When you become a police wife, you sacrifice a lot of yourself. It’s as though you’ve given up many of your dreams and ideas and it’s often hard to find strength within. Your police officer sacrifices their life every day, but you also sacrifice your life and it often seems overlooked by friends, family, and yourself.
You feel selfish for thinking about what you’ve given up, or for asking for help, or for sharing your feelings, and you push aside a lot of your fears and needs to support your officer and your family.
So, just what does a police wife sacrifice?
1.You may sacrifice your location.
You may be asked to relocate. It’s not as common anymore, but it does still happen. Your officer may be placed somewhere new, or he may ask for a transfer that would involve moving. Either way, these would include some tough conversations. But, you sacrifice your current home, possibly your job, your friends in that city, etc.
2.You may sacrifice your dreams.
What happens if your schedules conflict so much that your job or your education are suffering? More often than not, you’re not going to ask your police officer to quit his job and find a new one. Most likely, you’ll try to find a new path. Maybe you try online education, or you go part time. Maybe you even quit your job all together to make schedules easier or to make it possible to see one another and keep your lives afloat.
3.You may sacrifice your sanity.
Perhaps you can’t afford to stop working, go part time, move, or quit your schooling. In this case, you’re trying to navigate a chaotic life. If you work opposite schedules, or you’re living that single but married life I talk about here, you’re certainly going to lose your sanity at some point. Being a police wife is a difficult journey in and of itself, but navigating it on your own is a nightmare. When your officer doesn’t text that he’s going to be late or that plans are going to change, you lose your sanity. You’re in a constant state of worry that something has gone wrong, but you’re trying to put on a brave outward appearance for everyone else around you.
4.You may sacrifice your family and friends.
Aside from moving or quitting work, the scheduling conflict may start to eat away at your friendships. In the first few years, it may not be as noticeable. But, after a while you may start to realize that life is just not allowing you and your friends or family to schedule gatherings like you used to. You may suffer fallout from disagreements on how you should be handling life as a police wife. You may suffer fallout from parents or in-laws judging you on how supportive you are or aren’t being. Or, you may simply just be trying to keep your head above water and do what’s right for you and your LEO.
5.You may sacrifice your well being.
The job of a law enforcement officer is difficult. It’s stressful, and you see it day in and day out. It takes a toll on your officer, and the last thing you want to do is complain or bring your stresses onto your officer. So, you sacrifice your well-being. You keep your wants and needs and emotions to yourself, and you decide to deal with them as best as you can. Eventually, this eats away at you. You become stressed, or bitter, or resentful. As mentioned above, your stresses become even heavier when you and your officer aren’t communicating well. You get sick to your stomach when they come home late because every minute that ticks by that they’re not home at the end of shift takes your mind a million different places.
Your sacrifices do not define you, they mold you into the wife, mother, or person that you are. Your sacrifices don’t go unnoticed; they make you stronger. In every relationship, people make sacrifices and yours are no different. If you are beginning to feel resentful because of your sacrifices, you need to have a conversation with yourself. Just what is it that you are resentful about? What would make you less resentful for these sacrifices? Once you’ve figured these answers out, you need to have a conversation with your officer. If you sit and dwell on these sacrifices, they will fester. They will eat you alive and they will ruin your life and your marriage. And, if you dwell on these sacrifices and your resentment, you’ll never realize just how strong you are.
You need to remember that you are one of the strongest women out there. This life is not built for everyone, but you’ve taken on the challenge and you are rocking it even if it feels like your life is in shambles. You have made sacrifices that will benefit yourself and your family, and that’s something that many people cannot say they’ve done. Many people have become selfish these days and only want something they can immediately reap the benefits of. Your sacrifices are long term and, in turn, you will reap long-term benefits.
So, just what are those strengths you seem to be glossing over? What is it that makes you a bad-ass, you ask?
1.You support them when everyone seems against them.
Lately, it seems like officers are being shot or injured daily during routine stops. Facebook is full of hate posts, Twitter is riddled with jokes or threats against police, and the news is always updating with the latest fallen officer story. People shout ‘police brutality’ over everything they deem offensive. The negativity surrounding police is in no short supply.
But, here you are: sacrificing yourself to support your officer. You have given up and will continue to give up just to show your love, appreciation, and support day in and day out. You talk to people all the time about the fact that you understand that there are ‘bad apples’ once in awhile, but that’s not what you see. It’s your job to show them that 99% of officers willingly put their lives on the line to help people that hate them or would have no problem turning on them, and that’s the difference between what police do and what others do. Because, you know that there aren’t many other professions out there in which people would continue showing up if they knew it was risky.
2.You see them through their highs and lows.
As the world around you pulls down on police officers and scrutinizes everything they do, you see them struggle over the decisions they have to make. You see them rejoice when they have saved a life or made even just a small difference, and you see them weep when they weren’t able to save someone or they dealt with a case that just seemed to get to them.
While most of the world is out there believing that police are evil or power-hungry, you’re at home, seeing how these views affect your officer and trying to explain how much they matter. You’re at home, trying to help them cope with the difficult call they were on or the life they lost. And, sometimes, you’re out celebrating their most joyous victories: though those seem so few and far between at times.
You watch as they suffer and hold in many feelings, and you do whatever it takes to make them realize that they aren’t taken for granted. That the world needs them, and that their family needs them. You stand by their side for every high and every low, and you hate that this world makes them feel this way. And, you hate that no matter how hard you try, you can’t change people’s opinions, so you put all of your time and energy into helping your officer get out of a funk or celebrate a win. And, you do all of this while not allowing your own emotions to overshadow what they need.
3.You take on a lot of responsibilities at home.
With all of the sacrifices you make as a police wife, running a household is one of the hardest. You make sure your officer has everything he needs for work, you cook, you clean, you get the kids to and from wherever they need to be. The keeper of finances, the laundry pro, the working mom, or the stay at home mom. You accomplish everything and anything not just because you have to, but because you want to. And, more often than not, you do it all in silence. You don’t seek gratification and you don’t ask for much in return. This is a strength that not many have.
Although, you silently wish for help or just a five minute break, when you actually get a break or receive help, you often feel guilty because you know that your officer had a difficult shift or that they didn’t get much sleep before the long shift ahead.
You often wear many different hats: mom, wife, nurse, support system, friend, teacher, etc. And, you often feel resentment for taking on all of these roles. But mostly, you feel guilty because you know how many different hats your officer wears as well. You know that life is not tit-for-tat, and you power through it all no matter how tired you are. Because, you know what a huge difference it is making for your family. And, this, this makes you one strong woman.
4.You complete a job that not many could.
You are the wife of a police officer. You have made the choice to live this crazy life and you have an inner strength that not many could find. You’re flexible when it comes to the “I’m going to be late” texts (or lack thereof, depending on your officer). You don’t let jealousy overtake you when it comes to their job. You raise your children in a world that is full of hate towards their parent. And, most importantly, you don’t give up just because it gets tough because you realize that being a police officer and a police wife are two of the toughest jobs around.
So, when you feel like you’re sacrificing your whole life, you’re wishing for a different life, or it just feels like things are falling apart, just remember you’re one of the strongest women out there. This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but you’re rocking it even if your house is a mess and you bought your officer take out for dinner five nights in a row!