We all hear stories of how a relationship where one partner is incarcerated doesn’t work. I know many couples who successfully navigate this process. Relationships are as varied as the partners themselves and as in all types of relationships no right or wrong way exists. Couples who manage to make this look easy have a few things in common. These couples use a mix of the following things to keep their relationships fresh and manageable:
Good Attitude: You have heard the expression: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. From having an open-spirit, to being strong-willed, to being more optimistic, your experience is directly related to your attitude. They don’t fret over things they can’t control.
Mode of communication: Communication is the backbone of any relationship. Letters, calls, email, visits, doesn’t matter as long as you communicate. Communication tricks distance. No matter how far apart you are, reading a letter or hearing a voice will instantly transport you to where they are. Always find a way. Remember, quality matters over quantity.
Support System: Family, friends, church members, support groups, anyone willing to accept you and offer you an ear is someone you want to have in your corner. You need an outlet to release the baggage you might not know you are carrying. Anyone in this life doesn’t get through it alone, isolation breeds misery. Happy couples know this.
Memento: A picture, piece of clothing, DNA, quite honestly something to obsess over. You want to create the illusion your partner is with you. The picture in your heart works, but over time things fade. Couples who make it work express their devotion in endless pictures, t-shirts, cards, etc.
YOU: “And the two shall become one”…this sounds great on greeting cards and as a notion to live by when having a relationship, but not so much in the case of losing oneself under all things prison related. None of this is possible without you. You are the one who answers the calls. You are the one making the trips, sending the packages, getting the money orders. You are the one paying the bills, raising kids, maintaining homes, going to school….AND taking care of your partner. You are the one making sure your partner maintains some level of comfort. Take care of you! Successful couples never forget comfort for both partners is essential.
What does your kit contain?