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  #51  
Old 09-11-2012, 01:09 PM
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Thanks Patty, it is so true that you need good commincation. Before my man went in, we didn't communicate that well, since he's been in it has been alot better. We both realized that we have something worth fighting for & have to step out of our comfort zones..
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  #52  
Old 09-11-2012, 02:06 PM
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Thanks Patty, it is so true that you need good commincation. Before my man went in, we didn't communicate that well, since he's been in it has been alot better. We both realized that we have something worth fighting for & have to step out of our comfort zones..
I'm glad the communication is improving between the two of you. As you can see, it helps a great deal. This will also help with your homecoming and beyond plans when that takes place.
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  #53  
Old 09-23-2012, 04:54 AM
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He's a really good man who treats me with the utmost care, love, and respect. Havin' money, bein' broke, the highest highs, the lowest lows, ain't nothing changed that. Prison hasn't changed that. We owe much of our success to communication....

They say the more things change the more things stay the same. We haven't struggled. Don't hate me because we got it like that. Now when I say struggle you have to understand that I do not mean that we haven't faced difficult times but simply that we do not approach those times in a manner with which they could defeat us. Communication is key...

I want to say that it is because we originally met while he was incarcerated that we were forced to put communication at the head of the table and to be certain it leveled the playing field, but mainly because we both excel in this area. The truth is, communicators are a large part of who we are, separately and together, whether he's at home with me or miles and miles away, and for us this has made a huge difference and the reason why I shout loud and proud, "Communication is key to any successful relationship."

So tell us how communication before/during incarceration works for you or share your concerns about improving communication.
This is a great post ! We started off the same having communication as out forefront , we met while he was incarecerated . It was the only way to get to know one another .Communication should be open and honest and without bias. Its been a long on and off journey with my love and primarily because of the lack of communication. I can't stress enough how important it is for understanding . I'm a communicator it's what I do for a living I'm a talker a very honest one while he's honest he's not as good at communicating or expressing. I charge it to the game not his heart lol . But I can say it is getting better I dont ask for much however, I do expect open honest conversation . He is improving alot since it is important for me but more importantly for us. Men in general they may not all know how effective communicating be BUT mine is finally starting to get the hang of it. He sees what happens when we don't communicate . Now we talk about any and everything good or bad . Honesty hurts but knowing its out of love makes it all better. Communication is one of my keys to happiness.
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  #54  
Old 09-28-2012, 08:51 PM
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Communication has made us so much stronger in my situation he always looks at his side of the situations handed to us and then mine and we come to an agreement like i always tell him without communtication we have nothing! <3 i miss you baby!
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:46 AM
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like i always tell him without communtication we have nothing! <3 i miss you baby!
Words to live by for sure. All the best to you and yours!
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:16 AM
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Thank you Patty for this post, My husband and I hav been married 2 years now and still learning how to communicate and what to communicate with each other. I know for a fact communication is def the key to a sucessful marriage. especially with thm being locked away from us.
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  #57  
Old 11-28-2012, 01:39 AM
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I Love my Man and I want to believe that he is giving me what he can based on where he is at. The problem is that it is not enough and even though I have discussed my needs, and he has attempted to do better, it still is not enough. He calls and send email but no letters. The calls and emails are short so there isnt much conversation flowing. There isnt much dialogue or sharing. I dont know what to do to connect.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:56 AM
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I Love my Man and I want to believe that he is giving me what he can based on where he is at. The problem is that it is not enough and even though I have discussed my needs, and he has attempted to do better, it still is not enough. He calls and send email but no letters. The calls and emails are short so there isnt much conversation flowing. There isnt much dialogue or sharing. I dont know what to do to connect.
You've got to keep on communicating. If longer letters are what you would like you have to make that known to him in no uncertain terms. I am not suggesting this be confrontational, far from it, I suggest you really lay it on the line though and let him know that you are doing your best (I'm assuming you are) to meet his needs and that you need him to reciprocate. Show him what you want and give him an opportunity to improve. Help him if need be. Work on letters together, perhaps. Ask questions, send an article you enjoyed or think he might find interesting as a conversation starter. You know him best, I'll bet you can come up with something. Keep trying.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:48 PM
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You've got to keep on communicating. If longer letters are what you would like you have to make that known to him in no uncertain terms. I am not suggesting this be confrontational, far from it, I suggest you really lay it on the line though and let him know that you are doing your best (I'm assuming you are) to meet his needs and that you need him to reciprocate. Show him what you want and give him an opportunity to improve. Help him if need be. Work on letters together, perhaps. Ask questions, send an article you enjoyed or think he might find interesting as a conversation starter. You know him best, I'll bet you can come up with something. Keep trying.
Thank you Ms. Patty. I am so fustrated that I am shutting down. However, I do find comfort in knowing that he is trying. I just have to figure out different creative ways to engage him. Thank you for this thread and your response. God Bless You for being such a supportive voice for people like me.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:09 PM
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Thank you again Patty, for a wonderful thread!
When he was home, our communication was HORRIBLE. We were both very passive aggressive and one always assumed the other would know what their needs and wants were. This was a huge mistake and looking back it caused so many of our problems. He has become the expert communicator during his incarceration and is in turn, teaching me a lesson in how to properly communicate. This not only helps with our connection it is overlapping into my life out here and helping me to make my life the way I want it. I love that man!!!
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  #61  
Old 01-11-2013, 09:25 AM
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We were working on our communication before he went in, but that was somewhat abrupt, so our talks were cut short. He has been in the hole since he was taken in, so his phone calls have been ALL over the place. One of my biggest complaints, since we started dating, was that at times I don't even feel like I am "allowed" to speak. He will talk, talk, talk, and talk somemore. He is always repeating himself, thinking I don't understand....and THAT drives me NUTTS!!!! I listen very carefully & intently. I asked him to try to stop with the repeating of the SAME information & yesterday, I got about 6 words in and then he brought up something from last week, that we had ALREADY moved on from and then, just repeated his whole "lesson" about what I did wrong AGAIN, and I just had enough of hearing it. I started crying and just told him I couldn't take it anymore, and hung up. Next thing I know, his mom called me...he had called her to talk & told her to call me & tell me he would call me back in 10 minutes. Well, apparently his sister ended up hanging up on him too. He wasn't very happy when he called me back & told me that, saying how he felt unloved and not cared for because his girl and his sister & mom had both hung up on him. I told him, "maybe it has something to do with the way you talk to us, to be hung up on twice, by the people who you KNOW love you?" I don't know....he went right back to raising his voice at me and repeating the "lesson" yet AGAIN! Then we basically sat there going back & forth for the remaining 8min's. It was awful. I just don't know how to MAKE him understand that sometimes, when he thinks I am being a smartass, I really am NOT. I will gladly admit when I am, which isn't often, because I know he doesn't like that....BUT he assumes everything out of my mouth is sarcastic or to be a smartass.....and it's TOTALLY not, half the time I don't even understand HOW he takes my answers to his questions, or my comments to his statments, as me being a smartass. Sometimes I feel like he just wants a reason to argue....IDK. I'm rambling.....but it's just annoying. I know it hurt him when I hung up, but I'm not gonna PAY for someone to call me, every day, and start runnin their mouth about something petty that was already suppose to be fixed last week! I calmed myself down and wrote him a letter this morning, which he won't get till Monday, but I was able to set up some boundaries and offer some suggestions on a few things that have been causing us problems and also asked for his opinions. He hasn't even gotten into FED custody yet, he's just waiting on his VOP court date, so it's sad that the real bid hasn't even started and we are at each other's throats half the time.....IDK......he's been through this 4 times, with other females of course, and he brought it up that it "always" worked with them, which kinda hurt my feelings....but, I can't help it, I speak up about things....knowing how he is and how he likes to control conversation, I doubt any of those girls had the balls! All I know is, I won't be putting up with it much longer....I can't. I am tired of fighting when all we get is 15mins a day, 1 hour 1 time a week until he is taken to the prison facility.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:22 PM
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We were working on our communication before he went in, but that was somewhat abrupt, so our talks were cut short. He has been in the hole since he was taken in, so his phone calls have been ALL over the place. One of my biggest complaints, since we started dating, was that at times I don't even feel like I am "allowed" to speak. He will talk, talk, talk, and talk somemore. He is always repeating himself, thinking I don't understand....and THAT drives me NUTTS!!!! I listen very carefully & intently. I asked him to try to stop with the repeating of the SAME information & yesterday, I got about 6 words in and then he brought up something from last week, that we had ALREADY moved on from and then, just repeated his whole "lesson" about what I did wrong AGAIN, and I just had enough of hearing it. I started crying and just told him I couldn't take it anymore, and hung up. Next thing I know, his mom called me...he had called her to talk & told her to call me & tell me he would call me back in 10 minutes. Well, apparently his sister ended up hanging up on him too. He wasn't very happy when he called me back & told me that, saying how he felt unloved and not cared for because his girl and his sister & mom had both hung up on him. I told him, "maybe it has something to do with the way you talk to us, to be hung up on twice, by the people who you KNOW love you?" I don't know....he went right back to raising his voice at me and repeating the "lesson" yet AGAIN! Then we basically sat there going back & forth for the remaining 8min's. It was awful. I just don't know how to MAKE him understand that sometimes, when he thinks I am being a smartass, I really am NOT. I will gladly admit when I am, which isn't often, because I know he doesn't like that....BUT he assumes everything out of my mouth is sarcastic or to be a smartass.....and it's TOTALLY not, half the time I don't even understand HOW he takes my answers to his questions, or my comments to his statments, as me being a smartass. Sometimes I feel like he just wants a reason to argue....IDK. I'm rambling.....but it's just annoying. I know it hurt him when I hung up, but I'm not gonna PAY for someone to call me, every day, and start runnin their mouth about something petty that was already suppose to be fixed last week! I calmed myself down and wrote him a letter this morning, which he won't get till Monday, but I was able to set up some boundaries and offer some suggestions on a few things that have been causing us problems and also asked for his opinions. He hasn't even gotten into FED custody yet, he's just waiting on his VOP court date, so it's sad that the real bid hasn't even started and we are at each other's throats half the time.....IDK......he's been through this 4 times, with other females of course, and he brought it up that it "always" worked with them, which kinda hurt my feelings....but, I can't help it, I speak up about things....knowing how he is and how he likes to control conversation, I doubt any of those girls had the balls! All I know is, I won't be putting up with it much longer....I can't. I am tired of fighting when all we get is 15mins a day, 1 hour 1 time a week until he is taken to the prison facility.
I think that under the circumstances, the letter writing is the best way for you to be "heard" at least at this time. Rememember to follow up with that in the way you respond and interact with him. For some inmates, time has stood still so what may seem like repetitive conversation is really all they've got and they feel they cannot move forward with things outside of their control. I'm not making excuses for his rude and frustrating behavior just pointing out that the circumstances are outside of the norm for those of us outside of the prison walls. What I know for sure is that it takes a lot of work on both parts to keep the connection going and to peacefully get through a bid. Again, the letter was a good start, I hope it helps to improve things for you.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:13 AM
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I keep trying.....I guess that's all I can do. Apparently, me hanging up on him was a HUGE mistake in his eyes. Now, he says he has lost trust in me....because to him, that was the WORST thing I could have done. I don't know....it was my way of getting out of the arguement. I know I have things to learn still....and some of my ways are not what he is use to and vice versa, but even when I try, my hardest, I feel like I am getting nowhere. He continues to say we MUST work on our communication, and I completely agree, it just stinks that it is so hard, on such short time. I know he has had other women stand by his side before, whether they were friends or more than friends to him, and sometimes I get the feeling I'm not like them, therefore he doesn't think I am good enough. I brought this up in a letter and we spoke on it briefly at our visit this week.....but I still can't help but feel he is comparing me at times. Obviously those women weren't what he was looking for in a MATE though, because he wasn't dating them then, after, or now....he wasn't loving them then, after, or now....he is dating me and loving me....so that keeps me pushing on. I don't know how it feels to be in his position and I keep trying to just learn from my mistakes. I suppose that's all I can do. I am trying. It is just so hard to be strong right now....when all I want to do is break down and for someone to just tell me, "It's going to be okay," well.....that someone, of course, would be him.....BUT I haven't heard that in a while, so I have my doubts. I don't know. I'm just overwhelmed, and alone. Thank you for your words of advice! They are very much appreciated, and welcomed!
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:25 AM
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Thank you again Patty, for a wonderful thread!
When he was home, our communication was HORRIBLE. We were both very passive aggressive and one always assumed the other would know what their needs and wants were. This was a huge mistake and looking back it caused so many of our problems. He has become the expert communicator during his incarceration and is in turn, teaching me a lesson in how to properly communicate. This not only helps with our connection it is overlapping into my life out here and helping me to make my life the way I want it. I love that man!!!
This is why I say communication is key to any successful relationship, it doesn't just apply to the romantic variety but to any relationship with have with another. Good for you!
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:29 AM
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I keep trying.....I guess that's all I can do. Apparently, me hanging up on him was a HUGE mistake in his eyes. Now, he says he has lost trust in me....because to him, that was the WORST thing I could have done. I don't know....it was my way of getting out of the arguement. I know I have things to learn still....and some of my ways are not what he is use to and vice versa, but even when I try, my hardest, I feel like I am getting nowhere. He continues to say we MUST work on our communication, and I completely agree, it just stinks that it is so hard, on such short time. I know he has had other women stand by his side before, whether they were friends or more than friends to him, and sometimes I get the feeling I'm not like them, therefore he doesn't think I am good enough. I brought this up in a letter and we spoke on it briefly at our visit this week.....but I still can't help but feel he is comparing me at times. Obviously those women weren't what he was looking for in a MATE though, because he wasn't dating them then, after, or now....he wasn't loving them then, after, or now....he is dating me and loving me....so that keeps me pushing on. I don't know how it feels to be in his position and I keep trying to just learn from my mistakes. I suppose that's all I can do. I am trying. It is just so hard to be strong right now....when all I want to do is break down and for someone to just tell me, "It's going to be okay," well.....that someone, of course, would be him.....BUT I haven't heard that in a while, so I have my doubts. I don't know. I'm just overwhelmed, and alone. Thank you for your words of advice! They are very much appreciated, and welcomed!
Share with HIM what you've shared with US. Explain that as a result of this comment or that silent pause, etc. "I feel that" "it made me feel like" "I couldn't help but feel" this takes the pressure off of him because you are not being confrontational, you are expressing your feelings and understand that there will be times that you will feel things he doesn't mean for you to and probably doesn't have a clue that a certain situation brought up those feelings because communication is NOT about mind reading, it's about talking to one another because in the prison relationship setting we don't have much else. Go and give it another try!
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:40 AM
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I keep trying.....I guess that's all I can do. Apparently, me hanging up on him was a HUGE mistake in his eyes. Now, he says he has lost trust in me....because to him, that was the WORST thing I could have done. I don't know....it was my way of getting out of the arguement. I know I have things to learn still....and some of my ways are not what he is use to and vice versa, but even when I try, my hardest, I feel like I am getting nowhere. He continues to say we MUST work on our communication, and I completely agree, it just stinks that it is so hard, on such short time. I know he has had other women stand by his side before, whether they were friends or more than friends to him, and sometimes I get the feeling I'm not like them, therefore he doesn't think I am good enough. I brought this up in a letter and we spoke on it briefly at our visit this week.....but I still can't help but feel he is comparing me at times. Obviously those women weren't what he was looking for in a MATE though, because he wasn't dating them then, after, or now....he wasn't loving them then, after, or now....he is dating me and loving me....so that keeps me pushing on. I don't know how it feels to be in his position and I keep trying to just learn from my mistakes. I suppose that's all I can do. I am trying. It is just so hard to be strong right now....when all I want to do is break down and for someone to just tell me, "It's going to be okay," well.....that someone, of course, would be him.....BUT I haven't heard that in a while, so I have my doubts. I don't know. I'm just overwhelmed, and alone. Thank you for your words of advice! They are very much appreciated, and welcomed!
Maybe you should stick to expressing how you truly feel in letters as Patty mentioned? I know at times it is easier for me to express certain things to my husband by writing them. What bothers me is the fact that he told you "it always worked with them"???? What or better yet why even mention that to you? Like it was a stab at you for hanging up then expessing how you feel? I guess it is time to set some boundaries in regards to communication especially since he hasn't even really started his time!
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:13 PM
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My love and I are MWI and we have always said communication and Heavenly Father are the foundations of our relationship. If we are upset we write letters, email, or talk it out. We understand communication is all we have right now and we plan and hope that we will continue to be as open in the years to come.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:44 PM
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communication is key we had bad communication before but the past couple of days i knw hes been trying but at times its just hard because it feels so fake i get so frustrated and want to hang up. It seems to just get harder.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:00 PM
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Listen to your instinct! Now how can you improve it? Take a moment and think and answer what is it you need and what is his need! Yesterday is dead and gone -todAY is a present. When you are clear talk to him and now you understand about hanging up! I step back and say let's take a moment and think then address this next time. I also have some humour to change the subject. I buy or look up jokes on the internet for quick referral . He knows feelings are raw and we will address next time.Blessings
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:11 AM
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"...this takes the pressure off of him because you are not being confrontational, you are expressing your feelings and understand that there will be times that you will feel things he doesn't mean for you to and probably doesn't have a clue that a certain situation brought up those feelings because communication is NOT about mind reading, it's about talking to one another..."

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Thanks for the words of encouragement! I have found that my feelings come out A LOT easier on paper then they do on the phone. When I write, I don't have to worry about him interrupting me, as he does on the phone. I don't have to worry about as soon as a thought comes out, he is telling me NOT to feel this or that way and to TRUST him. Our communication started getting better, I will say that, after the last 2 letters I sent him and was very open and honest about what I wanted, hoped for, missed, and needed!!! I expressed my feelings and hopes, instead of bringing sarcasm or smart-remarks (as he stated that he HATES when I do) towards some of our recent interactions, he even stated that he REALLY liked the last letter because it was "the Sherrie he knows."

Things literally had gotten SOOOO off track for us and SOOOOOO frustrating, that I felt like I wasn't going to be able to do this! I was feeling down & out, weak, stressed, alone, confused, torn, lost, and like I was failing at everything I was trying to do, show, and be for him. Things went well for about 6 days and then, I was unable to complete a task for him within 24 hours and he just started being demanding, talking to me like I was incompetant, and assumed I didn't listen to him or understand what he was telling me. He gets SO frustrated when things aren't HIS way, & me trying to explain why something didn't go exactly how he wanted it to....is like talking to a baby about the Quadratic Equation! NO attention, NO understanding, NO listening, NO care! It went right back to being crappy before I could even enjoy it heading in a better direction.

It's been TERRIBLE the past 2 days. He's been calling me at 730am (knowing I don't go to bed until about 5/6am majority of the time) and we just immediately start going back & forth. I'll be sitting there begging him to just calm down or stop downing my efforts and to allow me a moment to speak and it just doesn't happen. I try to tell him, "this is how I feel!!" and half the time he gets angry/frustrated with me because he doesn't think I have a valid reason to feel certain ways, especially when they have to do with something that he has said or done.
Yesterday, there ended up being 5 of these back to back phone calls, and we never got anywhere. He called this morning, I had been asleep about an hour & a half but I answered, and within 3 minutes, it got hostile.
Again, I tried to just tell him how I felt about things and he just kept telling me "DONT FEEL THAT WAY"....but you can't just TELL someone NOT to feel a certain way!

After the 1st round, he called back & I finally was able to squeeze it in there that I wasn't willing to do this anymore. I can't take the arguen. I can't take us hurting each other. I can't take us yelling. I can't be depressed all day because my day started out terrible with you and I'm worried about you doing something stupid out of anger or your BP getting too high again (he had to be put on meds within the first 2 weeks it was so out of control!). I just can't do it. He agreed. And, the time was up. I thought my $ had ran up and I was seriously considering not even adding more funds, as I already stopped writting (I told him I was going to, in my last letter, because I needed to know where we stood because I felt like I was doing more harm than help....he hasn't written back....which he brought this up this morning...saying he couldn't even get his feelings out on paper because he never knows how/when I'm going to take him the wrong way or assume he is upset with me or downing my efforts...ect) even though he DID keep referring to the letter, something that was extremely open and loving and caring and honest...which is WHO I have always been with him!



About 6 minutes later, he called back. I was reluctant to answer, but did. As soon as his line picked up, he told me, "This is the last time I call and talk about how off our communication is. It HAS to stop, NOW. WE ARE SO MUCH BETTER THAN THIS." Then, he very calmly, respectfully, and vulnerably opened up to me and basically told me everything that my heart was urning to hear. He reassured me. He thanked me. He told me his expectations for us and for me. He told me how much he loved me. He told me how special I am. He reminded me of how much effort, love, time, patience, understanding, focus, honesty, loyalty, and hard work we have put into our relationship. He told me he WANTED and NEEDED me. He told me he WANTS to be together when he gets out. He assured me that he loves, adores, cherishes, respects, and appreciates me. He asked me not to allow my past relationships to hinder OUR growth because he feels those trust issues coming out, in full force, and messing US up. He reminded me that he has never lied to me, lead me in the wrong direction, or put me in any situation that would be harmful or hurtful to me. He asked me to please allow him to Lead the way, as he has been in this type of situation on and off for the past 14 years and knows what it takes....reminding me that I am brand new to this. Again, he reminded me that he loved me and he wanted to continue to have me, by his side, as his rock, as his woman, and there, the moment he gets out. And, he asked me IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT?

THIS is what I've NEEDED so desperately! THIS is the conversation I've longed for since he went in. I am very emotional, sensitive, and in touch with my feelings. I am very expressive when it comes to my feelings. I am the type of woman, that needs reassurance, in times like this! My heart and my head have been so confused and torn, I cannot express how WONDERFUL IT FELT TO HAVE HIM ADDRESS THESE THINGS WITH ME! I have been feeling so defeated, and unsure of things...I have felt confused & conflicted to what I was doing "here." As these words came out of his mouth and hit me through the phone line, I felt a warmth of love and support and connection...which has been so hard to find among the uncertainty, sadness, fear, anger, 15min phone calls, visits through computer screen or glass, and ALL the extra stuff that has been going on, in his life, in my life, and in our life!
What a friggen relief...to know that he was willing to swollow his pride and open his heart and feelings to me, in order to ASSURE me that he loves me, needs me, wants me, and cares for me....regardless of the BS and drama and fighting....means SO MUCH TO ME. I am sooooooooo glad he realized THIS was the time, THIS was the move to make, THIS was what HAD to be focused on....because it's what I needed.
And, he needed it too! All this anger and frustration, he needs to feel comfortable and confident when expressing himself in a loving, caring, supportive manner from time to time!!! Simply taking the time to remind me about certain feelings that he has, for opening up on his wants/needs, and by realizing that sometimes to end negative circumstances, you have to swollow your pride & just bring some positivity and light to the table!

I know that we will still have bumps and situations, BUT I also know that my heart, my head, my soul, my body...NEEDED to hear exactly what he took the time to say to me! I can refocus. I can start to feel confident again. I can start to feel happy again!
I feel the love just through the sound of his voice....and I needed that!
I can FINALLY feel comfortable (again) when speaking to him and listening to him!---As I needed to KNOW that his HEART was invested as much as mine was!!! I have been VERY open with my feelings of admiration and love for him, as they came along. But, we REALLY had just professed our love for one another a few weeks before (he got arrested), when we decided to take a last minute road trip, 30 hours away!!!!

I am so thankful that this happened, as we have been at crunch time anyways, with his sentence hearing coming up (on the 12th). I definetly appreciate this happening exactly when it did, because I couldn't dare take this type of annimosity into a prison setting, in another state, with him!!!

I hope that we can continue to have these types of open and honest talks, more often.....conversation that is focused, positive, and offers a time for feedback!

I completed a 5hr program on Effective Communication, as a start for myself...addressing some of my known issues, as well as those that I have became more aware of through him pointing them out (because he cares enough, and wants to give me the opportunity to be aware of them and addresses them.....not because "he's tryen to be an asshole"---as I've told myself SO many times). A lot of my personal issues come with my assumptions or my perceptions that I tend to easily talk myself into at times....I do have self-doubts, insecruities, and a difficult time accepting criticism from someone that I love (especially a male though). I DEF have somethings to work on..in order to be a better communicator and communicatee!!!! I am determined, as much as he is, to do this the right way....the respectful way.....the loving way.....the way that we were MEANT to do it!!! TOGETHER!!

I am finally looking forward to that 730 phone call, regardless if I get to bed at 4 or at 655!!!
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:21 AM
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Cool to help your communication

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Originally Posted by msmybabe2012 View Post
The calls and emails are short so there isnt much conversation flowing. There isnt much dialogue or sharing. I dont know what to do to connect.

One of the things that I did (with an ex), who I had actually known for a long time and I was friends with before actually dating, was communication engagment activities....GAMES!

I had recently graduated with my Elementary Education Degree, starting dating B, and in our 2nd year, he went to jail for 4 months. We had struggled throughout our first year with our communication, but eventually, I started to open up more and start to "trust" him. When he went to jail, I wasn't sure what to do, I didn't WANT to visit him and I didn't have the money to put a phone account together. So, I knew our letters would be what kept us FEELING CONNECTED. I am an avid writter, so sending something that is 10 pages long or even 29 pages long, is VERY easy for me, but I wasn't sure he would be AS WILLING to spend a few hours writting ME, nor did I figure he would have as much to say as I did at times!

So, I started to think outside the box! I knew the types of things he liked, movies, style of dress, music, artists, actors, activities, and even his bad habits...BUT I thought it would be a "cool" idea to find out DETAILS. Thinking back to some of the activities in the classroom, I was always aware of how the games, to get the students sharing/comparing/engaging/talking to others/imagining, REALLY brought the students together. Male and Female. Females with Females they weren't "use" to talking to. Males with Males that had previously had "issues" in the class. B and I had had a rough year, so I wanted to make sure all of our letters weren't based on "problems." Because, who wants to sit around reading about the past and constantly revist problems?

The one I recall his liking A LOT and finding interesting and FUN was the Questions game. Basicallly, I would write a list of questions and I would keep a copy and I would send him a copy. Then, there would be a "due by" date, which was the time that we would send our letters out to each other. I learned so much about him, and he learned so much about me this way! We actually did this when he got out as well, because it helped us communicate and engage in conversations about topics that we may have never thought of or been embarrased to talk about or whatever. It helps to build trust too, as you are answering the questions honestly and agreeing to talk about some of the questions in detail, if the other person chooses to ask you for more details. Sometimes our answers were one word and sometimes, they were paragraphs long. There are ENDLESS possibilities here, as to what you discuss with your boyfriend, what you learn, and what you allow him to learn about you! He may even want to make a set of questions for YOU!

You could start out by telling him (via phone or letter) that you would like to introduce a fun way of communicating to him. Explain to him that you will provide a list, of X-amount of questions for him, in your letter, and you would like him to take the time to answer the questions as openly as possibly. Tell him he can be as detailed as he'd like! Let him know that you will also answer the same set of questions, for him, and then you will both send out the answered list by or on a specific date. If you two talk on the phone, you could just figure out when he gets the letter, and tell him you would like it finished by (this) day and then the two of you will send out the list to each other. Then, you both will have something to read and you will both, SURELY, learn something new about the other person! From there, you can have disucussions about some of the things you learned!

There were also times were it was fun for me to write him X-amount of questions and he write me X-amount of questions (same #) and send the questions to the other person, answer the questions, and then receive them back--answered! Make sure you offer him this opportunity because there may be somethings that he wants to know about you or to ask you that you wouldn't think about asking him. (It's also cool to just see what type of questions the other person wants to ask.....AND it's cool to see how many of the same questions you actually ask each other!)

Some examples that B & I asked, answered, and discussed:
1. How many states have you visited? Which ones exactly? Which state would you like to visit, that you haven't yet?

2. What is your favorite fast-food restaurant? Your favorite full-service restaurant?

3. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

4. What is one of your favorite childhood memories? Tell me about it in detail.

5. If you were given $1,000 cash to spend in just ONE store, where would you go? What would you buy?

6. How many concerts have you been to? Who all have you seen perform? What was your FAV and why?

7. What would the "perfect" day include for you? Tell me about it from beginning to end!

8. What is your favorite type of music? What are some of your favorite songs? Who is your favorite artisit?

9. What are your TOP 5, all time FAVORITE movies?

10. Tell me about a childhood memory, you wish you could erase.

11. What kind of tricks did you and your big brother use to play on each other when you were young?

12. What's your dream car?

13. Have you visited any other countries? If so, which ones? Is there another country you would like to visit, that you haven't yet? What draws you to that country?


Some things MAY seem obvious to you, but you may just be surprised with the answers! You WILL learn SOMETHING about your partner, even if it's their favorite type of toothpaste!!!! Of course, use the answers to your advantage! Take note of some of the "favorite" things they share with you for their next birthday, Christmas, holiday, or the FIRST time you are in their arms again! Use the information you learn from the game to SEND your man something relevant, like the lyrics to his favorite song, or some updated information on their favorite team or actor or baseball player! A lot of jails won't accept "posters" but you could easily print up a picture for your guy from the internet...a picture of a beach, a photo of space, a picture of Alicia Keys, or The Simpsoms.


Make sure that you talk about some of your findings! Ask for details, stories, background, or more information about something they shared with you!

Let me know if you end up trying this out!!!!
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:15 AM
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The communication between my husband and I was horrible when he was out. He's the type of person that bottles everything in. To get him to talk is a challenge and most of the time I never beat that challenge. When we first met he used to talk to me a lot, but with time, he changed. Now that he's incarcerated he has become that man I met and fell in love with. He's very open about his feelings and speaks his mind to me. I'm afraid that when he comes home, all that will change.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:51 PM
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Default The best non-verbal communication


First let me start off by saying how much I enjoy this site, & thanking everyone for their stories & participation. It feels like I've come home. Please don't let my sarcasm give you the wrong impression...I am a major smart ass but I love my Jake more than words can describe. Jake is currently in reception & I havent spoken to him in almost 3 months. & it sucks....really bad. The upside is I get to write whatever I want knowing that he will read it. Jake & I never had issues (mis)communicating. Now our relationship is better than it ever has been cause he's not here to F it up (as I told him) but we both do agree that its better than it ever was in the past. I fell in love with Jake at the ripe old age of 15; he was 17. Then after high school we parted ways though I never stopped thinking of him during the 20 year separation. Im now 36 & he will soon be 38. After my 2 kids & a divorce, & a son for Jake, we reunited, moved in together & all hell broke loose. Jake was a severe alcoholic & we both were doing dope which helped wreck our relationship. Jake was always really good at expressing how much he loves me....he just sucked at showing it at times. He also LOVED the blame game. He could find a reason to blame anything wrong in his life on anyone. These were always things that I tried to point out to him during our relationship. Pointless though when dealing with an "innocent alcoholic". We dont spend time really writing about the past unless they're good memories. We spend more time writing about future. I do Q&A forms for him to send back to me. & I always make up packets for him of things I want to share with him that I find or read online. The MAJOR thing for him that I know he really enjoys is lyrics. I will copy & paste lyrics for him to entire albums along with a picture from the album & he loves it. It also makes his letters MUCH longer & helps me out cause sometimes I dont have so much to say. But the main thing for us I guess was we both had to come to the agreement that we had to let go of the time before he was arrested. Actually the day he got arrested he punched in my windshield cause that was it!! We were breaking up!! & he didnt want to be with me but he didnt want me to leave either so he showed me. But I left anyway just to go buy cigarettes & he got arrested for something he'd been running from for 6 months. I dont miss the man I knew. But I love getting to know the man he's becoming. & look forward everyday to meeting the love of my life.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:28 AM
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I can honestly say that our communication and and relationship in general have improved greatly since his incarceration. It really makes you think and appreciate the times you had and everything you took for granted. We generally don't spend much time talking about the past but we have both grown and become more open, honest and straight forward with each other. I feel like we have developed a connection on a whole new level.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShurrieBurrie80 View Post
I keep trying.....I guess that's all I can do. Apparently, me hanging up on him was a HUGE mistake in his eyes. Now, he says he has lost trust in me....because to him, that was the WORST thing I could have done. I don't know....it was my way of getting out of the arguement. I know I have things to learn still....and some of my ways are not what he is use to and vice versa, but even when I try, my hardest, I feel like I am getting nowhere. He continues to say we MUST work on our communication, and I completely agree, it just stinks that it is so hard, on such short time. I know he has had other women stand by his side before, whether they were friends or more than friends to him, and sometimes I get the feeling I'm not like them, therefore he doesn't think I am good enough. I brought this up in a letter and we spoke on it briefly at our visit this week.....but I still can't help but feel he is comparing me at times. Obviously those women weren't what he was looking for in a MATE though, because he wasn't dating them then, after, or now....he wasn't loving them then, after, or now....he is dating me and loving me....so that keeps me pushing on. I don't know how it feels to be in his position and I keep trying to just learn from my mistakes. I suppose that's all I can do. I am trying. It is just so hard to be strong right now....when all I want to do is break down and for someone to just tell me, "It's going to be okay," well.....that someone, of course, would be him.....BUT I haven't heard that in a while, so I have my doubts. I don't know. I'm just overwhelmed, and alone. Thank you for your words of advice! They are very much appreciated, and welcomed!
Two things I have learned from having my love in shu for several years.
One is that they lose track of time and weeks can seem like days to them
Two,they forget things.Things like important dates escape them as time goes on.They also forget what they may have already said.
I really had to sit down and actually see how upset my man was at my not understanding what's going on.He is truly having issues with long term solitary and being the usually very positive person that he is,he was trying to make the best of it.My getting frustrated and telling him so didn't help.Only really seeing him in person and seeing how upset he gets with himself made me understand.
It's also hard to communicate with him unless I ask him about things.He has almost lost the ability to start a conversation,though if I visit he can still interact well.If not for those short visits I don't know where we would be in terms of our relationship.
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