Seeking the Beauty in the Midst of Chaos
Today as I read a post from a Fiance of a Law Enforcement Officer my heart was saddened. This woman was feeling distraught because she has been told by others that the only way to make a Law Enforcement Marriage work is to put all of you wants and needs aside and support your officer first. She doesn't want to feel that her wants are needs are not equally important as hers, before they even begin their marriage together. That would be a terrifying thought to have as a future wife of a Law Enforcement officer, too feel doomed before you even get started on your life together. It should be the happiest time of her life, not a time where others provide more for her to worry about. Though I do feel that it is important to educate yourself about what you are getting yourself into being married to an LEO. It still made my heart ache for her. The reality is there is some truth in the advice that she has been given. There are times as a the spouse of a Law Enforcement Officer that the things that you want and need will have to be put aside to support your officer that you love and the agency that they work for. That probably is the case more often than any of us would like to admit. There is an element of chaos that comes with being a Law Enforcement family, even when you strive for everything to be in perfect order. The schedule can be relentless with night shifts, overtime, and extra training. It is easy to become disconnected and feel as though your needs don’t matter. I get that, there have been times that I have felt that way myself. It can be difficult at times. There are times that it can be exhausting always supporting your spouse in their career and balancing everything else that that comes along with the that, including the fear of losing them. Sometimes you may want to give up, sometimes you may want to beg your spouse to find another job, or even just scream out in pure frustration. I am sure that most of us LEO Spouses have been there at one time or another in our lives. It can be hard, after all no one ever promised that it would be easy.
However, there is another side to this story. There is Beauty in the chaos of it all, if we choose to see it. So much of this life is a choice, what we choose to see, feel and experience is often up to us and us alone. I have been striving to see the beauty everywhere in life lately, but especially when it comes to my husbands career. There is beauty in the fact that our Officers still have the want and drive to get up everyday and put their uniforms on and go try to make a difference in the world. Especially in a world where society has an ever increasing hatred for Law Enforcement Officers. There is beauty in the nobility of the job itself, that fact that our officers choose to put themselves in and sometimes even seek out the very things in life that most citizens would run from.
It goes even deeper that that though. Being Married to a LEO brings with it a deeper sense of beauty to your marriage and your family. There is beauty in the way that your spouse will hug you and your children at the end of their shift, there is always something different about the way my husband hugs me when he comes home. I think it is the element of gratitude that I feel when he wraps me in his arms at the end of the day. Gratitude for returning home and for all that we have as a family after everything that he has seen in a day. There is beauty in the way that your spouse will watch your children play, or even come in and watch them sleep at the end of a shift. They will always recognize the innocence and goodness of your children and strive to preserve that. They see far too often on the job that loss of innocence in children. There is beauty in the fact that they want to protect that. I have come to realize that our children are exceptionally grounding for my husband especially after a hard day on the job. I love to see the way that his eyes light up when he sees them and gets to play with them at the end of the day.
There is Beauty in extra ways that your Law Enforcement Officer will protect you, always being acutely aware of your surroundings and anyone that may be approaching you or your family. There is beauty in the deeper way that your Law Enforcement Spouse will love you. I think after all that they see, they come to be able to love those that they hold dear more deeply than most. They understand how fragile life is and the need to cherish what they have the life that the two of you have built together. There are countless other things that I could list about finding the beauty in the life of Law Enforcement families, but the important thing is that everyone who is with a Law Enforcement Officer, takes the time to find the Beauty in the Midst of the Chaos. It is not always easy but it can be done and the things others may find the beauty in may be different than what I have listed. I challenge each of you to take some time to look at your life and find the Beauty in being a Law Enforcement Couple or family. It will help to recognize those things when times get rough. Maybe even write them down with the date on it to refer to hard days. There is always something to be grateful for and to see the beauty in if we just take the time to look around and feel ourselves with gratitude.
I do not know the woman who posted about being a Law Enforcement Officer’s Fiance, she didn't even list her real name on her post. I am sure that she is one of many women getting ready to marry into this life and if her or any other soon to be LEO Spouse read this I want them to know this:
Some people will tell you to run from this lifestyle and that being married to an officer is only hard, and for some that may be the case. It is true that the divorce rates are higher among Law Enforcement Couples, and you should educate yourself on those and have an awareness on the challenges you may face. I think it is far better to be educated and aware than to simply live in fear of what others have told you.
Even though there are challenges this life can be beautiful and rewarding. If both people in the relationship strive to be committed and connected on a regular basis and that is half the battle. Choosing to choose each other above all else no matter what. There may be times your wants and needs may have to wait, but there will also be times when your wants and needs will come first. It is always a give and take, and ebb and flow with any relationship, but it is especially the case with Law Enforcement marriages. I know many couples who have been together for a very long time as Law Enforcement couples that have made it work just fine, some of them even both worked shift work, and I would say from the outside looking in those couples still seem close and happy.
It is hard sometimes? Absolutely! Will there be tough days? You bet. But I promise you this, the good times that you have you have together will by far outweigh the tough times. Make the most of times you have together and choose to be connected. It can be such a rewarding life together if you want it to me. It is what you make it and what you choose to see.
To the LEO Spouses who are already living this life. You are all AMAZING and stronger than you know. Not everyone is cut out to be a Law Enforcement Officer’s husband or wife. It’s not always easy being the support system behind the Thin Blue Line. I hope that if you are reading this and happen to be having a tough day that are able to look around you and choose to see some beauty within your situation. Seek to find the Beauty in the Midst of the Chaos, it is so worth it.