The Beginning of the Middle

Hi,

I'm new to this sub, mostly because the reality only became certain very recently.

About me, I'm 41 m, four children, dated for six years, married for ten, and there are some nuances to the way this all came to be where it is.

2008, we were engaged, and had been so for a couple of years already. When my brother married, my mom's partner gave me her engagement ring to use in case I ever got serious enough for engagement. On the way to his wedding, my then 12-year-old cousin found the ring, and then STBX found it, and we became engaged soon thereafter. Perhaps many parts of this story will tie back to my potentially terminal case of optimism.

Fast forward four years, and you get to a significant turning point. Google desktop was on our laptop back in those days, and I had no idea what a nefarious program that was. Turns out, it saves a picture of everything you view on the internet. I mean EVERYTHING. Every email you read? Picture saved. No password needed to read everything seen on the computer, most easily by searching "http" and clicking through every gory detail.

I had to do something about all of the naked people that now lived easily in reach, because, believe it or not dear reader, I sometimes look at naked people on the internet. Let's just keep it between us for the time being.

In my attempt to put some proverbial clothes back on the caches of naked people past, I came across something I hadn't expected: several emails between STBX and an old fling from the Czech Republic. She was prying in to his present status, asking what he thought would have happened, professing her continued feelings, etc. I was not happy to read all of these messages, but I saved them, and confronted her, and felt hurt, but we made up.

In spite of the fact that when I found these messages, we had not been intimate in nearly two years, I was hopeful that it was a phase. A blip. Nothing to worry about. We made up, and nine months later, we were married with our first child.

The next Christmas, we were lucky to get number two. Then the following year, during our final intimate encounter, we conceived two beautiful identical twin boys.

We are blessed with four fantastic children.

The hard parts of our relationship are hardly all one-sided. I've had my issues. I ended up getting a couple of DUI's, and I am sorry about that. I did my time, and hated it, but have held a job throughout, and provided for my family whenever possible, and try to do the best I can with what I have. Remember, terminal optimist.

There were several incidents I have written about on /r/JUSTNOMIL, which included potential sexual and definitely physical and verbal abuse by my outlaws, as well as STBX. Suffice it to say that those issues played a large role in my agreeing with STBX that we should take the relocation money and move eight hours away from the outlaws. Because of custody, and my significant motivation to keep the littles as from from the outlaws as possible, I wasn't about to leave the marriage.

She didn't like it there. She stopped taking her prozac without consulting a physician, and she couldn't find a job, and she began acting somewhat erratically. Then I had a friend who wanted me to come work for him in a more desirable state. I asked STBX whether she thought we should make the move, she agreed. I quit my job, took the one out of state, went there for the first ten days, and came home for Christmas. When I returned, STBX informed me she was "leaving." Like leaving leaving.

That was on Christmas Eve, the same day she left facebook open on her ipad for me to learn that she was lying about working on my Birthday in October, and had instead met the Czech guy at an airbnb in Times Square. They met again in Atlanta, and I didn't try to stop her from using her already purchased tickets to Vienna and Malta to see him there a few weeks ago. That trip, she said, was to go "interview for jobs" in a few different states.

She returned from the trip, and had a real interview in yet a different, even further away state. As I sit today, none of us are in state number 1 where we originally lived, the kids are in state number 2 (with my mother watching them), I am in state number 3, and she is in state number four.

Initially, she said she wanted me to still move everyone to state number 2, and that I would have the kids during the school year. My state number 2 attorney said to get to state number 3 and then file for divorce. That was before she left the marriage home in state number 2 where the children have been for nearly a year (beyond the state's six month requiements). Tomorrow at 3:30 CT, I have a call with my attorney to formulate strategies, but my plan is probably to go back to state number 2, be with the kids, find a job, file for divorce, and hopefully find a way to make everyone come out of this better off.

I know I'm not perfect, and I know that patience is one of my biggest assets and mantras at the moment.

Additionally, allow me to plug a book that was just released that I have been using to get me through some of this shit. It's called https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062689382/better-apart/

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