Spouse Support

Married to a firefighter

firefighter with family

You may be the first to notice warning signs your spouse is struggling.

In fact you may be struggling to help them. We have collected up resources to help you both.


Information in this section has been provided by the Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance.

As the spouse of a firefighter or other emergency responder, you may notice warning signs that indicate your spouse may be struggling. 

The top warning signs - in no particular order

  • Isolation (withdrawn from friends, family, or fellow crew members
  • Recklessness/impulsive behavior (radical, uncharacteristic behavior)
  • Anger towards family, friends, society, or even the department
  • Sleep deprivation (fatigue from calls - more than usual, not sleeping well on days off)

Signs to watch for daily (as suggested by spouses and partners):

  1. Anger - seeing their first responder act out in anger towards others
  2. Jealousy - jealous of success of others, jealous towards spouse because the spouse may not have to work while the firefighter is on shift
  3. Lack of trust - not trusting previously trusted family, close friends, etc.  Lack of trust towards spouse because of infidelity or the lack of communication of emotional issues
  4. Abandonment - the feeling of not being able to connect with another person again, or feeling alone
  5. Emotional disconnect from their loved ones

Helpletters, provided by the National Volunteer Fire Council are full of great information for spouses and family members.

A Guide for Family Members of Volunteer Firefighters