When a spouse is sentenced to jail time, the partner may experience a number of problems that are hard to manage. Finances, children, and health are a few of the issues that sometimes confront a person whose spouse is incarcerated. Here are some ways to cope with common challenges that arise when a husband or wife is in jail.

Join a Support Group

There are many kinds of support groups for families who have a loved one in jail. Spouses, in particular, who are incarcerated often leave their loved ones without adequate support. A group organization for people in this category can benefit by helping each other and learning how to cope with the feelings, challenges, and losses of a loved one who is no longer available to them. Being able to vent about related concerns may elicit suggestions or advice from others in the group.

Learn How to DIY

Building supply stores and computer product stores sometimes offer free or low-cost workshops and classes to help people learn new skills. If a jailed spouse was the family’s computer guru, the other spouse may need to learn how to navigate basic computer usage. There are many community-based classes and training resources to help those in need. Sometimes, spouses of incarcerated persons can help each other by exchanging skills or services, such as bookkeeping for lawn work.

Stay Connected

If possible, it helps to stay connected to the incarcerated spouse. Depending on the type of prison sentence, some prisoners are able to make phone calls and use a computer to stay in touch with family members. This is a great way to ask questions or get advice from the person who knows how to do such things that are essential to the well-being of the spouse and possible children.

Get Counseling

Spouses who struggle emotionally, financially, or psychologically can get help through professional counseling. They can learn not only how to cope, but also how to handle some of the things the incarcerated loved one used to do. Counseling may also help to strengthen a spouse who feels lost or overwhelmed in the new role as a single person or single parent.

Imprisonment, while no picnic, is a fact of life for many families. In some cases, posting bail bonds will allow an incarcerated spouse to be released and resume management over household tasks that would otherwise be difficult for the other spouse to handle.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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