I am hoping to finding out people's secrets to keeping a marriage intact and actually growing a marriage while they are building an airplane. Maybe this will help someone out...I got the idea off of another post when a poster said most pilots he knew were divorced. Why?
I am included in the bunch-yes, I got divorced, and it wasn't pretty. Yes, there were other reasons, but certainly the time I spent in the garage away from her contributed.
Now, I am married again. I am determined not to allow the same thing happen again...but how? Building airplanes requires a great commitment and if a spouse thinks you are giving more committment to your airplane, mistress/mister, or whatever they call it, they are not going to be happy, and your building will suffer, and you may lose both all together.
I think we would like our spouse to share the same passion we do, but odds are good they won't. Some may not even care...I am restoring a Wittman Tailwind built in 1958. The other day, my wife was in distress and asked before I went to work-full time military night shift-if she could do the honors of removing the old fabric. So, I showed her where the carpet knife was and 4 hours later she called me and said it was done-surprise, for sure! That is the biggest thing she has done so far. I have thanked her a lot! I have 2 special needs children, so I let them watch me as long as they are interested and even let the older one screw some screws sometimes. They enjoy that. However, most of the time it is me alone in the garage. One more thing that is working for me right now. My bride has me on a schedule. Two weekdays in the morning are mine-I leave at 2:30-and the weekends are mine as early as I can stand getting up till 6PM. All other time is hers/boys. We have date night every Friday night starting at 6 where we leave and reconnect. I am not allowed to think about aviation at those times. For some this may not work, but maybe this will give someone an idea.