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Our chemistry was amazing, but even then I had reservations about his being a New York City police officer.A scenario would run through my head: I'd hear a knock at the door and his captain would be there, telling me Nick had been shot. But Nick was persistent and I was too crazy about him to resist. Even when the two of us are out to dinner by ourselves, he's always looking around the room, checking out everyone and everything but me.
At first I was thrilled — finally, I thought, we could have a normal life! True, he's off the streets, and that's reassuring, but his days are even longer now than they used to be! "When the kids were younger he used to help with child care and housework, but now? I'm exhausted trying to keep everyone happy — and then Nick has the nerve to order me around like I'm a new recruit.But when you factor in the extra burdens of a physically dangerous job and erratic work schedules, a marriage can easily collapse from the stress.Not surprisingly, studies suggest that the divorce rate for police officers is higher than average, and their wives often complain that 'the department' controls their lives."It's hard to believe we used to have fun together. Sometimes I won't hear about what I did wrong until a month later. But she doesn't seem to remember that, either — or the fact that husbands and wives are supposed to have sex with each other! "Every day while driving home I promise myself that tonight things will be better. If I'm five minutes late, she'll hiss, 'Where were you?' It's never 'I want to hear about your day, sweetheart.' It's an inquisition.Her Turn "Being a cop's wife means nonstop worry and tension," said Liz, 33, a stay-at-home mother of three children ranging in age from 4 to 11."But even worse, Nick totally shuts me and the kids out of his life. Do you have any idea how many birthday parties, school performances and parent-teacher meetings I've attended by myself?I've seen things I'd never describe to Liz that are seared in my brain.When you wear a badge and a gun you have to stay calm and just block out the horror, anger and frustration.Maybe she should try talking to some of them instead of wasting time on the phone all day with her girlfriends.My sister-in-law has been a cop's wife for 25 years, but whenever she tries to offer advice Liz brushes her off. I explain that when we're in a restaurant, I am listening — but I'm also scanning the room to make sure there's no trouble. As for not helping with the kids, that's categorically untrue! But instead of giving me credit, she'll complain to her friends about the two nights I forgot to take out the garbage. She's got the kids overprogrammed with activities, which — along with all the stuff she buys — are breaking our bank account.