Opinion: to help firefighters, help their spouses

On this blog I really try to keep it productive… useful tips, stuff that can be implemented. I try to see myself as part of the solution- not the problem. 

But sometimes, there are no tips to share about a topic.

Today I wanted to share an opinion, one that is becoming stronger and stronger the more I get involved in the firefighting arena. 

I’ve talked to many wives and spouses, even more so now that I have people contacting me because of this blog. 

We’ve talked about all kinds of things, and you’ll see it mentioned in some of the posts. How women firefighters have husbands who have to learn how to cope, and firefighter wives who have zero idea about cancer or PTSD. 

I’ve tried to be a part of the solution. 

But today, I’m angry, so I’m going to write this out. 

If you want to save Firefighters, you need to involve their spouses. 

Sure, it sounds like common sense. 

But is it applied? 

Ehhh, why don’t you ask the firefighter wife whose knee deep in household obligations and work because her husband has occupational cancer? 

Or the widow who didn’t even realize her firefighter was at risk? 

Or the husband who can’t understand why some male firefighters are so damn rude to his wife? 

Or the firefighter girlfriend who doesn’t understand why her boyfriend pushes her away, despite telling her that he loves her but this job is too dangerous? 

It’s a team affair people. 




Not the instagram, ‘we’ll take it from here’ BS.

We hear it all the time at training, and meetings and conferences. Yet how many times do we involve the family? 

How many times do we say to the husbands and wives, “hey, your firefighter may not want to talk about it, but they are at much higher risks for cancer and ptsd. While we’re talking, I know you must be lonely too- but theres resources available for the both of you!”

Even better are the people that stoke the fire. That say that firefighters divorce more than average. 

I’ve written an entire post about it but in a nut shell, the data just doesn’t support that assumption. In fact, firefighters divorce less than military. Firefighters are average. 

But how many people want to start drama and cause accusations to be made. Then we have spouses that have not only the wrong information, but damaging information. 

We know that marriage is a protective factor in preventing suicide– so why are people actively trying to break up marriages with drama and incorrect facts?

Listen, I’m not knocking the people that are making a difference. I see you. I applaud you. I know you’re out there trying to save lives. 

What drives me crazy is the other people that think that cancer is no big deal, or that PTSD just goes away on its own. 

That’s how you end up with not only dead firefighters but dead families. 

We know improperly cleaned bunker gear contributes to cancer, yet how many people bring it home? In the family car? To use for newborn pictures? 

Did we take pictures with our kids in bunker gear? Sure did. 

Had that bunker gear ever seen a fire? NO. Because we know the risks. 

These people out there, especially volunteers don’t know all the risks. 

Hell, we don’t even have medical coverage in all of the United States for cancer or behavioral health. 

Look here, we have more data now than ever before. 

If we want to help our firefighters, not only do we need to educate them, but we need to educate their spouses. 

Spouses are the frontline of defense. They can reach out when behavioral health needs assistance, they can help their firefighter establish good hygiene and cleaning habits in the effort to reduce cancer. 

Spouses are there with the firefighters every day- we need them to be on the same team. 

When we involve the spouses- we take this from a private work thing, to a much larger life event. 

And it’s so simple. 

Invite spouses to a yearly meeting to go over improvements at the station. 

Have a slideshow about health and prevention at the Christmas party. 

Send a packet of info to the address in file addressed to husband and wife. 

Encourage an auxiliary for the spouses to join. 

Have a meet and greet event for new hires where they bring their family. 

What else? What else can we do? Let’s collaborate. Let’s find ways that more people can be aware of the risks firefighters have, and some of the ways we know they can be prevented. If we don’t save our firefighters, who will save us when we need it? 

Find more help for Firefighter Wives here

Mental Health Resources for Firefighters

Thank you Firefighter Wife

Here’s to all the wives who are married to some of the bravest- this one is for you.

Thank you Fire Wife, for showing up even when it seems impossible.

For keeping the house together even when it feels like everything is falling apart. (and it always seems to be falling apart when your FF is gone)

It may not seem like a lot, but without your help, your Firefighter couldn’t make the difference that they make right now.

But it doesn’t feel like that right? It doesn’t feel like you are directly saving someone’s life. It doesn’t feel like you are truly appreciated.

Instead, it feels like you are losing your life- losing who you are as you try to be everything at home when your firefighter is away.

So over it when he comes home that you hand him the responsibilities as you walk out the door to take a break. Emotionally, mentally and physically beat from the time he’s been away on calls.

But then you find this inner strength you didn’t know you even had, and you go back in. Back to the proverbial fire- dealing with your Firefighter and all of his baggage from work (and the PTSD is no joke!)

Thank you Fire Wife.

Thank you for having grace and compassion when your Husband runs out the door to save a life.

Thank you for helping your Firefighter through the bad days. Because there will be bad days, horrible days, days that make you question everything. But you will find the help and support and be the one behind the scenes that makes an impact.

Thank you Fire Wife, for telling the neighbors to mind their business and for advocating for First Responders because you know all too well what it’s like. How you stay awake some nights worried and anxious. Then how you learn to deal with those thoughts and care for the next generation of Fire Wives.

Without you, Firefighters as we know it wouldn’t exist. Without the support at home, the job can’t be done to the fullest. You pull double duty with meals and laundry and the kids so that your spouse can save lives.

It is always glorious? No- sometimes it fun and sometimes it’s hard.

These words are for the hard times.

The times you want to quit.

The times where you feel like you’ve had enough and your Firefighter has had enough and everything needs to go away.

During these times, I want to thank you.

1000x over I want to thank you.

I see you struggling, I know you’re tired.

But you, you were forged in Fire. No matter if you are a fire wife for one day or 5000 days. This job will not beat you- you are not defined by the ‘firefighter wife’.

Because you are so much more. Never give up- just take a break. You’re so much more valuable then you realize. Thank you.

For the Firefighter Wives

What Firefighter Wives need to know about PTSD

What to do when your Firefighter doesn’t want to talk about it

9 ways you know she’s married to a firefighter

How do you know he’s a firefighter? —- You can tell by his shirt! Likewise, you can tell a firewife by how she approaches some things.

Not only is she a rockstar when her husband isn’t home (somebodies gotta do it!) but she keeps it together so that he can do his job.

Together they are a team, one that helps hold our country together, as Firefighters are an essential part of keeping everyone safe (and their spouses at home do a lot of work too!)

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How do you know she’s a Firefighter Wife? Here’s the top 9 ways it shows!

1. She likes her husband in Navy Blue, not only is it a good color, but he also wears it all the time!

Am I right? Or am I right?

No seriously, there’s a lot of navy blue going on. At least he looks cute in it!

2. She isn’t afraid of spending nights alone

Her firefighter could be gone for who knows how long if he volunteers and all night on a schedule when he is career.

So she can’t be scared. She’s got to keep the home together while he’s away.

3. She rocks it as a solo parent (or solo dog mom!)

Shift days can be long! Throw in some volunteer hours, some trainings, and maybe a natural disaster (or two!) and it’s a wonder she gets anything done.

But she does, because she’s amazing.

>>>10 cute firefighter books for little kids<<<

4. She’s used to smelling smoke, not the cigarette kind, the house kind.

From her husband needing to shower after a call, to dirty turnouts, she knows what smoke smells like.

And she knows how to wash it out of the laundry. And she reminds her husband about his cancer risk (and secondary exposure) so everyone can stay clean and safe.

5. Her Firefighter carries her heart with him whenever he is on shift

Firewives have a few different ways of coping when their firefighter is gone. Some stay super busy so they don’t think about it, some are anxious the entire time, some listen to the scanner and follow the word of mouth forums to see what’s happening.

Hell, some of us Fire wives are just happy to watch what we want on Netflix and get the bed to ourselves.

However you deal, we know that we want our firefighter to stay safe.

6. Holidays, events, and days off are scheduled around shift days, Kelly days and trainings

Sure he has vacation time, but he also has to work. Sometimes Christmas is rescheduled, and some birthday’s are celebrated at the station. Special trips may be saved for times when theirs a swap available or a Kelley day.

Which is actually kinda cool, because some Firefighters are able to work more than one shift, or rotate shifts with their wife to care for the kids!

>>>40 Texts to send your Firefighter on Shift <<<

7. When the tones drop, she has to stop and let her husband go save lives

And sometimes the tones drop at really really important times. Like during the middle of an important conversation or when they are trying to spend some time together.

But her husband made a commitment, and she made a commitment to him!

8. She has to constantly reassure her friends and family that yes, she is still married.

Because he isn’t always there. Heck, sometimes he’s never around, especially if he’s doing a special school (I’m looking at you, medic school)

And let’s not forget that if her FF does anything ‘wrong’ that she shares with others, then they will start to think the marriage is on the brink of disaster.

Yes, still married. Yes, husband works alot. Yes, we will make it through this just like police officers and military and other wives who are married to hard working men!

>>>10 easy meals for shift night <<<

9. And that, not only did she marry a firefighter, but she married the love of her life. She ain’t nobodies badge bunny!

This fire life is tough stuff. It’s not something that we want to do for glory or some sort of social media thing.

Firefighter wives married their husbands because of love, not a job title, not a paycheck and not for a thin red line.

They love the man inside the bunkers, it’s just a bonus that he’s a firefighter.

Let’s Remember

Firefighters couldn’t do what they do without their spouses. We are their friends, their confidents, the keepers of the home when they are away.

Fire Wives have such an important role, never forget that. What you do behind the scenes is valuable!

Do you have anything you’d add to the list?

Recommended Posts for Fire Wives

15 ways you can spice up your First Responder Marriage Today

Tips for the New Mom and the Fire Wife

12 pieces of advice for the New Firefighter Wife

Support the Family [Firefighter Wife Owned Business]

The cool thing about being in the Fire Life is the family aspect. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not as friendly as it used to be. But the more we branch out, make connections, and bring others into the fold, the more we can grow as a family!

The Fire department used to be HUGE on family. Family nights, family owned business, and taking care of each other. Then the drama set in, traditions changed (really, the country changed!) and things began to decline.

If we want to make things better, it starts with supporting ourselves (can’t love other if you don’t love yourself!) and supporting the other fire families around us.

That’s why it gives me great pleasure to highlight some awesome Firefighter Wife owned businesses! The cool thing about the internet and social media is that it brings together some people that you might not have met otherwise.

We also try to include them when we do gift guides (they tend to have the better gift ideas anyways!) so it’s a no brainer that one day they would get their own dedicated post.

Check out these awesome makers and seller and find some new and unique merchandise items.

If you are a firefighter wife that would like to be featured, connect with us!

You can find us on social media here or use the contact form to send us an email.



Firefighter Wife Owned Businesses

GiveEmTheAxe– Personalized Decorative Axes For Every Occassion

SimpleSunshineCrafts– Key fobs galore!

247Lifesaver– Tons of thin red line gear

AKMDesigns4U– Custom Hand painted gifts

SimplySweetbyB– Adorable baby and household Turnout gear themed items

FromHeartToFarmLLC– Firefighter Shirts and Gifts

Those with their own websites!

Rockypinedesigns.com rel=”nofollow noopener” – Wildland Clothing, gifts and decals.

Wildfirestrong.com rel=”nofollow noopener” – Wildland fire wife gear and subscription box

Mimas Bowtique– Firefighter Girl Suspenders

What Firefighter Wives need to know about PTSD

Let’s get a little personal.

Why should you listen to what I have to say? It’s not something I’m proud to admit, but I share freely that both my husband and I have suffered through PTSD from different events over the years.

Now, as a Firefighter Wife whose dealt with her own problems, seeing her Firefighter struggle with PTSD and triggers both at work and at home can be overwhelming.

But there is power in getting honest, communicating and sharing about the struggles of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and fear. Which is what I hope to do in this series of posts that cover various aspects of PTSD and mental health and how it effects our first responders.


*** Please note- this is not medical advice, nor to I pretend to know everything about PTSD, mental health, or the education that medical professionals have. This is my personal experience with my family and the mental health professionals we have talked to over the years. I strongly encourage you to get help if you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD, suicidal thoughts, or you need help. For immediate issues, call 911.

What you need to know

There is no one size fits all when it comes to PTSD. I think if it were easy enough to solve with a few simple steps then it wouldn’t be much of a problem at all.

The first thing everyone needs to know, is that anyone can be effected by a traumatic event. Even one they weren’t directly part of.

Yes, it’s true and the events of September 11, 2001 are an example of a situation where people had (and still have) PTSD from an event they might have been a thousand miles away from.

And PTSD can build in layers. One event can lead to another. One event can trigger another.

Unfortunately PTSD is a multifaceted pain in the side. It can present in several ways, and it can be bottled up and ignored for many years. So let’s cover some of the basics that Firefighter Wives need to know for their spouses (and for themselves as well).

PTSD can show up in different ways

This is probably not what you want to hear.

But dealing with PTSD isn’t cut and dry, in fact, many different symptoms can show up as a result of dealing with stress and anxiety after a traumatic event.

Generally, the person experiencing the symptoms will have several types and they will typically last longer than a month. Some examples would be avoidance of triggers, reoccurrence of the event, and frightening thoughts. You can learn more about the categories here.

PTSD is linked to Suicide Risk

This is the cold hard truth, and my least favorite subject, but one I can’t help but talk about in case it save’s someone life.

When you have PTSD (diagnosed or undiagnosed) you have a higher risk of suicide.

We could talk statistics all day long- but at the most basic level, when you are struggling with your mind, some people view ending their life as a solution.

The issue with suicide is it causes a lot more problems than PTSD. It isn’t a cure, because the person is dead, when they could have been treated for their problems.

If you or a loved one is struggling, please reach out! Save a life.

(and we talk about treatments and cures for PTSD below!)

Throw out the calendar- PTSD is unpredictable

Sorry again, I just keep giving you the honest (yet shitty) news.

For those that have ever dealt with any form of post traumatic stress or anxiety have shown, it doesn’t matter what time of day or year, symptoms can show up.

This means that you can be sitting in your living room, reading a book, and flashbacks can occur.

Or you could have gone to bed totally happy and then you wake up in a rage of anger and frustration.

Crazily enough, sometimes those with PTSD can experience the same event later on and NOT have a problem, but driving through the chickfila drive thru can trigger it a month later.

It WILL impact your marriage

This is one of those unfortunate side effects of falling in love with a first responder.

Sometimes the work follows them home, and not in a good way.

I’m talking about the things that are big and small.

Like nightmares that wake you up in the middle of the night.

and random outburst of anger that make no sense, came out of nowhere, and aren’t related to anything you are doing right then.

And emotional avoidance, not being able to (or not willing ) to talk about what’s bothering them- even if it’s not related to work.

And a change in intimacy. Either wanted more than you can give or not wanting it at all. Or being totally hot and cold.

So if you have experience some of these (and many others) they can be part of the residual side effects of your Firefighter struggling with their PTSD.

The good news is that you can see right through it and make it a priority on your end to help your firefighter “feel the love” from you, as long as things haven’t gone towards abuse.

40 texts you can send your Firefighter on shift

No, it does not make you “crazy”

There is this stigma that those that have PTSD are crazy. or loco. or mental. or whatever negative word you can imagine that describes someone that doesn’t have control of their mind and they are a “problem to society”.

Yes, stress and anxiety can change your Firefighter into someone new, someone different, someone that might scare you at times. But in most cases, they are still sane.

If they ‘jump off the mental health deep end’ then it’s something else, like PTSD that has morphed into a dangerous depression/suicide. Or someone that has bottle up their PTSD so long that it has caused them to have other mental and physical problems.

The only crazy thing is when firefighters and their spouses DON’T seek help, because there is help. See below.

Great News- it IS treatable, it is manageable and it is curable

The best news is saved for last. Despite PTSD and anxiety causing a lot of issues for someone and their family, it doesnt always have to be this way.

There is no one size fits all, because each person has gone through their own unique traumatic experience(S). We don’t know what they’ve seen or had to deal with (or how many times they’ve had to deal with it!).

So when I say curable, I want you to understand that’s the best case scenario, the worst case scenario is that your First Responder learns how to manage the PTSD.

Both of those are good things.

What’s not good, is unchecked PTSD, because as we’ve looked at, it can morph into other mental and physical health issues and it can drive someone to take their life.

Sometimes this might mean that a first responder retires early, but if it saves their life, then that’s what matters!

There are counseling options like various forms of psychotherapy, EFT, medications and natural options. For us personally, we’ve tried everything but medications, as the ones that were recommended had some side effects (like depression) that we felt might make the recover worse. That said, not all medications are bad, and you can talk to your health care provider about what options are good for you.

When should you seek help for your firefighter

As someone that loves a firefighter, you now know that PTSD is not one size fits all, and that it will impact you and your firefighter.

But when should you get involved?

Between you and your firefighter, you should get involved immediately. Be kind and loving and try to get through to them that they don’t have to be embarrassed or scared.

When should you get other people involved?

The cut and dry version of this is if you or your firefighters life is in danger- even if it’s just a weird comment about suicide or ‘why was I ever born’ type thing.

Other times you might want to get involved are when your Firefighter isn’t seeking help and it’s been a long enough time that it’s really impacting their health. Only you would know how long that time would be. The professionals recommend behavior that lasts longer than 30 days.

But if you feel like it’s a real problem, don’t wait 30 days to get help.

Things like reckless behavior, excessive drinking or drug abuse, a lack of sleep that causes personality change or poor decision making.

Basically, you need to get help ASAP if you question wether your firefighter can make good decisions while they are impaired from drinking or lack of sleep or emotions that are going haywire.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

And many firefighters consider PTSD a form of career suicide, so they may need some encouragement from you to seek help.


Final Thoughts

This is by no means exhaustive. This is just the basics. And I am not a mental health professional so if you need help, please seek it!

Calling 911 or the suicide hotline ( https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org ) for serious issues.


Recommended Articles for Firefighter Wives

PTSD- the basics for First Responders

Help and Advice for a Marriage in Crisis

12 pieces of advice for the new Firefighter Wife

Being a Firefighter Wife has so many benefits, namely that you come with your own Firefighter. But when you are a new fire wife, there are some things that you need to know.

These little tidbits go by many names.

Advice- Survival Skills- Recommendations- Guidance- Words to the Wise

Whatever you want to call it, it’s information that the newer Firewife needs to know, for her sanity and the sake of her new marriage! Or engagement, because let’s just be honest, marriages look different in the 21st century.

Advice- Survival Skills- Recommendations- Guidance- Words to the Wise for the New Firefighter Wife

Tell Murphy to shove it 

Do you know about Murphy? Murphy’s law is that things go wrong if you give them the chance.

Basically what happens is, your firefighter goes on shift, and then things go wrong. The dryer breaks, the keys get locked in the car and the dog gets out.

These are the days where you find out how strong you are as you try to manage everything that went wrong without your Firefighter- or maybe your Firefighter ended up having to come home because things got so bad (like that time a tree fell on my house while my husband was on shift and I was 37 weeks pregnant taking a nap- it’s a happy ending though!)

But you will not let Murphy win– tell Murphy to shove it and find a way to make the best of the shift day when everything goes wrong and you can’t depend on your firefighter.

Make sure you know who to call in case of emergency 

This may seem like a no brainer but, do you know who to call in case of an emergency when your Firefighter is on shift and they aren’t answering their phone?

Obviously, most of us can call the office. But what about if it’s after hours?

You should have another shift mates number, or the lieutenant, or someone else that can be an emergency contact if something goes wrong.

Especially if you don’t live in the district where your husband works. If you can’t quickly drive to his job, you need several points of contact.

We aren’t inviting things to go wrong, but let’s be prepared for the worst case scenario so you can come out smelling like a rose.

Understand the importance of sleep 

This is talked about, but really misunderstood in the fire service. Some people think that sleep has little to do with some of the issues firefighters face, and other people are hardcore about sleep.

What you need to know as a Firefighter wife is that sleep is important and will have a short and long term impact on your firefighter.

Short term it can cause irritability and some possible memory loss or confusion.

Long term it can lead to health issues and make any PTSD or depression worse.

Mix that with Firefighters love of coffee and energy stimulants and you have a recipe for disaster.

Our Husbands need sleep. Help him understand that and be patient with him when he hasn’t slept well in some time. He needs a break to recharge.


Being a Fire Wife, you find out just how flexible you really are.

Like I thought I was flexible, I understand that overtime happens and I’m thankful for extra training (because it keeps him safe!)

But you don’t realize how flexible you actually have to be.

Like those years where his shift days fall on all the holidays. Or the times where he ends up working your birthday two years in a row.

Or (true story) when he has to go to a mandatory unpaid 5 day 12 hour training or he looses his position, while you are home with a 7 day old and two other kids. <<I might still be a little bitter about that one.

Learn to be flexible, but also learn to communicate your needs and work hard on compromise.

Yes, send them to training, but let them know that they are wanted at home and you want them to take off some time soon so that they can relax with you.

Flexibility = Balance. Don’t be upset over every shift day, but also don’t let the fire dept. dictate your entire life.


It doesnt matter how long your Firefighter has been on the job, at a career or volunteer department.

There is ALWAYS some politicking going on.

If I didn’t know better, I would say that some of these firefighters are worse gossipers than the ladies at the nail salon.

Do yourself a favor and stay away from it, or if your firefighter wants to share, get the cliff notes version.

There’s like a running joke in the fire department.

On one hand there’s so much tradition that they don’t like to change. On the other hand they talk about change but many times it never happens.

If it’s not on paper, I don’t even like to talk about it with my husband!

Find something to do on Shift Days

You need to be able to have something that is familiar to do on shift days, especially when you might be feeling lonely.

Some wives save their Netflix binge for shift days, others do special work outs or hang out with the friends.

I started blogging on shift days. Mostly because the nights were so lonely, I needed an outlet and something that was stimulating. You can check out my blogging resources if you’ve always wanted to start one and didnt know how!

Not getting caught up in the dates

I talk a lot about this in another post for the New Fire Wife at the Holidays, but I’ll say it some here.

No matter what your Firefighter’s schedule, you will not be able to have all the dates you want your Firefighter to have off.

That is the sad truth and just part of the job.

The frustrating part is when you think the date is “safe” and then your husband ends up having to work or get called in on that date.

That really sucks! I know my husband ended up loosing dates we thought were guaranteed before. We’ve changed birthdays and holidays- it’s all just part of the fire life.

Don’t be fearful of the job 

This is so much easier said than done, especially if you are empathetic.

It’s not easy, but you can’t let the fear of loosing your husband eat you alive.

Anxiety has this funny way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it, and if you aren’t careful, you can become on edge while your husband is on shift.

Sometimes this means a change in your mood, other times this can be struggling to eat or sleep.

Talk to your firefighter about the training that they do at the station. Follow other Fire Wives on social media and meet with the ones in person from your station.

Find a support person you can talk to when you get anxious when your Firefighter is at work.

And if you are part of those “word of mouth” groups on facebook, or have access to a Firefighter radio- stay away. You will tie yourself up in knots if you learn about a bad accident or a large Fire.

Talk about it, get a plan in place, and then work on keeping those fears (they are valid but they can’t control your life!) in check.

Make an effort to connect with others 

It’s sometimes easier said than done to find a tribe of people that can support you in this Fire Life.

But that doesnt mean that they aren’t out there! It may be another wife at your husband’s station, friends from church or people you know from online.

Notice how I didn’t say that you had to connect with people?

I said, make an effort. Sometimes in our lives we might have smaller circles that we run with, and that’s ok.

Just don’t give up on other people and become a scrooge. Make an effort to connect and one day you might be pleasantly surprised!

Figure out how to soloparent 

Soloparenting is no joke.

Even if you aren’t a human mom and instead an animal mom, it can still be hard when your Firefighter is away on shift and something happens.

I’ve got so many stories, from the time my son got a pellet ball stuck in his ear, to the time my dog smeared poop and blood all over the house- crazy stuff happens!

So get a gameplan for solo parenting.

For many moms, they find that they have to cut out certain things to maximize their time and reduce stress levels.

Maybe this means eating leftovers or only doing laundry when the husband is home. Some people try not to plan any activities for shift days or they enlist the help of friends or family.

Soloparenting can be challenging, so find ways to reduce stress and make sure you communicate it with your husband. I talk more about solo parenting as a New Mom while your Firefighter is on shift in this post.

Vacations, Vacations, Vacations

Did I say ‘vacations’ enough times?

Seriously though, make plans to enjoy each others time. From quick weekend getaways to a big yearly vacation.

You need it, your husband needs it. Time to get away and destress and spend time loving on one another (even if the kids tag along).

Stress is literally killing our first responders. Vacations aren’t the perfect solution, but they are part of the bigger picture for helping our Firefighters stay healthy!

Tell the Divorce Gossipers to get some duct tape

Here’s the thing.

Some people believe that they are right. And these people believe that Firefighter Divorce is at an all time high.

The reality of it, and the numbers, just don’t support that theory.

I wrote an entire post breaking down the research of divorce and how it relates to firefighters, but in a nut shell, being a Firefighter is not a reason for divorce. It is just a job after all, and marriages are supposed to be forever.


Is there way more advice for new Fire Wives? Yes!

Don’t hesitate to reach out. Your happiness is important. Find others that can help you navigate this beautiful yet sometimes ridiculous life of being married to a firefighter.

Recommended Posts for Firefighter Wives

The Secret to Happy Firefighter Wives

15 tips to instantly improve your marriage

7 common relationship problems that Firefighter Couples have

Firefighter Wife Gifts

Firefighter Wives need gifts too! From fun to practical and with plenty of ideas, you’re bound to find a gift idea here.

For many wives, they feel that firefighting is a career, and not an identity– so the work stuff gets left at the door. That’s why I’ve got two sections of ideas- one for firefighter stuff and one for generic gifts. You can pick which section your Firefighter Wife fits into!

This article may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you, read the disclosure here.


Firefighter themed

Non-Firefighter themed

Firefighter themed

Firefighter Family pictures

The Kids. The Dog. Maybe Just the Firewife and her Husband.

This are all great ideas for Firefighter Family Pictures and they would make an excellent gift (especially if you have family members that tend to scoff at photoshoots. Get them on board so you can bless your Firefighter Wife with pictures that she can cherish!) Check out this post on Firefighter Photoshoot Ideas to give you some inspiration!


Tumblers are all the rage right now. Seriously, most women have at least one of these adorable cups- if not more. Which makes them the perfect gift! They are practical, cute and they keep your drink cold. Plus, everyone is all about reducing waste and there’s no easier way to do that with a reusable tumbler (or 10 of them, because they get dirty or left in the car!)

Find this cup on Etsy
Get this on Etsy
Find this on Etsy


Can Firefighter Wives have enough t-shirts? I think not. There are so many cute designs online, from Etsy to Amazon and Facebook Marketplace. Some of these are subtle and some more obvious, but they are all cute!

Find this shift and others on Etsy!
Find this shirt and others on Etsy!


Bracelets are another super popular item, and there are lots to choose from! Like this, “My Heart Belongs to a Firefighter” bracelet and this Firefighter Wife bracelet with customizable colors.

Get this thin red line Bestseller from Etsy! You can choose to have the front of your necklace customized with firefighter badge numbers, initials, date, heart, or anything else you would like up to 5 characters.

Or if you want it from Amazon, you want to customize your thin red line necklace.


This one is a cute “His and Her’s” Option 

I like this one, which can be customized, “Come home safe to me”

Non-Firefighter themed

Think about things that a Firefighter wife might want or need that is a traditional physical item.

Here’s a quick list of experiences you could get your wife- many of these can be done over the phone or online (like if you waited till last minute!!)

  • massage certificate
  • pedicure/manicure
  • any other spa treatments
  • tourist attraction locally- think things like horseback riding or wine tasting. Find what’s close to you that would be fun
  • Have flowers sent to her work or whenever their is company (or buy a potted plant- those last longer!)
  • gift card for kindle or iTunes
  • plan a date night full of surprises, even if its just dinner and a movie

Coupon books are another favorite– you can find them in lots of different styles, and of Course, you can make your own! The homemade ones might be there very best because they are made by you!


I need not to remind you- but getting some new lingerie or matching underwear sets is a fun way to share something with your partner that only they get to see!

Or Maybe, it’s as simple as getting a babysitter or scheduling out a block of time, so that you can get some time to reconnect.

The Gift of Alone time or time with her Husband

Sometimes the best gift is the gift of time. Does your Firefighter wife need a break? a staycation or just a night out with the girls? Maybe it’s just a break to have some coffee and shop in leisure.

Don’t underestimate how amazing the gift of time can be.

final thoughts

Firefighter Wives aren’t all too different from other wives- except they love a man in turnout gear. Hopefully these ideas have inspired you, the best gifts are ones that come from the heart.

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10 quick instapot dinners for shift night

Lots of first responders and blue collar workers get placed on shift work. And while I love having my firefighter home for 48 hours after he works 24, those 24 hours that he works need all the help they can get!

Cue the easy instapot meals!

These instapot meals are great for the family that is at home during shift time, and the second family at work. I hope you find something that you love and becomes a new family favorite!

This article may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you, read the disclosure here.

Why I love my instapot

I won’t lie, I’ve had my instapot almost 4 years now, and I use it almost everyday.

It is the perfect rice cooker, the best mashed potatoes maker, and I can throw meat in the pot without worrying about burning it (plus it turns out tender, juicy and full of flavor!). plus, I can make yogurt and bread with a few additional accesories!

With my husband gone on shift and 3 kids at home, the instapot is our saving grace for a yummy meal without sacrificing time to stand in the kitchen and mind the stove!

The instapot is the perfect addition to the work kitchen

Modern pressure cookers are amazing, especially when you dont have a lot of time! That is why all work kitchen should have a version of the instapot.

They can whip up yummy meals in under half an hour and not have to stand in the kitchen to make it!

And while I don’t advertise that you should leave the instapot unattended- if you did forget because you had a call in the middle of making dinner, chances are that it would not catch fire due to modern safety features. Which is a big plus, because people set their kitchens on fire all the time!

There are a few brands and they all work really similarly- but I love my instapot!

10 Quick and Easy Instapot dinners for Shift Night

Shift night means different things for different people- but one thing is for sure, easy dinners are much needed on shift nights! Here are 10 quick and easy Instapot meals.

Instant Pot Pepper Beef

Photo Credit: mooshujenne.com

Craving some yummy Chinese food for dinner? Don't get take out, make this quick pepper beef instead! It whips up in 35 minutes from fridge to table.

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Easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Idea – Creamy – Tasty – Homemade – Simple Comfort Food – Quick Dinner Family – Kids

Photo Credit: kimspireddiy.com

Mac and Cheese is a delicious comfort food that everyone loves. Enjoy this spin on a simple classic that is quick and easy to make- without worrying about overbooking the noodles or burning the cheese!

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Instant Pot Chicken Thighs with Teriyaki Sauce Recipe & Review

Photo Credit: www.nutfreewok.com

Chicken is a staple in our house, but sometimes it takes too long to cook!

This recipe boasts a ridiculously fast meal- total time to make these yummy chicken thighs is under 20 minutes! The recipe also comes with allergy modifications so everyone can be included.

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Instant Pot Cheesy Chipotle Pasta (Gluten-Free)

Photo Credit: www.moonandspoonandyum.com


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30-Minute Loaded Baked Potato Soup Is Creamy Comfort in a Bowl

Photo Credit: foodal.com

There's nothing like a savory meal after a long day. Which is exactly what this loaded potato soup is for. Enjoy this as a main dish or a scrumptious side. Easy to make and delicious to eat!

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Dump and Start Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa + Tutorial {Vegan, Gluten Free}

Photo Credit: recipesfromapantry.com

Quick, easy and full of flavor this hispanic inspired dish is a great meal to throw in the instapot.

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Pressure Cooker Ham with Just 3 Ingredients!

Photo Credit: eatingrichly.com

Dreaming of an easy holiday ham? Look no further than this pressure cooker ham recipe. This is a must have recipe for holidays- especially those extra busy ones that fall on shift days.

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Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Photo Credit: littlesunnykitchen.com

Another spin on an easy classic, chicken alfredo in the instapot is great for a quick dinner meal. This comfort food is a wonderful meal that everyone in the family (or on your shift!) will love.

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Instant Pot Kielbasa, Mushroom and Potato Soup

Photo Credit: mooreorlesscooking.com

Easy to cook and ready in a flash, you will think you've been cooking this all day long. This hearty meal is great for those 'meat and potatoes' people who want something filling at the end of the day.

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Instant Pot Olive Garden Low Carb Italian Chicken

Photo Credit: thisoldgal.com

Not only is this a quick and easy meal, but it's wonderful as a freezer meal to prepare ahead of time and dump into the instapot when you are ready to eat!

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Firefighter Wedding Gear for your Big Day!

firefighter wedding ideas

Wedding Bells and Fire Trucks! Yes, many Firefighters throughout modern history have chosen to mix the career with their wedding, some brides love it, others hate it- and I think the guests don’t care as long as theirs cake (and maybe a bar)

I’ve asked in many Firefighter circles and kept an eye on Pinterest to bring you the top Firefighter themed Wedding Gear and Ideas!

The Best Firefighter Wedding Gear for your big day!

This article may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you, read the disclosure here.

Wedding Gear for the Bride and Groom

Beauties for the Bride

There are so many wonderful and unique options for Garters, especially on Etsy. Not only are these super cute and sexy, but a must have for any Firefighter Wedding!

Have fun with this custom Wedding Garter that comes in both tan and black (to match their bunker gear!!)

Or you could go straight up traditional and get a pretty satin Firefighter themed Garter– just depends on what pretties you want to show your Firefighter!


Looking for something classy to wear after your engagement, to your rehearsal or even for the wedding? There are so many beautiful jewelry pieces you can add to your collection from Amazon and Etsy! Listed below are the most popular- but their are SO MANY!

Groomsmen gifts

Check out these custom helmet shield keychains! They come in multiple colors and wording to make a truly unique gift for your groomsmen. Find them on Etsy! These are an affordable option for groomsmen gifts.

Want something unique and one of a kind! This set of 4 Halligan Bottle Openers, with customization, are a big hit for weddings this year!

Check out these unique Fire Extinguisher cufflinks! These are the perfect addition to their attire and a great gift!

A great groomsmen gift, is this handy firefighter zippo lighter. Since we all know that firefighters also like Fire (responsibly of course!)


It’s all about the CAKE!

If you are still cutting the cake (because so many are getting creative with donuts and cake pops!) then you need to check out these amazing custom Axes for your wedding! Talk about a memorable keepsake! These can be personalized in so many ways and are made by a Fellow Firefighter Wife!

Don’t forget about the wedding topper! Customize this Firefighter Silhouette for your wedding cake. Bonus it’s made in the USA- so you aren’t getting a cheap cake topper that might not look like the picture!

Random Firefighter Wedding Stuff I just had to tell you about!

Silicone Wedding Bands are a MUST for the Firefighter couple. Not only will these protect your hand and your fancy set of wedding bands, but they are also sporting the thin red line- perfect to show your Firefighter love.

This Custom Turnout Gear Wedding Pillow would probably be more appropriate as a wedding gift- but it is so adorable that I wanted to include it in this guide because it could definitely be something you get yourself!

Custom Firefighter Wedding Flutes are an adorable must have for the reception! These would be a great keepsake too.


There you have it, the best Firefighter gear for getting hitched! Did you find something you can’t live without?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you have any suggestions, send them my way, I’d love to be able to update this as more Firefighter Wedding items come onto the market.


More for Firefighter Relationships

Secrets to Dating a Firefighter

Hot Date Ideas for Firefighter Couples

40 Texts for your Firefighter on Shift

The Pros and Cons of being married to a firefighter

Each Career has it’s perks, and while you didn’t marry the job, being married to a Firefighter has it’s pros and cons.

This is especially evident if you married your Firefighter before they choose this career, which is what happened to me. I remember my husband before he was consumed by the fire life, though I wouldn’t have him any other way now.

However, I do recall what it was like to have a “normal” husband that consistently had off weekends and didn’t scroll instagram for the latest fire.

But he also didn’t love his job, have passion for a career or make an effort to pursue advancement. While this job has it downsides, it also has a lot of upsides too!

So let’s check out the benefits and the downsides to this firefighter life.

Let’s start with the Positives

You get the bed to yourself

Every few days, you get to enjoy the bed all to yourself! Even if you miss your husband (I know I sleep better when he is there!) you still get the opportunity to spread out and steal all the pillows.

Plus, it gives me the chance to do whatever I want in bed. Like sit on my laptop at bedtime or read a book.

It’s a little harder when my husband is home to do those things, particularly if he wants my attention.

Bragging Rights

This one is like a party trick.

“Oh Whats your spouse do”—- “He’s a Firefighter!”

Which leads to all these questions and comments about how cool it would be to be with a Firefighter and does he know any single Firefighters.

I get so many questions and comments from family, friends and strangers- and it doesnt seem to change with time.

Like how many times are you going to ask about his job, his schedule or his lack of sleep. It’s been yearsssss and we till get these questions!

A Varied Schedule

This one really applies to the Career Firefighter Wife’s- having a 24/48 schedule is heavenly. He gets two days off and you get a break every third day. Absence DOES make the heart go fonder.

Lots of people also prefer the 48/96 schedule.

I’ve not had any personal experience with that one, but some of the Wives I’ve talk to tend to prefer that. Three days off does sound pretty nice, and I’m sure the 48 on becomes “normal” after a few months.

And Kelly Days- these are a little more controversial but again, a varied schedule with the ability to have lots of time off.

I know that this is a “CON” for many in the Volunteer World, because when those tones drop, it can be at a really inconvenient time!

Lots of fire wives talk about having to keep dinner warm, or just eating it by themselves.

Unfortunately, accidents don’t happen at the ‘right’ times, and our firefighters on call will answer the tones even at the most inconvenient of times.

Your Husband is Employed

While this may seem like a no brainer, it is something that we tend to take advantage of.

We’ve all had times where money was an issue and having a job is super important.

Even if that job isn’t the greatest- having a paycheck is super important in the economy today.

Plus, if we’re being realistic, it can take a long time to get on at a career department.

The job prospects for the next 5 years have a huge spike (like a 250% increase) so that will be helpful to those of you looking for a new department. But it’s not uncommon for someone to wait 6 month or even years to get on at a career station.

Ok, but what about the downsides to this fire life?

You are a “Firefighter Wife”

Which to some people is no big deal- but in reality you are so much more than a Firefighter’s wife and it can be frustrating with that label.

Like, “You’re a Firefighter’s wife, you knew your husband would be gone for long days”

Well, gee, thanks. That doesn’t change the fact that I solo parent every third day, or whenever the tones drop, and I might need some help or backup- ESPECIALLY if I have a career of my own.

Which a lot of fire wives do. They shouldn’t just be thought of as Fire Wives when they have their own professions.

The Job is Dangerous

Being Married to a Firefighter you know the job has it’s bad points- but it seems that today, social media makes it a lot worse!

For one, we know that Firefighters are dying from occupational related diseases like cancer, obesity and heart disease- at REALLY high rates.

There’s also the sad truth that many of them are dealing with undiscovered, undiagnosed and untreated PTSD and mental illness that lead to high numbers of suicide.

Many of which are also occupationally related due to the calls, stress and lack of sleep.

And then there’s the dangerous calls. The accidents. The close misses. The ones where your loved one and the department ends up on social media and the news.

All of these can make for a stressful time while they are away at work, extra screening at the doctors office and extra concern over their mental health.

For some, the job ends up not being worth the risk.

They end up missing important events

This applies across the board, from career to military to volunteer and wildland.

Fires. Emergencies. Natural Disasters.

They don’t care that it’s your 15th anniversary, or your kid’s birthday. They happen on Holiday’s and important events no matter how much you’ve planned.

And while your Firefighter is sad they have missed another family event, they know that they have a greater calling.

So it might not seem like a big deal to them, like it seems to you, the wife who is left solo parenting and navigating an event while your firefighter saves the world.

The family atmosphere isn’t always there

Something changed in the last 20 years in the fire service if you ask the old salty dogs.

I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but I can feel the after effects in our department

. Some just aren’t about the family as much as it used to be. Stories long gone of large family dinners and auxiliary groups doing charity. They just don’t happen like they used to.

Thankfully, some wives and firefighter families are making changes with that, but as we all know, it’s hard to institute positive change in the Fire Service.


I wouldn’t change my husband or his career- so that means taking the good with the bad! Do you have any other pros or cons to add to this list? Let me know in the comments!

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