BOOK REVIEWS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT RELATED READING

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Interview With Monica Amor, Author of Wives Behind the Blue

Tell our followers a little bit about yourself and your journey as a police wife?

In Wives Behind the Blue I share my personal journey as a Police wife in great detail but if I was to sum it up in a few words I would have to say this: I knew without a doubt that God was calling my husband into Law Enforcement, I was proud of him, believed in him and knew he would do great things as an Officer. I just had no idea that God was calling me to be a Police wife. When you become a Police wife you deal with things that the average wife doesn’t necessarily deal with. Whether on patrol, in the jails, or in the courts, your husbands/Officer is ultimately a crime fighter. Because there is a lot of crime out there, as a Police wife you often find yourself doing a lot of married life things on your own at times, yet needing to be committed enough to find unique ways to stay connected as a couple. Typically, I’m a carefree, fairly trusting, love-bug type of person but for my crime-fighting Officer, his training has taught him a rigid structure, discipline, suspicion and an incredible poker face. The most challenging part of my personal journey has been learning how to bring our two polar opposite ways together in unity. Fortunately, my husband and I have learned to lean on God during this entire journey. Our faith has taught us a lot about how to fulfill our roles as an Officer and as a Police wife, in order to grow together.

What made you decide to write a book?

Though I have been a Police wife for many years, I didn’t particularly feel qualified to write on the subject. I wasn’t really connected with other Police wives, so writing this book was the farthest thing from my mind. In fact, I had been praying about what type of writing I should do and assumed God would open a door with a Christian magazine editor, which He had done in the past. I thought I would spend the summer writing faith-based articles geared toward how God works in our everyday life. Turns out that was not the door God opened. Through a lot of prayer and divine connections, it became clear that Police wives needed this kind of book. And while I may not have felt qualified, God wasn’t worried about that, and called me to do it anyways.

What kept you from being involved with other police wives right from the start?

By nature, my husband is a reserved, protector type of person. Having this type of nature, I didn’t have any real expectation of getting involved with recruits and their wives during the Academy. However, I assumed that once my husband completed the grueling 28-weeks of training and settled into his career as an Officer, close friendships with fellow Officers would automatically develop, and so would the connection for me with their wives. Being that it was his job and not mine, I waited for my husband to take the lead in this area but it just never seemed to happen. While there was no doubt an unspoken brotherhood with those he worked with, being a new Officer, my husband was completely focused on learning every detail about his job and learning it well. He wanted to do his very best, which of course is

one of the many qualities I love about him, but because of that intense desire to do his best, connecting on a personal level with other Law Enforcement couples wasn’t really a high priority for him, which in turn made it not a high priority for me.

How has the book impacted this?

As I share in Wives Behind the Blue, having dinner at a restaurant with a group of Police Wives for the very first time to discuss my interest in writing this book was an amazing experience. Just sharing a meal together with beautiful like-minded wives of Officers opened my eyes to what I had been missing. I sat there listening to them talk about everyday Police wife stuff such as taking uniforms to the cleaners, dealing with the kids on their own, keeping positive during mandatory overtime and so on. These women were speaking my language and it blessed me beyond measure. That’s when I knew without a

doubt this book had to be written.

Do you think it’s different for new wives starting out now than from when you were

starting out? If yes, in what way?

Absolutely! When my husband joined the Academy nearly 20 years ago, there was no such thing as “Police bashing” on Social Media. While the internet is a wonderful tool in many ways, the freedom of negative speech on social media, particularly pertaining to Police, has become quite toxic and distressful, especially for new wives starting out.

What would be some good advice you have for a new wife starting out?

Fortunately, there are many more resources now for new wives starting out. How-to books, Bible Studies, online support groups, Police Wives Academy training and more are ready resources. My best advice to new wives of Officers is to take advantage of all of it. Seek out these many tools to learn, understand and thrive as a Police wife. And even if your Officer is a bit more reserved about connecting outside of work, like my Officer, still reach out to at least a few new wives as well as seasoned wives, their support will be immeasurable.

Describe the structure and content of your book, and about the decision to make it a compilation book?

Wives Behind The Blue is a devotional-style book that shares the experiences of various Law Enforcement wives who have learned to successfully navigate through the ups and down that come with being a wife of an officer. The decisions to make it a compilation was easy for me because while I didn’t know many Police wives personally before writing the book, I knew in my heart that if I had a story to share other Police wives must have stories as well. Once I let it be known that I was looking for story contributors, wives were contacting me right away, eager to share their experiences.

What were some of your favorite excerpts/advice given in your book from the other wives?

When the first wife Wendy shared her story with me, I thought for sure her story would be my favorite but then the second wife shared, then the third and the fourth and so on. Literally every Police wife in the book who shared their story with me touched my heart in a special way. It’s impossible to pick a favorite because each one offered something valuable. Especially being that this was my first interaction with this many Police wives. I soaked up all their advice, just as I believe readers will as well.

I had so many favorite parts of your book. I love that no matter where we come from, ages we are, experiences we’ve had, that somehow, we are all uniquely tied together with this common bond. One of my favorite points of yours was about fighting bitterness about the job. As wives we often feel like this is their job and their life, and we’re just along for the ride. His calling all the sudden becomes your calling also. How do you manage the changing seasons of being a police wife? What are some positive and negative aspects you’ve experienced from the job?

I think realizing that seasons do change for our Officers is a good starting point, it was for me. Initially there was a season of excitement because it was a new career. A noble one at that. But let’s face it, it is a hard job and seasons do change. The way we managed the changing seasons was by communicating with each other more than we ever wanted to. At the end of the day, he’s my “boo” and I’m his, so we just made a point to keep communicating through the different needs each of us felt that we had as the seasons changed.

In your book, Brenda mentions how as wives we tend to be sacrificial, but there needs to be a fine line for the importance of our lives too. I often think police wives feel like they take a backseat to everyone else in terms of needs. What would be the best advice and encouragement you have for women who deal with these feelings?

I’ve thought about this question a lot, and to be honest, I don’t feel it’s just a Police wife thing to be sacrificial, it’s a woman thing, we’re just built that way. As the nurturer of the household, we tend to take a backseat to our husbands, kids, neighbors, pets just about anyone and anything in our close circle. And while some of that is good and needed, yes there is a fine line. As a married couple, we do need to make sacrifices for one another. We must learn how to love, support, honor and cherish our men, while at the same time learning how to love, honor and cherish ourselves also. It is a healthy part of our growing journey. It’s something I have personally prayed a lot about. I have found that the more I have grown in this area of balance, the better I have felt about myself and in turn the better, more balanced wife and mama I have become.

Our police world is kind of a small place, so I was pleased to see some of the “greats” that I recognized featured in your book. Kristi Neace, Allison Uribe, and Adam Davis are some of our favorites, so I love that there were excerpts included from them. One of my favorite quotes from Kristi is, “There’s a certain swell of pride within us that cannot be overshadowed by any negativity or hatred that this world sometimes dishes out.” We have entered a whole new climate regarding this profession. It can be very unsettling to deal with the general public when there is so much hate cast our spouse’s way. Being a more experienced wife, how has this new atmosphere affected you?

I have primarily viewed Law Enforcement Officers and the work they do, through my own Officer, instead of the world’s negative perception, at times. Just like every Police wife who shared their story in Wives Behind the Blue and countless other Police wives who have their own stories, my Officer chose this career to make a positive difference and that is exactly what he is doing. He is a man and Officer of integrity, and truth. He upholds the law as a member of society and enforces it as an Officer. Regardless of the changing atmosphere, whatever crazy the world dishes out regarding Law Enforcement Officers, we Police wives, who see it in our own husbands, know the truth.

Allison Uribe describes it perfectly, “All along I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But even as unpredictable as it was, it is the strength I have gained that exceeded it all.” We gain a lot of strength as police wives, what are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your journey of police life?

As I share in the book, I had to adjust a lot more than I realized. I had this one idea starting out, as if it was going to be one big parade in honor of this new career choice. But reality is, as a Police wife you have to step up a lot more than you expect. You do a lot on your own, because you husband chose a career to help a community that doesn’t always appreciate him. Fortunately, having a strong foundation in God, kept me seeking Him for strength, joy, patience and peace in the midst of it all.

Emily and Lucy talk about the topic that I know all of us deal with, and that is feeling the need for pity parties sometimes. It’s hard when your husband works late or just has a lot of overtime to make ends meet. Emily makes a great point that your kids feed off your attitude, so to always be mindful of that. Such a great reminder! Lucy said when she feels like that, she’ll write out her “pity party” and then finds a way to change that bitterness to thankfulness. What are some other ways to combat these feelings of bitterness and anger?

This is where having seasoned Police wives as friends really helps. While I didn’t have that initially, I did have seasoned Christians who taught me a lot about letting go of anger and bitterness as a wife in general, let alone a Police Wife. Now, knowing seasoned wives of Officers, I can talk out some of those feelings. Half the time just knowing another Police wife understands you and can relate helps you let go of the ugly feeling you might be holding on too.

Something a lot of wives struggle with is what do you do with your time when you’re feeling lonely in your spouse’s absence? Victoria nails it perfectly, you HAVE to have a life outside of your spouse! Find some hobbies, go back to school, start a business, etc. Have you dealt with this feeling before and how did you handle it?

I believe this is a struggle for any wife who wraps her entire life around her family. We wives and mama’s just love our families so much that we often can’t helping to be all about them. What I’ve come to realize is that as I discover my own interests separate from my role as Police wife and mama, I am so much more content within myself which my Officer and children have been able to sense. Just as with everything balance is key. Being all about your family as a Police wife, while also discovering and doing things you enjoy for yourself.

What is the best lesson you’ve learned from bringing wives together and writing this fabulous book?

The best lesson I’ve learned is that while isolating yourself may seem like a natural thing for a Law Enforcement family for safety and other reasons, police wives really do need each other because together, they are strong.

How important do you think it is for wives to connect with each other and why?

Wives often want their husbands to meet all their emotional needs, at least I know I did for a long time. Honestly that’s a lot of pressure to put on our husbands. Having faith and a few solid friends have proven so valuable for me as a wife in general, let alone as a Police wife. Having a small support group has taken unnecessary pressure off my Officer to meet that hormonal-emotional side of me that in truth only other women really understand.

I so appreciate the opportunity I had to read your book and discuss it with you! As you mention, the reason resources are so important is to be able to prevent problems, instead of fixing them. Thanks for giving us another incredible resource to help all of us along in our journeys!