November 28, 2011 12:00 PM

>LIFE AFTER A REALITY SPLIT

The WE tv star opens up about leaving the father of her six children—and how she found love again

Since learning she was pregnant with sextuplets almost five years ago, Jenny Masche —the onetime star of WE tv’s reality show Raising Sextuplets—has become a pro at taking surprises in stride. “Nothing shocks me anymore,” she sighs, “but I feel I’m where God wants me to be.” Yet even she was thrown for a loop Sept. 11, 2010, when her husband of six years, Bryan, 33, was arrested following a verbal altercation with Jenny and eventually pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor domestic-violence charges. (“I lost my temper and there’s never an excuse for that,” says Bryan, a medical-device salesman, adding that he became enraged to learn Jenny had been talking to a former beau, Levi McClendon.) Shortly after the arrest, Jenny, 36, filed for divorce: “It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever made. But I want my kids to have a peaceful home.”

Theirs certainly hadn’t been. Jenny says she and Bryan had explosive fights even as newlyweds, but “I did not believe in divorce. We went on to have kids because I thought that would make me happy.” After two miscarriages the couple tried insemination in 2006. It worked. The following June they welcomed Savannah, Bailey, Grant, Cole, Molli and Blake.

While the strain of tending to six newborns added to the mounting tension at home, Jenny says filming Sextuplets (which ended in 2010 after two seasons) strengthened their marriage. “It gave us something in common,” she explains, adding that the paycheck also eased their financial concerns. “And the show was fun!”

It also caught the attention of McClendon, the cofounder of a text-message-marketing company, whom Jenny says she began officially dating after she and Bryan split. (Their pre-separation conversations were “wrong,” she says, “but it wasn’t an affair.”) Now “I’ve never been this happy,” gushes Masche, who works as an emergency-room physician’s assistant and plans to marry McClendon after her divorce is finalized. “My kids are happy and I’m in a healthy relationship. I almost have to pinch myself!”

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