So many police couples feel like marriages that are non-police don’t understand our experiences. The same goes for military relationships. Personally, I don’t know too much of what it’s like to not be in a law enforcement relationship because my husband has always worked as an officer during our marriage.
I’ve been told countless times from non-law enforcement friends, “Wow, how do you do it?” or, “That seems so crazy.”
Yep, it’s true. We experience some crazy stuff sometimes, but hey, this is our life and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Most of these are our norm, but what are some of those differences that seem “so hard” to live with?
6 True (And Kind of Crazy…) Things About Police Marriages
Your Spouse’s Job Becomes Your Lifestyle
As much as we try to disconnect from work, this is one job that can be hard to separate from. Whether we are eating a restaurant and our officer is sitting facing the door or installing security cameras around your home for safety, there is a part of being an LEO that is ingrained in him/her. There are little things they pick up and learn because of their job and they impact our family, which makes this job more of a lifestyle than anything else.
You Can’t Plan as Easily as Your Wish
Surprise! Your officer now has court when you thought it was his/her day off. A pretty true statement for any law enforcement marriage. Not only is it hard to plan around shift work and rotating schedules, but let’s throw in random court dates, range days, training and overtime.
Put that all together and it is easy to get frustrated. Planning just day to day events like a doctor’s appointment can be daunting and don’t even say vacation… It can feel crazy that we can’t plan a quick trip away without planning MONTHS ahead.
You Have to Be Creative With Your Time
1000% yes! We may not get a whole weekend or even an entire evening together so we have to get creative. If one morning each week is all you have… or even twenty minutes… you have to learn to make that time count. Be intentional with the time that you have and realize that morning breakfast dates are okay as opposed to a dinner date. Small chunks of quality time is way better than no time at all.
FaceTime May Be the Only Way You See Each Other
Raise your hand, because you know it is true. We can go days without seeing one another so thank goodness for apps like FaceTime or Marco Polo to allow us some form of visual communication. This is especially helpful if you have little ones!
It helps to just see your spouses face and hear their voice when you feel like ships in the night.
You Talk About Death, Funerals and Crime Far More Than Others
Sadly, yes. Your officer will share parts of his/her job that may be hard to hear regarding death and crime. It’s healthy for them to talk about these things so as wives we always listen.
You may ask “How was your day” to your officer and you truly don’t know what kind of answer you will get, but you prepared. Honestly, you would be surprised to NOT hear a crazy story most days.
You may experience unfortunate deaths of police officers which is felt by the entire blue community. They always hit way too close to home and sometimes force not ideal, but necessary conversations.
You Get Asked a TON About Criminal and Civil Matters
Geez, oh man, yes. Both of us get asked so many questions from neighbors, random people and aquaintances that it just feels normal at this point. My husband is asked on the regular about civil matters and he kindly gives a similar response every time. Or how about “Oh, you are from Pennsylvania? Do you know Deputy Smith that lives three counties over?”
No. No, he does not.
And I am constantly getting the request, “Can you ask your husband if…”
The questions can be a range from funny or just off the wall and while it is annoying at times, sometimes all we can do is laugh (or maybe give an eye roll when we walk away).
From the outside looking in, some think all of this is just too much (or just plain crazy). But when you love someone, it’s definitely worth it and we learn to adjust!