Infidelity Within Law Enforcement
I can speak from personal experience, not a moment that I'm proud of, but Vickie and I talked about this before, and we decided we are going to be transparent about uncomfortable issues.
If we didn’t talk about these uncomfortable issues and just said our marriages were perfect, people would clearly know that we're lying. Every marriage, no matter who it is, has problems. With law enforcement, unfortunately, it's common to see infidelity as an issue. I can personally tell you it is because of the different work shifts between spouses and couples. Due to having different days off and different schedules we don't see our spouses on a normal schedule. So, if we're experiencing problems at home we cannot resolve them if both of us are not home.
We clearly put our marriage in a position where it is vulnerable. Being at work with other law enforcement officers is different from any other profession, because we don't just go to the office and have coworkers. We go to the station and we're dealing with people that we work with every single day for 10 hour shifts, 12 hour shifts, or 14 hour shifts. We create some incredible bonds, bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood. A lot of times we become very close with each other. There are times where we are experiencing problems at home, and it is not unusual for us, since we feel comfortable with our partner, to start talking about those issues. But once you start talking about those issues, your marriage is now vulnerable, especially if you're talking about it with someone of the opposite sex.
Because of this, temptation is there. Unfortunately for some of us, like myself, I fell into that temptation. Before I knew it, I was involved in an affair. I am not proud of it at all.
I wish it never happened. When people tell you,
“Hey, I was just talking to someone, all of a sudden we're involved in an affair, I don't know how it happened.”
I'm here to tell you that's very true, it can happen just like that without noticing it right away. Once you're in it, it is a very difficult situation. You really compromise your marriage, without a doubt.
I think from a civilian standpoint, being the wife that was at home who didn’t work in law enforcement, I thanked God we didn't have infidelity. although, we did deal with a lot of marriage issues before my husband got in the department. Those issues being with the opposite sex, for him personally. What we don't understand is the need that our spouse has, in this case it was my husband, it could also be a wife in law enforcement. Their needs could be sexually, emotionally, or mentally, but we need to take the time to address those possible needs. Being married to someone in law enforcement or first responder is completely different than any other marriage. It is a different beast.
Their needs are different. Your home is different. You become different. When you start understanding the magnitude of all those things, your marriage can go one way or the other. You can either fail miserably, because you do have a lot going against you being married to a first responder, or you can succeed incredibly. Tania and I did both, but we ended up succeeding at the end, as Steve and Tania did. We both failed miserably in our marriages and really hit rock bottom, but it is a tough profession to be married to.
My husband did have a female partner. It was something we had a very lengthy conversation about. I stood firm on what I expected in the marriage, in my home, from my husband, and respect. This went both ways, for Micth and I, as well as his female partner and her significant other. She is actually a very dear friend now, I see her regularly. She was one of the best partners my husband ever had. He was there for her, and they did have some extremely intimate conversations. My husband shared it with me. She has shared them with me.
That is something you need to be prepared for though. And I know I've heard a lot of women say,
“Well, my husband will never have a female partner.”
Well, you are not always going to be able to control that. My husband didn't want a female partner, but it was something that came about. It was a decision that we made together, and the bottom line was I trusted my husband.
This career is extremely stressful. And what Vicky was talking about at home- you have to be the safe place for your husband. You want them to want to come home because after dealing with an incredibly stressful day, they know they can go home and relax, knowing you're there waiting for them. A lot of times, when there's so much strife in a marriage, a spouse would rather just stay at work and deal with the stress at home.
When there is stress in both locations and we're very close to our partner, or anyone who is of the opposite sex working around you, we now talk to that other person who comes across as kind, compassionate understanding. So what we are really doing is taking the path of least resistance. We would rather talk to this person because they're kind, and they're giving us what we need. This is what we should be getting from our spouse, but we're getting it from someone that we work with. When we take that path of least resistance, we just feel more comfortable talking to this person than having to deal with what's going on at home.
- Be the person your husband or wife wants to come home to
- Don’t make your home a stressful environment
- Take the time to talk about each other’s needs before things get out of hand
- Have that conversation with your husband or wife about having a partner of the opposite sex