Living inside my head.

“The city goes to bed and I can live inside my head,
Although I know it’s only in my mind that I’m talking to myself and not to him.”

Eponine in Les Miserable

One of the ways that people cope in an unhappy relationship is to avoid the reality of the life they are living. They develop a fantasy world where they go to feel happy. This world can be about a past lover – a once real relationship that did not work out for one reason or another. The daydreaming is about what might have happened if it had worked out. It could be a world about having a relationship with a real life celebrity. Or, it can be a totally fictitious relationship with an imaginary lover. People are creative. There are many variations on this theme.

In this fantasy world the dreamer has total control. They can make happen what they want, make happen what they long for. He or she can enter this world any time they want and when they do they leave behind the pain of reality. They get respite from the emotional pain. All the while they are in the daydream they are having fun, may be madly in love, pleased, excited, content and happy. They feel valuable and important to someone. Often it is the only time they are happy.

The problem is when they come out of their fantasy world and have to face reality again. It is hard to give up the good feelings. It is difficult to re-experience the real life painful feelings again or the numbness they go into. They want to find another time soon to escape back into the fantasy. It’s kind of like an addiction.

Eventually, this fantasy world wears thin and the pain of coming out of this imaginary world becomes so distressful that something has got to change. Unhealthy people may become suicidal, turn to alcohol and drugs, or other destructive behaviors.

Healthy people will choose to stop entering the fantasy world. They will start making changes in their real world – in their real marriage. They will address the problems in their relationship and either make things better or end the relationship. To help them, they seek out resources in the community in the form of family, friends and counseling.

Living in a fantasy world is very isolating and people are meant to live in community.

With care and concern,

Dr. Bea Mackay

Do it Yourself Relationship Help at

Note to readers: I invite you to send in your stories of how you lived inside your head and how you got out of it.

One Response to “Living inside my head.”

  1. Karen Halls says:

    I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

    Karen Halls