BEING A POLICE OFFICER’S WIFE
When I first met my husband, I have to admit that I was a bit intrigued. What is an officer’s life like? What would it be like to marry a police officer? I learned so much so fast just while we were dating. I learned about the crazy schedules that can change at a moments notice and I learned that you never can fully expect that plans you have, or vacations you have looked forward to will really happen. Things happen in the blink of an eye that can be disheartening for the wives and children of police officers, as well as the officer/husband/father himself. Not only is he upset because he cannot keep the plans, but he is sad that he let his family down yet again.
I was well aware of these ups and downs before I married my husband and I have never regretted it. I have felt guilty right alongside him when we had to let our children down, and I have also learned to hide my own disappointment. I have comforted my children and made up for these times by doing something else that is fun for them, all the while wishing my husband could be there with us. Many times I would see other families out and about and I wished I could be them. Many times I felt like a single parent. I especially felt this way on weekends when my husband was working the weekend shift – those times were quite lonely.
There is also constant worry when you are an officer’s wife. Will your spouse really come home tonight? Will something terrible happen to him while he is at work? When my husband was on graveyard shift (the shift I most despised), I would stay up most of the night listening for his voice on our police scanner (bad idea!). It somehow made me feel safe – like I was right there with him. The worst part was when he would respond to a call that was very urgent and I didn’t hear his voice for a long time. I would not let myself fall asleep until I knew he was safely back in his patrol car.
I went on a couple of ridealongs with him early on in our relationship, and that only made me worry more. He had shown me a red button in his car that was only to be pressed in a really big emergency (as it would bring the posse). One time when I was riding along, on one particular car stop, he pulled over a car full of “undesirables”. It was the middle of the night – cold, dark and silent. I was petrified as he approached the car. My finger was placed on that red button and it took all of my strength to resist putting pressure on that button. I wanted the posse -I wanted my husband safe.
It takes a certain type of person to be a officer’s wife (I’m not patting myself on the back here – just telling it like it is). The divorce rate of cops is through the roof and understandably so. An officer’s wife is not only dealing with her own emotional issues, she is dealing with and trying to understand her husbands. Cops see so many horrendous things that the average person doesn’t see (thank goodness). They carry around vivid images in their heads, they feel guilty for not getting somewhere in time, guilty for not being able to help. They are especially shaken up when something happens to a child. Many times when they come home, they do not share these details with their wives, and for good reason. The resulting effect however is dealing with these things in their own mind. A cops wife offers support and is a good listener in those times when they need to let it all out. A cop’s wife knows when he just needs a hug.
An officer’s wife hears heartwarming stories that make her love her cop even more. A cop’s wife hears hilarious stories that can brighten a day. A cops wife smiles with pride when she sees her husband in uniform, and also when he receives a much deserved award. She also cries right beside her husband at the funeral of a fallen officer – it is one of the saddest things one can watch…for the families of a fallen officer and for the officer himself, who will never again be able to come through the door and see his family – he will not be able to watch his children grow up, and he will not be able to enjoy growing old with his wife. It is also sad for a cop’s wife to think “that could have been my husband”. It’s hard to see your own husband so visibly shaken, by having those same exact thoughts.
An officer’s wife can joke about doughnuts with him (I wouldn’t advise you to do this!)
This cop’s wife (me) gets to experience the airhorn and flashing lights behind her, when she is fortunate enough to be driving in front of him – just because he feels like being silly. This cop’s wife will sometimes fling a rude hand gesture back to him out of the sunroof, just to watch him laugh – it’s all in fun. There is also the added perk of being pulled over by other cops in the city – this always makes for some interesting situations. A police officer’s wife has a group of friends that consist mainly of other officers and their wives. It’s a group that understands each other completely.
There are ups and downs, as there are in any marriage, but this is definitely unique relationship. There are many high points as well . Nothing feels better than when you actually DO get to take that much awaited vacation. There is always a feeling of safety when I am with my husband- he would never let anything happen to me, and while we are out he is always prepared for any situation – I like that feeling.
I know many police officers have that tough guy facade, but my husband is the sweetest, most loving man ever. He treats me like a queen and like there is no one above me. An officer’s wife also gets a sweet inscription on the back of the badge pendant he had made especially for her. The front of the badge has his P.D.’s name on it, a diamond, and his badge number. I feel like I am carrying him with me wherever I go. He is always close to my heart, and I feel the same pride wearing my badge as he does with his.
I wouldn’t trade this life of being an officer’s wife for anything in the world.