Being the wife of a police officer



Tips for police officer's wives,Families of police officers

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.

Being a Police Officer's WifeI 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.


About Author

Jennifer Regan is the owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She is active in Brand Ambassadorships and campaigns, and is active in social media, helping brands promote!


  1. Ah, how sweet. I can understand most of what you’re going through as a firefighter’s wife and yes, removing the radio was the best thing I ever did 🙂 We’ve been married 28 years and were one of 2-3 couples in the dept married this long. Some of the guys he was hired with are on their 3rd wife. Sad. But if you can’t understand it’s job/kids/wife, then this isn’t the right life for you. My husband adores me and I him. I’m lucky to have him and I’m so happy he isn’t a police officer 🙂

    Oh, and I agree about the donuts – and with firefighter’s please don’t tease them about getting to sleep on the job. If only that happened. I’m sure in some departments it does, but not my husbands and then he gets up and goes to his second job. He’s one of the hardest working people I know.

    Congrats on the fab husband – you deserve it!


  2. Great post! My son is in college to become a police officer, so I guess I will find out what it’s like to be a police officer’s mother. It makes me a little nervous, to be honest.

    • I know how you feel and what you mean…I would be worried sick if one of my kids wanted to be a police officer. Just trust that they have been trained well in the academy, and that their fellow officers will be watching their back. HUGS!

  3. The stories I have heard of being a police officers wife. It def takes a certain kind of person to be that wife for sure. I personally have no clue if I could ever do it, I do know it would take a lot to even debate dating a police officer for me from all that I have seen with friends who have dated police officers and male friends I have who are police officers. I am thankful to have that dedication though, because they are heroes to the world for sure, keeping us safe.

  4. Angela collier on

    Don’t forget the plans for lunch, but he gets routed to a call and can’t call to let you know, or even if he makes it, he gets dispatched before ordering.
    Or being out somewhere and he tells you to walk in the opposite direction from him, and you do as he says, only for later him to tell you he saw someone he arrested that made threats against him and his family (you).
    Yes, it does take a special woman, but the rewards are well worth it!

  5. MaybeAFutureWife on

    My live in boyfriend told me today he applied to our local police force. He is in perfect shape, shoots well, and is sane so I don’t see why he wouldn’t be accepted. I feel like I am going to throw up I am so worried about it. When we started dating I didn’t know this was a dream of his after leaving the military so I didn’t exactly “sign up” for this. I liked this article. Thanks 🙂

    • You are very welcome! He sounds like he’s got a good head on his shoulders, so he should be okay. I know how worried you are though, and it won’t always be easy. I wish you and he the very best of luck!

  6. I just found this, and I see myself. My husband of 6 years has been a LEO for 5 years. I hate the missed soccer games, the late night calls of “honey, I’m going to be working late”, and the canceled lunches, but the good times, the laughter, and the love overshadows all else.
    And the family of blue that I have gained is simply amazing!

    • Yes! We are one big family – they are our closest friends easily. I know what you mean about the working late – it’s beyond their control most of the time, so we just have to try to understand that (though it is frustrating). It’s nice to meet you!

  7. Finally a post about being married to a cop that is not too whiny, positive and does not pull the my life sucks card! I’m a cops wife and I guess I’m lucky and so is he because our relationship is phenomenal! His off days are OUR days and we spend from 12noon to 6pm when he signs off together running errands, snuggling, playing cards, spending time with the kids. He saves his comp time so he can make sure that he is at the kids games 50% of the time and he also shows up every game AND practices patrol car and all while on duty…even if it means 5 minutes. He talks to me throughout the night and comes home for dinner every night even though he has to shove his food down and run. I make it a point to meet up with Him on duty at least once a week. When he is going on a bad call I get a phone call with promises that are followed through of text updates in his safety followed by a phone call when it’s over. I cannot relate to most wives of cops blogs because he goes above and beyond to be there and I know most of his fellow officers are the same way. I’m tired of cop wives complaining and smashing their husbands so thank you for not doing this! They need a rock at home because you are right, they see so much the last thing they need to come home to is drama from the woman they love! Being a cops wife is wonderful and the relationship the wife gets is what she makes of it. I know that there are some officers my husband works with who are in constant duress because of a bitter wife at home…which means they are going on calls distracted! Not good!

  8. I am so happy I read your post. I’ve been dating my bf for about 3 months now (he’s been a police officer for 5 years) and I ALWAYS wonder if he was really where he said he was and if police officers were really that busy that they couldn’t call or text or give any updates. I know I’m not his wife (–yet, lol) but I feel bad for always starting arguments with him about me thinking he’s lying. After reading your post I now have so much more respect for him and what he does and I have a better understanding of what he goes through. I’m ashamed for being selfish before and not putting myself in his shoes but I am now going to work on being a better girlfriend to him because he’s such a good man. I even talked to him about going on those “ride alongs” that you mentioned. I’ll probably be terrified but I just want to see first hand what he goes through on a day to day basis. Thank you so much for posting your amazing story and I wish you guys the best of luck and happiness!

    • Hello! I am so glad you stopped by, and that my post helped! They definitely do get busy on calls and cannot always respond right away. It is frustrating, but it’s just part of the life I suppose. A ride along is definitely enlightening and I think you should definitely do it. It will give you a better appreciation of their life on a daily basis. What shift is your boyfriend on? Have you experienced different shifts yet? That’s always fun LOL. I wish you both the best of luck, and feel free to email me if you want to talk. There is also a Facebook group you might like – “The Police Wife Life”, and several others as well.

  9. I cried while reading this. Me and my husband have been married for 3 years and he has been an officer for a year so this is pretty new for me. This has opened me up so much and helped me understand him a lot more. I get so mad because he is never home and having to do family things alone but being a police officers wife teaches selflessness. You have opened my eyes so wide and you dot understand how much of a gift there will be in this house from here on out! I needed to read this thank you !

  10. To Chrissy Loo

    I couldn’t have put it any better myself. You have words of wisdom for many a LEO wife.
    I’ve been married to my LEO for 34 years. We met while he was in the police academy . He retired after 26 years plus
    a buy back for 4 years of active duty as a Navy Seabee. He did two tours of duty in Vietnam and is a disabled vet ,due to the agent Orange he came in contact with ,while there.
    It’s not an easy life being a LEO wife, but I wouldn’t change my life for even a minute.
    I love the message you sent. You have to be a strong woman to marry a LEO.
    The funny thing about it . We never think of ourselves as strong. We just did it because of love and we worked it out together.
    That is a true partnership.

  11. this is absolutely amazing, thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this. it is exactly what i needed to hear after researching looking for support only to find negative and hateful comments from LEO wives. my Fiance and i just recently got engaged. we have been dating for 4 years and he is almost done with his FTO process, next week will be his last week and his shift will change again to second shift plus weekends. After feeling extremely overwhelmed and doubtful after reading the other blogs, reading what you said has given me so much hope for our life together. i know becoming a LEO wife will change me as a person for the better as well as him and i now feel more prepared for that.
    thank you SO MUCH.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so glad you found my post helpful, and I can’t imagine that other LEO wives wouldn’t be supportive. We all go through the same things. You (and he) will do just fine. Just love each other and roll with the punches. And thank him often. It’s really all you can do.

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