Like Ora Lee Tingle and Carolina Moon in The Choirboys, "Badge Bunnies" and "Cop Groupies" have become part of police lore. There are far more subtle, but more dangerous, threats to a police marriage, however, be wary of the needy victim who adopts you as her "personal cop," bypassing dispatch in favor of your direct line when there is a problem to be solved. Keep it professional with the friendly convenience store clerk who gives you extra customer care, and never allow yourself to be blinded by the attention you receive on the job.
Friendship with the Opposite Sex
It is an old question and one that has spawned much debate: "Can men and women remain 'just friends'?" We think so, and each of us has enjoyed strictly platonic, opposite sex friendships throughout our lives. Having and learning from those relationships has strengthened our own friendship and marriage. Men and women working side-by-side and developing professional and personal relationships is the norm in almost every profession. It is almost inevitable close relationships will form, especially in the often intense and emotionally-charged world of law enforcement.
There are some important caveats, though. The relationship must be understood as platonic by both friends at all times. It must never come before, or take precedence over, the marriage. And it must never be exclusive of the either friends' spouses. The moment it comes before or threatens the marital relationship it must be reexamined, and possibly ended.
Slippery Slope of Emotional Affairs
Many physical affairs start off because two friends get together to spout off about their partner. During these conversations the two friends bond over their miseries and begin to tell each other they are too good of a person to put up with that crap. As emotional intimacy continues to build one thing leads to another the two friends end up in a hotel room. Neither one of the friends ever "meant for it to happen" as the friendship started, but over time they gained a deeper emotional bond with one another than they have with their partner/spouse.
However, pure emotional affairs where no physical contact occurs are just as dangerous as a physical affair. A person is being unfaithful to their relationship whenever they share more intimate emotional feelings and secrets with their new friend than they do their partner. One of the safeguards of preserving our committed relationships is to have a deeper emotional intimacy with our partner/spouse than with any other person. When something good or bad happens during the day, who is the first person you think of calling? If it's someone other than your partner/spouse, then you may be on the downward slide of an emotional affair. Jump off immediately and start reinvesting time into your committed relationship!!!!
Relationships are fragile and even the best relationships hit challenges, difficulties, and hard times. Do not be naive and think you could never fall victim to either a physical or emotional affair. Basic human needs are to feel loved, accepted, and connected to another person on a deep intimate level. When our current relationship is suffering we become vulnerable to attention from someone new. As cops you learn tactical skills to keep ourselves safe on the streets, consider the skills above as tactical skills that keep your relationship safe.