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AIBU?

Friend dating someone in prison

47 replies

Whatwhatt · 12/10/2018 07:21

I say dating but obviously they don't date, but you see what I mean.

I don't know what to say, this isn't my life of course and I love my friend and don't want to 'rain on her parade' but I just don't see this ending well. Can I even be a good friend if I don't question this?

For background, she didn't know this person before he went away. She met him when someone she does know who's partner knew this guy, gave him her number and they started messaging.

I don't want to be too outing but I will say that (so far as I'm being told) he isn't in there for a crime against a woman i.e. sexual abuse or domestic violence. But equally what he is in there for is pretty serious. You could google him put it that way.

My concern is he is being released next year and she's planning on living with him. She's telling me he's changed but I don't know, do people change in prison? I don't know about this sort of stuff...

I want to be there for my friend and support her. This is technically none of my business but it just feels a bit worrying!

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ShutUpBaz · 12/10/2018 07:32

A lot of male prisoners communicate with more than one woman (DH is a Prison Officer and has even witnessed two women turn up at the same time to visit a prisoner who had been declaring undying love to both of them!).

I don't know what the answer is, just maybe you should stay out of it and be ready to help her pick up the pieces.

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Whatwhatt · 12/10/2018 07:48

ShutUpBaz yes I guess I should just be there for her.

The way she talks about him you'd think he was a wonderful partner (if you didn't know the whole story).

It worries me if it does work out, she is the only one he's talking to and they do get together properly outside. What he did takes a certain level of violence so that's not a good sign surely...?

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hidinginthenightgarden · 12/10/2018 07:48

Its is going to be a disaster!

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Bubba1234 · 12/10/2018 07:51

It’s a disaster but it’s a fantasy that sounds wonderful for her. When she moves in she will see for herself

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Sparklesocks · 12/10/2018 07:55

I think some women like to think they can ‘save’ troubled men, become a stable influence in their lives and help them turn it all around. And I’m sure he’s saying all the right things to her in the messages.
I would play it by ear, it might be that she loses interest by the time he’s released or he might have a few women on the go. It could be difficult to sustain relationships where you can’t see each other, so maybe see how it goes as it might solve itself.

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Whatwhatt · 12/10/2018 07:57

What if something happens to her and I never said anything.

Or am I just jumping to the extreme now?

But you do read/see programmes about these women who hook up with the wrong guy and end up beaten or worse. I'd just feel awful if something happened to her but then if I tell her I don't agree, I risk losing her as a friend.

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Whatwhatt · 12/10/2018 07:58

Sparklesocks I had hoped that too but it's been well over a year now perhaps even two.

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ohello · 12/10/2018 07:59

your friend has super low self esteem if the only bf she thinks she deserves is a convicted criminal currently trapped in the prison system. Swooning over a convicted felon is not even close to being what a healthy person would do.

I'd ask her when is she going to start therapy. When, not if.

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Birdsgottafly · 12/10/2018 08:06

I agree that something is going very wrong in her thinking if she thinks this is a proper relationship.

The only thing likely to happen to her is to possibly be financially abused and be left broken hearted when reality doesn't match the fantasy.

You can't get to know someone as a person whilst they are in prison, in terms of how they treat others etc.

If start to gently point out the reasons why she can't plan a happy ever after.

I'd also be ready to help her get help, unless you are both under 25 years old.

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Whatwhatt · 12/10/2018 08:13

Birdsgottafly I'm late 20s friend is 25.

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Sparklesocks · 12/10/2018 08:16

Ah I see.
Have you spoken to her about your concerns? Not in a blamey way but quite gently, as in ‘I know you really like X and are planning for the future but I am a bit worried about his past, I only want you to be happy because i love you.’

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Whatwhatt · 12/10/2018 08:23

Sparklesocks I've tried to say things like is she sure he's not the same person anymore... Does she think it will work out when he's out of there... Does she feel she truly knows him etc... (Not in an accusatory tone but more just a gentle nudge to get her to open up) but she insists he's wonderful.

Another of our friends openly slated her decision and told her it was ridiculous etc.. and she essentially cut them out and was furious with them as if they just didn't want to see her happy.

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Pifflepoppycock · 12/10/2018 08:25

I'm going say go against the grain and say yes prison can change people for the better. In my early 20s I dated a guy for a few months who was arrested and remanded for drug related offences.

He ended up getting a fair few years and served half, with the final year in an open prison where he trained to do a specific job. I visited him every week for 2 years but eventually we grew apart.

He's now married, has a baby and runs his own business. He works hard and will never go back to his old ways. We're still friends and he is genuinely a decent guy.

I'm not saying your friend will have this experience but don't write off everyone who has made a mistake.

I do know my friend is in the minority though!

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alwayswingingit · 12/10/2018 08:25

Sounds like your friend doesn't think she is worth much, considering the way she found out about this man. It seems a bit strange. Does she suffer from low self esteem? Does she really think she's bagged a prince charming!!? Where on earth is the catch about having a man who is incarcerated?!

If you want to keep the friendship, keep an eye on the situation from a distance and support her when she needs it. Sounds like she is in too deep to be told and listen to any advice from you.

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Whatwhatt · 12/10/2018 08:27

Looking at it now it seems obvious that if someone said this would be one of my friends, it would be her. She's very much the 'take everyone under her wings' one of the group. She's very caring and probably the most selfless out of the people I know.

I imagine she does feel she's saving him.

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Dateloaf · 12/10/2018 08:28

Do you think she knows really, that this isn’t a relationship? It is kind of obvious: She doesn’t even know him, they’ve never been on a date, she isn’t dating anyone.

She needs to think about why she wants a one-sided fantasy relationship with an unavailable man who is so untrustworthy that he’s broken the law in such a major way that he is in prison. And how can he say he loves her? He doesn’t know her either. The whole thing is made up in their heads.

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MarthasGinYard · 12/10/2018 08:30

Is your DF Elaine Figgis

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alwayswingingit · 12/10/2018 08:31

@Dateloaf I agree with you, this isn't dating. Messaging or talking to this guy in prison will be completely different to actually having a relationship on the outside

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Whatwhatt · 12/10/2018 08:40

Dating was a poor choice of words from me. My only just awake brain couldn't think of another one at the time. But yes I think she does believe she's in a relationship.

Not sure if this counts as a drip feed sorry but I just recalled a time about a year ago when I did tell her I wasn't comfortable with what she was doing as she told me he'd asked her to 'look after' some money for him. That screams of something illegal to me. She told me she didn't in the end but who knows.

He quite often sends her money to buy herself presents 'from him'.

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memaymamo · 12/10/2018 08:42

What if something happens to her and I never said anything.

I know it's hard but this is NOT your responsibility. People have tried to warn her. She ignored. Just be there to pick up the messy pieces when it implodes.

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whodoyoufollow · 12/10/2018 08:46

I met my partner 6 years ago and I've known him for years he's been in and out of prison for various things. Prison does change them not all of them but majority and I can honestly say mine has changed we got together just as he came out of prison I was a bit skeptic at first but he told me why he went. My friends were in the exact same position as you are now, but it was my choice. They had their opinions and I listened but didn't take their advice I followed mine. Best decision ever he makes me happy.
It's your friends decision you've got to let her make her own mind up as much as you worry for her she's going to do it anyways.
Just be there to support her more than anything. You never know it may not come to anything. Hope a bit of advice helps.

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Volant · 12/10/2018 08:51

There's something very odd going on, giving that prisoners aren't so far as I know normally given the facility to message outside people regularly, nor are they normally in a position to send people money. There can't be any legitimate reason for asking someone to look after money for you. Have you asked her why that didn't ring warning bells about whether he genuinely had changed?

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Whatwhatt · 12/10/2018 08:54

Volant he has a phone which he isn't supposed to have, I know that much.

As for the money I told her that sounds really very dodgy and illegal and if I was her I'd have absolutely no part in it in case it came back to her. She agreed and said she'd told him now but didn't say anything more. I don't think the money came directly from his account I think someone else was holding it for him but I really don't know exactly what the reasons were or where it came from.

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Whatwhatt · 12/10/2018 08:55
  • Told him no.
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BitOutOfPractice · 12/10/2018 08:55

I can imagine how worried you are. I think this is a disaster waiting to happen.

But I think the safest thing you can do is bite your tongue so she has at least one friend when the shit hits the fan.

Good luck to you op. Let's hope she sees sense before he's out.

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