Dying for you?
Someone tells you, ‘If you leave, I’ll kill myself’? Is this a sign of passionate love – or are they trying to control your choices?
Suicide threats and breakups
He told me that I was all he could think about and that nothing else mattered. When I tried to leave him, he told me that he had a gun and was going to commit suicide.
If someone threatens suicide if you break up with them, they might be using this as a way of trying to control you and keep you in the relationship - regardless of what you want. It’s not fair for a boyfriend or girlfriend to put this kind of emotional pressure on you, and to make you feel responsible for whether they live or die.
She says that she loves me so much that if I left her, she’d kill herself. I do love her but when she says that it makes me worried – I feel like I can never leave her.
Breaking up with someone who is making suicide threats does not make you a bad person. We all have a right to end a relationship if we’re not happy. It may seem harsh, but if someone chooses to hurt themselves, it is their choice. You shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about the decisions they make.
Tell your boyfriend or girlfriend that you will have to tell someone about their threats.
Being put under this kind of pressure is confusing and stressful. There are services that help you deal with this, or make sure you talk to someone – it’s a lot to deal with alone.
Cutting and self harm
Every time we break up, he cuts himself. His family ignores what’s going on and none of his friends care. I would feel terrible if anything happened to him but I don’t want to be with him.
If you are worried about their safety, it is important to let a counsellor, teacher or youth worker know what is going on. These people should be able to help you make sure your boyfriend or girlfriend stays safe.
The reasons why someone self-harms are often complex. Although self-harm is distressing, doing it as a reaction to breaking up can be about about control and trying to keep the relationship going.
It is best they get help from someone who knows how to handle these issues, like a psychologist, psychiatrist or a counsellor.
Depression and suicide
What if your BF/GF has depression or other mental health issues and is suicidal?
Many people suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. Dealing with a boyfriend or girlfriend who is suicidal can be very difficult.
There are services that can help them. Tell their family, and help them get support from services that can help.
Photo from Flickr by streetpreacher83