When the ‘Firehouse Groupie’ Crushes on Your Husband

The other day I was having an email conversation with a new acquaintance who is a “firefighter wife.” She brought up a scenario that has played out in virtually every fire department or station the country over. Her question was this, “What should a firefighter do when the underage young lady he is responding to becomes infatuated with him?  Tries to stop by the firehouse?  Tries to social network with him?  Tries to become his friend?”

Here is what I came up with as a response:

In a nutshell, the question that I think is important is, what is it that this kind of attention from a young lady sparks in a man? I believe it serves to light up his natural desire to be a hero/leader or just desired or wanted. In other words his fundamental human need of feeling significant. We ALL have it. The only question is, how is it being met?

From the perspective of a firefighter turned Relationship Coach, I would be curious, does a fireman’s wife have the tools/strategies and willingness to “light him up?” Is he committed to lighting her up?

It is unlikely they have ever had the conversation, if they did not consciously know they each have a fundamental NEED to feel significant or important. I assure you, if a married fireman (or any man) has a wife who is committed to meeting his 6 Human Needs at home he will tell any “young lady” to go find someone her own age to flirt with, saying “I got my WORLD at home.” Giving her an answer like that would interrupt her attention seeking pattern. The reality is that she is likely seeking to fill the same need of significance by her behavior. Two people who are both trying to feel significant will likely go down the same “unhealthy” path of meeting the need in each other (aka infidelity) given the absence of a healthy, positive, constructive and fulfilling option.

OK so that is the likely structure of the problem as I see it. Seeking to fill the need for “significance”.

How to handle it from a devoted fireman husband’s perspective?

  1. Compassion: I would hallucinate that young ladies exhibiting this behavior likely do not not have very high self worth. She is striving desperately to get attention from the firemen and possibly demeaning her true feminine nature in the process.
  2. Example: Give her an example of how a devoted man treasures his wife and family. Tell her, “I get everything I need and more from home. (assuming that is a true statement) Please stop…{whatever it is she is doing}.” She will now have a reference for how she deserves to be treated/treasured some day by someone else.
  3. Reframe: Go “dad” on her and ask her questions like, “Do you realize that you are making a fool of yourself?, do you realize that this behavior is making you look cheap?, or what is it that you are really looking for?” You can remind her, “You have everything you need within. Find it there and you will find your gift to give the world. I assure you will never find it by trying to be a ‘firehouse groupie’.” The fireman could go on to ask, “Do you want to have a boy friend or husband someday?, do you want him to be faithful and committed to you?” and add, “You must first give the respect that you wish to receive. Please, from now on, respect me and my family.”

The truth is that most of us guys just get our egos all puffed up for a couple minutes by the girls who “wave at the firemen.” Rarely does it end up in a “stalker” situation like this woman described, which might take some or all of the approaches above.

What I am seeking to do with my work is to help couples have the conversation, developing healthy strategies and plans for meeting each other’s fundamental needs on a conscious level rather than leaving it to chance that they will stumble across the magic formula to having a GREAT relationship.

Have you EVER heard of someone leaving a partner who lit them up consistently, making them feel like a god or goddess? Or who they were constantly growing with and who they knew, without a doubt, they could count on to be there for them, to listen and understand? And who was fun to be around and consistently looking for new ways to make the relationship better? Have you ever heard of someone in that relationship filing for divorce or cheating just to feel important to someone, even for a minute? No? Me either.

To help couples have AWESOME relationships — with themselves, each other, their kids, etc. That is my mission.

One thought on “When the ‘Firehouse Groupie’ Crushes on Your Husband

  1. Thank you for sharing. Not to many people in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me to understand very clearly. Thank you for your help.

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