Friday, December 22, 2006

Legal: Victory or Loss?

We had our day in court today for my wife’s application for a protective order. Even though I won across the board, for some reason I feel like I lost.

My wife, Tara Scott or Tara Lynn Scott or Tara Ray Scott or Tara Stelly or Tara Lynn Stelly or Tara Ray Stelly or Tara Ray or Tara Lynn Ray was absolutely stunning and beautiful today. I wish I could have told her that. I suppose I know that she really doesn’t care what I think about her, but it doesn’t change how I felt when I saw her.

When we were called, we went to the hearing officer and my wife said her piece. I made a brief response that I took issue with some of the particulars of the allegations and did not think my wife had alleged anything against me that warranted a court order to prevent abuse. I told the hearing officer that if my wife did not want contact with me that I would respect that but that I felt a court order was not necessary.

The hearing officer spoke with my wife a bit and ultimately decided that she would dismiss the suit because my wife had failed to prove that I had ever acted violently or was a threat of harm to her or her children.

Despite the fact that I won, I feel like I lost.

By winning, I believe that I only made my wife that much more angry at me. It’s really sad because the request for a protective order was so unnecessary. There’s not been once that I’ve ever laid a finger on my wife in anger or threatened to do harm to her or even acted in such a way that might lead a reasonable person to believe that I would become violent.

After the initial explosions of emotion during the actual separation, I really hoped that we could separate peacefully. My wife probably doesn’t feel that way, but I invested so much into this marriage and into our relationship. I accepted her children as if they were my own. I got a position at my employer that I waited for 3 years to get and two months later gave it up for her family. I gave up an extremely attractive pension plan and lost everything in it for her family. And I would do it all over again.

My wife has plenty of reasons to be angry and disappointed. My responses after our separation were inexcusable. I let my emotions and hurt and anger guide me and did harm that I will probably never be able to undo.

But I had such higher hopes. I believed so much in her. Even as she was giving up the relationship, I just knew that things would turn and we would at least separate peacefully.

I suppose much like the petition for the protective order signified that all hope has been lost; I suppose my victory today signifies the loss of any chance that we can resolve this thing peacefully. And so I march into battle, weary and tired, ready to fall on my own sword just to avoid the fights that loom. What I wouldn’t give for a truce to be called.