The angst of sharing your children

I have become aware and, ok from my own experience that people who go through difficult custody battles seem to feel a high degree of anxiety when their children go to see their X.  Even though it may have been years since your divorce was settled you may still find yourself thinking emotionally as your children walk out the door.  It is almost as if the “fight or flight response” has kicked in.  There is nothing rational about this.  Your children love you, and you know that, but there always seems to be this anxiety associated with their departure.

Feels like a basic instinct is kicking in, like something is wrong or that you want to protect your children at all costs; almost guttural.

I find it amazing, even after having sole custody of my children for over 6 years and I know like I know that I know, in my bones, that even if I went back to a fully shared custody arrangement that my children would still be OK; I have an anxiety attack whenever my kids see their father.  Not rational at all.

I help folks deal with all the difficult issues in their divorce, but on this one, I am stuck.  This one hurts and I do not have a clue on how to deal with it.  I am not sure there is a solution but it sure would be nice to find one.  If this rings a bell for someone let me know how you have coped; have you had the same feelings and how did you get over them or at least deal with them?

This time I need your help.

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