Are you spending enough quality time with your spouse?

Recently my wife Cathy, who is in law enforcement, had a routine surgery. Even though I’m a cop I always remind others that I am a proud spouse of a Law Enforcement Officer.

As a LEO couple we accept how the unpredictable becomes routine in our chosen profession. We should never take anything for granted. That’s where mistakes in judgment happen.

As I sat in the waiting room I started to review our relationship as a law enforcement couple. My mind began to wonder. What if something goes wrong? Did I tell her I love her enough? Did I attend to her needs? Does she know how much I care about her? Most importantly, have we spent enough quality time together?

Every day LEO spouses send their loved ones to work with the knowledge that there’s always the possibility they won’t come home. It’s the reality we’ve all accepted. That’s why it is important to enjoy the time when our loved one is home.

A couple must evaluate the quality of their time together. Are you living as roommates only? Are all your conversations about bills, chores, and work? While these types of conversations are important don’t lose sight that this is the person you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. This life is not to be endured—it is to be enjoyed.

Personal time with your LEO should mean date nights or lunches or breakfasts depending on your LEO’s work schedule. Plan a getaway even if it’s just a day trip or one night stay. Be creative! It’s always a battle and easy to complain about the crazy work schedule or days off. Think outside of the box. Make it an adventure or challenge to find the quality time to spend together.

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As a couple work together making a schedule. Sit down and have a conversation with your LEO about how the two of you want to spend time with each other. Try not to let anything interfere with your scheduled quality time. Both of you worked hard to earn that time together.

Life as a LEO couple isn’t always easy. But you don’t have to let that life run your relationship into the ground.

So with all these thoughts on my mind the doctor calls for me while I’m in the waiting room. My heart skips a beat as I wait to hear how her surgery went.

“She’ll be fine . . . ”

Rest assured when she’s recovered that day trip or weekend getaway will be just that much more special.

Celebrate Life!

Javier Bustos is a law enforcement officer in Central Texas. He is one half of “That Peer Support Couple” with his wife Cathy. Together they provide peer support and speak about surviving critical incidents and marriage. You can contact him at [email protected].

Editor’s note: Javier and Cathy Bustos were also featured in the documentary film, “Officer Involved.” LET believes this film should be mandatory viewing for anyone working in law enforcement.