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We always knew there was 'something' but we didnt know what it was..we have not crossed the line yet, or have we even embraced in a simple touch..you see it is complicated..he has been in prison for 4 years and feelings didnt come out until he was in prison..on both if our parts..it doesnt feel 'wrong' or ' bad' it actually seems like the most 'real' thing ive ever experienced..but i am scared to take the final step when he is released

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Having spent 25 years employed in a state prison system I will say this.

If I were you I would tread VERY carefully into this territory with your cousin.

Unfortunately, offenders have nothing to do but think while incarcerated.

I am not going to say that he doesn't have feelings for you, but his loneliness and

being away from family may be intensifying what he may be telling you.

Would he still feel the same way when he is released?  Who knows, but you

owe it to yourself to not get too involved until he is released and you can spend time

together,  building a real friendship first, before you go any further.

I caution you against sending explicit letters or even pictures of yourself, I can

guarantee they will be shared with others. You are a prize to him and it is bragging rights.

Whatever he is in for, and I'm not asking for that info, may have a bearing on whether you

would want to pursue  this further. 


You didn't mention your ages, but that could be a huge factor in where this would go also.


Sorry if I am sounding really harsh, but I have seen what  goes on in there.

Please think long and hard before you make any drastic moves.

Best wishes.


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i'll echo that warning, but from a different perspective.

when i was in my 20s, i fell long and hard for a guy that was a regular customer at a pool hall that i worked at. oh, he was hot!  we dated, but it wasn't exclusive at that point. and then he went to prison for a year.  he actually had two ten year sentences for drug related charges that ran concurrently and he was released after about 14 months.

i stood by him during his time in prison. it was a beautiful romance! he would send me the most wonderful letters, with these envelopes that had the most elaborate artwork on them. i didn't have a car at the time, but i had a roommate, and every time i was able to visit, she'd either drive me or let me take her car. i had two daughters, and this guy that i was so in love with talked extensively about us moving forward as a family whenever he got out.  it was, just like you said, the most "real" relationship i'd ever had.

and then he did.

i don't for one minute think he was insincere at the time. in fact, i think he meant every word of it. and i think he meant every thing else too... he had given his life to Christ, he'd sworn off drugs forever, yada yada yada.  but here's the thing. when people are locked up, they're in this totally altered environment. anyone they can attach to on the 'outside' (including God) becomes their lifeline. it's the only thing that gives them hope. they change while they're in there, sometimes in a good way.

and then they get out. and all of a sudden life as they knew it resumes. old friends, old habits, new women. or in my case, men. like i said, something happens on the inside. and whoever you think they are while they're in there, it's not likely to be who they are when they get out. this "most real" world you're living in right now is NOT real at all. real relationships have physical interaction. disagreements. jealous moments. hurt feelings. daily struggles that actually make you stronger as a couple when you overcome them together. prison romances don't have any of that. the person in the prison has an emotional savior that helps them get through the next day. the person on the outside has absolute and total devotion from the person locked up.

it is the very definition of co-dependency, and i really hate that word. but it's what it is.

and even if you two can make things work after he gets out, it will be a terribly unhealthy relationship. chances are though that your relationship bubble is going to shatter like super-thin glass, and you're going to be devastated.

i can't tell you to walk away from this while he's still locked up. i'd like to, though. in fact, i'd like to tell you to run. but it wouldn't do any good. you won't give up this fantasy, because it's everything you want in a relationship, and i get that. ya know, i don't regret wasting a year of my life on the guy that broke my heart within a couple of months of being released, because he needed me to get him through, and i was able to do that when nobody else would. 

but you're gonna get hurt. just remember that.


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So very well said from someone who experienced first hand all  that I saw while employed in the prison system.

I also saw employees get caught up in these relationships, married the incarcerated, quit or got fired and the relationship ended

in divorce because the one who got out couldn't stay away from the people/situations that got them there in the first place

Everything you said about  the altered environment and attaching to and being totally faithful  is spot on.

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