I'm trying to figure out a way to deal with these feelings of cowardice, worthlessness, unmanliness, etc.
I'm not afraid of anyone or even what would happen to me (nothing), but I do not want to witness the utter destruction of my family. So I shut up and go along. I am often reminded of the scene in Ben Hur when Charleton Heston's bravery is threatened with the loss of his family. So he restrains himself and he ends up as a slave in the galley of some ship. He wasn't a coward. He just wanted the safety of his family. I don't think I am a coward - even though I have been called such even by at least one person on this forum (though not recently). Were it not for the children involved, I'm sure I would have broken camp quite a long time ago.
But I feel neutered. I can't express myself or act in the way I think I should. I feel weak and worthless. Some people cry out that I should just go ahead and bite the bullet, allow the deconstruction of the family, and just move on in whatever shattered form my life will take on afterwards. I need to be there for my kids, not just a few days a week or every other weekend. I like being there every day. It'll be quite some time before they are able to take care of themselves.
My brother-in-law did it. He broke free and appears to be happy. But he only sees his daughter once a month, during the summers, and on holidays. That's enough for him. But it's not for me. And for those who say I should sue for custody, it's not really possible or likely. I don't have the network and resources to assist me in taking care of them (since I would be shunned by both families) and furthermore even if it was remotely possible, I think it's wrong to separate them from their mother since I am partially responsible for them being here anyway.
There isn't any solution to this problem. I'd just like to not feel like a bunny all the time.