As we all know having a firefighter marriage, it can be difficult to navigate if we don’t understand our husband’s profession, what they deal with everyday and the results of those difficult days. It’s also essentially important to check in with yourself. How are you feeling today? Is there anything you want to bring up with your husband? Do you need to ask for more help so that you have some time to yourself? How’s your stress level? Are you exercising regularly?
One of the most important things to help us address these questions is to be aware of where you are, where you’ve been and where you’d like to go as a couple.
Creating a marriage vision helps us all as firefighter families to stay on track. When you have goals in front of you, like a GPS, even if you get off track, your GPS reminds you of where you are going. For me and my husband we just came back from almost a month away in Europe. It had always been on our bucket list and we both hope to travel more. Of course in addition to all the fun stuff you plan together as a married couple, it’s also good to have your “tool box” ready for when you hit those rough patches as a couple. It’s normal to go through trying times but when you do have a vision of the type of marriage you would like to have, you can then go about seeing what you need to work on but also to see what the two of you have accomplished.
Communication was the hardest thing for both my husband and I because we weren’t good at solving issues together without arguing. We both came from families where didn’t get to see good communication modelled. Oh sure, we could talk, we could laugh, we could regale each other about our days, our family and friends, but to really truly communicate….to have intimacy (in-to-me-see) was a lot more challenging for my husband and I because we were good at yelling, being defensive, and then after being sick of arguing, sweeping our issue under the rug until next time of course.
We’ve come a long way since those days and I was the one who had to make changes with myself. I had to learn to let my husband talk. I had to learn how not to interrupt. I had to learn how not to talk over and I had to learn how not to yell. Today it feels so good to be disciplined in this area and our communication has gone from a solid four to a solid 8. Maybe even a 7-8! We are still working on stuff but communicating what I needed from my husband was key to helping us build that communication connection. For me I needed to learn to listen and actually hear my husband and I needed him to work on his timing factor. Yes, please don’t bring up a challenging topic to discuss in our bedroom and kill our romance please! I also like him to make appointments with me for the heavier stuff. I don’t like things being sprung on me. I am really happy that we are becoming better in this area and am actually feeling quite accomplished as a good communicator these days. It took therapy, it took intention and it took lots and lots of practice. When you are not used to connection communication, it can be scary, but when you inch out a little at a time you and your firefighter will get better at it.
So here is a question for you: What does a successful marriage look like to you and where in your marriage do you and your husband need to focus on? Is it communication? Is it spending more quality time together? Once you identify what you need to do, that is 1/2 the battle! Now it is time to make a plan. What steps do the two of you need to take? Ask your hubby what he needs and then you tell him what you need. Between the two of you come up with ways of making that happen. If you would like to spend more time with your busy firefighter, then pull out the calendar and circle a date where the two of you maybe go to a movie, out for lunch, or shopping, etc. together. If he wants the house to be more tidy when he gets home, then come up with a plan that works for both of you and get help if need be. When you have a vision for the type of marriage you want and then sent an intention and communicate it to your guy, your chances of success are very high! XO