Sunday, October 28, 2012

How'd We Get HERE?!

Have you ever been driving somewhere in the car and all of a sudden you look around and say to yourself, "How'd I get here???"

Sometimes, that's kind of how I feel about our life as a police family!  Last night, kind of out of nowhere, Hubby Blue said to me, "You know, I really don't think I would have been happy working in a museum."

Allow me to explain.

Hubby Blue and I met a little over six years ago.  I was a senior in college, and he was three days out of the Army.  Hubby Blue grew up in the town where I was going to school, so he had just gotten back and was living at home.  When we first met, Hubby Blue told me his plan was to go to college, get a bachelor's degree and then a PhD in archaeology or anthropology and eventually work in a museum.  I didn't know it at the time, but he'd actually known since high school that what he really wanted to be was a cop; however, a back injury he sustained in the military made him pretty sure he'd have to give up that dream.

About nine months after we started dating, he started at a community college, went there for a year, and then transferred to a four-year university.  He was using veteran benefits to get his degree and had to pick a major that would lead to a specific career, so he somehow ended up in education.  Now that was never in his plan.  He knew it, I knew it, other people knew it, but he also didn't have any other plans, so I think we all tried to convince ourselves and him that he'd make a great teacher.  Looking back on it, he would have been miserable as a teacher!  Luckily, he got out of that and ended up just majoring in history.  We got married when he was about halfway done with his degree, but he still didn't have a real definite plan.  (I guess we thought we'd just live on love? :)  If I am anything, I am a planner, so when I think back on that time, I don't actually know how I was able to get married without having a better idea of where our life was heading.  Maybe I don't give myself enough credit...perhaps I AM learning to let go of some things!

So, as we were talking last night, I started going backwards through all the time leading up to Hubby Blue's getting hired.  I got back as far as summer 2011, which was when he applied for this job.  As far as I could remember, I was pretty sure he wasn't thinking of being a cop when we got married in summer 2010, so when did he make that decision?  He thinks it was sometime around January 2011, but who knows.

Anyway, so at one point in this conversation, I said, teasingly, of course, "So if you didn't really decide you wanted to be a cop until six months after we got married, then I really didn't know what I was getting myself into!"  To which Hubby Blue replied, "Any regrets?"

I honestly answered no, not one.  If Hubby Blue had stayed with his original plan of wanting to work in a museum, who knows where we'd be living, if he'd even be working at all, if he'd really be happy.  It's crazy, but only four weeks into working the streets, and I can already tell this is who HB is supposed to be and this is what HB is supposed to be doing.

When I say that I really didn't know what I was getting into, I'm referring to the stresses of being a police family.  A couple months ago, we went to a seminar for law enforcement families where we learned all the statistics associated with law enforcement families, the most notable being that over 75% of LEO marriages don't last.  That really shook me, and when it was over, I (only half seriously) told Hubby Blue it was a good thing we were already married...because if I heard those statistics when we were just dating, I probably would have seriously thought twice about getting into this!  I also heard plenty about officer suicides, abusive relationships, alcohol abuse...the ugly side of things, the side you don't really hear about unless you're living it.  Scary, sad stuff.

On the other hand, I also felt that I could look over at my hubby and think of all that we've already weathered in our relationship.  At least, that's what keeps me from worrying about the 75% divorce rate.  It's still not easy to get over.  I've said before that I wish someone could just look at our relationship and say, "You're going to be fine because you have this in your marriage...or you already do this," but we don't have someone like that!  We have a solid foundation and a commitment to each other that pre-dates any police job he may have.  I'm sure this job will change my husband, but really, what are we if we're not changing?  Can't we all expect the person we married to change?

My only hope is that the changes that happen to my husband and me are for good.  I hope that we can take the stress of being a police family and use it to strengthen our marriage and lean on each other more.  I hope that someday we can take what we learn and use it to raise our future children better than we would have otherwise.  I hope that we can be a support system to other police families.

I wish I remembered exactly how we got here, but I also wonder why I don't exactly remember that.  I wonder if I would have worried more (more than I already did) or if I would have second-guessed everything that lead us here.  I suppose all that really matters is remembering that it was a long journey and that it's ended up being a pretty good thing.  Don't they say that it doesn't really matter what happens to you because what really matters is how you react to it?  As for me, today I am choosing to react bravely, courageously, and faithfully.  "I have set the Lord always before me.  Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken" (Psalm 16:8).

1 comment:

  1. Yes you must keep your faith... that 75% is real b/c most of the time you will feel as if you are single with benefits... or when you have kids like a single parents and he visit on off days... but you just have to know how to juggle your time with him and his time to relax by himself.... you can do it but just dont compare your marriage to common every day people. Only to leo or military. Or even better uniform wives.. they are all some strong women like us...


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