Friday, June 11, 2010

Bitter Much?

A while back Mrs. Fuzz of A Police Wife fame posted asking for input regarding the start up of a police wife support group.  You can read the post here.

Just the other day, Mr. Police Man posted his comment, asking why a support group for police wives is even necessary.  Here's what he had to say, I just copied and pasted from apolicewife: 
Please remember when reading this that I'm asking a question and not saying anything personal!

Why the need for a support group? 1) Cuz you don't like our odd hours?
2) The fact that many cops have some sort of "friend" where they work that gives them free coffee or even cooks them dinner? That could mean a family too, not saying its an affair.

3) Don't like that we have to be in control all the time?

4) Don't like that we just want you to do what we say and not ask why?

5) That we are irretable (sp?) when we get home because no one liked us at work and we need some "cave" time (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) to decompress?

I feel that a support group will just be a gripe session.

I'm a cop, male and have a degree in Psy. Neither of these make me able to understand the desire of women to bond. But maybe I did just give you some good quesitons to talk about at your first meeting.

Take care, keep that man of yours safe!
Honestly I am somewhat surprised to hear this from Mr. Police Man (MPM).  With all the talk about the brotherhood of blue or blue brotherhood of whatever it's called, it should be pretty obvious why the spouses of such folks employed in law enforcement would want their own "support group."  I thought I would answer his questions here because I believe this deserves an entire post unto itself.  I wouldn't be entirely surprised to hear this from a single male.  However, I'm thinking that MPM is married, or at least romantically involved, considering I skimmed his site and noticed he mentioned having a child.  So that surprised me.

But let's get started.  In short, the answer to all those questions MPM asks is YES.  But since I'm giving this comment an entire post, I might as well go into detail....

1) Cuz you don't like our odd hours?
While I may like the odd hours you are home, I don't like the odd hours when you are gone.

2) The fact that many cops have some sort of "friend" where they work that gives them free coffee or even cooks them dinner? That could mean a family too, not saying its an affair.

My husband is super, uber cautious about this one, so nope, I don't have a problem here.

3) Don't like that we have to be in control all the time?


Nope, don't like this.  I married you to be on your team, not take orders.  When you don't feel like you have to be in control all the time don't you notice how our family life is SO MUCH BETTER?

4) Don't like that we just want you to do what we say and not ask why?


See answer to #3. This is the kind of thing I expect from our children on a regular basis.  I am not your child.  If that's the kind of relationship you want with me, well... lots of things will be changing around here.

5) That we are irretable (sp?) when we get home because no one liked us at work and we need some "cave" time (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) to decompress?


Right again, MPM.  I am not the one that lied to you about x, y, or z and I didn't resist arrest or hit you in a head-on collision because I was drunk so don't take your irritability out on me.  You can have your cave time. I get it.  I just want mine, too.  And I want your cave time to actually DO something for your crappy attitude.

So like I said, the answer to all of MPM's questions are pretty much YES.

But a bigger reason why we, as cop's wives and not accountant's wives, like to seek out other LEO wives is because we have more of a chance of visiting our husband in the hospital or the morgue as a result of his job than that accountant's wife does.

I kiss my husband goodbye before his shift and say a prayer (or two or three or fifty) every day for him; that his bulletproof vest would work, that he can even get his gun out of his holster faster than the moron yanking who-knows-what out of his waistband, that his fingers won't freeze up when he has to pull the trigger before the "bad guy",  that his hippie-peace-loving-civil-rights-activist coworker won't be assigned as his cover officer...

All things that my civilian wife friends hear me say but do not comprehend.  All things that should be blatantly obvious to you, as a LEO, and certainly ARE to all my LEO wife friends.

And that accountant's wife?

While that accountant's wife may pray "Dear Lord, please don't let Microsoft Excel freeze up on my honey when he enters in that big number for the reimbursement request," she is certainly, in no uncertain terms, begging for the protection of the life of her dear loved one simply because she has sent him off to work.  This may be a little melodramatic, but come on.  Why did you spend six months at the academy if this isn't a dangerous job?

I feel that a support group will just be a gripe session.

So here, MPM, I'll take a guess that this is REALLY the problem you have with support groups.  I think this is really what you were trying to say.  Why get together when all you are going to do is gripe?  Now on THIS, we can agree.  I appreciate my LEO wife friends who can hear me complain and understand at a deeper level why this life is such a challenge.  They can hear about the difficulties in our marriage, relationship, and family life without saying "I sure hope your husband can find a different job some day."  (One of my dear civilian friends has told me this.)  I also treasure my LEO wife friends who can still love and care for my husband when they know the dirty, dank stuff of our lives, often exacerbated by the day in, day out, CRAP my husband sees at work.  That is true friendship.  That's support.  My LEO wife friends can say "Oh no, girl, you do NOT let him get away with that!" or "This is how we handled that..." and I know they are speaking with the voice of experience.  I appreciate that.  Because otherwise, MPM, you're right... it's just griping and what's the point of that?

7 comments:

mrs. fuzz said...

Amen sista!

I've been thinking about this and how pw groups are different things to different spouses/girlfriends etc. that are in one.

For some it IS a way to gripe. Don't most women when they get together complain about their husbands? But in this group setting, it's much more complex. the job affects the way the officer behaves off duty etc.


For some it is a way of navigating a new lifestyle. Getting used to hours, how to cope being alone so much, how to care for kids without your significant other around much and so on.

I'm guessing that through pw groups one can find help and answers when dealing with on the job issues such as an injury, a behavior prob, and other things that affect a realtionship.

For some it is probably as simple as friendship and comraderie (sp?) and maybe a way to support police issues through community service, donations, etc.

So many layers to it.

i've never thought about this from a cop's point of view, but would be interested to see what they say.

I think there really is something for everyone though when looking for job related support. So far, the blogging community is all I really need to cope.

Momma Hen said...

Great post! I love my police wives group. We are all Christians so we are able to get together and PRAY for our husbands, our families, our children, our lives...it's the most powerful tool we have.
I've lots of opinion about what MPM had to say; none of which is very nice. So I'll just say again, GREAT POST!

KD said...

Mrs. Fuzz, Thanks for making the point that there are many different layers to a police wife support group.

And thanks, Momma Hen, for keeping things civil.

Without civility our discourse will go nowhere!

MJ said...

I think you hit the nail on the head, KD. I am part of the National Police Wives Association. The majority of what we do is give advice - advice about life, kids, non-LEO related work, and our husbands' work. We talk about how to overcome fears, schedule issues, and marital and family problems. We pray for our husbands, our community, and each other.

We may gripe some, because we know we are in a place that is understanding; however, we also know that out fellow police wives will hold us accountable to our attitudes and actions, giving us a kick in the rear when we need it.

Like police, when one of us is in trouble, we come together like no other. In a life of uncertainty, that is something I count as one of my biggest blessings.

mrs. fuzz said...

Now that I am looking at my comment I think it's kind of like Duh, but I loved your response and I love what MJ and momma hen have said.

I love the idea that "like the police, when one of us is in trouble, we come together like no other. . . "

It is a big blessing. And even though family and friends may also come to the rescue, there is definitely something different about fellow police wives being there.

Pam Landy said...

He sounds like a real peach.

What baffles me about his post is how adversarial it is... against LEO supporters. If he's that suspicious about the motives of LEO SOs, then I'm sure he's a delight out on the job with Joe Citizen. And at home.

Actually, that's the implication that really struck me about his post - if this is his attitude toward LEO SO groups, then I'm sure his own relationships are subjected to the same level of suspicion.

*takes off dimestore psychologist hat*

I for one am overjoyed to have found you all online, and I know JB is glad too.

Meadowlark said...

--from outta left field --

Perhaps it's the arrogance of being part of the "in" crowd. As in: I am embarrassed at how snotty I was about "Marine wives - toughest job in the Corps" after I got out and became a dependent. I looked down on the wives groups as a bunch of whiny/bitchy/pick any rude adjective who wanted to get together and "make something of themselves" by linking themselves to MY beloved Corps.

Uh. Yeah. about that... in time I obviously have changed my opinion. But I wonder if the original LEO up there was thinking that the groups were akin to 'badge bunnies who've purchased their way into his club by marrying a cop' and nothing better.

Yes, it's probably waaaaaay too much psychobabble, but as a person who does (still) at times struggle with no longer being 'in' the brotherhood, one never knows.