Sam, my prison lover, with one hand, held a knife to my neck, his other arm held me down ready to slit my throat. I could hardly breathe as I continued kicking and struggling against him. Suddenly there was loud persistent knocking on the door. “Let us in,” my daughter screamed. Sam whirled around acknowledging the banging and slowly let go of his grip.
I jumped up and ran to open the door and nearly collapsed into my daughter’s arms. Still brandishing the knife, my son reminded Sam that surely, he didn’t want to be convicted of murder. He calmed down and we were able to call the police. “You’ll pay for this” he barked as police lead him away to prison again. “I’ll never let you go,” he threatened.
And with that introduction, my new friend Jamie related how she ended up married to a prisoner and how she got involved with inmate dating and the mind manipulation employed on innocent lonely women.
“The tears I have shed; the nightmares I have relived; the anxieties, the confusion and utter embarrassment of my decision can be unbearable at times.” I continued to listen. “The marriage to a prison lover was a roller-coaster ride through Hell.”
I looked at her hear-drenched face and wondered how such a beautiful, warm, giving and loving woman could have got caught up into prisoner love. How does that happen?
“How”? I pleaded to know.
“These men,” she said, “become masters of manipulation. They’ve learned how to control a woman’s mind—especially if she is lonely and vulnerable. I started corresponding with Sam, particularly because I knew his parents and had known him briefly as a young teen many years before. I inquired about him one day and began to write.
I had recently ended a bad relationship and was despondent. Sam seemed so nice and kind. He read my letters and empathized with me on so many levels—even offering advice on how to muddle through the recovery process. He was a shoulder to lean on. A rock of support. And he became my treasured confidant.
Friendship sure, however, I never intended to become romantically involved with a prisoner. I simply welcomed the companionship; it eased my loneliness.
It started slowly. In addition to writing, he began calling once a week. Just to hear a man’s voice on the other end telling me how wonderful I was; that I deserved so much more; that any man would be privileged to enjoy my love … were like magical musical notes to my ears.
These words. This attention. The anticipation. I became addicted to his letters and longed for his phone calls. Yes, I was falling in love. But little did I know about prisoner manipulation for selfish purposes. I was his prey. And how smoothly he performed!
I learned afterward, of course, that there is a four-step plan to prey upon the innocence of the vulnerable. The plan was to:
- Ascertain Weaknesses
- Gain Trust
- Initiate Control
- Promote Isolation
Determine her Weaknesses
It started so innocently for me. Through sharing our thoughts and laugher I relaxed and let my guard down. After all, I knew his family. He came from a very decent and loving family. Sam had just made a mistake and had to pay the consequences. Right?
As we talked over a period of time he asked many questions to get to know the depth of me down deep inside. I revealed everything—the good, bad, and the ugly as they say. As I talked he listened to my every concern. At last, I thought. I have someone who cares, someone who understands, someone who could become my soul mate. That’s what I’m thinking.
I’m thinking: At last I can talk and someone listens and understands. I can reveal the depths of my heart because he cares and only wants what’s best for me.
He’s thinking: Ah, now I know all her weaknesses.
Do you think he I told him enough to move on to step two? You betcha.
With his tool bag full of my weaknesses he was now in a position to exploit and lead me wherever he wanted me to go. Like a lamb to the slaughter. If I questioned anything at all; he reminded me that I had trusted him so far and convinced me my well-being was his well-being. During prison visits, he would look into my eyes so deeply with concern and kindness. His eyes convinced me he was declaring love from a man to a woman.
How could I resist? I longed to be loved and so I began to trust that he could and would fulfill that desire. He had totally convinced me that all my faults were simply cries for love. The love that he alone could provide. The kind of love that I deserved—someone to take care of me–someone to be there for me in good times and in bad times.
“If only I were free, I’d take care of you emotionally, physically, spiritually. You need a man to give you the love you deserve, and I would gladly be that man.”
Those words sent shivers through my body. Tears of joy radiated in my eyes. This man loves me. He loves everything about me. I would feel complete with him in my life.
And the trap was set …
He had my cell number and the phone calls escalated to numerous times every day. Over time I racked up $3,000 in phone bills, but he convinced me it was worth it. After all, I was free to do what I wanted, anytime I wanted and he was so restricted, couldn’t I spend a little to comfort him as he had comforted me?
“Where’ve you been?” he asked if I wasn’t available to answer his calls. He would question me as to where I had been and who I was with. After all, he was worried. He didn’t want any harm to come to me. Couldn’t I tell he really loved me? Soon I was accountable to him for every move I made. (Just so he wouldn’t worry). That’s control.
I drove 85 miles round trip to visit him weekly. In course of time, he asked me to do things for him that maybe a rational woman wouldn’t do like drive down on a weather alert blizzard day — that meant a 3-hour drive in a whiteout endangering my life. “Why won’t you come, don’t you trust me?” he cried. “Don’t you trust that I would do that for YOU!”
I’m thinking: Oh, he cares so much for me. He just can’t wait to see me.
He’s thinking: Control.
The final step for me was isolation. This is when he manipulates you into cutting off friends and family. After all, why do you need them when you have him?
“Why do you go shopping with your daughters all the time? Don’t you know you need time to meditate and think about our life together?” In course of time, I stopped associating with everyone from my life on a regular basis.
I didn’t confide in anyone about this situation. Therefore, without counsel from others, I was under his complete control. The art of manipulation had worked. That’s when he asked me to marry him—while he was still in prison to get a favorable review from the parole board, I eagerly agreed. After all, he was my soul mate lover…wasn’t he?
Marriage to My Prison Love
Disaster! From the moment I said, “I do,” and he left prison, he changed overnight like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. At first, I thought it was just a matter of him getting adjusted to outside life. After all, he had been behind bars for eight long years. Now it was the time that he needed me to help him make that adjustment.
Instead, it was time for him to completely dominate me. He used all my weaknesses to relegate me to a lower than subservient position. I was nothing. Nobody. Only he could save me in any way by directing all activities in my life. First, isolation again. I could make brief visits with my mother; sometimes with my kids. Go grocery shopping and that was pretty much it.
Now, let’s talk about our Sex Life. One word to describe: Non-existent. After years of male companionship, I found out later, he could not perform for me. Nothing worked. Needless to say, this added great consternation and stress to our situation. The marriage was never consummated.
From all our earlier discussions, he knew I had a substantial amount of money. Now, my husband, he had access to my bank account—and you can imagine what that meant. Yes, a loss of more than $65,000.
After a couple months, my daughters began to be suspicious because I was a nervous wreck around them. Cried easily. And showed visible fear when he called while in their presence. Finally, after one brutal beating that left an eye black and blue, I could no longer hide the abuse. I canceled an important event with my daughter, Kim.
Evidently, Kim did not buy my story. She called her sister and they made a surprise visit. She knew I was home because we had talked just 15 minutes earlier, and had suspected something wrong by the fear in my voice. Sam was angry again after learning he had been denied another job because of his background.
So who was he going to take the anger out on?
I was struggling hard and pleading for my life. They could hear the commotion and began banging on the door as explained above. They were in the right place, at the right time to save their mother’s life.
Comments from some who have experienced inmate dating:
- Any life with a prison ex-inmate is not going to be easy. You have to be willing to understand and go through the consequences that come along with having been in prison. Money will be an issue, a job for him will probably be an issue too. This prison wifey thing is not an easy road and its not for everyone.
- these men were put in prison for a reason. Some have rehabilitated themselves through years of incarceration, some haven’t learned a damn thing and will go back to their life of crime after being paroled, which makes it harder for those who really want to be home and make a brand new life with someone.
- Even though they are in prison for a reason, they are emotionally wired and vulnerable. u do have to deal with parole, a person who had been incarcerated for the last how many years and has to readjust, I think this is a very difficult life to choose.
- Inmates continue to have life experiences inside and they bring all that with them when they come home. The convict you meet on paper may be a totally different man when he gets into your everyday world. Plus you really don’t want to be someone’s “ticket” to a better life. I mean it’s wonderful to want to encourage people to change and stay on the right path. But if you put yourself out there the way you’ve said you’d like to, I’d be afraid that you’re opening yourself up to be used.
- how can you really know anyone until you have been together for awhile first…anyone can say anything in a letter.
A good resource for prison love and inmate dating is: Prisonwriters.com
- Do You Understand What a Prison relationship Entails?
- Discover What They Are Convicted Of.
- Are Your Expectations Realistic?
- What Do They Do With Free Time?
- Who Is On Their Visiting List?
- Are Their Family Ties Intact?
- What Are They Committed To?
- Jamie did not explore answers to ANY of the above. She went solely with her heart. Mature people know that the heart can be treacherous. Never depend on it alone.
- Find resources to help build your self-esteem.
- Don’t isolate yourself when contemplating writing prisoners, seek advice.
- Find out what they’re convicted of. Sam was convicted of assault. Hey? Clue!
- And definitely, don’t marry someone you have not dated for at least a year to fully understand the inner man
- Never marry an ex-con BEFORE he is released!!!
Until next time,
For further information on all subjects relating to love, dating, and marriage, check out these pages and posts:
Click on picture wait 6 seconds
27 comments on Prison Love is Mind Manipulation
I might add the time between getting out and abuse was 3 months – showed anger within days however not directed towards me at first. 5 months and two days for PFA and 5-1/2 months before cheating – I waited for him for 5 years. I hope this helps someone else! I’m not crazy. I was in love. His aunt asked me to write. We fell in love through letters. Being used by God feels good….this being used can literally destroy you mind – body and spirit if you let it. I had not been touched in nine years. A Christian myself I saved myself for marriage….with him. Women Beware! I take responsibility for my actions. I didn’t even know there were sites like this – there should be these stories for women in the waiting areas to read – before the go in…..the prisoner walks out – the women serves a longer sentence that are attached.
Toni, your story broke my heart. But I have seen this scenario before; it happened to an acquaintance of mine. She only told the story once he was sent back to prison after nearly killing her. Ladies, take note, don’t do this. Prison love is not real love. This is exactly why I wrote “How to Date to Marry” because it outlines what to look for in a prospective mate and how to make sure he is really the man you want ‘inside’ his soul. And how to find out.
Toni, I hope you are healing well. If I can offer help in any way, let me know. As of July 1, 2017. You’ll be able to call me. See the tab above under, “Call Me.”
Currently in a relationship with a man that I spent 2 weekends with after meeting him online. We hit it off and he was taken away to jail by warrant.. and is serving 2 years. Which seems like nothing, but reading your post may have opened my eyes because I have noticed the control the money. I have spent probably over 2000 dollars and it has broke me. I feel like if he really loved we would he be putting me through this. He wants to come live with me after release but I feel that he will change after he gets out. 2 years of jail probably would still mentally alter someone…
Hailey, get out now! I know of too many women who have found themselves in your situation. He’s after what you can do for him. Look, you’ve already spent 2000. That’s a red flag. Learn how to find true love; a man who will truly love you for who you are. One who will love you in return. Genuine love. Read the workbook. “How to Date to Marry” to learn how to identify the man who will be your best match.
I am in a relationship with a man that’s in prison I met him through his daughter she does not know that we date but from February 2017 to now he is continuously asking me for this for that and he’s such a great guy he’s a minister he’s the best guy I’ve ever had in my life he knows my weaknesses I’m starting to wonder if I need to get out of this can you give me some input
I just ended my brief ‘rekindle prison relationship with my son(27), father of 27 years ago. He has spent most of his life in prison. I am embarrassed for giving him a second chance. He spent 7 years attempt murder charge ****ON ME****.
completed his term and went back after 3 years, now ending his 13 Year sentence for drug dealing.
My heart was open and I had forgiven him years ago after I became free. I began my walk in the faith and married my now ex husband of 16 years.
I thought (baby daddy) He was now a God fearing man..
So Why I ended it after 8 months of letters and calls??? It was how he handled his stress. ..whining and complaining, not showing happiness for me at times. Groping. I can go on and on bottom line he’s not worth it to me not after experiencing God Love that saved me from him in the first place . And I love myself a whole lot more than what he has to show for today. Hope this help someone
I am so happy for you to have made the right decision. You left a bad experience behind. Now move ahead and never look back.
Here is my first again. I could have writren this blog myself! I did not know my husband before prison his aunt asked me to write to encourage him as he accepted Christ. He served a five year sentence. We fell in love (I thought) through letters and sharing our hearts. The truth is he needed someone on the outside. I bought him books for encouragement, sent money and paid for phone calls that I answered at 6:30 am even on my days off and 630 p.m everyday and at times stood in the rain and snow to hear his voice . God forbid I missed his call. I drove over 7 hours a visit – 400 + miles round trip to visit over 65+ times in 4 years. I spent hilidays in prison with him and some with his family out here so he knew where I was. (His first Christmas out he spent with his girlfriend with them. I ran ALL his errands and after marrying him 1-1/2 I paid his attorney fees. He barked the orders I completed them. He told me nothing would separate us and how much he loved me that he couldn’t understand how God could love me more. We Wrote letters. I prepared our home and bought him a closet full of clothes and coats- boots and shoes and jeans and shorts underwear and socks and much more. Name it – he had it. I also bought a house. I even wrote his release plan to parole board and rallied support on the outside I did it ALL. (See below) five years. Upon his release he became abusive pushing me up against walls with his chest and fist raised. Screaming in my face. Full of lies and deceit and the finale was a head butt to the side of my face (he said it was not a headbutt he was just in my space). I know otherwise from the expletive he called me and asking me why i made him do that to me and then held me hostage from work for a half hour while he punched doors and threw things. My part – I did yell at him from another room and was stubborn He asked me not tell his P.O. and I did not. Until two days later when Behavior continued. I was told to file a PFA (protection from abuse). I didn’t want him to go back to prison yet he was progressing. I did everything in love. I kept the headbutt out of the report and asked for anger management and counseling. i knew we needed help. I dropped the PFA for us to go to counseling however he refused …he was already sleeping with the next woman in three weeks time (he called her Christian). When I caught him with her He told me he didn’t love me and God loved him. She now covets him until this is over. He is able to walk right by me and ignore me – the same man I drove all those times to visit. He quit taking my calls – the same man I answered the phone for four years. He used me up spirit mind and body and financially he filed for divorce and asked for half house although did not contribute we also had a business he ran under my SS#. He tried sticking me with the bill also and file his taxes single last year….we are still married. He bought himself a house and put it in his dad’s name and is remodeling. He denies it until I found it on match. Com he threw me away like i rag and put himself on Christian mingle stating he was a spirit filled Christian man looking for his soul mate who enjoys the outdoors- has two daughters and owns his own plumbing business and is honest, loyal and divorced – we are still married. He used his divorce decree from his first marriage to post – I reported him and they took him down. He said “he” took it down. He even went so far as to say he does homeless ministry with his mom. (It’s what I do) I took him with me to do a couple times -he called them the “N” word and yelled at me. I want other women to Beware! Not all men are the same – but wait! Be wise. They stopped prison weddings…..rightfully so. Ladies protect yourselves.
I will be calling you – this depleted me financially and spiritually. If I can help one person I would like that. Ladies you will pay for a crime with everything you have including your body that you DID not commit.
Toni, please email me. A family member of mine is in this same situation. I really need to talk to you and maybe if you could talk to her. I need your help and support.
I’m happy to call you. Email me your # . Tonioneill121@gmail.com
I will get back with you as soon as I can. But I will not be available until mid-September. Will connect with you then. Sorry for the delay.
I got on a write a prisoner website out of compassion for the lonely & forgotten. Really clicked with one, we’ve been writing, talking since March 2017. He truly sounds genuine & ive spoken to a friend of his who knew him prior to incarceration, 17 yrs ago, said he’s not the same guy. Negative, he’s incarcerated for aggravated sexual assault, intent to deliver controlled substance & armed robbery, he was in a gang. At the time of the crime he was 17, says he is terribly ashamed & doesn’t know why he did it, had to admit it to his 16 yr old twins. He & I have fallen in love & I plan on meeting him in July. I guess I’m researching, wanting other opinions. I know it’s going to be hard when he’s released, he’s a great communicator, we’ve talked about issues of employment & a possibility of starting a lawn care biz for him. Only problem for me is, I live in a different state, he has to parole in Illinois which means I’d have to move. It’s all pretty mind boggling, he’s got 4 years left. He’s 35 now. Your honesty will be much appreciated.
I’m in love with an inmate and have fallen very hard. He says to me I don’t want nothing that you don’t want to give. Which money wise I have not give. However, I have given something even more precious…..my heart. I recently found out from a friend of his that he wrote her a letter explaining to her that he has feelings for her. They are in constant communication with each other and I never saw it coming. I really trusted them both. She claims that she never saw it coming and will stop communication with him because she does not view him romantically at all as a partner. When I asked him about the letter….he then told me that he has always been attracted to her just never told her. He was trying to get it off his chest and didn’t want to hold it in anymore. I’ve cut them both out of my life. Now I stuck…..my head says to leave him alone but my heart don’t want to. Any advice?
Shun, the heart is treacherous and can lead you in directions you know are not good for you. Think about what will happen if you continue seeing him … At any rate, my coaching program begins end of September where I will be available to talk to you. For now, keep your distance from him until we talk later.
I’m so thankful for this site. I was indecisive about whether I should leave my boyfriend who’s been out almost four months. My mother encouraged me to write him. He did 13 years but I held him down the last three. He’s definitely a different person now that he’s off house arrest. He’s distanced himself from me and doesn’t make me a priority anymore. I knew this was going to take place that’s why we don’t live together but I don’t think I should wait on him to get things out of his system. He can be alone and do that. He’s hanging around people from his past and I’m afraid for him. I’ve learned to fall back and not contact him. I wanted to break things off with him but I’m scared. It’s to the point when he’s around I’m so stressed and sick and when he’s away I’m better. But then he says or does something really sweet and I fall for it like a sucker. I have to leave.
I just replied to another person. But have same questions to ask you: is this the kind of relationship you want? Do you see any benefits to it? Does it make you happy? What are you getting out of it? You said, “I want to cut him lose how do I do that?” Why are you scared? Has he threatened you? If you think you’d be better off, JUST DO IT. No more contact. You’ll be much happier.
I’ve been writing,talking on the phone, sending money, books, I told him I love him , he is working on his preaching , he committed murder, in a gang 20 years he was given 40 years he has served 9 years and has 11 more to go all was good till , he called one day it was short call he ask if I sent money I said yes he said how are you , then said he had to go , hung up , next day was talking great he asked me about what I was going to do today I told him , it was quiet I said hello, he said yeah I’m here , he did not even hear what I said , I have a feeling something is not right , the next day I told him I was cutting the phone off , until I can get a cell phone registered he said ok , I sent pictures of me at his request, he never said anything about them , I want to cut him lose how do I do that ? I’ve asked him in a letter I just sent today for his visitation list , I don’t think he will send it
Jewls, is this the kind of relationship you want? Do you see any benefits to it? Does it make you happy? What are you getting out of it? You said, “I want to cut him lose how do I do that?”
JUST DO IT. No more contact. You’ll be much happier.
Is this always the case? I’ve recently started corresponding with someone and we both really enjoy talking to one another – letters and phone calls. He has never asked me for anything and even though I ordered an item from his Etsy store (he’s a wonderful artist) he insists that I not pay him for it. He says he appreciates my letters and “taking a chance” with him and wants to do this as a friend. He is very nice – and I can feel myself developing feelings – even though this was truly not my intention. What you all are describing is my worst nightmare. I have a good life, a good job, a great family – don’t want to look back in 5 yes or so and say what we’re you thinking? But if he’s truly the person he portrays I wouldn’t want to miss that either. At any rate, thank you all for sharing your stories and I will appreciate any feedback
There are always exceptions. He might indeed be a ‘good man’ worthy of a chance. However, many inmates are master con artists. And understand the psychology of women well. Keyword is that you have “recently” started corresponding. He could be feeling you out. Take TIME as your best ally to learn who the “inner man” is. Very important. Time will reveal who he really is. By Time I mean up to a year or more! I know too many women who have made major investments with their emotions on inmates based on just 3-6 months. Most have proved disastrous. Inmates have nothing but time to reel vulnerable women in. If your man is different TIME will reveal that. Watch what he begins to ask for, demands etc. Think about what he did and why. What can he do for you if released? How could you build a future with him? Again, TIME will tell the story. Let me know how it works out for you.
I have a 19 year daughter that I am losing. This punk has spent 9 of his 29 years behind bars. He has 4 felonies and his trial is May 21st, if convicted he will get life is my understanding. When I read the 4 phases she is definitely on number 4. She has stolen from us, she goes to school and works but never has any money. She will not believe anything we tell her. She will say he converted to our religion and just needs a chance., that God him in her life for a reason and she needs to help him. When I blocked her phone she ran away, I had to unlock it for her to come back. We are so lost he has totally brainwashed her. Help! All I do is pray that he gets convicted on the 21st if not I am afraid we will totally lose her.
My husband tried killing me 3 times in the 22 months that he was out. He did a 16 year stretch, I lived the Prison life as a wife and it was insane. He is a 2 striker already for violent offenders and now is looking at 2 more strikes. How good are the District Attorney’s? Do they take mind manipulation seriously in criminal court cases?
I met this guy incarcerated through a family. He’s been gone for 8 years. We’ve been in a relationship for a year & a 1/2 now. He tells me he loves me, he calls my kid’s his & they call him daddy. I talk with his mom & son. He even sent the p.o here because he is getting out soon. Thank God they denied it because we met while he is incarcerated. I’ve sent him almost $2000, visits, books and letters. I have doubts about him all the time. He tells me I’m his rib and God sent him to me. He encourages me daily but gets mad so quickly if things don’t go his way or if I can’t send him money. When I ask him is it about the money he said no he loves me to death. Then I get weak. I test him by not sending him anything for 4 months, he still continue to contact me. A guy that’s lockup with him, one of my friends knows, said he’s messing with boys in there (meaning gay guys) I ask him and he denied it but admitted the gay guy iron his clothes but he paid him. He even ask me what’s my credit score. He sent me his visitation list and admitted an ex from his past checks up on him every now and then but he’s over her because she left him 2 years after being incarcerated.. I’m lost and confuse, please help.. I’m so grateful for this site..
Jennifer Jeffley is her name and “wrongfully convicted” is what she had me convinced she was until I met the other side of her. Jennifer Jeffley told “A” story on Crime Watch Daily and I was heart broken, heart heavy I reached out her and wrote her sending my prayers, encouragement and support. I kept in touch with her writing her, opening up to her about a few things I had went through with family, so called friends and past relationships relating to some things she went through as far as betrayal. I wasn’t looking for love nor a relationship but she was very convincing I could trust her and so on…manipulation!! I went from copy and pasting pictures together to help her protest her innocence, to making shirts and so on to finding out what I did wasn’t good enough. The respect went out the window from being love pet names to degrading names belittling me to purposely hurt me. She would come back with let’s make this work bc divorce isn’t a option to convincing me again to trust her again. We got married October 26, 2017 and it after that it was like being on a roller coaster. It was frustrating, confusing and draining. Til she made me realize an ex she has inside came first before me, her ex threats she made on me she yelled at me and said repeatedly YOU SCARED!! That made me realize this was a person I couldn’t be with anymore. To being blamed for EVERYTHING including things she done, the name calling, disrespect, belittling, failing to sign several sent consent paperwork to allow me to put my daughter as a beneficiary on one of my benefits because I made her a primary beneficiary and wanted to take her off, I have a automatic record of me having to print and send consent for her to sign and she still dont want me to put my daughter as a beneficiary and not to mention the letter she wrote to my apartment manager office with lies and false accusations to try to get me in trouble with the law, intentions on trying to get me fired from my job and intentions on getting me and my daughter kicked out of our apartment where she sent that letter. This was a different relationship from my other relationships but I keep saying to myself I should of known better. All I can say is to each is own. What I experienced I wouldn’t wish on anybody to go through. Wasted time you can never get back. Please be careful you can easily easily be manipulated, used then abused and I’m talking about verbally abused, mentally abused, emotionally abused and psychological abused.
I’m involved with a inmate as well.. We’ve been dating about six months.. We have had our issues with trust due to myself finding social media sites that are attached to him
How do you get out if you are already in too deep. I think I’m between stages 3 and 4. He is not out yet. Keyword being yet. I do love him. But I’m not even sure if love anymore. I’m not even sure if I want to end it honestly.