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Coffee With Clare

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Hi Family & Friends. Welcome back to Coffee with Clare on Thursdays!  I am delighted that you are here!

Dear Clare:

I am a concerned wife.  My husband, Ron, and I are in our mid 40’s.  I work as an elementary school teacher, and Ron and I have two daughters ages 8 and 11 who I am very fortunate to say go to school where I teach.  I love my job.  Ron, on the other hand, has been a firefighter for the past 12 years.  He loves his job, too; however, I see the stress on his face and the results of it day in and day out.  He has a painting business on the side as he works one 24-hour schedule on and then 48 hours off.  He loves his schedule.  We just moved into a larger home in a great neighborhood, and now I can tell he feels the financial pressure as well.  We are pretty young, and I am concerned about his health and wellbeing.  I would never expect him to quit firefighting, but I am concerned about his mental and physical wellbeing.  I can see the anxiousness and stress on his weary face whenever he gets off a shift.  He has also been moodier lately and gets angry quicker than he used to, which I think is a result of the work stress. What can I do to help?

Signed –

Spouse of Stressed Out in Seattle

Firefighter with helmet and axe in a smoke

Dear Spouse of Stressed Out:

It does sound like you both – and especially Ron – have a lot on your plate.  It’s difficult when Ron really has two jobs, not to mention one that is very stressful.  Firefighters, according to various studies, have one of the top ten most stressful jobs.  It’s wonderful that he loves his job…. but I would suggest you sit down with Ron, and ask what you can do to lighten his load.  Listen and try to comfort him.  If he says “nothing’s wrong, I’ll be okay”, you may want to reevaluate your finances and see if there are areas you can cut back, so he could shorten his workload or maybe cut back his second job/ business.

If he doesn’t want to – I would try to creatively add some “destressers” into his life – such as you two getting out on dates at least once or twice a month if you are not already doing this.  You may want to suggest walking with him, and take the girls along, around the neighborhood a few evenings a week.  This may also be a good time for a short “parents only” walk around the neighborhood. Try to not only get out for a “date” night a few times a month, but try to do something fun with the family at least once a month – something that the whole family can enjoy – a day trip to the beach, zoo, park, or anything that you enjoy.  Also, encourage Ron to get out with his friends, “the boys”, at least once or twice a month.  Hopefully that will lighten his load too.

Young couple drinking coffee at home sitting on couch. Smiling and looking at each other.

I might also caution that you can’t just drop everything for Ron because you work full-time in a demanding job as well and are raising a family so you must consider yourself as well.

See if these tips help over the next few months …. If you don’t see any improvement, I would suggest that Ron schedule time with your Pastor, and if you don’t have a church affiliation, maybe he can find a counselor that he can openly talk to.

Readers – any suggestions for “Spouse of Stressed Out in Seattle”?

Thank you for stopping in today!  I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at:   I would love to hear from you!  Please remember, your inquiries and questions remain confidential!

Until next time~


Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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  • candy says:

    Great suggestions for this wife who is concerned over the well being of her husband. Hope one if not more of these suggestions work for both of them.

  • I believe it’s important to know where God is calling us to, even in which jobs we choose. It sounds cliche, but I’ve learned that when we truly live this principal, nothing is impossible!

  • Great suggestions for his wife and him as well. I know for me, my husband gets stressed out a lot and one thing that helps him is spending time with his friends when he isn’t working. I ask that he spends one hour with me a night and atleast some time with his son, but he can also spend time with his friends. I think that friends are a great way for guys to just unwind and destress. Maybe help him find something he likes to do as a hobby or something. My husband loves video games and movies so maybe something like that. One thing I will say is just be there for him, try and talk to him when he wants to talk, love him and pray that your marriage will grow and get better. Prayer really works and even just telling your husband you are always there for him and love him no matter what and if he wants to talk you are willing to listen, can make him feel better about his life in general.

    • Clare says:

      Such great suggestions! Yes, time with the “boys” just like us time with the “girls” is so very, very important! It lifts our spirits and there is nothing like having a few laughs and fun… and hobbies and doing things in our spare time that we enjoy! I hope “Spouse of Stressed out in Seattle” reads your comments and suggestions! Thanks so much!

  • Andrea says:

    Great suggestions – pray for a victory on this one!

  • Amy Hagerup says:

    So glad to have found you here. These are great suggestions and I pray that this awesome fireman will find His strength through the Lord. So happy that he has a concerned wife to build him up.

    • Clare says:

      I know – this hubby is fortunate to have a wife who is so caring and helpful! Hopefully they can work it out and he can figure out how to get more “down” time and relax and enjoy himself more -thanks for sharing!

  • Amanda says:

    I know that a fireman’s job is extremely stressful and running a family, supporting the family is stressful as well. I pray this couple will find ways to destress 🙂

    • Clare says:

      Thanks, Amanda! I have also read and been told by friends that a fireman’s job is very, very stressful. Thanks for the support! I know they need it!

  • Thank you for sharing His light and wisdom with people around you! Love this page!

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