people are keeping the stereotype alive because, well, people just like to talk without knowing anything about what they are talking about (like the lady I used to work with...what the hell does she know about pilots, anyway?!).  As a pilot wife, I think it is important to keep the above mentioned essentials alive and kicking, so that we stay happy and successful in our marriage.  And with a happy and successful marriage, I will continue to roll my eyes when people talk about pilots being cheaters.    


  1. Great blog! I agree, speaking from experience ( former airline and corporate flight attendant) not every pilot cheats! Out of hundreds of pilots I have worked with three have cheated on their wife's. Talking about self esteem! Those guys had none, almost like they had to prove to them self that they "still got it". The girls that went with them were insecure as well. I have days when the thought crosses my mind and then I snap out of it fast.Being a pilot's wife it's only a part of me, another part is me. I have chosen long ago to hold on to my self, as I raise our kids, I also "invest" in my self. I work toward advanced degree, work in my profession on as needed basis, run marathons, have friends and just enjoy life when I'm not falling on my face at the end of the day.
    I trust my husband with out a doubt. If he ever cheated, he would be losing our kids and the life we have build and enjoy together.
    You make a very interesting point - sex. Yep, it's important. We have been married for a long time but I'll tell you, when you make an effort, it pays off.When my husband is working, I'm a low key but when he comes home I make sure my legs are shaved, hair and make up is on and when we go out of the house I have my high heels on.I take care of my self, not only for him but it makes me feel good as well. If I could give any advise to young newbie pilot's wife is to ALWAYS take care of yourself first. Make your self beautiful, you will feel better, make an effort, no matter how tired you are, put on your stilettos and lace and when he comes home, make love to him like he's the hottest guy on the planet. He will always want to come home to this beautiful woman - You.

    Happily married pilot's wife

    1. Thank for your reply. You bring up so many good points! I totally agree with taking care of yourself...I think that is sooooo important (frankly, whether or not you are a pilot wife).

      Thank you for your numbers of cheating pilots...once again confirming that numbers really disprove the stereotype.

      Your husband is a lucky man :-)

  2. I totally agree with you!

    I remember when I first started dating my husband and we were out with some mutual friends (some pilots, some not) when someone joked about them having girlfriends in every city. First of all, when they are gone, they are working. When my hubby gets to his hotel after a 15 hour flight, all he wants to do is sleep. I actually think it would be easier for me to cheat! Like you, I know where he is at all times from multiple sources.

    Just like any other marriage communication is key. It doesn't matter what the profession is or what the stereotype leads us to believe. I trust my husband just as much when he's sitting next to me as when he's in other countries.

    Switching subjects... I love your blog! It's a unique situation we are in and it's nice to know we aren't alone!

    1. Thanks for commenting and your kind words. It is nice to know we aren't alone!!!

      That is great you trust your husband so much. It makes it that much easier when he is on the road.

  3. This is insane. Is this 1950? Work like a dog, take care of kids,
    keep a tidy house and your husband will remain faithful? Wow.
    Do yourself (and your daughter) a huge favor and stop reading
    Dr. Laura shite.

    P.S. I am a 20 yr pilot wife and the only reason yours doesn't cheat is that he is an insufferable prick and no one would want him.

    1. Wow, I do believe you are the first pilot wife to come across with so much anger against my blog.

      My husband is not an insufferable prick. In fact, he is really a great guy that gets along with most people. He is a loyal friend, and a good man. What a bold statement for you to make!

      I can't say that I read a lot of Dr. Laura, but I did read that one book. Call it old school, but it keeps my man happy. And ask the men that have a clean house, food on the table every night, and get laid properly how happy they are. Proof is right there.

      As far as working like a dog and taking care of kids and keeping the house tidy...yup. All part of this pilot wife role. I signed up for it, and do it well (most times).

      I do appreciate your comment, as I do all comments on my blog. But again, I sense a lot of anger in your words. Wishing you the best.

    2. Anonymous! - Wow and lol! There is only one conclusion to your reply - either you are a very immature 20 y/o troll or you have been married to a "insufferable prick" for 20 years, hence your bitter attitude.

    3. The only good thing about rude anonymous comments is viewing the reaction of the blogger. What an amazing response Joanna, I'm not sure if I could have responded in such a kind tone. Mad props from another pilot wife! Huge fan of your blog and you keeping it real. :) Mary

    4. Um, and I worded that wrong, lol. I don't think there's anything good about anonymous comments actually. But it does reveal who is willing to take the high road. :) Mary

    5. Mary, thank you for the kind words!

    6. I would say the author is naïve. I am a perfect example of somebody who "did it all" and then some and I was still cheated on by my husband whose reputation was beyond reproach. It is flawed thinking that if we, as women, do X, Y, and Z that our husbands will remain faithful. The fact is that the only person you and your actions have control over is yourself. You are lucky if the outcome is in your favor. I would never wish my horrible circumstances on a soul.

    7. I am really sorry, I am been a flight attendant for a major for 12 years. I am not exactly slim, but am funny as shit, and attractive. If your husband is not a cheater great. I can name at least 18 men 'good guys' who cheat CONSTANTLY. And their little wives, working out like crazy, cleaning his house, having kids, looking pretty just act so clueless it is not even funny. I have asked a lot of these men why do they do this? Eh.....honestly? Just for some fun. My wife won't do xyz. i am bored at home. because I can. I sometimes ask WHY did you get married? Um...well I was near 45 and my mom wanted some grand kids. When I get old, i want a woman (or my kids) to care for me. All my friends were, so i guess I felt left out. people were looking at me funny because i wasn't married. SERIOUSLY. At least 60% cheat. They will go into the hotel bathroom and call you while the flight attendant is waiting naked in the bed. Not joking.

    8. Me again. Please don't think I am trying to be rude. I'm not. It makes me angry to see these guys who think they can just act however they want and even say how stupid their wives are. I have some great platonic friends who are pilots and some of them are the ones I am talking about! it makes me sad to think a lady thinks being slim/ pretty, and screwing him enough, and having a clean home will make him NOT cheat. It just isn't so. I am sorry.

    9. I am a professional women running 2 businesses and have been the wife of a pilot for 25 years. I was dumb to believe many of the same things that women have expressed here. If I always lookd fantastic, keep a beautiful welcoming home, speak highly of my husband and try to understand what he does everyday at work, then he won't have the desire to cheat on me.
      Well ladies, pilots do cheat and can hide it very well.
      In my case, he has actually lived a double life as if he is in the movies. Had girlfriends before we were married and continued until he picked someone that lived close by us.
      I am not stupid but just trusted him and what he told me. He openly admits most pilots cheat just because they can and it is very difficult for the unsuspecting wife to find out. When a wife states their husband does not have time to cheat, you had better think twice. The women are staying at the same hotel, readily have flight benefits to meet your man and don't hesitate to make it a one night stand.
      Many will see this as bitter. It is not. I have come to the reality of the situation and obviously have to move on but wife's need to know this is quite common and not live in the reality of "taking care of my man" attitude. He is getting his cake and eating it too with that type of attitude.
      Kudos to the husbands and wifes that can keep it together even with the temptation to cheat because they know the pain it causes their spouse even if the spouse is not fully aware of the situation. Rare but does show true character and honesty in a marriage. Good luck ladies.

  4. Hi Joanna,

    I recently came across your blog and wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading it! I cannot even count the amount of times I have read something you wrote and thought "EXACTLY!" as it summarizes the life perfectly. My husband has been flying commercial for 8 years now and it is truly impossible to understand the lifestyle without living it. People often gasp when I tell them we have never spent a major holiday together (except the time I "non-reved" to meet him at about 10pm on NYE).

    I admire your courage to be so candid and find myself reading your blog daily now. It is definitely a challenging lifestyle and we all have to stick together!

    As far as the above negative comment- it could not be any further from the truth. Your blog is wonderful and your words help myself and I know tons of other women in the same boat.

    I trust my husband completely for the man that he is and his job has nothing to do with it. Though I completely agree, serving prime rib before he goes does help me feel he will be satisfied and not tempted by any fast food ;)

    1. Thanks for your kind words! I love hearing feedback like this...keeps my energy going for the next post.

  5. Great blog. And thanks for standing up for the pilots who take the high road.

  6. Preach Sister! Significant others of pilots need to stick together since we understand one another so uniquely. Way to keep it classy and be confident in yourself and your husband.

  7. Hi Joanna,
    Pls ignore the rude comments. And plssss keep blogging. I agree with you, being sexy and fulfilling your duties as a wife is the key to a happy marriage. Most of the time, the wife becomes prudish and refuses to have sex. I just don't see the reason to say no to sex because it feels GREAT!

  8. Hello Joanna I'm Latin American dating for one year and a half with a pilot from USA, I'm divorced with a kid of 5 years old, I don't have high self esteem, I'm worry about my boyfriend could flirt or cheat with a fligh attendant or a woman, cause we have a distant relation ship, he comes to visit me to my country and we want get married in a closer future, but he is very sweet and lovely with me, is not he fault that I feel insecurity. Is cause my exhusband cheated of me and abandoned our home, so I don't want reapeat that painful experience, my boyfriend seems a truthful man he is honest and sincere, I want trust him, but I difficult, I have not peace cause in my imagination I imagine that he is surrounded of beautiful flight attendants or could meet a beautiful woman and be tempted to cheat of me, I want trust him, we communicate all the time he always says to me where is he, he is not the problem. I'm the problem. My insecurity, he is very sexual I do my best to satisfy him even in the distance, but in mind I have the fear that he be in the same way with other women, but I love him very much, we want to have a family together, and he loves me, your blog makes feel better, as he says doesn't depends of the profession depends of the person, he I a beautiful person . Thank you for your blog

  9. Well in my experience, i met this guy (pilot) and we instant fall for eachother, we had a connection but we live in different countries so it was kinda hard to keep it up, but we did it. Calls, text msgs all day and night, FaceTime, everything! It was like a dream. He made me feel so comfortable and we get along well so we tried to make it work for 4 months and then we get to finally see each other and get together it was all good. We had dinner, we talked and of course we had sex. And just after that its like he changed he become a different person. And i asked him about it, if there was something wrong or anything and he said that everythings fine, hes still "love me" just busy with work. Then i realized he just played me. He chased me for almost 5 months just to have sex with me, and after that everything changed. So what im tryna tell you girls is TO BE CAREFUL. Now I know im not the first person he did this to, and im sure i wont be the last one.

    1. The same has happened to me! Only he was chasing me for few weeks, taking stars from the sky for me (for which I never asked for, btw, and, I we are both middle age, have kids from previous marriages etc.), we finnaly met, everything was great and BAM he just disappeard. Now I am reading the blogs of pilots wives/girlfriends and I am acctualy thankfull he dissapread. Though it hurts, a lot. But better now then after years of my suffering in potential relationship with a cheating pilot.

  10. what about a pilot that has already been known to cheat? My friend had been going through a rough patch in her marriage and then bumped into an ex who happened to be a commercial pilot, he said he was also struggling with his marriage and two kids. They got talking and he turned her head to the point they started and affair before she ended her marriage and forced her husband out of their family home. She has two young kids and now lives with this guy and it's safe to say her husband/ ex-husband is furious. She thinks she will be happy but without rocking the boat I can't help think that if he can leave his wife and kids and help destroy a marriage that I reckon could've been saved if they had a chance to work on it, what hope does she have that he won't do the same to her at some point. The problem now is if he ditches her for someone else she will be alone as her husband won't have anything to do with her now. I love the two of them dearly but it's so hard to watch things go this way for them both.

  11. Like all other crimes... means, motive and opportunity are all it takes. Of course not all pilots cheat.. and not all cheaters are pilots. smh ffs.

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  13. Joanna - I had reached out to you a year ago about a pilot I was dating and you had given me lots of inspiration to hang in there with him. He claimed his Dad had cancer and that he had lots of hobbies to keep up with as reasons for us not seeing each other as often as I wanted. I was incredibly patient with him for over a year. Sadly, I did not have a good outcome with him. I found him on a dating website. He was probably cheating on me the entire time. Although some pilots can be trusted, I would still urge women not to be too trusting. In my case he most likely indeed did have a woman in every city.

  14. I found my pilot husband was (1) looking at Craigslist sex ads and Escort ads for MONTHS and (2) had been emailing with his ex-girlfriend for YEARS, the entire time I have been with him. This is the 1 female in the world I ever asked him not to talk to. He was emailing with her and lying to me about it several years before we ever had kids and took on more stress. So its really simplifying things to say that pilot wives just need to f*ck their husbands more to stop them from cheating. You should have sex with someone because you want to, not because you feel desperate to stop them from cheating.

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  17. I am the Anonymus 30. December 2017 who replied above. Dear girls, with all due respect PILOTS on trainings CAN call when on training (after they finish), can send few SMS's a day when they land - please trust me, I work in multinational company for decades, I have seen CEO's talking to their wives shortly on a lunch break, during long exhosting meetings on theirway from the toilet (!!!), in a shared taxi full of coworkers, after long trainings in a headquater etc. - if one wants - he will do it. Everything else are bedtime stories for little kids.

  18. You are silly if you believe your actions or happy marriage would stop a man from straying. Many who cheat say their marriages are good and they want to stay in them. Pilots as a group are arrogant and entitled. As such they are cake eaters. You are somewhat naive to think it can't happen to you.

  19. I came across your comments searching for help with infidelity. This post is very offensive. Blaming me for my husband being a cheater is shameful. Write what you know not drivel like this. I pray you never experience infidelity to truly understand how awful your words are.


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