Married To A Cop – The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Every now and then, I get a comment about how “strong” I am, being a police wife, and I have to laugh. There’s nothing strong about me when it comes to this life.

Every day that he works, there’s a quiet hum in the back of my head – that tiny voice constantly wondering, “Is he okay? Is he safe? Is he alive?”

Every day, as he dresses to leave, I ask him to stay home.

Every time I show up at an event without him, and someone asks, “Where is he?” I worry for him.

I love him. I respect him. I cherish him with every part of my heart.

But some days I resent him. So much.

Some days, it feels unfair to be the one left to juggle every part of family and life alone because – “drug bust,” “collar,” “shooting,” “court.” Some days, even as I worry for his safety, I’m angry that I have to worry. Would it have been so bad to be a teacher, a sales rep – some kind of job where guns and knives, death and horror are not part of his daily life?

I remember the time he came home after arresting a father who had violently and repeatedly abused his child. I remember the way he spoke as he told me what happened. His voice was deadly calm, but his hands were shaking. I remember how he went into the baby’s room to hold him that night… and I pretended not to hear my husband cry.

I wasn’t strong that night. I was angry. Angry for the evil that was there, and angry that it had touched the man I love. That night was the first of many more. My heart was not built for this life. I’m not sentimental, I’m practical. Give me a problem, I will find a way to fix it. But I can’t fix what he sees.

I can’t take all those images out of his mind.

I can’t remove the screams; the tears; the blood; the tiny, battered bodies; the hate; the violence of man’s inhumanity to man – they are in his heart forever.

Some days, knowing this makes me a better wife to him, more loving, more understanding.

But other days… oh, you guys! Other days it makes me so bitter, knowing how deeply this job has scarred the man I love. Other days I resent the fact that sometimes when I ask about his day, he shakes his head and tells me: “I don’t want to talk about today.”

I used to push for more, and ask him why. Now I know to let him be. There are times when I am hurt by the silence, by that invisible wall of horror that I can’t pass through. And yet he knows me better than I know myself. What his eyes have seen, my heart cannot.

We learned to work together and find a way to strengthen our marriage against all the odds stacked up against us in this life. The days and nights apart, the hours of single-parenting, the stress of what he sees and does – all of those are very real concerns in a marriage. There is a reason why divorce in police families is astronomically high.

The fact is, whether police family or not, people are people. Each of us wants to be seen, to be heard, to be loved unconditionally and feel at peace in our homes. (Peace is a relative term in our house – 4 kids ages 6/under isn’t exa-a-actly everyone’s definition of peaceful! haha)

If I had to pick one thing that is most important to the strength of our marriage it’s this: when he’s at work, I’m on duty here. And yes, that means everything – kids, house, meals, appointments, whatever else needs to happen. When he is home, he is fully and truly present to all of us.

All of us in this family, including the kids, are sometimes left disappointed by a court day, collar, or unexpected detail that takes him away. All of us are used to the summers and weekends without him. But having him put 100% into the hours we get together makes all the difference.

On the flip side – wife to wife here, he’s much more inclined to do his part cheerfully if I complain less and love more, so I try to make sure his heart is filled in the way he needs. Most days. πŸ˜‰ Other days I’m witchy and just cross my fingers he’ll love me anyway! haha #keepingitreal Marriage is marriage with all its ups and downs, and I don’t care how good he looks in uniform – PUT YOUR DIRTY SOCKS IN THE HAMPER, BABE! You know what I mean? πŸ˜›

I somehow went from talking about horrific scenes to dirty socks… which, now that I think about it, pretty much sums up life in a police marriage. The emotions run high to low and everything in between, every day is unpredictable, and our hearts are constantly challenged.

But there’s something beautiful about loving someone who chooses to give his life for others. There’s something powerful about being loved by a heart that loves so deeply.

There’s good, bad & ugly in every day – but I will forever be proud that I’m married to a cop!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share

28 Comments

  1. I stumbled upon this post while on my search for some blogs/written personal experience with being a wife/partner to a LEO. I have a feeling you’re going to be my life line. My boyfriend has been in law enforcement for the last two years and has been with his current department for just about eight months. As we’re approaching the marriage/babies/acting like actual adults phase in life, I’ve been interested in finding blogs written by individuals who are dating/married to a LEO and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have stumbled upon yours.

    This post is amazing. It made me cry and chuckle, and it’s just everything. Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s inspired me to be more open about ours now. And for the record, for the all the words in this post and all that you do every day, you are, in fact, very strong.

  2. I’m not married but from what I’ve seen, marriage always takes a lot of effort to work. But I can’t imagine what it would be like to be married to a police officer. You are a very courageous and strong woman. All the best to you and your family.

  3. Being the spouse of a female cop is a little different. I am that female cop and never really saw any worry or fear in my husband for all those years. Men keep it in. Like the military, don’t ask, don’t tell. I was working 16 hour shifts, 7 days a week and me being close to catatonic when I did get home. No talk of retiring for me. I was going to save what was left of the world. It was then, only then did my husband come to me and say It’s time to put in your papers, I NEED you home safe. What? Emotion ? That’s when I knew…

  4. Mine was a cop in Los Angeles for 14 years when we had a chance to escape. It was later the PTSD entered, and later yet when his joints and tendons that had been abused so long caused serious pain. Your husband will reach a burn out point that will open the doors of opportunity–Take it.

  5. I’m a LEO girlfriend of about 2 years. He works nights, and in two years, I haven’t gotten sleep. I keep my phone on loud praying I don’t hear it ring because something has happened. I get so lonely during the day, but know he needs his sleep so he is ready to go that night. I go to a lot of gatherings by myself and everyone asks, “where is he?” And I have to be strong and tell them he’s at work, but the hardest part about being there alone is trying to enjoy myself when all my focus is on if he’s ok. I work as an EMT in the same town, so we get to cross paths every now and then at work. It’s also easy for us to talk about the hard calls, which is nice. My BIGGEST fear through all of this, is to be toned out to an officer injured, not knowing if I’m going to roll up on scene and see the love of my life hurt. Communication is huge for us, and we cherish the days off we get together. I will continue to be strong for him because I couldn’t imagine my life with someone else.
    Stay strong LEO significant others. They need us.

  6. My husband retired from law enforcement after 35 years, in addition to retiring from the Army and National Guard after 33 years. We will be married 32 years in August. Our children are 29 and 27 and we have so much respect and love for him! It wasnt an easy life but it was life of love, prayers and more prayers. This made me cry and realize this was me in so many aspects of his career. Prayers to you and your family.

  7. I know I’m not strong enough for this life. I pretend to be but I know my husband sees through it. More often than not I cry when he leaves, I ask him if there’s anything else he’d rather do in life, and I ask him to stay home with me rather than go to work. I work in the local ER as a tech in the same town that he patrols. I see the people that he sends in and, when his officers get hurt, I see them too. Recently, one of our close friends on the force came in for a work-related injury. It hit too close to home – how easily it could have been my husband. Had he not been tied up with a difficult criminal, he would have been first on scene and first into that fire. It could have been him in that hospital bed. Next thing I know I’m sobbing uncontrollably in the ambulance bay as he races over to the hospital to calm me down. Our friend was ok but I can’t get past it… My biggest fear is seeing him roll through our doors and the only thing I have to rely on for strength is his training.

    Worrying so much makes me feel so selfish. I feel like he needs me to be strong for him and more often than not, I can’t be. I need to tell him about my fears because he’s the only one who can make them go away but then I know that he worries about me when he’s at work and that’s the last thing I want. I want him to focus on his work, I need him to pay attention to the people around him and watch out for dangers… I want to be his rock but I just don’t know where to find my own strength, I don’t know how to be strong for him.

    1. S, by sharing your fears with him, he knows you love him because you care enough to worry about him. My hisband has been in law enforcement for 16 years and I had to learn to turn him over to God because my worring doesnt change anything but I do it anyway. Love him when he is home and pray for him when he is working.

      1. I understand how you feel. More times than I want to admit, I don’t think I have the strength to continue this life. It’s so much harder than I had ever imagined. The nights are lonelier and the worrying worse than I had imagined . I have gotten the phone callin the middle of the night that my husband (fiance at the time) had been involved in a shooting. Luckily for me and by the grace of God, it was him calling me on the other line & he was not injured but the weeks following were torture. The love, honor and pride you have is what gets you through these times. Knowing how much ge needs my strength is what keeps me going. And it’ll keep you going too. You can do it, we all have each other. We are all family. ❀️ Sending love your way.

  8. I am a LEO and my bf is a LEO for the same agency. I have moved into a day time position, with weekends off and he is working the streets over night. I never realized what I was putting my family through when I called before work every night. I never understood how bad that tiny voice can be…until we started dating. Now, I get the opportunity to see him off to work on the weekends. I fight the tears as I tell him to be safe, knowing what he is detailed to go do for the day. Thank you for sharing. I have a lot of respect for the LEO wives.

  9. Yup, no one knows what it is to love a police officer, except someone who does. It’s been 37 1/2 years. Some real downs, but many, many ups! Very well said. Night shifts are hardest – feeling so responsible for making sure he got sleep, so he would be safe at work. And then not seeing him all day, a bit of family time before he took a nap before going off to work. Then alone. Yes, hard to be doing it all all by myself. But then, the stories of saving, of rescuing, of listening, the caring for others. The deep pride on this life partner who cares so much.

      1. Y’know, I’ve never really thought much about being a cop’s wife. It is what it is. But then I read this and found myself nodding, laughing, crying, and saying “oh, my gosh, me too!”through the whole thing. I tried to read it to my husband, but couldn’t get past the tears.
        Every family has to adjust to the ebb and flow of their own circumstances. I guess I never realized that my “normal” looks different from someone who isn’t building a life with a cop, and then this blog post held up a mirror. Thank you.

  10. I love the way you look out for eachother. Your perspective is so refreshing. Marriage isnt easy but like you said its keeping the other persons needs in mind and them with yours that helps keep you together. Love this post. Thanks!

  11. This brought tears to my eyes. Though I do not know the struggle and pain of being a law enforcement family I could feel. it through your words. It’s so wonderful, though, that you can still pull the beauty out of the struggle. God Bless your husband for what he does every day and for your family. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Thank you Anna for what you said. I felt the same way for many years as I was married to a wonderful husband, father, and my best friend for 6 years. We had 2 wonderful children that loved their father so and as you stated that wonderful feeling that they give their all when there home. We all fear for their safety each and everyday. We understand what the job descriptions truly is and what we may be forced to face, but when you love someone true, we cherish every moment we have. Being an officer wife take a very special kind of lady! May the Lord always protect him and every other officer from harm. The love of my life got his blue wing in 2001 but he is always in our hearts ?

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss. <3 And yes to everything you said. That fear makes our time together that much more precious. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts here. It means the world to me. xoxo

Comment and share your thoughts!