13 Signs You Are a Police Wife

Let’s all be honest.  Police wives are crazy.  We aren’t fooling anyone.  We are flat-out, undeniably crazy. I’m not talking about the kind of crazy where you break into someone’s home and try on all their clothes. I’m not talking about the kind of crazy where you cut out individual magazine letters to use for a note you intend to mail to an enemy.  I’m talking about a raw, unfiltered, and unbridled crazy that surfaces when it comes to defending their loved one or their peers on any platform.

One of my dearest police wife friends, Millie McClean (an admin at Humanizing the Badge and a soon to be co-author of this website), and I were talking today about how we are a very unique breed of people.  We aren’t understood by many.  In fact, I’d even wager that most non-leo families find us rather peculiar.  And, I can’t fault them.  I can spot a police wife on social media from a gigabyte away. So let’s just talk about the very conditions that set us apart.

Here are the 13 signs that you are a police wife: 

1.  Your house is prepared for war….or the Zombie Apocalypse (whichever comes first):  You literally have guns strategically placed around your home that enable you to have safe, but easy access to them.  Someone breaks into your kitchen?  Got it.  Oh, someone is coming in through the bedroom window?  Not a problem.  Someone bursts in on you while using the restroom?  Surprise!  No big deal.  You’ve got it handled.

2.  You know your exits.  Most normal people do not have their escape routes planned out when they go grocery shopping.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have an exit strategy in mind for any kind of active shooter situation.  Being married into the LEO family is a constant reminder that tragedy doesn’t strike when people are expecting it.  You have to anticipate it in order to prepare for it.

3.  Certain eating establishments are off limits.  This isn’t because their food flat out sucks.  It’s because your spouse has arrested over half of their staff. Nothing is more awkward and uncomfortable than accepting an already questionable hamburger from someone who was recently arrested for peddling black tar heroin outside of a school zone.

4.  You are unable to invite non-LEO families over for dinner without them asking your spouse about the law.   This one is pretty self explanatory.  I can see it on my husbands face as soon as the conversation starts.  He isn’t able to have a couple of beers with people he has just met because the Q & A sessions is undoubtedly right around the corner.  “Is it illegal when someone….”  Hey, man.  Just google it.  Our other favorites are the following:

“What is the worst call you have ever experienced?”

“Have you ever killed someone?”

“Have you ever been on COPS?”

Just. Stop. It.

5.  Someone you barely know name-drops you at a traffic stop.  This one drives me crazy and has happened to me more than once.  One lady went as far as even claiming that she loved meeting our new baby in the hospital and how much he looked just like his daddy.  The only thing is….I’ve never met her.   She definitely hasn’t ever met our child.  In fact, I couldn’t even point her out in a crowd.  I can, however, delete her cousin off of facebook so she can stop using us by association.

6.  Buying a new bag is never easy.  You can’t buy a bag unless it has a safe place for your gun.  It’s hard to be practical and fashionable at the same time.  I want to look classy but I want to be safe doing it.

7.  Your spouse has either banned you from commenting on news threads or has accepted that you are a loose cannon that cannot be caged.  My husband goes back and forth on this frequently.  Sometimes he wants me to keep my mouth shut and other times he sits back in appreciation as I use my skillset to strike down those who do not believe in fact or evidence.  My favorite situation was a man who stated that he could handle a SWAT call-up in 3 minutes or less.  He was an extremely heavy set man who enjoyed quarterbacking from the basement of his mommy’s house. My response?  “By the looks of it, you can’t even get out of your car in three minutes or less.”  Call of Duty doesn’t make you a trained professional.

8.  Holidays are dumb.   Look at all the adorable families spending so much time together around the holidays!  That’s neat.  I’m sorry your husband had to work on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  You’re right.  It just isn’t fair and this country doesn’t care about family time anymore.  My husband worked on Christmas, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, our anniversary, my birthday, our kid’s birthday, his birthday, and he always has to arrest some jack waggon dressed up as a lumberjack on Halloween.  I’m glad you all got to celebrate the holidays together because people like him keep you safe while doing so. Unless you are a first responder or someone in the medical field, you just don’t get it.

9. The local news is often responsible for telling you how your spouse’s day is going.  I can’t even count how many times I’ve found out that my husband was in danger because I’ve seen him broadcasted from a distance by a local news camera. Even more so, sometimes the only way we know our husbands are safe or coming home late is by their (the news) poor and broken reporting of the event.

10.  People say the dumbest things.  “What is happening on 17th and Frankensteen?”   I don’t know.  He doesn’t call me or check in before every call.  In fact, I don’t know how his day is going until it’s over.  Sometimes I don’t even know if he’s alive until I get that phone call 6 hours after something extremely dangerous has happened. When I know something, you’ll likely already know the answer by tuning into social media or your local news.

11.  When you hear rattling in your dryer, you automatically assume it is bullets.  Please don’t let this be the time that my dryer overheats above 200 degrees.  Please just be a toy from my child’s jacket.

12. You have trouble sleeping without them there.  I know this is probably only typical for late evening and overnight shifters.  It has always been extremely difficult for me to sleep when my husband is on the job. I am always terrified that I am going to miss something by sleeping through it.  If I do fall asleep, I always wake up around the time he is suppose to be home.  Then I wait.  Sometimes I wait for a few minutes and sometimes I wait for a few hours but I won’t rest again until I hear the sound of that garage door opening.

13. You rely heavily on your fellow LEO families.  This may not be true for everyone but it most definitely is for me.  I know that I wouldn’t be near as sane as I am today if it weren’t for the amazing men and women who reached out to me when I became one of them.  I’ve gotten text messages in the middle of the night from my fellow family members that say “I just wanted you to know that I heard from James.  Our boys are safe.”  I can remember all the nights of us sitting in each other’s living rooms or at restaurants as we wait to hear that our loved one’s call-up is complete and they are all safe and sound.  I can think of the times when my family has been hospitalized and we never missed a meal, mowed our own lawn, or had to worry about making ends meet.  We are never alone, isolated, or forgotten.

There are so many other things that make us the way that we are.  Even though I often feel misunderstood, I wouldn’t trade this family for anything in the world. There will never be a day that I am not standing beside them and supporting them relentlessly.  I’ll never forget that each day could be their last.  I’ll never allow complacency to deafen my voice or allow myself to take them for granted.  I’m proud to be a part of this family. If that makes me crazy, then hand me a marker.  I’ll color myself crazy all day long.

Until Next Time –
Elizabeth and Millie


About humanizing_the_badge

A group of creatives that is dedicating their talent to encouraging and supporting our Law Enforcement and their families. This is not a site where we are willing to allow negative comments about Law Enforcement. Don't even waste your time. If you want to debate something, leave it to the comment sections in your local news paper. It isn't welcome here. This is a place to encourage and support our Law Enforcement Families. HTB Productions 616 Corporate Way, Suite 2-4184 Valley Cottage, NY 10989
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36 Responses to 13 Signs You Are a Police Wife

  1. A cops wife says:

    I wish I could say I fall into all those 13 categories, but in a new town for less than a year now, I barely fall into half. No one knows me here. I know no one. My husband is so preoccupied with the love of his job that I’m second to his LEO family.


    • Aimee says:

      I used to feel like that when my husband first started the job. It took being introduced to other LEO families that he worked with in order to feel first included, then genuinely still important. That was the hard part because I’m such an introvert and don’t like the process of making new friends. LEOs love the job, but know that they do love their families more, especially when the job gets hard he will need to come home to his truly safe place where it’s still innocent and people still love each other. Excitement for the new job lasts for a while and you naturally feel jealous, but don’t think that you ARE second, you just feel it. You’re not second. Hang in there and make yourself his safe place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Morgan says:



  3. Lisa McCullough says:

    I love this article, but it also applies to other family members. My oldest brother and two uncles were LEO while I was growing up. Now my daughter and son-in-law are. I can tell you I feel the same way as a sister, niece, and especially a mother. Know you’re not alone. My husband and son are Firefighters and that is the same kind of terror and family. You hit the nail on the head. 😉

    Thank you ♡

    Lisa McCullough

    Liked by 2 people

  4. teresabtrjk says:

    Thank you for Sharing and Thank you for Your Insight!! 🙂


  5. Angie says:

    only a police wife can fully appreciate the sound of Velcro being pulled apart at the end of their spouses work day.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Kate says:

      …and the sound of the gun clicking into the holster right before he’s gonna walk out the door…a sound I have come to hate!


  6. Jennifer says:

    Oh yes, these all ring so true! Firearms at the ready for any intruder scenario….exit strategies, and active shooter plans constantly running, eating out…well there is a couple places. I have one grocery store that is good. Sleep comes when he is home, facebook always knows what is going on and what he is doing before me! I’m always getting texts asking. LOL I just say, I don’t know, but I will start praying! I roll my eyes and run interference when people start speaking, and usually find the bullets in the wash machine before they make it to the dryer! 😉 This was so right on!! Great Job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pepper's Owl says:

    Oh my gosh, YES to all of it!
    #7 is right on. I can’t tell you how many times someone has said something on Facebook that makes steam burst out of my ears and after my husband sees it, he’s just keeps chilling out. I asked him one day how he stays so calm and he said, “Honey, you get mad enough for both of us, so I let you be mad for me.” Glad I could help…
    I love reading your blog! It encourages me every time. Thank you and keep up the good work! 🙂


  8. Megan says:

    This is soo in tune with our life. Thank you for sharing and I will be sharing to all my friends on Facebook. Some could take the hint. You know.


  9. Jodi says:

    I have been the wife of a police officer for over 10 years and unfortunately I can’t relate to half of those things. My husband never talks to me about work,he rarely includes me in after work get togethers, I barely know anyone he works with, our 9yo son barely relates to his dad being a cop because he never talks about it. I am the one who finally insisted a couple of years ago that he keep his gun in a lock box. Instead of talking to me my husband comes home and drinks beer. I only dream about what it must be like to feel like I am part of the Leo family.


    • b says:

      My husband is always telling me about his day. I, however, don’t really know his partners and always get their names mixed up. I don’t parade myself around as a cops wife do to any retaliation that may come from doing so. It’s to keep our son and myself protected. I never attend anything that involves the department, due to the fact they all have their own terminology and inside jokes and stories, it’d be very boring for me.


    • Scott says:

      I am sorry for how you are feeling. Please read this: “Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement: A Guide for Officers and Their Families” by Dr. Kevin M. Gilmartin. Officers get all types of training on how to deal with the physical threats but nothing on dealing with the emotional aspects of the job. Unfortunately this is why divorce, alcoholism and suicide rates are alarmingly high. Please trust me on reading this book. It will help with understanding which is the first step. Good luck to you and your family. I hope this helps. Sincerely your LEO family member.


  10. Andi says:

    Thank you! Thank you! For all of it! 1 & 2 made me giggle. People think I over react. No..they just under prepare. Sometimes being in a small dept has more drama than high school. So we have found LEO families outside of my husband’s dept. I am thankful for the families that we have made irrevocable bonds. In the beginning of his career, I would lose so much sleep. Now, with the current assault on LEOs I think I worry more.
    @Velcro comment…I can appreciate this completely!


  11. AMEN this is all so very true. I grew with my grandfather as a police officer and now I’ve been a LEO WIFE for 27 yrs. And we are a different breed.Thank you for this opportunity to just to have someone that relates.We all stand strong and proud.


  12. VenusMichael says:

    Reblogged this on Venus Michael and commented:
    YEP! .. When talking about number 6 .. I was able to find a Dooney and Bourke that works well.


  13. I absolutely loved this! My husband calls me “Fay” from Hill Street Blues. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. LOL. What I do know is that I support my amazing husband and all of our blue family! (and whatever other colors other departments wear!)


  14. shenite says:

    I absolutely loved this! My husband calls me “Fay” from Hill Street Blues. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. LOL. What I do know is that I support my amazing husband and all of our blue family! (and whatever other colors other departments wear!)


  15. Randy says:

    I am a retired L.E.O. after 28 years, I can only say thank you to my wonderful wife who stood beside me and understood. There is no one better than a L.E.O.’s spouse. Thank you sweetheart.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: 13 Signs You Are a Police Wife | A Day In The Life..

  17. yahoo games says:

    When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added-
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  18. Mell Lantz says:

    All I can say is pass the markers we are a crazy bunch! We have to find humor where there is none! Thanks for putting it all on the line, the thin blue line that makes us all family! One family = one badge!


  19. Danielle says:

    Spot on! I would also add being a ‘widow’ to the badge….because we have rotating shifts and day shift is only 4 months out of the year. That is when we are a ‘normal’ family. The other 8 months, it often feels as if you are a single parent trying to get everything done on your own. It sure isn’t any easy life living with the badge.


  20. Lindsay says:

    I’m a brand new police wife (he graduated and moved on to his department recently), all of these are true. I have so much respect for all of you. Especially those of you who have been standing behind your man/woman in blue for years now. Thank you for this post. It really did help take some of the edge off since my life has been nothing short of a massive anxiety attack since the academy started. It feels good knowing I’m not a stark raving lunatic.


  21. Becky Miller says:

    I think this is great! No.13 didn’t apply to me until recently with all the new negativity going on. I have been a LEO wife for 24 years. I get crazy about the negative posts and I will argue and defend my LEO. I wouldn’t change it for the world. He talks in code, I always sit with my back to the door at a restaurant. I love hearing all his stories and about his day. Our kids (adults) have always loved his stories. We have had many good laughs and some very teary eyed stories as well. But I love my LEO!


  22. Tina says:

    As a police wife of nearly 20 years, these lists never seem to apply to me. My husband’s job is his, not mine to obsess over.
    I still worry, support, and love him regardless.


  23. Elizabeth says:

    Love this! I would also add that I feel crazy and that people think I’m crazy for always canceling or rescheduling appointments or get-togethers because my husband is not home because he had to work later than expected, go in earlier than expected or has to sleep because he was out all night when he was supposed to be home by midnight. I know they’ll never understand, so I just stay proud that my husband does his job well and thankful that he’s safe for this day at least. My husband is currently working a 4 year undercover position, so now I get the added bonus of going about my business with a man who looks like a drug dealer. ha ha ha! Thanks for the article, makes me feel better knowing there are so many other women/partners out there who “get it”!


  24. Alberta says:

    I have been the wife of an LEO for 18 years now. Here are a few of my list of you must be an LEO spouse.
    1. Sitting down in a restaurant is never easy. The LEO must have his back to a wall and be able to see the majority of the room AND the doors from his seat.
    2. Sleeping in the same bed means neither of you get a good night sleep. Not because of “other activities” but because after all those years on night shift you are both bed hogs and can’t get comfortable in the same bed. (16 years of nights for us!)
    3. Your friends are shocked when your LEO comes with you to a get together or functions They assume he won’t make it.
    4. Bullets on the counter or table, in dresser drawers and other places around your house doesn’t concern you but when they are found by a friend they give you strange looks!
    5. Christmas, Easter, birthdays and any other holiday are always a juggling act. Christmas dinner may be at 10:00am just so your LEO can spend some time with the family before work or sleep.
    6. Date night is more like date morning. Send the kids to school and you spend time together then because nights don’t work.
    7. Communicating with your LEO may consist of letters and numbers that others have no idea what they mean but you and the kids are fluent in this “foreign” language!
    8. You call your spouse at work just to say hi because you have a day job, he works nights and the 5 minutes in the morning you see each other is just long enough to get the kids out the door to school and that’s it.
    Being an LEO wife for so many years you get use to the shift work, mixed up holidays and bullets in strange places. I, however, still get really mad when I make plans and finally fit the LEO husband into them only to have him tell me he can’t go because of something with work. That still makes me crazy!!!


  25. Chris Neethling says:

    I am a South African father-in-law to an American policemen in the Cleveland SWAT team. Our daughter sent us this post. Very proud of both of them. One of our languages is Afrikaans (derived from Dutch) FYI, the word LEO means LION in Afrikaans. Rather appropriate, what?


  26. Too old to start something new says:

    My only comment would be that your are never alone unless you choose to be. Been doing “the job” 30+ years now; and one minor correction, you left out military spouses.

    Other than that, spot on, and thanks for posting it.


  27. michaeltraylor77 says:

    Before I retired, I can assure you that many of these were at the top of my Wife’s list. She hated how I would always follow them through Wal-Mart, 5-10 feet behind, as we frequently ran into people I arrested there.

    Guns, and knives strategically placed, guilty. (Even a sword….)

    I have taught the kids to keep their heads on a swivel and always be aware of their surroundings.

    She was a loose cannon when we first met, but calmed down a lot so she would not get me in trouble.

    Away from work, I never hung out with anyone from work, I tried very hard to keep them separate. Most of our friends, we hung out with were not cops, but always had about 500 legal questions every time I turned around.

    No bars or clubs where I worked. She hated having to drive into the next county when ever we were going to go out and I May have a drink, especially when we both were in our mid 20’s.

    I never called, she always called me, I was always busy on a case, a bust or sitting on a surveillance. This caused frequent fights, as she would worry a lot, and could never sleep. I was always working, especially as an Agent, I was always gone.

    Through it all she stood beside me, and to all the wives, thank you for what you do.


    • kate enko says:

      I had to laugh at “loose cannon” – it reminded me of all the times I tried to put my bare feet up on the dash of the police car, or when I tried to wear shorts to go on a ride along, etc. Or the time when my husband waccompanying my sister and me walking along the street in an unfamiliar town. It was about 2 p.m. and all the shops were mysteriously closing. So we window shopped and called it a day. It wasn’t until afterwards I learned that a man had been following us, stopping a few steps behind whenever we stopped. He had stopped to “window shop” at a wedding shop. That was when my husband opened his jacket and started sweating bullets imagining that he was going to have to call his Sgt and say he had to cap a guy while he was out of town, all while herding us gently to the car. We were comically oblivious. I am much more aware now, lol.


  28. Sgt Stoker's Wife says:

    You nailed it. I can remember the time the repairman found a bullet in the washing machine filter. Don’t forget the family meeting discussing what to do if there is an active shooter situation and the “password” telling them to get the heck away from Dad.

    Also, the fear that wells up in you when you hear sirens, The frustration of a spouse that does not want to talk or is so short tempered that you warn the kids that Dad is still in “police mode”.

    Thank you for the article. Now we need pointers for those that will be marrying a police officer. So many don’t understand the life and aren’t prepared for it. I guess that’s why the divorce rate is so very high amoungst us.

    Thank you for this article and the page.


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