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Loving a Lifer For those whose loved one is serving a life sentence.

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  #1  
Old 12-30-2017, 07:53 PM
2ndclasscitizen 2ndclasscitizen is offline
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Default What's appealing about loving a lifer

My brother Joshua Aston is in prison (LWOP), since he was a juvenile I've shown him. A lot of these threads about loving a lifer ,so he can get a concept of how it's done. Sounds insane ,i know, but why he can t find someone to love and support is beyond him. He comes from a family of 12 bro &sis, &they are all in happy relationships. He's a great guy. Why is it so difficult to find love as a lifer. In his situation he sees so many guys not doing life have wives /girlfriends but he cant understand why hes alone . Surely LWOP is a major turn off .what is it about a lifer that is appealing is what I want to know. Maybe he's just not meant to find love ... I honestly don't want to believe that.
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:48 PM
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It takes a very open-minded person to get past the crime and see the person for the person. And time. I think if someone is going to be able to fall in love with a lifer, the lifer is going to need to have grown and matured past the point he was at when he committed the crimes... or at the very least the person would need time to witness some personal growth and have some shared experiences that act as a catalyst for bonding.
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:31 AM
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Agreed with Dakini. My MWI is a lifer, and heís been incarcerated since Reagan was in office. It was the first time he ever got in trouble. But he hasnít stopped living during that time, and has really turned himself around and continues to do everything he can as far as self improvement. Heís done a lot more than a lot of people on the outside have. And thatís appealing.

When I wrote, I wasnít ďlooking for loveĒ, but I wasnít opposed to it if the feelings arose. Not ready to use that four letter word, but I will say Iíve developed the tender most feelings for THE PERSON. Not the crime.

I get why people would be reticent to be with a lifer. Obviously, you miss out on a lot together. Thatís not preferable, but it is what it is. But Iím someone whoís never minded being ďaloneĒ. Iíve felt more alone in long term relationships with people I could see and contact whenever. Iím also pretty sure I donít want children of my own, so that helps.

Thereís no forcing it. It has to come naturally, if and when it does.
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:42 AM
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I didn't fall in love with a lifer, I fell in love with the man who happens to be incarcerated for already 24 years. It just happened. He had an ad on a prison pen-pal website, it seemed appealing to me, liked his picture and started writing to him. I do believe thought that him being already in for so long and the fact that he has improved himself so much with an education and stuff, that what was most appealing to me. He's smart and sophisticated as he can be in his environment and keeps improving himself. I do believe he has dealt with his crime and the repercussions over the past 2+ decades and to me personally that was or still is important.

And no, I wasn't looking for love whatsoever, I just wanted to brighten someone's day... Love just happened a few years into our exchanging letters, phone calls and eventually visits.

Your brother maybe needs to write down or give it some thought what's important for him to have in his life. That he can maybe transfer into a pen-pal ad and then be open and honest about his life in possible letters to a pen-pal or pen-pals.
Good luck!!
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by yuliya1991 View Post
Thereís no forcing it. It has to come naturally, if and when it does.
I think this is key. There are also a lot of people living in the free world who want to find a relationship and are unable to...love shows up when it chooses to show up, it cannot be forced. Doesn't mean a person isn't a good person or not deserving of love...it is just life.

As was mentioned in your other thread in the pen pal forum; hopefully your brother will keep on connecting with people through letters and let time do its deed. Being a platonic pen pal first with people, getting to know them with time, letting them to get to know him with no expectations for the specifics of the friendship/relationship...I think that's the way to go.

Good luck to him
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:16 AM
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Often I've wondered the same thing as far as "loving a lifer" but honestly when you find the right person for you you accept whatever comes with them! I'm not with a lifer but my brother in law has a lot of time ahead of him and feels like it's the reason he can't find anyone. Have you put him on a pen pal site?
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:22 PM
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The answer to the way the question is worded in my opinion is nothing, absolutely nothing. What could be appealing about your loved one being a lifer? I mean it isn't as if we went out looking for a relationship with someone who may never be free from prison. Prison is an awful experience for those on both sides of the fence, but we deal with the limitations and sacrifices because we love and care for the person incarcerated.

Now if you asked what we found appealing about the man/woman we fell in love with who happens to be a lifer, you will probably get a greater variety of responses. People fall in love with people for all kinds of reasons. I think in order for your brother to have a greater opportunity to find love, he has to put himself out there and be open to the idea the he is worthy of love and can be loved despite his prison sentence. A person who is bitter and negative is going to have a much more difficult time attracting a loving person as opposed to someone with an open heart and mind who is ready to do right by another human being, including forgiving themselves for whatever the circumstances of their incarceration. I would advise him to get himself in the right place mentally and spiritually, then he can begin looking for a partner who is willing to accept him and his circumstances as they are.
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:29 PM
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The answer to the way the question is worded in my opinion is nothing, absolutely nothing. What could be appealing about your loved one being a lifer?
That was my thought, too. In fact I think my brain subbed the word lifer for inmate. There's nothing appealing about being in a relationship that involves incarceration, period. But the "to life" or LWOP aspect makes those things even weightier.

Love is forced to thrive in circumstance. When that circumstance is incarceration, the barriers are high. No one falls in love with a lifer, or an inmate for that matter. They fall in love with a person.
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Old 01-01-2018, 04:50 PM
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I dont think many people would ever consider falling in love with a lifer as being a preferred option, or seeking a lifer out for a relationship. Its very hard to live with the fact that you may never be able to live together or have a family etc. However people do fall in love in love as a result of correspondence or reconnecting from the past. These things arent planned but happen never the less.
However, when you fall in love you cannot just give up on someone because of their circumstances.
Good relationships arent good because they have no problems they are good because the the two people involved care enough to make the relationship work regardless of the circumstances.
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Old 01-26-2018, 01:49 PM
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Sometimes I read about inmates finding a pen pal from asking their friends on the inside if their pal knows anyone who might want to write. This might help with finding someone who's open-minded and not judgmental. Also, a lot of people find their pals/ loved ones on a pen pal site, but there are specific restrictions like if you're in a certain state, you can't advertise for pals. I think if I were incarcerated, finding a pen pal would be one of the things I'd want the most, outside of family support! Good luck keeping your brother's spirits up.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:23 PM
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Nothing about a life sentence is appealing, but sometimes you just love someone so much that you're willing to deal with it. I certainly wasn't looking for romance behind bars, but like so many I fell in love with my pen-pal. Life without parole is simply a part of his life that I can't change.
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Old 02-19-2018, 04:57 AM
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That's what a lifer takes... your LIFE ! Do you wanna live the rest of your life with endless letters, expensive calls and visits, No lovemaking, no holding hands , no touching, no movie/date nite, no family dinner holidays with the in laws?? Keeping it real, it might work for some... but for me that's no way to live, yes they are human and need love too . He can try a.pen pal
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:08 PM
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Hello there.....I had a pen pal for several months with an LWOP sentence and his prison was close enough in distance that I visited him several times. I am not married out here nor do I have the relationship that is really right for me. I did enjoy him until he became
Too demanding and wanted me completely to himself. Now that I’m not capable of because I don’t enjoy being alone. We are all different. It is very frustrating though. I had a long friendship during the course of sixteen years, that began as friends, then became romantic for two yrs., then friends. When he got out we became romantic and he basically forgot I existed. So I got myself a few pen pals thinking they could explain why my friend dumped me. Your brother can get on a pen pal site and you never know....I heard the lifers now have their family visits back and I believe he could marry and have those visits. I think LWOP has their visits too. I’m assuming. I personally cannot give up everything for a lifer but I was able to give him my time, friendship and love. You have to be present in the moment, but it is depressing when you love someone and can’t be with them in a normal way. Both parties have to be able to accept what the other can give them. It’s unconditional friendship and love. If you are exclusive to a lifer you are doing time with them. It’s a hard relationship but I believe in all possibilities. He should try to make a friend, so he’s not so lonely.
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:19 PM
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Honestly I would never do this even if I had been married for 20 years to someone. It's a horrible lonely thankless life, most family, friends will never understand and won't try. Imagine being alone the rest of your life, that's what you can expect.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:26 PM
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I don't feel that being with someone who has a life sentence is equivalent to being ALONE for the rest of your life, unless you are referring to being physically alone. For some people it is enough to have the spiritual connection, and a non-traditional life together.

No it isn't easy by any means and it certainly isn't for everyone, but for those that accept the circumstances, it is not viewed as thankless or unrewarding if you have a good relationship with one another and find a place of balance together. It may not be ideal, and it certainly isn't a fairytale romance, but for some it is enough to be happy in this life.
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chosenmemories View Post
I don't feel that being with someone who has a life sentence is equivalent to being ALONE for the rest of your life, unless you are referring to being physically alone. For some people it is enough to have the spiritual connection, and a non-traditional life together.

No it isn't easy by any means and it certainly isn't for everyone, but for those that accept the circumstances, it is not viewed as thankless or unrewarding if you have a good relationship with one another and find a place of balance together. It may not be ideal, and it certainly isn't a fairytale romance, but for some it is enough to be happy in this life.
This is very well put - and again comes down to how different we all are and how it is possible for others to be content with a life that someone else couldn't even fathom. This could very well be said about prison relationships in general...or about any other issue in life as well; some people are okay with a life that some may look at and not understand at all. As long as each of us are happy and content with the kind of life we choose to live...that's all that really matters
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:26 PM
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I don’t believe it’s possible to truly convey in written word all the challenges that come with this walk or how deeply moving it can be. It is also incredibly frustrating due to a multitude of issues that come with it that anybody outside of this life could not possibly understand. How do you explain 40 years behind the fences, the rollercoaster ride that the injustice system has put us through, the monotony of years of visiting in loud crowded rooms with guards that treat you like you are one of the inmates or worse like a teenager that can’t be trusted when you are over 50!!!!
But even with all the heartbreaking parole denials, petty guards, the maddening frustration of not being able to have the physical side of the relationship I have found in him an example of how a worthwhile life can be truly lived even within the hate-filled environment he is in. He has created a corner of that place where the beauty of his soul shines forth in pieces of art that can take your breath away. He has made a name for himself within the system that stands for integrity, endurance, kindness and respect. I’ve seen it, I’ve met guards, attorneys, and ex-felons who know him and to a person have genuine admiration and respect for what he’s accomplished. I am honored to call him my friend.....I’ve learned more from this man who is not just a lifer than nearly anyone else and this includes many people I know with masters degrees.
Yet we are now just friends because I found myself in a place where I can no longer commit to a full time relationship. If you can’t tell, I still love him very much. Not quite sure what my point is, other than relationships are usually more than meets the eye. Had he been the typical knucklehead that you read about so often on these boards I would have been out a long time ago. But he’s had a profound impact on my life.
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:00 AM
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It's called "lifer" for a reason , and that's what it takes. LIFE, my life is too short to share with someone incarcerated... I would write just to keep their spirits up they are still human
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:21 AM
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Quote:
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Honestly I would never do this even if I had been married for 20 years to someone. It's a horrible lonely thankless life, most family, friends will never understand and won't try. Imagine being alone the rest of your life, that's what you can expect.
I totally feel you... I was very apprehensive at first and for a loooong loooong time... but since my "lifer" is on his way out the door (exaggerating a bit) and won't have to face another 25+ years in prison, I'm confident that I can swing it for a bit longer... I've only known him for 3+ years.
But having e.g. a boyfriend/husband just being sentenced to life in prison, I don't think I could do it...
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