I know some people have mixed views on having a husband or partner in prison so I would like to give my story.
My ex partner has been in prison since 2010 and will be in a few years longer.
I have been a single parent now for 4 years.
When he first went in to prison I thought I could cope and I managed well for the first 12 months.
Money was tight because as a family we had lost my partners income.
It's a shock to the system but I thought oh well people cope when they are made redundant and so on, so I thought I had better just get on with it.
In 2012, and a reality check later, I decided to break away from my partner and the prison thing. I had had enough and became depressed.
For two years I had missed out on my life by concentrating on his life behind bars. I was an obsessive letter writer, I made sure I went without so he could have a good weekly canteen and I sent him postal orders so that he could ring me every night.
I decided to visit him and tell him to his face that I couldn't cope any more.
He was upset naturally but he said he understood. Whether that was to make me feel 'better' I don't know, but either way I walked away.
I felt upset and guilty and didn't know what to tell our 16 year old son.
Just last week, I received a letter from him. He told me that he had met someone else in the form of a pen friend. He told me that she sent him money and 'looked after him' to which I thought well fair enough, I wish him well.
But reading on, I came across a paragraph that said if I want to get back together with him when he is released, he would jump at the chance because he has no intention of settling down with his female pen friend who obviously has fallen for him. I don't know this lady thankfully because I would have shown her the letter if I did. I know it happens because I have read quite a few stories about women being used financially to support prisoners. But I did not expect my ex partner to be this ruthless.
Our son said that he understood my decision and agreed that I should move on.
He is a lovely young man who is doing well in life and has coped brilliantly since his dad was sent to prison. I know some kids have a real hard time when losing a parent to prison bars, but I was fortunate in that sense.
I guess I just wanted to share my story with you because I needed to let off some steam about how this prison situation has done my head in.
I know that there are quite a lot of individuals who are strong enough to stand by their man, but some of us aren't. I was actually called a selfish cow for dumping my partner on a closed chat group and couldn't believe what I was reading. How dare they when they had no idea how I was feeling and the situation behind my door. So for anyone who does break away, I just want to say, have some compassion and thought for those who just cannot carry on anymore. Just because you are strong, doesn't mean we all are.