Prison Pete

Monday, October 18, 2004
I lost a filling last night munching unpopped kernels from the bag. Luckily, although we had another fog day (now seven out of the last eight days), I managed to get the filling replaced within two hours of being let out this morning. Another one of those silly little games we play with ourselves about how I am invincible - unpopped corn, bah. I am eating some popcorn now as I write this, but I will not eat the kernels this time.

I have so much to write, but will dedicate the remainder of this letter to the subject of divorce! Divorce is probably #2 behind prison in terms of how one finds out all kinds of things once one has already started down the path. First of all, let me throw out that unless we are talking about you ending up with sole custody of the children, I cannot think of a scenario that would be anything like "normal" living. I do not know if I should stop here and hope that is the option!

OK, here is some of my practical knowledge. If you do not get custody, the Mom gets 25% of your gross income as child support. You think Kerry would tax you to death? You ain't seen nothing!

Next, I now realize that unless one finds a young chickie looking for an older guy, you would be meeting single moms, probably with custody, and then you become a defender of the scum that her ex was, at the same time being the scum according to your ex. It's kind of a Catch-22. You think the kids play Mom against Dad now? Just wait.

Now, if your ex wants to become the visiting parent, I can tell you that, even in the best of breakups, there is still a whole bunch of emotional garbage, as you get some holidays with the kids and some without.

Then, certainly one or both of you will remarry, relocate, or undergo personality changes. Think of the kids telling you about the pizza delivery guy that shows up with the six-pack and stays the night. OK, so maybe you say that won't be your ex, but how about she shows up in court to redo the visitation or child support schedule and she is wearing dark glasses because her new boyfriend decided to be an abusive SOB! Yeah, both are true stories!

The point I know beyond a reasonable doubt is that emotionally, as long as both of you will still have contact with the kids on any sort of basis beyond one or two times a year, you end up with the emotional burden of two households, and one of them you can do nothing about, but will find it very hard to ignore! OK, probably impossible.

You cannot even dream of what will happen if jobs are thrown into the mix, and now not just where you and your ex need or want to relocate for work or personal reasons, but think of each of you with a new spouse who may also need or want to relocate for work or personal reasons!

OK, so physical intimacy is lacking, or maybe not lacking, but non-existent. Well, here you might ask how I can speak but bear with me and my hindsight.

First of all, I have learned that while I would not choose celibacy as a lifestyle, during my incarceration I have made it eight years without any sexual activity that involves more than one person. Even the one-person stuff is severely limited due to privacy problems! So, one of the things prison has taught me is yes, the human spirit is capable of many different approaches to life, and while it may not be our first choice, one can make a go of it.

So my question is, what are the real issues in the marriage? I agree that there is no one person that can control the other totally, but we each have to decide how much we can contribute or "take" in a relationship before we throw it out. I obviously took very little of my girlfrind's shit even through at the time I would have told you she was a tyrannical bitch who never wanted me to see my kids!

Another thought is how when I read the various "mens" magazines or a copy of Penthouse Letters, it seems everyone else is always "getting it." But I truly believe that there are no two couples that behave the same way. No magic pill. Some relationships just require one partner to consistently give 80%, but yet maybe by really mixing things up, changes can occur if only it is the perception of one party.

The point is there is no perfect relationship. You know your wife better than anyone! Maybe (I can dream can't I) you can find the right combination of outside help and your own adjustments to turn your current relationship into something better! I am not saying you are doomed to the life of a monk.

BTW I did hear on People's Pharmacy that studies have shown that the "pill" can drastically lower the sex drive in some women! There was a recent show on the whole subject. You can probably check it out on the NPR website.

Well, it is 9:48 PM and this has got to get in the mail!

I hope some of this makes same. Forget that, I hope you can read it! But this is very tough for me to write! I know that only you can decide the path you want to take, but I will always be your friend and pray that you are given wisdom and peace in your quest for a healthy, rewarding, and love-filled life!
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