Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fighting Rights

Being married to a firefighter can present some unique marital challenges.

I'm not talking about the usual challenges associated with the lifestyle.  Like dealing with unexpected calamities by yourself, constantly being broke, the long hours alone, the missed special events or the sudden overtime that messes up your plans.  Firefighter spouses expect all of these.

What I'm talking about is fighting.  Good old fashioned, once in a while, get it off your chest and clear the air kind of arguing.

I'm not, by any means, advocating taking up fighting as your primary form of communication, but sometimes sugar coating it just doesn't get the point across.  Do you know what I mean?

But what do you do when your FF's on duty or getting ready to go, and he just really pissed you off?

If you're like me, the vast majority of the time you swallow it.  Why?

While I may not constantly dwell on or even actively think about the fact that it could be the last time I see him, it's always in the back of my mind.  So, I made a promise to myself to never argue with him while he's on duty or right before he leaves for work.  Because I know I would regret it for the rest of my life if my last words to him were something like, "Hey, snot launcher, you forgot to take out the trash. Again.  Whada I have to do, tattoo it to your forehead?"

Well maybe that isn't the serious kind of  example I'm talking about, but you get my drift.

In some ways, having to "wait" to argue is a good thing.  It makes me stop and think about what I'm really mad about and do I really want to raise hell over whatever it may be.   Sometimes, the answer is yes, but most of the time the answer is no.   Sometimes, he's pissed me off so bad, I break my promise to myself and go kamikaze on his ass.

I'm not perfect.  Shocker, I know.  Besides, a little crazy never hurt anyone.

So, here's my shout out to other firewives.  What do you do?


  1. Same as you.

    It's not even necessarily that he's a firefighter and could lose his life on the job...probably because he works at a still fairly small-town dept. and there hasn't been any job-related tragedies in 20+ years.

    Or maybe it is because he's a firefighter, and I know, and think about how many "regular" people kiss their husband/wife/kids bye-bye and send them on their way to work or school or wherever, and they don't make it.
    Whatever the last words they said to them that morning (evening, whenever) is the last thing they will ever have said to them.

    Because of his (and my son's) job, I guess, I'm much more familiar with traffic-related deaths, the sheer volume of them.

    How many of those people, unable to appreciate the fact, and fully expecting their loved one to return home later, sent them off without a kiss or an I love you?

    I am short/bad tempered (redhead), but there's been plenty of times he pisses me off in the mornings (I'm trying to get the boys ready and off to school and he won't get up, then he'll get up with minutes to spare and want me to figure out what he can take to work to eat for lunch/dinner. I want to smack the crap out of him sometimes!)
    But I think, I'm not going to be one of those people who's last words to their husband was "Omah Gah, can't you get your crap together the night before, you freakin' dumbass??"

    Anyway, morning, evening, whenever, no matter where they're going, I never send any of mine on their way without saying "Be careful, I love you".

  2. Same as you. Wait.

    While sometimes it's good (ie do you really need to fight about the small stuff?), one of the frustrating things to me is that over the past few years we've NEEDED to have serious conversations - fights or not - that just couldn't take place over the phone, and it seemed like he was always on shift or headed there.

    Okay, "always" is a strong word, but not being able to have those talks in the moment, whether it's a fight or other serious issue, is probably one of my biggest frustrations.

  3. I had this rule way before he became a firefighter. He worked construction and commuted 2-3 hours a day as well. His odds then of not coming home were much higher. Way too many close calls. I've always (minus a few) sent him off with a kiss and sometimes a perma-grin.

    However, just recently I was so royally pissed that I sent him on shift for the first time ever with barely a peck and having to hold my foot back from kicking him out the door. I don't believe I said I love you either. Which never, ever happens. I had to fight the urge to text and "apologize" when I'd done nothing and had the right to be angry just because I couldn't stand how he'd gone off to work. I stayed strong and he texted me later in the day.

    Like the rest of you said, I do not want to ever regret my last words if God forbid something does happen.

    I HATE when you really need to have a big conversation and they end up with training or something. It's so frustrating. By the time he gets home I'm just "whatever". Which of course bottles it up more and isn't healthy.