Monday, January 10, 2011
How to Ctrl+Alt+Delete Yourself Right Out of A Marriage
When we think of the sanctity of marriage, we often think of trading in “me, myself, and I” ways of being for an inclusive “us/we.” We think of joining into a union with someone we love and respect. Somewhere along the line Michigan couple Clara Walker and her husband Leon lost this in their own marriage. While the accounts that the now-divorced couple gave to ABC Nightline reporter Bill Weir differed, the one thing they agree on is that their relationship was rocky from the very beginning.
The couple met and fell in love in the workplace. After welcoming a daughter into the world, they decided to give the family life a try and get married. Early on communication proved an issue and many of their conversations took place via email. During a time when the two were essentially living as roommates, Clara reopened communication with her second husband(who she filed a report against during their marriage for physically assaulting her in front of her son) and allegedly began an affair with him.
Now this is where things get dicey. On the Nightline report, Clara says that when this took place, her relationship with Leon was at a low point(she did not, however, say they were separated or making strides towards dissolving their marriage). When Leon became aware that his wife was communicating with her ex-husband, he went through her email to gather more information. His reasoning was that because of their violent history, the safety of a child was on the line.
As a result of his actions, Leon Walker faces a possible sentence of 5 years in prison for reading his wife's email. Prosecutors are citing a Michigan statute that is usually applied to cases of identity fraud and trade secret theft. There is argument as to whether or not Clara left her email passwords in a public place, or if Leon was able to guess them. Either way, Clara Walker's legal team are likening Leon's actions to that of a hacker.
Now that the facts are on the table, can I be completely honest with you? I have a few issues with this whole situation. First of all, a married person seeking legal representation because their spouse read their email on a computer in their shared household seems a bit extreme. Yes, privacy is just as an important to a married person as it is to a single person. But it seems like the action of a guilty person. If you have nothing to hide and your behavior is on the up&up, why should it matter that your emails are read? Secondly, I just don't trust Clara Walker. There, I said it. I watched her interviews on Nightline really closely. Her tears seemed...forced. Like the kind a child squeezes out in an attempt to not get in trouble. Considering that all this greatly impacts her children(specifically her daughter with Leon), it would have been nice to understand just why she felt so violated. What exactly made her want to try this out in the legal system? Nothing she said seemed to get to the heart of the matter. Finally, the potential punishment does not fit the crime. 5 years in prison?? Calling the man a hacker? I know I don't know much about law but that seems outlandish.
I was still feeling indignant over this story the day after watching the special. Then one of my married friends said something that made me go hmmm....
“Internet snooping is wack, even between spouses. Get your self-esteem up. You look for something, you find it.”
Well tell us how you really feel!!! ;-) That made perfectly good sense to me(although I still don't trust Clara Walker) and made me wonder: Did Leon Walker ever try talking to his wife before going through her email? Did Clara try talking to Leon before seeing a lawyer? Were their actions fueled by their crumbling marriage and a desire to end things?
Dearest readers, what are your thoughts on this case?
For those of you who are married(or close to it) is internet spying a deal breaker between you and your significant other?
Would you/have you ever gone through a significant others email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.?
Do you think this case needs to be tried out in court?
Have you seen interviews with the Walker's? What was your impression of them?
I'd love to hear from you!