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Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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I was dating someone who went to Federal prison for 12 month

Customer Question

I was dating someone who went to Federal prison for 12 months. Before he left, he asked me to help him keep a few personal financial matters together. It has been 12 months and he will be released within a 6 month window. I have kept my promises with his personal matters including 3 visits, cards, letters, books and magazines. But, at the start of this year, financially I was unable to visit him (he is 700 miles away). Even though I made a few attempts, I cancel the trip because i had my own personal things to attend to. He is very upset. He said that I want him to beg for a visit. He told me that he took me off the visitors list. I know it's stupid of me but I was hurt by his proclaiming that I am off the list. Personally, since he has very little time left, couldn't he have kept that to himsef. but instead he chose to say something hurtful. I guess once a con man always a con man.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 6 years ago.
You were dating someone who was in prison for 12 months and will be released within a 6 months window. He has now taken you off his visitor list because you were unable to visit. You had personal things to attend to and he did not understand why you were not able to visit, so he took you off his list. The question you need to ask yourself is if when he gets out do you want to be with him or are do you want to move on. Right now he is upset and is under a lot of pressure being in the conditions he is in. Being in prison isn't easy and a lot goes along with living that life everyday. He relied on you for certain things and I'm sure he loved seeing you and you visiting, but he got disappointed when you didn't come. I'm sure he thought you were no longer interested in him and that you were not going to wait for him anymore. So in return he took you off his list, figuring that the relationship was over. But what you need to decide is, is it really over or do you want to continue being with him and waiting? If you want to move on then you need to take the steps to moving forward and it sounds like you are by doing for yourself which is great. Working out, fixing your hair. These are things that make you feel great and you should continue to do these things. But the decision is still whether you want to be with this man or find someone else.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes. I DO still want to be with him. He's a great guy. But this type of selfish behavior has been a problem with us before. With him being in prison, it appears that the tables are turned between us. Now he's asking ME when I'm going to visit! The difference is, he's 700 miles away and it entales a hefty expense just getting there.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 6 years ago.

If you do want to be with him then the best way is to explain everything too him. Help him understand that the expenses to get there is something you are unable to do right now. That when he gets out you will be able to see each other all the time. Explain that you are here for him and that you are not going anywhere. That there are other ways for you to communicate and create a strong relationship. Through letters, phone calls, and that you will try to come visit, but it can't be all the time. I think he got scared because you were not visiting that you were leaving him. It's hard because he has no control of anything in his life right now and he relying on you to make life a little easier in there and visits are very important. But he also needs to be understanding that it takes money to get there and if you don't have it, he has to be more understanding of your situations. But that you will write and that when he is out you both can start a life together.

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