I know this is supposed to be strictly related to my professional life, but I find it necessary to mention my personal life in this particular post for a specific reason: I wouldn’t be as successful or satisfied in my professional life without one very important person in my personal life. My Wife.
Recently, the Wife graduated from a local University. She did it while being a stay-at-home Mom and a Wife. She took care of the Kid and I at the same time as being a full time student. Not an easy task. Why do I bring her up now? Because I should have done it much, much sooner.
It is not easy being a cop’s wife. I know lots and lots of officers that have been married and divorced repeatedly. “They” say the average cop is married 2.something times. I know of two in particular that were both married twice, divorced twice, and remarried a third time. All by the age of 30.
I waited 30+ years for a reason people. The Wife is that reason. I grew up in a Civil Service household with a Firefighter Dad. Each time he left the house, we couldn’t say with certainty he would return the next day. It is the same in my house. It isn’t something we verbalize daily, monthly, or annually. It just is. The Wife lives with the potential sacrifice I am willing to make for complete strangers. Maybe even strangers I don’t particularly like. What’s more…she supports me in it. That takes something beyond regular special.
I learned a long time ago from my folks that communication is key. That is true in every marriage, but more so in a cop’s house (or firefighter’s). I call the Wife to vent. I call the Wife to out and out bitch. I call the Wife to cry (get over yourself, you do it, too.). This is a tough job. She’s a tough chick. I couldn’t do this gig without her. If I didn’t tell her about my day and just bottled up those emotions, be they good, bad, or otherwise, well I’d be mixing a recipe of complete and eventual disaster.
“They” also say that the two most volatile and unpredictable types of calls for a cop are domestic violence calls and plain ‘ol traffic stops. I do more of the latter than most. A lot more. That ups the odds against me. Now I don’t think before each stop, “I’ve got to get home to the Wife, so let’s be careful on this one.” However, I try and handle every detail and traffic stop as safely as I can. And getting home is always the first thing on my subconscious mind. If I had to spend my time worrying about whether the Wife is there to support my actions, it would take up part of my mind I need to concentrate on what I am doing. The Wife affords me the opportunity to completely devote my attention where it should be when I am on-duty. I never have to worry about wavering support on the home front because it just doesn’t happen.
So, to all of you fellow officers out there, I pray you have the same unconditional, loving support I enjoy. To you spouses of fellow officers, I encourage you to be there to listen, be supportive, embrace the man or woman you married when they get home (and often).
Thank you, Wife, for all you do, who you are and the love you so unselfishly give me. xoxo