Loving someone is not enough to save a relationship.
I learned this lesson while Ron was in prison. My heart was full of love for him, and I missed him every single day he was gone. He didn’t know that my mind and spirit were fixed on him; he only knew he was in prison on a 14-25 year sentence, and I was alone on the outside.
After Ron received a 14-25 years prison sentence, I felt as if it took every bit of energy I had to make it through one day.
One day seemed like an eternity. While he was sitting in a prison cell waiting to get processed, he was writing letters to us every day. And he was waiting for messages back from me. Meanwhile, I was crying myself to sleep and fighting the urge to stay in bed all day and pull the covers over my head. It never occurred to me that he needed to hear what I was thinking and how I felt. I assumed he knew. Each time I started to write him back, I struggled to find the words that would encourage him, so I didn’t write to him. Those first few months were miserable.
On our first visit at his “home institution” he asked me what I wanted to do. I told him all I wanted was for him to come home. “Really?” he asked, surprised. I was shocked that he was surprised! As we talked about how I was feeling and what he was thinking, I then realized my lack of communication had triggered a mind battle for Ron. He took my lack of communication as a lack of interest in fighting for our marriage. Boy, was he wrong! From that day forward, I then made it a priority to communicate with him regularly.
Communication is key!
When time and space separate you, all you have to hold you together are memories and conversations. You cannot rely on your past to keep you together. It will save your relationship if you invest in your present to build your future. Writing letters, sending emails, taking calls, and going to visits are the activities that will furthermore solidify your marriage. Sharing your lives together while your husband is in prison requires a lot of talking to each other. You are each living totally different lives that only intersect when you make an effort to connect.
Again I cannot say it enough; Communication is the key to saving your marriage. Prison will destroy your relationship if you let it. To win this battle for your future, then you must share your feelings, experiences, and dreams. As you talk about what is happening and disclose what you want for the future, those words bind you together. Your conversations are the glue that keeps you secure. When you stop sharing, you will begin to grow emotionally and mentally distant from each other.
Creating a culture of safety and respect between you will enable you to share openly.
This honest and vulnerable sharing strengthens the bond you have. You are building a shared experience by telling each other what you are going through. As you connect, you are surely constructing a lasting legacy together that prison cannot steal!
I am rooting for you!