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How to cope if your husband is in prison

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Research shows that having a loved one in prison is equal to the trauma of abuse or death of a loved one.  Anyone who has experienced this will tell you that navigating this extremely traumatic season is not easy.  The grief, pain, and loss are heavy burdens to carry.  The good news is, you can make it through this experience and become even stronger because of it.  There is hope in the tribulation.

"Although your circumstance will surely change you, it does not have to defeat you." 

The pain of having your husband in prison is unlike any other suffering.  The loss is like a death, but the moment you open your eyes, it is lived over and over each day.  There is no closure while he is in prison.  If you let it, the disappointment will destroy you, your relationship, and your legacy. 

Hardship creates opportunities  

The opportunity to fail or to thrive depends on your response to the challenges you are facing.  Use this time to create a new foundation for your future.  Yes, it is OK to invest in your future while your husband is still in prison.  You must keep moving forward.  You cannot let the pain and loss consume your potential.  If you let prison define you, you will become bitter and lose so much more than your husband.

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I know the pain of living my life between visits. Agony pounded at my door, demanding that I entertain him and ignore my dreams.  Finally, I realized that I could not bear to live under the shadow of all the anguish.  I started living in the present instead of lamenting the past that led to my position in life.  I pulled myself up out of despair and began to invest in my future.  Nothing changed except for my attitude.  Changing my perspective changed my world.  Joy returned, and I was excited about the future again.

Moving forward with my dreams and goals gave me a new outlook on what was possible. 

It was still painful to move forward without Ron next to me.  However, the joy and sense of accomplishment far outweighed the disappointment.  I began working hard to build a new life for all of us.  I wanted our family to be stable and secure, and I wanted to have something in motion before Ron returned. Determined, I dreamed of the day Ron would return and join me, but I didn’t “wait for him” to come home.  I engaged him in planning our future and making decisions.  Together, we launched our journey of making our dreams come true.

Coping became easy because my focus was on constructing our future, not the destruction of the past.

The best advice I can give you is to look up, look forward, and look for opportunities.  Once you see the hope in front of you, it is just a matter of putting action into creating the life you want to live.  Moving forward doesn’t mean leaving him behind.  Life keeps moving; if you don’t move forward, your entire family will be left behind.

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Focus on your future and rebuild your family legacy together.  Every day, do one thing to move you closer to your dreams.  Before long, he will be home working alongside you.

I am rooting for you!