09 May WEARING THE BOOTS IN THE RELATIONSHIP – When your partner is a civilian
My husband is a straight up civilian, no military, no law enforcement experience or interest in either. I am constantly asked if my husband is in the service or if I met him in the military. Now that I’m a law enforcement officer, I get the same. Why do people assume that women in these fields only meet or can find happiness with men in the same field? It doesn’t seem to bother my husband that I’m the boot wearer and the gun toter. He hasn’t said so. I wonder if it does.
I was in the military, as a reservist, when he met me. I was called to active duty and left for Iraq about a year after that. I spent two years mobilized and to my surprise, he was waiting when I returned home. Before getting married, we discussed my military career, how important it was to me and the possibility of being called to active duty again. It was important to me that he understood. He was understanding and supportive then and he’s understanding and supportive now. My civilian and military careers have taken me away on several occasions since becoming a mom. While he does have the help and support of my mom while I’m away, my husband is very hands on when it comes to our son and our home. It does take a special kind of man to commit to a woman in our fields. He makes going away less worrisome.
He doesn’t always understand what I’m going through when it comes to my careers but he listens. He’s my love, my partner, my confidant and my best friend. He gives me strength and encouragement. He keeps me calm and patient. We fuss and argue, we learn and we grow together. A pair of combat/tactical boots is a symbol of public service, honor, courage and strength. But not wearing the boots doesn’t mean an absence of those qualities. My husband has them all. He doesn’t need to wear them; I’m okay with being the one that wears the boots in the family.
Are you a military member, law enforcement officer or first responder with a civilian partner? What has your experience been as the one who wears the boots in your relationship?