marriage stories

Meet LeAnne and Sam Cary.  They’ve been married for 36 years!

And I had the pleasure of meeting them in person this past summer when I visited Texas.  One of the best parts of this job as Chief Fire Wife is all the amazing people we get to interact with.   This is one of those couples that you wish was your neighbor and your firefighters officer in charge.   Great hearts.  I’m so grateful they were willing to share the wisdom from their 36 years with us here 🙂   ~ Lori, Chief Fire Wife

Sam and LeAnne at Prom 1

How long did you know each other/date before getting married?
We knew each other 5 months and dated about 3 months

How did you meet?
Sam uses to work at McDonald’s when he was in college.  Then he quit. I moved to Texas from Ohio and went to work at Mc’Donald’s. He would come there to see his friends and that is the short version. 🙂

What drew you to each other?
I loved his smile and friendliness. I knew very few people in the area and he was just so nice and happy and made me feel the same.

What was your perception of marriage before getting married and have those thoughts changed?
Not good at all. My parents had a very very very ugly divorce (long long story). Now I think it is the best thing ever.

What was your first big fight over?
Probably money and my firefighter always wanting to protect me and not let me stand on my own and grow up. We married when I was 18, just 2 months out of high school. Not that we had to, just because we loved being together.

Outside of the wedding day, what is your most treasured “moment” for your marriage?
The babies. He is such a great hands on dad.


What is the most important advice you would give anyone about marriage?
Always be open in your communication about everything.  However, when you say things, start with how you feel and not about ‘you’ (the other person). Example: Say “I feel” and not “you make me feel”. And temper your words. Being honest is the best thing for a marriage but don’t be so blunt/harsh that the other person stops listening. Don’t keep harping about the same thing over and over again. That gets old.

What is the most important thing you have learned about marriage?
Being together with someone you love is the best feeling in the world because you have someone to share your problems with and someone who can share your joy and happiness.

How would you want to inspire others with your marriage?
I think that seeing we have had our rough patches, been in many valleys and been on lots of mountain tops, that you can have a healthy marriage in the fire service. People give up on marriage way to easily but we have to remember that it does take two and it does take work.

What is your advice for anyone in a rough season?
Don’t give up. For every bad season there is a good season. People fight over money, how to raise the kids, the opposite sex, and more. If you cannot work it out between yourselves then get counselling. It is not a bad thing and can really help you work on your problems and issues and see them from a different perspective. If the spouse won’t go then go by yourself.

It’s shift day and you have an important issue you really want to talk about, what do you do?
I try not to call between 7 and 5 because that is when they are training, working on equipment or the bc’s or chiefs stop by. If I have made it that far and it really cannot wait until he gets off in the morning then I will call him or stop by the station. We never talk in front the of guys if it is a personal matter (those things are kept between us) but otherwise just sit at the table and talk. Remember he cannot do anything about anything until he gets off in the morning. If it is an emergency, say your child is not at the daycare when he is suppose to because he decided at 5 he was old enough to go home on the big bus and your spouse is in a meeting with the chief and you are at work, well then I call and ask for him to be interrupted. Yes, that is an emergency that must be handled immediately. (guess you figured out that this happened to us) :).

What is your best communication tip for fire couples considering marriage?
Go to marriage counselling first before you get married. People have to have a license to drive so consider pre-marital counseling your license to get married. Be open about your fears and concerns about their job because it does affect you when he/she brings those issues home.

What is the sweetest , most caring thing your husband has ever said to you? and the wife to the husband?
That I am his rock. He tells me that he knows no matter how bad a shift is he can come home to me and feel safe, secure and loved.

For me – I always tell him that I love him. I have told him that he rescued me from an uncertain life when he married me. He is my anchor and that no matter how bad things get I know he will be there with me.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Did you have a valley in your marriage that you recovered from and would like to candidly share that story as it may help others?
We did have a big valley (a sink hole is more like it). No details. But you and your spouse can come back from those things and make your marriage stronger than ever. It takes time, commitment and a lot of love and patience from both parties.


Thank you LeAnne and Sam for sharing.  It is so encouraging to hear that we can have “sink holes” and still make it 36 years.  Marriage truly is a miracle and a gift!

And a big thanks to the Low T Center for sponsoring this series where we share our marriage stories.  To learn more about how low testosterone can affect men’s health, click here.

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Jessie -

A small town girl from Southwest Georgia who happens to value your marriage as much as she does her own. She is married to a firefighter who was a volunteer for several years, then transitioned into a career fireman the same month they married in 2008, and he is now a Captain at his full-time Department. They have two daughters, have been in the FFW family since 2012 and know marriage takes a lot of work, even when it's in the best seasons.