There are a lot of battles you fight as a police wife: police equipment everywhere, a 24/7/365 schedule, an overwhelming fear when I do not hear from him for hours … but the most stubborn one is the work phone.
Most people in the world see smartphones as a convenience. I see it as my enemy. I often feel like I am fighting for attention and my opponent is 5″ tall and 3″ wide. Having the requirement to carry this phone and answer it is bad enough, but then there are the emails, the text messages, and all the other potential distractions smartphones come with.
No matter the time nor place, that phone can ruin all our best laid plans. We could be arriving at my parent’s house for Christmas Eve dinner then his phone rings. Next thing I know he is gone off to work and me and our two dogs are stranded.
I’m super stubborn. I don’t know if it’s because I’m the youngest in my family, or if it’s the German roots coming out, or what it is, but even my mom said I was her most difficult child.
Part of it’s passion. If I’m on a path I’m excited about, it can be hard to dissuade me. Some of it is just hard-headedness and not wanting to give in.
This part of my personality isn’t always a good thing – but on some occasions, it can be a huge asset.
Take marriage, for instance. When I got married, I knew it was forever. I promised we’d make it work come hell or high water, and that divorce was not an option. People told me marriage was hard, but I thought maybe they were just doing it wrong, and that I could do it better.
To my credit, I think we have a pretty great marriage. We’re going on 4 years without major incident, so that’s good 😉 But that being said, even though I love my husband and love being married to him, it’s just as hard as I was warned it could be.
Between financial difficulties, chronic pain, and a job in law enforcement, our marriage has a lot going against it. Our combined chances of divorce are somewhere around 90%. Yikes.
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I remember the first time I saw my husband in his uniform. It blew my mind.
I mean, not only did he look super handsome (there’s something to be said about a man in uniform, after all ;)) and he’d shaved his face completely for the first time since I’d known him, but it reminded me of the new person he was becoming.
That uniform signified the new power and responsibility he had. It signified the commitment he’d made to protect and serve, no matter what it cost. Whether the cost was just a much-needed day off, or his safety, or even his life.
But that uniform also reminded me that with that commitment, I was now second in his life. Don’t get me wrong – when it’s his choice, I come first. But when it’s not? The job always comes first. No matter whether I’m sick, no matter if we have a newborn… if the world needs him, he’s there.
It’s a lot like being married to Batman, I swear, and there’s nothing more frustrating than when I need my husband and that bat signal shows up and takes him away.
Because of all the sacrifices he has to make for the job, the statistic that we only have a 25% chance of making it is ever-present in my mind. With every frustration I experience because of the job, I remember how important my marriage is to me. Being one of the 75% of law enforcement marriages that doesn’t make it is not good enough for me.
Because you know what? I’m determined. I’m not one to just give up in the face of adversity. In fact, the harder things get, the more determined I get to be successful. I want to beat the odds, and whatever it takes, my marriage is worth it – especially now that we have kids.
At times, the statistics about law enforcement marriage have scared me. Overall, though, they’ve been a catalyst to make me more careful, more intentional about caring for my marriage. It forces me to realize that the marriage of my dreams isn’t going to happen by chance. It’s going to happen because we worked for it.
If you want to divorce-proof your marriage, these 5 things are what you’ll want to focus on.