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We wanted to offer just a couple of personal tips specific to the law enforcement life, on top of the usual relationship advice that’s ubiquitous in books and on the web.These tips have worked for us, are common to successful law enforcement couples we know, and should help you, too.I’m an extremely extroverted person and had grown up with a very dysfunctional family life.One of the things I desired in my marriage was someone who would be there on holidays, weekends, evenings and who could be my “partner in crime.” But watching Mike go to a job every day that he hated began killing my soul. This is true for romantic relationships, as well as those with our families, friends and even our “Family in Blue.” Some will disintegrate dramatically, while others simply fade away, dying of neglect or growing apart.They fail because relationships require time, effort, attention and are messy.
We learned marriage takes a commitment to wake up every day and say, “I’m going to honor my marriage vows through my words and my behavior, even when I’m tired, pissed off or hungry, and I’m never going to let resentment take the place of love.”We thought it would be fun for each of us to offer our point of view as to how we make our marriage work.
But we do know many officers who have been married multiple times, with the accompanying joke being that by the third or fourth wife the officer generally gets it right. The first two years we were not a law enforcement couple as Mike became a cop later than average at the age of 30. We were both in graduate school, working difficult jobs with long hours in mental health, and struggling with financial and family issues that threatened our young marriage.
We realized we needed help so, rather than letting the pain push us apart, we headed into marriage counseling.
His unhappiness became a greater pain to me than the loneliness I feared, so I gave him my blessing to begin testing.
He was hired within a year and what I feared most became my reality.