Yesterday someone asked me why I was so concerned about police, they asked me if I was married to a cop, I told them, “Yes, 14 years.” They seemed surprised; they asked why I didn’t use the “police wife” title as my primary qualification in writing my books. Simply put, it’s not my primary qualification or my primary role.
I am Karen Solomon, a funny, intelligent, passionate person. I entered into a relationship legally called marriage with a person who still laughs at the same stupid joke for 14 years, who thinks I am smart, beautiful and successful. Someone who tolerates my nonsense and allows me to be myself without restriction. I am a police wife by default; it’s his chosen role in society.
The word “wife” describes my role in the relationship, not me. Shockingly to you, that relationship is not the most important one that I have. The most important relationship is the one I have with my children and every other child I come into contact with, children need adults more than other adults need adults. I’ve always believed that.
I define myself through my behavior, my occupation and my passions, not my spouses. Yes, shift work is difficult, yes, he needs a hot dinner, extra sleep and a clean uniform but that is not only my responsibility, it’s his as well. I am not going to make our marriage successful with those things. Those things are not the root of problems with any marriage, let alone a police marriage.
Difficulties arise from other things – poor communication, selfishness, misunderstanding one another, not allowing another person to grow, I could come up with many more things that have nothing to do with my husband’s job and role in the community. The only way to fix your marriage is to fix those things.
If your spouse has PTSI or other issues that are related to the job, warm dinners aren’t going to fix that either. You need to get to the root of the problem – police work – and fix that. Fix the benefits, fix the perception, and fix everything that is wrong. I believe that you need to fix the “cop” before you can fix your marriage.
If you define yourself solely with one role or one occupation, you are going to find yourself swimming in a sea of desperation if that part of your identity ever falls apart. We are made up of more than one role, occupation and relationship, happiness is a balance.
That is why I don’t define myself as a police wife. A part of me is a wife. My relationship is a marriage. I am not a victim and I do not have a target on myself. I choose to be more than a police wife. I chose these books not because I need to fix my husband or myself, I chose them because there is a greater social issue that is eating away at good people and it needs to be fixed. You may choose cancer as your cause, or human trafficking; I choose police reform, not solely because of my husband, but because it needs to be fixed. Perhaps I can make a difference; perhaps it will all be in vain. But I am going to try and to hell with the labels. I can be a police wife and not care about policing, I’ve seen it and I know you have. A label is secondary to who I am. You’re not a police wife either, it’s one of your roles, use it wisely.
So if you are wondering why I don’t present my marriage as my first and most important qualification, it’s because it’s not. These books do not depend on my marriage and my marriage does not depend on them. I am more than a police wife and I am not going to peddle my relationship to sell books or gain validation. My validation comes from the trust that has been put into me, not my husband, not my relationship. Me. My ability to see what is there and call it what it is.