Off Duty Forums >> Police Family Life >> Getting your officer to come home on time

Rate

Getting your officer to come home on time

1,528 Views
20 Replies Flag as inappropriate
Army_nurse_max50

5 posts

back to top

Posted over 7 years ago

 

Are there other people out there that have a hard time getting their spouse/significant other to come home right after their shift ends? My husband seems to think that he needs to stay there for an hour or two after his shift ends. Some of it is getting reports done that he didn't get to because of calls but some of it is he just hangs around and shoots the bull with his buds.

9-11-logo_max50

1075 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

copsnurse, I know from the other thread in this area that you have read Gilmartin's "Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement". Has your officer also read it?

I ask because Gilmartin talks some about this, and has some good insight into it. Might be worth a re-read for you, and/or sharing with your officer.

And, to answer your question, there are lots of people who share your experience!

Army_nurse_max50

5 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

My husband was required to go thru Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement when he attened the academy. He actually go 2 copies of the book, one from himself and one for me. We were dating at the time and I highlighted the you know what out of that book. I can see alot of similariities in nursing also.

Photo_user_blank_big

13 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

Dear copsnurse,

Dealing with these issues are difficult. I was lucky. I and my husband were officers. But, on 04 Jan.06, I lost him in a line of duty death. Now, all of the issues have gone by the wayside. But, I'd take them all on again if I could have Jim back. Love your cop like there's no tomorrow. Keep reading and be informed. God bless you and yours.

9-11-logo_max50

1075 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

Condolences, graciela. We remembered your husband-- and you!-- in the prayers at my church the Sunday after his death.

copsnurse, there could be several reasons your officer hangs out with the guys and chats with them instead of coming home. Some are more worrisome than others. It may be as innocuous as him wanting to do an informal "debrief" with buds who have shared the day with him, so he doesn't have to take it home with him. Not that he doesn't feel like he can talk to you, but that he might want work to be work and home to be home, and it is a way of keeping them separate.

It could be more worrisome if it is "choir practice" and involves drinking every night.

Army_nurse_max50

5 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

Graciela,

I am so very sorry for your loss. There is not a day that goes by that I wonder, in the back of my mind, if he's gonna come home. I don't let it bother me, since I have no control over that. If I were to loose him tomorrow I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I have loved him with all of my heart and I let him know that. I wish there were a way to bring your husband back to you. I bet he loved you as much as you loved him. Know that one day you will see him again.

Chaplain Keppy,

I think he stays to debrief. He doesn't want to bring his work home and I appreciate that. He doesn't want me to bring mine home, especially since I give sedation for colonoscopies, so he tries not to bring his home. I understand the need to debrief. I get mine when I am driving home from work. He only has a 0.7 mile drive home so there isn't time to de-stress.

There is not a problem with the "choir" or "guys" night as we both quit drinking many years ago. I truly think he means well and he knows that we need him here. We have had some heart to hearts and we have come to the understanding that when he needs his "space" I will give it to him. I know that he will come to me when he's ready to be around people.

I am taking your advice about the exercise thing and I am encouraging him to walk when he comes home at night. He wants to lose weight and I need to stay in shape so he has agreed to walk with myself and our kids. I hope that will decrease some of the rebound time.

Thanks for all of your positive support.

9-11-logo_max50

1075 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

You're very welcome.

My husband and I walk every day, and aside from the good the exercise does us, it is usually good and relaxed talking time-- and, of course, the dog is ecstatic!

Photo_user_blank_big

3 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

Ive been married to my wife for 11 years this May. We were together when I went through the acadamy and are still together today. I am a Deputy Sheriff in Oklahoma and work at least one night a week doing security and as many Extra transports as I can to make the money we need to be able to live. How can I get my wife and children to understand that when I come home I need to wind down. I have tried to make them understand that the job its self is very stressful at times but they seem to think its easy to ride around all day. We are in a small department and dont see daily shoot outs like there are on TV but its still stressful and I cant get them to understand it. What do I do? I love my Family (4 great Kids and a super Wife), and I love my career choice. But I need a way to get them to understand just what I go through on a day to day basis. HELP PLEASE

9-11-logo_max50

1075 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

deputy14, the Gilmartin book referenced above may help your family understand more, and may help you yourself understand the biology involved. I have been teaching a stress class with a big department, and on the evaluations of the class, nearly 100% of the officers have said they found the material very helpful and they think the material would be helpful to their families to hear. In fact, we are about to offer a stress class for families.

What a lot of people outside of LE don't understand is that you have to be ready for anything, anytime, even in a quiet jurisdiction. 999 calls out of a 1000 may be uneventful, but that 1 call is potentially lethal, and you don't know which of the 1000 calls is the potentially lethal one. That means you have to be on high alert at all times. As a matter of officer safety, you have to be neurologically hypervigilant.

When you are done with your day, your neurological system has to compensate for being on "high" alert all day, which means NOT that you go back to normal functioning but that you actually go BELOW normal functioning for a period. Some cops veg out in front of the TV, some in front of the computer-- that down time is actually when your neurological system is recalibrating itself, and that does take time. That time period can be shortened with aerobic exercise, but otherwise it just has to work itself out. It can be hard for families to understand because they are not having to spend the day in a hypervigilant state, usually, so they don't get down to that under-functioning state as frequently. They think their officer is being a slug, when actually this is just biology working itself out.

If this rings true to you, invite your wife to read it and discuss it. Consider reading the book, which is a short clear read, not too expensive (about $20 the last time I bought it) but very helpful.

Let me know how it goes, okay? Good luck!

Trex_comp_max50

1365 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

Deputy 14, If your departments do ride alongs, I would suggest you offer your wife a chance to go out and about to see what you do.

CopsNurse, I agree about the debriefing... I tend to think it's their way to gloat, debrief and destress prior to coming home to relax... Get that anxious story telling out of the way (I'm guilty of it too) and then once you're home, you aren't pressed to call every tom jim and bob to tell them because you already told a sufficent number of others about your crazy day.


"Indecision may or may not be my problem." ~ Jimmy Buffett

Img_3413_sq90_max50

718 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

I have found that the officers like to be able to debrief with coworkers because they don't want to bring the garbage they see home with them Being a nurse you have seen some of the same garbage he has, but they still try to protect you. I have found that to be true even when I am dating an officer, they also even though they know I know what they see they still tend to not share with me when I start dating them even though they were totally open until we started dating.Also, some of the spouses will tell their officer spouse to not bring that type of stuff home. Debriefing is important for them. Just be there for your husband and try not to push too hard. If he talks to you about something he dealt with, don't try to do anything but listen and be supportive, Also, try not to let this become a big issue. As Graciela said there are things that make you realize that there are issues that are worse than that ( I am not trying to minimize that because I know it is an issue for you so it's important). Good luck.

702928025505_0_alb_max50

361 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

I think finding the balance of work and home is difficult for any officer. I can empathize that the spouse who is not the police officer would be hurt or possibly jealous of your job and the relationships you have with your co-workers. On the flip side of this remember Deputy 14 your wife and kids are the most important thing in the world and your wife is dealing with the stressors of maybe being a stay at home mom, God Bless them, and feeling the need to connect with you.

I really like the idea of a ride along. I think that if your need to destress is working out, then maybe invest in a babysitter once or twice a week and do it with your wife...alone! If you watch television do it with her and make her feel connected. It sounds like she just might feel hurt you don't find being at home with the family is enough to relax. I know what it is like to walk in the door after being gone for 14, 15 hours and needing to have a few moment of calm. I have a 1 and 3 year old so you can imagine there isn't much of this in my house. Let your wife have time to destress too. The book, " I Love a Cop, " by Ellen Kirschmann will be a excellent book for your wife to read.

Misty_max50

18 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

Sometimes the reason we stand around and shoot the bull is because we don't want to take work home to our families. Nothing can damage a relationship more than bringing home work everyday. Besides it is a great stress reliever to talk with someone who knows what you are doing and then go home to be the lover/spouse you want to be without another thought about work. Believe me I didn't relize how much paperwork could be involved in police work. Not to mention going to court right before or after your shift or even on your days off. Just be supportive and love him when he comes home. Don't accuse him of not having anything to do by staying late either. You want draw him close not push him farther away. Be strong and know that he loves you and spend each moment that he is at home loving him and cherishing him because as many families have experienced you never know when it will be your last. TO GRACIELA: I am so sorry for your loss. The memory of your husband will never be forgotten. He made the ultimate scarifice and for that he is a true hero! God Bless you!

Photo-0154_max50

4 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

my husband, is a marine and I don't every forget it. the time him and I have together. I would like to say this .i want to be with him every step of his way because I stand by him and love him every much, think of it this way. you had a person come into your life for what ever reason and you miss him dearly but when it's all over your going to be stronger then most and proud of him in your heart. god bless you!

Clarke_photo_max50

193 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

I am guilty of that. My shift is over and some of us are in the parking lot just winding down from the day. Sometimes you need that when you are dealing with juvenile offenders that just don't care. You have to be more careful than working in adult corrections because you have more agencies looking over your shoulder all the time. It is a great stress reliever especially when you had to take some youth down for whatever reason. The last thing I want is to bring my work home, even though my wife finds my work fascinating and also scary. But I would rather talk to her about my day when I am calmed down than still hyped up from the shift. She doesn't like it but understands.

Dscn1049_max50

145 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

GUILTY. I talk in the office for about an hour after my shift... like viperrob said it gives you a moment to calm down. My fiance likes to hear about my day but I sometimes tell her too much and sometimes that's not such a good thing.

Photo_user_blank_big

2 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

I must admit I am guilty of staying over after my shift ,but my fiance understands why I do. He too is a LEO. Its great to have someone that understand you and your job.

Finishing_touches_max50

28 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Sometimes this is a stress reliever. I find myself at times not wanting to come home right away until I can unwind a bit. Dealing with societies trash kind of compounds on you and you really don't want to expose the family to some of it. You sit around and talk to you partners to unwind and discuss the days events. They understand the garbage you are faced with like no one else because they walk in your shoes.

Jim

Photo_user_banned_big

1386 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

He may be unwinding. We all do it.

Photo_user_banned_big

1386 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

copsnurse said:

Are there other people out there that have a hard time getting their spouse/significant other to come home right after their shift ends? My husband seems to think that he needs to stay there for an hour or two after his shift ends. Some of it is getting reports done that he didn't get to because of calls but some of it is he just hangs around and shoots the bull with his buds.

He may be unwinding. We all do it.