Hold the Line: The Essential Guide to Protecting Your Law Enforcement Relationship

by Cyndi Doyle

She was frustrated! Feeling second to the department had begun to breed indifference and contempt in her relationship. As a mental health and couple’s counselor, she knew those were bad omens. Despite her training, she could not figure out what was happening with them.

Then, a speaker at a professional conference gave insight that ignited a passion to understand her law enforcement husband and empower them as a couple to protect their relationship.

Learn the research, psychology, and personal experiences that, when combined, created an “ah-ha” moment that led to improved communication, connection, and ultimately resilience as individuals and together!

Publication Date:

February 14, 2021

Print length:

206 pages






"This book is eye opening. I recommend it to anyone connected to a LEO. It has changed my mentality and helped me so much."


"All law enforcement officers and spouses should read this. It’s easy to read and incredibly helpful to bolster family strength in a tough career lifestyle."


"This book is highly recommended for Law Enforcement and their spouses. The insight this book gives extremely useful! This book helped me understand Law Enforcement personnel and how to adapt. Made my marriage better than ever! Highly Recommended!"


"...Cyndi Doyle has accomplished the ultimate in our field. She has written a book that both professionals and clients can utilize and enjoy alike."


"I can’t say enough about this book. Cyndi nailed it when she decided to write a book for the LEO spouses/significant others. By the time I was halfway through the book I had completely changed my perspective and understanding of my husband and his career..."


"I found myself relieved to learn that I am not alone in my experiences being married to an LEO, and I laughed in a sort of cathartic way at several of her anecdotes. More importantly, I was able to have a series of very short but helpful conversations with my husband after reading it..."

About Cyndi Doyle: Therapist & Wife of a LEO

As a licensed therapist and LEO spouse, I THOUGHT I understood the unique struggles in a police marriage. There was so much more that I didn’t know! No one told us that the very training that kept him safe every day also would cause our disconnection. Because I don’t want you to struggle with the same learning curve, I created Code4Couples®, so you can have the education and tools to keep your relationship Code 4!

Cyndi Doyle



Why did I write a book?

A big part of my book was making sure it was written for the officer and their support system. Whether that’s a spouse, family member, or friends. Bobby’s mom even read the book and told us it was helpful for her because she now understood why he had changed over the years. It is for any support system, but also for officers to understand what is going on with them.

The book is based on psychology and research. I took all the information from books I had read, and I thought “Where are the gaps? What is the information I didn’t have?”  The gap for me was what to do about the connection between law enforcement culture and how it affected my relationship. From there I needed to know what to do about it and how to fix it. I have broken up the book in a way where it is clear on what to do with all the spillover, the biological impact, and the psychological impact the job has on your relationship.

Real-life stories to make an impact

When I was writing the book, I was nervous. Mostly because I used a lot of stories from my relationship. Ironically, one of the biggest compliments I have gotten about the book is that the weaving of our stories really personalizes it and that people weren’t able to put the book down! The experiences that are in the book, give it more credibility because they actually happened. There were no hypotheticals. It was all real stuff.

I asked Bobby what it was like for him as he read what I was writing. “Enlightening. Surprising. Once I understood what you were writing about, I would go ‘I remember that’ and then there were oh no moments. I was like ‘Wow, that’s how she felt when that happened. I did not know and probably didn’t care at the time.’ That’s the honest truth. I wasn’t embarrassed. Some of it was just new to me. Then I could understand why you felt the way you felt.”

In the book, I talk a lot about how I just didn’t share things. Here’s a story that I didn’t share in the book that I think about frequently. It really influenced me not to reach out to my husband. I think he was in his first or second year as an officer and I was at the dry cleaners picking up my dry cleaning. My car battery died so I called Bobby just to share the information. Well, he responded with, “what the f$%k do you want me to do about it. I have to go to work.” I was so mad because all I wanted was a comforting statement and some acknowledgment. Instead, I got such a hard pushback of an aggressive statement. That call was such a monumental moment for me to express when I was struggling. That’s when I stopped sharing things. It was a slow slide of me not telling him things. That’s something that I take ownership of throughout the book and make sure that in my writing there is no blame on either party. Our stories are written in a way where it states what he did, what I did, and then what we both did to get through the situation.

After doing the research, I can now explain to another spouse what is happening behind a response, or a reaction based on the conditioning of the job. For instance, in the story about my car battery. Bobby was so focused on getting ready for work and what he needed to do to prepare his mindset for his shift. When I called, I interrupted the start of his hypervigilance cycle and in return, he forgot his gun at home. Now after writing this book, I can take a step back and go “Okay that’s what was going on in his brain to give me a reaction the way he did, and he forgot his gun because I interrupted his before-work ritual.” It doesn’t mean that either reaction was ok but understanding the why was important. Why did that happen and what can we do about it? I have the responsibility to extend the benefit of the doubt or the understanding. I can understand what part of the hypervigilance he was in. I also still have the responsibility to tell him the situation sucked and not hold it against him. Bobby has the responsibility to take ownership of what he said.

What to expect

The 1st chapter talks about the impact of the challenging factors of the job that are more obvious. Sleep, stress, missed time, connectedness, shift work, etc. Things like, “I have to keep the dogs quiet while he sleeps.” The 2nd chapter is where I go into what I call “The underpinning” This is the below-ground stuff. The psychology behind what is happening. This is where I discuss hypervigilance and the OODA loop. The next chapter is where I dive into the spillover. While we can have all this information, how does it spill over into the relationship? How does it spill over onto the family, and what is the impact it has on them and the relationship?

From there, I talk about intimacy. The definition I like to use is into me you see. This doesn’t necessarily mean intercourse. It means closeness and connection. I discuss the conflict between having the intimate connection you need in a relationship and the spillover from the conditioning in law enforcement. From there, I go into Gottman’s work and the conflict in the “Relationship House” and the conflict with intimacy. Then we talk about the solutions. What do you do about it? How do you fix it?

I give techniques that anyone can implement. You don’t have to be a counselor or therapist to do these techniques. If you understand the basics, you can ask the questions and offer guidance. Do both people have to work on the relationship? The reality is that one person can influence the relationship positively and influence their partner to work on it as well. Over the years, I realized I needed to become more vulnerable and needed to stop walking on eggshells. I had to show up in a different way. A relationship isn’t 50/50. It absolutely needs to be 100/100.

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