Monday, September 27, 2010

Trouble in the Culture ??

FireMan recently informed me that yet another of his coworkers has separated from his wife. I did the math.

Ten percent of his coworkers have separated or divorced within the past year.

Then I realized that not all of them were married to begin with. If you take out those already single (never married, already divorced, or widowed), then twenty percent of his married coworkers have separated or divorced within the past year.

And of course ya'll know we've had our own problems this year (things have been going well lately, thank you for asking).

And of course there're the two firefighters who are (fairly openly) cheating on their wives.

I find this high number of marital problems in one workplace scary. And troubling.

The fact that there are so many occurring, tells me that there's a high likelihood that it's something within the culture that has been created amongst themselves.

I have asked FireMan to keep his eyes open, to be vigilant, to be on guard against such things. I have asked him that if he can identify what the problem might be, that he build walls against it, and flee from it when it appears.
I don't know what it might be. They don't all work with one another, not in the same station or on the same shift. Most of them don't hang out together very much after work.

But it seems to me that there has to be something going on. Perhaps a way of thinking that needs to be changed, as opposed to any one action.

It's interesting, because when I brought up our marital issues to my therapist, she at one point had mentioned that it might be a long road ahead, because it seemed like I wasn't just fighting for one man, I was fighting the culture he's surrounded by.

I knew then she was probably right, but wow! I didn't see this coming.

Twenty percent. Within the past year. I can't get over that. It's just huge.

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

I agree that it is a cultural issue as well as a personal one. In my history, I dated 2 different paramedics over an 8 year period - and fidelity issues were RAMPANT!!! It didn't matter if they switched firehouses or changed shifts either. I'll tell you, what I finally came to grips with was that the profession - be it paramedic, firefighter - tends to attract a specific personality type for both women and men. A LOT of former military people who are used to RULES! that must be obeyed or people die. And the only way they enjoy life in that environment is by seeing what they can get away with outside the rules. What can I hide in the ceiling so it won't be found in my footlocker? Or how can I get back into barracks without passing the MPs? They bring that mentality home with them, but the situation changes to become - What flirtations can I get away with before my wife gets ticked off? And they toe that line, then feel compelled to see how far they can push it over the line - and before you know it, pants are around ankles.

And what's worse is you'll find women in the group that get passed around like a pack of cigarettes - well, those two got divorced and now she's dating his best friend - but then they break up and she moves on to the next guy in the same firehouse. It's like they've never met a woman other than just that one. The two guys I dated were friends - before I started dating the second one - but mine wasn't an infidelity situation for me. After the second one, I swore off any 'protection profession'.

The other part I don't get is that when one is cheating with another one's wife/husband - you'd think being away from home the way they are for long periods that they - of ALL people - would understand how hurtful that is, to be cheated on when you're away on duty.

Fighting the culture is an uphill battle.

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