To be honest, I think an issue with a lot of cases we see is dad not being aggressive enough and that's why nutjobs get away with so much. They don't care about the rules, they're going to do what they're going to do and that's it. You have to take them to the mat for every single thing every single time. It catches up with some of them and this forum is filled with stories of dads who have done just that but because dads tend to be more cautious and are more often the ones look to the rules for fairness and justice they are at a disadvantage.
That's not to say you should break the rules but when there is no legal reason that prevents you from going and parenting your kid and you don't because mom says you can't............
The longer you let that go on the harder it is to change.
Perhaps I have been socially conditioned to give in to the demands of the mother.
There's a lot to your post I can touch on but I'm just going to address this little nugget. What a crock of sh&t! You and the SBTX can have a very heated prlonged battle and not have any impact on the kids. You don't dicsuss anything related to the divorce around the kids, you don't disparage the SBTX and you fight for the kids. That simple. Do you think not seeing your kids 5 days a week til there 18 has no impact on them?Wage an expensive battle that may harm my children?