I'm sure others have asked about this, but I need help. Here's the story: My fiancé and I have been together for 3 years now. We have one child together and another that I claim. I've been a Firefighter for a total of 8 years now. Full time for going on 4. She knew this when we got together and was fine with it. Now, since our daughter had been born, she is a TON less supportive, even to the point where she says horrible things about the Department, and also the people in my company. Anytime there's a training class that I want to attend, a shift that I fill, our any event that I need to be at, she complains, makes me feel like a horrible man, and even throws the kids up in my face saying I pUT the job before them. Telling them Daddy doesn't wanna be with them. The guys at work and the Fire Chief think I'm not dedicated enough because she guilts me into staying home when I SHOULD be at the Firehouse helping out or training. Idk what to do. Any advice? Please? I miss being a dedicated member of my Department, and I love the job with all my heart. Thanks guys

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I have been out of the volunteer fire service for almost two years now, but I get what u mean. Thank u

Awesome answer Jessie!

Ok, I see now. Well then this is different. If you aren't pulling double duty anymore AND missing training and time at work (one of which will save your life, the other pays you bills), you have got to get to the bottom of what is eating her up about your job. Ask her what about it is about the job that bothers her. Tell her to be specific, is it the time, the danger, your bond with guys; find out what it is (and let her vent a little, even if it gets a little ugly) and work from there.

Have to agree with WestPhilly.......Send her packing. She knew what you did when you met, if you choose to leave the fire service...YOU will not be happy !!!! Sure....you can go get a differant job somewhere and possibly work 12-16 hrs a day as well, then what....your still not around to "PLEASE" her, or work less and not have the income she would like....then what ??? When does it stop ??? Either she accepts you for you, or she doesnt ??? But....thats just my opinion !!!!

 

WOW!  I must be a different breed of guy than some of you here.  My wife knows that the fire service is my career.  Just as I know working in a hospital is hers.  I would no more look at her and DEMAND she leave her job than she would demand that I leave mine.  Personally I think your wife is bored, and feeling trapped, and looks at your 24's as a vacation for you away from that life.  Find out what she wants to do, get a job, go back to school, have a day here and there to just go hang out with her friends, and accomodate her to make it happen.

Let me give you an example of how understanding my wife is regarding the fire service and me.  I am a career firefighter which means I am gone 10 or 11 twenty four hour shifts a month.  I am a member of 2 POC FDs, which takes 5 nights a month for meetings and trainings, and who knows how many calls.  Also, I teach fire training for the local tech college which takes some day time hours, and some night time and weekend hours.  We make it work because besides loving each other we want each other to be happy in our lives.  She meets with her firends for dinner or a movie, does things with her daughters and mom, and she knows that is all cool with me, just like the fire service is cool with her.  It does help that she works second shift so she is gone many of the nights I am involved in the POC FD and teaching. 

I will tell you this, if you quit the career you love, without ever doing something to figure this problem out. you will be miserable for the rest of your life.

If you're a vol and career member, then I say, get a life!

Not sarcastically, but seriously, you need to spend time with the family. The real family, at home. Go to work, earn the pay cheque and spend time with the wife and kids.
As previously mentioned, two years ago i left my volunteer company

I realize that your comment was directed to Jeff.  But I can't help commenting.

In my case being a volly and a career firefighter does not mean I don't spend plenty of time with MY family.  In fact I would bet that I spend more time with my family than many 9 to fiver types that are vollies do.  It is a simple matter of looking at your time and making adjustments to make it work. Like I said my wife works every meeting and training night for my POC FDs, so there is no loss of time there.  I am home, around 15 days a month, far more than the average worker.  My oldest son is on BOTH POC FDs so even time there is family time to an extent.

 

AGAIN, I think the issue is Jeff's girlfriend is bored and feeling trapped.  No one that truly loved you and understood your passion for the job would ask you to quit doing it for them.  Find out what she wants to do and help her do it.  Take the kids and go out with them so she can have some down time alone.  Get a babysitter and go on dates again. You can have both worlds, but it does take more work than just walking in the door at home. 

ok, fellas.....this is going to be "view at your own risk post"  from here on out....you've been warned....Marriage is a give and take, I understand that.  Marriage is NOT "ok were married, you give up everything thats important to you, NOW!!!"  I understand that being married and having children, we can't be at the firehouse everyday like we were when we were single.  Seriously though.....to give up your volly dept.??? Thats your fucking hobby!!!! it's your outlet??? I'd tell my wife to blow it out her ass!!!! LITERALLY!!! Doesn't she have a hobby???? NO??? well get one, that doesn't involve you on my ass!!!!!!!  Now....as for giving up your F/T job....how long did it take to get your F/T job (it took me 3 years of work, waiting, anguish, etc...)  I'd say...sure....I'll give up my job when you get a job that makes us as much money as both our salaries combined....I'll gladly be a stay at home dad, and you can work your ass off!!!  so....like I said about marriage being give and take......let me put this bluntly......this bitch is on the TAKE.....

GRANTED......I don't know both sides....maybe you're an asshole, I don't know.....but....We all deserve to have a life, which includes our hobbies....whatever they may be, shit...some guys like wooden sailbooats, fishing, travelling....most of us just like to fight fires, serve our communities, and enjoy the brotherhood at the station.

 I don't know how you roll, but I spelled it out pretty clearly when wifey and I started dating.....The FD was here before you were on the scene and depending on how you play your cards...it could be here after your gone......I'll be a firefighter in some capacity until the day I die.........Something else I say when I get the kids thrown in my face.....REMEMBER....my father wasnt a career FF he was a volly, and gone 5 days a week at work then AT LEAST one night at the firehouse + calls, I got Saturdays with him at the firehouse growing up...so my kids are going to have MUCH more time with me than I had with my father, and I am no worse for the wear.....shit....I work 8 days a month...how can you beat it???

 

good luck, brother........I hope you find the answer your looking for........ 

While there is some merit in what you are saying, there is also the reality that nobody truly knows the situation. Yes, people can be fine one minute, accept the time and dedication it takes for the job, but there is also reasoning that things can change. It goes beyond just "having a hobby" and so forth and kids in the picture absolutely have an impact. While it can be viewed by one parent that they are taking the lion's share of raising and tending the kids while the other "go off with the buddies at the firehouse", it can have an impact. Yes, there is a give and take.

 

The reality is that the issue being raised here is nothing more than a personal issue that nobody here is going to solve. All you will get is personal perspectives and personal accounts, none of which really have bearing on the personal issue at hand. Yes, there is the aspect of doing the job prior to meeting this person, there is the aspect of being gone on shift etc, but nothing is going to be a simple as interjecting one's personal accounts and applying the same thing here.

 

The only way this member is going to have the issues he is bringing up here resolved is talking with the person at the center and that is his fiancee. Telling someone to dump her, don't get married, etc, etc doesn't account for the personal situation involved. Basically it is easy to sit behind the fence and make such calls, yet to be IN the situation is something different. The best approach is to talk this out with the person involved and perhaps get professional counseling to have an independent third party to "referee".......rather than asking us who are on the job and have a bias.

I can see both sides of this issue. I think you two should both go to counseling... It's hard because your heart is torn between two things you love very much. Once a firefighter, always...with that being said, your family is very important as well. Going to counseling can possibly clear some of the issues you are facing right now. I wish you tons of luck.

I agree entirely that they should do whatever it takes to attempt to work this out. 

BUT, to demand that he give up the career he loves is unreasonable and if that con't be resolved then like it or not is does come down to some hard choices.  1)  Quit the FD and become an eight hour a day working stiff,  2)  End the relationship, keep the firefighting job, work hard to maintin a relationship with your kids.  Neither end up with both parties happy.

If my wife came to me and said you have to quo your firefighting job I would want to know where that idea came from because I was a firefighter when she met me and I have NO intentions, NONE what so ever, of walking away from that now.  So either we find the root cause of her discontent and work to fix it or I will be filing for divorce.  Fortunately she is smart enough, and loves me enough, to not want to see me that miserable.

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