A Lifer Wife II

Published by: JoJo Matthews

There are different types of lifer wives/girlfriends/finances whatever the term you use.

The first one is the one that is doing a 10-25 year sentence. Depending on how old you are and where you are in your life this can be a life sentence as well even though their loved one has an actual out date.

You can hang on to the hope that you will be able to spend time on the outside together, you can make plans and set goals together. Will they be exactly as you had dreamed them? Will they be exactly as you want? The answer is probably no, exceptions will have to be made, time isn’t something that is on our side and sometimes time is a controlling factor for certain things.

The second type of life wife is the one that is serving a 25-life sentence or a life with the possibility of parole. I lump the two of them together because they both cling to the hope that this time, they will make parole. Most of the time they will face the parole board a few times before it’s granted and then when it is, they live their daily lives around the constraints of parole.

The above lifer wife may also have to live within the constraints of parole rules or risk violation and their loved one being sent back to prison. Goals and plans are made, they may not be exactly what you had planned or wanted but they are made anyway because it gives you something to look forward to and work towards.

They share the same end result there is hope to spend the time together on the outside.

Next is the ones serving a life without parole sentence. This is the category I fall in to. Our goals are centered around getting to certain security levels in order to gain certain privileges, contact visits, marriage, school and work for him, and a hobby craft pass so he can take up more detailed hobbies such as watercolor painting, etc.

We balance on a fine line of accepting the reality of the situation which is we will never spend time together outside of prison walls and holding on to hope that maybe somewhere down the road law will change and there will be a chance for him to come home to me even if it’s only to spend our last few years together on this earthly planet.

As a wife, I have to make plans and goals and dreams without him by my side and know that I must accomplish them with him cheering me on from the sidelines. I have to figure out how I am going to include him as much as the prison system will let me.

The final category is the death row inmate and wife. In my four years, I have only encountered a small number of these ladies. I don’t know if it’s whether they are few and far and in between or they just keep to themselves more. I don’t know much about this one because they don’t share much.

All I know is that you have to be pretty hardcore and dedicated. Don’t get me wrong all prison wives are hardcore and dedicated but a death row wife is a whole other level.

They will unless the sentence is commutated to a life sentence or the inmate is exonerated never have contact visits and will have limited visits a week, which is usually once a week for two hours. Privileges are slim to none they have little to work towards. Their goals are likely more aimed towards winning appeals to prevent the worst.

What makes us, all the same, is the love we have for the locked up ones. We all have a strength that we never knew we had.

The most important thing that we have in common is we are human and we have one life to live.

While it may seem selfish to continue with our lives while they seemingly suffer in misery. It’s not selfish, what is selfish is wallowing in pity, wasting the life away that God gave us.

The situation may suck but we can make the best of it if we only put our minds to it. While we are out here waiting for the return of our loved ones or for better visitation we can work on ourselves. They can improve themselves as well there are resources for them on the inside they just have to ask.

This life is possible we just have to have the right state of mind and we have to make an effort to push forward when feel like we are stuck, get back up when we fall down and know that this is all part of the process of life.


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