“I think I’m beginning to realize that cop wives have to learn to live with spending a lot of time alone.”

My heart sank. Because it’s true.

This young, independent cop wife of not even two years has a successful career. Her husband loves her. More than the job. More than anyone or anything else. They have the beginnings of an incredible, adventurous life together. Not easy, but a good foundation. Supportive family, a good church, an amazing dog, and fantastic friends (some law enforcement, some not). Goals. Dreams. Plans.

And yet, in those long hours on the nights her officer works the meanest and darkest areas of Sacramento, the house is quiet. And she misses him.

I remember nights where I missed my husband so much it hurt. Sometimes, even when his body was home, his mind was far away. Loneliness is one of several realities that a cop wife (and husbands, too, by the way) must face in the course of this life.

It isn’t that they don’t love us.

It isn’t that they love the job more than their families, although sometimes we feel that way. And coupled with some of the other challenges this life brings, it can be a bitter pill to swallow.

I served 31 years alongside my husband, a strong, supportive partner at home in the mission of the thin blue line. We have served alongside of each other in the four years since retirement,
still committed to different roles in supporting the even thinner blue line between peace and chaos. These days there are very few hours we’re apart. And yes, that was a transition we worked through.

As I look back, loneliness was part of our journey. But I am grateful for those hours spent alone. Because not only did I learn to invest those hours into good things and even better relationships, but I developed an appreciation for the time we were together. In those precious lonely hours, I grew in character. I grew in patience. I learned to look at life in seasons. I learned that every moment I am uncomfortable doesn’t mean life overall isn’t good. And best of all, I learned gratitude.

Gratitude for life, for love, for my officer, and that my sacrifice is for others’ good.