It’s probably no surprise that public safety work from all aspects can have negative effects on relationships. Long hours, mandatory overtime, irregular work schedules and work-related stress can certainly wear on your partner over time. Does this mean that our line of work makes it impossible to maintain a healthy relationship? Absolutely not.
Yes it is true that most ems jobs come with long hour shifts. But let’s not forget that it usually includes more time off. For example, people working 48 or 24 hour shifts usually get stretches of 6 or 8 days off. It’s all of the overtime that we pick up that causes problems in the household. Now I live on private ems pay too and I truly understand the need for extra money. But it must come in moderation. Try not to live outside of your means and make what time you have with your spouse quality time. Being apart from each other can actually have positive effects if it’s not excessive.
We all get irritated when we get held over to run “late calls” or support a busy system. Trust me, your partner feels the same way. The last thing your significant other wants to hear after you have been away for 2 days is that you are not coming home on time. Not to mention the fact that you probably just want relax or sleep for a few hours to recover from your shift. Rather than fight over this, try talking about it and come up with a set of agreements. For example, you can set rules like not making plans immediately after your shift or designating some time for rest when you come home. Now on the occasions that you do come home well rested and on time, you can surpsrise your partner and do something special.
Everyone knows that our line of work comes with its share of stress. High work loads, financial trouble, critical incident stress and desicions concerning promotion or relocation can take its toll on a person. Unfortunately, most of the time we keep it inside. Trust me when I say that it shows, and it can negatively affect your behavior. Always make sure to talk to your partner about stress in your life. Try including them when it comes to important decisions abour your job or your life. Call your partner throughout the day to tell them about your shift and talk about stressful calls. This will keep you on the same page and will allow your partner to have a better understanding of what you are going through. Let your loved one support you. Don’t let your work issues become home issues.
Working in ems doesn’t mean the end of the world for your love life. It certainly isn’t easy. It’s no surprise to me that many ems professionals date and marry nurses, firefighters or other ems professionals. Communication and quality time are going to be your best friends when it comes to maintaining your healthy relationships.
I would love to hear about your stories or experience with relationships and the ems field. Please feel free to comment below or email me.