I was talking with a coworker today who is struggling with the loneliness of our career and the distance it creates between him and his wife. As he talked, I could sense and feel the deep pain of disconnection that resonates within him.


I’m reminded of my own personal struggle all these years, trying to make the best of what I’m passionate about, and yet, the loneliness of being gone from my family creating a depth of loss so deep that I ended up medicating to avoid that discomfort.


As we talk, I hear the same two beliefs come up that I used to tell myself daily. These were the beliefs that eventually fueled my anger, my actions, and were the catalyst to what caused the break down of my marriage.



My Two Beliefs

  • If only my wife would give me attention, I would not be lonely.
  • My career takes me away from my wife, preventing us the ability to connect.


While the second belief does make connection difficult, it’s the first belief that is faulty.


I placed all the burden upon my former spouse to provide for me what I needed to make me happy. And unfortunately, due to actions that I had done prior to our wedding, she had already walled herself off from being able to give me her full heart.


I didn’t know how to show love to my wife, because my lack of self love provided no model for me to follow.


My beliefs continued to add fuel to a fire that was already raging. Every time I left for work, the fear, the pain, and the anger I had, would seep into my body. Not knowing how to manage these feelings, passive aggressively I launched those emotions at my wife in volley after volley of blame, shame, and resentment missiles. She became the punching bag to my sorrows, the destruction of my inability to love myself.


Her wall, once built of sticks, became a wall of bricks; layers upon layers of protection. And the barriers she put up to protect herself from me, as she has said, eventually blocked her from experiencing joy and love in life.


Around and around we went in our marriage, becoming more and more lost. And all the while, I still held onto the faulty belief that my career and my wife were to blame.



Afternoon Text

When I got back to my crash pad this afternoon, I was once again all alone.


It was different. I wasn’t lonely.


In fact, with the processing I’d been working on today, I cherished that there was no one else here. Just Phoenix and Little Phoenix together.


I texted my co-worker.

The lifestyle of a pilot is not for the faint-hearted.

I used to blame my career and my wife for my loneliness. “If only” she gave me attention. “If only” I was not gone and was at home everything would be OK. Those were my deepest beliefs.

“If only” has us looking at something outside ourselves to make us feel better. I found that the career and my wife were a symptom of something much deeper.

We need to look inward to heal the loneliness or else it will pop up once again.

I pray, wherever your journey takes you, that you find peace.


We need to remember we can’t look outside to help us find peace. Peace is only found within us.


The journey to find peace can be a painful one, but the rewards at the other end are miraculous.


May my Fledglings find peace and solitude on their journey to self love.


Together We Can Heal.


For any couple who has a traveling spouse, please take the time to read these two blogs from The Pilot Wife Life.

Dear Aviation Husband, Five Things I Need From You

Dear Aviation Wife, Five Things I Need From You

4 replies
  1. Angelia
    Angelia says:

    I just want you to know I have shared this blog on my Facebook Page. Thank you for your candid, honest words. They will be of great value to someone out there facing the same struggles you endured. Thank you also for linking to my blogs and for featuring my blog under your links. I have some very cool projects coming in the near future to further my efforts to fight for aviation marriages that I think you will like. We are definitely on the same team. Thank you. ~Angelia (The Pilot Wife Life)

    • PhoenixEmery
      PhoenixEmery says:


      I am honored that you are one of the first who has posted on my blog. Thank you!

      I spent years overwhelmed by my abandonment issues. There is no way I can really explain the pain and depression I felt leaving my family. It would start the minute I rolled my suitcase to my car. The only thing that would bring me to present, was when I stepped onto the flight deck or the times I was socializing with my crew. However, every time I crossed the threshold to my hotel room, my loss would once again sweep me into a state of sadness.

      My former spouse kept trying to get me to see the good in life. Instead, I continued to complain about what I didn’t have. I bitched so much, that I became blind to what was truly most important to me. I couldn’t see what I had, until I lost it all. No longer did my airplane bring me the peace and joy it once did. My carer became a reminder of what I lost and I found a bitterness in my heart towards something that once was my passion.

      I have flown with two captains that have taken their lives at my airline. I can’t imagine the damage that their choices created in the lives of their families and friends. However, I do understand the depth of despair this career places on those that fly and why it could have seemed like the only solution available to stop their pain.

      I look forward to hearing more about your projects. Your vision and the community you’re creating will bring hope to others. It will allow us to see we aren’t alone. It will bring support to those that need it.

      Yes, we are definitely on the same team!

      • Angelia
        Angelia says:

        Let’s stay in touch. I believe we can benefit the community together. I pray for your continued healing and that your words can spare another that kind of pain. Your post hs been well received on my page today. I speak very candidly with my own pilot about his struggles on the road, his experiences,his temptations, so I am privvy to the difficulties. However, I will openly admit that many of the wives I mentor are also so tunnelled in on their own discomforts or frustrations that they cannot see past it to their husband’s. It breaks my heart every time I get emails of failing marriages because neither side can see the other. However, I have already hd the great privilege of hearing the redeemed stories of marriages that I have been pouring into as well. I can tell you without hesitation that ylurs is a story both sides needs to hear. Looking forward to reading more of it and staying in contact for the better good. Blessings, my brother.


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