Firefighter movies. You cannot escape them as a fire wife, nor should you in my opinion. Whether it’s watching live burns on Youtube videos or the ritualistic watching of Ladder 49 or Backdraft (with all the commentary as to what’s real and accurate and what’s Hollywood of course).
Everyone has their favorite firefighter movie, but I have 2 favorites. First of all is Fireproof. The cheesiest firefighting movie E-V-E-R but so powerful in what it does for marriages. We talk about Fireproof here.
Slightly less well known (much to my surprise when I posted on social media) is the documentary BURN. It’s a walk through the life of Detroit firefighters who face some of the most extreme challenges with very low funding. They take you through some very intense moments with the firefighters, and it makes you feel as if you are right next to them through it.
January 2013, I had the pleasure of teaming up with some others in our fire family and visiting many of Detroit’s fire houses including the two that are featured in this Burn movie. Watching grown men – brave, battle-scarred firefighters – tear up when we presented them with new fire gloves is a life moment that deeply impacted us. Those guys are truly doing the work for the love of the job and the love of their city. This documentary is what reality looks like to some urban firefighters, and clearly demonstrates what these firefighters experience on the job.
Now, before I ran 24-7 COMMITMENT, I would have possibly been rolling my eyes at yet another firefighter movie. So before you go scrolling away, I want you to give this movie a chance. Get the kids in bed, add some caffeine if needed so you don’t fall asleep, find your most comfortable movie watching couch and blanket, and grab your man’s arm. You’ve got his attention for the next 2 hours with a movie he’s going to love and discussion that’s going to strengthen your marriage.
UPDATE: No longer available:
In fact, the producers of Burn and 24-7 COMMITMENT believe in this so much we’ve teamed up to offer a special for only the month of September. It’s a BURN + Honor & Commitment Date Night Pack. This pack includes both the movie, the book, and a list of important conversation starters for firefighter marriages. Grab it over here while they’re still in stock.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a Fire Movie Date night of your own 😉 Get to planning!
Back to our first point…..you know what it’s like watching a firefighter movie with a firefighter? We’ve compiled some helpful guidelines to make this date night a dream night.
Some guidelines for the firefighter movie date night….
- Decide if you are going to talk during the movie or just watch it together. Some people are movie talkers. Some aren’t. Some (ok, ok, all) firefighters get a bit chatty watching fire videos and just have to spit out those words. It may be the most engaging you’ve ever seen your firefighter in conversation!
- On that note…. don’t be hurt by it. Surely it’s a love and a passion. Not everyone finds that in life. If they are passionate talking about firefighting but look pained in the face when discussing your play date schedule, it’s understandable for you to feel like they don’t care as much. Something to chat about when you are both in a happier place.
- Do these movies trigger panic or anxiety or irrational thoughts for you? Firstly, it’s ok to get choked up or sob heavily in those injury, death, and funeral scenes. You’re human. But if you find yourself unable to let go of those thoughts….it’s a good indicator you have some brain work to do regarding being fearful of your firefighter’s work. First and foremost remember – they train for this. They are prepared. (more thoughts on beating these fears here....)
- Snuggle in and experience a bit of what it feels like. Not everyone gets to run into a building burning like our firefighters do. You’ve got a special one there, and these movies always bring me a warm fuzzy reminder of that.
Men….we know you’re reading 🙂 Some thoughts for you….
- What movie does she want to watch? I’m not all about counting points and tit for tat in a marriage. It’s never going to be equal and that’s part of the relational experience. But there should be enough activities to keep each other’s love tank full on an ongoing basis. So how about showing some enthusiasm for the occasional chick flick? Or whatever Netflix binge her heart desires?
- When explaining scenes in these fire movies, be sure you aren’t talking “down” to her. Sometimes it’s just tone of the talking that can sound this way. She already knows you’re an expert here and admires that in you.
- Be aware of what these movies might trigger in her thoughts and emotions. If you talk together and decide it’s too much, honor that (and get her into the Fire Wife Sisterhood ASAP)
- Take the opportunity to address some of those important issues that all firefighter couples need to talk about at some point. What are your wishes if you were to perish in the line of duty? Why you trust your training. When bad things happen, how you each like to process them. Etc. Talking together about these intimate details is not only important but also a very bonding and emotional experience for a woman. Speak to her softer side and fill up that love tank *wink wink*
Low cost. Firefighter specific. And ways to make it romantic and personal. Sounds like our kind of at home date night. Tell us what you think in the comments.
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