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

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Old 07-13-2017, 12:46 AM
TreeGrl72 TreeGrl72 is online now
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Hi all! I've been on PTO for a little while now but have recently been reading Loving a Lifer threads and feel like this group is so accepting and consistent with my experience. So, my boyfriend is LWOP and although there is some new legislation that may pass in Cali regarding youth offenders that may eventually apply to him, we don't expect him to be released before 20 years or more, if ever. I've seen some discussions on here about reactions to finding out that you are with a Lifer (people calling you crazy and such) and I am somewhat nervous about other people's reactions...such as my friends and family. I will handle it because I'm deeply in love and there is nothing that can pull me away from him..I am proud of who he is as a person and I will handle whatever I have to and get over myself because ultimately, who cares what people think. But I am mostly concerned about my ex's reaction. We share a daughter and if he finds out I'm visiting, etc, I am afraid he will get a lawyer and try to get full custody because I'm with a "scary/dangerous" LWOP inmate (I'm sure one could say this about any inmate, but somehow a Lifer has this greater stigma). My ex has threatened me before to try to take my daughter and while he would have no evidence of me being a bad mom (I take good care of my daughter), I just wonder if anyone has experience with people/exes freaking out over you being with a "dangerous" inmate/Lifer. Thank you!
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:02 AM
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My hub is not a lifer but serving a 20 yr sentence, I did have some experience with this. My ex tried to play that card with me and my daughter. The judge was wise to her dads plot and since I had no other 'beefs' against me the situation went nowhere.

I'm sorry you are dealing with this. Loving someone in prison is tough enough without all the negativity thrown at us. Hang in there and keep posting
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:34 AM
TreeGrl72 TreeGrl72 is online now
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My hub is not a lifer but serving a 20 yr sentence, I did have some experience with this. My ex tried to play that card with me and my daughter. The judge was wise to her dads plot and since I had no other 'beefs' against me the situation went nowhere.

I'm sorry you are dealing with this. Loving someone in prison is tough enough without all the negativity thrown at us. Hang in there and keep posting
Thank you so much for your response! I'm so glad to know that your ex's plot didn't work with the judge!! That gives me hope!! My ex is a total manipulator and uses his "vet" card to get sympathy. He is totally angry and spiteful and I could see him try to hurt me in any way that he can (he has before) when he sees me happy. But yeah, since I have been her primary caretaker and he has absolutely nothing else on me, I pray it will be okay. Did he try to convince the judge that somehow your man will get out one day and hurt your daughter or something? Or was he just saying you had bad judgment in general? I hope judges realize that inmates can and do change...

Thank you again. This helped a lot and my best to you!!
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:39 AM
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Yes he tried both.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:48 AM
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Yes he tried both.


We were actually mid divorce. Longest and prly most expensive divorce in our county at the time-.-

With my ex it was all about anything to keep from paying child support. It wasn't that he had my child's best interest at heart.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:52 AM
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We were actually mid divorce. Longest and prly most expensive divorce in our county at the time-.-

With my ex it was all about anything to keep from paying child support. It wasn't that he had my child's best interest at heart.
Right. That makes sense. I know my ex would just be trying to sabotage me. He's not worried about my daughter's wellbeing either. I'm glad you are rid of him finally!!!
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TreeGrl72 View Post
Hi all! I've been on PTO for a little while now but have recently been reading Loving a Lifer threads and feel like this group is so accepting and consistent with my experience. So, my boyfriend is LWOP and although there is some new legislation that may pass in Cali regarding youth offenders that may eventually apply to him, we don't expect him to be released before 20 years or more, if ever. I've seen some discussions on here about reactions to finding out that you are with a Lifer (people calling you crazy and such) and I am somewhat nervous about other people's reactions...such as my friends and family. I will handle it because I'm deeply in love and there is nothing that can pull me away from him..I am proud of who he is as a person and I will handle whatever I have to and get over myself because ultimately, who cares what people think. But I am mostly concerned about my ex's reaction. We share a daughter and if he finds out I'm visiting, etc, I am afraid he will get a lawyer and try to get full custody because I'm with a "scary/dangerous" LWOP inmate (I'm sure one could say this about any inmate, but somehow a Lifer has this greater stigma). My ex has threatened me before to try to take my daughter and while he would have no evidence of me being a bad mom (I take good care of my daughter), I just wonder if anyone has experience with people/exes freaking out over you being with a "dangerous" inmate/Lifer. Thank you!
You sound like a strong and thoughtful woman. I, too, have found the Loving a Lifer forum a lovely goldmine of wisdom and solace over the last couple of days.

I'm sorry you will have to have that talk with your ex. You know him, so you probably have a good handle on how he will react. When I ran through scenarios in my mind of what I imagined various people's reactions would be, I have to say that I was pretty spot on when I reviewed them after the fact. One friend wrote me off and I never heard from her again (this is someone I knew for ten years and whose hand I held through a three-year separation and divorce). I also predicted my father would have the most extreme reaction, which he did. Nothing but vicious and humiliating putdowns issued from his mouth for weeks, and when I stopped talking to him, he threatened to take legal action against me, too. These are tactics of bullies. I found it very ironic that I was being bullied and tormented and threatened by a free citizen and family member, while my so-called 'monster' inmate supported me through it and even encouraged me to see that reaction as one of concern and love (I don't).

I have yet to experience someone being genuinely happy for me. The most I've come to hope for, after four years, is to be left in peace. They say you need a thick skin if you're going to walk this path, but I can't seem to grow one -- so now I mostly keep to myself.

As far as legal consequences, I think it is largely a myth to believe that marrying an inmate or bringing your child to visit the inmate will have any bearing. I don't believe either act is seen in a court of law as tantamount to child neglect or abuse -- and those would be grounds to challenge custody. Mothers and fathers take their children to visit the other parent in prison all the time, and no one's parental rights are questioned when they do. Children have a right to have a relationship with their step-parents, too.

Last edited by Taliba00; 07-13-2017 at 10:05 PM.. Reason: Grammar and spelling! (Thanks, autocorrect)
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:25 PM
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You sound like a strong and thoughtful woman. I, too, have found the Loving a Lifer forum a lovely goldmine of wisdom and solace over the last couple of days.

I'm sorry you will have to have that talk with your ex. You know him, so you probably have a good handle on how he will react. When I ran through scenarios in my mind of what I imagined various people's reactions would be, I have to say that I was pretty spot on when I reviewed them after the fact. One friend wrote me off and I never heard from her again (this is someone I knew for ten years and whose hand I held through a three-year separation and divorce). I also predicted my father would have the most extreme reaction, which he did. Nothing but vicious and humiliating putdowns issued from his mouth for weeks, and when I stopped talking to him, he threatened to take legal action against me, too. These are tactics of bullies. I found it very ironic that I was being bullied and tormented and threatened by a free citizen and family member, while my so-called 'monster' inmate supported me through it and even encouraged me to see that reaction as one of concern and love (I don't).

I have yet to experience someone being genuinely happy for me. The most I've come to hope for, after four years, is to be left in peace. They say you need a thick skin if you're going to walk this path, but I can't seem to grow one -- so now I mostly keep to myself.

As far as legal consequences, I think it is largely a myth to believe that marrying an inmate or bringing your child to visit the inmate will have any bearing. I don't believe either act is seen in a court of law as tantamount to child neglect or abuse -- and those would be grounds to challenge custody. Mothers and fathers take their children to visit the other parent in prison all the time, and no one's parental rights are questioned when they do. Children have a right to have a relationship with their step-parents, too.
Wow, what an amazingly thoughtful and helpful reply!! Thank you so very much. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to meet another woman with a similar experience. I am sorry to hear of your family and friends' responses but like you, I am not surprised. I have not yet told anyone I'm close to because I am 100 percent sure that I will receive only negative and histrionic reactions. As you said, what's interesting is that my so-called "monster" Lifer boyfriend is so much kinder and mature and wise and compassionate than anyone else I know. Do people not believe that people can make mistakes at some point in their lives and not be permanently labeled horrible people?! I detest that kind of judgment and pidgeon holing so like you, I think I'm mostly going to keep my relationship to myself. If and when I need to disclose, I will..but not expect much.

I couldn't have said that better myself about a kid's right to visit their step-parent! You are so right!!! Thank you for that.

PM me anytime if you are interested in talking more. I would love to learn more about you situation and exchange notes! It's rare to meet girlfriends/wives of lifers. Either way, thank you SO much for taking the time to write this thoughtful response!
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