Friday, November 21, 2014

Protecting Your Spouse; Marriage Team 6 (aka my wife and I)

Over 30 years ago I had the great opportunity to be married in an LDS Temple to a wonderful girl. After several kids and some grand kids I still like to open the door for her. I do this for several reasons. One is, I love and respect her now more than I ever have. I’ve seen her in good times and bad times and I’ve seen her patience and faith tested and how she has withstood trials and triumphs with great grace and steadiness. So opening her door is the absolute least I can do. Two, it gives me the tactical vantage point to scan buildings and vehicles to see what may be coming our way. Therefore, something as simple as splitting up while walking to the car prevents the bad guy from containing both of us within arms’ reach. It also allows us to divide and conquer should the person who approaches decide to draw a weapon. With each of us on opposite sides, the bad guy would have to divide his attention beyond his peripheral vision in order to be a viable threat to both of us, and either my wife or I would have the tactical advantage should he turn to look or engage the other.
Of course, my wife and I understand the basics of not getting caught in a crossfire situation. With practice, anyone can work through and understand the proper angles. We don’t really practice like executive security, but talking it through as you do it occasionally will keep it fresh in your minds.
These things don’t have to be overly complicated. One situation we discuss and train for is what we would do if we were walking through a parking lot and observe an individual who raises our suspicions and puts us in Condition Orange. While we would be a formidable force fighting together side by side, we’re also an easier target if we allow that individual to get close, say under the guise of asking a question, and then pull a weapon in an attempt to rob or kidnap us. Separation from each other and distance from the attacker is important to remember. Distance is usually your friend.
Now my wife knows my secret and readily accepts the logic behind my chivalrous deeds. She is still enamored that I open doors for her. But now she also knows she plays a critical role in our safety plan and that we are stronger as a team during a critical incident than we would be if one of us did not know how to react or failed to react to the other’s input if we ran into a bad guy in a parking lot, mall, etc. We even talk about — and train for — that unlikely occurrence.
Being prepared is something both of you need to understand as husband and wife.
There are no definitive solutions in many of the scenarios that could happen. There are no guarantees that if you are outside your vehicle while your spouse is inside, and you’re suddenly approached by an armed robber, that he can safely be engaged from within the vehicle. The backstop, time, position, anything could affect the outcome of this or any of these scenarios.
However, one thing is certain. If you never discuss with your spouse the possibility of what could happen at the places you usually go and in the manner you usually travel, then if something does happen, he or she will be unprepared to respond in a pre-determined way. This forces a reaction, versus a response, that may not lead to a desired outcome for you both. This all takes practice and communication. It takes teamwork!
So remember, the next time you walk into a store, take the time to open the door for your spouse. Take the time to help her into the car the next time you’re in a parking lot. And when you do, take the time to look around and scan your surroundings. You’ll find she appreciates it and you’ll both be a little safer.

Semper Paratus