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05 Feb 2004

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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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Scared,
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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