Recent events have really got me exploring the loyalty, or lack of, that women show to their partners in prison.
Is it love or is it loneliness? Do they want stability, or status?
I was in prison with a woman whos husband was disabled, after a motorbike accident, he was sentenced to life for a murder in Merseyside. She was also in prison. They had left behind three children. This situation and circumstances around this case were very sad, appeals were in place and contact for the couple was very restricted. This woman, regardless of my own opinion, showed the definition of loyalty to her husband. It really was ‘Till’ death do us part’. For him, she was light, she was strength, with tears in her eyes she would smile and talk about the love she had for this man. Every single day she would write letters, read letters and make applications for phone calls and visits. I have never seen love like it. She has received a 5yr sentence for disposing of the weapon. For her, it was undoubtably an action that changed her life for ever and that of her childrens . Did she regret it? I don’t think so. It was, an action, from a wife for her husband. For his protection!?
Here is a man with a life sentence and his wife in prison also, with their children left at home. A very sad situation for all involved. For some people loyalty is word, for others, its a way of life. Loyalty from a woman, to a man, in a situation like this, is very scary.
I am a single woman, I am a loyal person, I cant speak for what I may possibly have done, had it been me in that situation but i cant help but think, if i ever married a man, surely his job first and foremost would be the protection of his wife and children. The protection of this feircley loyal woman who was now in a cell, next door to me, crying herself to sleep and singing like a bird in the early hours of the morning. I conversed with her about her future, their future and what her plans were. Never for a second, did she doubt, she would stick by this man, for the rest of her life. I didnt doubt her either. I left before her release. She was to serve two and a half years.
This woman wasn’t lonely, she wasnt after status, she was married, her life had been with this man, they had three children, a house, a business. Her loyalty as a wife, to her husband serving a life sentence, was true. For no other reason, than love. Her intentions for this man, were clean and pure, she would not condone his actions, nor her own, however she had made vows to this man. Her vows, were everything to her, him, their marriage and their life. Now as prisoners. One thing is for sure, she would not allow criminal behaviour inside of prison, she would not assist with it, talk of it or even consider it. Lets face it, being loyal to a man in prison, who is screaming out for release but engaging with criminal activity inside, is not being loyal, its being stupid.
It must be hard, to be in love with some who is in prison, for a long time. Love doesn’t put you at risk, love doesn’t waste your time, love isnt easy, but it doesnt use you, manipulate you, engage you with criminal behaviour or take away your own life, for that of another.
I have seen women who have partners in prison, who are fighting for them, being the light in their dark and ultimatly would do anything for them. These prisoners are involved in criminal behaviour in prison. Why as a free woman, would you put yourself in this position, to risk your freedom, your life, for loving a man? Loving a man, who is in prison, involved in crime inside and promising you the world when he gets out? Is it me,or is that not love? Because if it is, i dont want it! To be used, manipulated, vulnerable an put at risk, not only your freedom, but you future. It scares me. If this is what a loyal woman is?
As a man, to put your wife in that situation, is not showing love, its not showing progression or change. As a women who accepts that, its not love. Its status, ‘I’m a ride or die’ ‘I’m loyal’.
Where are the women, who would never accept this way of life, the woman who ‘ride’ for themselves, who are loyal to a cause and whos only concern is for the welfare of herself and her own life?
Ive seen all to often, the status that comes with being a prisoners wife, from contraband phones to drug smuggling. If a prisoner is texting you, believe me, he is texting someone else aswell. Can you even imagine, if you, took him the phone, enabling him to be on pof, twitter, facebook and where ever else he can access an account? Do you think, you took him the phone, or he has a phone,to only call you!? Are you being loyal to him, for years, while for years he is awake at all hours calling and texting other women. Its a shame but very much happening today, tomorrow and for however long you allow it. At what point, does loyalty become lonely, desperate and something that isnt worth fighting for anymore?
The lady who I met in prison, who was married, would have never considered speaking to her husband on a contraband phone. She would have never entertained the idea of him being a drug dealer, selling phones and involving himself in criminal activty. Does that mean,in these mens eye she wasnt loyal? Because, all she wanted was the best for her husband, to secure his release and ensure, there was never any reason, when they day finaly came, that he could still be held at HMP.
To accept, allow and be involved in such antics, is stupidity. As a prisoner who awaits release, who dreams of, talks of and wishes for they day they leave prison and as a loyal prisoners wife, allowing this, helping this to happen and accepting this way of life, isnt loyalty. Its a waste of a life, the prisoners and your own.
How are we fighting for the release of prisoners, who on a daily basis are still commiting crime, inside?
Prison will test a relationship, it will test loyalty, it should not risk the prisoners rehabilitaion nor the prisoners wives freedom, free will or integrity.
If you want to show loyalty, use the amnesty bin. Encourage change, fight fot change, live and breath for prison reform, fight your cause, use your voice and make a stand against systematic failure.