Developing a Thriving Family Life in Policing

Being a Police Officer is not merely my husband’s career, it carries so much more weight than that; it is part of the identity of our entire family, as we share in the commitment and sacrifice. Yet at the same time, it is his career. We are the behind the scenes first responders for our officers, we are family. What happens on the job happens to him; we are not necessarily directly affected by those events (both good and bad), but as a family, we feel the effects deeply, overwhelming pride and fear carried at the same time. It’s through love that we carry the burden together, the changed plans and shift gears, as needed, along the way.

Policing will put strains on you that you didn’t think you’d ever have to deal with, little stress fractures that sneak into your relationship and twang every now and then. For those on the “other side” of this career, the spouses, these stresses at times can be very surprising. I’m not talking about being there for someone during a bout of PTSD or major incidences. I’m talking about the everyday little events that can catch you off guard. Working over-time again, for what feels like the 15th time in a row, the set of night shifts that never seem to end, the times where you don’t see your spouse for a week, but you know they exist because the bed is still warm. The moments that snuck up and were unaccounted for because “you’ve already worked through those situations and feelings years ago”. You can probably come up with a list of