Now for the hot topic: I noticed a recent comment on an old post. Here's an excerpt:
"my boyfriend is applying to the local police academies. i knew he was meant for this job before he did and he's so passionate about it he's already started training himself so hell be ready lol. im a nurse so we are both used to my weird hours (usually 11p-7a) and being very passionate about my work (not to mention sharing the grossest and saddest details of my job) do you have ne advice for us when it comes to the transition he will undertake and how it will effect our relationship? i know people have said that some people change as they become cops and i want to know what kind of change i might see."I know I've touched on this in previous posts, mostly in a humorous fashion, but I've been paying attention to the changes I've seen in HF since the academy days. I've never been sure of how to word it other than when I'm making light of the changes, but in all seriousness, this is my attempt at addressing the not-so-good changes that have occurred in my LEO. There have been, and still are, times where I'm not sure if this is a change I'm seeing in HF or if it's a fluke, but I know HF has changed. Remember, HF reads my blog, so let me preface this with a declaration of how much I adore HF and think so highly of him. He is, in my opinion a man with few faults and he makes me very happy. Here is some of what I included in an email to this reader above:
Grumpiness: During the academy, I noticed that HF started to be grumpy quite a bit. This is really uncharacteristic for him. At first I didn't say anything because I thought it was just some random behavior because of stress in the academy, lack of sleep and adrenaline dumps, or maybe difficult subject matter he was learning about. Probably some of everything. I started calling him on it because I realized that it was becoming everyday ordinary behavior. He still has occasional grumpiness that makes me think it's me or something I've done, but he works hard to fix it and deal with stress appropriately. That brings up. . .
Communication: Every relationship experiences its ups and downs with communication no matter how well you know each other or get along. Since HF has become a cop, I have noticed the way he communicates with me has changed. He tends to use the communication techniques learned in training on me and the kids sometimes. I don't like it. Sometimes he does it playfully, but sometimes it's to get the answers he is looking for immediately. I can't think of an example off the top of my head, but sometimes I get the feeling I'm being interviewed much like someone off the streets he deals with. I guess communication kind of goes along with impatience. He is direct and to the point much more than ever before and wants me and the kids and anyone else he deals with off duty to be the same and not "jerk him around". It probably doesn't help that I roll my eyes at his attempts to communicate this way. He usually sees what he's doing and stops and/or sees that it is ineffective with his family.
Impatience: Much more impatience with me and the kids! When we talked about this with each other, he realized that he was indeed being impatient and the way he described it was like he was used to people doing what he said when he said it (complying) and you can't expect small children to really comply, you know? At least not the first time you ask. And you can't expect your wife to comply either, can you? :) I try to make life as easy for him as possible like he does for me, but to see him go from laid back without a care in the world to Mister "hurry up and do what I say and be direct" is kind of startling. It has its usefulness at times, but I see that he has a load on his shoulders to figure out how to balance his personal and family life with his "other" life.
Intense and Paranoid: We can't go anywhere without HF seeing trouble. He has to park a certain way, he has to look over his shoulder, look for escape routes, sit in a certain spot at a restaurant or at church, stand guard like a body guard when I'm getting into the car or helping the kids into their seats. The gun goes everywhere. It's like a big production when he gets dressed. The badge, the 2 wallets, the gun, the right clothes to conceal gun, etc. It drives me crazy. The fact that he has to do this is not the issue, but when I just want to go out and enjoy his company and he's constantly watching his back, sometimes it's like, "hello? Are you listening to me?". I've heard that this is normal rookie cop behavior and that he'll settle down a bit with time, but sometimes I just want him to myself and I don't want him to have to worry about anything else. Knowing HF, he'll never be complacent and will always be on edge, but it's a little tense sometimes!
Language: This isn't in regard so much to cop terms and lingo, but he never used to swear or tell crude jokes or stories, but he will now! He does a lot of editing for me because I'm a sensie, but still, it's one of those things that have changed.
Most of these things I've mentioned are things he doesn't even realize he's doing until it's brought to his attention. And like I said, he works hard to fix things that could become bad habits. I would say that it is a lot more hard work that is being put into our relationship and family since he has become a cop.
Becoming a cop changes you. It may not be drastic, it may not be in the same way as it is for others, but I would love to hear from any readers. In what ways have you or your cop changed? I'm looking for the good, the bad, and the ugly. I know it would be greatly appreciated to those seeking answers, myself included. In another post I would like to address ways you cope and even thrive despite all of the changes.