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Old 07-17-2017, 12:41 PM
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Default MWI: The Homecoming

This space is to share stories of homecoming specific to MWI. While there are challenges all relationships face at the end of a prison sentence, MWI have a unique path to take. Please use this thread to share your joys, fears, struggles, successes and helpful advice for transitioning from incarceration to free world living.

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Old 07-17-2017, 02:11 PM
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I've known my MWI for 20 months now, we have 18 more months to go until his homecoming. We've talked about it some and we both have fears and concerns about the transition. He has spent most of the last decade incarcerated and is a recovering addict. I know it won't be easy and there is a lot of unknown. We both still have so much to learn about each other. He has already asked me if I would be willing to attend couples counselling with him when he gets out, so he already seems to be proactive about our relationship which is a good sign. Right now I'm looking forward to the day when I can share our homecoming story, both the joys and challenges.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:35 PM
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We both still have so much to learn about each other. He has already asked me if I would be willing to attend couples counselling with him when he gets out, so he already seems to be proactive about our relationship which is a good sign.
That's terrific. I foresee us attending counseling, as well. I look forward to reading your updates after he's home.
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:02 AM
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I've known my MWI for 20 months now, we have 18 more months to go until his homecoming. We've talked about it some and we both have fears and concerns about the transition. He has spent most of the last decade incarcerated and is a recovering addict. I know it won't be easy and there is a lot of unknown. We both still have so much to learn about each other. He has already asked me if I would be willing to attend couples counselling with him when he gets out, so he already seems to be proactive about our relationship which is a good sign. Right now I'm looking forward to the day when I can share our homecoming story, both the joys and challenges.
Feels so surreal to read something I wrote when we still had 18 more months left and now we have less than 48 hours till I pick him up to bring him home!

The MWI experience is hard to explain unless you've lived it firsthand and if you have you know it's a crazy ride!

So far the transition from prison relationship to out in the real world relationship has gone better than expected! Him getting time in the halfway house helped with that a lot since we could talk more and go on real dates that didn't include guards or a visiting room. He has already made so much progress with adjusting back into society! We have a challenging road ahead but we've come so far we feel ready for anything life throws at us!

Now we are about to start the next chapter in our crazy love story, he will officially be released on Thursday and will then be on supervised release!

I'll keep you all posted on the MWI homecoming and how it goes as we adjust to our new "normal"!
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:38 PM
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So, J and I have talked about the fact that there just isn't much information out there to help couples like us deal with everything that comes with a MWI relationship. I mean, think about it... We met someone in prison, fell in love, maybe we married or maybe we're waiting until they come home. We have never spent any time with this person in the real world. We don't know their annoying little habits, or what annoys them, for that matter. Heck, we don't even know if they drink out of the milk/oj container or leave the toilet seat up. Yet, here we are...bringing this person who is just getting out of prison, sometimes after rather long bids, home to live with us. We have no point of reference for their behavior... Is it better? Is it worse? We don't know...we didn't know them before their incarceration. Were they honest and sincere about loving us or were they full of crap? The one thing we honestly don't know, is what we just got ourselves into.

When our MWI love comes home...well, that's when we find out who they really are. There are a lot of adjustments going on. We're adjusting to them... They're adjusting to us... And they're adjusting to bring out of prison to a world that may be nothing at all like the one they left. They may have had a problem with drugs and/or alcohol. Oh boy.

So, when J and I had our talk about all this, we decided I should share our experience with his homecoming...both the first and the second. The thought was that maybe we could give someone an idea if what they may be facing. Cause let me tell you, things we're rough. It was a rocky, bumpy, crazy ride. I love my husband dearly, but at the time, I wanted to trade him in for a Kitty. Seriously.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:44 PM
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We don't know their annoying little habits, or what annoys them, for that matter. Heck, we don't even know if they drink out of the milk/oj container or leave the toilet seat up. Yet, here we are...bringing this person who is just getting out of prison, sometimes after rather long bids, home to live with us.
This! What I'm finding is that my husband doesn't know much of those answers because he's been in so long. So I can ask all day long "Do you like to sleep in on your days off? Do you prefer to eat dinner in or do you like to eat at restaurants?" and he has no idea. There's a barrier there that can't be breached until he's home. There's the new that's us as a couple and the new that's entirely him. He's pretty aware and will say things like, "I think I like this..." but he seems open to that changing.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:52 PM
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This! What I'm finding is that my husband doesn't know much of those answers because he's been in so long. So I can ask all day long "Do you like to sleep in on your days off? Do you prefer to eat dinner in or do you like to eat at restaurants?" and he has no idea. There's a barrier there that can't be breached until he's home. There's the new that's us as a couple and the new that's entirely him. He's pretty aware and will say things like, "I think I like this..." but he seems open to that changing.
J was only in for 8 years when we met. We met with close to two years let on it. There we're things he knew and things he thought he knew because he didn't realize it had changed. He had little, if any concept of what things cost... He still kinda has that problem. He'll tell me something should be x amount and I'll tell him that it isn't. He has to freaking argue with me because that's what he remembers it costing. He would want to go to a store or to go eat somewhere and didn't know that they had closed. It was very frustrating for him... And for me, because he would get rather upset.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:57 PM
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Which leads me to ask, for those already home:

I do not want to control his money. I want him to learn to manage his funds, but he went in at 19/20 and has been in almost 16 years. He says he wants me to manage the money. I know why, he's afraid he'll blow through it and he probably will. But I don't want to set up a power struggle between his wants and my need to keep us on budget. I've never co-mingled funds with my exes. We each chipped in our share for household costs and then spent according to our incomes for everything else. He doesn't understand that.

How do you do it?
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:18 PM
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Which leads me to ask, for those already home:

I do not want to control his money. I want him to learn to manage his funds, but he went in at 19/20 and has been in almost 16 years. He says he wants me to manage the money. I know why, he's afraid he'll blow through it and he probably will. But I don't want to set up a power struggle between his wants and my need to keep us on budget. I've never co-mingled funds with my exes. We each chipped in our share for household costs and then spent according to our incomes for everything else. He doesn't understand that.

How do you do it?
You guys can keep it separate, but you can sit down bimonthly to monthly and create budgets together. Or you do it and review it with him.

Maybe overtime he will get the hang of it and trust himself more.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:19 PM
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Which leads me to ask, for those already home:

I do not want to control his money. I want him to learn to manage his funds, but he went in at 19/20 and has been in almost 16 years. He says he wants me to manage the money. I know why, he's afraid he'll blow through it and he probably will. But I don't want to set up a power struggle between his wants and my need to keep us on budget. I've never co-mingled funds with my exes. We each chipped in our share for household costs and then spent according to our incomes for everything else. He doesn't understand that.

How do you do it?

That's a great question and i don't have experience in this area, but wanted to share some ideas : ) Wonder if he has a job in prison and if so, he's already had to manage his money, so he's had that experience. Wonder if instead of "controlling" his money-being aware of what he has and what he's spending-so helping and teaching him to track and budget, til he gets the hang of it and feels comfortable doing it on his own. There's also many different worksheets and aps to help with budgeting and tracking your money-these may help...Think it'll be good for you both, for him to learn to manage his own. Then again, i know some couples do decide that just one handles all the financial stuff and that works for them... hope this gives some ideas and think this is how i would address this situation. Def keep feeling it out with him and allowing him to take baby steps.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:22 PM
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Which leads me to ask, for those already home:

I do not want to control his money. I want him to learn to manage his funds, but he went in at 19/20 and has been in almost 16 years. He says he wants me to manage the money. I know why, he's afraid he'll blow through it and he probably will. But I don't want to set up a power struggle between his wants and my need to keep us on budget. I've never co-mingled funds with my exes. We each chipped in our share for household costs and then spent according to our incomes for everything else. He doesn't understand that.

How do you do it?
We talk through it. Go over what we have... What bills have to come out if each of his checks. Well... His checks pay the rent. But...we do it together. I had a little spending episode, so my mother told him to take my debit card. Since he's been responsible for that, there hasn't been a problem with him wanting to buy whatever. He's trying to be responsible for the money. He even handles me quite well in stores, which surprised me. I let him do the figuring as to can we buy something or not, but we discuss it. Occasionally he will get testy because I have a few bills that come out automatically that he says he didn't know about, but when I wanted to go over bills with him, he wasn't interested.

There is always the option of giving him a prepaid debit card with money on it that he can manage on his own. It might be an easier way to ease him into managing his money.
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:37 AM
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Which leads me to ask, for those already home:

I do not want to control his money. I want him to learn to manage his funds, but he went in at 19/20 and has been in almost 16 years. He says he wants me to manage the money. I know why, he's afraid he'll blow through it and he probably will. But I don't want to set up a power struggle between his wants and my need to keep us on budget. I've never co-mingled funds with my exes. We each chipped in our share for household costs and then spent according to our incomes for everything else. He doesn't understand that.

How do you do it?
That's an interesting question. I think you could come up with a budget together. Go over what he would be paying and then after let him know you do not want to combine finances or be his accountant. You want him to learn how to budget and will be there as support. So, if you give him what he owes in bills he will know how much he afterwards to spend freely or keep and save. That will be up to him. We all have different habits with money. Obviously it's nice to have cushion but what good is that cushion if you aren't on earth anymore. So I utilize my money to have experiences. Some people consistently put their money away and save. That might be a good place to start. To figure out what kind of spender he was before and what his goals are now.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:56 PM
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My guy and I are not MWI, but he is not great with money either. We are doing the talks now and I ask his advice to keep him in the loop and such. He says the same thing about giving him money every month from his check, but he still needs to learn
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:24 PM
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My MWI came home today. Exciting time . We met in 2011 . I want to thank PTO for all the support.
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Old 07-18-2017, 05:45 PM
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My MWI came home today. Exciting time . We met in 2011 . I want to thank PTO for all the support.
Congrats!! How exciting and so glad you let us know. I'm sure things will be a whirlwind for a while but I do hope you'll update us in a little while.
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:16 AM
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I'm so glad to have this sticky show up right now My guy is getting out next week...I have no words to describe this feeling.....something between and and

Being MWI and living oceans away from each other....having never visited him in these two and a half years...and now, finally, getting to meet him pretty soon - that's a lot to take on and at times it feels overwhelming, for both of us. As I mentioned elsewhere here, we have been able to speak on the phone now for the past month after a year's break (GTL is a mystery to me but I got it working now somehow) - it has been a blessing to hear his voice and to talk about everything, make plans, laugh together....

After next week our plans should start materializing a bit as we'll be able to speak without interruption...I should be able to book my flights for a visit this fall - that's both super exciting and a bit scary too because obviously we'll find out whether the chemistry is there in person...whether it will be comfortable or awkward...whether we'll be taking the next step or not... However things will work out though I do believe that the love & friendship will always be there - he's my best friend no matter what.

I'll pop in here once in a while to share how things are going for us regardless of what happens....Y'all enjoy your summer now and I hope things are going well in your MWI relationships.

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Old 07-22-2017, 05:40 AM
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I'm so glad to have this sticky show up right now My guy is getting out next week...I have no words to describe this feeling.....something between and and

Being MWI and living oceans away from each other....having never visited him in these two and a half years...and now, finally, getting to meet him pretty soon - that's a lot to take on and at times it feels overwhelming, for both of us. As I mentioned elsewhere here, we have been able to speak on the phone now for the past month after a year's break (GTL is a mystery to me but I got it working now somehow) - it has been a blessing to hear his voice and to talk about everything, make plans, laugh together....

After next week our plans should start materializing a bit as we'll be able to speak without interruption...I should be able to book my flights for a visit this fall - that's both super exciting and a bit scary too because obviously we'll find out whether the chemistry is there in person...whether it will be comfortable or awkward...whether we'll be taking the next step or not... However things will work out though I do believe that the love & friendship will always be there - he's my best friend no matter what.

I'll pop in here once in a while to share how things are going for us regardless of what happens....Y'all enjoy your summer now and I hope things are going well in your MWI relationships.

So happy and excited for you,I hope you have a fantastic visit and I really hope you both have a wonderful future together. Please do let us all know how you get on and how the visit goes..
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:03 PM
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Sometimes I wonder if we had been able to actually date, would things go smoother. Then I remember who I am married to. He is just extremely disruptive. He just can't help himself. Some days, I feel like he's going to do anything I ask him not to do. It drives me batty. We are finally starting to adjust to each other. Things are starting to quiet down because of it... Well the fact that his current job gives him quite a bit of overtime, so he's not around as much.

I wish I knew more about his live before we met and his family. It's what I hate about being MWI. The last time he was home, I was completely clueless. I had absolutely no idea whatsoever what he was like on the street. He was still breaking the law... Had to carry a gun for whatever reason. He kept telling me that he wasn't as bad as he used to be. But I didn't know what he used to be like. He kept forgetting I didn't know certain things. I know he's better this time. It's just nice to have a point of reference for something.
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:02 PM
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I wish I knew more about his live before we met and his family. It's what I hate about being MWI. The last time he was home, I was completely clueless. I had absolutely no idea whatsoever what he was like on the street. He was still breaking the law... Had to carry a gun for whatever reason. He kept telling me that he wasn't as bad as he used to be. But I didn't know what he used to be like. He kept forgetting I didn't know certain things. I know he's better this time. It's just nice to have a point of reference for something.
Mine has been really active in self-help and insight work the last two years. Out of that has come a flood of sharing about his childhood, things he'd forgotten (and who could blame him), things he now understands about his own thought processes. It's been heartbreaking to hear and read-- he writes journal reflections on these subjects. But it's also given us a chance to say "this part is good, let's keep this going" and "this part won't work for us, let's learn to do differently". We have very different backgrounds so while it's all theory right now, we're trying to figure out how to match value systems and go from there.

Just today we (re)acknowledged that when the rubber meets the road we may find that our theories don't work. But we decided at the very least we're practicing how to talk about our thoughts and smoosh 'em into a plan that can be built on. It's definitely scary thinking about transitioning that to the outside.
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:13 PM
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Mine has been really active in self-help and insight work the last two years. Out of that has come a flood of sharing about his childhood, things he'd forgotten (and who could blame him), things he now understands about his own thought processes. It's been heartbreaking to hear and read-- he writes journal reflections on these subjects. But it's also given us a chance to say "this part is good, let's keep this going" and "this part won't work for us, let's learn to do differently". We have very different backgrounds so while it's all theory right now, we're trying to figure out how to match value systems and go from there.

Just today we (re)acknowledged that when the rubber meets the road we may find that our theories don't work. But we decided at the very least we're practicing how to talk about our thoughts and smoosh 'em into a plan that can be built on. It's definitely scary thinking about transitioning that to the outside.
That transition is a rough one. Especially when they haven't really done anything to prepare themselves and think they know it all. He didn't seem to make any transitions very well the last time he was out. This time, he is doing so much better.

He does talk about his past, but he has to be in the right mood to talk. He's not used to opening up to anyone, but is really making an effort to let me in.

I don't tell him this, but it bothers me a bit when we are around some of his family and old friends. They will talk about all these things that happened in the past, and I feel completely left out. It's almost like I'm not there. I mean I love hearing old stories about him, but I'm always on the outside looking in. He just isn't used to taking steps to make sure I'm included in conversations. He is learning, though.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:09 AM
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Default Quick update

Howdy all... I don't know where the time runs but...it RUNS

He's been out a month tomorrow! He called me the minute he got out and we have been in touch pretty much daily....beyond happy about that! Without going into too many specifics, he's doing alright - has done a few handy jobs here and there, has a roof on top of his head, a car, a phone.... We are doing well, some days better than others; this freaking distance & time difference is sometimes hard, but we're trying to figure things out as we go (and kudos to him...he is so much better at this than I am). I haven't been able to book my visit yet (damn money issues!!!) but hopefully in the next couple of weeks...and my plan is to fly over in early October. Can't bloody wait!!

Sorry so short....will come back with more time when I can...just wanted to pop in and update a little bit. I hope you are all doing well...have a great day
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Old 08-28-2017, 05:12 PM
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Howdy all... I don't know where the time runs but...it RUNS

He's been out a month tomorrow! He called me the minute he got out and we have been in touch pretty much daily....beyond happy about that! Without going into too many specifics, he's doing alright - has done a few handy jobs here and there, has a roof on top of his head, a car, a phone.... We are doing well, some days better than others; this freaking distance & time difference is sometimes hard, but we're trying to figure things out as we go (and kudos to him...he is so much better at this than I am). I haven't been able to book my visit yet (damn money issues!!!) but hopefully in the next couple of weeks...and my plan is to fly over in early October. Can't bloody wait!!

Sorry so short....will come back with more time when I can...just wanted to pop in and update a little bit. I hope you are all doing well...have a great day
Glad to hear he's home and doing okay! I can only imagine the extra struggle of so much distance between you, but October will be here before you know it!
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:39 AM
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Glad to hear he's home and doing okay! I can only imagine the extra struggle of so much distance between you, but October will be here before you know it!
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Sarianna So happy to hear he is home and you guys are going strong. So hope you get your visit soon x
Thank you ladies! Flights are booked....I will see him in five weeks
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:48 AM
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Thank you ladies! Flights are booked....I will see him in five weeks
Wow I am so happy for you, I know you will have an amazing time.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:12 AM
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I am glad all is working out for you.SARIANNA...hola. hi chica! *waving hi in cyber.*

He sound like he is doing ok/good, and has a car already?That is a good thing to get around,easier ya know.(To find a job)even if not the best odd-job,or full time high pay job,still.just having his own $ coming in each week or bi-weekly is a great thing.

Aw so 5 weeks, that mean in Oct., you're going to see him?Are you staying how long? and is he again living with family or 1/2 way house type thing.get back when you're able,and again chica, i was thinking of you,and i said in the other thread here i read, you got back to me,(gracia) thank you, so much.i was so glad to hear things are coming along,and that is a great thing...Keep me and the pto members posted okay?Hugs -n- Blessings,so happy you're doing fine and he is too.Soon you will see him in Oct., so nice.Love it.
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