How can I get him to leave work at work?

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

We've had struggles before in our 10 years of marriage but since he started became a deputy 3 years ago things have just increased in the intensity. I feel as if I am being turned inside out. The things that were wrong before are slapped in my face and he is much more vocal about correcting every imperfection I have! How do I get him to see that I am not the bad guy?


Alberta - posted on 01/21/2010




I am the wife of a LEO and have been since 1996. He was a LEO when we started dating and married and I have the opposite problem from most of you all. My husband "clam's up" and will tell me about the "office junk" and occasionally about a call he went on but he does not want to discuss anything in our own life or our children. He doesn't want to make decisions, make phone calls or dicipline the children. It IS causing serious marital problems and I am SOOOOO sick of it! I need to do everything with calling, schedules, children, dicipline and NOW the kids play us against each other. If I tell the 3 yo NO she runs to Dad and cried and throws a tenper tantrum and he doesn't want to hear it so he gives in!!!! Now what I am the B**** and he is the hero that gives her anything!!!! She is getting to be a BRAT with me WHEN HE IS HOME and I can't stop it! The 8yo often gets yelled at or used as maid service for Dad and I hate that TOO! The baby is almost 6 months old and she SCREAMS when with Daddy. She will tolerate time with Dad about 10 minutes! NOT EVEN LONG ENOUGH FOR A PEACEFUL SHOWER!!! I am exhausted (baby is a horrible sleeper), stressed, frustrated, going crazy and over worked. He will do dishes ocasionally, vacuum about once a week and does HIS laundry (no one elses). He complains if the house is a mess (even just scattered toys) but won't help. Our house is small (under 1000 sq ft including a semi finished attic that the 8yo has her room in!) We have 5 people all living here and I LOVE MY HOUSE and don't want a bigger one but it is still a lot of people close together so he should understand! I get rid of "extras", am organized and work at keeping things clean and put away. OH we ALSO have a 100 lb DOG who sheds constantly who he puts out on his line and feeds at night )and I do everything else for him) and the other day he came home wanting another puppy that would grow to be about a 150lb adult!!!! I SAID NO AND HE WAS MAD!!!!! I NEED him to step up, get up and DO!!! What do I do to get him to be the Dad and Husband I know he can and should be. I have "mini" glimpses of greatness and I love those moments/days but they don't out weigh the bad and I am frustrated. He needs to talk to me, discipline our kids and help. Sorry I vented but I am ready to scream this morning!!!


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[deleted account]

It's all fine and dandy to create a loving refuge for your LEO when he comes home, but a marriage could get one-sided awful fast if that is the way of it everyday. Husbands and wives need to lean on One another. Yes the job is more dangerous and stressful then most....but I don't think that gives them a pass or an excuse to take it out on the family. Afterall.......aren't we the reason you want to come home alive? Aren't we why you are out there trying to make a difference? Yes, of course be supportive and understanding and his strength when he needs it. but it works both ways. Serve and protect begins at home!

Peggy - posted on 01/14/2010




Hi Jacque,

I have read the other replies and they are very sound. Sadly, police work is the most affected by bad attitudes. I am also married to a part time deputy (retired from 26 years as a police officer with NYS Dept of Encon) and the stories of marital struggles between the deputies and their spouses is quite staggering. My husband and I started off with God as the head of our home, and with a few struggles along the way, managed to keep Him there.

Location can also be a factor with larger metro areas seeming to have more problems, but even rural Sheriff's offices have their share. Deputies see and respond to some pretty nasty situations and when they leave work, bring it home with them. It's on their mind. Cases that need their attention and are waiting for them the next day just can not be left at work. It's not a 9 - 5 job.

You don't say what shift he works, but several thoughts have gone through my mind.

Without sounding like a woman from the 50's ...

1. Is your house a welcome refuge? Is he greeted at the door by a reasonably picked up house and children under control? Is there food in the fridge and cupboards? He needs time and space to unwind. As much as he loves you and your children, he needs some quiet time.

2. When you first greet him after HIS work day, are you pleasant? Even though you may have had a rough day at work, make a conscioius effort to not complain. Don't bring up your day until he has had a chance to talk about his. If he doesn't talk ... wait until after dinner to bring up your day, if you feel you need to bring it up at all. Sometimes just coming home and relaxing and take the edge off a bad day and what seemed to be bugging you at 4 has a way of easing by 7.

3. If you share household chores and his are not getting done, do you nag him? I've learned to just let things go. His turn to wash dishes? Do them anyway and don't mention it. This goes for other things around the house as well.

4. Who does the laundry? If it is you, make sure he has clean clothes where he can find them. I am notorious for procrastinating on putting laundry away. My husband was raised with clothes washed, dried, ironed and hung the next day. HAHAHA!!!! I know this bothered him but it was just hard for me to get it all done and away and he was the one to let it go .. sometimes he has to dig his way through the laundry basket to find matching socks, BUT if I knew this was an area of contention between us, I would make more of an effort to get 'em matched up and in his sock drawer.

I guess the key word here is effort. It would be nice if he put forth some effort, but he may not at this time. Be consistent, be faithful, refuse to argue and stick with it. Don't 'cop' an attitude that continues the problem. Walk away quietly and calmly if you need to.

I can not tell you how essential prayer is. A relationship with the Lord, first, seems to pave the way for problems to be solved. If church for BOTH of you is not an option, find another law enforcement couple who have been together happily for more than 5 years (police years) and get to know them. Find out if there is a support group in your area.

I know of several families where the church going, praying, patienty waiting wife had her husband turn to the Lord after years of watching her faithful service to God AND himself.

Rebecca - posted on 01/08/2010




This is a struggle that I haven't found "THE" answer to yet, either. However, a few things that have worked for me... Like the the other ladies have said, he may need some "space" when he comes to unwind so try to work that into a routine. Also, while he may need to vent, he may not want to talk about work at all. If he doesn't already have a lot of friends on the force, then he needs to get some. I think that one of the only things that keeps my husband sane is being able to talk openly to someone who understands, and I know that that is not always me (even when I want it to be). Lastly, when he's taking his day out on you, he will not be able to see it. Broach that topic with him after he's calmed down and do it when you are calm too. In hindsight, he might be able to see that it isn't you he's really mad at. Once he's realized that, and acknoweldged that, it may be easier to head off the problem by reminding him about what you talked about.

My husband's been one the force, off the force, and is now back on the force. It is an adjustment, butremember it's an adjustment for both of you.

Good Luck!

Laura - posted on 11/21/2009




Well I can't say much on the side of a career change. My husband has been with the Sheriff's Office since he was 19. However I can say that from my experience it is very normal for cops to be very up front and vocal about everything. The trick it trying to figure out when to just let it go and when to stand up for yourself...but in a loving way. I always try to ask him about how his shift went and have learned a lot about how things work out on the street. I used to work for a 911 EMS company and occasionally we would end up on the same call which also helped cause we had something in common to talk about. But mostly when he has had a rough shift sometimes the best thing to do is just to give him some space for a little while before talking with him. Good luck and hang in there :).

Tammy - posted on 11/18/2009




When my husband and I married he was not a police officer. After watching him go through the Academy and change from a type B personality to a type A+ personality I have dealt with exactly what you are talking about. We have been married now for 20 years. The job used to be what defined him. He was raised in a Christian Family and although we were in "church" we still had those days of wanting to "getaway" from one another. There are things that he has seen that he will probably take to his grave. The best thing that you can do for him is love him and pray for him. I have endured his "take downs" and rather than arguing back I just prayed for him while I let him vent. When he gets home I give him about 30 minutes of "chill" time. You have to figure he is the junkyard dog all day long. The last thing he can handle is being barked at in his own home. Try to make your home his sanctuary. We now go to a church where in our SS class is other officers. They get together and share stories but most improtantly they see that they are not the ONLY ones dealing, they also get to see that their wives are not alone either. It has really helped our marriage. I don't know what you spiritual beliefs are, but I can tell you that we read the Bible together and when we read passages about how "we" as husband and wife should love each other, it helps take us back to why we married. Also, if you can, get him to let you ride along with him. Seeing what he does first hand will help you and he understand what kind of stuff he sees. Right now he is still in the honey moon phase of his job, like it or not the job is the other woman. They get incredible adrenaline rushes everyday! Life and death all day long. He may even be second guessing why he got the job. Not to mention they have to deal with regular "micromanagement" just as if he were in an office. He will be paranoid, and make you miserable, but try to be patient and understand, that its not like a regular job that you can just leave behind. He wonders everyday if he made the right decisions. He worries about his family and wonders if they will ever fall prey to one of those that he has arrested. He also sees the worst of the worst and has to wonder why? Then he gets complained on for doing his job and feeling like he will never get a break only to come home and find out something else is broken or he has a collector looking for money. I tell my husband I love him every day before he goes to work. I pray for him all day long and I let him know it. Frankly, he could walk out one morning and never come back and he will never tell you, but that is what he worries about the most. That and does he really make a difference. I didn't mean to ramble so much, but I hope this helped.

Barb - posted on 11/04/2009




I can really understand, but I also understand your husband too. The job ultimatly sucks, no one "likes" them, they see all of society in the worst times and have to deal with them. They are societies babysitter and that can't be an easy role to take on. The only thing I can suggest is talking to him, not arguing (and I know that is hard) but try to understand where he is coming from, what kind of crap he has had to deal with ll day long and show him a support system rather than another challenge. I also am emplyed in emergency services so I can relate to some extent to my husband (although I am a firefigher and everyone loves us, unlike cops) and I find that he is able to talk about his day, we can be upset about how the system is run and we can laugh at how stupid some people are. You need to find that common bond. Cops have twisted senses of humour which you may or may not agree with, but if you can handle it then it is a great way to get the day out of his head and move on to the fun things at home.

Rebecca - posted on 11/03/2009




Hi Jacque,

When my husband and I got together he had already been in law enforcement for 8 years so I really don't have a good reference to go to for that career change for your husband. I can tell you that the stress that our DH's have at work is intense and I can only imagine how difficult it is to transition from work to home. My husband is pretty good with that transition but still has a difficult time occasionally and I do tend to get the fall out. My best advice is stand strong, you have to, and see if you can ask him how his day went and if he is taking things out on you, stay calm, don't yell, and remind him that you are on his side and that together you can work out what ever issue you may be having. I did find that the more calm I stay, usually the more calm he is. Remember when they are at work and someone is resisting them, they are trained to come back at them with twice as much force. It is not an easy road being the wife of a LEO. I would have responded sooner but I haven't been in this group for a while. If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to ask.


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