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Is anyone here married to a police officer?

(32 Posts)
Lisaamiesophie Sun 11-Dec-16 11:39:36

This is my first post as I feel I need impartial advice...
my DH has his final interview to become a police officer in two weeks. The thought of him getting the job is making me feel sick for many reasons :
1. We are trying for a baby at his request as I already have two children from a previous relationship ( for the most part of their childhood I was a single mother) I'm worried with the shifts etc I'll spend most of my time alone with baby.
2. I keep hearing that the divorce rate is around 80 percent for police officers.
3. Affairs are apparently rife in the police force due to close bonding and a lack of family time.
4. I'm not looking forward to spending many weekends and holidays without him
5. DH did not ask my views regarding the job but applied anyway despite the impact on family.

For all of these reasons I have asked him to re-consider the job however I know that this is selfish of me. We have had a huge argument and we are now not speaking.
Can anyone offer advice please? Does anyone have an experience of anything similar?
The thought of him getting this job and the impact it could have on our lives is making me feel sick with worry x

Kind regards
Lisa xxx

OP’s posts: |
guiltypleasureJK Sun 11-Dec-16 12:13:11

I've been a police officer myself and you're right re the high level of divorce. Out of 8 men who I joined up and did training with 3 ended up divorced within a year.
And I was gobsmacked by the amount of affairs between team members.
But then there are police officers who don't get divorced and who are faithful. It's a bizarre job in that people you spend 40 hours a week with have got your back in a lot of dangerous situations. It forms funny bonds between team members.
I think as long as you're there to listen to him after he's seen/dealt with a lot of disturbing things and make sure you have quality family time then you should be fine! It's deffo one of the hardest jobs you can have family wise tho, but that goes for all emergency services.

Lisaamiesophie Sun 11-Dec-16 12:23:33

Thank you for your swift reply. I think I am going to ask to hold off on trying for a baby until I know what life looks like now although I know asking this itself will cause a war!
Does the job impact massively on the family in the way of not being around much?
And why is it so many seem to have affairs?
I'm terrified of him getting this job! I can't help but feel it will ruin the life I thought we would have.
Can I ask why you left the police force?

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Naschkatze Sun 11-Dec-16 12:34:51

I'm 29 weeks pregnant and married to a police officer. The shift work can sometimes be a pain but I'm really looking forward to maternity leave because DH will be around much more during week days than if he did a 9-5 job. Likewise, when I go back to work I think he will be able to help with childcare more than most husbands with a 'normal' job. We also get a lot of time off together in school holidays (I'm a teacher) as a result of the shifts.

It will be a big change for your family but I think there are positives!

Lisaamiesophie Sun 11-Dec-16 12:42:59

I am a teacher too! I know that the holidays will be fine however in term time I worry we will be like passing ships.
I can imagine it feeling very isolating and lonely of a weekend without hubby around at times.
Apart from the shifts the divorce rate and level of affairs worry me. All police wife's tell me that it's terrible and the majority not the minority end up having affairs. I find this bizarre yet I'm being told this over and over again. I think I've started to convince myself if he gets the job he will have an affair and we will end up not being together very long. I know this is an irrational fear I need to try to control.

OP’s posts: |
beepbeep Sun 11-Dec-16 12:50:02

I was a police officer for 14 years, my husband has 26 years in. I think the affairs were worse than they are now, as in my experience it is becoming more of 'a job' that you go to and then go home at the end of your shift, where as 10 years or so ago we would socialise a lot together as well & I really felt my shift were my family. I think the low moral has a lot to do with this as people just don't want to spend the time at work. I know of people who've had affairs but probably not that much worse than other professions. Shifts are so short now that most people are single crewed, so you are not spending the time together that you used to. I think if someone is going to have an affair anyway it's not the best job, but it is a matter of the trust and strength of your relationship.

The shifts can be lonely and spending time in the house when they are sleeping off nights, particularly with a family can be hard, but people do it.

Personally there is no way I would join the job if I had my time over, most people I know who've got a bit of time in say the same.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 11-Dec-16 12:50:15

Also a teacher married to a policeman. We have a son who is rapidly approaching 15 months. No problems, but I would love him to do more round the house.

guiltypleasureJK Sun 11-Dec-16 12:54:49

That's true about being single crewed. Towards the end before I resigned I was single crewed a lot, whereas at the start I would be doing 8 hour shifts in a police car attending jobs with other colleagues. Quite often we would finish at 11pm and all go for a curry.
I know lots of people that have left the job and morale is at an all time low.
Maybe there are less affairs these days because of this?

Heathen4Hire Sun 11-Dec-16 12:56:11

I work on the Tube and get a lot of Police Couples coming through. I am in contact with the BTP a lot and they tell me there is a lot of strain on relationships.

MN would be a great place to start finding other police families. Maybe get together and set up a WhatsApp group or private Fb page? It would be a good source of support.

Lisaamiesophie Sun 11-Dec-16 13:12:03

Thank you all so very much for your replies. I'm gaining a little more perspective and clarity as a result.

I don't know how it has taken me so long to join and post on MN! What an invaluable place to come to receive and offer advice and support 😊

I will try to find a group of other 'police families' however still the fact it would be directed at ' police families' shows how much impact the job has on family life otherwise we might be called a ' teacher family' 😂

OP’s posts: |
Redglitter Sun 11-Dec-16 13:20:29

I'd say the 80% divorce rate is grossly exaggerated. Most of my shift are very happily married. I don't know of any affairs. I can only think of one who's divorced and that wasn't because of an affair. Conversely when I first started this job it was all far more common. I really wouldn't dwell on that aspect of it at all.

You'll see plenty of him. When he's early shift hell be home before you. When he's nights hell sleep when you're working and be up when you get home.

Don't worry un necessarily smile

Naschkatze Sun 11-Dec-16 13:28:51

I quite like having the weekends and evenings he is working to myself and it means we make sure the weekends we do have together are special.
Also means that when he's off in the week I come home to him having done laundry, cleaned the house and cooked dinner. I feel very luckysmile

I don't know about the affairs rate. DH does have good friendships with some of his colleagues as a result of spending a lot of time together but like a previous poster said it's just a matter of trusting in the strength of your relationship. I don't think the job makes it more likely a person will have an affair.

He will need you to be supportive; it's not an easy job.

Lisaamiesophie Sun 11-Dec-16 13:31:00

Thank you xxx
I am hoping it will work out that way. This is the sort of post I was hoping to see to snap me out of the negative thoughts.
I have been secretly hoping DH doesn't get the job at the final stage because of the horror stories I've been told of and this makes me feel like I'm being a horrible person.
I do know however that if I had requested we try for a baby but then decided I'd be applying to be in the police force without consultation DH would have told me I would not be doing so.
I think I will hold off on trying for a baby just until I know what our lives might be like and how we adjust as the family we are now.

OP’s posts: |
Cherrysoup Sun 11-Dec-16 14:37:45

Me! I quite like my alone time. My dh has 2/5 weekends off, but due to start time, he's just left the house now, so we've had a good amount of time together. Tbh, he does the majority of the cooking, all the finances, I do the washing, majority of the housework, although neither of us do much housework! There are evenings when I'm home and he's isn't there, I didn't see him this week for 3 days straight, but the shift pattern means that's not frequent. His shift are mostly younger, no divorces as yet.

When he first started, it took me ages to be able to sleep on his night shift, bit weird, but now, I quite like having the bed to myself!

Tsuipenongin Sun 11-Dec-16 14:51:45

I'm also a teacher married to a police officer. It's honestly fine. A lot of police officers are married to other police officers, just as lots of teachers are married to teachers as I think the stresses of both jobs can be difficult to understand if you've never done them.

I work 3 days a week and have done since our eldest child was born 8.5 years ago. It's nice that we sometimes get days off together when the children are at school. Some sets of shifts are harder than others, for example last week his days off were my work days and then he was back to working days this weekend.

He's also worked in CID where there was less regular weekend working bit much more overtime and times he wouldn't be home until the early hours then be back at work the next day early.

We just make the most of the time we get together and as a family. I find being a teacher helps as I have plenty of work to occupy the evenings he is working.

OlennasWimple Sun 11-Dec-16 14:55:50

I think regardless of the job, planning to start a new career and having a new baby at the same time is a bit mad, and you would be very sensible indeed to say that you want to wait until he has got himself settled into the police before you think about having a baby with him. (You need to agree what that actually means - finished training, six months in first role, completed probation....?)

Cyclingforcake Sun 11-Dec-16 15:10:58

DP was a police officer. He's now left to do a more 9-5 job which I can't pretend I'm not delighted about as the shifts could be brutal. But it was harder on him than me to be honest as he also seemed exhausted from switching his body clock around. And having weekend rest days cancelled when we'd made plans did my head in. I just got organised so I did all the household jobs/phoning people etc on nights he was working so we could enjoy time together when he was off.

The affairs thing certainly used to be true but like other posters have said he saw his shift less and less over the last few years as they did more solo patrol. He often also found he was the only PC with a team of PCSOs to supervise. Most of the other offficers seemed happily married. I must admit a few relationships did break up when they were at or soon after training school especially with the younger ones. But I think that was more about outgrowing the boyfriend/girlfriend they'd been with since school and moving away from home than anything more sinister.

Lateralthinker2016 Sun 11-Dec-16 15:23:46

Went on a date w/a police officer once...... He wasn't as single as he claimed. There was no 2nd date!

Alorsmum Sun 11-Dec-16 15:30:22

I am. There are benefits to the shift work like days off in the week which means our kids haven't needed to be in full time childcare. When I was on maternity leave he was around after earlies and home before lates and after nights would get up around 3pm and we'd have the afternoon and evening to whether. So I saw him a lot more than other mums whose husbands commuted and were out the house 7-7
Holidays and weekend working aren't brilliant but I'm very used to it.
Cheaters will cheat. Know quite a few police officers with long term marriages. We've been together 15 yrs, police for 13.
Police training school will put the strain on though it's a lot of time away. Good that you haven't got kids yet though.

Thurlow Sun 11-Dec-16 15:43:47

I am.

There are benefits and disadvantages. The shift work can really get to you and it has made childcare challenging, but equally I quite enjoy the time alone and because he's not out 9-5 he gets to spend a lot more time solo with the kids than many other partners do.

I hear about some affairs etc but I agree it's a lot less of an issue than it was years ago. Personally I'd say the divorce rate comes more from either partner not being on board with the shifts, cancelled holidays and demands in the officer.

If he goes for it, you have to separate any anger you have towards his hours worked from actual anger towards him.

I'd say weigh up how much he wants this job vs how unhappy he might be if he stays in another job. DP left a potentially very high paying job in the city to join the police and there are times I wish he'd stayed - but he was unhappy in that job and always wanted to join the police, so despite its drawbacks overall it was the right decision for us as a family.

NotDavidTennant Sun 11-Dec-16 15:43:52

Let me get this straight: your DH is wanting you to have a baby with him but at the same time he has applied for a job that would keep him out of the house for long periods of time, and he has done this without consulting you at all?

He is the one being selfish here.

BreatheDeep Sun 11-Dec-16 16:06:05

DH is a police officer. Agree with everyone else that affairs are not such a common thing now. DH has been in 11 years now and we've been together the whole time. We have a 3 year old and baby no. 2 is currently a week overdue. I find his shift pattern means DC get to see him more than a 9 to 5 dad, at least until they are at school.

DH is the most supportive and considerate person I know. He does more than his fair share at home - his shifts seem to work out that he has more time to do chores than me.

You have to be incredibly supportive yourself though, and trusting. If you are the jealous or suspicious kind I think it could damage a relationship with a police officer more than normal.

namechangingagainagain Sun 11-Dec-16 16:15:36

well yes.... but in the past few minutes he has been updating a CV to apply for another job.
He has been in for 13 years.
Our marriage has really suffered at times.... he has had one affair and we spent some time apart. We are still married and things are going ok but the job really does take a toll. I wouldnt be suprised with the 80% comment based on the people he joined with.
He has come to the conclusion for the amount of time, energy and responsibility the money is crap. There are lots of people in his team taking time of long term with stress and mental health issues.
Dont wantto be totally negative as in some ways hes had a good career with varied work and lotsof job satisfaction at times, but it has taken a toll on the family.

DoctorDonnaNoble Mon 12-Dec-16 06:56:01

DH has been job for over a decade and I totally trust him. He's just headed off to go on a training course for three days (2 nights away). BUT, he also has lots of time off with me (high fives any other part time teachers). We've been able to arrange a Butlins break on top of our main holiday because we can go in term time (they'll head down Friday morning and I'll meet them there after school).
Only problem was that due to job limits we had a winter wedding (no police leave Summer 2012) and DH said half term wasn't long enough.

bubblemcgubble Mon 12-Dec-16 07:20:21

Been married to a police officer for 12 years and we have 2 young DDs. Like others the job has pros and cons - though my biggest rant is that it purports to be family friendly. It's not. DH is on team, probably the most experienced, taser, area car driver but is can be treated appallingly and if something happens he stays on immediately (the suspect package in Greenwich nowhere near his borough saw him immediately being asked to stay on).

His rota for past 2 rotations - 3 earlies, 2 lates, 2 nights. He has one whole weekend off around 1 in 6 weekends at the moment so being on team is tough. He is hoping to leave team to apply for another area soon maybe CID. He is off this Christmas but that's the first time in 4 years.

Affairs? Not so much. As others have said he is often single crewed (which brings it's own anxiety to me) but in general he's just glad to get away at the end of his shift.

The ups are he can do the school pick up so saves a ton in childcare and he won't be made redundant anytime soon (rather the other way far too much work).

I also enjoy my time to myself when he's at work, but we also have a fab babysitter because it affects your social life too. The one weekend they are off you want to spend time with DH so I try and book nights out with help from our babysitter.

I think you should support your DH to get into the job. Much like any other shiftworking job it is stressful but I hear of others where they have a high powered job and constantly get home at 8.30pm and go to work at 6 am.

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