Marriage is tough. Throw in a passion, like firefighting, and you get a whole new set of problems. Not to say the problems aren’t worth it at the end of the day, but not everyone makes it.
So, you think you want to marry a fireman? A real hunk of burning love? A good post to read if you are dating a firefighter, engaged to one or your husband has decided that he wants to become one, is this HOLY FIRE CAKE GIRL post. I love it and it is so spot on, almost like I wrote most of it!
My first marriage was more like I felt tremendous pressure to marry. I was 20 and I knew it was over by the time I was 23.
My daughter was two weeks old when I married her father. I thought that it was the “right” thing to do and that I could “learn” to be happy. I won’t bash him, even though I could really run him into the ground, but he is my daughter’s father I will refrain. I wasn’t happy to begin with and never learned how to be happy. I was not content with the way of living he was comfortable with and in the end I refused to live a life of THAT. Divorce is a hard thing, even if you want it. I moved back home with my parents, with my 3-year-old daughter. Men were off-limits for a long time. I went 3 years before dating someone I really felt comfortable with.
I started dating a guy who worked a dangerous job. He worked for the state’s DOT (Department of Transportation), sitting on a low to the ground trailer, applying those reflectors in the center lines on roads/highways/interstates. Dangerous and scary. He also worked OUT of town Monday to Thursday in the summer and Monday to Wednesday in the winter. Somedays he would have to leave on Sundays. Some weeks they would work night shifts for high traffic areas… which were even scarier for me. He was also a volunteer firefighter. He loved it. He was enthusiastic about it. He went to a fire class every Saturday til noon. Pretty soon we had been dating for a while and he had become state certified.
I was already acquainted with him working long hours away and doing a dangerous job, so when he decided that he wanted to be a real deal, career fireman, I was ok with that. SOOOOOO I thought 🙂 2-3 weeks before we got married, he was hired on as a full-time firefighter at a County Fire Rescue in a neighboring county. I was so proud of and for him. Little did I know the training life of firemen! This was part of it that I didn’t know. I didn’t know any firemen and I never attended anything fire related with him because I let him do his thing. I was just waiting for him after with pride. He spent the next years going to the local college and getting his EMT under his belt. COUNTLESS classes and certificates. Countless continuing education hours. Getting his Firefighter 2. Instructor. He LOVES certificates, I mean has a large 3 ring binder FULL of them, all tucked away inside of page protectors.
I’ve grown accustomed now, but my WORD it was a shock at first. I went through being a newlywed, working full time, taking care of a house, my oldest daughter and a pregnancy pretty much alone. Well, obviously the FF was around for the beginning of the pregnancy but I spend most of it alone since I worked all day and he had EMT school at night. Very stressful! Our daughter was 2 years old in February and the oldest was 11 in June. They aren’t phased by him leaving usually. The little one waves and smiles and says bye. The oldest asks when is Daddy coming home a lot and is slightly disappointed if it’s longer than a day. Now I have been a SAHM for this whole time. I quit working 5 days before she was born and haven’t returned, and will not return into the work field until she starts school. She has a speech problem and we do speech therapy twice a week, which he is rarely here for.
It takes a woman who knows what she needs to do be stand behind and beside her firefighter to be able to be standing at the end of the day. We often get the smelly end of the stick!!! We sometimes give way more than we get. We get what is left over after our husband’s give all of themselves to everyone else. We get days and days of not seeing them, nights and nights without sleeping with them and hours and hours of what can be awkward adjusting to being at home instead of a station. We get misplaced anger and stress thrown at us because they work bad accidents. We get blocked out when they don’t know how to cope with a call. We get to be mommy, daddy, handyman, maid, cook, keep up with laundry, keep up with yards, taxi cab, parent, and at the end of the day we often have to find a way to be our husband’s strongest supporters. We have to be proud, even when we’re lonely. When we haven’t felt the touch of our husband’s because we’re all so run down and worn out. Fire wives have to be strong for their husbands and themselves. We have to know when to let our husband’s know that there is a problem but also HOW to let him know. There are times when you have to grin and bear it. Give them love when they give us heartache. Give them strength when it’s all we have left. For a large number of them, it is a calling. It is in their blood. It will feel like we are second choice, and the fire life is first. You have to refuse all feelings of resentment. It isn’t always easy, but ladies this will be your job! Yours and yours alone. I do a lot of praying for everything from my FF’s safety from fire to his safety from me! Seriously, we have to control our feelings and actions. Change them. Chose it carefully. If you are needy, selfish and material (and don’t want to change!)……… a firefighter is most likely not for you. Maybe there are a handful in the world that are easy to live with and have the perfect balance between being a husband/father/family member AND a fireman… but he would certainly be the odd man out! Maybe we don’t all go through the same exact things all the time, but I’ve found that a TON of us feel the SAME feelings, live the same situations and have a lot of the same conversations with our husbands!
The pros might not be longer than the cons if you write them all down, but they are so worth it for me. I may want to choke the living life out of my FF sometimes but I love him deeply and am so proud that I could never show him just how much. I read an article about married men are happier in marriages where their wives are happier. Brings new meaning to Happy wife happy life! We have to be happy for our men. If you are a girlfriend, fiance or wife of a firefighter and haven’t been to FIREFIGHTERWIFE.COM, go NOW! Awesome resource. They also have a PRIVATE group on Facebook. Make sure you subscribe, it has definitely been a huge help for me and I just found it a month ago. Just the fellowship and meeting other fire wives.