Something I am often asked about is how difficult it is to be in a relationship where one half is in prison. People often ask, “how do you do it?” and often my answer is along the lines of “I have no idea.” It’s not always easy, that’s for sure. Here are some of the things I find particularly difficult:
Not being able to share the little details about my life
When I only get a short amount of time to see him or speak to him on the phone, it feels silly to talk about the mundane things. I might tell him how much you miss him or plan talk about our future together but I don’t have chance to tell him I bumped into an old friend the other day or that I have a new favourite cocktail. Little as it may seem, it does get to me. As people, we change every single day. I feel that he still knows the me that I was when he went inside and he’s missing out on my daily growth.
The worry about him
There is no shortage of prison related TV or newspaper articles and they are excellent and making me worry about my other half. “ANOTHER INMATE STABBED” is absolutely the last thing you want to wake up to. The thought of him in there is awful and it’s better to try not to think about – although that is easier said than done. There are so many horror stories that I simply can’t help but worry.
Not knowing what to tell the kids
Depending on the age of your children will depend on how much you may tell them about their dad being in prison. No matter the age though, it’s never easy. For me, my kids thought their dad had left them. They thought they were to blame to some extent which of course isn’t true. But what if the truth of him not being around is even worse?
Writing things in a letter is beautiful at times and I would say that being forced to learn to communicate in what can be such a romantic way has been a blessing in disguise. HOWEVER, you can never tell how something is meant when it’s written down. Things tend to come across more abrupt and more serious which can lead to misinterpreting something that has been said. The amount of times I’ve read too much into something he has said and assumed the relationship is over when he meant nothing but good things is ridiculous!
The judgement from other people
“You’re going to be a criminal too!”
“Were you involved?”
“Why would you want to be with someone like that?”
“He’s going to bring you down!”
Need I go on?
What do you guys find difficult about the whole process? Let me know in the comments!