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I'm hoping to offer a different perspective because I was somewhat recently that girlfriend. Although my boyfriend and I are only 4 years apart (both in our 40's), he experienced the same thing (which I gradually sensed). He wasn't in a custody battle but things between his daughter's Mom and his daughter were so incredibly stressful, he finally admitted that at one point, he thought of ending our relationship because it was all just too much for him. I know you only have my word here but I am one who does not like conflict nor do I put pressure or alot of expectations on him (because of what he is going through) so I know it wasn't me.

It's hard for a female to fully understand how stress affects men. I, for one, want to be WITH my boyfriend if things are crazy. He, on the other hand, needs alone time. and even though I know it's not personal, it can feel that way. So, if you haven't already, I would suggest being honest with your girlfriend. If she is as mature as you say she is, she'll appreciate your honesty and perhaps you can come up with a few ideas on how to minimize the stress you feel to BE attracted to her (by letting it happen naturally). Don't let something good break down because of what's going on with your ex. And I would also suggest not putting any time table or any expectations on when you are intimate or when things will get better. One day at a time and I think you will start feeling a bit more relaxed and less pressure on having to be the perfect boyfriend right now.
Seems to me if you were really in love with this girl, she would be the oasis in the desert, the one bright spot in your otherwise stressful, worrisome life. Instead, you are tossing her aside. I think you simply just aren't that into this teenager. C'mon, she's a hot, sexy, 19 year old babe, and you don't want to have sex with her more than once ever two weeks? Custody battles can go on for years. How long do you think a 19 year old girl is going to wait around for you to get your mojo back? Your comment about what "99% of 45 year old women" look like kind of suggests that the main reason you are with this girl, no matter how you go on about how "developed" and mature she is, is that she's young and hot looking. Not a real substantial basis for a deep and abiding relationship. You don't say what you are doing instead of having sex. Are you talking, holding each other, being emotionally intimate? If so, then the waning of the physical passion temporarily is not that big a deal, but you haven't said that's what it's like. It sort of sounds like you've just shut down.

I think you should take a break from the 19 year old and deal with the custody issues. When that's over and everything is settled down, look for a nice woman you have more in common with emotionally and mentally, who will truly be an aid and comfort in trying, stressful times, someone you want to run to, rather than run away from, when you're stressed. This girl ain't her. Life will always throw you hard times. What if your daughter gets sick, or you get laid off or fired, or your house burns down, or your daughter grows up and moves far away? Are you going to shut down and turn away from her every time something sad or hard happens? That's not a real relationship. People who are in a real, strong relationship turn toward each other in hard times, not away from each other.
[QUOTE=universal;4320501]Yes, we all deal with stress differently, it is taking it's toll. I get a lot of space and understanding so I naturally want to return that respect to my girlfriend, what she needs is my time, love and attention, which I want to give her but it is so difficult, and frustrating- getting in the moment with her makes me think about my problem so I do withdraw to save myself. It's a double edged sword because I see what is happening- we talk it out every couple days- but the day to day is tough.[/QUOTE]

Well, it kind of sounds llike you're spending a lot of energy running from feeling the feelings, if you know what I mean. You say spending time with her makes you think about your daughter and the custody stuff. If you haven't yet, maybe you can have ONE nice good heart to heart talk with her about everything you're feeling with her, that you're scared, angry, worried, etc. If you cry, then let the tears come. Maybe if you have one good talk with her, get it all out, then it will be easier to be with her, to feel those feelings, then be able to let them go and just enjoy being with her instead of having to shut down. Withdrawing is another form of repressing. Now, you don't want to become Mr. Weepy Tears every time she sees you, but if you let down your guard and let her in on what's really going on, and then when you're alone, deal with the feelings, let them come and work through them instead of trying so hard to repress them, maybe then being with her won't be so hard. Keep a journal, write in it and get your feelings out on paper, work through the anger and work toward getting past it and letting it go, take a good look at them and then come up with a plan to get past the bad stuff. I know it's really hard for a man to do, it all sounds "girlie," and you are VERY lucky to have found a woman who is patient enough to give you space and wait till you work through this, but again, you can't take that patience for granted. Do it for her as well as for yourself. All you can do is get the best lawyer you can find, put on as good a case as you can, and be the best father you know how to be, and love your child more than you hate your ex for all of this, keep her best interests at heart always, and have faith that the chips will fall where they're supposed to.

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