Firefighters Rules For A Successful Marriage
I’ve been a firefighter for many years and these underlined rules below are on the wall at the station (and also in my bathroom…LOL) They are critically important commandments for safe and successful fireground operations. One day I was looking at them and realized how they could parallel successful operational rules for marriage. So, here are the fire rules with their parallel in marriage.
- Size up your area of tactical operation
What kind of person is this that I intend to marry? Are we suited to each other in outlook, character, values, beliefs and interests. Appearance, popularity, sex among other things can be serious risks to be aware of and avoid.
- Determine the Occupant Survival Profile
Take a good long look. Do I think this is the kind of person that I will get along with and be with for the rest of my life? Am I just attracted to one of those pitfalls in the tactical area of operation and there is no chance of success.
- Don't Risk Your Life for Lives or Property that Can't Be Saved; Extend LImited Risk to Protect Savable Property
Once you decide to marry, you will have to make decisions and will find yourself arguing over issues. Guess what, not every argument is winnable. Sometimes you might actually be wrong. If you have differing opinions and arguments, as all couples will, leave room for saving face and compromise. Know when to give in to your partner’s way of looking at something. Put on your “big boy” and “big girl” pants and realize that not everybody gets their way all the time.
- Extend Vigilant and Measured Risk to Protect and Rescue Savable Lives
If you have a strong position on your relationship itself and don’t see a potential compromise, keep an open mind about how significant the issue is and be prepared to re-evaluate your stand on it. Time may show that you want to abandon your position…in other words, don’t be blindly bull headed, stupid!
- Go In Together, Stay Together, Come Out Together
Marriage is a team sport…spend a lot of time doing things together that bring joy to your time with each other. Date nights, alone time just talking, doing chores together…you know what I mean.
- Maintain Continuous Awareness
Don’t just assume that because he or she promised to be yours forever that they will. Stay on top of problem areas and seek resolution, communicate and serve each other’s needs. Marriage takes work!
- Monitor Radios
Pay attention when he or she tells you something…there may be a bigger message there than you think. Communication is a two way process. There needs to be a sender who is clear and a receiver who understands and acknowledges the message.
- Report Unsafe Practices That Can Harm You
Eventually, one or both of you will want to do something that will damage the relationship. It may be inappropriate friendships, too much alcohol, lack of satisfying sex life, or any number of other problems. Be self-aware and other aware. You need to know how what you do will affect your relationship and take action to mitigate that…and no, keeping it secret is not the way!
- Abandon Your Position and Retreat
When you find your plan isn’t working, retreat to the basics. Men generally thrive on respect, women on love. Find out what love language your spouse gets the message with. For further details on that, read Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages.”
- Declare a Mayday As Soon As You Think You're In Danger
Seek good counsel from a minister or professional counselor to help you deal with issues. Outside evaluations can often open up lines of communication and resolve problems that have grown cancerous.