Connecting When our Time Together is Short

by | Communication, Firefighter Marriage, Guest Posts

Hello! I’m Megan and I am so excited to be here sharing with you all! I’ve been a member of this community for almost a year and have been married to my firefighter, Matt, for six years. We have been in the fire life for the past three of those years. He’s currently working full time on an ambulance (night shift, boo!), and as a paid call firefighter in our County. There is a lot more to our story, but I will get into that when I am back with another post next month [or you can head over to my blog, FireWifey, to hear our story now!]

Meg FFW Graphic

Night shifts have been a huge adjustment for me. It worked out so that we have the complete opposite schedule. When I am working days, he is home, and when he is working nights, I am home. And of course he needs to sleep during the day when I am also home. [Sidenote: Let’s talk about how hard it is to be quiet all day when someone is sleeping! Wow! I feel like I am on my tiptoes all day. At times like these, I am grateful that we do not yet have children!]

One major saving grace at this moment is how independent I am. Yes, I love my husband and support him in every way possible [hello! I joined this awesome group of fire wives to encourage and support my marriage and my husband and what he does!], but I am definitely my own person as well. Go out with my girlfriends on a Friday night? Perfect! Spend all day Saturday crocheting and crafting and baking? Yes, Please! The flipside of that is I can get use to doing my own thing. I get into my own routines. I even find myself wishing he would go into the station on some days, it’s bad, I know.

Matt’s love language is quality time. [Don’t know the love languages? Just google it, but basically there are 5 love languages, one being quality time, and when I spend that quality time with my man, he feels loved]. I digress, so Matthew values connecting with me more than ever, but I find he gets into his own routines too. He gets used to me being gone all day and studying or finishing projects around the house. He has gotten independent and used to his own routines. Not to mention we were never the couple to do everything together and spend every moment together.

We have also found that we tend to continue our own routines when we are home together. We are each doing separate things in different places. What’s the problem, you ask? Well, I consider us to be Team Nadalet and a team cannot accomplish anything if it’ is not working together. Living two separate lives under one roof is not how I define marriage. I want us to work together, to help each other out, and most of all to connect!

How can we connect when we are on such different schedules? Well we have to make the most of the time that we have together. We both have to be intentional about focusing on each other when we are together. [Although we can also do this while apart. I cannot tell you the impact of a sweet text to this words of affirmation girl. Or how much an extra snack packed with a note means in his lunch.] Back to together time, I have been making an effort to be present when we are both home. To put the phone down. To do things together.

making a tasty roasted chicken together!

I used to get upset when he was in “my kitchen,” but I have learned that meal preparation is a great time for connection. So we have started cooking together (oh and it helps that he is a great cook)! After our meals (where we recently have decided that the tv is off and we sit at the table), we clean together. Just like that we have spent two hours connecting and interacting, instead of each of us doing our own thing. Then spending an hour alone in the craft room while he is studying is no big deal. Resentment is gone!

We have also gotten very intentional about date nights. I put a date night on the calendar about every other week. It does not have to be expensive, but we try and get out of the house. Again, I make myself put my phone away. Groupon and Living Social are actually great for this. I have found discount hockey tickets, beer tasting, and even whale watching on those sites. Sometimes we go out for $2 Taco Tuesdays and conversation. Other times it is more extravagant, like our “Valentine’s Dinner” on the 7th. The best part of this is we get to talk and connect without the distractions of home.

I know some of you have kiddos and find it harder to get out. If you don’t have family or friends nearby for childcare, maybe consider a babysitting swap. Find another couple that you trust (maybe someone on his crew) ad pick two nights a months that you all have free. One night they watch your children and you get a date, and the next night is their date night. You can also be intentional about family activities (because you want your husband connected with your kids too, right?). Go on walks, park trips, family ice cream dates, etc. Be creative in finding fun ways for your family to spend time together, same as with your spouse. Some of our favorite date nights were totally random. [For instance, one time I decided that we should paint pillow cases and we had a paint fight in the backyard! We got to act like kids and have a blast! And we used things we already had in the house.]

matt megan hockey

A recent date night at a hockey game!

All of this being said, our marriage and together time is not perfect. It tales a lot of practice and intentionality, like I said earlier. Sometimes I just want to do my own thing. And when I make that choice (or he does) too many times in a row, it leads to a funk. That’s when I start to get bitter and usually take it out in his job, even though that is not the culprit.

Where does that leave us today? Be intentional about your together time, however few and far between it may be. Make each other a priority  And if you don’t, give your self grace and remember that tomorrow is a new day.

How do you prioritize your marriage amidst crazy schedules?

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Megan is a relatively new firewifey in Southern California. She loves the Lord, her (fire)man, coffee & wine! She and her husband, Matt, have two dogs and two cats. She bakes, sews, crochets, & loves to be creative in any way. You can also find her blogging at Matt is a Limited Term firefighter with our County, applying all over the place for that full time gig.


  1. Cori Fuller

    Love this Megan!

  2. Jill Tho

    Megs I just love you! Amazing post girl

  3. Heather Isaacs

    Whenever I get home, we try to spend at least 10 minutes alone finding out how each other’s days have gone. And we always put the kids to bed on time. A lot of our evenings are spent cooking and cleaning up together and we ALWAYS eat with the tv off and music playing the background. When we don’t have kids, we like to fish together in our backyard…in fact, that is where he popped the question…so it’s super special to us.

  4. Tracy Turner

    Great post Megs! Love you!

  5. Cynthia - FireWifeLife

    Awesome post! This intentionality in a relationship becomes even more important with kids too. I need to make sure I take time to focus on my husband (and him focus on me too) as well as take time to focus on each of our girls. If not, it is easy to focus on ALL the many tasks I have on my plate and forget to treasure the times with the ones I love the most. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Sarah Rivera

    Great post. Lots of great ideas



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