In the beginning, its thrilling. The idea that you may have just captured the heart of a man whose career is million women’s fantasies. The uniform, the authority, the ability to walk beside someone who has been a pillar of respect and honor for so many who have grown up with the common theory that an officer is someone to look up to. Some one that deserves respect and can hold his own.
The jokes will be fun. Like myself, you will set your ringtone to fun songs like “bad boys” or “F* the police” because you are not only proud, but can see the humor in dating the ever elusive officer. Somehow, you managed to break the emotional barrier and place yourself inside of this steel cage he surrounds himself in. And, its a thrill to know the man beside you will protect you to no end.
You will share a million support pictures and videos showing hilarious criminals who thought they could get away with the stupid crimes they got caught doing. You will become part of Facebook groups you had never heard of. You will buy t-shirts, and jewelry, and want to meet on shift. While doing so, you will become achingly aware of the fact that majority of the people do not feel the same way about your hero as you do.
You will realize that your officer does not want you to place that decal on your car. Your shirt that you probably just spent a fortune to personalize with his number, may not be worn in public, if your spouse is part of the majority of officers that disapproves of you doing anything to id yourself. Every move you make must first be evaluated for how it makes him look, because politics plays a huge role in his career, and you will start to resent him for it. Yes, you are an individual, but you are an individual who is now tied to an elite group of men and women that put their careers first. Your friends will start to disappear slowly. You will never see the front of a restaurant, or be able to relieve your brain from the sound of Velcro connecting and disconnecting from its other side. You will need to be silent. Silent when others hate your husband on your news feed, and when strangers speak ill of your family as you walk by.
You slowly realize this is your life now. You are a Law Enforcement Spouse. You will either step up to the challenge of spending holidays and nights alone, or you step out of the life unable to deal with the fact that this life is not fun and games. It is not cops and robbers played by kids. It is a blessing and a curse. The uniform you first thought of as a perk, and something to flaunt to your friends has become the same uniform that you must wash blood stains from when he returns home. It will be the same uniform that teaches you trust isn’t handed out, and biological family now disowns you for the actions taken by a LEO half way across the nation. His distant emotions will be something you live with, the pain in his eyes from his last call ever present on your mind. You will be his rock, out of necessity. You will live each day knowing he may not come home.
If you persist, and love the being that puts everyone else before himself and his family (yes, everyone.. including spending holidays saving strangers instead of eating dinner with your children), but does so because it’s his calling. You will be cherished, because you are his constant. You will realize you have a new family now. A family that is quiet, but ever present. A family that has their own distinct way of living, and celebrating. A family that is bound by the understanding that only the strong survive. A family that is willing to take you in, as long as you earn it. When it happens; take it, respect it, earn it. Not many people make it in this life. So cherish it. Hold on to it.
And if you don’t think you can handle it.. leave before it handles you.