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I'm just wondering what happens after a WW returns to a BH who wants her back. I imagine that there is a period of elation, but can also imagine that there is a lot of hurt, anger, and resentment that a BH feels and takes a really long time to work through, with triggers popping up now and then.

Is this so?

What is recovery like for a BH? Does your wife suddenly turn you off because you imagine her with OM?

In other words I am asking if there is a honeymoon period after the return but a really hard crash once that passes. I ask because I see many BHes here who want their wives to come back very badly but I've often wondered what the cost of that is on an emotional scale.

My mom had tons of resentment towards my dad and she spewed lots of anger at him for years after he tried to end the affair and win her back, but he broke NC just as she was coming around.

I often wonder if the BS lives with "she did it once, why wouldn't she again" forever.


D-Day 28 Feb 06
Plan D (Not by choice) - 24 March 06

DD6
DS4(Twin1)
DS4(Twin2)

She moved away with the kids April 08. I contested it and got a lot more time with my kids. She's unhappy that I want to stay involved in their lives and don't settle for being an "every other weekend" dad.

Never going to happen.

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Originally Posted by pomdbd3
I'm just wondering what happens after a WW returns to a BH who wants her back. I imagine that there is a period of elation, but can also imagine that there is a lot of hurt, anger, and resentment that a BH feels and takes a really long time to work through, with triggers popping up now and then.

Is this so?

It is so. Some forgive after awhile, some are still working on forgiving.

Originally Posted by pomdbd3
What is recovery like for a BH? Does your wife suddenly turn you off because you imagine her with OM?


Recovery is like changing the dressing on a wound, didnt hurt until you had to change it every few hours/days/weeks.
Quote
Originally Posted by pomdbd3
In other words I am asking if there is a honeymoon period after the return but a really hard crash once that passes. I ask because I see many BHes here who want their wives to come back very badly but I've often wondered what the cost of that is on an emotional scale.

Its like winning the jelly of the month club, but what you get in the mail tastes like crap long after the elation of winning dies off. It does get a little easier after time goes by.

There are times I am angry because I feel that I have to bust my [censored] meeting my W's ENs only to have her not meet mine.

Originally Posted by pomdbd3
My mom had tons of resentment towards my dad and she spewed lots of anger at him for years after he tried to end the affair and win her back, but he broke NC just as she was coming around.

I often wonder if the BS lives with "she did it once, why wouldn't she again" forever.

It helps to think that the cause was "poor boundaries" and that anyone is susceptible. Boozing with/out the spouse around is just a recipe for disaster and a example of no or poor boundaries... It helps, but deep down I have trouble believing it.

where is this coming from, can you tell me Pom? .....



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Originally Posted by pomdbd3
I'm just wondering what happens after a WW returns to a BH who wants her back. I imagine that there is a period of elation, but can also imagine that there is a lot of hurt, anger, and resentment that a BH feels and takes a really long time to work through, with triggers popping up now and then.

Is this so?

Definitely was so in my case. My FWW never left physically, but I went through the same phases above when she chose to stay after D-Day.


Originally Posted by pomdbd3
What is recovery like for a BH? Does your wife suddenly turn you off because you imagine her with OM?

Long and hard. I did get turned off every now and then with thoughts of my FWW with the OM, but those faded after awhile. Now the thoughts the bug me are those that concern self-worth and the occasional fear that she might indulge in adultery again.


Originally Posted by pomdbd3
In other words I am asking if there is a honeymoon period after the return but a really hard crash once that passes.

I got both the honeymoon period and the crash.


Originally Posted by pomdbd3
I often wonder if the BS lives with "she did it once, why wouldn't she again" forever.

Sounds very familiar.


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Originally Posted by pomdbd3
...resentment that a BH feels and takes a really long time to work through, with triggers popping up now and then.

Is this so?

What is recovery like for a BH? Does your wife suddenly turn you off because you imagine her with OM?

In other words I am asking if there is a honeymoon period after the return but a really hard crash once that passes. I ask because I see many BHes here who want their wives to come back very badly but I've often wondered what the cost of that is on an emotional scale.

I often wonder if the BS lives with "she did it once, why wouldn't she again" forever.

Pom: I'll try to answer your Qs since I'm going through this for second time. Remember, first time (A#1) I had no idea about Harley's principles. Just worked with counselor and did my best (which was not very good).

First affair I booted wife from our apt for about two weeks. We stayed in counseling together, saw each other here and there. The A was over, but WW still in school with OM. WW was really wanting to make things right in our marriage.

When she did come home it was a honeymoon period -- lots of emotions, crazy good sex (SF is high on my ENs), intense.

Did crash after a while, which I know now is normal. Yes, triggers (TV, movies, print ads) really played with my mind. There were times when we were getting intimate and I would think of OM. That's hard. Looking back I should have talked more with WW about my feelings. Took us a long time to work through things. We did end up moving to new town, which was great for our relationship.

Originally Posted by pomdbd3
I often wonder if the BS lives with "she did it once, why wouldn't she again" forever.

I'm there brother! As time wore on the thought of the first affair faded. It became like a scar from a horrible accident that you look at, remember the pain, but it doesn't hurt as bad.

Remember, I didn't know Harley's principles until just a few weeks ago. So looking back on A#2 I can see the things I did to contribute to the affair. I'm not responsible for my WW taking initiative to start and continue an affair. She owns that completely.

I will be honest with you and say this affair has been easier to deal with. Yes, it's ANOTHER AFFAIR. But by the grace of God I was lead to MB.com. The people here have been so supportive and the information sooooo good for me to read. And it helps that the A had been over for over a month when DDay#2 came around. The OM basically cut off communication with WW and she decided to work on marriage before I knew what was up, before DDay#2.

So I'm working on my marriage. It's going to take a long time to figure of if this marriage is going to work or not. I've got to be patient. I've got to stick with a strong Plan A.


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RMX,

There's no personal developments that are prompting this question. It's something I've been chewing on because I see so many of the BHes on the board caught up in trying to get their wives back while she's out actively engaged in an affair.

I advise them on what to do to get her back and secure their rights as fathers, yet I ask myself about the cost of really having the WW return.

The question was prompted by a BH on the board who does have a wife who returned, yet insists on keeping a friendship with OM. He is actually questioning whether or not to allow this and I just see it as a state of delusion in the BH.

I just imagine there is a point where a BH has had enough and is then done.

So I ask myself about what I'm really advising men to do with taking a cheating wife back. I imagine what it would be like if I was them.

I would have been thrilled to have my family back in terms of getting to see the kids all the time, but my feelings for the WW would have been really, really squashed. I could have seen a state of happiness at first followed by a real crash and real resentment that would have taken years to get past.

So my divorce life sucked for a while, but it isn't looking so bad anymore and I value the time I have with the kids and the freedom I have to pursue other things.

So I wonder about the advice I give about getting a WW to come back and think that it would help BHes to know that life as an involved divorced dad isn't terrible and is a perfectly viable alternative to taking back a cheating wife.

It's just something I've been wrestling with.


D-Day 28 Feb 06
Plan D (Not by choice) - 24 March 06

DD6
DS4(Twin1)
DS4(Twin2)

She moved away with the kids April 08. I contested it and got a lot more time with my kids. She's unhappy that I want to stay involved in their lives and don't settle for being an "every other weekend" dad.

Never going to happen.

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A BS needs to set clear return requirements...and those requirements should be the same ones that would have been included in a plan B letter if it had gone to that route.

NC with OW/OM forever.

Marriage counselling to help identify issues that led the affair, and fix those. (boundary building, etc...)

Open book transparency.

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Originally Posted by pomdbd3
So I wonder about the advice I give about getting a WW to come back and think that it would help BHes to know that life as an involved divorced dad isn't terrible and is a perfectly viable alternative to taking back a cheating wife.

pom,

I've not posted in a week or so over basically this same issue.

The more that I'm around MB ... the more I see strengths and WEAKNESSES within the program.

MB is VERY good at giving marriages struggling with infidelity a common language to discuss easily misinterpreted emotions/feelings ... actually THIS LANGUAGE has been the most valuable aspect of MB to us in our R.

MB also provides a very good blueprint for STOPPING an A, "IF" the BH has the "stones" to do it properly.

However, RECOVERY after infidelity ... especially for BH/WW situations ... as defined by MB is mostly just a pipe dream. Sure there are a few positive examples that are usually trotted out, but they are miniscule in their percentage when viewed in the context of just how many HUNDREDS of situations come through these forums on the average year. Actually, the scarcity of positive examples of R serves to prove the RULE rather than the exception.

I've seen it posted here ... and I have found it to be SPOT-ON ... "The GREATEST determining factor of marital R is the WW's attitude immediately after discovery".

Those WW's that STOP the A upon discovery and show some form of remourse for their actions have a fair to good chance of recovering their families. Those that continue to cake-eat, disrespect their BH's, rub their BH's faces in their A's, etc. (the vast majority) rarely return as a suitable marital partner for their BH.

With all of that said, pom ... I actually think you are one of the better "vocies of reason" here at MB. You haven't drank the kool-aid, but have recognized the program for what it is ... good and bad. This thread alone shows your ability for "independent thought".

I also see a lot of bogus statistics thrown out here to pump up a BH to make him think that they can overcome their WW's A that simply don't hold up under scrutiny. When I look around my community and circle of acquaintances ... there is a MUCH higher percentage of WW/OM who wind up M'd than the 2-5% I see here stated often. They also don't appear to D at a higher rate or quicker than other M's from my perspective, but we see BH's fed this misinformation daily.

We also see MANY BH here at MB that claim to be in a recovered M, but once you read some more about the situations they continue to endure ... I wouldn't define their M's as recovered by any definition that I would find acceptable.

The facts remain that MOST marriages will not survive the infidelity of a WW ... and this forum is doing BH's a disservice by giving them false hope in those situations that involve cake-eating, an OC, serial adultery, etc.

It is my opinion that MORE BH's would be helped here at MB if they were advised and directed to REALLY look at their WW's character, including their relationship history prior to even considering attempting R.

In fact, many a golden opportunity is MISSED here at MB by advising a BH to Plan A a hopeless situation, when the BH would be better served to use his WW's fog against her to negotiate a much better custody and property settlement agreement from her in her delusional state, when she is inclined to give up almost everything to pursue her fantasy.

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Originally Posted by pomdbd3
I'm just wondering what happens after a WW returns to a BH who wants her back. I imagine that there is a period of elation, but can also imagine that there is a lot of hurt, anger, and resentment that a BH feels and takes a really long time to work through, with triggers popping up now and then.

Is this so?

Yes, there is a honeymoon period at the beginning of recovery. For us, it lasted about 6 weeks until we passed our first trigger anniversary. I was hit with a wave of anger and resentment that I couldn't even begin to describe. I was constantly reminded of the A. It has been a long time and I still have struggles with it from time to time. It doesn't sting quit as much as it used to, but it's still always there in some form or fashion.


Originally Posted by pomdbd3
What is recovery like for a BH? Does your wife suddenly turn you off because you imagine her with OM?

At times, yes. I had to be the one to initiate SF for a while. Not exactly easy when thoughts of the A are bouncing around in your head. After a while though, this has faded.

Originally Posted by pomdbd3
In other words I am asking if there is a honeymoon period after the return but a really hard crash once that passes. I ask because I see many BHes here who want their wives to come back very badly but I've often wondered what the cost of that is on an emotional scale.

It's HUGE! Our situation was pretty tame compared to most others on these boards and the emotional tool it has taken on me has been immense. What doesn't get discussed much here is that getting your WS to attempt recovery is the easy part. Recovery is even harder I think. Trying to let the past be the past and returning to some normalcy takes A LOT of work. That's why I believe it is so important to set the bar very high to attempt recovery.

Originally Posted by pomdbd3
I often wonder if the BS lives with "she did it once, why wouldn't she again" forever.

The sliver of doubt still bothers me every now and then. I've never been one to say that I was a lousy husband so I can see how this happened. In fact, I was at the very least an above average husband. I was completely and totally invested in our M pre-a. I did everything I knew to be a good husband and it wasn't good enough. Don't get me wrong, our M wasn't perfect, but it wasn't BAD either. At least that was my opinion of it and yet I ended up here anyways.

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Originally Posted by MyRevelation
In fact, many a golden opportunity is MISSED here at MB by advising a BH to Plan A a hopeless situation, when the BH would be better served to use his WW's fog against her to negotiate a much better custody and property settlement agreement from her in her delusional state, when she is inclined to give up almost everything to pursue her fantasy.

This is spot on in most cases!

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Originally Posted by pomdbd3
I'm just wondering what happens after a WW returns to a BH who wants her back. I imagine that there is a period of elation, but can also imagine that there is a lot of hurt, anger, and resentment that a BH feels and takes a really long time to work through, with triggers popping up now and then.

pom, this is why it is real important to have a plan for recovery IN PLACE before one gets back together. Just taking a WS back without a plan is likely to be a DISASTER leading to more resentment. But when there is a plan to recover the marriage and firm affair proofing boundaries in place, it makes recovery possible.

Marriage Builders never implies otherwise.

Even so, there will always be triggers, resentments, etc. That is a realistic expectation that cannot be removed.



Quote
Dr. Harley: The plan I recommend for recovery after an affair is very specific. That's because I've found that even small deviations from that plan are usually disastrous. But when it's followed, it always works. The plan has two parts that must be implemented sequentially. The first part of the plan is for the unfaithful spouse to completely separate from the lover and eliminate the conditions that made the affair possible. The second part is for the couple to create a romantic relationship, using my Basic Concepts as a guide.
Requirements for Recovery from an Affair


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted by MyRevelation
However, RECOVERY after infidelity ... especially for BH/WW situations ... as defined by MB is mostly just a pipe dream. Sure there are a few positive examples that are usually trotted out, but they are miniscule in their percentage when viewed in the context of just how many HUNDREDS of situations come through these forums on the average year. Actually, the scarcity of positive examples of R serves to prove the RULE rather than the exception.

I would like to see the "percentages" that brought you to this conclusion. That is bad news indeed!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Additionally, MyRev, since we are speaking of success statistics, I would like to see yours. If we are going to hold Marriage Builders to such a standard, you should be willing to submit to the same, no? smile How many marriages have you saved using your advice? As much as Dr Harley?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Quote
Dr. Harley: The plan I recommend for recovery after an affair is very specific. That's because I've found that even small deviations from that plan are usually disastrous. But when it's followed, it always works. The plan has two parts that must be implemented sequentially. The first part of the plan is for the unfaithful spouse to completely separate from the lover and eliminate the conditions that made the affair possible. The second part is for the couple to create a romantic relationship, using my Basic Concepts as a guide.


No doubt its a good THEORY, but many theories can't stand up to reality ... and the good Dr. recognizes this, although above message is MINIMIZED on these forums.

READ his words ... "even small deviations from that plan ae usually disastrous" ... THAT is where the rubber meets the road in real world recoveries. How many BH's, or WW's for that matter, have you seen here (percentage wise) CAPABLE of following ANY plan without "small deviations"?

The next sentence ... "But when its followed, it always works" ... is just plain FALSE. When I see anyone tout ... ALWAYS or NEVER ... espeically when dealing with all of the variables in human relationships, then common sense tells me that they are being less than objective.

Look, I'm pro-MB or I wouldn't waste my time here ... but that doesn't mean that I accept everything without question.

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Melody,

The reason I started this thread is because I believe that wayward husbands desire to return to their wives far more often than wayward wives do. I see BHes here who hang on to hope forever and get nowhere.

The ones who wake their wives up do things that don't seem to fall into the MB plans by basically declaring full out war, cutting off contact, and going all out for custody and to make the life of the OM miserable.

At worst they come away with their rights as father's preserved. At best they come away with lifting the fog of the WW.

I just see such massive fog in BHes that I see that I was the norm, not the exception. Almost all the BHes I see here are afraid to tick off the WW and the one thing which really holds them hostage is the fear of losing their children, often because of mis-conceptions that the legal system favors women. It favors women because BHes often do what I did and appease and let her keep everything and make things easy because they still think that they can get their wives back.

But the BHes who dig in for a hard fight and bring their WWes to the brink of losing custody are ironically the ones who wake their WWes out of the fog.

Look at Chrisner. Wayzilla is as foggy as ever and he's executed a masterful Plan A, an excellent Jimmy Hoffa Plan B from the darkside of Pluto, and his WW is still super foggy and living in La La land and the years and years of their marriage means nothing to her.

He's happy now, dating again, and has a great relationship with his daughter. How would he be doing if she had come back and was wrestling with the triggers and with recovery?

I'm basically wondering if recovery is really worth it for a BH.

Look at my story. I messed everything up from the start. Totally hosed it all. But my biggest regret when I look back isn't that I didn't get my WW to return, it's that I was a doormat who appeased and let her keep everything, which resulted in a 3 year legal battle for me to secure my rights as a father.

I don't think my personal recovery would have taken as long if I had fought hard from the start, gone for full custody, used the information I had at the time against my ex (she wasn't a good mom and left most of the care of the kids to the nannies and me along with her anxiety issues and "diseases").

So I look at the life I have now and see the hope of having a good relationship with a good woman who has real values and is an excellent example for my children versus the sloppy seconds I would have ended up with if she had returned.

I think of the cost to me of taking back a cheating wife and of the sacrifice I would have had to make in terms of my pride, my conscience, the triggers, and the everlasting feeling of "she did it once" almost seem like a worse alternative than what I have now. I have freedom to pursue my dreams again.

I have a good amount of time with my children and am very involved in their lives. I plan to get even more involved in their lives as they get older.

I've been dating and have met wonderful women who have goals in life and would be actual partners in a marriage and who would engage me as an equal.

I also think the greatest mistake I made was in compromising in terms of religion and marrying someone who had no belief system whatsoever. It was shortsighted of me to think that a person who doesn't believe in God would actually honor a promise made to God and what is a holy covenant. I want to be with someone who sees marriage in this way and actually believes that vows made before God are to be kept.

This seems to be a key thing in what helped MM get his wife to return.

I've just been really wrestling about the advice I've been giving men lately. I feel their best hope is to hunker down and prepare for all out war and that THAT is what will wake the WW up from the fog above anything else.

So I share these thoughts with other posters on this board to see what they may think.


Last edited by pomdbd3; 01/13/09 10:51 AM.

D-Day 28 Feb 06
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DD6
DS4(Twin1)
DS4(Twin2)

She moved away with the kids April 08. I contested it and got a lot more time with my kids. She's unhappy that I want to stay involved in their lives and don't settle for being an "every other weekend" dad.

Never going to happen.

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Melodylane,

I'm very curious about something and please correct me if I'm wrong.

I've seen you post a number of times that you believe MB principles are best yet claim you yourself could not do them.

I don't mean to sound snarky, but how could you give advice you would not follow yourself?

Again, if I'm mistaken please clarify.

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Pom,

When we finally hit true recovery, there was the honeymoon period (that was when the one year old was conceived wink ). But as I will put in my update I am working on, it wasnt too long after that in which I hit the wall.

I was warned about it but didnt expect it. As Dr. Harley states, once you are in true recovery, the FBS is the biggest threat to the marriage. I was too.

Luckily, my wife and I went to the Marriage Builders Weekend during the honeymoon period and she was able to immerse herself into the principles and to understand where we had been and where things were likely to go. So, when I went into my "funk," she understood.

There was no way to quickly get out of it either. I was going to have to go thru this, and she would have to tag along and help me through it. But it was going to take as long as it took.

On the other issue, I think it is harder to break up a OM/WW affair because women tend to have reached the no-return point once they decide to jump into an affair. And to them, there isnt much left. So, they are adament about leaving. And the affair tends to be just a way to escape.

My wife was no different than the rest of the WWs, contrary to what MyRev wrote above. It is why the battle went on so long and why it was so hard. Personally, after being here for this long and reading all of this, I believe that BHs have it much harder than BWs.

But Pom is right. The BIGGEST reason was that even when we deviated from the plan (and was a disaster as someone posted from Dr. Harley above), I made sure we got right back on the plan and tried to move forward. But within that, the main reason we are together today is my wife was fighting against someone bigger than me, bigger than the Troll (OM). She was fighting against God.

And as long as I was following Him and trusting Him, she didnt have a chance!


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Your thread wasn't directed to anyone like me (BW who abandoned marital recover early), but I do feel the need to address one of your statements:

Quote
The ones who wake their wives up do things that don't seem to fall into the MB plans by basically declaring full out war, cutting off contact, and going all out for custody and to make the life of the OM miserable.

I know many of the ones you talk about here, but I disagree that they don't fall into the MB plans. They actually run the plans to a T - and quickly. It seems many new BS's interpret Plan A to be "make your WS happy at all costs." That is not it at all. Exposure and any other assault on the affair is a critical part of plan A. Those you describe as declaring full out war - do this part immediately and well. The longer this is delayed, the worse the chances appear to be - at least among BH's that post here.

BW's also appear to put more effort into the carrot of Plan A than the stick, but perhaps their increased success has to do with the relative importance of the emotional part of an affair in men vs. women. I'm really not sure if this is accurate or not (just a hunch really) but it seems women are more likely to be emotionally attached to their AP than men, so it's easier for men to let go of them when they see a difference in their BW performing a stellar plan A.

For what it's worth, with respect to this statement:
Quote
I see BHes here who hang on to hope forever and get nowhere.
I see a lot of BW's hanging on to hope forever getting nowhere as well.

Pom, you're looking backward a lot here. Hindsight is 20/20 - it's too easy to say woulda, coulda, shoulda from this perspective. You didn't know up front what was to be. It's worth examining because you want to learn from your mistakes, but don't get mired in it. You don't know how long your personal recovery would have taken if you'd chosen a different path. You may have still been a mess. At least now you have a better education of what a relationship, especially marriage, is supposed to be and what it takes to succeed.

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Originally Posted by MyRevelation
READ his words ... "even small deviations from that plan ae usually disastrous" ... THAT is where the rubber meets the road in real world recoveries. How many BH's, or WW's for that matter, have you seen here (percentage wise) CAPABLE of following ANY plan without "small deviations"?

ALL are capable of doing it. Unfortunately, many are not willing. Do you have a better plan?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Originally Posted by iam
Melodylane,

I've seen you post a number of times that you believe MB principles are best yet claim you yourself could not do them.

I don't mean to sound snarky, but how could you give advice you would not follow yourself?

Well, how could I NOT recommend them to others if I know they work? If I know a plan works, how could I NOT recommend it to others even though I know I could not do it myself? Many here are fully able and willing to do them. I am not.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Yes, I have been looking back a lot. I had a dream the other night that I got my wish and went back in time to a time when my boys were not born yet and it was just WW and my DD before the WW became a WW.

I spent the whole dream running away from the wife and seeking an ally to help me prepare for a custody fight. I remember actively ignoring the wife who was trying to contact me and I wouldn't speak with her because I knew what was coming.

So I've been reflecting quite a bit on what I should have done versus what I did and what difference that would have made.

I've come to accept my new life here, but realize that I had just as much of a chance to fight for full custody in Kansas as anywhere else and either stayed there or requested legal permission to divorce and take my kids to California where I think they would have had a wonderful life with my family there and wouldn't spend 11 hours a day in a daycare.

Hindsight is 20/20, but I guess I'm just wrestling with the regrets of what I could have done versus what I did and I see many BHes here who are making all the same mistakes I did and I want to help them very badly and keep them from losing custody of their kids.

It's as if they are condemned men who haven't accepted their fate and are hanging on and waiting for a reprieve that will never come. They need to take action to protect their rights and I'm seeing that most men lose custody of their kids because they give it away and not because they do what is necessary to protect themselves.

That's what's heartbreaking to witness.


D-Day 28 Feb 06
Plan D (Not by choice) - 24 March 06

DD6
DS4(Twin1)
DS4(Twin2)

She moved away with the kids April 08. I contested it and got a lot more time with my kids. She's unhappy that I want to stay involved in their lives and don't settle for being an "every other weekend" dad.

Never going to happen.

Ongoing personal recovery through the help of friends, family, and DC United Soccer!
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