Marriage and Law Enforcement

By Joelyn Hansen

Last week Chief McBride and his wife, Sandra, celebrated 40 years of marriage. That's quite a fete considering law enforcement careers tend to be tough on marriages.

According to an article from the Police Chief Magazine, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, in 2005, declared that 48% of marriages failed in the U.S. Past studies indicate that law enforcement officers have one of the highest divorce rates when compared to other groups of professionals because of job stress and irregular work hours.

Amazingly enough the McBrides, who are the parents of seven children and grandparents of  24 (almost 26) grandchildren, aren't the only couple at the IFPD that has experienced longevity in their marriage. In a quick, non-scientific poll, other officers proudly proclaimed anywhere from 15 to 45 years of marriage. In my opinion, it looks like we have pretty good odds at our department.

The officers did acknowledge that their successful marriages required time, commitment and work to help battle the hurdles that come with a job in law enforcement.

I asked Sandra McBride about her advice for a lasting marriage.

This was her response:

1. If your spouse is in law enforcement and they love their job, just know that you will come 2nd in their life because they are committed to protecting the citizens of Idaho Falls.

2. Always think of the needs of your spouse and not about yourself.

3. Always tell your spouse that you love them.