There’s something to be said for Tammy Wynette’s attitude of overlooking your man’s faults and foibles, but can it be taken too far? If your man has been arrested, it’s likely come as a shock – but if he is sentenced to prison, it’s only natural to wonder if you should stay with him. Here are a couple of hard questions you should be asking yourself.
1. What kind of crime are we talking about here?
We’re not advocating bailing on a relationship just because one party is in prison, but there are some instances in which you really just need to draw the line. If your man is inside because he was convicted of paedophilia, or rape, or murder, or GBH, or he slept with a prostitute who turned out to be a cop in disguise – you get the idea. Sex and serious crimes are a major no-no because what exactly does that say about his character?
2. Were you surprised when he was arrested?
Some women are shocked when the police turn up at the door. Sometimes this is a good thing – it could mean their husband or boyfriend is otherwise an upstanding citizen, and he’s been pushed to desperation by financial troubles. Of course, it could also mean that their partner is a two-faced psychopath who hides his dark side very well.
If you weren’t surprised when he was arrested, did you know what he was doing? If so, was there acceptance on your behalf? If you knew he had an ‘element’ of something about him that has now manifested itself, and can accept that, perhaps you can live with him serving a prison term.
3. Is he still the man you fell in love with?
Argh, that old question. So many women ask themselves this – even if their man hasn’t been sentenced to prison. In many ways, you’re actually fortunate because this is a huge wake-up call – you’re being forced to re-evaluate your relationship and there’s a natural ‘out’ clause. Few people won’t understand if you pull the plug on a relationship with someone who’s in prison.
Of course, there really is something about the whole ‘whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ (not literally!) adage. If you decide to stay and he works through his problems, your relationship could end up being stronger than ever. You could be a powerful source of motivation and influence and you could help him turn his life around. Perhaps this prison sentence is just the wakeup call he needs, too.
Whatever you do, things that shouldn’t come into consideration include you being his only connection to the outside world and what other people will think. Forget that. This is about you and what’s best for you. If you still love him and think that you can salvage a healthy relationship from the mess he’s currently in, staying is an option for you. Otherwise, you need to seriously consider a fresh start.
Kate Lee is a freelance writer and provides dating advice to various websites. Her areas of expertise include legal and personal affairs. In her spare time, she writes for Bail Bonds Direct.