The past thirteen years of my life has been spent being in a relationship with a police officer (dating and now married) and involved in police wife life. I remember the day my husband graduated from the academy. I remember looking at him with tears in my eyes, feeling so proud of his accomplishments and bravery. Those feelings remain but once we started having children, I began to resent my husband’s job. The time away from one another, the worry and fear, some days I wondered if I was the only one with these feelings. Or did I just need to suck it up? (Which is not the answer, by the way).
Over time I began not enjoying my police wife life and truly had to reevaluate. I saw all these feelings attached to my police wife life, but let me tell you friend, you can definitely turn them around.
5 reasons you’re not enjoying police wife life and how to change those feelings:
1. Worry. The worry of the unknown related to our spouse’s job can be the hardest part. We worry about the danger they can face, we worry we can’t take on so much alone, etc. Worrying is normal and many of us worry with varying degree. I still have thoughts of worry or there are times my worrying is heightened, but over time, yes, the worrying has minimized. Not because it gets easier to deal with, per say, but because I have learned to cope better.
How to control your worry:
I know it is easier said than done, but having faith in your officer’s training is incredibly important (for you and for them). You could try keeping a worry journal or take our 5 day worry free challenge which gives you actionable steps in controlling your worry.
2. Fear. Fear is worries best friend. I often found that when I would worry, fear would creep in. Or my worry would turn into fear if I let it. But so many times, that fear could have been controlled had I not let my emotions get out of check.
Again, fear is a very real emotion that everyone experiences. And when our officer’s experience potentially dangerous situations, fear is a common emotion we see. But if your fear is SO great that you aren’t sure if police wife life is for you, then I urge you to try a few things first (because I can almost promise you, you can rock police wife life)!
Managing your fear:
First and foremost, if your fear level is great and impacting your day to day life, I suggest seeking out a counselor for help. They would have more in depth strategies to help you.
Other ways to manage fear are to: set aside time to talk to your officer about how you are feeling. Many times they can reassure you or share their plans for protecting themselves so your fear can be minimized. This always helped me.
Talking with someone else who understands fear related to police wife life when it is occurring may help you to get back in the right frame of mind.
Redirect those emotions into something more positive by taking up a new hobby or practicing self-care.
Also, know that it is best to try to stay in control of WHAT YOU CAN control. We often fear (or worry) about things beyond our control and that is usually unproductive.
3. The news or social media. You may learn hard and fast that news channels and social media are not always the best thing to watch or read. They can stir up emotion quickly and create unnecessary fears or worry for you.
Instead, it is a good idea to get your information regarding law enforcement, specifically your officer’s agency, straight from your officer. Or make it a habit of not watching/reading anything when your officer is working.
4. Not feeling relatable. Police wife life may feel hard when it feels like no one understands what you are going through. Your friends may not understand why your plans change or why your holiday plans are different. And it can be hard to find someone relatable.
I suggest: carefully taking your time to reach out or make friends with wives in similar situations as you. Maybe try meeting fellow police wives in your officer’s department or meeting wives online. Or I find that even military wives or nurses can often relate. Having one or two really great friends that you can confide in or vent to make a world of difference.
5. Loneliness. So when our lives (or our officer’s lives) are not the typical 9-5, we can often lead down this path of loneliness. It can be hard to connect and when we do, we always wish we had more time. It can feel like we are ships in the night and only passing to say “hi” and “bye”. This can be a huge contention for any marriage but even more so it seems for law enforcement couples.
What you can do: I have found the best way to deal with loneliness is to be VERY proactive in scheduling time together. It gives you something to look forward to and allows you to protect this time so you are guaranteed quality time. Sit down every week or month and make your time together a priority. Even if you can only schedule a few 15 minute coffee dates at home- keep those dates protected and don’t use that time to talk about serious conversations, just enjoy one another’s company.
If you are lonely mostly while your officer is on night shift, try reading this post. It gives great reasons on how you can actually love night shift, instead of dreading it.
I hope you found this list helpful! After a few years into police wife life, I realized it wasn’t so much my police wife life that was the problem. It was me, allowing this life to consume me- every piece of me. Please, please, if I could give you piece of advice it would be to not let this life consume you. You are MORE than a police wife.
Your officer is MORE than a police officer. You are real people, with real feelings, but at some point you have to hit pause on this lifestyle. You have to remember you are also a sister, friend, daughter, mother. I won’t lie, navigating this lifestyle is not always unicorns and sprinkles. But if you remember that you and your officer are a TEAM then you can move past any difficulties associated with this lifestyle. Better yet, you can ROCK IT!
Join the 5 day Worry-Free Police Wife Challenge!