Posted by: Scared | 2004/02/05

Ex prisoner living with us

My husband organised a job interview for his brother's friend living up north to the Cape. We live in the Cape with our two young daughters. We are in our thirties and the friend is around 25years. This young man was in jail for 8 years from 1995 to 2003. He was in for armed robbery (bank). I told my husband I was not happy with this arrangement especially since I hardly know this young man and the fact that he has been in jail for such a crime, my husband still invited the guy. He came on Friday last week, went for an interview on Monday and started working the same day. My husband says he did not have a gun but his colleagues did (which makes no difference to me since he was part of the robbery). My husband has assured me that he (the friend) has changed and that he is ready to start afresh and that he was saved in prison (meaning he is now a christian). I am still unconfortable around him. My husband only comes home after 9.30 every evening (attending school) and I have to sit with this guy with my girls until he comes. the whole thing is stressing me and my husband feels I am not being fair. I told him I will understand if this guy was a relative but to do this to a friend's brother (the friend is also serving time for fraud) The whole thing leaves me numb and dont know what to do. My husband has told me that this guy is looking for his accommodation but I dont know how long this will go on. Am I being negative?

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Our expert says:
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Your concerns are entirely rational and sensible, and your husband is being thoughtless, placing his personal halo, seing himself as a gracious and forgiving man ( he has nothing to forgive --- the armed robbery didn't harm him ) and ignoring his duties to you and your daughters. it's good that this guy has so readily found a job, and surely your husband should press him to find alternative accomodation as soon as possible.
And hubby seems to be expectivng you to take all the strain, presumably handling the extra housework involved, meals, whatever, and to spend all the evenings alone with this stranger. How about he should temporarily put on hold his evening classes, to keep you company, until the stranger moves out ? That might motivate him to help the guy find a new way to stay. And make it clear to him that in future no such decisions are to be made unless you have both discussed it and BOTH fully agreed on it. He's placing more value on his own vanity than on his family's safety. That's not a good Christian choice.
It's claptrap to talk of the guy being "saved". Maybe he is, maybe he isn't --- your husband has absolutely no way to know that, until it might be too late, if he's wrong. It's terribly easy for any prisoner to claim to be "saved" --- that only requires a few words and some hot air. he can only prove that h's saved by how he chooses to behave over the next many years. He was convicted on hard evidence --- the "saved" bit is pure hearsay, and not admissable evidence !
Of course we hope that some prisoners will indeed reform, and they shouldn't be condemned by prejudices ; but leaving a recently released stanger alone at night in your home with a wife and kids, is ridiculous.
I rather like Zeena's idea of your taking yourself and the kids to stay with HIS mother until the guy leaves ( and he changes the locks on the house ) --- that way again, his motivation to solve the problem he caused, is increased, and the responsibility is placed back where it belongs, in his lap.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Responsible | 2004/02/09

Like Charlie, I will never trust anyone. I love my wife and adore my little girl so much I can never leave them with a stranger for a second (not even a christian). It seems your husband is not worried about your safety or your kids, be responsible, keep your girls as far away from this stranger as possible. I know people change, but just be careful, you will never be sorry. All your man wants is people praising him for helping, but at his family's expense! this is unbelievable. Do not feel guilty for how you are feeling, its even worse you never agreed to this whole deal. Your man sounds like someone who never take your advise but goes with what ever he feels its right. I suppose he expects you to cook, wash and clean for this friend of his. Could n't your hubby find another way of helping this ex prisoner that bring him to his own kids? I hope he never regrets helping this stranger. All I can say is that your man does not care for you and your girls enough, not when we read sick stories everyday. Did he ever thought what came into this guys mind when he was involved in this robbery? Only a sick man will do that, imagine what he learnt in jail, believe me, he now have all the skills, including behaving like someone saved, just to get his foot in.
Protect your girls and yourself

Reply to Responsible
Posted by: Charlie | 2004/02/09

My brother's daughter (7) was raped by our 'trusted' neighbour whom we all believed was a gentleman. Unforturnately, this neighbour also gave her the deadly virus. I will never trust anybody these days. We read about such issues everyday and its unfortunately your husband is one of those who believes it only happen to others. Get out of that house as quickly as possible. Leave them together, who knows, he might teach him a thing or two since he only lived with men for 8 years and we all know what happens inside there, I mean what they do to each other. good luck

Reply to Charlie
Posted by: Zeena | 2004/02/05

I agree completely with Sue and Soul. Now let's be practical and see what you can do. It seems your husband is being kind and trusting, but I trust a woman's instinct far more. You say you feel uncomfortable around him. That is already a red flag, because if he had turned into some angel in prison, you would probably not feel like that.

You could, without a fuss or a fight, tell your husband you are taking yourself and the kids off to your mother (or HIS mother) and you will stay there until this man is out of your house. Be sure to reassure him of your love, but that you are scared of this guy and scared for your kids' sake, and not prepared to be alone with him in the house any longer.

You could also eat an early meal with your children, get ready for bed, take them to your bedroom with you, and lock the door until your husband gets home. You don't have to keep this man company, after all.

This will be uncomfortable for you, but maybe it will get the message across to your husband.

The last way out is to throw a tantrum and demand that this guy leave your house. You owe him nothing. Guns or not, what does it matter? He was found guilty of armed robbery, and I would not on hearsay trust the "Christian" thing either. He has a job now -- that's one good thing that you and your husband made possible. I think that is enough. He will get a salary soon and can go find himself a room somewhere.

Reply to Zeena
Posted by: Ronald | 2004/02/05

get this guy out of your house - quickly. tell him straight he has to go and find other accomodations. HE IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. you marraige is goignn to suffer...get him out....put your foot down

Reply to Ronald
Posted by: Soul | 2004/02/05


I agree with Sue. Maybe he has changed and maybe he hasn't but your husband seems to have alot of faith in a man that he hasn't seen for 8 year and it's all at your daughters and your risk not his. Your hubby seems to be more worried about him than his own family.

And as far as being unfair your hubby needs to decided which is more important to him a man that has been in prison for 8 years and is not the same person he remembers cause prison does change you or his family his wife and daughters.

I'm all for people changing but at the same time I certainly wouldn't invite any trouble by having someone stay in my house. Your hubby has no idea of the things this man has learnt in jail and what he can do, I'm not saying he will do anything I doubt that he wants to go back there but I wouldn't tempt fate niether.

Your daughters and you should come first in your hubby's life and your hubby should have discused this matter with you and the fact that you were not interested in this he had no right to put you in this postion. Your hubby made a call and didn't even consider you or the girls and that I don't believe.

You need to sit down and talk to your hubby and tell him where you stand and how you feel and that bringing a total stranger into the house without your consent isn't right and that he must leave or you will for the safety for your daughters and yourself.
I would feel the same way you do. Get him out of there surely he has other family that he can stay with untill he gets a place of his own.

Take Care

Reply to Soul
Posted by: Sue | 2004/02/05

This is unfair on you. You shouldnt allow this. Firstly you have to young daughters being around this ex prisoner. It makes not difference if he was 'saved'. I worry about the aspect of molestation and men that we dont know. I wouldnt allow that in my house. Armed robbery. No your husbands being unfair here not you.

Reply to Sue

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