What are the struggles of a firefighter marriage?

Once the glamour wears off, and reality sets in, it's not for everyone.

You have to be able to deal with the long hours away from home, the midnight pager wakeup calls and the reality that your spouse may not come home from a shift or a call.

Facebook fans were asked to share some struggles they've encountered in their firefighter marriages. Read the responses below. And remember, as tough as it is, spouse support means everything.

Trust as a female firefighter in a new relationship. It’s hard to explain to the new boyfriend the closeness between me and my fellow brothers.

Not being able to tell your spouse about your calls, because you don't want them to worry about you.

Getting others to understand that our time is our time. My husband is a volunteer and he also works 12-hour shifts as a jailer. The time we get is so rare and so precious! We make sure to have at least one day, every two weeks, completely devoted to us.

Time management. I am a wife of a volunteer, we have four children, and he has a full-time job. Finding time to spend together is hard. We have one other rule: no fire station talk at home.

Long hours and his grumpiness.

My beloved and precious spouse is not super happy about my neglect of our family in favor of spending time preparing for and responding to other people's emergencies, especially considering there is no paycheck involved. Who could blame her?

I'm career and I find it hard to express and connect on things I've seen or gone through.

Feeling like I raise our kids by myself.

Terror that your significant other will not come home.

My husband does not like the pager going off in the middle of the night.

We want to hear from you too. Post your comments below.

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Comments

  • Genna - June 28, 2016

    My husband is in his 13th year as a FF. He has taken full time work as a police officer and moved FF part time. It is critical for your marriage to have open communication and vent time. I listen to the bad calls, crazy calls, and anything else he needs to talk about. Sometimes he’s moody, easily agitated, and very tired. Having 3 kids and a full time job myself makes it a bit more challenging. A lot of time at the station and trainings for both careers. He loves what he does and I love him.

  • Amber - June 28, 2016

    I am married to a volunteer firefighter and he also works another job working 12 hour shifts. I am very proud of him and support him because he is doing what he loves!! He hopes to soon become a career FF!!!

  • greg - June 26, 2016

    Having your partner check VM of calls when you are out of state on a ver, very rare weekend together!

  • John Carabin - June 26, 2016

    As chaplain and as a fire fighter I deal with the event and then I have to deal with the aftermath. Along with the sometimes neglect my poor wife has to deal with me. I don’t let her know all of what we see/go through but she can tell it wears on me and it hurts her to not be able to help.

  • Shawn - June 16, 2016

    I am a Volunteer FF. I would have to say that the hardest part for my wife to understand is the time spent at the station even when we are not on a call. I mean as far as training, and the many things that we have to do to raise the funds to keep the station going. A lot of people don’t understand that it’s not just responding to calls. It’s working bingo, gun raffles, car shows, ect… there is a lot of time that goes into all of that stuff and that is the thing my wife just don’t get.

  • Austin armes - June 12, 2016

    My wife understanding why I’m so tired on my first day off of a 24 hour shift. Even if we don’t have a call through the night.

  • Joyce - June 11, 2016

    Married to a wild land fighter for 56 years. Have enjoyed every year as he is doing what he was happiest doing. He is almost 80 years old and still working for a company that provides support for Wildland Fire. Still he is happy doing the work. Yes I raised 3 kids somewhat. By my self. But that was ok case I had a happy husband when he was at home.

  • Yari - June 09, 2016

    Kissing him good by knowing anything can happen and it might be our last kiss.

  • Jessica Krause - June 07, 2016

    My husband is a career FF. I’m a career medic. We are blessed in the sense that we can talk about calls and we ‘get’ each other. But we hardly ever have time together and when we do one of us is usually sleeping.

  • Bob Halsall - June 03, 2016

    I am a 30+ year of the Fire and EMS service, retire career and volunteered for several. My wife is and always has been my rock for over 30 years of committed marriage. She has stood by me through thick and thin, moodiness after a long shift, or following a horrific call. Communication is everything but married life to someone in public safety isn’t for everyone. Know your other half before you commit to marriage, be honest about what you can handle and what you cannot.

  • Julie - June 02, 2016

    As a firefighter wife I can say hardest thing is the time we spend away from each other, especially with me being a nurse. Our schedules sometimes don’t line up for a week or two at a time but other times it lines up perfectly. Yes there are a lot of ups and downs but your fireman needs to know he can come home and talk about those bad calls. The more they stay bottled up the worse it can be for him/her. It’s important to be available and understanding!

  • Heidi - May 31, 2016

    I’m married to a fireman and an ambulance driver so he’s crazy busy plus he works all day as a real job :(

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