Having a significant other incarcerated is nothing short of being out of the norm in the African -American community. Even if your significant other isn’t incarcerated, the father of your child may have been or currently is. One viewer who shall remain anonymous wanted to share her story and discuss the stereotypes and struggles of dating someone in prison.
48% of Americans are incarcerated for drug offenses. – Department of Justice , 2014
I know what it’s like as a young child having a father incarcerated. Fortunately for me he was not absent my entire childhood let alone my whole life. I only remember visiting once. That experience alone I told myself I would make it my standards to not have my children experience that or put myself in a situation of involving with someone in the streets.
I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking to one of viewers who wanted to shed some light on what it’s like and what people don’t understand. So many times on social media, people ridicule women who are involved with a man behind bars.
12% – 13% of American population African-American but make up 35% of jail inmates. – Bureau of Prisons, 2015
Tell the viewers about yourself. Do you have children? Are you now or in the past have you dated someone in prison?
A 30 year old mother of two, real estate agent. The father of my oldest child has been Incarcerated since I was 7 months pregnant. I am in a relationship now with my second child’s father.
What is the biggest misconception about a woman whose significant other is incarcerated?
That we are stupid. The reality is love can make anyone stupid. You can be in love with ordinary Joe that goes to work everyday and he will have you looking stupid too, sis!
Women stay with their significant other while they are incarcerated for various reasons. We are not all the same.
Women don’t wake up one day say “…I want to date a man from the streets who lives that lifestyle…”, Share with us how you met. Did he tell you things about what he did in the streets?
I knew him since I was a teenager and we became friends. He was locked up once and wrote him to check up on him. He was released and next thing you know we are in a relationship. He let me in on what was necessary when it came to his business. At this time I’m twenty years old.
I was pregnant. Seven months later he’s back in prison but this time he’ll be gone for a long time.
How supportive is your family and his family to your situation? Some were happy. Others had mixed emotions, especially with him being nine years older than me.
If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be? The most important thing I would stop and ask myself how is getting into this relationship going to affect my future or my children’s lives.
Do you feel as though parents should take their children to visit their fathers in jail/prison? Absolutely. Why? Because people will say he put himself there he didn’t think about them kids when he was in the streets. Wrong. Some women are mature enough to understand that the child didn’t asked to be in that situation.
If you had to do it all over again with this person, would you? I honestly can say I don’t know. I’m not contradicting what I’ve previously stated. I’m older and wiser . Knowing what I know now my chances of being involved with someone in that lifestyle probably may not happen. My love for him in the back of my mind I’m thinking I’ll ride or die, but that’s the devil.
What advice would you give to young girls dating these boys or even men, whom are in the streets and in and out if jail/prison? Focus on you. You think right now that’s the person you’re in love with. When you begin to mature you’ll realize once it’s too late. I know you see the quick money he makes but you’ll see how fast it’s gone when he’s down. If you have children or plan to, think about them. Also note that they are in the streets or in jail they most likely don’t have a checking or savings account or a 401k may not even know what that is.
Lastly, do you believe women can be faithful and hold down their man while he’s away? Should they get a pass to have an open relationship? It depends on a number of things, the amount of time, their love for that person, if they’re married or not. As far as getting a pass if you are going to be this “ride or die chick”, you don’t want the pass, you want to be faithful, and loyal. But the person incarcerated should be open to it if the woman he’s with is being there for him and that’s what she wants.
Thank you all for reading. Feel free to leave a comment below on your thoughts.