It is a common belief that careers in law enforcement lead to divorce. In fact, recruiters and background investigators sit down with the spouses of potential recruits to let them know about the higher-than-average divorce rate.
They are usually retired officers, (a/k/a cynical cops), who are simply wrong. We can also blame society, entertainment, and media outlets full of stories and images of police officers working their own agenda, angle, and bias when trying to portray the job of a police officer.
Some common misunderstandings about police work are far from the truth. The point of this article is that general belief that a career in law enforcement leads to higher divorce is false. Researchers have discovered this too.
SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION
The police divorce rate is actually lower than the national average. It’s closer to the bottom of the list when it comes to the correlation between occupations and divorce.
Research done at Radford University in Virginia poured over statistics and came to the conclusion that the divorce rate among law enforcement officers is no higher than the national average. In fact, they found that the divorce rate for those in Law Enforcement is slightly lower than average.
A recent study completed by Ph.D. Michael G. Aamodt from Radford University, also showed that the divorce rate among Law Enforcement is lower than the national average, although it has increased somewhat from 2010. But then, so did the national average for all occupations.
Anyone considering a career in law enforcement has a lot of things to think about and consider, but thinking about “divorce” should NOT be one of them. If you carefully and diligently work on your marriage, the issue of divorce won’t be a matter of question.
The reality: having your priorities in order and faithfully working hard to sharpen yourself and marriage may even lead to greater happiness both at work and at home.
This fallacy of divorce in Law Enforcement made me think of the countless police officers I know who are still married. I know countless officers who are happily married; this is not by luck. It takes hard work, communication, forgiveness and enormous sacrifices. Ask the spouse of any officer: it can be a tremendous stressor at times with the long hours, missed birthdays, holidays and cancelled days off.
I read an article recently by Pope Francis on saying three important words daily for happiness at home.
We all need reminders. The three words and phrases are: Please, Thank You and I’m sorry. Pope Francis stated that although these words are easier to say than to mean, they are absolutely necessary in a marriage.
They are part of good manners, respect and the desire for the good of the other, not pretense. Officers are accustomed to giving orders at work. When you get home, be willing to take some criticism and work to improve your imperfections. Work hard to make your home happy.
If you are that officer who is struggling at home, ask a veteran officer for advice. Seek out officer(s) who have been married for years because they might have answers that you need. Below are the three simple phrases to make your marriage better.
The word please reminds us that we should be polite, respectful and patient towards everyone, especially those closest to us. Sometimes, we are drained when we come home from the job and we tend to forget that it’s the little things which truly make a difference.
Every officer’s home should try to be a place of peace and serenity. Despite the small frustrations of daily life, make a strong and sincere effort to be happy more than being right.
Another simple phrase ‘Thank You,’ is one we should use daily. Saying thank you daily shows just how grateful you are to your spouse for even the smallest gesture. Be grateful to your spouse for that home cooked meal, laundry or just putting up with your defects!
Studies have shown that showing gratitude toward your spouse has proven to make you more attractive! Grab a thank you card during your tour, put it on the kitchen table and let her know you are grateful! I know an officer who shows gratitude to his wife who is a full time mother, by giving her ‘nights off.’ He cooks the dinner and puts the kids to bed.
The third phrase is ‘I’m Sorry.’ I know this phrase very well. This key phrase should be in every officer’s vocabulary. Whether at home or on the street, if you are wrong, admit it. Saying I’m sorry can eliminate pride, which can be one of the greatest enemies in marriage.
Keep calm, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Every one of us gets angry from time to time. Try working on saying I’m sorry more often. It will lead to peace and harmony in your home. If you are in a quarrel, do not let the day end without saying I’m sorry and making harmony with each other.
If any marriage is to preserve its initial charm and beauty, both husband and wife should try to renew their love day after day and that is done through sacrifice with smiles, and also with ingenuity. Spouses need to overcome themselves, a little every day to ensure that their marriage always stays young and joyful as it was on the first day.
If you are anything like me, we need to be reminded. Please let this be a little reminder for you – the reader. A happy marriage lies in the ‘little things,’ NOT in daydreams.
In this chaotic world, we may not understand each other, but we are called to accept and love each other.
Marriage is hard work. We marry imperfect people, yet are called to love them with their defects and limitations.
Men and women are very different. Marriage is like a pearl of great value – it is worth fighting for it.
At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.
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