The mental and emotional stress of loving an inmate is overwhelming.
And then I grew up, allowed myself to be seduced by the charm and wit of my soon to be inmate lover turned husband, and accepted the fact that my fairytale wedding may be only a figment of my imagination.
My visions did not consist of an hour long drive with my best friend to a small congested courthouse to obtain a marriage license or stamp of approval by some unknown judge.
Investing in a relationship takes time and definitely takes money when dealing with an inmate.
I do not believe when women claim to not send any money or do anything for the men behind bars because at some point you are going to load money to their books to buy food, phone minutes, and anything else they want to keep them happy.
The manipulation tactics did not stop there as he often tried to make me feel guilty about wanting to do anything besides sit in the visiting room.
He calculated my every visit to the exact time he wanted me to come.My happiness began to quickly fade away as I watched my friends with their boyfriends and became envious of their relationship.I was not able to showcase my spouse at family events, school functions, or even take birthday and holiday vacations.Nor did it include a minister who could not even pronounce my name marrying me in the presence of three witnesses, whom I also barely knew.Quality time was not envisioned as time restricted visits sneaking prohibited touches while armed guards circulated the room.I found out years later my husband was in relationships by mail with women he met through other inmates, had been writing his ex-girlfriends and promising them a life of happiness once he came home, and was spending countless hours on the phone with them during my work and church hours.