My husband and I are high school sweethearts. We when began dating, he made mention of wanting to go into the field of law enforcement but I didn’t think too hard about it. We were young, still in school and our careers (at that point in time) were not a hot topic.
Time went on, we graduated, began going to college and my husband (then boyfriend) was still talking about law enforcement. More than just talking about it, getting a degree related to law enforcement and looking at agencies to apply to.
I remember the feeling in the very beginning of being so damn proud (I still am). I wanted to tell everyone the day he got the call that he had been accepted into the police academy. Back then, I didn’t have large fears about his career choice. I worried and had, what I would call a “normal range” of fear but not fear on a larger scale like you see with today’s climate. The view on police (from a police wife standpoint) has really changed for me in the last 10+ years.
One aspect that reigns true though, even today, is that time and time again police officers seem to be lumped into these generic categories.
I remember telling an old college roommate that my boyfriend was starting a career in law enforcement. Her response: “Wow. You can’t live off that salary and don’t police have reputations for being rule breakers?” It infuriated me. I still remember what store and aisle we were standing in. How could she actually say that to me? How could she actually believe those generalizations?
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For some of us, it is easy to go down that road. The road of generalization. We tend to hear and have all these generalizations thrown at us, but I am going to tell you a little secret: don’t believe them. I could have believed my roommate or let it “sink in”. But I didn’t. It made me mad but I knew it was not true. (Well, except for we all know you won’t be rich working in law enforcement, but you can live off of it).
Just because your spouse is in law enforcement, does not, let me repeat, does not mean that they will be X and do Y.
Why? Because you married a man, not a police officer.
Law enforcement does not define him. Yes, it has a HUGE impact on his (and your) life, but it is not everything. You can not let it be everything.
Never lose sight
Never lose sight of who you married. Again, you did not marry a police officer. Being a police officer is a career choice. You married a man. A man that gives his all to that career choice, yes. But if you keep focus on your relationship and don’t let it all those negative characteristics that seem to be tied to police then you will be WAY better off.
It is time to start proving these generalizations wrong. Stop believing them. Stop lumping ALL police officer’s into one big negative category. Stop repeating them. Stop thinking them.
Now, I am not knocking REAL statistics & studies that are out there. I actually love stats and majored in psychology for my undergraduate degree. But we need to make it clear that a lot of what we hear are not statistics at all- they are generalizations or myths. We must break those myths down.
Remember who you married
Think of the man you married. Why did you fall in love? What do you love about your relationship? What characteristics make your spouse right for you?
I bet a lot of your answers have nothing to do with your husband being in law enforcement. (Despite being a hard worker). So, if that is the case then don’t go down the tunnel of believing that your spouse acts a certain way because he is in law enforcement.
Don’t get me wrong- I think the police force has a heavy impact on our officer’s personalities and yes, they bring it home, but it can’t be a crutch. It can’t be the excuse given every time your officer doesn’t want to talk about something or has no time in his schedule to be with you.
What I’m saying is: a job in law enforcement is not the end all, be all. There is MORE to your husband (or wife) than this career. It may be hard to see once in a while, but if you slow down, take the time to find it, then you might just like what you see.
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