If you’re feeling lonely as a police wife, take heart. We’ve all been there. Here are some tips to help you feel more connected with others and less alone.
Whether you’re new to police wife life or you’ve been married to your LEO for years, police wife life undoubtedly comes with a lot of loneliness.
There’s the academy, when he’s waist-deep in the stress of studying and wondering if he’s cut out for this life after all. There’s the FTO period when he’s put through the ringer by training officers to make sure he really is cut out for it. Then there’s just the day-to-day pressure of the job that can take its toll on your relationship.
Hopefully the fact that it’s not just you makes you feel a teeny tiny bit better already 🙂
But that’s not to say it’s easy. Loneliness is the worst (no really – it’s been proven!) and it’s hard to combat when it’s mixed with all sorts of other emotions like fear, bitterness, overwhelm….. just to name a few. I completely get it.
That’s why I want to give you some tried-and-true strategies to feel more connected and less all on your own as a police wife.
How To Feel More Connected and Less Lonely as a Police Wife
I know this might seem really obvious, but I know that as an introvert, it can be hard for me to reach out. It’s almost harder to do so when I’m crazy lonely, because even though I want to talk about it, I don’t want to be a downer. But honestly, if you sit around and wait for someone else to reach out, you’re going to end up a lot lonelier.
The trick is to not overthink it. You don’t have to reach out with any grand sentiment or huge plans in place. Just a quick, “Hey, how’s it going?” text to a friend or two will help start a conversation and make you feel less like you’re going it alone.
Plus, you never know – the person you reach out to might be feeling just as lonely and be incredibly grateful you said something.
But really, you just have to start somewhere.
Do something to connect with your husband.
Whether it’s a quick text or call or Marco Polo message, do something to connect with him. Try not to complain – simply because, in my experience, it makes me wallow rather than focusing on what I can do to fix the issue.
Of course, you may want to tread carefully with this one. I know I’ve felt worse at times when I texted my husband and it took hours for him to get back to me because he was busy. Even though I knew that, it was hard not to take it personally when I was already feeling lousy.
If you don’t feel like you’re in a place where you can handle that, you might just do something nice for him that he’ll find when he gets home, like leaving a chocolate bar on his pillow, stocking an energy drink in the fridge, or just leaving a nice note for him. You can get creative depending on when he’ll be home, like making a nice big breakfast if he’ll be home early in the morning.
The action of doing something nice for him and anticipating the connection that’ll come from his happiness can help you feel a lot less lonely, and actually help make you feel a little less bitter toward him – something that can definitely come up when you go days on end without getting to see him.
Connect with others in the same situation.
Talking with other police wives can help you feel a lot better, because it’ll help you realize you’re not alone. That most, if not all, of the things you deal with, other people experience, too.
Connecting with other people in your department is the best way to do so, because you can meet in person, plus you can talk about issues specific to your department and its schedules/policies. It’s nice to have friends nearby to make up a support system in person, especially when kids come into play.
If you don’t know anyone in the department or there isn’t really anyone you feel you can talk to in real life, you can also find police wife support groups on Facebook. It’s a great way to get input and advice from a larger pool of police wives, and it’s kinda crazy to realize women from all around the country are dealing with the same things as you!
However you do it, connecting with other women who intimately understand your struggles is sure to make you feel less alone.
Make plans – whether your officer can join you or not.
I know how tiresome it can get to plan stuff for you and your officer to do together on his time off, then have him bail for one reason or another – whether it’s emotional exhaustion, an overtime opportunity, or just not wanting to face the general public for a little while. I get it. Going to the events you’d planned to go to with him feels way lonelier than attending things you’d planned to go to alone, am I right?
With that in mind, it’s important to prepare for both possibilities. Prepare emotionally for two different scenarios and how you can make them awesome, without getting overly attached to one or the other. If you know you’ll be super disappointed if your officer can’t come with you, figure out a “consolation prize” you get only if he doesn’t come – like a drink from Starbucks or a new bottle of nail polish. Whatever you want.
And when it comes to the days he’s working and you’re not, make plans to do things with friends! Having fun plans throughout the week, even if they’re just the occasional lunch date, can help break up the monotony of being by yourself all the time.
I’ve gotta say, it’s extremely hard to meet people if you stay at home. If you regularly get out and go for walks or even just go to the park to read, you’re bound to run into people you might be interested in talking to.
I love the strangers I run into in public and get into conversations with. I happened to sit near this old lady at a restaurant when we were both eating alone, and we talked for like an hour about the birds she feeds in her back yard. It’s fun to learn about people and what’s important to them.
Plus, it’s a nice change to hear good stuff about strangers rather than the stuff you normally hear from your police husband 🙂
Connecting with nature and getting to know your neighbors is a great way to reduce your loneliness.
Pursue your interests.
Alone time is both the suckiest and the greatest thing about police wife life.
I mean, after all, if you and your husband both had the same schedule, you’d be with each other all the time. Which sounds nice on the surface, but what about those times you want to binge watch a show he hates, or work uninterruptedly on a project you’re really into? Police wife life has lots of built-in opportunities for you to guilt-freely pursue your passions.
Whether you’re interested in learning a foreign language, learning to decorate cakes, quilting, mountain biking, training for marathons, knitting, whatever, make a plan to use the time you have alone to work on improving your skills. There are countless resources for tutorials online, from free YouTube videos to the awesome people at Craftsy, or you can look into in-person classes at JoAnn’s/Michaels or a local community center.
Whatever you choose, pursuing your interests is a great use of time that will help you feel a greater sense of purpose and more connectivity to those around you.
Join an interest group.
The other awesome thing about pursuing your interests is you can often use it to connect with others in a meaningful way. Whatever your interest is, you’re bound to find groups of people who are similarly interested in it. There’s Facebook, libraries, community centers, and MeetUp, just to name a few ways to find people who are into what you’re into!
Plus, if you’re an introvert like me, this avoids the issue of superfluous small talk, because you’ve automatically got something meaningful to talk about. Win!
I know it’s not easy to feel so lonely. But if you can learn how to embrace this, you can grow stronger and be a better woman and wife overall. You got this, girl!
- How To Make The Most Of Your Alone Time When Your Husband Works Nights
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- 7 Reasons To Stay Married When You Feel Like Letting Go