When your head and heart take absence after heartbreak

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    I am struggling to acknowledge my head or my heart, they have taken a leave of absence for a prolonged trauma. I cant tap into my intuition, and I despair that I cant make a decision. The man I loved unconditionally has given me lies, unfaithfullness and disloylaty. All I knew now seems a farce and Im so down. I have battled with this issue for a year, did things depsite an inner voice screaming at me because my aniexty, self esteem and total fear of losing him made me overlook this. Im not the same person anymore and Im disapointed in what I have become. The numbness no longer allows joy in my life, I just crave that light bulb moment or sign of what I need to do. I know I dont deserve this, I know that I am entitled to happiness and I accept responsibility that I placed this man on a pedastal and thought he was perfect. Im 37 years old, Im tired of having a broken heart, I want peace, calm and grace in my life. My daughters bring me unsurmountable joy, love and blessings.

    Lori’s book and the Tiny Buddha website is lifting some of the fog but I just cant clear it enough to make a descion to stay or not. Dragging this on is cruel to both of us and I have immense guilt over that. Anything anyone has to offer would be so so appreciated as I havent spoken to anyone but a councellor, I have too much shame that yet another relatiosnahip hasnt worked, and I dont wnat to burden any of my friends with this.
    Im on autopliolt, just getting through each day, I have to change, I have to choose happiness but I see this happening after accepting if this man is to stay in my life.


    Hi Pip,

    I created a profile just to answer to you. I have been in a similar situation as you and I am still dealing with the repercussions of that failed relationship. I chose to let it go because I wanted more for myself…..somewhere during that relationship – I lost who I was, I emotionally shut down, and I no longer saw myself without him. However, as I said, I chose to let it and him go. The months proceeding that split has been filled with many phases….. my emotions we shut off, my mind did not trust itself, I did not trust my decisions/judgement, I was filled with regret because of the situation I had gotten myself in and I began to self-loathe.

    For the first year and a half, I experienced this numbness and disconnect, with nights of crying, then 6 months later I would have a few positive emotions and then fall into a deeper hole of negativity…depression? Maybe…but still on the outside I functioned – went to work, socialized, shmoozed but inside I was in turmoil… Then a few months later, I had more positive moments with the negative bouts. I guess it was my body reacquainting itself with more emotions, but at its own time. When I forced certain feelings I just got more depressed.

    Now, I am still dealing with finding myself – but it is a better life without him. I think that if you have been prompted to come on here and type this, then there is a huge divide, I cannot make this decision for you, but ultimately you need choose. Do you deserve better? Do you want better? Can you envision yourself in this relationship in the state you are in for the rest of your life? We are sentient beings and should not be numb, and the fact that your body has placed you in that mode speaks volumes.

    It is a hard decision, but know that you will be able to survive whatever decision you choose.


    Hey Pip, Just like Tengui, I created an account on here just to respond to you. I am a male in my mid 20s. I am literally going through the same situation as you except she is the one invoking those feelings inside of me.

    We started off wonderfully. She was great, we were great. We were together for over a year, I got a great job across the state, proposed, then we moved. Life was good. We went out, enjoyed each other, had a blast in the new city. Life was moving. Then, she just started with the same stuff you are talking about. She wasn’t happy with her job/career path. This obviously impacted her mood and caused doubts in herself. I have been extremely supportive, loving, caring, ..everything. Hey self discontent has caused her to push me away, introduced distrust and dishonestly from her part, and generally caused her to doubt herself and us. I started changing from a confident, charismatic, and happy person to someone with anxiety, trust issues, doubting myself, fearing the next time I get a panic attack or anxiety attack, and trying to give more of myself in hopes that things would get better.

    I am currently at this exact point in my relationship. Previously when things like this have happened or it has gotten to this stage, it would have caused me anxiety, and caused me to do anything in the world to keep her. Recently I just realized that the person I was has changed for the worse. I am not happy with that. I am not being cocky, but I think I am a great looking guy. I keep myself in shape, I have a great career, I am a really nice guy, and I have no problems talking to anyone and everyone. Then I just noticed, I had no confidence with women anymore. I actually got nervous talking to them. It has been 100% linked to the way I have been treated and the way I have allowed myself to feel. I am not going to blame these feelings on her. Sure, she was the root cause, however, I allowed her actions (or lack there of) to make me feel the way I was feeling.

    I noticed I was no longer a happy person and I could not put my finger on it. I would wake up and go to work to do a job I really enjoy and have enjoyed in the past, but then think to myself “I have everything I need and want, why can’t I be happy with that?” I started to think that maybe I was a depressed person and not capable of being happy like everyone else. Then everything just came to a breaking point. I started thinking about me, myself, and who I am. Not who I want to be, or who I want to be with, or what I enjoy doing. I starting asking myself, honestly, who am I? I realized that I have not been asking myself this question often enough. I was putting emotions and feelings that made me uncomfortable away, deep inside of me. I was thinking that my relationship was great, when it really wasn’t.

    Once I set out to sit down, and listen to my inner emotions and actually address them and feel them, did I really start to feel happier. This site actually got me to start writing down my feelings in my moleskine everyday. It’s just therapeutic to just write about your feelings, analyze them, and without structure or thought. Then when I went back and reread what I just wrote, it was as if discussing my problems with someone who knows EXACTLY what I am going through. I was able to break down the barrier of what was bothering me and who I really was by just facing my emotions. I found out that the confident person I was is still there, I just allowed myself to slowly forget about my true self in order to try to project some fake happiness. I realized that I can only truly be happy when I am myself.

    Previously when I would have these issues with my fiancee, it would 100% guarantee an anxiety filled day or week following. I would let my negative emotions snowball causing irrational thoughts and trying to envision every scenario and it’s outcome. I am very proud of myself to say that last week has been the most positive and happiest week I have had in a very long time. I know that in the end, no matter what, I WILL be alright. I WILL be happy someday. I WILL be valued by the person I am in a relationship. I WILL be loved, I WILL have someone who is loyal and deserves the amount of love that I give them. If that isn’t in this relationship, then it will be in another. I am a stronger person now. This situation has made me stronger and better equipped in the future to deal with painful and difficult emotions and situations.

    Please take some time to yourself and truly examine those painful and repressed emotions. Write if you need to, but don’t short change yourself. At first it will be difficult, you will cry, feel depressed, angry, made, …everything. Then when you start to see that these emotions and feelings aren’t as scary or upsetting as you initially thought, especially after you have faced them, you will notice that you are finding yourself and your center again.

    Please smile. I promise things will workout. One way or the other they always do. In the end you WILL be happy. Whatever the end is. My favorite quote in times like these: “This too shall pass”


    You know, guys- every time I see one of these cries for help I peruse the responses and, almost without fail, every reply acknowledges the blogger’s problem then goes on to talk about the respondents situation, their similar problem, their woes and their issues. I have a friend, an extremely eligible and attractive single lady, who turns every conversation and every situation around to her failed relationships and how the other parties let her down. It’s all about me, me, me and it’s the same here. Let go! My advice in all these situations is ” ” lump it or leave it. No one can change others to fit the mould they want them to be but taking that stark choice takes courage. If you choose “lump it”- then don’t lump it and suffer. Review your needs and wants and accept the other person completely not begrudgingly, criticising at every opportunity their past or present failings. If it’s the ‘leave it’ option then recognise there will be a grieving process to go through. It’s a well documented series of steps through denial, and anger before finally reaching acceptance. This person has been unfaithful and disloyal. Well he /she is only human and we all have our failings. If love is still there work on that but the lump it or leave it option is still the same. And their failings should not be transferred on to you. It was their failings not yours and there is no need to loose esteem or self worth. Oh well- what do I know. I wish you every success and happiness.


    Thank you for your thoughtful and considerate responses, it never fails to fill me with gratitude when another person shares their experiences, despite reliving painful memories. Finding this site has been so helpful, particularly as I have just finished reading Loris book. My cry for help was about lifting the fog, trying to hear my inner voice through the confusion, conflict and hurt. I didn’t want it to be an exercise of self indulgence. I am and have been ignoring my inner voice all due to fear and crippling insecurity, but I know I have to embrace the fear, exercise the heart muscle and let it all it to finally process. Its gone on to long, this is an awful, unproductive way to live. Life is to short to be miserable when you can choose happiness, embrace your values and be true to yourself.

    My head and heart have been saying different things, I truly haven’t considered my own self worth and neglected any self love or care because its feels more natural to extend this to another, despite being used and walked over, foolish I know. I find it very difficult to self love, the way I speak to myself is abhorrent and this is something I’m working hard to change. To see me at work or with my children you would confuse me with another, I function at a high level, I can hide anxiety which unfortunately then manifests physically in my body. I know there is no instant cure nor is there an instant answer to anything.

    So, I know face fear, insecurity and worry as I have pushed them away because the physical pain of them and what I was losing stopped me. I have a man who loves me but has betrayed my trust, respect and has been unfaithful. We are in counselling and I am hearing that everything I feel is natural and normal which is sad that I need another person to validate me, and I still have trouble hearing and believing that. What I have determined is that I will no longer apologise for my truths and I hold my values to my heart. I know I deserve better and I know I have to forgive another human for the hurt and failings, my worry is if I can manage this. Everything has changed and I have to think and accept if what we are now is acceptable to me. I worry about regret, being alone, shame but I know they fade when you truly accept what makes you happy and what your prepared to let go.

    The wonderful suggestion of writing has been so cathartic, I am looking back at old letters to myself and see that they are compassionate and loving. I try to imagine what I would say to a good friend. I have quieten the catastrophic thinking, I understand the work I need to do on and for myself, I know its ok to ask and except time to work out what I need and want, at the end of the day, I just want to be happy and that is my responsibility. This forum and your shared response have been so gratefully received, I cant express that gratitude knowing someone has given their time to give thoughtful, positive responses


    What I hear from your first post is blame and worthiness concerns. I just want to let you know that no matter how you try to justify any actions of this relationship it doesn’t matter. You deserve to be loved and you deserve to be respected, you are also so worthy of freedom from this attachment! I know I have gone through a traumatic separation from a thought to be loved one and I would not let go of the attachment. I felt completely unworthy of love and told myself I would never find anyone to love me ever again, not to mention the thought that there is just something wrong with me (of course my old partner would affirm this to be true too). I learned the hard way that she wanted nothing to do with me and her ego was completely engaged to prove that I was valued lower than hers to help her move on and I absorbed her cruel words about me to be my truth ( God I wish I didn’t). Because I had such low self esteem at that time her words about my became my reality about myself, and I felt lower than low.

    Not until I could come to grips with that I needed to let go and detach did I start to see any light at all at the end of the tunnel. I wanted to control the situation or rework it to have different endings, or just wanted to be understood, forcing her to see things differently. This caused panic attacks, deep depressions, and complete disconnect from a normal life. I just want to let you know that this does turn around, and through repetition of affirmation work, counselling, and internal gruelling work on myself it all began to turn around. You are worth a new chapter in your life, and if you do the work with help and guidance you will be able to separate from these brutal feelings and thoughts that just aren’t true.

    Where ever you are, I send you love and a warm smile of encouragement =)


    Hi Pip

    I think the readers before me have responded well and given you some heartfelt advice and encouragement.

    I remember once reading an article regarding why relationships fail and how it can be a good thing. This was right after I got out of a toxic relationship. People come in and out of your lives to teach you something whether its a life lesson or something about yourself. Relationships end and people fade out of your lives because you’ve learned everything that they are meant to teach. Perhaps you can look at this situation as a blessing.

    Yes you were deceived but now you will be more aware and come out a stronger person. You will not fall for the same thing twice. You deserve better and you will find it. You can get through it all. You brought human beings into this world! You are a wonder woman.

    Best of luck. 🙂


    For me, time has a been a great healer and learning to love myself again after pretty much wanting to do away with me. Therapy was great too!

    Never, ever let someone else ‘complete you’ only you can do that. If you happen to have someone special in your life, embrace it but be true to yourself. I have had serious words with myself and we argued a lot but I have to be true to me. Don’t let your preconceptions and beliefs control you either as it only ends in pain.

    Now is your chance to discover what makes you tick, don’t try to control things, let things happen organically. Take one thing everyday and focus on it for a couple of minutes blocking everything else out. It takes practice so don’t be frustrated if at first it seems impossible! Be grateful to all the wonderful things you have in your life – from receiving an email from a friend to making yourself something wholesome to eat and nourish your body with. Be a friend to yourself, spoil yourself, spoil your daughters and be open with them over how you are feeling. You are worth so much to not only them, but to everyone around you. Learn to love yourself and demand respect, you deserve it!

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