How much do you tell your wife about your job as a private investigator or even a security guard since there is a ton of confidential information in your daily life?
I mean, it’s a small world. Secrets can get out. People can be hurt. Lives can be ruined. Where do you draw the line? You should be able to trust your wife with anything, right?
Not that your wife cares.
And when I say “wife”, I mean “spouse”, obviously. There are phenomenally great women working in this industry, but they’ve got somebody at home too.
So, how much do you share?
My view on this has changed quite a bit over the years.
When I would do something at work, even working in security, but also as a private investigator or in loss prevention, I would come home and want to share this. I was very pleased with it and proud of it. I wanted her to know. I wanted to genuinely share it, but it was also the type of thing that made me feel pretty darn good to be the kind of guy who could do this or that, whatever the problem might be, knowing that I had taken care of it.
Now, the problem is that can really give you an ego.
If you’re doing something that is pretty cool, and I mean the type of stuff that people watch in movies, and you’re doing it in real life – maybe not regularly, but certainly every so often, then coming home and having your wife admiring what you did, well, that can give you a pretty swollen head.
That can lead to a lot of pride, which for me, was a real problem. I don’t mean pride like, “I’m better than everybody else.” or “They should move me to the front of the line. It was much more insidious than that.
The problem is it would come out at me in bursts of temper. I would think, “Who does that guy think he is? I’ve got to say something so he knows he’s not better than everybody else!”
For me personally, getting a handle on that anger meant getting a handle on the pride.
I mean, I’m not better than anybody else. I’m not better than that guy. Not really.
A good antidote to any sin – and pride is one of the deadly sins (it’s the root of deadly sins, really, that the others come from) – is to practice the contrary virtue.
If you’re having trouble with lust, practice chastity.
If you’re having problems with greed, practice generosity.
The contrary virtue to pride is humility. Be humble.
So at work I would do these cool things and I would want to come home and, maybe not necessarily boast, but it felt good to say, “I’m the guy that handled this when nobody else could.”
So, for a long time, in order to practice humility, I didn’t share these things with my wife. I would keep them to myself. I wouldn’t even talk about them with other people. I was practicing being humble.
But Something Changed…
My view on this has changed because of something I read in John C. Maxwell’s book Today Matters.
Maxwell had similar things happen. He would have victories in his line of work, and he would share them with the people at work. Or he would share it whit whomever he was having lunch with. But, he realized, by the time he got home, the excitement was gone. He just didn’t have that enthusiasm to share it with his wife.
He wasn’t sharing enough with her.
He decided that he would keep some victories to himself in order to bring them home and share them, initially, with his wife so they could enjoy it together.
That’s what I do now.
I don’t share every time I do something “movie cool” because I don’t want to feed my ego. But now I share with my wife what happened, while concealing the confidential details (like names, locations, etc.).
I’m also very careful that I don’t make myself out to be any better than I am. If I had a misstep or miscalled something, if there was a mistake, I make sure to include that in.
So I share most of my victories with my wife. And I encourage you to do the same.
So what about confidential information?
First of all, she doesn’t care.
There’s been maybe two times in my decades I’ve been in this industry when she’s asked for some details that I couldn’t share.
I would ask her, “Do you really want to know?” If she said yes, I would say, “Do me a favor. Sleep on it. If you still really need to know in the morning, I’ll tell you.” But, it’s never happened. She’s very good at understanding that.
She understands if I’m going to keep their secrets, I’m going to keep her secrets as well.
You need to be a person of integrity. You need to keep confidences and secrets as appropriate.
So, whether you’re working as a private investigator, loss prevention officer or you’re one of my brothers or sisters in security, you’re going to have some cool things happen in the course of your day, week, or month.
Use it as an opportunity to keep your marriage strong. That’s your primary relationship. You have to keep that strong.
Do the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing.
Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.
P.S. – And, of course, don’t miss my special report titled… If You Want To be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. You can get it right here…