Love Behind The Walls

Dear TRP:

I have something that I need advice on…I have been in a relationship with this guy for about 16 months. He is in prison until 2016. Well I have fallen deeply in love with him and everything was going ok for the most part. Recently his cell phone was taken by the CO’s and he wanted another one, so he asked if I could help. He said he already had 150.00 (they sell for 200.00 in there) so I asked him where did he get the money from. After getting upset he finally told me he got it from his daughter’s grandmother. I asked him if he meant his children’s mother’s, mother right? He said yes.

The next time he got a chance to use someone else phone I asked him why would she send him money if she is not expecting him to be with her daughter when he comes home? His response: They’ve always been tight because he used to look after her when he was with her daughter. I told him it was BS.

Well the next time we talk he says he says he gave it back! Hell naw!


Nic’s Thoughts: 

It sounds like you’re really bothered by this connection to the grandmother. Do you have kids? If so, then surely you understand why that’s an overblown concern. When two people end up as parents, the whole family becomes part of the package in a sense. A close relationship with his daughter’s grandmother doesn’t automatically equal some funny business with her mother. My son’s mom and I never speak a word to each other. But I have a good relationship with her father and mother to this day. It doesn’t affect the relationship, or the lack of one, I have with his mom. All things considered should that surprise you? Apparently, he didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable about accepting funds from her. So as a result he gave it back? Well, does that really bring you any comfort? It’s likely he simply didn’t want the conflict.

But I wouldn’t recommend trying to step in between a working relationship with the child’s grandparents or other family members. Those things can have a positive effect on the daughter and should probably continue. If that’s something you can’t handle, I would ask yourself if this is a relationship you want to be in.  Not to mention 2016 is quite a stretch. So how do you plan to make it to 2016 with your relationship intact? I’m not familiar with how prison relationships work. However, I assume if he has access to a phone somehow that might work communication wise. You’d have all the logistics worked out, but what about trust? It seems like there might be some issues there. I have no idea on how you’ll be able to resolve or work on that from within the walls of a prison. But in regards to the grandmother, I’d suggest trying to understand the dynamics of the “other” child’s family. It might help clarify what role they have in that child’s life. As a result you might get more secure in his dealings with them, or you may not and it could get worse. Either way this relationship will present you with some challenges. The question becomes: What can you do to maintain it?

1. Get familiar with this man’s life and everyone in it. His immediate family obviously, but also his other family. The immediate relatives of his daughter and even extended family. If there is a relationship with the mother, I’d get some clarity about what it consists of. That will help you get an understanding of his life as a whole. He’ll like that because he won’t have to feel defensive about who he has to interact with based on the connection with his daughter.

2. Set yourself some realistic expectations about the type of relationship you’re entering into. If someone is locked up for 2 years, I’d ask yourself more than anyone else, if YOU can handle that. He’ll be fine, he’s not going anywhere. (Literally and figuratively) If you feel like you can handle it, then by all means dive right in!


Good luck!



About Nick Campbell

Nick Campbell has written 163 post in this blog.

A modern day gentleman who loves to explore all aspects of relationships and discuss problems this new generation faces in love. Born and raised in the Bay Area, well traveled and cultured. Single Dad, tech connoisseur and news junkie. Drop a line if there is something you'd like discussed!