When I envision what qualities I want in my child’s significant other, I don’t think about their occupation. If my child’s partner looks at my child like they’re the world, if they treat them like gold, and if my child feels safest in that person’s arms, then they have my full approval. I thought you and Dad would feel the same. Unfortunately, I have come to find out that your anti-police views have trumped your love for your daughter, or at least your unconditional desire for her happiness.
When I first talked about my boyfriend, a police officer, you were supportive. I’ll give you that. At the time, I didn’t realize that the Black Lives Matter pin forever affixed to your jacket would have more of a say in your ultimate approval than how happy I was.
As soon as you realized that this was no flash in the pan, you became passive aggressive and intrusive. You constantly made a point of planting yourself unsolicitedly in my room when you knew he and I were on the phone during his shift. Foolishly, I still hadn’t made the connection that this had anything to do with him being a police officer.
I made the biggest mistake of my life when I came clean about seeing him.You threatened to cut me off financially if I went on a weekend trip with him, a man you’d never met, purely because he’s a cop. You directly attacked his character because of his profession, in ways that I find unforgivable. You did and said so many hurtful things that I find it hard to believe you really think it will ever be water under the bridge.
Eight months later, you are still making snarky comments about it to me, unable to move on from the betrayal that you felt when I fell for a cop. Eight months later, I have not forgotten, and I have a few things to say to you.
“I want more for you. I want someone who is educated and motivated to do more and achieve more in his life. Not just a cop.”
Does that quote sound familiar? Because that’s the very first thing that came out of your mouth when you found out. The thing is, you have literally no idea.
My boyfriend is actually the smartest person I know. He hasn’t yet finished his degree, but he’s the minority in his department: most of his “uneducated” coworkers have Bachelors or even Masters degrees. In fact, there are many police officers out there who are renowned authors and speakers. They can probably write and understand the world around them a thousand times better than you can.
You claim that my boyfriend doesn’t want to do “more” with his life other than be a lowly cop, because he’s unmotivated. But for many police officers, it’s overtime and details that supplement their base pay and enable a comfortable lifestyle. You have to be pretty damn motivated to work 60-hour weeks—in addition to driving 200-400 miles a week he travels to visit me—and I know that many officers work even harder and more, even on their days off. I’d like to see you do the same. Not to mention the job requires so much more ability and character than you think. Even if you don’t have a call, you need to be ready to go in a split-second. Writing, communication, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, courage, tolerance, resilience, and being able to make snap life-or-death decisions… you can’t be successful in the job without them.
But sometimes I forget that disgruntled middle-aged white women know all there is to know about policing.
I can tell you how respectable I think my boyfriend’s job is until I’m blue in the face, but you don’t even care, do you? You don’t care that his hard work and intelligence pays off and allows him to support me financially far more than many others, especially fellow college students, ever could. Even though you lecture me about the importance of money as security and opportunity, you only care about how he makes it. If I was in your shoes, I would prefer that my daughter be supported both financially and emotionally. You want neither when it comes to my relationship.
During our confrontation, you also decided that my boyfriend was intending to rape me and cover it up with his privileges from being a police officer. You asked what would happen if he tried to rape me; I said I’d call the cops, to which you replied, “But he isa cop.” You informed me with all your worldly wisdom that due to the corruptness of today’s policing, LEOs will happily turn a blind eye to sexual violence just because the aggressor is one of their own.
Even if he didn’t rape me, if I dared to break up with him, you stated in line with your abusive, manipulative police-on-a-power-trip narrative, my boyfriend would naturally exploit his “position of power” to harm me. By what? Running my license? Driving 100 miles out of his district and attempting to arrest me? Hurting my feelings?
Police aren’t faceless, nameless white males on a power trip. They’re able and willing to denounce bad police work, and their high standard of character makes them quicker to turn on one another than the media or distrusting mothers might think. Trust me, if an officer rapes a young girl, they are not getting special treatment, and I can guarantee that they will pay handsomely in more ways than one. I’m sure that many LEOs can attest to that.
You accuse police officers of profiling and stereotyping. Do you ever listen to yourself talk?
You just couldn’t resist firing the last shot. To be fair, this was the only thing you ever apologized for, but you did apologize nonetheless. You know you crossed a line, and as far as I’m concerned, you will never uncross it.
After I moved to college, you had the audacity to call my therapist and leave a rambling voicemail asking if she had any identifying information to confirm that my boyfriend was really a police officer since you were concerned that he might take advantage of me. The disturbing thing here is that you were probably almost hoping that he had been lying about his identity all along. In your mind, the worst case scenario here was that he would turn out to be a bona fide police officer.
That you would have that much distrust in someone I trust with my life, purely due to his profession, is disgusting to me. No matter what you say, insults to my boyfriend are insults to my own judgment and integrity. Had I met an artist or an engineer or another college student online and started dating them, you would never have done that. Your reaction was due to him being a cop, and you hate cops.
I know you feel that it’s some sort of heinous betrayal to your radical liberal views, but whether you like it or not, the love of my life is a police officer. My boyfriend is a godsend, a life changer, and a breath of fresh air. He has shown me only kindness, patience, and acceptance. We’ve had our struggles and we continue to do so, and there are days that the stressors and strain threaten our bond, but I do trust that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I know I will never find anyone better suited for me than my handsome cop.
Yet I can’t even take him to meet you and Dad. I don’t want my boyfriend of 18 months to meet my own parents, purely because you resent him for being a police officer. That’s just sad.
Your reaction to my boyfriend’s profession was a slap in the face. More than that, it was further proof that anti-police sentiment has spiraled out of control, that hating cops is enough to make you and Dad disregard your 22-year-old daughter’s happiness if a police officer is the source of it. You try to campaign against hatred and profiling, but that’s exactly what you are doing to my boyfriend.
Maybe someday he and I will be comfortable giving you and Dad a chance to be a part of our lives, and you’ll change your mind. I know you will forever regard his profession with disdain and distrust but I hope that eventually, despite your uninformed opinions, you might come to view him as the exception.