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  • Does it get better?

    I seem to have a problem. When I started the academy, my girlfriend of 3 years was incredibly supportive, but now that I have a job it's seemed to have went downhill. She told me tonight that she feels like she's taking a backseat to my job and feels neglected and that she wishs I could "just be a normal person" when we go out places because I always carry my weapon and am always well aware of what's going on around me. The question I have...does it get better? Will she adjust or keep complaining? She needs to understand that this isn't just a job to me, it's more than that, and if she ever gives me an ultimatum then she will not be happy with the decision. I guess I'm just looking for advice and trying to get some stuff off my chest.

  • #2
    How old is she?? Sometimes this happens. The way we look at our profession is often not understandable by girlfriends, friends, wives, etc. The only advice I can give is to focus on what you need to do. Don't be in a hurry to get married. That isn't going to make it any better.

    Now, if your wearing your off-duty gun in the shower she might have a point.
    "Lay there and bleed awhile before you feel some real pain."

    "Have a cup of coffee, a pall mall, and relax!"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sarge048 View Post
      How old is she?? Sometimes this happens. The way we look at our profession is often not understandable by girlfriends, friends, wives, etc. The only advice I can give is to focus on what you need to do. Don't be in a hurry to get married. That isn't going to make it any better.

      Now, if your wearing your off-duty gun in the shower she might have a point.
      She is 23, and don't worry about me ever being in a hurry to get married, that's something I can definetly wait on.






      Hey, how'd you know about the shower thing? Weird.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jmw_LS2 View Post
        Hey, how'd you know about the shower thing? Weird.
        Lol
        Dear Mr. Borelli (Site Admin), PRESS HARD 4 COPIES, HAVE A NICE DAY!!!

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        • #5
          Sometimes it gets better, sometimes it doesn't.


          Law Enforcement isn't for everyone ----------and being "with" a LEO isn't for everyone.


          I don't want to throw a wet blanket on the party, but lots of times a spouse will be supportive--------then start to resent the job, the way you deal with the job, and the fact that many times you have to put the job before him/her.

          Most people (and that includes girlfriends/boyfriends) really don't understand the way we work, what we do, or the commitment that a LEO has to make to the profession if they want to succeed. The spouse (I will use that term for now) originally looks at the job like any other job.

          Then when reality sets in they will start to grow distant when you are late coming home, when you have to work nights, when you can't get his/her birthday off......well you get where I am going......

          Then again some spouses will adjust quite nicely.

          COMMUNICATION helps. Have a sit down. Talk things over Buy her a gift
          http://www.amazon.com/Love-Cop-What-.../dp/1572301937
          The link takes you to Amazon ------and the book I Love A Cop by Ellen Kirschman

          After she reads it (and you do also) have another sit down and discuss the book and her reaction to it.
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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          • #6
            Tell her to go on the "Cop Wives" forum and compare stories with other LE spouses and girl/boyfriends of police officers. I have a supportive wife as well but she does at times feel that the "City" is more important to me than she is. The fact that your personality changed is not your fault and the personal habit that you have developed should make her feel better knowing that you are just as aware off-duty as you are when you're on-duty.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
              COMMUNICATION helps. Have a sit down. Talk things over Buy her a gift
              http://www.amazon.com/Love-Cop-What-.../dp/1572301937
              The link takes you to Amazon ------and the book I Love A Cop by Ellen Kirschman

              After she reads it (and you do also) have another sit down and discuss the book and her reaction to it.
              ^^^^This.

              I bought this book for my wife many years ago and now recommend it to just about everyone. I've even given it at as a gift when young cops get married.
              Originally posted by kontemplerande
              Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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              • #8
                This profession is horrible for relationships... crappy work hours, days off bounce around, spending days off in training or court etc etc. Will it get better? Probably not. Just remember try not to bring your work home and don't act like the police when you're off.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the advice guys. I will definetly grab that book so we can both read it.


                  I appreciate everyones time.

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                  • #10
                    It may or may not.

                    Being a LEO, you are always on alert and constantly watch what is going on around you. That isn't going to change....even when you retire. As for being neglected......that's up to you. As for "acting normal" nope not under her definition. Once a cop always a cop...24/7.

                    Explain to her...being attentive may be the difference between life and death.

                    Will she adapt?? That's up to her....not you.

                    Good luck....with her.
                    This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

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                    • #11
                      I'm going to chime in here, as a female in the field (while working in Corrections) I got the same complaints from the guy I was dating at the time, it is hard to maintain relationships, especially if you don't have someone who understands the profession, I have chosen to put my career first, if I meet someone along the way then great, if he's in the same profession, even better but for now, I refuse to let any drama, bs OR ultimatums even enter the equation. Remember with great power comes great responsibility and your dedication will pay off, if she can't be behind you 100% then don't waste your time because your decision has already been made. Good Luck!!

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                      • #12
                        I'm still in the academy, so while I dont know exactly what it's like on the job yet, I compare it to my military experiance. My wife and I were together (but not married) while I was in the military. I went on a couple year long deployments and that realy put a strain on our relationship. When I got home the first time she said I had changed in ways similar to what you described. Head always on a swivle, hightened sence of awareness, ALWAYS sitting with my back to a wall, on edge, ect. She was able to deal with it although it annoyed her. When I got back the second time it was worse. We almost broke up over it. One night while we were on a 'date night' trying to make things okay again we were sitting at a booth in the back corner of a small resteraunt. I was scanning the area as always and heard her saying "there you go again, paying more attention to others than to me....bla bla bla". As she was saying that I was watching a guy who just looked out of place sitting at a table alone. He was looking around a lot, fidgity, and nervous looking. He had reached into his jacket and pulled out something that simulated the grip and draw of a firearm although I didnt get a clear look at it. He stood up and walked tward the cashier as a couple was paying for their meal. He stood right next to the couple and a look of shear terror took over the poor girl's face. My wife was in mid sentence, although I'm not sure what she was talking about anymore, when I stood up and told her to call 911. I quickly walked over to the cashier's area and noticed that infact the guy was holding a semiauto. I did a few super secret kung fu ninja moves on the guy and got him on the ground with his (what turned out to be a Sig) a few feet away from us. Shoved my knee in his back and twisted his arms behind him and waited for law enforcement. Once they got there, took him, took our statments ect my wife came up and told everybody who would listen "That's my fiance, he's a hero". I'm I a hero? No, but she now realized that although my "weirdness" as she called it annoyed her, it pays off.

                        So, your girlfriend may never understand, something may happen (God forbid) that shows her how your sence of awareness is a good thing and she will begin to understand, or she may simply learn to deal with it. Eitherway, it is what will keep you and the people you protect alive.

                        If she's the right one she will come around, if not, the right one will come around.

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                        • #13
                          Try including her in your awareness and everything. Explain to her what sort of things you're looking for (signs someone is carrying, etc.) and get her to help you look. If she feels like she's a part of your world, she's more likely to embrace it. Besides, two heads are better than one and staying alert is something everyone should do. Try to include her in more things so she feels like its the two of you against your problems (or whatever), not just you going it alone.
                          “We don't disagree, you are wrong. Until you have a clue what you are talking about we can't disagree.” - cgh6366

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                          • #14
                            This is one of the hardest things for a new officer to deal with. The most important thing for you to do is to do what I call "getting out from behind the badge." You're a cop 24/7/265, but you don't always have to be in cop mode. Remember, she dated you before you were a cop, so she clearly liked you that way, do your best to get yourself back to YOU not COP YOU.

                            I admire that you carry your weapon everywhere, so do I. I admire that you're cognizant of your surroundings, so am I. What you need to do, and it only comes with experience, is to make it less obvious to your girlfriend what you're doing. My girlfriend during my first year or so as a police officer HATED going out in public with me, i'd be constantly darting my eyes around at people, i'd be talking to her but looking at the guy walking in the door, etc. She'd routinely see me strap by gun on prior to going to dinner, a movie, the park, etc. All of these things remind her that you're in a dangerous profession.

                            Try spending less time looking around at everyone who comes into the restaurant and concentrate on those people who look like they're up to no good, or those in your immediate area. I don't even look for people stealing candy bars at the grocery anymore, because to be honest, I don't care enough when i'm off duty to act upon it. The people at the restaurant that you hear arguing and having a domestic, let it go.

                            Try to ensure, also, that you're not spending the whole time talking about your day, how many violent felons you arrested, complaining about the lazy Sgt, or anything like that. Talk to her about those things that interested you prior to you gettin into law enforcement. Sure, having her there as a sounding board for your gripes or complaints or fears in your job is good, but make sure that's not all you're talking about.

                            As for her, some of the books suggested are very, very, very good for cop wives/girlfriends to read. Try to avoid letting her see you get all ready for work. For some reason, seeing me put on my vest and check my handgun to ensure its loaded really, really bothered my ex-girlfriend, because, again, it reminded her of how dangerous the job can be.

                            Also a big thing for me was getting outta my squad car. We have take home cars, with unlimited use. Which is a great benefit, but it can be overused. When I'm driving my squad, it's impossible not to be in cop mode, in fact, i'm automatically more vigiilant in my squad than I am when i'm in a car where nobody knows i'm a cop. If you have a take home car and you guys are going to dinner, take your personal car.
                            Originally posted by K40
                            To me, open carry is the equivalent of the couple making out and groping each other at the food court in the mall. Yeah, they are probably legal, as long as they don't start getting undressed. But they are still social retards.
                            ‎"You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him." - Rooster Cogburn

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                            • #15
                              Other people give good advice.

                              I will say also, many cops bring some of the problems on themselves. I don't know if this is your case. But I have some buddies who will carry in public and bug their spouses by constantly pointing out shady charactors, people who are speeding, calling in drunk drivers, explaining to their spouse (for the 50th time) why it is important for them to sit facing the door, moving towards any loud argument "just in case", listening to their radio or scanner at home ect, ect. I am not advocating being unvigilant but I think it is possible to outwardly act like a "normal person" while keeping an eye out for trouble at the same time.
                              Last edited by Dingo990; 05-29-2011, 08:16 AM.

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