Your Families: Who Loves You Baby?

Is there a balancing act more delicate than the one that tries to divide the fire service member's time between work hours, work relationships, on-duty and off-duty training hours, off-duty work-buddy relationships, nuclear family relationships, with a final pull from extended-family relationships (parents, siblings, in-laws, etc.)?

There are lots of experts who caution that the firefighter's nuclear family is an important part of the "fire family" whole. But no agency has an official SOP on how to manage it all.

In fact, in the military, the half-joking comment often is, "If the Army wanted you to have a wife and kids, they would have issued them to you in boot camp!"

Let's throw in the other interesting aspect of the different ways in which men and women communicate with each other.

Mix it all up and you get the resulting blend of styles and stories and wishes and wants and finger-pointing and hurt feelings and strained relationships.

You still with me? It gets to be a little bit much sometimes, doesn't it?

Here are some books to help with these situations. "The Fireman's Wife" really tells it like it is (the good, the bad, the in-between), while "I Love A Firefighter" offers advice on how to head off problems before they occur, face them and fix them once they do occur — and make sure they don't come back to haunt you. 

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