As we all know, there are different kinds of marital experiences! A few that I have received better insight into this year are marriages that have a spouse serving in the armed forces, police work, firefighters, or EMT’s. Because of their job description and the sacrifice they make to help protect us, they face different challenges in their marriages than other couples might face. Since I do not have first-hand experience in this area, I asked someone who has absolute experience in this to help us understand better. I really appreciate her enlightening me with the struggles but also the benefits they have seen in their marriage!
Being a Fire-wife
by Mckenzie Montgomery
“I love you, be careful” is what I always tell him as he leaves for a shift. I pray for his safety and trust his training. Being a fire-wife is full of long days, lonely nights and interrupted meals. I expect my husband to sleep majority of his first day off shift. They usually don’t get a full nights rest at the station. I take on more of the household chores. He has a career with more demanding hours and I’m perfectly ok with doing more so we can enjoy each other’s company when he is home.
Kyle works full-time at one fire station, and part-time at another. Most firefighters have more than one job. Between the two, he still works well over 100+ hours some weeks. Finding support was very important to me because it can get lonely. Luckily, we live close to both families who are SO supportive. I also found a free, non-profit group “24/7 Commitment,” which includes “The Fire-wife Sisterhood.” Their mission is to “honor, strengthen, support and encourage fire service marriages and families.” These are ladies that have lived this life for years and can relate to the struggles.
I have learned so many things from the experience of others, like when my husband comes home and is quiet and distant, maybe nothing is wrong. Maybe he isn’t mad at me, it probably has nothing to do with me! It might have been a bad call, maybe he’s exhausted. He may even just be hungry! Some days it’s hard to be strong and not worry the whole shift. Kyle has told me that he thinks my job of being a fire-wife, is harder than his as a firefighter (yeah right!). We celebrate the good things that happen but it takes a lot of patience and understanding to love someone who has to see so many hard and terrible things.
We have been married for only 3 years now so I’m no expert, but it’s important to work everyday at keeping your marriage/relationship alive and healthy. Taking baked goods to the station just so I can see Kyle for a minute is always, always worth it! I have had to learn to just let some things go. It’s not fair to pick a fight and get mad while he’s on shift. He definitely has more important things to worry about than his wife being mad that he left his dirty clothes in the bathroom again. Pick your battles. I have chosen to try and not let the little things bug me. We don’t want to spend our limited time together arguing. With Kyle being a firefighter/EMT we see so many relationships cut short or close calls. It definitely is eye opening and teaches you to appreciate the people you have in your life NOW. Although firefighters are heroes to some, they are still human. Bad calls are going to get to them, and us as fire wives need to be ready to support them at home.
We have become so blessed with Kyle being in the fire service. We have acquired a second family and holidays/birthdays get to be celebrated at the station. This life isn’t always the easiest and may seem a little crazy, but my husband is fulfilling his calling to help people and I support him 100%. We are and always will be fire strong!
If you are a spouse of someone serving in this category, I hope you found this relatable, encouraging, and supportive! If your marriage doesn’t fit this category, I hope you learned something new to be grateful for in your marriage :) Because whatever jobs or every day demands we may have, it’s good practice to be grateful for, and to make the most of the time you do get to have together, like Mckenzie emphasized.