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Topic : 09/25 Fireproof Your Marriage

Number of Replies: 103
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Thursday, September 25, 2008, 01:17:13 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard2

Have you ever had a horrible day at work and came home and dumped your baggage on your spouse? Or are you the type to bottle up your emotions and shut yourself off to loved ones? Police officers and firemen have to look death in the face every day. Their stress levels are so intense that 75 to 90 percent of their marriages end in divorce. This was the outcome for Ty and Wendy's 11-year marriage. Ty is a police officer, and Wendy says he brought his anger home and treated her and their three kids like they were inmates in jail. Ty acknowledges his negative behavior and wants to know how to change it. The couple is considering getting remarried, but will they feel the same after Dr. Phil tells them the five things they must do to make their relationship work? Then, get a sneak peak at Kirk Cameron's new movie, Fireproof, which explores the private battles many people who work extreme jobs face. Kirk and the moviemakers join Dr. Phil and share why they were so passionate about getting this movie made. Then, Kelly says her marriage is in trouble. Her husband of 16 years, John, recently became a firefighter, and she says she feels like a single mom because he puts more time into his job than his family. And, hear from Karin whose husband, Karl, has been a firefighter for 19 years. Learn the ways she handles her husband's intense emotions and how they maintain a good relationship. These are not the only extreme jobs that can cause marital crises. If your spouse is a workaholic and your marriage is suffering, you don't want to miss this show. 


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September 25, 2008, 7:25 pm CDT

09/25 Fireproof Your Marriage

Dr. Phil:

Thank you for the show today, "Fireproof Your Marriage".  The center of the topic hit home for me.  My husband and I have been separated for 7 months.  Although, this is one of many separations during our four year marriage, it is the first time I have stuck to my word and wouldn't let him walk back in without seeking help for our problems. 

I believe,  we often turn to others for approval, when we should be looking in our own heart for the answers.  It is always easier to point your finger away from yourself, but the three fingers that are pointing back at you, should be your reminder that there are things you may be able to change too. 

I understand every marriage is different, and living with a recovering alcoholic and addicts isn't the same as bring home job related stress.  However, there is always a source to stress, when you are aware of what triggers the anxiety then you are able to focus on common goals and work together.

Kelley2007

 
September 25, 2008, 7:34 pm CDT

09/25 Fireproof Your Marriage

Quote From: megmillspaugh

Not to mention it's still insulting at how many times he mentioned Firefighter's and Police officer's and had them on his show! And I feel I should mention that my husband also has a Law Enforcement background and has a degree, also is a firefighter and is a Paramedic. So it's not that I'm being prejudice against one Public Service, I just think that all Public Service should be held at the same level for the jobs they do! That's what's frustrating about today's show, the emphasis on Firefighters and Police Officer's and nothing about Paramedics or EMT's!!
Good Grief - Get a Life!!!!!!  Dr. Phil placed emphasis on firefighters and police officers because of a new movie which happened to be about firefighters.  I admire what Paramedics and EMTs do and fully appreciate them for serving the public the way they do.  There are lots of others that serve that didn't get specifically mentioned too! I am glad that Dr. Phil was caring enough to bring up the topic and give time to support a movie that the mainstream media won't.  Dr. Phil went out of his way several times to clearly state that his advice was intended to help all who serve the public or have stressful jobs and I VERY CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD THAT!  How about the military, do you see them complaining?  How about teachers, nurses, social workers, court personnel, etc?  Would you like some cheese with your whine?  Give me a break!
 
September 25, 2008, 7:53 pm CDT

seeking support

I can identify.  My boyfriend of 4 years is a firefighter.  Captain actually.  When we are together he's always directing my every move.  I have tried to tell him that we aren't at an incident and that I don't like being treated that way but he can't seem to stop.  Also, in the past he has wanted to talk about gory and tragic things that happened on the job but I don't want to hear them because I'm afraid that the images will be too haunting and  will lead me to be depressed or anxious.  So when the wife in the long term marriage said that she does listen to his difficult stories I felt guilty like I wasn't being a good partner.  But should these horrible things be hurting me too?   Shouldn't they get more help from the department with this stuff?  I don't mean to sound insensitive but I'm not really trained to deal with this stuff and I'm not aware of any support for partners from the department.   When I saw the movie clip where the husband character was violently berating his wife for not respecting him that really hit home too.  It seems to be a sensitive topic for my b/f.    I don't understand why this would be a common reaction for responders.  Any insignts?  
 
September 25, 2008, 7:53 pm CDT

Have same situation.. different problems though

IMy husband is a FF/medic. I totally repsect his job and feel that my husband would be the only one that I would want to come to my recue. He takes his job very serious. He doesn't bring attitude home to his family, however we have twin babies girls and a 12 year old son. I am always angry, angry, angry. I resent the fact that he has a way out and to get a break from life in our stressful home. This has put a huge wedge in our relationship. I would love to let this go and move on. He gets calls while at work, but also has down time to eat hot meals, full night sleep,uses the restroom when needed, reads books, drink scoffee, has conversations with adults and so on. I feel just stuck at home and work with no free time.

 

I also feel he takes overtime to get away from the chaois. What to do?  When he is home he is a great father and Husband. I really love him dearly and I know he loves us as well. I do seem to get very defensive about "his overtime, his training classes, his special needs to keep his career climbing. When will it be my turn?  

 
September 25, 2008, 8:02 pm CDT

Fireproofing marriage

I don't belong here because I don't have a husband in a service position, but it isn't any different for a husband who is the oldest  sibling, works with his family all his life, and was impressed upon by his "perfect" father that hubby was responsible for taking care of "the family".  I always come last, the lack of communication between us is, at times, deafening. All crisis in our lives and marriage, I have had to manage - or let go. I have spent the last few years working on me, but now I am old and tired and have no support.  I just don't have the strength to keep trying.
 
September 25, 2008, 8:03 pm CDT

good choice of words

Quote From: proudcopswife

We recommend all First Responders' families read 'Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement" by Kevin Gilmartin. Although the book was written from a Law Enf perspective, the concepts and facts are applicable for all First Responders.

Thank you, Dr Phil, for giving visibility to the tragic divorce statistics of First Responders' marriages. My husband has been a cop for 18 years. I have watched the man I love with struggle with cynicism and pride, characteristics that no one would have used to describe him 18 years ago. Characteristics that keep him alive on street today. First Responders often become participants on the worst day of someone's life. They see the brutality, and it impacts their perspective and personality in order for them to stay alive. That is my husband's only goal each day....STAY ALIVE. The lady on the show got it right who spoke of listening to her husband at the end of the day, to let him unload the weight of the world. It may not be a pleasant story that we hear, but hear it we must in order to keep them alive. We divorced our 7th year, but God restored our hearts and our marriage the following year. We'll be married 20 years in Dec. We count our separation and divorce as part of those 20 years because through the reconciliation process we learned how to meet each other's needs when one is in a high-stress occupation. Oh how much we have learned over the years!!
Your choice of words is very accurate ie cynicism and pridel  My b/f of four years and a firefighter, now captain, for 18 years is very cynical and proud and I'm sure it has helped to keep him alive many times.  I can see how these characteristics would develop.  But I want to know how I should be dealing with/responding to this because it can be offputting at least, and downright debilitating at times.  Any thoughts?
 
September 25, 2008, 8:23 pm CDT

Firefighter wife...

I am a Firefighter's wife. My husband has been in the fire service for quite a few years now. When I heard the stats on Fire/Police marriages I decided that I would not be in that majority. When my husband got the job, so did I. I asked questions, did ride-a-longs on the calls, talked to Captains and his superior fireifghters. I got to know who he was working with and got to know their families. I also started to volunteer with the department in anyway I could. I wanted to be apart of the "family" and not just a "part" of my husband. This allows him to come home and talk to me if he needs to and has taught me to understand when to back off. It also allows him to know that I can be a listener and that I will some what understand waht he has been through. I try to give him the space he needs to have the relationships with the people he works with. I know that this route may not work for everyone, however, it really has worked for us and he tells me that it helps him tremendously to know that I am here for him if he needs it. Most fore departments and ploice departments have Chaplains or some type of help for families. If you do not know of any, inquire at the department admin offices and they will gladly help you.  There are even support groups for spouses.  It is an honor to be married to a Firefighter and I hope that something I said may help someone else.

 

 
September 25, 2008, 8:27 pm CDT

09/25 Fireproof Your Marriage

Quote From: lulamae

I can identify.  My boyfriend of 4 years is a firefighter.  Captain actually.  When we are together he's always directing my every move.  I have tried to tell him that we aren't at an incident and that I don't like being treated that way but he can't seem to stop.  Also, in the past he has wanted to talk about gory and tragic things that happened on the job but I don't want to hear them because I'm afraid that the images will be too haunting and  will lead me to be depressed or anxious.  So when the wife in the long term marriage said that she does listen to his difficult stories I felt guilty like I wasn't being a good partner.  But should these horrible things be hurting me too?   Shouldn't they get more help from the department with this stuff?  I don't mean to sound insensitive but I'm not really trained to deal with this stuff and I'm not aware of any support for partners from the department.   When I saw the movie clip where the husband character was violently berating his wife for not respecting him that really hit home too.  It seems to be a sensitive topic for my b/f.    I don't understand why this would be a common reaction for responders.  Any insignts?  
Try reading the book , "the Firefighter's Wife" by Susan Ferris. It has great insite and is pretty acurate. It helped me understand things pretty good.
 
September 25, 2008, 9:24 pm CDT

Telling Line

Quote From: sexyblnde409

My husband was a policeman for 25 yrs.  He had three wives before me.  Two of them while he was a policeman.  When he retired he promised me he would not work and we would travel.  I am a nurse and do not work because we would never see each other.  He often talks down to me.  When he questions me during an argument (which are many) I feel like I am being interrogated.   He took me away from where we grew up...  I live in a retirement community.  There are NO people here my age , and there are none at church. My husband is 18 (yes I said 18) years older than me.   I am often left alone.  We have one car but he takes it to his part time job.  All the decisions made (like where we go to eat for my birthday are his, yet he cannot choose a gift).  I am out of my mind because I just wish I had someone to talk to.  I married this man because I thought he would provide me with security.  That was a big mistake.  He feels he work all those years and will not give up his retirement to ANYONE.   However my money is our money but his money is his money! There is one psychiatrist in my area but he deals mainly with older people and he is getting ready to retire.  Sometimes I want to scream.  I really can't take anymore.  I have been married 4 times myself.  My husband #3 died.   I don't want to be a serial bride!  Please help!!!!!
"I married this man because I thought he would provide me with security."  When you marry for reasons other than love, bad things tend to happen.
 
September 25, 2008, 9:29 pm CDT

There is hope

Quote From: lulamae

Your choice of words is very accurate ie cynicism and pridel  My b/f of four years and a firefighter, now captain, for 18 years is very cynical and proud and I'm sure it has helped to keep him alive many times.  I can see how these characteristics would develop.  But I want to know how I should be dealing with/responding to this because it can be offputting at least, and downright debilitating at times.  Any thoughts?
There is hope. We spent a few years hurting each other with our words because we were hurting inside; years of pulling away when all we wanted were arms to surround us. Then in a moment of clarity after we both laid down our pride and what we thought we deserved, we both realized that we needed to communicate instead of react, to understand instead of demand. What worked for us? Faith; individual counseling and couples counseling; a recognition that we both had developed unproductive habits and that we both had behaviors to change. It didn't happen overnight...it took a couple of years for us to recognize each time we were creating a negative situation and to stop ourselves or to stop each other in a loving, respectful way. Don't get me wrong - He still has moments when he acts in 'cop mode' (and I still have my bad reaction moments too). But now typically, my response is different. I first perform a self-assessment and see if I started the negative situation (intentional or unintentional). Then I try to recall if something very stressful has happened at his work. At the end of it all, we have learned how to approach one another to determine what is at the heart of the issue. We've committed to be open and honest when we communicate, in tandem with honor and respect. As in any relationship issue, the first step is that both people acknowledge that things aren't working, that both acknowledge they have contributed to the negative environment, that both people will hold themselves accountable to productive behavior/responses, and a deep desire to make the relationship work. For us, it all came down to Communication and Compassion. Have hope.
 
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