So yes, I married someone who is a Special Agent in the FBI. This fact alone is is a source of total fascination for most people. Actually, telling people I married someone in the FBI is maybe the perk I enjoy the most about the whole thing. People will ask, “Rachel, what do you do?” and I tell them…which is usually kind of a conversation killer, because I am not exciting, and then they’ll try again for something that will actually start a conversation, “And what does [DB] do?” “He’s an FBI agent.”

At this point, it is always sort of interesting to see the reactions. They are usually one of three:

1) Excitement and fascination – this is what usually comes through

2) Fear, like DB is about to pull out some handcuffs and haul them in for something they did as a small child

3) A shrug – “yeah, that’s what my [mother/father/brother/best friend/cousin’s boyfriend’s best friend] does.” (This one is kind of a killer for me. Because as I mentioned before, this is maybe the most exciting perk of the wife role. Seriously.)

So basically, I have two reasons for writing this. First of all, I figured that I really should write something for people falling into groups #s 1 and 2 (above). Everyone seems to want to know what this is like. Maybe it’s just relative – after they’ve fallen asleep listening to what I do for a living, they’re super psyched to hear about this. I don’t think that’s it, though. There are only 12,000 FBI agents nationwide, and many people have never even met an agent. It seems more like people actually want to know what it’s like to live with Jack Bauer. That’s not a question I can answer!

Second, however, is that there is virtually no arena for people who want to learn about the effect the FBI might have on their lives. From what I understand, the Bureau does a decent job of explaining to new agents that the job might have an impact on their family lives – but virtually none of this information gets passed over to spouses. In fact, when we got married, I had to fill out a background check (I liken it to a car being taken in for inspection before it’s purchased. DB is not a huge fan of this analogy. But think about it: what would happen if something popped up on the background check? Apparently the agent can lose their security clearance…?) but other than that, I’ve never had any contact in an official capacity from someone at the Bureau. That’s not a complaint; it’s just a fact.

And, although federal agents are a form of law enforcement, the intelligence community is a little different from the police community. There are fairly comprehensive support systems for spouses of policepeople, such as organizations like this or this, and they really should – their lives, quite honestly, are way more stressful. State and city law enforcement personnel have night shifts, and have to arrest dangerous people on a regular basis with virtually no idea of who they’re going to arrest. How incredibly stressful for their families. I cannot imagine. But at the same time, there is nothing similar for families of federal agents.

At any rate, I think I write too much at once! I’ll write more about rule-abiding personalities and how you will learn exciting state secrets from my blog later. Stay tuned!

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