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  1. #1
    Pudge's Avatar
    Pudge is online now Site Admin
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    The 800lb gorilla in the room of a lot of Police homes; Marriage, family, and "the job".

    Touching on something often written about, but rarely discussed among other officers, between officers and their spouses, etc...

    We hear it every day, "I respect you guys", "I appreciate what you do", or "I understand you and your job".

    But do they? Does the Dv suspect you arrest for fighting their spouse in front of their kids, all the while screaming obscenities at you and your partners really get it? Of course not, they're playing us. Now defeated by being in cuffs, and the reality setting in, they're coming to the realization (if even for a brief moment) that there is nothing they can do at this particular moment to help themselves, so why not buddy up to the Officer doing his job and try to show they're not that bad of a person?


    But how about those who are supposed to support you, supposed to stand by you, and have taken vows with you? Do they really support you? Or do they say they do all the while wishing their loved one would just find a safer job, with more money, and 'normal' hours? Do they discuss this with you? Or wait until an argument ensues and throw it in your face? How many times have you heard that you love the job more than you love your family?

    Very few of us are lucky enough to have that wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend that truly understands why we do what we do, and understands that while we are called to this job, it doesn't entirely consume us. It's no secret that our proffesion has one of, if not the highest divorce rate of any other occupation. Those of you married or in a long term relationship, what extra efforts do you put forth for the sake of your spouse and family?

    From what I've seen from others, I've found that I'm not alone when I say that Marriage in this career is tough. My wife and I met when I was working two part time jobs for full time hours. On one side I was working steady 24's every week at the Fire Department, and then regular shifts at the PD. While I loved (and still do) the Fire Service, I knew this is where I would end up full time. She did too, but I think she secretly wished I would've gone to the FD side of things for many reasons. We met, dated, lived together, married, and had kids all while I was a cop. So it'd been a suprise when I'd hear, "I hate your f*cking job". The first time I heard it, I was floored. I thought, "but I was doing this when we met, we had long talks about it when our relationship became serious". After some time, I became almost immune to it, and realized she doesn't hate my job or me for doing it, she hates the hours I'm away, the cynical outlook that develops after seeing the negative, and the fact that it can take so much of one's mental wellbeing, that it's nearly impossible to simply switch from "work mode" to "home mode" on the drive home. Special care is needed to address these things within ourselves.

    It's a tough line to walk between keeping work obligations fulfilled and maintaining a happy and healthy marriage and family environment. Sacrifices have to be made, sometimes to the loss of the other party. OT details may wreck family plans or Holiday dinners may have to be reheated and eaten alone at 4am. On the flipside, as much as it's drilled into your head that you answer and go when work calls you to pick up that last minute shift, sometimes you just have to say "No, sorry I'm not available". Unless ordered in and having no choice, turning down that shift or detail won't be the end of the world at work, and will do wonders at home. A lot of us say family is first, and we know it, but sometimes we just have to show them that they still are.

    In my house, we've found a new common ground. She understands that I don't like being away from them, but the job is what I do to make a dent in the bills. We make uncommon times for 'normal' families, family time. Whether it's just getting off of a midnight shift and fixing everyone a big breakfast to share at the table before going to bed, making Tuesday night Pizza night, or having Ice Cream with the kids at 9am after a long night. We've found new hobbies that we enjoy together, whether it's photography, Family Wii time, or simply going for a drive, we make it ours, and enjoy what we have.

    I'm not ashamed to say that a lot of understanding of each other has come through the assistance of many counseling sessions. (And what Insurance company covering Cops thinks 6 sessions a year is REALLY enough sometimes, really?!) I'm sure there will be more as life ebbs and flows and things get a bit tough, but it's cool. It's a nice refresher sometimes. If you're in that tough spot, keep an open mind. Don't be a hardass and swear it off, it works.

    We're all creative guys and gals that learn how to work with what we've got. It's suprising how strong you are, when it's the only option you have. It's worked well here, but what works for all of you other married cops? What troubles have you run into? Single coppers, don't sit on the wall, offer your input as well.

    Having some rough times? Had some rough times you're still trying to understand? Discuss.

    You'll definitely find you're not alone. Frankly, I'd bet a few spouses could also benefit from reading the discussion over your shoulders and seeing that they're not alone.
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  2. #2
    Motorwaycop's Avatar
    Motorwaycop is offline Retired Plod
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    Well I know that my wife doesn't like the hours, the physical effects and sometimes the mental baggage that comes with the job.

    Apparently I've changed, perhaps I would anyway after nearly 30 yrs together?
    Maybe it's not the job but it makes an easy hook to hang any problems on. For both of us.

    The job is frequently blamed for an inability to do things, again its an easy thing to blame, I work a consistent shift pattern so fail to see why we can't plan round it. I know that I'm like a bear with a sore head after nights and fight to stop myself snapping and losing it so why does my wife seek to pick that time to have a "discussion"

    To be honest I think if I hadn't had "the job" to divert my emotion and the comradeship of the people I work with home life could have been alot worse, for me anyway.

    We are all different people and have different relationships, needs and emotions. We react differently to what happens to us, sometimes the job is to blame but often it's just who we are. From the moment we are born our characters are built and shaped by many things, I've no doubt being a police officer has had a massive bearing on the person I am. However I know I am very different from all the other police officers I know, even if we have many things in common. We are individuals, a concept many people just cannot get their heads around.

    Still if I worked in an office counting paper clips we'd probably be divorced by now, either that or I'd have gone nuts! so who can say.
    the sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.
    ( Baltasar Gracian )

  3. #3
    Pudge's Avatar
    Pudge is online now Site Admin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorwaycop View Post
    Well I know that my wife doesn't like the hours, the physical effects and sometimes the mental baggage that comes with the job.

    Apparently I've changed, perhaps I would anyway after nearly 30 yrs together?
    Maybe it's not the job but it makes an easy hook to hang any problems on. For both of us.

    The job is frequently blamed for an inability to do things, again its an easy thing to blame, I work a consistent shift pattern so fail to see why we can't plan round it. I know that I'm like a bear with a sore head after nights and fight to stop myself snapping and losing it so why does my wife seek to pick that time to have a "discussion"

    To be honest I think if I hadn't had "the job" to divert my emotion and the comradeship of the people I work with home life could have been alot worse, for me anyway.

    We are all different people and have different relationships, needs and emotions. We react differently to what happens to us, sometimes the job is to blame but often it's just who we are. From the moment we are born our characters are built and shaped by many things, I've no doubt being a police officer has had a massive bearing on the person I am. However I know I am very different from all the other police officers I know, even if we have many things in common. We are individuals, a concept many people just cannot get their heads around.

    Still if I worked in an office counting paper clips we'd probably be divorced by now, either that or I'd have gone nuts! so who can say.

    I've gone so far as to put my complete schedule on a calendar for months in advance. It's helped, but I still shake my head when I mention having to be at work and there's a sigh and a groan like it was a huge suprise.

    Even when 'good', every day can be a new adventure at times.
    "Like" us on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Offic...93147194083228

    Follow members of O/R as they tweet a "Ride a long" on their shifts on the front page of the site and on twitter at the following links:

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    www.twitter.com/lewisipso
    www.twitter.com/ORgopher
    www.twitter.com/SecondChance122
    www.twitter.com/pojmm
    www.twitter.com/ORGIB

    The opinions given in my posts & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Pudge" on Officerresource.com

  4. #4
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    Car 4 is offline CID Chief
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    We have been married for 42 years....and we have both had to work hard at it. We are comfortable with each other and we have so much in common....it all helps.

    BUT....if she hadn't let me chase my dream, it would have killed our marriage and she knew it. Of course, I had to find ways to help her chase her dream as well. She wanted a large family and to be a full time mother and wife. That took one income out of the equation and made life a little thin at times....but in the end, we both got pretty much what we wanted.


    Car 4
    I would like my country back. I used to believe that one man could never destroy this country. Not so sure anymore!

  5. #5
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    I'll start this by saying that I have a great wife. A true gem. We have what one would consider a long term relationship. It has not been easy. Not by a long shot. How we've made it is still a mystery to me but I don't question it. Why she has stuck it out is something I don't understand. I'm no prize trust me.
    We had a rough start. We met a long time before we could even think about marriage. We came from separate but very similar backgrounds that I won't talk about, especially here. Our rough road consisted of children way early in life, my job and 3 different marriage separations. I think when we decided our lives were more of love with a commitment and not a story book romance it took an upswing believe it or not. Not a big one but priorities came into play. Is this a shame to say? Maybe so but it seems to work, at least for now. Love is certainly a 4 letter word and has more than one definition.
    I have not been a great father. My family has suffered quite a bit so that I could serve others and my community. I did not have access to sports, outdoors and the like when I was young nor did I have a great example of fatherhood so passing on something I did not have has been very difficult. The only thing I have had to offer my kids has been true love for them. Unfortunately our time together was overly limited as I pursued my career and chased bad guys. Bad priorities. I was having a fantastic time at their expense. I still am to some extent. Fortunately my 3 older children claim no harm no foul and we are presently working on the time issue at a different level. I am trying very hard to do things different with my younger children but old habits and ratting the streets not to mention the off duty details are hard for an old road dog to give up. I try to keep myself reined in as to not repeat past mistakes. This month is a rather hectic example of time constrained.
    My wife did not know, exactly, what I was going to do with my life when we met nor married. On some level I always knew even a young child. When I suggested it she was up front saying that she did not like it but made me promise to wear a vest when ever I was on duty. It's a promise I have yet to leave unfulfilled.
    Eon's later when she became a reserve officer with my former PD it made some other officers wince with discomfort. She actually rode with me. I was a little surprised that we were allowed to do so. Note that I don't necessarily recommend it but it worked out much better than expected and she got quite a bit of experience. She certainly got a front row look at the job. I wasn't sure if she were interested in this kind of work or if it was just a way for her to spend time with me and connect with my job. It went south very fast when, amid some departmental controversy, I decided I no longer wanted to work there. She rode with some other officers for a while but most left the department or road and she stopped.
    When she applied, again some time later, to my current department I was a little surprised. She was now my dispatcher. Surprisingly I was more concerned with her being my dispatcher than actually being in the car with me. I guess it's one thing to hear it and monitor than to participate and perhaps help hands on. She's tried to move to different positions including the road but the "southern" mentality tends to hinder that especially at smaller departments.
    Now since the older children have moved out with lives of their own a babysitter is a little expensive. We work different shifts. I was moved to another shift when I was promoted and she turned down a shift change so we did not have to hire a sitter. This is quite the challenge as we do not have a lot of time together. The jury is still out as to how this is working.
    Things seemed to have just worked themselves out over the years. I eventually received the support of my family after my step father passed away and everyone else knew I wasn't giving this up. My step father specifically stated he would kick my ass till my nose bled if I became a cop. I knew my mother and grandmother were proud of my job. Both expressed as much before passing away.
    To some, me included, law enforcement is more than a job and benefits. To some, it's a lifestyle. That lifestyle does not suit everyone nor every significant other. There is no script nor instruction manual for those of us who badge up. I'm afraid I have took this job to heart. That was something I didn't expect nor perhaps should have done. This job has caused much heartache and probably more to come. So far it just hasn't been anything we couldn't overcome. So far I've just been blessed. I have the support of my wife, the understanding of my older children and if nothing else, the acceptance of the younger ones. No one knows what tomorrow brings but as of now I certainly can't complain much. I'll just try and do better.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  6. #6
    LAChief is offline Banned
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    I tried to get out of this line of work years ago, but was drawn back in. Some of our family members understand our lifestyle but most do not. Yes, I am a Chief and my wife is a Detective for another agency. Our oldest son worked for the S.O. for a while but decided to get out of it when he and his wife began having marital problems because of the job. Our second oldest son just graduated the academy last week and submitted his letter requesting transfer to the road. 3rd son has no clue and 4th son has expressed an interest in getting into LE. Daughter just says she is going to marry rich
    Wifey and I try to leave the job at the job, but that is almost impossible. I'm on call 24/7 and her position has her out at strange hours, yet we cope. For us, absolute communication is a must. Understanding each others job, is a must.

 

 

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