CopShock: Second Edition
Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

by Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR

 Marriage, Mediation and Divorce

Family problems are stressful for everyone. When coping with traumatic stress, officers may finally face marriage troubles or exaggerate the extent of their conflicts. Often marriages can be worked out, but sometimes divorce is inevitable.

Many studies say police officers divorce at a higher rate than most other people, in some cities as high as 75 percent. Other studies report rates at slightly above or even below the national average. As with many issues about police life, statistics vary from city to city, and from precinct to precinct.

What is not under dispute is that unlike many other high-pressure jobs, policing puts additional stress on marriages. The threat of being injured or killed, witnessing human suffering, long and unpredictable hours, shift work, conflicts with bosses, excessive paperwork, an ineffective criminal justice system, attacks by the media, days off spent in court, moonlighting to make ends meet, missed birthdays and anniversaries—all can cause anxiety and friction at home.

Like everybody else, police officers must work at marriages. The Internet has a flood of resources embracing every aspect of marriage, mediation and divorce.
The website offers publications and referrals to trained mediators throughout the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Its services cover every aspect of mediation and divorce including separation, child custody, prenuptial agree-ments, disputes, conflicts and family issues.
   Go to: Write:, PO Box 51090, Eugene, Oregon 97405. Phone: 541-345-1629.
This popular website provides divorce information, and seeks to empower women and men undergoing divorce. You can access objective divorce-related articles, support communities, interactive tools for managing divorce, and a nationwide directory of divorce lawyers, mediators and financial professionals. It addresses all aspects pertaining to divorce such as alimony and child support. With over 40,000 members, its online communities and special events allow you to participate in real-time discussions with experts and with other people who share similar divorce issues.
   Go to: Write: LawTek Media Group, LLC, 321 Walnut Street, Suite 440, Newton, MA 02460. Phone: 800-696-2026.
This comprehensive site provides information on the financial, legal, psychological, real estate and other aspects of divorce. It offers, among many other things, live chat rooms, downloads, articles, books, cases, tutorials, divorce kits, agreements, family law links and a directory to help locate professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada. Many of the offerings are free, and others you pay for.
   Go to: Write: Divorce Source, P.O. Box 1580, Allentown, PA 18103. Phone: 610-820-8120.
MarriageBuilders presents ways to overcome marital conflicts and restore love and caring. As well as many articles, the site offers an online radio show, questionnaires, a discussion forum, books, counseling, and referral to local counselors.
   Go to:

Marriage Toolbox
An online marriage magazine, this website focuses on many aspects of marriage including how to maintain a healthy one. As well as covering the basics in over 80 pages, the magazine is inspiring and uplifting. It also offers practical suggestions and exercises for maintaining or improving communication and loving in a relationship.
   Go to: Call toll-free: 800-691-9477.

Online Guide for Effective Living
Bill Ferguson offers this site for loving, learning and healing. He provides articles and access to workshops, books, tapes and telephone consulting. The articles include divorcing as friends, resolving disputes without conflict and the steps needed to end conflict and restore love in difficult relationships.
   Go to: Phone: 713-520-5370.