How is life like for married prisoners?
Well, what would you think?
The great majority miss their wives -- in general, miss them terribly. Some of them cry at night, from loneliness.
They probably miss the sexual parts of marriage, but as any old married guy will tell you, sex is not the biggest part of marriage. Companionship. Caring, Shared activities. Working together. Pursuing common goals. That sort of thing, which is what an enduring marriage is all about. And they are deprived of that. It hurts.
On the other hand, the wife is someone who visits you. And maybe who provides money for your purchases at the prison canteen. Someone who brings you things that make your life better in prison.
Most prisoners have few, if any, visitors. And many have no one who writes to them. Having a wife visit, call, and write breaks the dreary routine of prison life. For those who are going to get out, it gives them something to look forward to and of course facilitates the return to life outside of The Walls.
Some prisons permit conjugal visits. You can surmise that a night with one's wife can be a pretty big event for someone whose nights are otherwise filled with noise, bad smells, snoring, lights shining in, cellies using the toilet, more noise, guards looking in to check, and on and on.
You don't think that visitations mean much? I once visited a prisoner who had no outside visitors for the prior 13 years, except some missionary-type church people who were more interested in preaching redemption than holding a conversation. There was an automat type of vending machine in the visitation room, and I bought him the first hamburger he had eaten in 13 years. Horrible excuse for food by our standards, but to him it was ambrosia.
So if a wife brings in some home-cooked fried chicken, which is allowed in some prisons, you can guess how much that means to an inmate.