I get this question a lot. If I’m being honest, I think I do better than most police wives when it comes to coping with the lifestyle. Although I suffer from an anxiety disorder, somehow, someway, I do not fear for my husband’s safety. I sleep like a rock straight through the night. I firmly believe most of the peace I hold can be attributed to the prayers my family prays over him and our marriage. In fact, I can’t wait to hear stories when Seth gets off a shift. I’m the kind of wife that likes to know ALL the details. The kind of wife that likes to give a high five after a good felony arrest. I find it all rather fascinating.
The pros to being a police wife:
- I get to see my husband dress up in uniform on the daily.
- I get my own bed at night. (Which may be my favorite benefit. He’s basically a human furnace. I love the man, but I also love good sleep.)
- We get discounts at most donut shops. WOO!
- I get to be proud of the work he does. I know that he makes a difference.
- I don’t see him much. I work full time/sometimes overtime throughout the week. I’m lucky if I get to spend an hour or two with him during the weekdays before he goes to work. I see him less in our first year of marriage than when we were dating.
- Here and there I get excited during the day about something random and want to call him immediately to tell him about it. Or I’ll want to see if he’d like to join me for lunch. But my reality is that he sleeps when I work, and I work while he sleeps.
- I have to watch him strap on a bullet proof vest before every shift. My mind is desensitized to it most of the time, but every once in a while I remember why he puts it on. The baton doesn’t faze me, the taser doesn’t faze me. The gun doesn’t even faze me. But for some reason that dang vest reminds me how vulnerable and human he is.
- The missed holidays and family gatherings
- The constant criticism I see online of police as a whole. Don’t get me started. Lawd, help me.
- Not knowing when he will come home. It could be on time, it could be 1-5 hours later.
As fore mentioned, despite the pesky anxiety troll constantly breathing down my neck, I do okay with rationalizing Seth’s safety. Statistically I know he is not likely to ever be shot at. I know he is smarter than 98% of the criminals he comes into contact with. He’s intuitive. Quick witted. Most of all, he is a peacemaker. So even if the statistics weren’t on our side, I know this is what he is called to do.
But if I’m being brutally honest, there is a part of this that scares me. (Even more than him getting hurt.) I worry about his mind, heart, and spirit. He encounters brokenness every day. One of his first calls out of the gate was having to take two babies away from their parents because the mother waited over a month to report sexual abuse by the father. BABIES. Under 3 years old. What thoughts go through your mind as you strap two babes into the back of a cop car so you can take them to the hospital to be examined? And soon after be transported to a children’s home? He has walked in on multiple suicides. Dealt with rape victims, shootings, robberies. He’s circling a world heavily influenced by Satan himself. That. scares. me.
I know my faith should be stronger, but humans are weak and our spirits grow weary. I’m scared that being exposed to this much darkness will make him more cynical. That his experiences will influence him to stop trusting people. That his mind will get foggy and his thoughts grow dim.
It makes me sad that he hardly sees the sunlight. It makes me sad that he can’t follow some of these cases through to see a happy ending. And it makes me sad that he works his tail off every single day only to be spit on and called a racist and it makes me MAD to read comments from the general public who think (with no insight or training) that they know how to do his job better than he does.
What’s it like to be the wife of a cop? Interesting. Tiring. Confusing. Frustrating. Inconvenient. Unpredictable. But most of all, necessary. I’ll be the one to support him when society won’t. I’ll be the one he can come to when he can’t shake depression or fear. I’ll be the one rooting for him, never begging him to quit, even though I miss him and get sick of the odd hours. I’ll be the one to pray good ol’ psalm 91 over him and his brothers and sisters on the force. I’m proud to have married into the thin blue line. I’m proud to be a police wife.