Life of a LEO Wife

I have been thinking about writing this post for quite a while now but I never felt like I would be able to fully express everything I feel, know, etc. on the subject. Instead of putting it off, I will just go ahead and try to share what's on my heart.

When my husband first told me that he wanted to be a police officer (and was really serious about it), my heart sort of just dropped. I knew that this was what he truly wanted to do but I wasn't sure I was ready to be married to a policeman or LEO (law enforcement officer). I told him my fears and he had to reassure me more than once but after a while he found out he was accepted into the academy and life changed! We were engaged at the time he began the academy and to see him so excited and doing something that was his dream, well, I couldn't have been happier or more proud of him. Everyday he would call me and just talk on and on about all the things he did that day, what he was learning, etc. You could just tell how passionate he was about being a LEO from the way he talked about it!

We got married 1 week before his graduation from the academy. We got married on a Sunday so that meant that the very next morning, he left our hotel room at 7:00 AM to start his last week haha! This also meant that we wouldn't have a honeymoon or even just a long weekend to look forward to. At first, I was pretty disappointed but then I thought about all the new things that we would be experiencing as a married couple and the disappointment just seemed to dissipate. We were going to be living together for the first time, I was going to be cooking him dinner almost every night, it wouldn't be late and I'd have to drive back home to go to bed, and more importantly, we would never have to be away from each other for long periods of time anymore (we spent most summers apart and 1 year on different continents--military kids!).

One of the most nerve wracking and exciting days for me as a LEO wife was the first day that he was going out on the streets. His first day as a real police officer. I watched him put all his gear on, his uniform, pinning his was surreal. A part of me was watching him so incessantly because I was afraid--I felt like I needed to remember every single thing about him and sear his image into my mind. The other part of me was watching him because I was so proud. Here was the man I married, a man who is dedicating his life, talents, and time to a more often that not, thankless job, as a public servant. It really does take a special person to do that job; day after day they are putting their lives on the line for the good of the public. I don't think you can get more selfless than that! That first night I did everything and anything I could to keep myself occupied. He called when he could and that was so great! When he got home, I jumped up, hugged and kissed him and listened to him tell me about his first night on the job.

Weeks and weeks passed and his mind hadn't changed--he loved his job! We are now less than a month away from the 1 year anniversary of his academy graduation and he still loves it. There have been some things we struggled with but in the big picture, they are very small things. I'll give you some examples:


  • Weekends: Weekends kinda suck. Not only do they fly by SO unfairly fast, but my husband works on weekends. That's what it's like for guys at the bottom of the totem pole! The good thing is that he doesn't have to leave until 1 in the afternoon but we can't have weekends away to go on a fun trip or visit family. Bummer. I still struggle with this and a lot of family outings (at least with my family since they live here) are done without him. 
  • Holidays: My family follows German tradition as far as Christmas goes, which means we open gifts on Christmas Eve. Daniel will never be a part of that. Being a police officer and having a holiday off is laughable! Unless, somehow, the holiday falls on a day he typically has off and there isn't a shortage of officers. The plus side of working on Christmas is that he gets holiday pay! That's about the only plus. For our 1st Christmas, since he doesn't have be at work until the afternoon, we were able to celebrate and have a normal Christmas morning which was nice :)
  • Time off: I am very lucky that the job I have right now is very flexible in terms of getting time off, etc. My husband's? Not so much. This just coincides with the weekends and holidays but it is a separate issue on it's own as well. Thank God our birthdays and first anniversary have fallen/will fall on a day that he typically has off anyways!! 

I guess, as you can see, that the main issue is time. It never feels like there is enough! I do see him more than I thought I would--the only day we don't see each other is Monday so I'm ok with that. I think the danger of the job definitely exacerbates the time issue and that is something that I'm learning to deal with. I've realized that you've got to be pretty tough to be a LEO wife and I think I've done a pretty good job of adapting to it (thanks again to being a military kid!). I still have so much to learn and I am still working on being the best wife I can be to my police officer and I know I'll always be working at it; that's a marriage no matter who you are or what you do! 

Another really great thing is that there is such a huge support system within the LEO community, especially among the spouses. You know what each other is going through and there is nothing more comforting than knowing that you aren't alone. There are lots of great online communities that I've discovered such as Wives Behind the Badge & the National Police Wives Association. Better than that, I've made some great friends within our own community here and I know that we'll be lifelong friends. 

I hope this was as informative as I hoped it would be for any women out there who are dating or married to someone who is contemplating joining law enforcement or even for women who are currently living the life and helping them realize that they aren't alone!  


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