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3 Essential Tips for Successful Firefighter Marriage

Mar 02, 2022
Wife loving hugs firefighter husband

There is no doubt that being married to a firefighter is hard.  


Irregular shifts make planning difficult.  It's being the kid's soccer coach 4 out of 6 Saturdays.  


24-72 hour overnight shifts mean no nightly cuddling, pillow talk, or middle-of-the-night parenting help.


Not to mention the worry and anxiety for their physical and mental safety with a job that means they run towards people’s worst day.


Even with those circumstances, there are three main essentials that reduce why it is hard to be married to a firefighter. 


Hard things really are not the problem.  It’s the suffering that comes with not taking good care when circumstances are hard that becomes problematic.


Here are three essentials for a successful relationship with your firefighter.

1. True self-care

Often when we think of self-care there are visions of being in a quiet bubble bath, buying something special, or a delicious treat.  While these things are not bad they are not true self-care.  


True self-care is taking care of your mental well-being regularly. 


Humans have about 60,000 thoughts in a day.  Most of them are not true, relevant, or helpful.  It is easy to get stuck repeating the same thought over and over.  Even or perhaps especially ones that are not helpful in our relationships.  


When my spouse leaves the dish in the sink next to an empty dishwasher suddenly I’m repeating a whole tirade of thoughts that do not actually change the "problem", feel terrible, and do not help me build love and connection.


Having a process to clear out thoughts that are not helping your relationship or yourself is essential to self-care


Mental health is providing healthy habits and conditions for the mind.


2. Know how to process hard feelings

Worry, anxiety, stress, anger, resentment, loneliness, feeling unappreciated, and overwhelm are common feelings that occur when being married to a firefighter.  


You worry about their possible trauma response or PTSD.   


Being alone at home may mean quiet space to envision all the bad things that could happen on a fire call or freeway car accident.


These feelings cause a body response in you as the wife or partner.  You have your own trauma response simply by thinking about your spouse's life being in danger.  


Taking care of children, running a household, and working your own job also bring on intense emotions.  


Processing emotions builds your resilience to hard things.


Having time, space, and practice to process your normal emotional response is essential to allowing the feelings to move through you and not be stuck.  It is when we resist our feelings or try to hold them at bay that we begin to have problems that show up in our relationships.


3. Stop "shoulding" on yourself and your partner

It is Brena Brown who taught us that should is taking things you could do and adding shame to them.  


Having rules, family cultures, and ways things are "supposed to be" can be helpful to organize your life and mind.  It is when the rules and manuals start becoming more important than our core values that we get into trouble.


Rules are meant to be broken right?


Who hasn’t broken the speed limit, left a toilet seat up, or wore white after Labor Day?   


Notice how some rules and norms can be broken or changed and there is no suffering involved.  It is not a problem to change, adjust, renegotiate or simply throw out the way it was done before.


Marriage with our firefighters is hard when we place more value on the rules and less value on the relating together.  


When you are in the middle of living the rules it can be difficult to see what these rules are.  I had no idea how important the toilet paper roll placement was until I moved out of my childhood family house and started living with roommates.  


Stepping back and getting a big picture view of how your life operates gives space to question the marriage rules and norms.


Unconditional Relationship Love


This builds the foundation of a great firefighter marriage.


Often it is hard to get that big picture view and support on your own.  That is where having outside help as a coach helps.  To create a non-judgmental space for unconditional love and true self-care.  

Be Committed.

Be Present.

Show up with Curiosity & Love for

Yourself and Your Spouse

Do you want to feel better in your relationship?

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