By Scott Thompson
THIS WOMAN married a man SERVING LIFE after being introduced by a friend – and says the relationship is blossoming despite only getting to spend a night together once EVERY FOUR MONTHS.
Vocal coach, singer and owner of Queen Vision Entertainment, Maria Ferrer (34) from Los Angeles, California, USA met her incarcerated husband Rayshun (33) in October 2014 through a mutual friend.
For reasons Maria wishes not to disclose Rayshun was locked away for life at just 15 years old back in 2002 as a minor. Maria could never have imagined that a relationship would blossom with an inmate in prison, but from the very first conversation with him she knew there was a strong connection.
Being a singer her whole life and then coaching for the last ten years, in 2017 one of her students asked her why she didn’t write her own music. Maria told him that she didn’t know what to sing about and he said she should focus on writing about being a prison wife.
From that day on the idea stuck in her mind and with her new determination she grabbed hold of her microphone and wrote her first song called That’s My Baby which is about her relationship with Rayshun.
Terrified of what the feedback would be she posted it on Instagram and awaited her followers’ response. She was surprised and elated when she woke up to hundreds of messages from people all around the world who related to her circumstances as a prison wife.
Maria continued to write her own songs as a prison wife and has now released two popular albums called The Prison Wife Handbook and The Prison Wife Handbook 2.
“I’ve always been a singer and I pursued a career in music in my earlier years, though I gave this up ten years ago because things just weren’t moving forward how I’d have liked them to,” Maria said.
“I moved to Los Angeles ten years ago and I set up my very own successful vocal/singing coaching company Queen Vision Entertainment. I have students of all ages and I love spreading my passion for music and arts.
“I met Rayshun back in 2014 through a mutual friend. He was a juvenile offender and received a life sentence for his offence. He was only 15 when he was put in prison and he’s now 33.
“At first I felt compassion for him being incarcerated at such a young age, though I didn’t expect to fall in love. However, I really enjoyed our first conversation and I felt a strong connection to him right away.
“So, one day a student of mine asks me why I wasn’t making my own songs. I remember telling him that I didn’t know what to sing about, to which he suggested singing about my life right now as a prison wife.
“That sparked something inside of me. I grabbed my microphone and started writing my first song which I called That’s My Baby. I posted it on my Instagram page, completely mortified of what people would think. To my surprise I received hundreds of messages from women all over the world saying they were in the same shoes.
“Since then, I’ve had two popular albums released called The Prison Wife Handbook and The Prison Wife Handbook 2.”
Maria and Rayshun got married in 2016 which allowed Maria to have conjugal visits once every four months. They spend their time talking the hours away and watching the sun go down and then having a romantic slow dance in the evening.
Although locked up for life, there have been many changes in laws affecting youth offenders who were under the age of 21 when they committed their crime. This means that Rayshun could be eligible for parole in eight years.
The couple plan to live together and hopefully start a family when he is released but being apart for over a decade would be difficult for anybody. Maria points out the struggles at home not having her man around to help with everyday tasks or to be able to share in her successes.
To help get through those challenges, Maria created an online support group called The Butterfly Squad which is aimed at giving women with incarcerated partners a place to share their pains and struggles together as a community.
“We got married in 2016 and since then I’ve been able to stay overnight with him every four months. The visits are a great time for us to connect. Last time we just spoke for over eight hours and looked up and watched the sun go down. I even asked him for a slow dance… although he had two left feet, I was having the time of my life,” Maria continued.
“Numerous laws have passed in recent years that mean he is eligible for parole in eight years. I can’t wait for us to live together.
“I’m looking forward to us living together and possibly starting a family when he leaves prison. It’s certainly hard when he’s not here to help with daily tasks. It’s also hard because he can’t see the success I’m having with my music. He hasn’t heard the music yet but sees some success when other wives see me at visits and tell me they love my music.
“I created a community of women that I call The Butterfly Squad. These women support my movement and we all support one another too. We all feel the same type of pain and this group gives me an opportunity to help them reach their highest vibration vs being depressed and miserable.”
Maria passes on some positive advice about what makes a happy relationship.
“Having your loved one around 24/7 should not be taken for granted. Fighting and bickering over the small things is so pointless. Also, in the prison wife community, if your husband is locked away for just a few months just remember some husbands or partners aren’t ever coming back home,” said Maria.
“We all judge other people’s situation. I have been called crazy for dating someone in prison. I know of people in far worse relationships outside of prison who are very unhappy and then I know people who are in happy relationships even though their loved one is incarcerated. If you are in a healthy happy relationship like I am then simply love who you want to love, period.”
To follow Maria’s journey you can follow her on Instagram.