Playing the Divorce Hand

From a discussion of an incipient divorce on SocialGalactic:

Son’s wife is definitely going to divorce him. Said they could do 50/50 custody. Son taking Vox’s advice, says he’s not going to play the custody game and argue over every little life decision with her. If she wants her “freedom,” he wants full custody, if she won’t give it to him, then she can have full custody and responsibility for the two kids 24/7/365. Says she was shocked to hear it, thinking she was going to have a nice set up. Says she’ll take full custody then. I think she thinks he’s bluffing.

My wife is aghast that he’s taken this position, but I agree it’s the right course. His wife can’t manage without him pitching in considerably. No way she’s going to do it without him in the picture helping out, working full time, and trapped at home every night as the kids sleep. She has no local support network. Even if she goes through with taking full custody, I can’t see her keeping it.

It’s a brutal and difficult decision, but it is the right one in the situation of a wife-driven divorce. Given the way the legal deck is stacked against men in the USA, she will have de facto full custody regardless of what the court-ordered custody structure is, only she will also have effective practical control of him as well.

This all-or-nothing approach leaves him a mostly free agent who has room to operate when she slips up somehow or tires of bearing the sole burden of single parenthood, as she probably will. A positive outcome is absolutely not guaranteed, but the probability of one is in his favor given what is known of her character.

The fact that she was shocked is good. It means she never even contemplated what is now the most likely outcome. And the possibility of turning all the responsibility for the children over to her ex-husband is going to grow more and more tempting to her over time, especially when she wants to pursue men who will be actively dissuaded by her having children.

Son’s wife definitely is not getting it. She made a list of what she wants in the mediation agreement. After listing several household items, she included “100% legal and physical custody” of the children. She then went on to list that visitation will be decided at the beginning of each month, with her getting at least one weekend with the girls. My son is resetting her expectations that she will have them every weekend, all weekend, and every evening as well.

Notice the wife’s incoherent desires and her inability to understand what 100-percent custody means. It’s simply not wise to base one’s strategy on such a creature’s ability to recognize, let alone be reasonable about, the best interests of the children.

As Sun Tzu says, to win, one must know the enemy as well as knowing oneself. This is why Deltas so often lose in situations they could easily win, as they make no effort to understand or anticipate their opposition, but are more concerned about being seen to be doing the right thing. Howeve, the last thing a woman who is ending her marriage in search of fun and freedom wants is to be tied down full-time by her children, with even less time for fun and games than she had when she was married.

It may sound callous and counterintuitive, but the observable fact is that in certain situations, the best way a man can protect his children is by demonstrating that he is willing to walk away from them.