Are you ready for the changes that are coming?
“My husband is getting out of prison!” The long-awaited day is almost here. You feel elated, excited, and nervous. So many thoughts are racing through your head. Will this change your relationship? Is he the same man that you married? Are you really ready for the changes that are coming.
You have spent years holding your family together. The visits, phone calls, and notes have woven your lives together in spite of the distance. Your children have grown and changed in more ways than you even notice because you have been a part of their daily lives. Those changes are going to become even more noticeable after your husband comes home.
Your new world, together
The time you had together during prison visits is precious time that you now will get to build off of. You will encounter tests, you and your family. One of the biggest challenges of coming home is reentering family. Your husband is about to have his entire world rocked. And it will create waves in your world, too.
Most importantly, you want to make sure those shock waves do not turn into an earthquake. Prepare yourself emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually for all the changes that are about to happen. Even good change is stressful. You must remember that.
As you begin to prepare for his homecoming, make a list of the things you need to have ready before you pick him up. (I have to stop here to say, YAY!!! He is coming home!!!) This list will include the things you need to do in your home, things you need to buy, and things you need to do for him.
Lets start with the things you need to do in your home. First, clean your home so you can enjoy being together without the stress of stuff laying around. Remember to make room for his things by clearing out drawers and some closet space. Nothing says, “Welcome Home” like making room for him in every way.
We waited over 10 years for Ron to come home the first time. It seemed like a lifetime since he had lived in the same house with us. Our sons had grown from toddlers to teens. Our lives had changed so much in that decade. But we were filled with excitement when the judge…
Next, make a shopping list of the things you need to buy for him. This list could be very, very long, depending on how long he has been gone. You do not have to buy everything he may need before he gets home. Take your husband shopping if you can. However, you will want to have some things purchased ahead of time. A couple of pairs of pants, 2 shirts, underwear, socks, shoes, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, a razor, shampoo and body wash that smells manly and clean. These things will help make him feel at home when he arrives.
Before your partner is released, there will be things that you need do. You may need to check in with the Parole authority to confirm that he will be living with you. It is also a great idea to check with the Dept of Motor Vehicles to see where his drivers license stands. Check for medical insurance applications and other benefits that need to be completed. Check into everything you can check into so you can have as much in motion as possible before he is released.
4 things you must know...
IN addition to the things you need to DO, there are also things you need to KNOW. There are 4 major things you need to know if your husband is about to be released from prison.
- Everything is about to change – again.
- You are both different now.
- Adjusting to the outside world takes time.
- It will be both everything you hoped for, and nothing you expected.
Don't assume that everything will be perfect just because he will be home.
Your entire life is about to change—it will be a wonderful change, but still a drastic change.
The day Ron came home was a dream come true after being gone for 11 years. A dream with a lot of challenges, but a dream nonetheless. We had to learn to live together as different people than we had been more than a decade before. Our children were no longer small, they were now teenagers. We took each challenge, one at a time, and found creative ways to make those challenges our strength.
It was not easy, but it was so much easier than learning to live without him had been. We approached his reentry together as a team. I never thought of it as his experience, it was our experience. We were on the same side and committed to making sure we resolved problems, talked about issues, and shared our feelings with each other.
This is a super exciting season as you get to know each other again. My best advice: Do not let the little things destroy what you have built over all of this time. Work it out together and grow stronger every day.
He is coming home!! Congratulations! A whole new chapter is about to begin—write it together.
I am rooting for you!