Now, you can help other couples who are struggling with the separation brought on by incarceration.
Below are examples of MARRIAGE BONDERS which other couples have found helpful in strengthening their marriage bond.
Submit your examples of Marriage Bonders by going to Contact
Physical signs of affection, such as holding hands.
- I can tell by the look on my wife’s face when things are getting really hard for her. I hold her hand and give her my full attention so she knows I care. Then she can open up to me more easily.
- My husband asked my sister to buy a bottle of body lotion for me, and make a new label on it before she gave it to me. The label read, “Rob’s Rub”. He knows I miss his back rubs, and now I think of him whenever I rub on some lotion.
- When my wife told me that she wears one of my shirts to bed at night I had a nice feeling that I had my arms around her while she slept.
- My husband and I often look at the stars at night and let them be our link. I picture him looking at the same star, and we say a prayer for each other.
Words of affirmation, praise and encouragement.
- I feel a strong bond with my husband when he tells me that he misses me and is eagerly awaiting our next visit.
- When we visit, I need to hear my husband tell me how much he appreciates my faithfulness. It means so much to me that I got thinking about how much I need him and that he needs to hear that from me.
- Since incarceration has separated us, I’ve been trying to lose weight. I just love it when my husband notices progress and comments on how good I look.
- I look forward to getting letters from my wife. She always starts with a compliment, words of appreciation or thanks – something to make me feel loved.
Letters, Cards and Gifts.
- My wife bought me a pair of really silly socks and had them sent to me here at the Camp. She asked me to wear them when she came to visit. After she sat down, she crossed her legs and I saw that she was wearing the same socks. We laughed so hard the guard wanted to know what was going on. Now we wear them for every visit. When one of us needs a laugh we just show off our socks.
- Soon after I was locked up, my spouse sent me a subscription to one of my favorite magazines. I was thrilled. I feel close whenever I read it.
- I learned to crochet in prison. I made hats for my wife and my children. At first other men teased me, but I didn’t mind because my wife loved it. After a while another man asked me to teach him to crochet. He knew his wife would be surprised and delighted to receive a hat he made. Now a whole group of us make hats, not just for family but for charity.
- My husband picked a scripture verse that spoke to him about me, had a fellow inmate print it real pretty, and he made a paper frame for it. Gifts from my husband have always made me feel loved, but never as much as this one. I really treasure it.
Acts of service, doing favors.
- We have a little daughter whom I am taking care of while my wife is in prison. During one of our visits, my wife showed me how to fix Sarah’s hair. Now I feel a bond with my wife whenever I fix Sarah’s hair.
- Words can’t begin to say how much I appreciate the way my mate continues to fight the legal system and plead my case while I’m incarcerated.
- I always depended on my husband to fix things around the house. He was able to explain how to fix the doorbell during a visit, and he guided our son in making several repairs over the phone. I feel his loving presence in these actions.
- I feel bad that so much work has fallen on my mate since my incarceration. One way I help is by writing letters to family and friends. My big contribution is our Christmas letter. To do this I have to keep up with our children’s activities and even our cat. Through it I feel more closely united to my spouse and family.
Quality time to talk with openness and honesty
- We used to experience a lot of frustration getting the time and privacy to talk in the visiting room because our two boys wanted all the attention. We now explain to them that they will get our full attention for a half hour, and then they must play for a half hour without interrupting us. At first they needed a few reminders but now it works like a charm.
- There has never been a time for us to have as much quality time to talk with openness and honesty as on the 2 days of our Marriage Encounter. We were given the opportunity to communicate better, understand each other, to put aside some things of the past, forgive each other, and to move ahead with plans for the future. I thank our Chaplain for that opportunity.
- When my husband and I talk in the visiting room, we inject times to pray. It’s amazing how much this helps us to relax and focus on what’s most important. We resolved to continue when we’re home together again.
- While my wife was still incarcerated we wrote to each other about what we’d like to do when she had a one-day furlough. When the wonderful day finally came, I had some of the things she wanted all worked out so we didn’t waste any of our precious time together debating over what to do.
Recreational companionship; doing things together
- A couple wrote that they have a simple exercise routine that they both do every night. It helps them to feel physically in tune with each other.
- I’m alone at night, so to ease the loneliness, my husband and I try to do the same thing at the same time. We play a game of solitaire, read a chapter of our T.I.M.E. By Mail books, write a letter to each other, and pray for each other. It gives us a strong sense of oneness and helps us prepare better for sleep.
- I couldn’t go to my son’s graduation, so my husband made a video of it for me to see when I’m released. It meant so much that he wanted me to be a part of it all.
- My husband and I always enjoyed traveling together. We now plan dream trips by sending each other magazine pictures of places that look interesting and exchange ideas, thoughts and feelings about going there someday.
- Sandra wrote: My husband and I watch the same TV program, on the same night, at the same time. It makes us feel closer knowing that we are doing the exact same thing at the same time. Also when he or I start to read an interesting book, we let the other one know a small summary and I either go to the local library and check it out or I order him a copy so he can read it as well. Then we discuss the program/book.