Breakup means suicide a certainty

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    I know if I continue to follow through on breaking things off with my 48 year old girlfriend she is going to take her own life. I believe this is a certainty. I do not doubt she is serious. I will have to find a way to live with the fact that I will be responsible for her dying unless I stay with her. She wont accept my offer to provide financial support so she won’t be homeless and I have told her I will help her.. She is not with me for my money which my 23 yr old daughter thinks she is and that causes constant strain between my daughter and I and her. If I stay with her I would make her happy and she would probably remain somewhat stable. I do not really want to stay in the relationship but i really have no experience to base that decision on. I do not think I would be truly happy staying with her. I feel like I need to prioritize things with my son and daughter who are both grown, but suffered due to the divorce. Their mom was and is an alcoholic and it turned their lives upside down and there is still collateral damage from that relationship ending and her ongoing issues due to drinking. But I really had not dated anyone over 25 years. That is part of the problem I suppose. But, if I don’t start taking her calls again soon (she has called 9 times while I am writing this) and see her again soon, she will will commit suicide. She has made it very clear she is not wanting to be here any longer if this relationship ends.

    The history is I am a fixer and a workaholic who stays busy, very busy. I was married for 23 years and met her very soon after my divorce 5 years ago. When we met I did not know it but she had been diagnosed with psycho effective bi polar disorder and depression. She is on several medications and smokes pot with regularity, which she is convinced she does so medicinally, that may be true. I don’t smoke it and I think it is not really right, but I don’t want to judge it. The fact is she has had a terrible history with her mental illness and relationships. She has spent over a decade or more in serious therapy, several days a week. She has looked at her self and her stuff very hard. Our core beliefs are not totally aligned religiously /spiritually and otherwise. We are not having real issues based on those things but they exist. She has been unstable at times since we met, but basically it is when she wants more of me than I want to give which is often. At this point if I do not marry her or live with her she has made it clear her life will be over. When we met I guess I gave her security, stability and treated her with decency, kindness and affection. I did not know it but her dad has supported her financially all her adult life. She cannot really have a job and I have supported her financially pretty much since we met. Her Dad still supported her until I came along and her family has basically written her off. Then I came along. I had not dated in nearly 25 years and had no idea what I was doing or getting into. But I am culpable I strung things along and I had her fall for me. I have a caretaker personality and it was in fully blown form after my divorce. I have tried to process why I continued to enable her. I wanted to be in love, but when it came along I wasn’t. I liked hanging out with her but I was still in casual mode, but by this time she was seeing me as her soul mate and seeing us together forever. As I started to realize this I tried to back off and explained I did not want to be in a serious relationship..But I was already in one. A flood took her home 7 months into our relationship and the relationship was flung to a whole new level as she had no one else to help her and no were else to go so I let her move in to my second home. I did not really want to do so because I knew it would bind us into a tighter relationship, so soon after I moved out and into my primary residence and let her stay in my other house and I paid all the bills basically. I have been through this situation with her previously when I tried to disconnect before and have called the authorities previously because I feared for her life In the past based on what she was telling me. They really can’t do anything. Ultimately,. I go back to her because I hate so much to see her so hopeless and in such pain. I do care for her. I want her to be happy. I am not making her happy but she cannot see any other options. I do not want to marry her. I do not want to live with her. I have strung her along by not breaking things of long ago. I just have been emotionally hostage to her and i have told her that but at times I almost feel like I should just do it so she can be happy.. She is a a good person when I am giving her my full attention. I am comfortable with her and she brings peace to me life as long as I stay fully engaged and spend most all of my time with her. Which is not wrong for her to want. That is what a relationship should be . But I just don’t have the desire to do so. The fact is that my daughter and her had a falling out and they are both against each other now and I am caught in the middle. I think I want to be single, but I almost would be with her to prevent her death but with the situation with my daughter and her hating each other I would have a nightmare going forward if we were together. I don’t know what to do.I don’t know how I can live with myself when it happens.

    I would welcome input to help me with this situation.


    Hi Andrew,

    Sometimes the best method to solve relationship problems is through communication. Present to her how you really feel, like you have did above and see what happens. Don’t place yourself in a spot of emotional abuse. To sum this up, this looks like a reckless relationship. You have a son and a daughter to protect and to look after. If you feel that truly her life’s at risk, seek her therapist and explain to him or her about this problematic situation and see what he or she can come up with. I’d like to elaborate, but I’m a bit buzzed with holiday wine and beer. Think simple, you have to do what is right for you and for your family, and what “you” truly want to do.

    Good luck and I hope and pray for peaceful resolution



    Andrew- contact the suicide prevention hotline 1-800-784-2433 (national hotline) and visit http://www.suicidehotlines.com for hotlines via state. You need professional assistance with this issue- it’s very serious. If you do not want to be in this relationship, you should not be held hostage by her threats or intentions. Get advice from the pros as to handle the breakup with her safety in mind. What she ultimately does is all her choice. No one can be held responsible for someone else’s suicide, but in order to make things as guilt free as possible, get advice from the pros. You have enabled her way too much already, your own mental health and happiness, and those of your children need to take priority. She will NEVER get better or be happy until she can manage to utilize her therapy and inner strength to change and seek the light. Please contact the hotline/lines ASAP


    Is there a friend or any family member of hers you can talk to? Boy it seems like her parents gladly walked away leaving you to look after her. Talk about abandonment!

    It isn’t your responsibility to be her keeper, and for you to feel that she may hurt herself or worse, kill herself because you end things with her is not a good spot to be in. She needs help badly, so there has to be a way to get her family back in her life again.

    You have your kids to think of and they have to come first. You’re not married to this woman. it is a sad and unfortunate situation…But you need to do what is best for you and your kids.


    My Friend,

    Such a difficult situation for you, but at the end of the day you must live your life for YOU. It looks like you have really been getting some great insights into your behaviour, and have a better understanding as to how you ended up in a dysfunctional relationship like this. Her happiness and contentment lies in her ability to do the same for herself and that is her responsibility ….not yours. Let her know that you are not abandoning her, and will be there to support her which ever way you see fit, that may be giving her names of Drs, helping her secure a new place to live or whatever, but that your life is going in a different direction. Please do not let her hold you hostage, and yes, if you do sense a real concern about this don’t hesitate to contact authorities to ensure she gets the professional help she needs. Best of Luck


    Yes may be it is true Andrew. Sometimes i feel like it going through a breakup, but always have been lucky enough to survive it, and now has learned to deal with, making suicide not a certainty for sure at least for me….., still alive!!!


    So far she is still alive. I have been able to be involved to the extent that I helped her get through the past few days and her severe meltdowns,anguish and suicidal attempts/desires that she has had. I have tried to continue moving forward, albeit very slowly continuing to let her know my priorities and my absolute need for change but at the same time trying to give her hope. I cancelled my credit card I let her use because she said she was going to buy a gun. Apparently ,she tried but there is a waiting period. I don’t know if she can come to a place to realize I am not her answer or her solution to peace and happiness. My prayers have been answered that she for now is of the cliff. But, she is so wrapped up in this whole me or nothing matters mentality if I am not talking to her she starts going to that cliff again. She has called me like a hundred times the last three days most of the time drugged up and almost incoherent. I talked to her step mom and she has no real empathy for her to really sincerely comfort or help her. The fact is she has been in a bad place. She tried to overdose by taking all her Xanax and slept for like 16 hours. She did not know what day it was. I feared she had overdosed since the constant calling stopped. I was relieved that it did, but had a terrible sense of fear at the same time thinking she had taken her life. I had someone go make sure she was still alive. I gave her friend money for food get her dogs fed and food purchased. I was told she also sat in the garage with the engine on while texting me to take care of her dogs and not to come to her service. When she had the gun idea she texted me an apology for the mess it would make but that the coroner would clean it up. It is very touch and go with her right now. I am trying to be available enough so she does not do something to herself but hoping I can slowly get her to another place. A place were she is at least safe so she has a foot hold. She sent me an long email all about ending it all and I just tried to point her to positive thoughts and future hope which mad her mad but maybe that is good if she gets to a point of anger it is better than despair. Prayers are needed! Need to keep her safe, but stay strong.


    Andrew, I am very sorry to hear of the tremendous heartache and greif this situation is causing you. But let me be blunt. Quit being a co-dependant! Free yourself!!! I am assuming you (even today) are accepting some of the responsibility and guilt for your ex-wife’s drinking problem and now you are feeling it is your responsibility to prevent somebody’s suicide by providing her a place to live and tending to her every childhood wound?!! Sorry to sound negative but I am more concerned about YOU right now! You matter, you come first, and most importantly, you deserve to be supported and helped, for your OWN well-being! Tell this woman that you will NOT accept the blame if she makes the choice to end her own life, that you care, but you cannot continue to support her or be intimately involved- END OF STORY. Chances are good she will not actually follow through with it, and alternatively may be forced to find a reason to LIVE again. It’s her turn to be a grown-up. And as for you, it may not be a bad idea to seek a free local support group such as Al-anon or CoDependants Anonymous. Perhaps you will even meet some great people there that can finally relate to YOU and understand exactly what you have been through with these sick women. All the best to you. Don’t take the blame for her game.


    It’s important that you consult a professional, suicide hotline, or 911 in order to deal with this woman’s suicidal threats. She sounds unstable and a professional would be best suited to help her cope.

    She has a mental illness and it is not your responsibility to take care of her… especially when you don’t want to be with her. It’s not fair to either of you. You sound as if you feel trapped. If that is true, then you need to re-evaluate your life choices and make changes where they are needed. It doesn’t sound like she feels empowered to take care of her own problems because she has you handling all of her personal responsibilities. This unhealthy situation is not a fair deal. Good relationships are all about balance; you give and take. What does being with her provide for you? Is it something that you can find elsewhere?

    What is making you wait for her to realize that you are not her answer to peace and happiness? She is on her own path. It’s possible that she won’t come to that realization until you are actually out of her life. It’s not necessary to wait for her to change before you make your own changes.

    If you haven’t already, it may be good idea for you to read up on codependency, personal boundaries, and assertive communication. I also think that counseling or a support group may help you through this difficult situation. No matter which way you choose to deal with it, you will be in my prayers tonight. Good luck.


    Thank you for your comments you made some good points, they really struck a cord with me and I have and will consider, pray and meditate on them more to gain strength based on the the insight they have provided. Perhaps I will never be able to have peace if I contribute to her taking her own life. I have to consider what I need to do to come to peace with that idea or if I ever can come to peace with that.. Either I stay with her for her or accept the fact that if I don’t she will take her own life. I once again caved in to the emotional pressure and the constant calls and pleading to reengage partially for fear of her sincere threats of death. I know she was going to end it all this weekend after her other attempts at suicide earlier in the week. I felt the agony in my spirit growing as the feeling of her death became real and I just had to reach out to her to again and fall back into prevention mode. It is not what I want but I just cannot reconcile her death. Her path to happiness is in her mind only through me. I cannot get her to look beyond me to anything else and it is indeed because I have been her provider and her caretaker. But in her mind she has no way to make it on her own and the fact is she is probably right. She is in a desperate way without me paying out and caring for her. My heart is in it from the stand point that my empathy is great but my feelings are of pity and care not from a standpoint of a healthy relationship kind of love. All I will ever be is a caretaker. Selfishly, I resent that and I feel guilty for feeling that way. But, she does not do what she needs to to be better and that is not attractive to me. Not so much in a physical sense but from a sense that I value. Things like maintaining a drug free life style, which can never be because of her mental health issues and I get that she needs them, but I still don’t find that a good thing. I just do not think I can ever fulfill my hopes and desires with her for a relationship. But then my self doubt sets in and I think I need to serve, not be served and perhaps I am just asking to much. I need clarity.

    Joanna Warwick

    Dear Andrew,

    Im going to sound really hard, but I can see there have been lots of great suggestions for directing her to getting help.

    Someone holding their life and potential suicide over you is ABUSE!!!! It is mental and emotional abuse… Sadly you are in an a painful relationship which mirrors how she feels about herself – she does not take responsibility for her well being and you play out how you feel about yourself that you have to be of use and taking care of someone else to exist.

    I have worked with many people in my work who dare suicidal and most people who talk about don’t want to really do it…
    If she is that suicidal that if anything changes in her life she will kill herself intentionally or by accident then sadly she needs to be sectioned.

    Get professional help rand remember her therapist will be aware of mental state and clearly she has had a close attachment with the therapist) – do not let anyone tell you you have to stay in this relationship – it is abusive, controlling and seriously unhealthy.

    If someone actually wants to end their life, they will find away…

    She needs to find herself and own her power and the last thing she needs is you playing out daddy to keep her small and powerless and enabling her behaviour and avoidance of living.

    The greatest act of love is to let go and let someone feel their pain and grow through it. – give her love and yourself by letting this situation go!

    I hope you can be brave for your both sakes…


    For the present moment and the next few days I have been able to get her out of state to a place of safety. I know when this week is over and I attempt move to forward yet again with the thing I have to do she will again go to that place of despair and become suicidal again. I caved yet again because of the relentless calls and texts and pleading and promises of certain suicide. So, I sent her for some help and got her meds reviewed and propped her up , give her money and a vacation and start it all over again. She will not accept the fact that I am not at the place she is in life or in this relationship. She is delusional and convinced we will be together.
    I really appreciate the comments and the advice. Joanna you are absolutely right. It is the facts I need to hear. I do need strength to do what I have to do. I hate to see her suffer, but I have to move forward some how. I have my daughter also getting some help as well for her depression and because the two of them are such opposing forces it has given me a little respite from the constant stress and meltdowns I have between the two of them. I am going to find a way to make peace in my life and I must maske changes to do so. Change is needed. Change is required.


    The only way this will stop harming you and your family is if you go “cold turkey”, cut the cord attaching you to your (ex) partner completely once and for all. Your small gestures of support and help, as well meaning as they are, will only continue to give her hope for now, and when she sees you pulling away again she’ll start with the threats and self-harm. It will be painful, but you have to stop responding. Switch your phone off, or change your number. Go away for a break yourself somewhere she doesn’t know you’ll be – get some space, peace and clarity.

    Remember – anyone who harms themselves *chooses* to do so, and the responsibility is solely theirs. Her threats are simply to hurt you, to frighten you, to make you feel guilty about the “what ifs”. Like Jo who posted earlier, I believe that if she truly wanted to kill herself she would have done it by now. What’s clear is that this is her way of keeping you with her, guilty and terrified to take control.

    Be strong. Whatever she does or does not do it is NOT your fault. You have to be responsible to support your children and yourself. As the saying goes, “sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind” – cutting all ties with this woman and not responding will be the best thing you could do for her.


    Amy, I appreciate your advice. I know helping her out does only give her hope and therein lies the biggest part of the problem for me. Help me understand how “cutting all ties” will be the best thing I could do for her? That is the part I can’t receive. I hate to see a person in a state of hopelessness. I don’t think she wants to harm herself, but she will. I am sure that is what will happen. She is deadly serious about taking her life. The problem is she has no money, no job, no family that cares and without assistance, she is indeed in a very bad situation. I have been the life jacket. So whenever I start to disengage she begins to spiral fast and gets to the place again that ending her life is her answer. This month again I paid her rent and all her bills and gave her spending money to go to Florida and now she will be coming back early because I am not going there and I am not calling her. She is upset and starting to talk about ending it all again already. I know now all the calls will start again, again the downward spiral will begin. I do really care for her and I want no harm for her. But I can’t feel the way she wants me to feel. I feel like she sees no choice without me to help her and frankly she is probably right, unless she meets someone else willing to take care of her. She has been wanting me to marry her since we first met and and I have been resisting that for so long. I did not know what I was getting into. I have drama that seems to never stop with all this. I have my daughter going away to a retreat facility for depression and bipolar this week as she has never really been able to get it together since my divorce about 4 years ago,. My ex continues to struggle with alcohol and is not able to cope or really help with our children, nor has she since I took custody after the divorce. A son who has been drug free for over a year after a battle with drug use thankfully. But, I feel like I can’t have a life or move on with a life until my children are on their own, which they should be already , but that is not the reality. My daughter has become obsessed with making sure I am not involved with this woman. Her motives pure or not only serve to complicate the fact that being with her would only serve to make things even more difficult. I want to help her out, but do not want to be in a relationship I have been doing that for a long time now. She will be in a hopeless state unless I am with her. So do I pack up all her belongings from the house I am renting for her and kick her out into the street and say good luck it has been fun! Wish you the best! I know full well she has no real options and no resources and no one to really help her but me. I do not want to be that one , but I am. So I have to reconcile the fact that without me to help she does not wish to live and she will end it all. I am haunted with the image of living with her death because I did not care enough. Very difficult situation to resolve.



    Have you called the hotline that was offered to you? It seems perhaps you haven’t, because the emotional blackmail you’re experiencing is not as puzzling as you make it out to be, and can be dealt with. Perhaps reconsider calling them, they really are experts and can help a lot. Amy’s heartfelt advice is well intentioned but poor… when suicide is involved, there is a process. Cold Turkey could make it a lot worse. Much like cold turkey from alcoholism can lead to stroke.

    Right now, you’re not actually helping her… you’re enabling her. That’s very different. No matter what is happening on her side, your response is not yet skillful. If she has no intention of suicide, all she needs to do is threaten it and she milks you for energy (financial, emotional, time, attention etc). If she is intending suicide, then your crutch isn’t helping her find freedom from that intention. So, you’re playing a difficult game poorly, and losing. Its not your fault, many would do the same thing. However, that’s why it is important that you GET PROFESSIONAL HELP. For your sake, and hers.

    With warmth,

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