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How to keep the family together while building airplanes/ideas

Posted By:
Jerry Williams
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
#1 Posted: 3/9/2010 01:21:51

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.





Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
#2 Posted: 3/9/2010 08:43:10


It seems to me that you are off to a good start.  The idea of scheduling "my time, your time and our time" is a winner as long as you stick to the schedule, and remain flexible enough to cover those "your time/our time" emergencies (like anniversaries and kids stuff - games, school, etc).  It is great that your 'significant other' has already volunteered to be involved in part of your project.  Encouraging this ("Honey, my hands are just too big - can you reach in there and hold this screw for me" or "I really need your artistic eye - does this look level or should I drop the left end a bit will increase your time toghther (something she needs) and, as she becomes more involved, maybe even get her to relent a bit on some of the scheduled "our time" if you need it to complete a particularly important step in the process.  The more you can involve her in your project, the more she will appreciate what you are doing and the more interested she will become.  Good luck on your project and on your marriage... Hug the kids for me.



Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Joanne Palmer
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
#3 Posted: 3/9/2010 10:55:50

Paul Roslaes of Rosamond CA and his wife built thier RV6 together.  When a husband/wife/family build together usually you end up with a more harmonious outcome.  The secret is to time management and NOT deviating.  Plan each month in advance as much as possible.  Sure, you won't get it done in 6 months but you'll get it done and you'll still be married.