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What to Do When He Says He’ll Kill Himself If You Leave

Does your boyfriend threaten suicide if you break up with him? Here’s how to respond to his threats to kill himself, including advice from a woman whose husband took his own life. It’s important to remember that you can’t get all the help you need here. You need to reach out to people in person, people who are experienced in talking to men who want to take their own lives.

why does he do thatRead Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft, to understand what’s happening with your boyfriend emotionally and mentally. You need to learn how to see when a man is manipulating you, and how to take care of yourself. It’s scary and serious when your boyfriend threatens suicide if you leave him, and it’s important to try to gain insight and understanding into his behavior and feelings.

It’s also crucial to remember that you can’t heal him, fix his behavior, or change how he responds to this world. You can’t save your boyfriend from his thoughts or feelings, nor can you stay in a relationship with an unhealthy man who is trying to control you by threatening to kill himself. Calling a helpline is the best way to cope when your boyfriend says he’s thinking about killing himself. You need to talk to someone in person, to explain his words and behavior, and to get help for your specific situation. Here, you’ll find general tips to help you respond to a suicidal boyfriend – but the most important thing is getting help in person.

Here’s what a reader says about her partner, who is threatening to kill himself:

“My husband and I have been married for five years,” says Kyla on How to Leave Your Husband When You Have No Money. “The first three years, we stayed with his mother because we were both unemployed. I found a job and could afford to rent our own place, but my husband refused to find a job. I take care of everything: rent, our two little girls, groceries and gas. When I ask him to find a job, he refuses. Late last year he started to abuse me mentally, physically, emotionally and financially. When I told him I was going to divorce him he tried to commit suicide and now his family hates me for that. I even cheated on him just to show him I no longer want to be with him but he does not want to let go. I need your advice.”

Are you financially independent and self-supporting? That’s really good. Many women aren’t that lucky – they’re trapped because they’re financially dependent on their husbands. So, you’re ahead of the game (though I know it doesn’t feel like it).

The first thing to do if your boyfriend is trying to manipulate you by threatening to kill himself is to recognize that he is unhealthy, manipulative, and controlling. Your boyfriend may not be trying to control you on purpose, but he’s definitely not healthy. I don’t know if he’s trying to manipulate you – and that’s why it’s important to talk to someone in person about your relationship.

When Your Boyfriend Says He’ll Kill Himself If You Leave

“If the person in your life…really wants to die, you need assistance beyond what I can provide in this blog,” says Randi Kreger, co-author of Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder. “Please seek immediate professional help. You may also wish to call a local crisis line or hospital emergency department and ask for guidance. Then, keep the phone numbers of these people and places right by the phone. Take threats seriously. Tell your boyfriend you will call for help. Then, do it.”

Call a support hotline or visit a suicide help website

The first thing you need to do is get as much support and information as possible. The internet offers a variety of online support, such as The Support Network – so you don’t even have to make a call! Do an internet search for women’s help lines, or distress websites for women.

Though there is a lot of help online, I strongly encourage you to seek in person help. You’re in a vulnerable position: your husband is abusive, unstable, and unpredictable. You need to get help in person.

Here’s what a reader said — her husband committed suicide, and she regrets how she responded to his threats when he was alive:

If your boyfriend is threatening to kill himself, DO NOT keep it a secret. TELL people whom both you and your partner trust and who might be able to intermediate. This is something that is too big for you and him to handle alone. And DON’T WAIT, tell someone RIGHT NOW – every second counts. As soon as that person is gone they are NEVER coming back. Telling others might not save the person, but at the least you will feel less personally responsible if he does ultimately take his life.”

Also, learn how abusive relationships work – and why it’s so hard to leave a bad marriage. Read How to Get Away From an Abusive Husband.

Remember that you are not responsible for your boyfriend’s choices

This is difficult and complicated – and it requires so much strength! But when your boyfriend threatens suicide if you leave, you have to keep telling yourself that you cannot control what he does. You need to stay focused on what is right for you and your life, and you need to listen to what people tell you.

Your boyfriend is telling you things that may or may not be true – I don’t know. When you call for in-person help, you’ll talk about how to see what’s really going on. You’ll learn how to protect your behavior and self-concept from distortions and lies.

Decide what to say to your boyfriend if you decide to break up

What to Do When Your Boyfriend Says He’ll Kill Himself If You LeaveThis is from Choosing to Live: How to Defeat Suicide Through Cognitive Therapy by Thomas Ellis and Cory Newman:

”I’m not breaking up with you to be cruel. I’m very, very sorry that this hurts you. I want what’s best for you in the future, but I just can’t be part of it. And even if I were to stay with you, that wouldn’t solve our problems.

For one thing, your life’s worth should be based on much more than just being in a relationship with me. Secondly, I know that you know deep inside that our relationship shouldn’t be based on me staying because I’m afraid of you dying and you staying because you think you can’t live without me. That’s not healthy. I care about you. And because I care about you, I want you to live. And I want you to find your own happiness, and your own life’s worth, without me.”

Print this out, write it down, and keep reading it to yourself. You may have to say it over and over, to both yourself and him. Maybe you could even write it in a letter to him – but it’s important to talk to him in person if you decide to end the relationship. For help, read How to Gently Break Up With Someone You Don’t Love Anymore.

Remember that staying with an abusive or emotionally unhealthy boyfriend isn’t just putting your physical and emotional health at risk. It’s endangering your future, and your other relationships.

Helping Your Boyfriend by Helping Yourself

Boyfriend Says He’ll Kill Himself If You LeaveIn Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That? Encouragement for Women Involved with Angry and Controlling Men Lundy Bancroft offers a collection of meditations to help women respond to men who aren’t healthy. This book is a source of strength and reassurance designed to speak to women like you, women in relationships with angry and controlling men.

This book will help you learn how to value and respect yourself — even when your partner makes it very clear that he does not. You’ll see the truth of what is happening to you, and how to cope with your boyfriend’s threats. You may feel overwhelmed by confusion, loss, and fear, and find yourself looking away from the truth and falling back into traumatic patterns.

How do you feel, what do you think? Are you in a relationship with a boyfriend who is threatening to kill himself? I welcome your thoughts below. I can’t give advice, but you may find that writing is a good way to start making sense of what’s happening…and how to respond to your boyfriend.

May you find hope and healing, and may you reach out for the support you need. Ask for help, and talk to as many people as you can – in person! Don’t struggle through this alone.

Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.

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38 thoughts on “What to Do When He Says He’ll Kill Himself If You Leave”

  1. If your boyfriend says he’ll kill or hurt himself if you leave him, get in-person support as soon as possible. Your boyfriend isn’t healthy, and needs help coping with his feelings and thoughts – and so do you! Don’t isolate yourself in this relationship, and don’t let him manipulate or guilt you into making decisions that aren’t good for either of you.

    Stop, take a deep breath, and listen to your intuition. Who can you turn to? It won’t be easy, but find someone you can talk to in person or call. Tell her the truth about your relationship, and ask for guidance.

    How are you doing today? Have you made any decisions, or taken any steps forward?

  2. My partner of 7 years has thretened to kill himself everytime i say i cant cope with his controling and abusive behaviour. The most recent was last week when he left a suicide note with his poorly elderly nan. The police called me but i couldnt help them find him because i do not know area he is living in temporarily He has smashed my things, t.v twice, punched holes in walls, smashed my phone, my house windows, slicing his wrist in the process. He has even gone as far as threatening to kill my beloved 5 cats and screaming at my dog because i was trying to stop her shaking. He says he cant live without me. I have finally found the courage to end things but i know he wont leave me alone, ever. I feel so trapped. I know i want to continue my life free of him, and i have a 9 year old daughter who unfortunately has seen things i know she cant erase from her mind. I have always taken him back because i dont want to live with the guilt if he does kill himself, but this time i did not answer his suicide texts or calls. I have one question, how do i start to love myself ?

  3. I’m 16 and I’m preparing for med school entrance and for this reason I don’t want to date anyone. But a guy (whom I found online) who was my best friend is now forcing me to get in a relationship with him. I told him many times that I cannot be in a relationship because it completely ruins my focus but he still didn’t understand. Even if I’m not his girlfriend he still wants me to call him everyday and talk to him for at least 2 hours and then also text him all day. He seems a lot obsessed with me. And today when I was trying to make him understand that he’s being too clingy and I really need some alone time for myself (as I’m an introvert) and for my studies, he said slowly that he’ll cut his wrist if I’ll ever leave him. I really don’t know what to do as my entrance exam is coming near and also I don’t want him to die. This is really making me feel scared. I really need to focus on my studies because I want to be able to live freely because my childhood was also scary because my parents always kept fighting and that’s why I don’t want to miss this opportunity to change my future. I tried to make him understand all this but he still wants the same. Please please help me as I have no one to take advice from.

    1. I feel sorry for you Nancy, I experienced the same thing when this so called bestfriend came back to my life after 10 years I have a bf and he is single ,at first he demanded for my attention ,he’s so manipulative that I find myself following his every whim,and eventually threatened me to hang himself when he gets frustrated at me ,also blaming me for everything .I really want to cut ties with him but I don’t know how,I’m scared and guilty that he might really took his own life ,this drama lasted for 9 months until my bf find out whats happening in me btw he’s a MD ,he advice me to take a break from social media ,change my cp number cut all my contacts to this man ,and don’t give him any explanation and that’s what I do, now I’m in the process of recovering from emotional turmoil and about that man i have no news about him but I believe he’s still alive …

  4. Brook, it’s important to get help from someone in person – especially if your boyfriend is saying he’ll kill himself if you leave. There are alot of specific details that are important parts to helping someone who is threatening suicide, and those get missed in online articles like this.

    Who can you talk to? Is there anyone you trust, who can help you decide how to respond to your boyfriend?

  5. So, I’ve only been with my boyfriend for 9 months now. At one point I felt he didn’t really want to be with me and he treated me like crap around his friends and wouldn’t let anyone know about me, I was feeling frustrated and confused because I didn’t know why for months he wanted to keep me a secret. Keep in mind I’m only 16. Every night we would fight about one thing or another and I was sick of feeling like crap eventually I broke it off because I didn’t want to anymore. A few months later we ended up getting back together, him claiming things would be different and he definitely tried to step up his game. A month into this new relationship between us he said if I ever broke up with him again he would probably end up killing himself. I was shocked but I didn’t think to much of this remark at first because I was happy and didn’t imagine leaving, because this time because he had changed. Well eventually things did change he started to become controlling only in a sense of what I look like, and had started being a little bit verbally abusive. We had been fighting which I knew was normal for couples but I realized I’m just generally not happy, and now I’m feeling stuck because I have no idea how to deal with this…

  6. Dear Butterflies,

    Thank you for writing about your experience – it takes courage to share what you’re going through! Many times we hide what we’re dealing with, so I really admire your strength.

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. I wish I had good advice to give you about how to help yourself out of this situation, especially if your husband threatens suicide if you say you’re leaving. But I can’t tell you what to do because I don’t know much about the situation, your marriage, or your life.

    What does your marriage counselor say? I encourage you to talk to a counselor on your own, and get advice that will help you work towards a solution in your life. You might also consider calling a women’s help or distress line, and get individualized guidance to help you move forward.

    The most powerful source of wisdom and truth that still, small voice inside of you. Maybe it’s intuition, or God, or the Universe….whatever you call it, it really is the best source of advice you could ever ask for. You need to get quiet and listen to it, for that voice will tell you what you need to know. That voice will tell you what the next step is.

    Here’s another article that may interest you:

    How to Leave Your Husband When You Have No Money

    Take care of yourself. Listen for that still small voice – for you are smarter, stronger, and braver than you know.


  7. Hi , I’m feeling frustrated, sad, confused, lost, hurt and no confidence in myself anymore. I hope you can advise me somehow what to do, as I really don’t know. I’be been with my husband for 15 years now. 5 years of dating and 10 years of marriage now. I have 2 wonderful and bright boys in my family. My eldest is now 9 and my youngest is 8 plus.

    When I was married to my husband, I was leaving together with his mother, younger brother and 2 of his younger sisters. He have a troubled family because of his dad , having mistresses and everytime his dad comes home it would be an abusive husband and a father towards his mother during his childhood. But as my husband grown he was the man in the house protecting his family. But soon I was married to my husband and I was leaving with them. Unexpectedly my mother in law had secretly found someone and I was being a scapegoat for her to leave the family together with his younger brother and sisters. To them to show other family that I was the bad person and the worse daughter in law in this family. At first she had tried to brainwash my husband to leave me and both my children to continue supporting her and his family. She tried to use whatever saving my husband had to support our own family. Then she tried to teach his one of his younger sister to secretly get a loan using my husband’s name. I did all the house work as a daughter in law should do, but it didn’t went well as it gets worse. My mother in law soon hated me as I was controlling my husband’s financial, because we have to support both my children s and that they are 2yrs old and 1plus and everytime I had been quarreling with my husband because of financial issues at that time. Why? Because he had been giving most of his salary to support his family and when it comes to buying things for the necessary needs for both my soon we are already out of savings. As me and my husband quarreling gotten worse he started drinking and had been abusive towards me. He would throw things inside the room, breaking things, he would grabbed my hands hard and twisting my hand in pain and leaving me marks kn my hands and legs. It soon gotten worse, he pushed me around and sometimes although I’m carrying my youngest son protecting both my son’s from getting hurt from him he would still pushed me without thinking that my children would get hurt as well.

    He tells me that the reason he secretly trying to keep in touch with his ex girlfriend is because I’m being sensitive and doesn’t like it. He tells me that she this ex girlfriend is important to him as just a normal friend as they used to date each other and that they could talk more as they knew each other better. There was one day I found his ex girlfriend’s contact no saved and written the name in mandarin as I do not understand. So I questioned him about it and he had lied to me saying it was one of his customers contact number. He denied it was his ex. He also didn’t know that I’ve secretly lock my headphone memo with her contact number. As I questioned him more about it we soon gotten ourselves into a big quarreling and that he started pushing me around in my room even worse this time, pushed me against to the wall hurting my back body, thrown and holding me towards the ground and pushed me to the bed and this time he had grabbed a ceramic cup almost wanted to hit my head with it but he stopped. Everything in me had stopped. The love and trust I used to have for him. I hate myself for marring him. I started to hate myself in so many things. I had gone to depressed and was talking depression medicine from a doctor recommended by my mother.

    We had gone to marriage counseling but it all seems useless. I somehow feels that my marriage had been wasted for the past 15 years being with him. I wants to take both my son’s leaving or divorce him but I’m financially unstable. I’m out of job for the past 1year. I’m so lost and don’t know what to do. Please help me…!

  8. The first time it happened, I was very worried.

    The second time it happened, I got annoyed. Because the fact that this was manipulation was not lost on me.

    The third time it happened, I got angry.

    A day or two after that, we broke up.

    The fourth time it happened, I was full of scorn, and seriously couldn’t care less if she really did kill herself. I don’t think she would, because it’s just an attention-seeking and manipulation method from her. But even if she did, I wouldn’t feel guilty because it’s her own choice and her life is ultimately her own decision to make. I had given her SOS suicide hotline and advised her to see a therapist way and asked her closest relative to check on her before we broke up. That’s where my responsibility and duty ends.

  9. My boyfriend was on the street when I met him – although I didnt know that at the time. Once I found out he moved in with me because I couldnt stand the thought of him having nowhere to go, but we didnt have much time to build our relationship before suddenly we were living together. We have been together about 2 years now. I pay for everything, work all week and still have to ‘help’ at home over the weekend. He does almost nothing. I gave him some time to sort himself out but for last year or more have been asking him to get a job. He makes every excuse under the sun but never actually does anything except sit at home on the computer, or go to his mates to smoke weed. He also gambles and has stolen money off me twice. The last time he did this I broke up with him. He tried to hang himself. The rope broke. I took him back on proviso he got professional help and got a job and sorted himself out. He had two psychiatrist visits and then they said he was fine. Basically he is happy so long as I am doing everything. That was about 4 months ago and nothing has changed. He does the minimum he can get away with at home and has done nothing about finding a job etc. When I get mad he gets ‘depressed’ and if its bad he threatens to kill himself. I’m trying to get him to a point he can stand by himself, but not sure if that will happen while he knows i’m here to catch him BUT if I break up with him he says he will kill himself and do it properly this time. If he could step up and act like a man instead of a child I would be happy to be with him, but at the moment I am more like his mother than his partner and I cant see any change in him, but I dont know what to with with his suicide threats??

    1. I am in basically the exact same situation you are in now. Did he ever straighten out? Were you able to successfully break away without your boyfriend harming himself?

  10. when i was 14, my boyfriend of 4, nearly 5 months, had threatened to kill himself on multiple occasions. It seemed that me going to bed crying and feeling speechless and hopeless was the only solution. he ranted to me through messages about how he was feeling, by dumping his negativity to me, he would then be absolutely fine, while i was on the other end of the phone crying my eyes out but acting perfectly fine. this went on for about 4-6 weeks straight, near the end of the relationship. eventually i had worked up enough courage to try and speak to him about stopping.

    one day he came over to my house, whilst both my parents were out, when i had told him not to. he arrived at 8:10 AM! my brother had let him in. i tried to ask him to stop and seek professional help, but he wouldn’t listen “they cant do anything” “whats the point” were the only answers i got. i then told him i didn’t want to do this anymore, which resulted in him sobbing on my bed and into my shoulder. i tried to tell him again but he wouldn’t listen. a few days later he lied about being chased for 40mins (he said there were people going to rape and kill him. a friend of mine saw him walking normally and asked his mum when the last time she saw him was. which was 15 minutes ago) he had lied to my face many times before this and i soon realised he’d been manipulating me for a few months now by controlling what i was doing and who with.

    i then spoke to him a second time a few days later and told him that i was breaking up with him, so he got the message clearly. in which he replied he only had a month to live as he had self-diagnosed himself on google, that his nerves were dying, causing him not be able to speak then gradually move. he then said that if i was with him, he could possibly fix this and be okay. he then told me he hadn’t told his parents or anyone else! i then walked back into my house and was freaking out. what if he wasn’t lying? what if he actually dies? and so on and so on…

    he then kept messaging me, it started out with telling me that he got a haircut. once i didn’t reply he kept reminding me he was ‘dying’. it drove/drives me insane. and every night I’m worrying about it still. i had seen him have moments were he couldn’t move (personally i think it was his mind causing it) and were he had punched poles and hitting his head against walls. he had also told me he tried to commit suicide to day after he was ‘chased’.

    at the end of the night all I’m left with are my thoughts. and i still don’t know what to do. I’m getting my mum to text his mum about it, as i cant deal with the pain anymore.

    after getting emotionally blackmailed for so long, you kind of just give up after a while…

  11. I have a boyfriend that we got back together after being apart for three months because he threaten to kill himself. That his life isn’t worth living if I’m not in it. His friends and family don’t show interest in him and he feels I’m the only one holding him here. I didn’t want nor was ready to go back with him because the reason we broke up in the first place was because he cheated. He told me that he had suicidal thoughts before. I believe him but a part of me doesn’t. I refuse to take the risk of thinking he’s lying, because it’s someone’s life we talking about. I just don’t know how to help him? Im with him so he can be calm but I know I cant be with him forever..

    1. Jeanette– Your situation is 100% identical to mine. He cheated, I broke up with him, and now he’s threatening suicide. He says life is only worth living if I’m in it. He said he almost took his life last night. He used to self-harm, but not in a long time. I replied to his message by saying that I was sorry he felt that way, but I thought he needed to learn to love himself. I then contacted many of his friends and his parents and told them to keep a close eye on him. Some of them are upset that we broke up. They don’t understand what really went on. I hope he gets the help he needs. I live somewhere else now and I’m never going back to him.

      1. I’m in this situation currently… I broke up with my ex because he had cheated on me, physically i thought. But it turns out he had not had sex with her but instead was messaging her, most likely hinting at a hookup and other sexual things. He did this because he thought that I would leave him after a fight. I have agreed to hear him out but I don’t deserve to be with someone who cheats when things get tough, even if it’s not physical cheating. So I will most likely be 100% calling things off tonight and I’m scared that he will bring up suicide as he says that he only has a life with me, that I was the one thing that always held him together. If he really cherished me as much as he says tho, he never would have cheated. So it’s time for me to leave I believe. This thread has helped. I’m glad that I’m not alone.

  12. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    The best thing to do if your boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner says they’ll kill themselves if you leave is to call a suicide hotline right away. You need to talk to someone in person about the best way to cope when a partner says she can’t live anymore if you aren’t in a relationship with her. You need to learn about this type of emotional manipulation, and how to discern whether she’s serious about ending her life. I can’t give you the personal advice you need in a situation like this; you need to call and get specific help from distress line.

    May you find the help you need, and learn how to cope with your partner’s distress in a healthy, hopeful, positive way.


  13. my fiancee cheated on me on a friend of mine. she told me because she feel guilt and still loves me. i told her i want to broke up with her. but she threatened me that she`ll kill her self. what to do please?

  14. The most important thing to do if your partner is threatening suicide – or saying he will hurt you if you leave – is to find help in person. Call a women’s help line, crisis hotline, or distress line. You need to talk this through in person with someone who can help you — I can’t give you the support or guidance you need.

    Please reach out for help in person. There are people who can give you the support you need to get out of this relationship, and start rebuilding your life.

  15. I am lost. I have been with my boyfriend for a year.. I am deaply in love with him. In the year we have been together I have lost all my friends, and even a relationship with my father. He makes me feel guilty for loving anyone. Im not aloud to have a facebook or any social media sites. I have tried to leave him and he tried to hurt himself. He is diabetic and he makes me feel horrible for it. He says that im insencitive because hes diabetic and i dont do everything he says. Ive tried having civil conversations with him and he ends up turning the tables on me. There is so much more.. I need someone i can talk to… I have nobody..

    1. I know exactly how you feel. I live with my bf of a year and all we have done is argue over everything. He doesn’t let me have social medias either, he doesn’t let me see my parents, doesnt let me have friends BUT when it comes to him he can and I just cant be with him. Yesterday i saw that he was talking to a female online and i tried leaving but he graved his gun and pointed it at himself saying he was tired of life! I dont know what to do either :/

  16. I have a ex bf stalker that wont leave me alone thats not gonna leave me alone he been stalking me since every since i left my old school he just keep bothing me then he rape me 4 times and now im stuck with his baby he sneek in my house at night. And watch me sleep kiss me on my cheek and leave he be tryna break in my house some nights and he wanna know is ima keep it hes happy but im hurting and now idk wat too do everytime i try to get in a relationship. He threaten too kill them he would put a hit on them or try too kill them or fight and it been 6 or 7 years he havent been over me i have a son by some one eles my bby dad gave my ex my son so his family can see em and they all think its his smh this stuff is crazy then he said if he cant get me back he will kill his self i cryed cause i dont want ntn to BE. My fault im a gd girl idk wat to do plz help …

  17. Dear Susan,

    Thanks for your comments! I am so sorry you had to experience your husband’s suicide. My heart goes out to you. I can only imagine how painful it must be, and how you must feel.

    Thank you for your advice on how to respond to a man who says he’ll kill himself if you leave. I’d like to put your comments in the body of this article – I’ll keep you anonymous – because I really value what you said.

    Blessings – may you be living in peace, and may your husband’s soul rest in peace –

  18. I absolutely agree with Aggie. If your boyfriend or husband threatens suicide TELL your family and closest friends about it. Especially talk to his mother or closest family members who might know more about his mental health than you do.

    My husband took his own life last year, during a though time in our relationship when I threatened to leave him. I will always regret not talking to anyone about our problems.

    I disagree with the advice in the article that says to tell him that he has to be responsible for his own happiness. I basically said that – and now it doesn’t make me feel good. You cannot use normal reasoning with someone who is seriously having suicidal thoughts. Most people do not threaten suicide unless it has honestly crossed their mind. Unfortunately it wasn’t until after my husband’s death that I became an expert on suicide. If anyone you care about has mentioned suicide I suggest reading as much as you can on the topic. One thing I wish I had known: If the person mentions a specific method of suicide that means they have really thought it through and should NOT BE LEFT ALONE. That person needs IMMEDIATE HELP.

    My main advice: If your partner threatens suicide DO NOT keep it a secret. TELL people whom both you and your partner trust and who might be able to intermediate. This is something that is too big for you and him to handle alone. And DON’T WAIT, tell someone RIGHT NOW – every second counts. As soon as that person is gone they are NEVER coming back. Telling others might not save the person, but at the least you will feel less personally responsible if he does ultimately take his life.

  19. Hello Miss A,

    Have you read about the cycle or dynamic of abuse?

    It sounds like you’re caught up in that, and it’s hard to just walk away. Especially after investing years in him! I remember not wanting to leave a guy I was with for a year, because I didn’t want to start over again with someone new. And that was only a year — I can’t imagine leaving someone I’ve been with for six or more years.

    For some reason, I’m reminded of a proverb:

    “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

    If you stay with him, your relationship will continue on as it has been. One day it’ll be 10 years that you’ve been with him, and you’ll not want to leave because you’ve invested 10 years. Then it’ll be 16 years, and 25 years…and you’ll be more and more invested.

    Read the article, and let me know what you think! I can’t offer counseling, but I’m happy to share my thoughts. I’m not even telling you that you should leave him, because that’s something only you can decide.

    You know what’s best for you, and you may even know what’s holding you back.

  20. Laurie: I know I am strong enough…But not strong enough to think of letting go of someone I have loved and invested myself in for six years…I want a certain kind of relationship…but I am not getting it with my husband…He was nice yesterday (the day after another abusive episode) and today….its like a flip flop…he is back to all the snide comments and mean actions. I came up to give him a kiss and he said “why” and I said..oh just cause..and he said well you just asked me a stupid question and im irritated so whats the point… Yesterday he said he loved me 100 times. Today he wont even respond to me…and when he does its angry…I feel so…upset and frustrated. I’ve lied to all the women around me here and said that he has changed and I’m happy because when I went back….You know I just was afraid they will think I am lieing because I went back to him. Does that make sense? I have a safe place, place to live, job, everything if I leave him. It is the emotional side that is so….hard and frustrating!

  21. Dear Miss A,

    Thank you for sharing about your life here! It sounds like you’re going through alot, and you’re confused and scared. I wish your boyfriend could love you with respect and gentleness, and am sad that he treats you so badly.

    What do you want to do? I know you say you don’t know what to do, but I wonder what you really want out of your life and relationship. If you could have or do anything, what would you do? Where would you go, who would you be with?

    You were strong and courageous enough to leave him once, and I believe you’re strong and courageous enough to do it again. Where did you go and why did you leave last time?

    Leaving an abusive relationship – especially if your boyfriend threatens to kill himself – is one of the hardest things to do. But you’re a survivor, and you did it before. Since you can’t change him, you might start thinking about changing your life so that he’s not in it. I know it’s not easy to leave, but I also know other women have survived terrible relationships. I know you will too.

    Are there any groups for women in abusive relationships in your area? Many cities have womens’ resource centers and other places for women to get help. It’s really important to connect with women in your same situation, who know exactly how you feel.

    You’re not alone, but it’s up to you to reach out for help. You did it here, and I’m so glad! The next step is reaching out in person, and finding the strength and courage to move your life in the direction you want it to go.

    What do you think?


  22. I am still in a physically abusive relationship. I am 20 and he is 22. We have been together for 6 years, and we have a 3 year old daughter. He’s choked/smacked/thrown/suffocated/punched/put a knife to my throat/banged my head on the floor over and over/thrown/dragged me around more than 300 times. I know that because for a couple years it was at least once a week. I left last year for the first time. We were separated for 7 months. We have now been together for 8 months. However had a room mate who didn’t work ( his best friend) Who lived with us up until last month. There was always jealousy and awkwardness, he accuse me of looking at his friends “stuff” when we were all in a room together. (although I did not) and when I made my husband a sandwich I would politely ask our room mate if he wanted one as well. He would be mad at me all night because “I’m not his d*mned Wife” So it got to the point that I just found myself being rude to others…to satisfy his need of feeling like he’s the only person I care about. We moved out last month. 1st month gone and I’ve already had shoulder muscle torn…and been thrown through my car window. My daughter screams for it to stop. I cry for her. I dont know how to let go of a 6 year long investment. He says that he is the only woman he will ever love or be with. I am the only person he has ever kissed or had intercourse with…( Some of our problems I think can be attributed to Aspergers Syndrome.) He says life isn’t worth living without me. He said it before and I left and he didn’t die. However I do think he is crazier now, then he was then. He has a hard time socially and doesn’t keep friends easily. The roomate is the only friend that he has, and like me….he stays his friend knowing that he is rude and hard to deal with…for no reason at all. I don’t know what I will do or how I will ever leave. I don’t even know if I want to…but I don’t want the abuse. I hate the feelings he gives me…but he is also so funny and charming at times. I feel crazy. The 1 month we have been back together..the abusiveness didn’t just start small…it was all out. Like where we left off…almost a year ago…that is what is so scary. I dont know what to do…

    1. Please do this:
      Read what you posted, only imagine it is written to you by a woman that you love and respect and cherish. What would you want her to do? You would want her to leave this horrible abuse I am sure. You are just as special and deserving of a calm and enjoyable life as anybody. You are truly in a terrible abusive cyclical relationship. Leave and go somewhere safe. Even if that is a women’ shelter. Be safe and smart and let experts help you, you need that. This is YOUR life. Good luck, and call an abuse hotline when it is safe to do so .

  23. if there are any women out there who are feeling overwhelmed with the decision of leaving, and risk “being responsible for your boyfreind/husbands death” or staying and being miserable, the choice is so simple. (hard to do but simple) tell their family and friends and plan for that person to get counselling, or be committed. (this is where it gets hard) they will most likely freak out and the truth will come out. 1. they hate you for telling their secret but with the protection of family and friends, and possibly the authorities, they will probably agree to do it, or confess that they werent serious about suicide (in which case partners counselling or a break up will do) 2. that person refuses help and you can leave. its really that simple. the end.

  24. My fiance threatened suicide after becoming abusive. He killed himself June 10, 2012. I was prepared for the possibility, but it still hurts. I think the thing that helped me most before and after his death was seeing a councilor. They can truly make you feel strong and confident. She helped me realize the amount of emotional abuse being put on me and helped me plan a safe route away from my fiance.

  25. Dear Kylie,

    I can’t tell you if you should continue to date your boyfriend – that’s a decision only you can make. However, you have to remember that someone who threatens suicide if you leave is in great pain. He really needs to focus on dealing with his emotional health, not being a boyfriend. I don’t know him, but I suspect it would be very difficult for him to do both (get healthy and be a good boyfriend to you).

    It sounds like your boyfriend is confused and scared. I think you should talk to your parents and a counselor, and take their advice. You can’t save your boyfriend or make him feel better about his life, and he may follow through with his suicide threats even if you continue to date him.

    I hope this helps – I know there are no easy answers. I’m sorry you’re going through this, and I hope you’re able to find the in-person support you need.


  26. this past week my boyfriend told me he wanted to break up because he wanted freedom. we worked things out and i gave him his freedom. Two nights later he went to a party and cheated on me. he told me the next morning and i told him it was done and i wouldnt answer him, he told me he was going to kill him self and i wasnt home so i called his sister, 20 minutes later i got a call from his friend that he crashed into 3 trees and he is being rushed to the hospital. He told my family and his family the truth why he did it and said he couldnt live with himself. Our parents are only letting us hang out twice a week for a couple of hours now cause they are worried about my safety. Should i continue to date him? He is still being selfish but sweet at the same time i dont know what im going to get from him each day

    1. You deserve to be happy and if someone loves you they wont put that stress on you. Dont wait until u have kids and he really does kill himself. You have your whole life ahead of you and survival is about whats doing best for you. You could have the world and a stable loving man in time and you deserve that.
      Dont wait it will only make it harder for you

  27. Had an Ex-Boyfriend in college who broke up with me as a senior back in ’05’. He was one year ahead of me. I think he was freakin out about leaving school not ready to join or face the real world. He thought he was a big fish in a small pond. I think he was wishy washy about his old back home ex-girfriend and about the possibility of us being apart and exploring his options. It took me awhile to figure out he was controling. Even though he was helpful rto me at times when I felt/welcomed help, I now know later it was still about him having something over me to control, the more I opened up the more he had somethoing to control me and found myself doing things I never thought I ever would nor ever wanted to , nor still don’t. Love or the thought of love can make one blind. real love does not control or put anyone in compromising situations or feelings of owed obligations, unaturally. Not sure for what ever reason ( perhaps his plans or “options” changed or did not go his way or the way he thought they might. I finally saw clear through the the help of some friends and family , that he was a controlling egotistical fake wight knight wannabe (he aalways wanted to look like the good guy). Even when we(he) broke up with me. He didn’t wanted to be perceived by others ( mostly his family and other women/girls) as a cad or jerk. If he really wanted to make it work because of we were ayear apart and really loved me, then he would at least make an honest attempt at making it work. But I am glad that he didn’t waste my time. I also felt he was more than just the normal casual jealous type and didn’t think he could trust me (though he could of) or other guys around me– because he couldn’t trust himself. But then he was in his last semester and didn’t care because I think things began backfiring on his plans or whatever, and started recontacting me and claiming he was depressed and unhappy and wanted to kill himself and everyone would be better off. Despite my now being over him, he did have many things that an outsider would think he had going for him. He started to suck me in and found myself having those old girfriend caring instincts and feelings coming back and start to take over. When I started spending more time as a”concerned friend” , and getting him to try to reveal why he was so depressed and how and why he was going to kill himself, I tried to convince him to seek help. He never did or said he was. Then some friends said –look if you don’ttell someone likehis parents or school mental health, then they would and that when he said suicide – the trust and confidentiality gloves come off, sorry. So I told his parents, and he got all pissed and mad at me. So I called his parents again and they were a little upset at me too at first as he told them that he just was saying that to get back with me , because I broke up with him ( which was the other way around). They actually ended up beleiving me because his old hometown girfriend made it seem like they were maybe seeing each other again when he finished school and onspring break. What a manipulative controlling jerk. I can’t beleive I was that gullable falling for the same old song anddance. Thought I would share because if you think someone is manipulating you and using the “kill my self” or suicide” card. Call their bluff. One because it is the right thing to do get them help and if they refuse then tell someone who isin an authoritive or mental health helping capacity. You are not breaking a trust or tattletelling –you are potentially saving a life! If they are bluffing touse as a manipulative tool– then the truth will come out and so what if they are pissed off –do you really want to continue having any (any) type friend or close relationship with someone who would use you or anyone like that. No. So pleease do not get caught in the trap I did– I was lucky and finally woke up and got out. Its hard but its afew simple steps.

  28. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Also – you need to realize that this is an abusive relationship. He is hurting you physically and emotionally, and you need to leave. I don’t care if he’s the father of your daughter — you can’t subject your daughter to this kind of man!

  29. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Jackie,

    Thanks for sharing your life here – I’m so sorry your boyfriend turned out to be so emotionally manipulative and physically harmful. I know how it feels to feel like your personality has been sucked right out of you.

    I’ll write an article about finding yourself – getting your self back – while you’re in an unhealthy relationship. I’ll post the link here.


  30. I got with my boyfriend and had a beautiful daughter a month into our relationship. My family didn’t want me with him but I decided to move out of my moms house to live with this man who just seemed like he adored me and made me feel good about myself. Mind you, I was 19 at the time and I had broken up with my last boyfriend (who ended up being abusive) about 8 months prior. The first couple months were ideal.planning for our life, picking baby names, etc. when we moved into our first apartment together and his mother wasnt around anymore, he started throwing temper tantrums in the morning before work and would totally destroy our room and it wouldn’t get cleaned up unless I did it.he started making me walk to the store to get groceries while I was pregnant and would never offer to go with. I caught him fooling around on facebook with other girls, he made me feel so guilty about not having a job when I was pregnant that I went out and worked all the way through nine months. he would put holes in walls and doors.etc.. He has gotten better with controlling that kind
    of rage since our daughter Was born.but now he has sucked the personality right out of me by trying to control what I do with guilt trips and complaining.he simply says that the only reason that he acts like this is because I dont give him enough affection.but it’s hard to show affection to someone that has put me through this kind of emotional trauma.I’m at a point with him now where he has already bruised the back side of my arm, pushed me down and into things.and even in front of my daughter once. I feel like he will never get better.I feel like I can’t be myself. The hardest thing for me to leave is the fact that my daughter is so emotionally attached to him.shes almost 2. I also feel like, if I leave, that he will leave back to his home state or try to make my life
    hell. I need help.I don’t want to be miserable for the rest off my life.I want me back.

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