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  • Staying in Relationships??

    don't know if this was the correct forum to post this in, but it seems to be the busiest so i figured it would get the most responses....

    my question is, i have just recently started volunteering, and am currently in the process of trying out for our local paid department. i have been with my fiancee for five years and god willing will spend the rest of my life with her. the problem is, she has all these ideas (some of which i am sure are true) about how the fire service and marriage don't go hand in hand, and things of that nature. just being a volunteer i can already see certain strains in our relationship because of the fact that i am not home as often even though i try to volunteer while she is working. on top of that she has her friends talking about how firefighters aren't faithful, and about how much women love them and fawn over them ()

    in all seriousness though, what is your opinion of the two together?? i know she will be giving me guilt trips over the fact that i will be gone for a full 48hrs a week, and i try and tell her that that only means i will have four other days to spend with her, which she responds with "it won't matter because i will be working or in school". i love her more than life itself and guess i am just worried because my father was in the military, and the fact that he was gone so often definitly played a part in my parents divorce.... i know i will not be gone nearly as much, but i also realize i will be working while she sits home without me for two days at a time. sorry for making this so long, but what are your opinions on all of this??
    <- Keepin My Mouth Shut and Ears Open...

  • #2
    Any forum is ok to ask about relationships! Great question, and I think you'll get many months of responses on the topic.

    Being part of this profession is one of the most noble you could pick, and I wouldn't buy into stereotypes of firefighters being unfaithful. It might seem that some women fawn all over firefighters or the guys in uniform, but perhaps it's the honest hard work that impresses people to want to be with a firefighter. One could be as unfaithful in any kind of profession, so try to extinguish THAT concern of hers. You sound very much in love with her, and that will be enough to sort through this whole thing. Love will be what helps your relationship work.

    You sound as though you both spend most of your free time together right now, outside of work and/or school. You have a valid concern over being gone 48 hours in a week, but you may not have experienced this sort of thing to see how it works. Realize that every department works some variation of 48 hours in a week, from 24/72's that mean you work a day, off for 3, another day, etc, in an 8-day cycle that averages 42 hours a week and 8 full days each month. There are shifts that are 10's & 14's, 11's & 13's, where you work 2 day shifts, 2 night shifts, and off 4 days. It means 8 nights each month you're away from your significant other. It may mean a late dinner at 7:00 after you're getting home from a day shift, or 4:00 before a night shift. The nights apart mean she's got time to shop, see her family or the girls from work, or spend an evening home reading and catching up on things she wants to do while you say good night on the phone. Your days off, if you do nothing else for work, can be spent on chores and things you can do while she's away at school or work, thus making your time TOGETHER less stressful because domestic stuff is done. I have always said that in looking ahead to making a family, if my wife wanted to work after having kids, I am never too proud to stay home 5 days a week to manage the house & kids, only working my 2 24's each week. Likewise, 2 24's and a couple days of part time work can make a great income while still leaving 2-3 days together every week.

    If you're looking for the life where you come home from the office every day at 5 and have dinner with your wife at exactly 6:30, the fire service isn't gonna do that through your whole career. However, if you are willing to make some effort in working around odd schedules, your rewards will more than outweigh difficulties. You have so many options in making your relationship work with the career of a firefighter. Best of luck, my friend!
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

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    • #3
      Relationships are either meant to last or they're not. If you have a strong enough foundation, enough love, trust and support for one another then you can weather any storm that will come your way. I am not a believer in giving up on your dreams to make your partner happy, eventually all that comes from that is a whole lot of resentment. As much as you love this girl, if she isn't going to support you in your choices now is as good as time as any to find out. Ask yourself this ....... would you expect/ask her to give up her dreams/desires or a career that she really wanted? If the answer is no, then how can you be expected to change your career path? 48 hours a week is a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things, there are people who work away from home for days, weeks even months at a time, some of their relationships fall apart and some don't. I don't believe that this particular career path, or any career path for that matter has anything to do with whether or not a relationship survives, it is up to the individuals involved to see that it does or doesn't work. If you are spending every free minute with each other that's not healthy in itself as you are not allowing each other any individualism. I wish you the best of luck both in your career endeavors and the personal aspect of your life.
      To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

      IACOJ-WOT proud

      GO WHITE SOX!!!!!

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      • #4
        I may be young... but I still know a tiny bit...

        All ya can do is try man. About the whole rumor thing...

        I think thats all they are is rumors, but your not the first to hear of them. I am 17 and it has been my experience that girls hear these rumors very young. Such as in high school? This is true atleast in my town.

        Just give it a shot. What is meant to be is meant to be. But dont break off anything before you are 110% sure that it cant be worked around. But like I said, I am very young and may views are limited.

        Listen to your other two wise brothers that have already posted and the others that will follow. In either route you choose, I wish ya luck.
        Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
        Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
        Randolph Fire Co. Inc

        Comment


        • #5
          I've been a firefighter 18 years and have been married 15 years....she still hate's me! She hates the shifts, she hate's the OT, she hate's the union meetings and association meetings and she really hated when I was the union president for 10 years, she hated the training classes in NYC for 4 weeks and she hate's when I am call back to a fire....oh well I hope she never stops hating me
          IACOJ Membership 2002
          {15}

          Mike IAFF

          The beatings will continue until the morale improves

          Comment


          • #6
            Before I say this, let me say I have been happily married for 9 years. The only thing I ever wanted to do was be a firefighter and my wife knew that going in and never tried to dissuade me from it. If your goal is to become a firefighter, don't let her get in your way. You are not married and can get out of it cheaply. If you let her talk you out of it, you will regret it and hold it against her. You will remind her of it at the most inoppurtune time and nothing good will come from it. I believe that 50% of all marriages end in divorce but I don't think it is any higher for firefighters. I personally think our schedule it the best. My wife works full time and I am Mr.Mom. I love all of the time that I get to spend with my kids.
            Northeast Fire Photos

            Comment


            • #7
              thank you ALL for your advice and support. and to answer cfdeng3, she is in no way trying to stop me from joining the FD (we already had a LONG talk about all that) but the problem i guess is she has no problem telling me when she dislikes something about it. like i said it is a guilt trip and after a while i get kind of tired of it. we end up arguing or being upset about it for a bit and then make up, but inevitably when i go on shift again or do something that pertains to the department and she is either off or not at school i hear something about it. now on the one hand, i kinda understand where she is coming from in the fact that she is hurt about it, but on the other hand i try to explain to her that it isn't all the time and that i am actually losing some valuable experience sometimes because i will leave the station early to be with her.

              bottom line, she is the most important thing in the world to me and is very supportive of me for all of this, but is also very honest with her feelings. yes i would probably be resentful if i had to choose between her or the FD but luckily i will not have to. i think alot of her anger about it right now has to do with the fact that i am not being paid for what i am doing so she doesn't fully understand why it should take away from our time together....

              i have a million other things running through my mind about this right now, but i don't want to ramble on and on.

              Thanks again for listening. (or reading i should say.. )
              <- Keepin My Mouth Shut and Ears Open...

              Comment


              • #8
                I wanted to put my two cents in here, because I like to make useless comments in everyone's thread. Anyway, I think it's great that your fiance "isn't trying to stop you" from being a firefighter. Though the fact that you "hear something about it" whenever you go on shift worries me. If she isn't trying to stop you, then she wouldn't try to give you a guilt trip all the time. Women work wierd like that, and they think we won't catch on. She says she doesn't want to stop you, but underneath it all, she really does want to stop you, and her giving you a guilt trip is a subtle way of stopping you. Look what it's allready done to you?! You're posting on firehouse forums about it! That being said, there is nothing saying that she won't change down the line, when are you planning on actually getting married? I would advise you not to actually tie the knot until you're sure she isn't going to try to stop you from pursuing your firefighting career. I was lucky enough to find a girl that not only loves me more than life itself, but doesn't mind my commitment to both a volunteer fire department, a volunteer ambulance service, and the US Army. I am in Baghdad with the Army now, and she's faithfully waiting for me at home (I hope) That all being said, I agree with what everybody else posted, and I wish you guys the best of luck.

                Stay safe brothers,

                Matt
                "At one point we decided to fight fire with fire, basically your house just burned faster."

                Recipient of the IACOJ Service Award 2003.

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