Frank Borelli Editor-in-Chief Officer.com Valentine's Day: one of the few days in a year that if a man does nothing at all he's done something wrong.Â Unfortunately, some of us don't learn that lesson until we've ruined a relationship or three.Â I know that when I got married (the first time) I had a lot to learn about how to be a good husband.Â There were a few things I could have learned from veteran officers, but for some reason they either 1) hadn't learned it yet, or 2) they weren't sharing it. What I eventually realized had to do with the difference in perception between the cop before marriage and his partner before marriage, and how outlooks change after they get married. What I eventually realized had to do with how events in a given day are very different for the cop as compared to how they are for the spouse. What I eventually realized had to do with simply appreciating my wife's outlook; stressors; day to day life.Â Sometimes that's pretty hard to do when you've come home from a day of stressful duty yourself. Let's ponder a few things: Before you get married - unless you're living together - you and your partner saw each other as your schedules permitted.Â When you were apart, each of you was living your own individual life.Â In such circumstances, although you might notice the time apart, it doesn't cause concern.Â Then you get married or start living together.Â Suddenly there's a change.Â The time your spouse spends at home while you're at work - usually evening and midnight shifts - becomes time when she's all too aware that you're not there.Â That leads her to ponder what you're doing and that can often lead her into thoughts about the risks you face on duty.Â No wonder wives get upset when husband's come home late from a shift of police duty.Â They've sometimes spent the evening wondering if we ARE coming home. Before you got married, the problems in your partner's day were exactly that: THEIR problems.Â If you could offer sympathy or assist you certainly would.Â But ultimately THEIR problems were THEIR problems unless it directly affected you.Â Once you're married though, THEIR problems are YOUR problems the minute you walk in the door - and it doesn't matter what happened during your shift.Â Let's put that in perspective - and I'll use an example from my past. I worked one evening shift wherein I responded to a traffic accident in a major intersection.Â One of those involved was a pregnant woman who was due, quite literally, any day.Â The accident had caused her water to break, and as she was having her 8th child, she seemed to feel like she'd deliver any moment.Â Her contractions were strong and close together.Â I was silently being thankful that the ambulance was on the way.Â When it arrived the two VERY young medics weren't able to hold their stomachs while assisting the woman and I had the honor of helping to deliver the baby (playing catch).Â When I got home at the end of that shift my wife was still up and was quite upset that she'd had to wash her dinner dishes by hand because the dishwasher was broken and I hadn't fixed it (or had it fixed) before I went to work. Now, take those two events into consideration from the different perspectives.Â To me, the broken dishwasher barely mattered in my world.Â To my wife, my work was my work and all she was concerned about was the broken dishwasher.Â Different priorities; different perspectives; potential for huge disagreements depending on how the whole conversation was handled. The point I'm trying to make is that, especially on special days each year: Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, your wife's birthday - take her perspective into consideration and treat her in a special way for how she puts up with you when she doesn't understand YOUR perspective.Â (It might be good to treat her special all the other days each year as much as you can too). Happy Valentine's Day!!!