By Mark Bond, professor of criminal justice at American Military University
Being married to a law enforcement officer (LEO) has its challenges. Officers tend to work long hours, work rotating shifts, have part-time jobs (moonlight), and be required to attend court on their days off. All these factors contribute to officers’ constantly missing family events and delaying holidays or other celebrations because of their work schedules.
Then, of course, there is the inherent fear and worry about an officer’s safety while on the job. Law enforcement families live in constant fear that a supervisor will knock on their door in the middle of a shift to bring devastating and life-changing news.
These factors can cause an enormous amount of stress for officers as well as for their spouses and family members. Officers have a tendency to want to protect their spouse from the reality of their job so they choose not to talk about their work or the dangerous situations they find themselves in. But, instead of coming across as protective, this tactic can seem secretive to a spouse, who may feel abandoned by an officer’s limited communication.
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