September 19, 2018

What it's Really Like Being a Cop's Wife

In the wake of a Northern California deputy’s untimely death, Lisa shares her fears and experience being the wife of a cop.

Every day, at the start of my husband’s work shift, our girls and I sing him a little song, tell him we love him, and watch him drive away.

Every day, I say a little prayer, hoping and wishing for my husband to come home safely to us, so we can hug and kiss him again. This is because I love a cop.

Matt and I got together almost 13 years ago. I was 15 years old and he was 17 when we first met.

We sat next to each other in math class. When I caught him looking over at my paper, I told him off and asked what he was doing. Then I started to get to know him. Then I started to fall in love with him.

I fell in love with how funny he was, how he was just like a giant teddy bear, and how seemingly shy he was until you got to know him.

We didn’t end up getting together until just after he graduated. He was pretty shy, so I practically had to ask him out. Halfway through our first date, he realized it actually was a date (LOL).

Since then we’ve been inseparable.

When I was 19, he told me he wanted to become a police officer like his dad. It kind of runs in the family. His dad was a cop, his uncle was, even his cousins are in corrections, so naturally, it was a path he’d want to walk.

I told him no. I begged him, I pleaded with him. This is not what I wanted for us or our family.

We’ve lost friends from this career. You find over the years that your husband starts to just hang out with other cops because they understand one another.

This isn’t just a job. This is a lifestyle. After 10 years of him being an officer, I understand that now. It still doesn’t make it easier. And it can be a very lonely life being the wife of a cop.

They are gone Christmases and New Years because crime doesn’t stop for holidays. You understand that you are going to have to put together Santa gifts by yourself, hide the Easter eggs yourself, and hold your kids off until Daddy gets home, so you can start the festivities before he goes to bed.

Many police officers deal with hypertension and PTSD because of the horrible things they have to see each and every day. As wives, we have to help them through the physically and emotionally challenging days and try to sympathize with what they go through.

The hardest part about being married to a cop is to wonder if he’s coming home from his shift. Because in the current climate of police brutality scandals, many citizens detest cops.

But what you need to understand is, my husband is so much more than an officer. He’s a wonderful and funny individual, a father of two beautiful girls, and a man who loves his wife very much.

Some people don’t see him that way, and they see him as a threat that must be removed. A person who shows up to a call to serve and protect may be shot and killed because of this perception.

I don’t think people TRULY understand how scary it is responding to a call at an unknown situation, where you have no idea what’s going on or what’s going to happen.

On Monday, two Sheriff's Deputies were shot in Sacramento in the line of duty, one of which was fatally wounded. This is the reality of our lives. This is something we have to always worry about. I hope and pray the families of those deputies can find peace in this time of darkness.

I have to accept the fact that my time may be shortened with this man that I love, my high school sweetheart, and the father of my children. And every day before he leaves, I kiss him wondering if it will be the last time I see him.

After 10 years, you get used to that fact, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

I wish and hope and pray that people can understand all the good that officers do. They go into situations no other person would. They protect people in need. They have to see and handle the most horrible situations and come home to their families and are expected to act normal.

Photo Credit Sasha K Photography

For now, we have to accept that my husband’s career is not the safest, but we hope that someday, those that fight with him and what he does will come to understand him.

This is why I love a cop, and though I can’t expect you to love one, too, I do ask that you have a conversation with one. Ask him or her their experience, and respect the sacrifice they make for their community and their family.

For help services with your officer and loved one, I highly recommend the book, I Love a Cop. It assists you in understanding what your officer is going through and how to help them.

Photo Credit Sasha K Photography

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