Fifteen months ago I stood on the bank of a rushing river, hesitant to jump in. This was a metaphoric river in my mind—knowing that once I jumped in, it would be one wild ride. I would be at the mercy of the river, letting it carry me wherever it led.
I gathered some courage and jumped in with both feet. The current of adventure, tragedy, difficulties, and many obstacles threatened to drown me. But as of today, I have emerged victorious.
This wild and rushing river was the journey of writing A Marriage in Progress – Tactical Support for Law Enforcement Relationships, the companion book to A CHiP on my Shoulder, and written for officers.
When getting a book ready for publication, there is a grueling process the author goes through. Pinpointing exactly what to say, how to say it, and then putting small parts into a larger readable, engaging experience takes thought and perseverance. The journey determines the outcome. A Marriage in Progress went through this process, but faced obstacles at every phase. Frankly, there was a battle for every single word.
I had the outline and title early 2014. By August I was ready to write. I put together a survey and in one week, over 900 police officers, spouses, and dispatchers responded. I read every single response, and followed up with many of those who gave their contact information. I held dinners for police officers to ask them questions. I met with officers, therapists, and spouses, read many books, and discussed issues with others. I scoured the Internet for articles and blogs and information, and kept an eye and ear open at all times for content.
During this journey I fought health issues, a difficult season of my husband’s career, a family crisis, a national cop hate campaign, a tragic incident that stunned our Sacramento region, and issues with my publisher. Family members underwent several trials, and both of my daughters moved out of the house. My grandparents passed away, and I performed both ceremonies. But all of these issues made the book even better.
At every turn, the voice of doubt was whispering: I can’t do this. Will anyone actually read it? Is this any good? There were many who kept me going with their encouragement. My Bible, treadmill and positive music dealt with my stress – some mornings I ran and cried at the same time.
And then Chief began the meticulous process of going through it page by page. It was tedious but necessary. This was the makeover that brought the book up to where it needed to be. I dismantled two chapters that were a mess and added another, and went back and did more research. I took every piece of constructive criticism he gave and incorporated all of it—I even thanked him for tearing it apart! A real victory for this stubborn girl.
What has emerged has me absolutely ecstatic. The comments received from readers have given me encouragement and confidence. Chief, after reading the suicide chapter said, “This chapter will save lives…” I burst into tears. The foreword, written by a respected leader in law enforcement, makes some very bold claims that left me speechless.
A Marriage in Progress is crammed full of information, tools, perspectives, and encouragement. It is the companion book to A CHiP on my Shoulder, but includes more that I’ve gleaned since 2011. I address law enforcement relationships through police culture and concepts, making parallels from who they are as officers to who they are at home. It addresses communication, conflict resolution, parenting, spouses, ways to combat hypervigilance, soul wounds, and finances. It gives vision for marriage, hope for restoration, and addresses boundaries, sex, and trust. It includes a section for leaders and a section for comic relief when the reader needs a break. At the end of every chapter are some thoughts to contemplate, ideas to discuss with spouses, and suggestions for strategic application. Lastly, the 12-page Resource Guide lists many books, programs, organizations, and information that help the law enforcement family. I didn’t find everything out there, so my website will be updated regularly to include new resources.
Spouses will love this book. Officers will be challenged in a supportive way. Family members will finally get it. Chaplains and therapists will glean insight. And my ultimate hope is that relationships will thrive, lives will be changed, and marriages last.
If you would like to order A Marriage in Progress, it is available now on Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Progress-Tactical-Enforcement-Relationships/dp/1508921652/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449771094&sr=8-1&keywords=a+marriage+in+progress.
The Kindle version will follow shortly.
Victoria Newman - "A CHiP on My Shoulder" December 10th, 2015
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