Celebrating Another Valentine’s Day in Prison

By · Friday, February 13th, 2009

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. This year marks the seventh February 14th that Carole and I have celebrated together. I know that I’m blessed to have a loving wife who commits herself wholly to our marriage in spite of the long prison sentence that I serve. Others I’ve met in prison have asked how Carole and I nurture our marriage through the complications associated with confinement.

Obviously, our marriage builds upon a deep love, a mutual respect, and a total commitment that Carole and I make to each other. What really holds our romance together, though, is the communication we share.

As we serve this sentence, we both recognize that prison administrators control aspects of our lives. On three separate occasions, those administrators have made decisions that totally uprooted our stability by transferring me from one prison to another. They have blocked my access to the telephone, stopped me from visiting, and locked me in segregation. Such interferences are a part of long-term imprisonment, though Carole and I share a strategy that seems to strengthen our love regardless of what complications outside forces bring.

We succeed and thrive as a couple because we bring a conscious order to our lives. Both of us know what we want and we commit to bringing our visions into reality over and over again. It is clear to us that prison administrators can bring rules or changes that disrupt our access to each other, but we can set goals that will advance us to the future we are striving to create together. These joint efforts bring us a confidence and renew our strength. My love for Carole grows every day, and I feel our lives grow more inextricable each day.

The romance and passion grows because of the deliberate efforts each of us must make to learn about the other. I am driven, obsessed with the goals I set to prepare for the challenges ahead. Carole’s natural disposition differs from mine, yet she tolerates the volcanic eruptions of what she calls my Tasmanian-devil outbursts with a calm, “you’re being unfair.” I know the contours of her face, and when I recognize the sadness my sharp tones can cause, I instinctively reach out to touch her. With those gestures, we restore balance and come closer together.

Carole and I may not live together, though we’ve created a family by setting small goals that each of us commit to achieving. Those efforts bring us closer to the higher goals, which include keeping our romance alive through many years of imprisonment, and preparing ourselves in every way for the magnificent marriage we will enjoy upon release. It is our commitment to communication, to each other, to our love that makes our marriage possible.

I’ve written in more depth about our history in the following articles:

Our Marriage in Prison

Love That Transcends Prison Walls

Falling in Love Despite Prison Fences

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3 Responses to “Celebrating Another Valentine’s Day in Prison”

  1. Susanne says:

    I’m a new reader to your site and have found the information very insightful and informative. I have and will continue passing information onto my husband who faces a prison sentence. He is scheduled for sentencing on 032309. I don’t want to go into his charges here but would love to speak or write after you are out. I have quite a few goals;one of which is working on prison reform. I can tell you it is a waste in more ways than one to incarcerate a good, kind, well educated man, like my husband, who had a error in poor judgement on a computer. My next goal is to educate others on the evil side of the internet and thirdly I want to help the families of those faced with a loved one going to prison. It’s very scary when those, like me, have no experience on this side of life.
    Also, he may get to choose where he serves his time. He knows it will be minimum security and he’s considering Taft or Lompoc. Thoughts or recommendations? Keep up the great work. I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. Hi Susanne,
    Thank you for taking a moment to share a bit about your experience as a family member dealing with the complexities of prison. It certainly is not easy, and your husband is fortunate to have your ongoing love and support.
    We appreciate your interest in PrisonNewsBlog, I always mail comments from readers to Micahel.
    Best wishes,
    Carole Santos

  3. Ralph says:

    Stumbled upon your blog today and it opened up my thinking in areas not normally accessed. Considering the idea that my moral judgement and perspective may not be superior to yours because I was not tested with the same circumstances but more importantly causing me to think about how what might be the best consequences for criminal acts. I don’t know enough about your circumstances to form a conclusion but you have been in there for a long time and society might well benefit from your contributions as a free man. I don’t know if you are religious but religion tends to regard circumstances as god given and clearly you are making something out of a terrible experience.