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Surprise, surprise!

Housekeeping first: How are you?! I miss you! I'm sorry I had to go underground (again)! I'll be sticking around this and I have gone all official! Yay!

WTF's been going on (part one): One word...hell. Oh yes. For the first time in this whole divorce process—we're STILL waiting for the judge to stamp the damn papers FIVE MONTHS LATER, btw—things have become ugly. As hard as this transition's been, I've always been grateful that we seemed to have been spared the horrible tension, mistrust, and general meanness that so many couples deal with. A few weeks ago, that changed. And curiously enough, it happened just days after I told my STBX about P. Here's the backstory:

A few months ago, I suggested to my STBX that once we move out of this house and begin living according to the separation agreement, it might make more sense for him to have one or two nights a week with Ms. Monkey instead of what we originally mapped out, which was three afternoons a week plus every other weekend (he'd still have that). My reasons were pretty simple: Since I've been working from home, we three have had a tremendous amount of time together. It's been difficult for me and it's been difficult for my daughter. She struggles so much when she has to transition from Daddy Time to Mommy Time, and you can bet that when he leaves, she turns it on big time for me. We need more boundaries, and with this plan, she'd have discreet time with each of us without having to bounce between. Plus, now that I didn't have a job requiring a long commute, the after-school childcare issue was, well, less of an issue. He was thrilled to say the least. Great, I thought.

Around this time, I also told him I was very interested in looking at apartments (sigh) in a town just over the state border. It's sounds more dramatic than it is...right now we live about 20 minutes from the line. Didn't get much of response then, so again, I took this as a sign of openness. He's said from the beginning that he'd make his choice of town based on where I decided to go. Given that this particular place happens to be the same distance to his work than our house now, I assumed reason would prevail. (Yes, I'm biased. Sorry.) As long as he chose a town within 10 or 15 minutes, it all seemed doable to me.

And then I told him, by choice, out of nothing but respect, about P. Ms. Monkey had met him a few times by then, we'd said 'I love you' (amazing), and it just seemed like the right thing to do. I thought it would just be rude for him to hear about it from our daughter instead of me. Plus, it's what I would want. Again, in the moment, he took the news in stride. Said "I figured..." and asked his first name, which I foolishly shared (that was mistake number 2 or maybe 4).

Three days later, he sends me a loooong email sharing his "deep concerns" about my plans to move our daughter "out of state." That if I do this, I'm forcing him to move as well in order for him to be able to see her during the week and get her to school. That clearly I'm doing this because the boyfriend lives there and I'm only thinking of myself. That with all the changes about to happen, the last thing Ms. Monkey needs is to see less of him. He invited me to return to mediation to discuss (on his dime). I was seriously pissed first thought: After all I've been through, after all HE DID, NOW he's going to tell me where I can't and can't live...even though where that is is WELL-within our current vicinity??? After firing off a raging missive, I deleted it all and wrote back a very calm, Yes, I think that's a good idea note and left it to him to schedule (he actually had the gall to ask me to make the call).

I really like our mediators. They did help us a lot last year. But with this, they got us nowhere. We left as deadlocked as when we came. I had no idea that was only the beginning.

Sweet readers, I have to leave it there for tonight. It's late. I  have the flu (yeah yeah poor me), and I need to stop looking at a screen. There's a lot more to tell come back later in the week for the next installment. In the meantime, I'm wondering: For those of you  who have begun dating someone seriously, did you ever share that with your ex? When is it appropriate? I really just wanted to do the right thing, but I'm regretting that decision in a huge, huge way. xo, Evie