When people ask me what my husband does, I proudly respond “He’s a police officer.” I do so, because I can only speak for my husband when I say he brings honor to the badge. When I say my husband is an officer, I get one of three reactions: The person will immediately bombard me with questions (This happens most often), the person will feel pity for me, or there is this rather awkward silence as if suddenly I am the one wearing the uniform and badge and the person in front of me just wants to make a run for it. My husband has been an officer for 5 years now, and I have become accustom to each of these reactions. I actually never wanted to be in a relationship with an officer. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think I could handle it, and I didn’t have the best idea of what cops really were. I (like many) thought they were just out there to get somebody in trouble for no good reason. Since my husband has become an officer my life has changed dramatically. I have a much better understanding of what it means to be an officer, and I am no longer married to my husband, I’m married to the Kevlar.
When people ask questions it’s pretty generic.
- Do officers really have a ticket quota? (no)
- Why do officers always say “Do you know why I pulled you over?” (No clue, according to my husband, he doesn’t say that lol)
- Did you see what happened to that officer in the news? (I always say no to avoid controversy, but I probably did)
Usually, there are other questions and I entertain them for about three to four questions and then I change the subject. Truth be told, I don’t like talking about it that much. I don’t mind telling people what he does, but why does that suddenly make them comfortable to ask things they wouldn’t normally ask people. “Are you ever scared he won’t come home?” “Has he ever shot anyone?””I bet he’s seen some pretty gruesome stuff, right?” As if I am on a talk show interview with no restrictions.
When my husband became an officer, I knew things would change. However, I made the decision to support his dreams and follow him through this path. His hours increased, and his patience became less. He comes home and tells me stories that no wife WANTS to hear. But you have to remember, I’m not married to my husband, I’m married to the Kevlar. So listen intently and I never cringe. I just pretend it’s not him. It’s some other person in the uniform under the Kevlar telling me the story.
Everyday he walks out the door I make it a point to kiss him and hug him goodbye. As I hug him the cold hard Kevlar keeps me from being able to embrace him the way I want to. But with out it…. I just don’t know. So I hug my husband, the Kevlar, and I trust in God that they will both return. As he leaves I tell myself that my husband (The Kevlar) will get him home safely, and whatever the Kevlar can’t handle, God will take over.
When people pity me it makes me angry. Through all the media, the fear, the hate, and the anger I have learned to adore my marriage. I cherish it! It has taught me that tomorrow is not promised and that I have to live every single day as though tomorrow may not come. When he come’s home and the gear, and the radio, and the Kevlar come off, we hold each other tight. We love each other so much, and for anyone to pity that upsets me. He’s dedicated to his job, and there is true honor in what he does. No one should ever pity me for that, because it only brings me pride.
There’s a certain level of commitment that officers have to the job that many people can’t understand. They are never off duty. What they witness, what they encounter, it stays with them. As the years go by, they become much like their protection…. Cold and hard. Their divorce rates are so high (in my opinion) because the spouse forgets that once they put that shield on they are no longer married to that person. As I pinned that badge on my husband for the first time, I knew I was saying I do to the Kevlar.
What keeps me strong? What gives me faith and hope? I know under that cold hard Kevlar is a big warm heart. It’s not an easy task to be married to an officer, but it’s one I am more than happy to take on. He is our hero. He will always be the greatest man I’ll ever know. If that makes someone look at me awkwardly and want to run the other way, so be it! I have no shame in saying that I love a man who serves his community despite all the backlash. He never skips a beat when he puts on his badge, and even when he takes it off he keeps his oath.
So, when someone says their spouse is an officer try to hold back on all the questions. Try not to mention the news, and don’t run. They probably don’t have cuffs or a badge. Whatever you do, don’t ever feel sorry for an officers spouse. We are delighted to be there for them.. And when I hang up his uniform, and his gear, and the Kevlar…. I sit on the couch next to my husband, cuddle up with him, and for an hour or so I get to be married to the man under the Kevlar 🙂