3 Things to Expect When You’re Marrying a Firefighter
You’re probably about to say ‘I do’ to a firefighter. During the dating phase, you and your partner handled various relationship crises and overcame all challenges. However, marriage will be different, and you’ll have to make many sacrifices.
Initially, you fell in love with their bravery, commitment, and regard for other people’s safety. But will that be enough to keep you happy throughout your marriage? Unfortunately, divorce rates among firefighters are definitely high.
Are you ready to avoid that at all costs? Then, you must be aware of the things to expect when your spouse is a firefighter.
In this blog, we’ll discuss three things you should know about living life with a firefighter.
#1. You’ll Face Uncommon Relationship Problems
There are various relationship problems you might face if your spouse is a firefighter. These include the following:
- There’ll be issues with time management.
- You need to deal with their obsession with being a hero.
- There’s the possibility of facing financial issues.
- You cannot feel sad about the lack of vacations and time-offs.
- Spouses need to accommodate their work family.
Your spouse might spend more time at the station than at home because of their long shifts. In some cases, they might have to go to work even on their off days.
Therefore, you need to compromise on romantic moments as a newlywed because your spouse’s work demands a lot. Similarly, marrying a firefighter will mean adopting their crew as well.
All these might make you feel like a runner-up in your own marriage. But you’ll only feel this way if you don’t accept their livelihood and try to compete for their attention. Instead, you should become their source of emotional and physical support.
#2. There Can Be Invisible Injuries Due to Chemical Exposure
On average, 65,650 fire service personnel got injured while on the job in 2022. It proves that every firefighter has the risk of getting physical injuries like muscle strains, burns, broken bones, etc.
You probably have a clear understanding of these because they are commonly talked about in society. But did you know that exposure to chemicals and synthetic materials also poses a threat to your spouse’s life?
Let’s take the aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) exposure as an example. This fire extinguisher is highly effective because it creates a foam layer that cuts off the oxygen supply in dangerous liquid fires. That’s why almost all fire stations across America have AFFF in their inventory.
Unfortunately, AFFF contains a mixture of per-and-polyfluorinated substances (PFAS), a known carcinogen. The manufacturers knew about the harmful effects of PFAS but still used it in the firefighting foam to make profits.
Your spouse may have used this fire extinguisher a few times during training exercises or while mitigating a fuel fire. However, consistent PFAS contamination can lead to different types of cancer, low infant birth weights, changes in liver enzymes, etc.
According to TruLaw, firefighters who developed these health issues filed lawsuits against companies like 3M, DuPont, Chemours, etc. These victims wanted compensation for damages like medical bills, physical injuries, emotional torment, loss of livelihood, etc.
Currently, there are over 5,000 AFFF lawsuits filed. The legal industry believes that each individual will receive a settlement amount between USD 10,000 and USD 300,000. However, the exact amount will depend on the claim strength, exposure levels, types of diseases, etc.
#3. Your Spouse Can Be Emotionally Distant
A firefighter’s spouse will always highlight the instances of emotional detachment in their life. They mention that firefighters generally detach from their personal lives when a crisis hits. That’s mostly because they’re trained to avoid making any emotional connections while doing their jobs.
For example, they might have experienced a loss or seen a traumatic incident during their fire rescue duties. In that case, they’ll probably develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If left untreated, it can lead to anxiety, anger, insomnia, and depression.
Apart from that, your spouse might be drained of adrenaline the moment they step foot in the house after a long day at the station. Therefore, there’s a possibility that you’ll be dealing with a detached, withdrawn, and exhausted partner.
Let’s say you haven’t seen your spouse for two days. Then, you might want to re-establish the intimacy when they’re home. However, all need to learn time management and need to spend time alone or sleep. Perhaps they haven’t had the time to mentally transition from their stressful jobs to their home environment.
All these prove that you need to be understanding of your spouse’s mental state and needs. You must offer the right support system during their worst time. Also, remember to encourage them to see a therapist or seek help to find a solution for any emotional trauma.
In conclusion, as a firefighter’s spouse, you must be strong, considerate, and feel secure in the relationship. Without those, there’s a possibility of failure in your marriage.
Klarissa, the wife of a firefighter, talks about the challenges of raising a child in this relationship. She also advises you to marry a firefighter only if you aren’t afraid of being alone at home.
That’s why you should be aware of the things to expect when you’re about to marry a firefighter. For instance, there can be invisible injuries to their health, they can be emotionally distant, and they’ll prioritize their job.
February 13, 2024