For the Firefighter’s Wife: How to Make Your Marriage Work
Being a firefighter is not only a high-risk profession'; it can also be a source of friction in a happy marriage. When you marry a firefighter, you always know that an injury is possible, and you anticipate that he'll be away from home for extended periods. His schedule doesn't match the rest of the world's, so you'll have limited communication, manage the house by yourself, and celebrate holidays alone.
Often, you might feel that you're only a runner-up to his fire station family, which can generate frustration and resentment. While these realities can be emotionally grueling, you can still make your marriage work by establishing mutual understanding, respect, and acceptance. Here are some pointers for a successful marriage:
1. Cultivate a culture of gratitude.
Instead of complaining about his long absences, appreciate his effort to balance his extremely demanding work and home life. Do not rant about the things that upset you or something that you wish you can change. If you want to nurture a happy marriage, you must learn to practice gratitude even for things that seem mundane.
Your spouse is mentally and physically exhausted at work, but he manages to switch his gears from a firefighter to a husband and dad when he comes home. That's something to be grateful for. You can show your gratitude by cooking him a special dinner, praising him in the presence of your kids, or giving a surprise gift. A lot of firefighter gifts will make your spouse feel that you are proud of him and his work.
2. Educate yourself about your spouse's job.
A firefighter responds to a variety of calls from fires, chemical spills, car crashes, and flooding. Get to know your spouse's responsibilities and understand how their exposure to dangerous and traumatic situations affects their mind and body. When the adrenaline wears off, firefighters feel completely exhausted. So when they come home, they might act detached, apathetic, or isolated.
If misunderstood, these changes in behavior can be destructive to relationships. You must understand these factors so that you can avoid conflict and be a better support system for your spouse.
3. Go on with your life.
Never hold your spouse responsible for your happiness. Keep yourself busy and happy by doing your hobbies, attending activities with your kids, or going out with your friends. Do anything that you enjoy. While your marriage is a primary relationship, it shouldn't be the only human connection you have.
Build relationships outside your marriage where you can swap stories and explore new experiences. A firefighter has a unique schedule and will be gone for 24 hours or more for consecutive weeks. Do not freeze and wait for your husband to go home before you allow yourself to be happy.
When you said "I do" to a firefighter, you were aware that you'd be facing a tough challenge. You can get extremely lonely at times, but you have to make the best of every situation. Do not make your spouse feel inadequate. Instead, make him feel needed, admired, trusted, and loved. When you maintain a supportive, compassionate, and communicative character, you'll grow old together happily.