I am ridiculously stubborn. Like, seriously – so stubborn.
Whether it’s a result of my German heritage or what, it’s sometimes a problem.
In fact, when I was a teenager, I didn’t actually think I’d ever get married. I didn’t think it was in the cards for me because, boy, did people get on my nerves. I wasn’t what you’d call a “team player”.
More often than not, I thought in terms of, “my way or the highway.”
When I met my husband, things changed. I was so in love with him, and I didn’t ever get tired of spending time with him – a completely new concept. I’d do anything to make our marriage to last a lifetime.
But it definitely hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Believe it or not, my tendency to want things exactly how I want them to be hasn’t subsided just because I fell in love. I’ve had to work really hard on my faults – which I don’t know, I guess is part of the whole point of marriage ;).
I struggled a lot with communicating with my husband. I wanted him to just intuitively know what I needed without having to spell it out for him. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, make the plans I’d come up with happen, spend money how I wanted, and have chores done without nagging or goading.
And then, of course, I wanted him to see things my way, and just do things how I wanted them done.
The thing is, marriage isn’t just about me or just about my husband. It’s about us, conquering the world together. It’s about being able to overcome anything that comes our way, and making our marriage work… no matter what.
It’s about being a team.
When I was pregnant, I had so many ideas of what motherhood would look like. I was scared of the responsibility and scared I wouldn’t measure up, and I was scared of what effect a baby would have on our marriage.
So I watched.
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As a new police wife, I dreaded night shifts.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m an introvert who loves her alone time, and having the bed to myself is kind of luxurious, but night shifts got old quickly. I’d pretty much spend the time watching Netflix and grumbling when there was nothing to watch.
Now, I recognize that it’s just part of this life. It’s still sometimes hard (especially now that it means doing dinner, bathtime, and bedtime routines all by myself), but for the most part I love it. I don’t really know what I’d do without it.
The key is to recognize that that time alone is the perfect opportunity for you to focus on taking care of and improving yourself – and then taking that time to intentionally do something for yourself.
I know as a police wife you spend a lot of time doing things to try to help your husband, but you might be surprised at the positive difference it’ll make in your marriage if you invest some time in yourself, too. 🙂
If I’m being honest, I hated my husband’s time in the academy.
For one thing, he was far away 4 days a week (since it was an out-of-town academy) and we were living with my in-laws, with whom there was admittedly some tension.
On top of that, we were in a completely new town where I didn’t really know anyone.
Oh and the cherry on top? I was 14 weeks pregnant when he started the academy. Hormones, baby.
I’m so bad about sitting in my husband’s preferred seat in restaurants. I always manage to sit in the spot where he’ll inevitably give me the look that says, lovingly, “move it.”
At first, I thought it was weird (and annoying), but after 7 years of dating and marriage, I understand better what’s going on in his head.
When he looks around while I’m talking, I know he’s paying attention to me, but I also know he’s checking where the exits are. He’s thinking about where he could duck for cover if needed. He’s wondering how and when he’d draw his gun if he needed to. He’s assessing whether anyone in the restaurant gives him a weird feeling.
Technology is pretty amazing, isn’t it? I mean, think about it. We live in a time where if we miss someone, we can instantly contact them via text or social media or anything. That wasn’t the case even 10 years ago. Heck, I remember spending many of my teenage years warning people NOT to call me until after 9 (or else I’d go over my minutes and get in trouble!)
But I think a lot about my husband’s grandparents when I think about this topic. My husband’s grandfather was a game warden, and his grandmother has said there would sometimes be as long as a week at a time without word from him.
I mean, they’re an awesome example of a strong law enforcement couple, because he passed away a few nights before their 76th wedding anniversary. Talk about commitment. But I can imagine it wasn’t always easy.
To my sweet little boy,
I love how much you love your daddy. Even though it sometimes pains me when you’ve been a butt for me all day and you’re an angel for him, I love the way the door opens and you drop everything and run to him, demanding he pick you up. You wrap your arms around his neck and want to tell him all about your day. He might not be able to understand a word of it, but it doesn’t matter. You just want him to know all about the adventures you had that day.
When you see your dad, I know you’re seeing so much more. You’re too young to really understand his job yet, but you know there’s something special about what he does.
If you’ve been on Pinterest for any length of time (or been in a long distance relationship), you’ve probably heard of “open when” letters. They’re letters you pre-write for a particular person for them to open when something special happens or they’re feeling happy/sad/lonely, whatever.
I LOVE them. I think they’re such a fun idea, and they especially appeal to me since I like writing (hence the reason I blog :)) and they’re an inexpensive, meaningful gift idea. I love homemade gifts, and one from the heart like this really appeals to me, especially because it can be enjoyed for a long time.
If you want to make a set, just choose however many you’d like to do (say, 5 or 10… or 24, if you’re really feeling motivated!) and write out the letters however you’d like. You can type them or hand write them if you’d like, or type to get it all formatted, then copy it down in handwriting if you want to make sure it’s perfect (or if you’re okay with stuff being scratched out as you go, that’s fine too!)
I feel like before I became a police wife, I didn’t really know much about the world.
I thought because I worked in a domestic violence shelter I really had a handle on the worst things in life. I felt like I understood it and was prepared for the emotional toll it would take. And even though my husband does his best not to tell me the worst stuff he sees, he’s also better able to separate himself from the emotions – so he doesn’t always realize the stories he tells me are things I didn’t want to know.
And sometimes after hearing these stories, I can’t help but wonder: why did that have to happen?
Something about the last few days has made me contemplate where I used to be versus where I am now.
Maybe it’s because my son is about to turn two (where did the time go?), maybe it’s because I realized I’m now closer to 30 than I am to 20 (seriously, where the heck did it go?), or maybe it’s just because, well, I’ve grown a lot over the last year alone, let alone the last 5 and 10 years.
It’s amazing to look back at who I used to be and think of all the differences. Just under 10 years ago, I moved out on my own for the first time. I learned how to live alone, I learned how to manage my money, I worked all kinds of jobs and lived in my super small studio apartment that I was insanely proud of.
My husband was just my boyfriend at the time, and had barely started applying to police departments.