After my husband graduated the academy, I stared at him as he pressed his uniform before he began his first shift on the road. He looked so handsome and so excited to finally start his career in law enforcement. I was excited for him and could not have been more proud. After a few weeks though, the excitement settled and loneliness set in. I quickly realized that police wife life would leave me with a lot of time on my hands.
We worked opposite schedules, you see. I worked as a teacher and was home around 5 p.m. My officer worked night shift and left for shift around 3 p.m. This meant that the only time we saw one another, on days we both worked, was when I was leaving for work in the morning and he was just arriving home. This was all about 15 minutes (if he was home on time & we all know how that goes). Each and every night, I had dinner alone, spent my evenings off alone & slept alone. Being alone was something I was not used to.
Early on, I really did not realize that this would be my reality. It was an adjustment, to say the least. I missed my husband, felt a little resentment towards his career and the time it took away from us & longed for a way to find our new normal in this lifestyle.
I knew that I needed to find a better way to cope and the feelings I was having, were going to get me nowhere. So I tried my hardest to beat the loneliness by replacing it with thoughts or experiences that were more positive.
3 ways to conquer the loneliness of police wife life:
I quickly realized that spending my husband’s days off running errands or cleaning would eat up our quality together and FAST. Instead, I decided to spend his time working (& my time off) running as many errands as I could and getting chores done around the house.
Use your husband’s time off as everyone’s time off. Make memories, have fun experiences or just relax! Get the bulk of errands and cleaning done while he is on shift, if you can!
It may feel busy while you are checking things off your to-do list, but once you have quality time together, you will be glad!
Find companionship in a pet
Not only was I lonely when my police wife life started, but I was also a little scared at night (if I have to admit it). We had been wanting to get a pet and finally decided it would help me feel a sense of security and not so lonely. So we searched high and low for the perfect pet and decided on a dog.
If you decide on a pet, then it can help you feel safer at night and keep you pretty occupied (kicking that loneliness to the curb). I quickly became busy with obedience school, house training & trips to the dog park.
Soak up your “me time”
Use the time that your husband works to spend time with family, friends, or neighbors. Or take up a hobby for yourself that you have always wanted to do. I did not understand the importance of this early on, but looking back now, I wish I had done more for myself.
I have come to enjoy my “me time” and I even feel out of sorts if I don’t get it once in a while. It is important to not lose your identity as just a “police wife”. While not everyone experiences this, it does happen to some.
If you need more ideas, then check out this list of ways to make use of your time when your officer is working.
Years ago, I did not know that the loneliness I was experiencing was very normal. In fact, most police wives experience loneliness, on some level, at some point during their police wife life. If you are finding yourself lonely and missing your spouse, then I want you to know, you are not alone. This is a season of police wife life and will not last forever.
I am not so physically lonely now because I have little ones & a dog to occupy my time and company. However, I am now in the stage of my life where I can feel emotionally lonely if I do not allow myself to be intentional and make time for my husband and I to be together. Keeping your time protected, as husband and wife, is essential.
Overall, remember that loneliness in police wife life is normal but it doesn’t mean you have to “just deal with it”. There are so many to conquer and manage it.
If you need more encouragement, be sure to check out my newest book Proud Police Wife: 90 Devotions for Women Behind the Badge.