This week marks the beginning of the end.  Or the end of the beginning.

Things I know:

I know that I will be okay.   My kids will be okay.   My kids will grow up to be very respectful of me.  They will grow up knowing how to treat a woman and how to be a man.

I know that I will never have the marriage I thought I would have, with the man I thought I would have it with.  I may have a marriage with the same body, but he will be a different person.

I know that the official divorce filings arrived in the mail today and looked good.  They looked exactly like they should look.  Official.

I know that we have a roof over our head, four living, healthy, amazing children.

I know that things could be worse.  We have no severe medical issues, enough money for what we need and a little more.  We communicate well, have respect and love for each other.

I know that we will be a family whether we all live under one roof or not.

I know that I will always build up my husband to the children so that they feel their father is a good man, even when he is not present.  Just like I always have.

I know happiness.  Tonight in my car after wrestling & gymnastics pick up I had my three oldest and friends to carpool.  There were flying origami frogs, laughter, arguing over whether or not it has only snowed in florida once, and talk about who’s swimming where this summer.  So much happiness was being had in the constraints of my car driving down the road.  I was smiling.  Just feeling it.  Feeling it and enjoying it and soaking it up.  I may not be the best mom.  I may raise my voice and be critical and demanding and make them do chores and not let them play video games all day.  I am not perfect, I have never been perfect and never will be.  But man do I love the shit out of these kids.  And with all of my being, every day of my life, I aspire to give them the BEST life they can have.  They fill my heart the way nothing else ever could, and I fill theirs, at least for now.

I know that once, my husband and I did love each other.  Once, we did have passion.  Once, he did care.

I know that when he confessed his infidelity of 2003, he had real remorse.  He did care.  He did love me, regret what he did in every cell of his body.  I remember him fighting for his life for me to give him another chance.  I remember the look on his face, the tears on his cheeks, the breath that he couldn’t catch.  I remember where we sat, how the light was coming in the window that day.  I remember putting my hand on my belly and wishing my baby wasn’t there after all, so that I could leave him and make a clean break.  Alas, I was 23 and scared.  I remember though so clearly how he told me.  How his voice was quivering, how he held me, he loved me, he feared losing me all the way down to his soul.  I felt it.  I felt his feelings, felt his emotions, felt his love.  It was radiating from his body.

I know that when he confessed to the prostitutes, he sat upright next to me, not reaching out to me, not crying, and not quivering.  I can picture it.  His voice shaked in nervousness but not sadness or fear of losing me.  His body was there but his heart and mind were gone.

I know now that his heart and mind had been gone for years.

I know that he is broken- very, very deeply broken.

I know that his attachment disorder is more of a threat than the sex addiction, yet it is the threat of secret cheating with prostitutes that I live in fear of.

I know I am beautiful and have a lot of pretty left.

I know I am flirtatious, sexy, perky, cute, and appealing.

I know that 99.9% of the men who flirt with me may be a. just flirting for fun or b. want to fuck me but are not interested in a relationship.  I get that.

I know it is going to be unlikely for me to connect with a man who would be remotely interested in accepting my baggage.  I know that that’s okay, and I don’t need a committed relationship to survive.

I know that I picture myself as a single mom or back with my husband in about 5 years.  And if still single then, I picture myself meeting and connecting with someone once my children are older, when I am in my mid to late 40’s.

I know my husband will be with someone else much sooner after leaving me.

I know that I will always love him, but never again will I love him the same.  And I may never again be in love with him.

I know that it’s okay that I cringe when he touches me, and that doesn’t make me a bad person.

I know I’m not without fault, but that I did not drive him to cheat on me repeatedly.

I know that I have good friends who are here and happy to support me.

I know that I have zero family members that I could count on for support in any way.

Things I do not know:

I do not know if my husband will be okay.  I do not know if he will survive the day, any given day, let alone survive it emotionally intact and sober from sex addiction and non-addiction damaging choices.

I do not know how much support I can give him.

I do not know if I will ever get married again or ever know committed yet passionate love.

I do not know if he will live a life of recovery.

If he does recover, I do not know if he will return to me.

I do not know if I’d consider giving him another chance if he did.

I do not know how I will feel when he starts to date other people.

I do not know how I will feel if I see him genuinely open up with another woman.

I do not know where we will live.

I do not know the specifics of finances or custody.

Although he says he will, I do not know who will take care of my car, my driveway, my grass, and fix broken things.  One might assume that I will perform these tasks but I do not know.

I do not know why we were drawn to each other, but I do have some ideas.

I do not know why he married someone whose body type he was not attracted to.  And I do not know if that is the truth or a lie to cover up other secrets.

I do not know how many times he had sex with other women after I gave birth to our fourth child, but it was at least twice.

I do not know when exactly the first prostitute was, but it was sometime shortly after #3 was born.  I speculate that it was in his two week vacation that he took immediately following #3’s birth, which means I was home healing from birth while he went to have sex with someone else.

I do not know why he can not show remorse.

I do not know what it was that sent him over the edge from porn to prostitutes, but I imagine it heavily weighs on the death of his parents and his inability to cope with that, along with being unable to forgive himself for his infidelity of 2003.

I do not know yet how to stop defending him or how to release my own denial of how severe and dangerous the situation really was.