Relationship counselling following time in jail

When one member of a relationship spends time in jail, it can have negative effects on the relationship no matter how long they have spent in jail. Here are some of the ways that relationship counselling can help both members of the couple to deal with the experience. 

Moral implications of the crime

In the case of some crimes, the person who has not served time may struggle to deal with the fact that their partner has been found guilty of a crime. This can occur regardless of the crime but can be particularly serious when the crime that has been committed is a crime against a person. Counselling can help to reveal the context and mindset around the time that the crime was committed and help the parent to describe what, if anything, they require to be able to move on from this. This can include limiting time in certain situations or abstaining from drugs and alcohol if this has led to the crime. 


The partner who is 'on the outside' has had to continue on with their life and may have faced feelings on loneliness. In some cases, this can have been a positive thing as it can have revealed hidden strengths and fortitude, but reintegrating into a relationship and learning to communicate about day to day issues can take some practise. It can be useful to discuss some of the events that occurred while the partner was imprisoned and how the other parent felt dealing with situation by themselves. 

Dealing with prison trauma

For prisoners who have had bad experiences while in jail, such as being assaulted or seeing violent events, it can be a hard adjustment to come back into a comfortable life. There can also be some survivor guilt associated with leaving behind friends in jail. Counselling can help to unpack and deal with some of this trauma, as left unsaid or explored it can often result in relationship problems, such as a failure to communicate or bursts of anger. This can be helpful for both partners but is primarily carried out with the previously imprisoned partner. 

If you or some you love is trying to reintegrate a partner who has been in prison into a loving relationship it can be very useful to get some relationship counselling. This can help you to openly discuss any issues that have arisen as part of the imprisonment and enable the couple to have a healthy relationship.