The Life Partner’s Role (Excerpt from A CHiP on my Shoulder, Third Edition)

As our officer’s closest relationship, we have an incredible opportunity as spouses, and responsibility. You and I know our officers intimately. We know how they think, and why they act the way they do. As life partners of an officer, we are our spouse’s backup. While we don’t grab a gun and drive CODE 3 to rescue them in their dire need, there are four specific ways I’ve seen that we can backup our officers: relationally, practically, mentally, and emotionally.

The first is that we are our officer’s compass. A compass indicates where we are in reference to true north. You know your spouse in “normal state.” As they move off course in some way because of the job or otherwise, we are the first to know it and can point it out.

Second, we are our officer’s safe place. Eight to twelve plus hours a day, our officers serve, with each call or “routine stop” offering unknown danger. They are given weapons and body armor for a reason. They’ve been trained with safety in mind and must remain vigilant the entire shift. Providing a home and a demeanor that welcomes them in makes all the difference. They need a safe place to rest, recharge, and relate to those who love and support them. We want to be that place that our officers want to come home to.

Third, we have an important voice. Because we are that compass, we have to find our voice and speak words that need to be heard—reassurance, exhortation, encouragement, and sometimes, words that are harder to hear. I had to find my voice over the years because of how I was raised. Others may not have any trouble letting their voice be heard. If this describes you, use your voice wisely, making sure that nagging, complaining, and whining give way to rational thoughts and words. And with all, being eager to listen and slow to speak from anger.

The final way we can provide backup to our spouse is balance. Officers tend to eat and sleep the job. Constant contact with who police have to deal with day in and day out can jade them. Everyone’s a dirtbag. Everyone is a liar. Boy Scout leaders are pedophiles. You get it…but it’s not the whole population. You and I have a different outlook; we generally deal with decent and good people. Our perspectives matter, and have a way to balance the negativity from the job.


  1. Heidi on September 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Good stuff my friend! 🙂

  2. Wife of Ret. MPD Sgt. on September 11, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    After 27 years my husband has hung up his gun belt. And your last paragraph could be a book!!! The stories my husband shares are off the charts crazy. Just last week I had a work dinner and he shared a story that left all of my co-workers (“civilians” and “tax-paying citizens”) absolutely speechless. What they see (especially in the big city) is hard to fathom for most of us. My hope and prayer is that after some time away that his jaded view of the world will transform into something more akin to a transparent green glass view. I am sure it will never be rose-colored!
    Blessings to you and your spouse as you support him in this noble profession.

  3. Juice on September 12, 2017 at 3:33 am

    Absolute Awesome Sauce!! These are encouraging words to live out for my wife.

  4. NL on March 27, 2018 at 2:24 am

    Hi there, I’m new to the blog. I just heard about your book recently on Family life. I wish I had stumbled across your resources and blog sooner. My deputy sheriff husband and I are in the midst of a divorce. We will have been married 13yr this Oct. We are a blended family and I had no idea what it meant to marry a police officer. My husband loves the Lord, but his job has tainted him. I feel like I have failed him/our family. Even worse, my husband will be retiring in about 11months. This should be the best time of our lives. But it’s the worst! So I want to support and encourage young police officer wives, and hope that I can help them to not make the mistakes I did. Thank you for your book, I can’t wait to read it. Thank you for this well needed ministry!

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