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How To Love Your Cop
How To Love Your Cop

Seven Books for Police Wives

Seven Books For Police Families

Way back in the dark ages of the late 80s, before everyone had a computer and a cell phone, there was no information or help for those of us who were new law enforcement wives. Some of us muddled through, some gave it up, but in LA, very few of us ever spoke to each other. Marriage topics were taboo, unless someone was bold enough to rant to the world about their home life. And really, that wasn’t helpful.

I’m pleased to say that this is no longer the case. We’re now stepping into the 21st century, realizing that the status quo just isn’t good enough. Law enforcement marriages have been breaking apart – according to studies, almost 3 out of 4 police marriages will end in divorce. And it affects everyone – spouses, children, extended families, cops, departments and our culture. Broken marriages extend pain beyond just the two involved. But I think those who step up to the thin blue line deserve better than this. So do those who are brave enough to love them.

In the last several years, concerned people have decided that they cared enough to help. They wrote books, put together seminars, and started groups, Facebook pages, ministries and blogs. I thought I would mention seven books I’ve read that I think would be helpful for some, comforting to others, and life-changing for still more. As I read more books in the future, I will let you know what I find.

The first is the pioneer – I Love a Cop by Dr. Ellen Kirschman. She is a clinical psychologist from California who works with peace officers and their families. She put together a wealth of information on what she has learned every police family should be aware of. I consider it a resource that every family member of a police officer should have on their shelf. It is an eye-opener.

Next comes Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement by Dr. Kevin M. Gilmartin. This book is a must-read. The author is a former police officer and now consults with law enforcement agencies as a behavior scientist across the country and in Canada. He explains the psychology and physiology of being a police officer. My husband attended a class with him, and told me that it was the first time in his life he felt understood.

The third is Bullets in the Washing Machine by Melissa Littles. Melissa is married to an officer in Oklahoma and started an internet group called “The Police Wife Life.” Her Treadmill Thoughts of the Day range from hysterical to in-your-face truths as she talks about many aspects of the life of an LEOW. Her book is a collection of several true stories that are both heartwarming and thought-provoking. Thousands of LEOWs across the country draw strength and laughter from Melissa.

Dependence Day, written by Heidi Paulson, documents a spiritual and emotional journey of healing after her husband crashes his motorcycle while on duty in Montana. She exhibits great strength in the face of many grueling months post-accident. It is inspiring to read for every day, but if your cop gets injured on the job, this resource would be a great comfort and guide.

The next book is written to officers, but I personally got a lot of understanding and new perspective from it. It’s called Arresting Communication and is by a retired police officer out of Illinois named Jim Glennon. Be warned that this book is laced with profanity, but also contains some great principles about communication for cops, on the job and at home.

Chaplain Allison Uribe, a chaplain and LEOW from Texas, wrote a faith-based book for law enforcement wives based on her own experience. It’s called Because I’m Suitable – The Journey of a Wife on Duty. Complete with tons of Scripture, thoughtful questions, and warm encouragement, this book can be used for Bible study groups. I have been personally going through the book on my own and it has been really great to stretch me in my relationship with my husband. Allison also runs a ministry to LEOWs called Wives on Duty.

The last is A CHiP on my Shoulder – How to Love Your Cop with Attitude, by yours truly. I wrote CHiP based on my own experience, interviews with over 35 police families, research, and feedback from those who are smarter than I. What results is a real but positive how-to book that gives new perspectives and understanding for the spouse of a police officer. I talk about communication, kids, money, support systems, sex, and difficulties that are specific to a crisis-driven career.

These are resources that I feel are helpful to the families of law enforcement. If you know of another book or seminar that would be helpful, please email me at victoria@how2loveyourcop.com, or comment here. I’ll check it out. In the meantime, I will continue to develop more resources in the days to come – books, seminars, speaking engagements and other resources to help police families not only survive, but thrive.

September 4th, 2012

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8 Comments

  • Suzy says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for all the resources. I met my husband 9 years ago and he’s been on the job for 8. Recently he’s become fairly unhappy and unsatisfied and I’ve been struggling with how to help him become less… jaded? Anyways, thank you for the community and resources and reminding me that it’s a fairly common thing (seeing as they see the worst of society all day every day, no wonder eh?)
    Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Suzy – Oh my gosh – I think I just snorted. There is a book title in there – ‘How to make him less jaded.’ When you figure that one out let me know. I am a 27 year survivor of the police wife life and my husband retires in May 2016. My hope and wish is that I can get the man back that I married 29 years ago. He was funny, lighthearted and loved by everyone. I am hoping we can find some therapy for him so he can work through the trauma he has kept inside of him… Best of luck to you.

  • Rachel says:

    Thank You & may God bless you and your family.

    LEOW,

    Rachel, NC

  • Tiffany says:

    My husband has been a police officer for 26 years, I don’t know how many times I have said lately how grumpy is always is. It kinda helps knowing that I am not alone.

  • Jenna says:

    I know I am not a wife, but I’ve been searching for a list to try to help me for quite some time now. I am currently living back in Iowa where we’re from, while he has just graduated from the SAT academy & starts on his own tomorrow. There have been bumps in the road and fights, mostly due to what he’s gone through as well as me not being there for physically support, only verbally.. & ive really needed guidance. He’s changed a lot just through the 8 months in the academy.. & I’ve needed help in understanding this as well as adapting to the change.

    I’m truly hoping your list helps me get through the next 5 months before I can move down.. as well as the future with him.

    Thank you for being one of few that has taken the time to not only make a list, but write a book.

    • Victoria Newman says:

      Jenna, that transition is a difficult one, and being apart makes it even harder! The books on the list should help–and he should read A Marriage in Progress, which is for officers about relationships. I am rewriting CHiP right now, and the new one will include even more information and stories. It will be out in July. If you have specific questions you can’t find answers for, please send me an email via my website–I will answer. Victoria

  • Kristy Anderson says:

    I am so thankful to have books out there like yours as well as the others you’ve listed. I never imagined I would meet and marry the love of my life 8 years ago and that he would be a leo . It’s crazy how different your life is being a Leow especially with how the media is out to crucify all Leo’s. Now more than ever it’s nice to have support. I’ve joined quite a few leow groups on Facebook ( they ask for proof of your Leo’s actual job to weed out the badge bunnies ) I’ve found that during some hard times they can be a great source of encouragement and support. I encountered what most Leo’s fear with my leo having to be in a suspect shooting and the following month was awful for us. Even though my husband was cleared of all charges it will forever haunt him. The guy was super amped up on drugs( they later found out) and despite every effort of negations, deploying a teaser ( by his partner) nothing stopped the suspect from drawing a weapon at point blank range on them leaving my husband with no choice. He has been shot at many times but it was his first and hopefully only time of having to take a life but he left him zero choice Thankfully, during his time on leave we studied your book and a couple others we found that helped us make it through. I just wanted to say Thank you again for how much it helped during a very hard time in our life! It helped us grow closer , and focus on each other and God during the difficult days.. Thank You Again

  • Krystal says:

    I love a cop is such a wonderful first resource to those married to leo’s. My husbands went from a typical 9-5 office job to an officer. It has been a really crazy transition, but that book alone has helped me understand some of the changes we have seen. From the night shift transition to the behavioral distinctions and more solo parenting…it is living a completely different life. Also, when you’re new into the leo family, you know no one and the books and online communities really help you feel less alone. I am looking forward to getting more support from the list you’ve provided!

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