Monday, August 15, 2016

5 Tips for Life as a Police Wife

The hubs and I have been together 10 years now and he has been part of the law enforcement community for 6. What no one tells you when your significant other says they want to be law enforcement is the sacrifice you will make too. People tell me all the time, "I don't know how you do it" and I tell them it takes a special person to be a cop wife, but it takes an even more dedicated person to be a military wife. That I could not do! Major shout out to military wives. At least for me I will see the hubs every day or every few days.

If you are thinking long term with someone who wants to enter law enforcement or who is already in the profession just know it's a commitment. I want to take a second to write this post to give you an idea of what to expect.
  1. Flexibility. Be ready for shift changes and having to adapt your life to a new schedule. As hard as it is for your significant other to change sleep patterns, the time frame in which you will see each other will also change. For us, there have been times we would go four days without seeing one another. We relied on text and a shared calendar app to make sure we kept in touch. Be understanding when their shift was supposed to end 2 or 3 hours ago, but they are still not able to come home. Listen...they're tired too! Dinner can be reheated! Get comfortable with missed holidays, birthdays, and special events. You will often go alone to family functions or events like weddings. Especially if your significant other is a rookie or low on the seniority list. It makes the days and events together even more special.
  2. Support. Support is in the top two most important on this list. Especially in today's world with negative media swirling your significant other's profession will be questioned which means you will be questioned. Remember, their long days are sometimes even longer than yours. A police wife once told me to always listen. Regardless of how much you can or cannot stomach the details...listen, because sometimes he or she has seen or heard horrific things and in order to sleep at night they need to share the details.
  3. Independence. While you are in a relationship with someone (and that could even mean married to) and (hopefully) dream of spending a lot of time together, the reality of it is that can change frequently (re-read #1). Establishing a schedule and social life outside your marriage/relationship is healthy. Spending time with your own friends, planning weekend getaways, eating out, going shopping, enjoying hobbies is normal. If your significant other is in law enforcement chances are you will need to occupy your free time.
  4. Make the most of time off. Time off...a rare thing. If you know a free weekend is coming up or you are able to take time off to match your significant other's time off do it! Plan ahead and spend the time together. Family and friends will likely want to monopolize that time, but don't forget how important your relationship is. Even though I am a huge supporter of having your own identity and independence it is also noteworthy that being there for your significant other is equally as important.
  5. Community. Remember to surround yourself with a positive, helpful community. This includes other police wives/girlfriends. They understand your story because they share a similar one. Also build a community of non-law enforcement individuals. They may not be able to understand your life as a police wife, but positive people breed positivity. These are the people you will share your free time with so pick wisely. 
I hope this provides some insight on what it is like to be in a relationship with someone in law enforcement. I started writing this post weeks ago and have struggled to say the right things and get my message across clearly. I felt it was important to convey this to those who are considering a long term relationship with someone in law enforcement or wants to pursue a career in the field. It's not for the faint of heart.

Until next post...xoxo Becca


  1. Hi Becca,
    My dad was a police officer and everything you wrote is true. Nobody who has not lived the life has a clue as to what wives and kids deal with. You sound like a great copper wife & bless your hubs for everything he does!

    1. Thank you for visiting (and commenting)! It's very hard to explain to non-law enforcement individuals what the life is like. I'm glad to know I captured it well in the post.

  2. Hi Becca,
    Thank you for the blog, I'm married to a police officer and come out a family full of them. Your piece has summed the life of an officer's family up so well, me and my fellow police wives get together on a regular basis to talk and do something fun, because as you say, people outside of this life, just don't get it. So it's nice to hear of more families like ours. So I want to say greetings from one police wife to another and my thoughts are with you and your family.

    1. Hi Marlise! Thank you for visiting and leaving me a sweet comment. It is always so nice to hear from thin blue line family :) My thoughts are with you and your family as well.

  3. I've only been dating my guy for one month and it's been tough adjusting to his schedule. The first night we met he told me his schedule was crazy ( he works 3rd shift). Im a teacher and although I stay later than 3pm, I'm seeing that my schedule just can't compare to his. I've been a brat lately and I'm thankful that he hasn't just disappeared on me, lol. I'm not a wife and I'm barely a girlfriend, but I'm thankful for advice like this!

    1. Thank you for visiting and for commenting. It's definitely an adjustment. I remember the days my hubby had a normal 8-5 and although the shifts are crazy it has taught me a lot about independence, being supportive, and making the little things even more special. You wouldn't believe how getting to have dinner together 1 time in a week will make me the happiest girl ever! Hang in there. It gets more "normal"


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