I’m proud to announce the first (because there will be more!) blog entry from the man who gives me my title of firefighter wife, my husband Dan. (He’s really a writer but doesn’t believe it yet so give him some encouragement ) I have no idea where we will head with this concept of hearing from the husbands but if you have any wishes, please drop them in the comments.
PS- I’m not responsible for his sense of humor.
Lori AKA WifeOnFire
Greetings folks. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Dan, the firefighter who was lucky enough to woo your host here at Firefighter Wife to marry me over 10 years ago. There’s a lot to that story alone but that will need to wait for another day. As for me, I’m a former infantry Marine who was two bad decisions away from having had to pump gas for the rest of his life. Luckily, I found the fire service.
My hope is that I can help lend a perspective that may or may not be being shared already. No matter what happens I reserve the right to, and you deserve the courtesy up front to know, that it is just that, my perspective. I didn’t say universal truth, the way things should be, or anything else that would imply that I’m always right. I know I’m not always right, how do you think I’ve stayed happily married for 10 years?
Let’s start, well, at the logical spot, the beginning. And by beginning for our context I mean the beginning of your particular firefighter’s journey. I can’t speak for everyone but it seems logical that your man, husband, significant other more than likely got into this amazing field of work because he has, or had at one time, a strong desire to be a helper bee to civilization. I don’t mean he was pining to run off to the amazon and dig fresh water wells for the pigmy people.(Although a noble calling), I mean he wanted to feel like he got up in the morning and endeavored to participate in an occupation that mattered. I firmly believe that all guys want to work.(I’m beginning to waiver on this opinion given the disposition of some of the twenty somethings I happen into at times but I’m attempting to keep my faith in human composition). The desire to work is in us, in our genetic make up. Leave us to our own decisions too long without something to do and we end up a wreck. There are long lists of examples of this. (Think any eccentric oddball Hollywood big wig or lottery winner). You’re lucky enough to have not only found a guy who wants to work, but one that chooses to work in a field of noble service. Face it, he could be telling you he desperately wants to trudge hard through the dirt track circuit with dreams of “one day” getting his shot at NASCAR to put food on the table. (Suddenly the long hours, odd shifts and quirky loyalty to his job aren’t looking so discomforting eh?) So rejoice ! He does something that he enjoys ,it does or doesn’t pay the bill and he provides a service to the community, world, whatever….
Don’t let me get too far off here though patting myself and all my fellow firefighters on the back too hard. What I wanted to do was try to explain to you folks just how important your role is. Whether you realize it or not, regardless of if you are capable of understanding it or not, you play a huge role in how that guy does his job. I’ve found that quite often the wife or girlfriend of a firefighter is the solid piece in his life that keeps him sane. Let’s be honest. You’re involved with a guy who enjoys breaking things apart, enjoys challenging himself at an extremely taxing level, maintains an island of calm in many a sea of chaos and works shift work that most people find insane. He willingly casts himself into environments that most people wouldn’t wish on their enemies and he sees things that, well, people just shouldn’t. This takes a toll on a man. Admitted or not, it will wear on him. The thrill of the sirens and the excitement of the unexpected nature of the call will fade a bit. Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy the awesome variety that the job affords. (The fact that I don’t have to sit at a desk all day has probably kept me from running off to join the Merchant Marines more than once.) What I’m referring to is the build up over time of the stress of this job that he won’t even realize he’s under. When this happens he’ll turn to the constants in his life. He’ll look for the things that support him, he’ll desperately need that. He (I) won’t tell you this. We’re men, it’s like that. But he’ll need it none the less. And if it’s not the comfort and support of a caring wife or girlfriend that he can rely on, trust me, he’ll find it in something else. (This list is also long.) My point here is for you to never discount the contribution you make to that guy doing the job. Who you are in the fire service and what you do is important, very important for many of us. Thank you. ….. now…..somebody fix me a sandwich. (I’m kidding, jeeesh)
Dan Mercer is the firefighting hero of the Mercer clan and a master novelist in his own head. He holds two titles. One for the single largest amount of Oreo cookies placed in a human mouth. And the second for the shortest attention span known to man. He lives to to write for FirefighterWife.com (says his wife).
“Never discount the contribution you make to that guy doing the job”
You read that too, right ladies? Every member of the Fire Wife Sisterhood can agree that the fire wives are an important and valuable piece of the fire service. We may not always hear that, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Ask the ladies in the Fire Wife Sisterhood, join today for free at Firefighterwife.com/join
The Fire Service doesn’t always leave us feeling appreciated or valued, at all. Sometimes all we need is an intentional focus on our marriage and the love of our lives. Marriage requires constant work. Then throw in the fire service, kids, schedules, finances and we forget about how you used to be head over heels in love with constant butterflies around your spouse. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Marriage on Fire is a 6 week video series designed especially for first responders, by a firefighter and his wife who have been through both the hot sparks and the tough fires of marriage. Discover the tools you need to make it through though fires too. Find out more about the Marriage on Fire journey HERE.