Although I’ve never suspected my husband of cheating on me, I think I know what a woman scorned must feel like. You see…my husband does have a mistress. I know where she lives. In fact, I have been to her house. I’ve partied with her and mourned losses with her. I’ve even met her family, shared meals with her and played with her children. My husband’s mistress is the fire service and every firefighter courts her endlessly.
The sad part of this situation is that many spouses end up jealously competing for attention when there is really nothing to compete with. Unfortunately competition leads to losses. While it seems like kids these days get trophies for everything from picking their noses to remembering to go to school, that is not the way things work in the real world. Losing hurts. As an adult, you should understand that if you choose to compete with the fire department for your spouse’s attention, you will lose. Most likely, your firefighter and your marriage will both lose too.
I am not big on jealousy, but I love knowing what cards I’m holding. The best way I have found to overcome my feelings towards this mistress is to court her myself. What?! Is that even possible?
Absolutely! In our department, we formed the group we call FAST for Firefighter Assistance Support Team. The acronym was chosen to include both genders and non-married partners to our auxiliary. For new people, FAST is a simple way to get to know the fire department when you’re not busy crying about how she enticed your husband out of your arms at night or met him in a far-away town for a fire training course.
This simple step of bonding with others who can relate has completely changed my view of things. Instead of being lonely outsiders, FAST members are now a part of our department. Rather than coveting my husband’s camaraderie, I know everyone at the department too. I cook with them and joke with them at firehouses and see them around town. I get together with other wives to plan events or sometimes just go out to dinner and unwind. When I need something while my husband is away I now have people I can lean on, if need be.
So, while I haven’t had any sleepovers with this mistress (“Strictly Forbidden.” Don’t worry Chief, I get that) I have found my own way to make peace with her. She is still in every facet of our lives, but again this is a choice I made when I said, “I do,” to my firefighter.