Painful break-up - Suffering in love
Ashley, 24, sales and marketing exec from Hull
"Chris broke up with me two weeks ago, and I feel like it gets harder and harder. Until now I didn't think you could physically feel absence: I have a lump in my throat, I cry all the time, and I feel like part of me is missing.
"I thought that time would help, but the more time passes, the more I miss him."
"I keep replaying the last minutes of our relationship, what he told me as we broke up, and I feel like there's a missing puzzle piece, that the situation doesn't make sense.
"We aren't meant to be separated from each other, and I know that he's also suffering. I think about him when I'm falling asleep, I think about him when I wake up, and everyday I'm looking for a text, a phone call, an email, but nothing ever comes."
Patricia Delahaie says: "When we love someone, we get used to them: we share everything, and he occupies all our thoughts.
"The gap left over when he leaves is enormous and you will feel that absence physically as it's also a physical presence that you're aware is missing. The natural reaction is to try to bring him back by thinking about him all the time.
"It's a way of protecting yourself, keeping a part of him within you, avoiding complete amputation. This suffering is natural and legitimate: just know and accept that it is a necessary step."
How to get through it
> Talk about it
It is essential during this time to be surrounded by your friends and to put your feelings into words - no matter how melodramatic!
"Confide in your friends," suggests Delahaie, "they can give you another opinion of your story and you can avoid being stuck in a myth of the past, where everything was perfect. It will help you return to reality."
> Externalize your pain
Burn his letters, delete his texts, tear his photos..."Why not if it helps with your pain."
You have the right to suffer and to show it: crying lets you show the immensity of your pain, to empty your feelings and then to find relief.