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  • #16
    Originally posted by Dingo990 View Post
    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.
    Agreed... I think when most of us go into work we put on our warrior face and mindset because of the people we have to deal with. Sometimes it's hard to turn that off when you get home.

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    • #17
      Answering before I read the other replies:

      It's understandable that, like you, she didn't really know what she was getting into when you took on this career. I think it does change your life in both positive and negative ways. Perhaps any career would, I don't know. It's feasible that she doesn't want to be an Officer's wife. That's her decision and not something you can change unless you're going to give up your career. Is it possible for the two of you to go to counseling? My guess is you two are having communication issues and counseling is an excellent way learn new ways of communicating with each other.

      Someone once said to me....never let your job be the coolest thing about you. That's a pretty deep statement. It's rather common in this field to become wrapped up in the job so that it affects your off time. There is a balance and that often comes with experience. My job is AN important part of who I am. It doesn't come before my family. There have been those cases that have taken me from my family (I'd say more often once I hit Detective in comparison to being on the road), but they are not the norm. I have the blessing (if you will) of being married to another LEO and so I'd dare say it offers both of us a more understanding relationship when job issues arrise. My husband has, as have I, had to remind the other from time to time that each was feeling neglected. However, we did go through counseling years ago and we've built upon what we learned.

      Best of luck to you.
      sigpic

      I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
        Someone once said to me....never let your job be the coolest thing about you. That's a pretty deep statement. It's rather common in this field to become wrapped up in the job so that it affects your off time. There is a balance and that often comes with experience. My job is AN important part of who I am. It doesn't come before my family. There have been those cases that have taken me from my family (I'd say more often once I hit Detective in comparison to being on the road), but they are not the norm. I have the blessing (if you will) of being married to another LEO and so I'd dare say it offers both of us a more understanding relationship when job issues arrise. My husband has, as have I, had to remind the other from time to time that each was feeling neglected. However, we did go through counseling years ago and we've built upon what we learned.
        There's a tremendous amount of wisdom in Smurfette's post above. Absolutely true, and I've found the most satisfaction in life comes from my time with family, not kicking in doors on warrant round-ups, making arrests, or driving in a hot pursuit. All that stuff is fun, especially within the first 5 or so years of the job, but over time the job (no matter if you're in patrol, investigations or a full-time tactical team) becomes just that: a job. Interesting at times and often (fortunately) full of fellow officers that become life-long friends, but still just a job.

        To the OP, as a rookie with a girlfriend, you're not in a position where you have to choose between family and the job. Different story when its a spouse that has to support you vice a girlfriend. If she remains supportive and becomes more comfortable with the job, great, but realize if you plan on this job being what you do until retirement you're only going to be happy outside of work if you're with someone who is supportive. And while I would not recommend telling your significant other about the really scary or grotesque things you observe on the job, you do have to keep communication going on other interests (my wife and I really don't talk about my job as much as we talk about family, weekend plans, etc.). If you're girlfriend is meant to become your wife she'll show by remaining supportive after your first year or so. If that happens, I highly advise you two to keep the interests that originally brought you together alive and not have all your conversations based on the crazy calls you got any given day (or worse, not talk at all in an effort to "protect her" from what you experience on the job).
        sigpic

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Dingo990 View Post
          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.
          This is good advice. What you should understand is that this is just a job, nothing more. You deal with enough crap while you're at work to bring it home with you. When you come home be yourself and don't think/talk about work, don't work those overtime details, enjoy and cherish your time off. Your family comes first over this job.

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          • #20
            When I was new, I thought being a cop was the coolest thing in the world. I would drive my cruiser everywhere and have the radio on constantly. I would call the guys who were working when I was off to get the latest little detail on all of the hot calls, etc. As others have said this job changes you, but you the way in which you respond to the job also changes as you get more time on. Now, when I am off I am OFF. The boots come off, the flip-flops go on. I don't care what happened over my four days off, and the last place I want to be is in a cruiser listening to some dispatcher. Your job CANNOT be your life! Make sure that you keep friends who are not in law enforcement, and interests that do not involve work. If you guys liked to go to plays, or the movies, go to sporting events, camp, fish, whatever make sure that you keep doing those things. When you get home make sure that you ask her about her day and what she did. Though she may not have gotten into a fast chase or pulled a baby out of a burning car, whatever she did is still important to her and showing an interest in it will go far. Your girlfriend also has to understand that this is all still relatively new to you and you are proud of it and excited by it, as you should be. As time passes the novelty of the job will wear off, it will stop being who you are and it will become what you do.
            Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum
            To err is human, but to persist is diabolical

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