Loving someone in law enforcement can be one of the most rewarding, and yet one of the most challenging choices of our lives.
You know they have experiences on a daily basis that can affect them in ways that impact their mental and physical health, as well as their personal lives and relationships.
And it hurts to seem them hurting. It is hard to see them carry the weight of their job 24/7. It is frustrating to not know how to help them or reach them.
Not only do you have these emotions to deal with, there is also the constant worry about their safety. There is the knowing that “the call” could happen at any time. Even when you don’t consciously think about it, that thought is always there.
And it only takes a news report or story on social media to bring it slamming back to the surface of your mind.
The reality is that law enforcement personnel suffer from chronic stress exposure – and so do the ones who love them.
Often, cops will not share their day with their family because they do not want to worry them or bring that “stuff” home. So, they ignore it, push it down, and pretend it doesn’t exist.
Or, if they do share some of it with their partner, the partner now carries that experience, which can add to their stress and worry.
Either way, this can result in strained and monitored communication.
And then there is the disappointment and resentment that can happen…even when you understand the nature of the beast.
The disappointment your spouse won’t be there for holidays. Or the callout that occurs during family time, a child’s sporting event, or date night. The resentment of often feeling like a single parent or having plans suddenly changed because a shift is extended or a RDO is cancelled.
You understand it on a practical level. You knew this was part of being a law enforcement spouse. And you try to keep these emotions in check, and you are usually successfully.
Until something causes all those times of worry, disappointment, and resentment to bubble to the surface and suddenly it isn’t just this time you’re dealing with, it is ALL the other times that are invading your thoughts and acting as a catalyst to your reactions.
What can you do about it? Is this just the cost of caring about your officer or deputy?
With a resounding “No!” I will tell you that you do have the ability to not only help yourselves, but you can also learn to understand and help your loved one mitigate and release the stress and emotions they carry home from their day.
Using the same techniques I teach law enforcement professionals, I can teach you how to better manage your stressors and the emotions that are a part of your daily lives.
Learning these techniques, not only can you build your resilience so you are able to handle stress better, you can also be more resilient to the influence of your loved one’s stress.
When you are able to stay centered emotionally, you can better support others where they need to be supported. You can have a coherent conversation that is not influenced by emotions and feelings that originate from a previous experience.
“I am a mom of 3 and wife of a CHP officer for over 25 years. I didn’t realize how much of his “stuff” I took to heart and mind. After just a couple of sessions with Shannon, I found I was able to quiet my mind and sleep through the night. My sessions are allowing me to work on myself and become a more patient mom and wife.”
A.S. – CHP wife
If you would like to learn more about how we might work together, the next step would be to schedule a free, confidential consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.