September 12, 2017 / By Catherine Tijerina
The question of staying or leaving a man who is in prison is one I hear often and one I had to wrestle with when Ron went to prison. The pain of the separation, the social prejudice, and the painful memories of trust betrayed all make a compelling case to leave. And yet, you are still asking yourself, “What is the RIGHT thing to do?” No one can make this decision for you. You are the one who must walk out your days living with all of the consequences of your decision. So, it is vitally important that you walk into this—or away from this—with your eyes wide open. Here are some key points to consider as you face your future with your husband in prison.
First, the bad stuff about staying married to a man in prison:
At this point, you might be feeling like I am trying to talk you into leaving your husband, but that is not the case! I just want you to know what you are signing up for! My daughter always tells me she likes to “eat the frog first” so the worst is behind her. Well, those are six good reasons to walk away. But if you do, you will miss out on all of the amazing and beautiful opportunities in front of you!
Here are the best reasons to stick it out and stay:
I obviously chose to walk out my vows and stay. As crazy as it may seem, it wasn’t even a difficult decision. I wanted a strong, intact family. I wanted my sons to have their daddy in their lives and know that their parents were going to keep them safe no matter what – together. It wasn’t about me, and it really wasn’t about Ron, or how much time he was going to do in prison. It was about what my goal was and whether or not I was willing to put forth the effort I would need to invest in order to build a thriving marriage and family. It took a lot of courage to venture out on this journey, but I am oh, so very glad that I made the choices I did.
Today, I have an amazing marriage to an amazing man. I am a witness of the greatness of the power of transformation that comes as a result of faith and perseverance. Do I believe everyone should stay together? No. But I do believe that MOST should stay together. The joy, strength, wisdom, fortitude, and FRIENDSHIP you build together in the wilderness creates a bond like no other. The deep connection Ron and I have today is a direct result of the difficulty we endured and overcame as we fought for our marriage in spite of a prison sentence of 14-25 years.
As you consider your future and your family’s legacy, I hope you see the value of what you have. The potential of your family is bubbling beneath the surface of this painful situation. You have the power to turn this mess into a message of love and hope. If we can do it, you can too! We are rooting for you.
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Ron & Catherine Tijerina
Founders of The RIDGE Project
Ron and Catherine Tijerina are true catalysts for change. They are authors, nationally‐renowned speakers and Founders of The RIDGE Project and TYRO Support Services. Their inspirational book, High Five – Love Never Fails, is available on amazon or click here for a FREE e-book! Order yours today.