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[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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