Love & Sex

Ask Dr. Sherry: 'I'm Pursuing A Relationship With A Man In Prison But Is He Using Me?'

New Dr. Sherry Illo
Dr. Sherry
Aug, 03, 2018 6:06 AM UTC

You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…

Hello Dr. Sherry,

I am more confused now than ever and I could really use your help.

I am a single mother of three, who has been single for two years now. Back in February, I recently met this guy who is in prison. We were pen pals for a while and eventually, we started seeing each other. He asked me to be his girlfriend and he told me he wants to take things slow. I recently met his family who loves me and they invited me over with my kids because they want to meet them as well. I bought him a phone and take food for him once a week when I go visit becuase he is in the same town as me. He talks to my kids and wants to meet them as well. We even made a joint Facebook account together.

My question is how do I know if he is just talking game and not using me because he’s lonely or looks forward to the food I take him on Sundays? We talk on the daily basis, in fact, the other day his sister and I visited him together and it was great. He gets out in December and I am looking foward to it but I am unsure if I am making the right choice–especially with my children involved. 

Please help me because I just want to know if I am I wasting my time!

Hey sis,

I can understand why you may have been confused initially but I don’t understand why you remain confused. Your confusion comes from the mixed messages that your boyfriend sent about taking it slow but soon afterward you are meeting and having dinner with his family and exposing your children to him and his family. That is in addition to visiting him weekly with dinner, buying him a cell phone, and having a joint Facebook account together. So much for taking it slow! If this is slow, I would hate to see what fast looks like! Let’s not forget that this man is directing all of this from prison. It is interesting that you are questioning if he is “just talking game” after doing all you have done. It is very easy for people to talk game in prison. I am sure he has told you how great and wonderful you are and how he wants a future with you. If you are emotionally needy, it is easy to believe what you are being told. This man is getting all his needs meet and has his family involved with you to monitor things with you that he can’t from prison. The question is not really about him but more about you. Why are you attracted to a man who is not physically available to you and may not really be emotionally available? What are your needs and are they getting meet? I recommend that you seek individual therapy to take a hard look at why have you fallen for this guy and allowed your children to be exposed. It is one thing to expose yourself to the unknown with someone in prison but it is another thing to expose your children. The reality of this guy getting out of prison in December is beginning to sink in. This is the time, to be honest with yourself and take control of your life. You have a right to choose and do not have to be the chosen one. –Dr. Sherry

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