The months of September and October exude the presence of the fire service.
From the 9/11 recognition of their heroic efforts to the MDA Fill the Boot Campaigns to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial Weekend and of course, the annual Fire Prevention Week leading to many school education visits and fire department open house events for the community. Add to that all the breast cancer awareness and fundraising and the way our fire family goes over the top for that cause – pink fire shirts and all.
If you’re in or around the fire service, you can easily feel like the world revolves around firefighting.
Which is obviously not true. (I hope that’s not a newsflash for anyone!) Those conditions can make for a season when the spouse and family to feel a little resentful and hurt. They may stand by feeling like they are in second place to yet another fire service event.
If you don’t, that’s awesome!! There are many experienced fire families out there. I’m going to ask you to consider a lot of new fire families and spouses who aren’t used to this yet. Can you be there for them? Can you bring the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood to these families with us?
Like you, I fell in love with the big giant giving heart of a firefighter.
I love how much he cares for his duties as a firefighter, even the ones that go beyond the normal shift hours to keep the community safe and his brotherhood solid. But it’s no secret that I have moments when I miss the pieces of that heart that were reserved first for me and our family. When he comes home exhausted again and again. He can hold it together and provide service with a smile all day to the community but do they know at home it’s a constant frown? Duct taped to the couch. Not excited nor motivated.
It’s seasons like this when a little spark can flare up one of those bad fires in your marriage.
The one that’s been smoldering and put on the back burner and every short word and body language signal heats it a little higher until it bursts into flames. Or worse, flashes over and becomes an “epic fight”. Yeah, yeah. We’re taking the cheesy fire analogies so far here. Still that element of truth behind all of this is legit. If we don’t practice prevention, we’re going to have some “accidents” occasionally. And a little Fire Safety can help us put out the small stuff before it becomes big stuff.
Why do we not put as much effort into our marriages as we do into firefighting?
(Or pick the profession of your choice. It might be parenting your kids even.) The saying goes….a good firefighter is never done training. The saying also goes….a good marriage takes a lot of constant attention and work.
Our challenge for you this October is to practice Fire Safety in your own marriage.
What exactly does this mean? Let’s break it down like we do for the classroom of sweet 5 year olds where our larger than life heroic firefighters get down on one knee and answer an assortment of unpredictable questions out of the mouths of babes.
What do we tell these kiddos about Fire Safety and Prevention?
- Don’t be afraid of the firefighter and all his protective gear. He’s here to help and this gear keeps him safe and helps him help you.
- Be prepared with a plan. Make and learn your fire safety escape plan.
- Practice your fire drills! Practice makes perfect.
- It takes a lot of teamwork. All the firefighters, the chief, your parents, your teachers, and even you, kids, play a role in Fire Safety.
Now how do we apply this to our marriages? How about this:
Although marriages take work and face challenges, we like to focus on prevention and the GOOD that keeps us all filled up and the right kind of fires burning strong. Here’s what you’ll see this month as we “HEAR THE ALARM AND KEEP THE CHARM” rolling in our marriages.
1. Get Your Marriage Smoke Alarm tools and training right here.
What “protective gear” are you using to prevent fires in your marriage? Do you have the tools to help you communicate better? Learn to fight fair? Manage your finances in an agreeable way? Make a schedule that works for your family? We’re here to help you! Don’t be scared! We’ll share our best tips from our book, Honor and Commitment; Standard Life Operating Guidelines for Firefighters & Their Families. Just before the holidays when you can keep things sparky and hot to end the year on a high note.
2. Your Marriage Fire Safety Plan
…..what will you do if there is a fire? Do you have a plan on how you work through topics together? Simple things like never use the D word or if you are too angry to talk, you need to at least communicate that. Or, even for apology. Do you know each others language of apology? This week we’ll share some more tools to help you with this planning, including programs you can use at your department. Yeah. Plans are kind of boring. But we have some fun planning too. Week 1 of marriage on fire is all about planning one of those “epic dates” (as opposed to the epic fight). In this case, planning builds a lot of anticipation which can be pretty darn hot for your marriage.
3. Now practice Marriage Fire Safety!
Oh boy this is the fun part. Dating. Talking. Enjoying life together. This is way bigger than just talking about the grocery list and bill pay. Nothing like a getaway weekend with your spouse for lots of fun practice. If a getaway isn’t an option, a staycation is in order!
4. Everyone’s Role in Marriage Fire Safety
You married each other. And you are a team. So why does your team need to be bigger? You will get tired with each other, stuck on topics and hear that warning BEEP in your marriage smoke alarm. And that’s when you need a network of people around you who believe in marriage and can talk you through those seasons.
Very often we hear someone say that FirefighterWife saved their marriage or has sparked up their love life in ways they never imagined. We are pretty sure the reason our Commitment Weekend keep growing is because all these firefighters want to know what’s behind the increase in sex in their lives. (It’s women finding friendship and confidence to step out of their comfort zones and fight for the best marriage ever!)
Follow along at our Facebook Page in October for your own Marriage Fire Prevention.
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