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Well, you avoid fights where the odds are against you. So instead of fighting in the courts, where one is likely to lose, take the fight to where it counts, with your child.

BE the better parent, regardless what the courts decide. In the long run, your child will see that you are the one they can count on, not the wayward wife. You are the one who keeps his word, who is to be modeled, etc.

My job is to be a great father, not a winner in the court room. Save your time and energy for being a great father when you do have the chance.

Second, win the fight before it ever gets to the court room. Be a great husband and father. Choose wisely. Don't rescue anyone. If someone can't take care of themselves, then you don't want them as your spouse. Because if they are looking for a way out of a situation, then it's possible that you'll be the situation they are trying to escape later.

Choose someone who brings as much to the table as you do. Choose someone who has a history of not quitting. Someone who doesn't play silly games. If there is drama in their life, pretty soon, they'll be the drama you don't want in your life.

Protect yourself in advance. Get a pre-nup that says the unfaithful party or the one who simply walks out when there is no marital misconduct gets nothing but their clothes. This is different from a pre-nup that protects your wealth. If someone will not sign one of these, then they are saying that they don't trust themselves not to cheat or to bail on the marriage.

Don't date cheaters or folks who just left their spouses. If they don't believe marriage is for life and being unhappy is a valid reason to them for leaving, then it's pointless to date them.

The battle to win is with your child, it's before you marry.

Don't bother fighting with cheaters. Society doesn't care if they were cheaters, and in many cases, they'll blame you for the cheaters cheating anyway.

If at all possible, don't have kids. It's not the kid's fault mom is a cheat or doesn't believe that marriage is for life. But it will break both your hearts if she comes to that conclusion, so if you haven't already had kids, avoid it.

If you feel the need to pass along your views, volunteer with kids who don't have a good mom or dad, teach Sunday school, be a big brother or big sister, volunteer at your local school, spend a week helping at a camp for kids. You'll have as much time if not more than you would with kids you get to see EOW and maybe on Wednesdays.

If anyone asks you why you are not married or don't have kids, tell them that until the system is fixed, until women stop choosing divorce 2 to 3 times more often than men, until the myth that men are cheats and women are victims are all done away with, until fathers are presumed as good of parents as mothers, until marital unfaithfulness is considered an attribute associated with an unfit parent, you don't care to participate in that system.

Fighting the courts is only fighting the symptoms. The problem is not the courts, it's the attitudes that allow someone to cheat and then think they are a fit parent. The problem is folks who just decide they are not happy and they are going to end their marriage, regardless what their spouse thinks or feels, ignoring what it will do to children.

The best way to fight against that is for the best and brightest, the most desirable men to say they will not participate any longer in that arrangement.

That's the fight I'm fighting.

I'm winning my child's heart and mind over to the idea that this father knows best, and is looking out for her best interests in every decision I make. I'm teaching her that she cannot treat men they way her mother treated me. When the day comes and she chooses to marry, I'll tell the both of them that once they marry, my support goes to the marriage. If my daughter cheats on him, he's always welcome in my home, she's welcome, but an affair partner, even if they ultimately become a spouse will never be welcome in my home.

Wanna really win, then don't tolerate the adultery nonsense. Don't watch it on TV, don't buy books that promote adultery, don't vote for candidates that tolerate it, or practice it. Don't reward adulterers with your time or treasure.

If your friends are cheating, you need new friends. If you have a family member who cheats, they no longer need to be invited to your home. If your mother cheated on your father, make sure she knows it's unacceptable. If she's married to her affair partner, make sure she knows he can't come to your home and as long as he's in hers, you won't visit her when he's around.

You win by living well and practice zero tolerance for those who cheat their vows by having an affair or otherwise discarding a spouse who never committed marital misconduct.

The fight wasn't with my ex-wife. It's with a society that all but celebrates infidelity. It's with parents that have affair partners in their homes instead of rallying around betrayed spouses.

The courts just reflect what's going on in society. So if you really want to win, you have to change society.

Don't attend churches that are soft on adultery and frivolous divorce is another example. I fired my pastor after he tried to blame me for my ex-wife's affair. If your pastor is telling you men are walking out of their families and not committed to family, you need to educate him that it's women by a factor of 2 to 3 who are the ones ending marriage. If he's still blaming men, explain to him that he's fired as your spiritual leader. As long as he's going to buy the lie from the pit of hell that men are the problem and women are victims, then he has no place being your spiritual leader or guide.

If your church will not confront a wayward wife in accordance with the process spelled out in Matthew 18, then it's time to fire that church and find one that will follow scripture when it comes to a member who will not end his/her sinful behavior.

I'm sure there are more, but the bottom line is zero tolerance for the nonsense we live with today.

Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Originally Posted by Enlightened_Ex
I've clearly said that it's folly to fight the battle on the terms dictated by society. However, I've also said to shape the battlefield to fight on the terms most advantageous.

Please elaborate..

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If anyone has taken what I've said to mean NEVER fight, then you need to go back to anyone who taught you to read and ask for an apology.

Well before I tried to find Mrs. Terry, my second grade teacher, I DID recheck your "avoid at all costs" pronouncements:

Or that fighting and making a point makes no difference in most cases....I fought. I exposed the afffair. I sought custody. Yet I still ended up divorced and a visitor dad....Why fight when your own pastor blames you for your wife's affair? When your state supreme court rules infidelity has no bearing on custody?....So I simply finished the nutering(sic) so I have no more kids and live my life. I tried to enlist help for my fight and was left alone to lose....Why bother?...If at all possible, don't have kids.

Well, on the face of it I'm still gonna lean on the side of "no-fight, no-way" as the tenor of your composition. So, I guess my reading ability might, after all, be acceptable. Now, shall we discuss your ability to have your written words reflect what it is, in retrospect, you wanted to say?

Yeah, it hurts to fight and lose. But sometimes there is victory in the FIGHT. Google "HMS Jervis Bay", "Rorke's Drift", or "Taffy III".

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It is obvious to me that the pain that EE suffered over doing all the right things and STILL losing custody to his wayward wife will ALWAYS (and understandably so) affect his perspective.

To him, the pain of losing his daughter (being allocated only every other weekend, and sometimes Wed. nights) when he did NOTHING but fight for his marriage, AND for his wife, has got to be enormous.

The fact that people are making this about whether or not you fight in general is ridiculous.

He followed all the MB principles, lost not only his wife, but his DAUGHTER.

His considerations are valid. He is not saying don't follow MB. He is saying that right now, the courts are slanted against men--even men who have done NOTHING WRONG. So keep that in mind.

The pain of losing so much in terms of time with your child, when your spouse is the one who cheated and walked out on the marriage (even though you tried DESPERATELY to save it) has got to be excruciating.

Let's all remember that his views come from REAL LIFE suffering and pain. He is not talking theoretical nonsense about whether or not all fighting is valid. He is saying that the pain from losing rights to your child is SO GREAT that you should avoid putting yourself in that position to begin with, if possible.

I may not personally agree, but I certainly understand where he is coming from. And I think all the things he suggests you look for in a possible future spouse are wise things.


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Telly, I appreciate your post. I think sometimes when we feel strongly about a belief or a method or an approach, then we take personally any situation that does not "fit," so we attack the situation. The idea that we believe so strongly in X and X didn't fix something does not compute.

EE, I cannot even begin to imagine what you have been through. And it sounds like you did everything "right" (I will refrain from my opinion on the idea that there is one "right" that fits every person on the planet sometimes). And......it didn't work. We can spin it, argue, throw around pretty confetti. But in your sitch.....it didn't work. In your shoes, I might feel the same way about ever ever stepping into the ring again.

A person not wanting to fight the same fight they lost AGAIN doesn't have anything to do with maleness.....it has to do with being human. We all do it. I will not be sharing anything about my SF life, and EE will not be having more kids or advising others to do so. You get burned......and you learn.

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Originally Posted by Telly
He followed all the MB principles, lost not only his wife, but his DAUGHTER.
Let's all remember that his views come from REAL LIFE suffering and pain. He is not talking theoretical nonsense about whether or not all fighting is valid. He is saying that the pain from losing rights to your child is SO GREAT that you should avoid putting yourself in that position to begin with, if possible.

I may not personally agree, but I certainly understand where he is coming from. And I think all the things he suggests you look for in a possible future spouse are wise things.

"Theoretical nonsense" my hind end. You have no idea what you are even talking about. This has nothing to do with any "theory," because Marriage Builders doesn't address divorce. And of course the issue is whether or not fighting is "valid;" we can read his comments. This is all about experiences we have seen on this board over the years.. We know that the fight is hard, but we also know many guys on this forum who have fought and WON. So, don't tell us about "theoretical nonsense" when we have men such as Eph525 and Mortarman, among many others, who have fought and WON. Are the men who fought and won "theoretical nonsense?" Shall we ask them? Or their children?

No one misunderstands the situation here, Telly, except you. We just have a broader vision than you because we have seen both sides. So who is talking nonsense?

And I hope you are not blaming Marriage Builders for the loss of his family? It sure does sound like it. If that is what you are saying, how about backing that up?

Of course it is always good to do everything to avoid this in the first place. But I assure you most everyone in these situations never believed it would happen to them. Hindsight and all that........


"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 EnlightenedEx
Or that fighting and making a point makes no difference in most cases....I fought. I exposed the afffair. I sought custody. Yet I still ended up divorced and a visitor dad....Why fight when your own pastor blames you for your wife's affair? When your state supreme court rules infidelity has no bearing on custody?....So I simply finished the nutering(sic) so I have no more kids and live my life. I tried to enlist help for my fight and was left alone to lose....Why bother?...If at all possible, don't have kids.

Well, you avoid fights where the odds are against you. So instead of fighting in the courts, where one is likely to lose, take the fight to where it counts, with your child.


You know, it hurts to fight and lose. We all know that. But losing is GUARANTEED if a person doesn't fight. So it makes no sense to come on a board where men are under attack and tell them fighting is of no avail.[which is not true] Unless you want the same thing for them. If the above is your way of "encouraging" one to fight, EE, I assure you that your message was LOST. While winning is no guarantee, losing is guaranteed if one doesn't fight.



"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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My post was referring more to the neglect and denial that takes place on a day to day basis - way before an affair and/or divorce come into play.

My experience has been with men who reject any sort of structure or professional input. They are of the mindset that relationships should just unfold naturally and that the way it is, is the way it is.

They were okay with the way they viewed the world, and the suggestion that improvements were possible and necessary was flat out rejected.

I was told by my ex-husband that he wanted to be accepted as he was and that he was not going to promise that anything would change if we stayed married.

I was told by the man I've recently been seeing that he knew he had a problem, but after years of trying to sort it out himself, he was now content living 'as is' - with absolutely no regard or concern to how it was affecting those around him.

So, when I speak of 'fighting', it's more of an openness to see and acknowledge the reality of what's going on and a willingness to grow and change.

It's the difference between being 'awake' and making decisions and choices in a purposeful way, rather than 'sleeping' one's way through life on autopilot.


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It's the difference between being 'awake' and making decisions and choices in a purposeful way, rather than 'sleeping' one's way through life on autopilot.

This is good......and there is definitely more than one way to be "asleep."

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Isabeau, what you describe is called a "freeloaders" mentality by Dr Harley. And it plagues just as many women as it does men. There are 3 kinds of people in relationships, buyers, renters and freeloaders. The key is to find someone who is a buyer when you choose a marriage partner.

Freeloader is unwilling to put much effort into the care of his or her partner in a romantic relationship. He or she does only what comes naturally and expects only what comes naturally. It's like a person who tries to live in a house without paying rent or doing anything to improve it unless the person is in the mood to do so.

Renter is willing to provide limited care as long as it's in his or her best interest. The romantic relationship is considered tentative, so the care is viewed as short-term. It's like a person who rents a house and is willing to stay as long as the conditions seem fair, or until he or she finds something better. The person is willing to pay reasonable rent and keep the house clean but is not willing to make repairs or improvements. It's the landlord's job to keep the place attractive enough for the renter to stay and continue paying rent.

Buyer is willing to demonstrate an extraordinary sense of care by making permanent changes in his or her own behavior and lifestyle to make the romantic relationship mutually fulfilling. Solutions to problems are long-term solutions and must work well for both partners because the romantic relationship is viewed as exclusive and permanent. It's like a person who buys a house for life with a willingness to make repairs that accomodate changing needs, painting the walls, installing new carpet, replacing the roof, and even doing some remodeling so that it can be comfortable and useful.


"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 MelodyLane
Isabeau, what you describe is called a "freeloaders" mentality by Dr Harley. And it plagues just as many women as it does men. There are 3 kinds of people in relationships, buyers, renters and freeloaders. The key is to find someone who is a buyer when you choose a marriage partner.

I ordered the book, and it should be coming next week. grin

I understand that just as many women are guilty. I'm simply speaking from my own experience.

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Tawandabelle, I appreciate your response.

I would use MB if my husband were unfaithful. I would (and do) urge anyone to use it. I believe in fighting for relationships, and feel that the reward can be worth the risk.

My only point is that someone who has been hurt as badly by the courts as EE has might have a different view, and arguing it doesn't make sense. He is not going to change his view.

Arguing with people when their position comes from pain (in this case, the pain of having your child wrongly taken from you) doesn't make sense to me. I think gently acknowledging their pain is a better way to go. Then advocating for MB itself shines vs. being tarnished by what feels (to me) like attacking someone who has been victimized (in this case, by the courts).

But that's just me, and more of my "nonsense", I guess. lol!

Last edited by Telly; 03/06/11 03:04 PM. Reason: missed a word

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Oh, and I use MB to protect my marriage now (even though I have to disguise a lot of it because my H doesn't like it. :-)


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Originally Posted by Telly
My only point is that someone who has been hurt as badly by the courts as EE has might have a different view, and arguing it doesn't make sense. He is not going to change his view.
I'm going to weigh in here with a slightly different perspective.

When I came to MB upon learning of my (now ex-)WW's affair, I had already spent a couple of weeks working "Plan Fred."

The veteran posters here not only helped open my eyes to what was going on in my life, but to the nature of my WW as well.

Thanks to MB, I fought. At first, I fought to save my marriage. But it soon became a fight to save my self-respect. So, even though I lost the battle, I won the war. At least, that's how I look at it.

I tend to agree with MelodyLane: Had I not fought, I'd still be in the position I'm in today. But because I gave it my best effort, I feel a whole lot better about it.

I think that counts for something, don't you?


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Originally Posted by Telly
My only point is that someone who has been hurt as badly by the courts as EE has might have a different view, and arguing it doesn't make sense. He is not going to change his view.

But that's just me, and more of my "nonsense", I guess. lol!

I disagree it doesn't make sense to present the other side and, frankly, expected a more reasoned response from you. It's one thing to dismiss opinions you don't like as "theoretical nonsense" but it's quite another to defend that stance. And you couldn't do that. It doesn't make sense to NOT present the other side. If the other side is not presented, that men can and do win, then folks who don't know any better might just give up without trying. Nothing "theoretical" about that, is there?

Nonsense, indeed..... grin


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I like what Fred said. It is a very realistic and real world kind of perspective. He found a plan; he worked that plan and fought like heck. he didn't end up with a restored M or things exactly like he wanted......but he did retain his self-respect, and he can look back knowing he fought the good fight. I think that is the perfect perspective, actually. Because we can't say no one ever wins.....and no, we can't say that everyone wins, or that everyone who doesn't win "must not have done it right." Some fights are just good fights. Mental illness will always have a stigma, there will always be people who assume public schools are evil, Roe vs. Wade will probably never be overturned....but that doesn't mean I can't keep working on them smile

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I'm not saying don't fight back... Or advocate for it. Or push people to fight.

I don't disagree with telling people to "fight for their marriage". Not at all!

I'm a fighter, and I have fought for many a relationship in my life, and will continue to do so.

I'm saying why do it in the context of arguing WITH someone who is clearly still in as much pain as EE...? His fight is over. He lost. He's hurting.

By all means, take the position that people should fight for their marriage! (I happen to feel the same). But say your piece and let him say his, and don't try to get him to defend what is clearly born out of pain... (So much pain in his posts. So much loss. It truly breaks my heart)

By all means, encourage people to fight the good fight!

It is my opinion (reasoned according to anyone else's standards or not) that people will take advice to fight just as well without anyone having to declare "victory" over EE, for heaven's sake. It's like trying to trample on a casualty of war who is still bleeding out.

But again, what do I know?




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Suggestion, Telly: if you are going to dismiss people's views as "theoretical nonsense" why not have the intellectual integrity to back up your position? Positions that are asserted without substantiation can be dismissed the same.

Just because you have sympathy for someone does not excuse you from having to use reason and intelligence in your positions. Everyone has sympathy for EE, it doesn't mean we can make unreasoned assertions and expect to be taken seriously.


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It is my opinion (reasoned according to anyone else's standards or not) that people will take advice to fight just as well without anyone having to declare "victory" over EE, for heaven's sake. It's like trying to trample on a casualty of war who is still bleeding out.

Huh? I don't see anyone trampling over anyone on this thread. think I do see another pattern though.


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Originally Posted by Tawandabelle
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It's the difference between being 'awake' and making decisions and choices in a purposeful way, rather than 'sleeping' one's way through life on autopilot.

This is good......and there is definitely more than one way to be "asleep."

What do you mean by this?


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I have slept at various times in my life. I have done the autopilot thing, which didn't work. Then I kind of beat my conscience into sleep and made terrible choices. Then I sort of tried the "sir,yes sir!" mode of sleep. One thing was common about all three -- I wasn't thinking. God gave me a brain....and instead of using it I put it on a shelf.

Dr. Seuss' birthday was this week (my teacher-ness is coming out smile ). One of my favorite of his books is Hooray for Diffendoofer Day. In it, a great imaginative creative school is told that they have to take a test, and if they fail it, they will have to go to a school in horrible Flobbertown (a sad, empty gray place where "everyone does everything the same") Mr. Flibber encourages them not to lose heart. She tells them that they'll be able to answer every question because:

"We've taught you that the world is round,
And red and white make pink;
And something else that matters MORE:
We've taught you HOW TO THINK!"

Anytime we just.....do without thinking, whether it's on autopilot or an impulsive wayward following their feelings, or even a teenager trying to "follow the crowd"......we are asleep.

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