Dear Eye View
Years ago, before we were married, my husband suggested we write to prisoners all over the country to get their thoughts about life. I was dismissive of it for all the reasons someone might be wary of writing to prisoners. Over the years, whenever we got in fights about my not paying enough attention to his creative endeavors, I would think back to this idea and recognize that it was interesting. Well, it turns out he’d gone ahead and sent out his survey to prisoners. He rented a post office box and the ensuing correspondence has continued for seven years. I only recently learned of it because some of these men are starting to be released. I am sympathetic to those recently released from prison and the challenges they face. But my husband is not prepared for the role he has come to play in these men’s lives. Several have shown up at our house wanting to speak to my husband. It is unsettling, and I am afraid to disappoint them. My husband can’t say no to these men’s repeated, insistent requests to visit our house, borrow the car, get help finding work. I feel terrible cutting these people off after they evidently know so much about us and have considerable emotional investment in our family, but I do not want them in my life or my young child’s lives. I feel like everything I don’t like about my husband is part of this predicament: carelessness with others’ feelings and time, inability to finish projects, poor planning, and general lack of awareness about social justice issues. What should I do about these men when they show up or contact me, and what on earth do I do about my idiot husband?
Not a Prison Wife
I understand your concern. That’s quite a bill of indictment you lay out against your husband—and yourself. For some reason you married this reckless dreamer and have a child with him, and now your family is in potential peril because a whole bunch of ex-cons expect him to be their benefactor. My only advise is keep the trailer door locked and hid the child.
Hope this helps