What Should I Do if My Boyfriend Threatens Suicide if I Break Up with Him?

October’s boyfriend is possessive, jealous, and manipulative. It all came out when she was upset over a friend who left for basic training.

OCTOBER (JOPLIN, MO) QUESTION:

October: My best friend, we’ve been best friends since my freshman year in high school, he just left the other day for basic training, and I had an emotional breakdown. Then my boyfriend got pissed off because I was upset that he was leaving. So, my boyfriend started being all possessive and I can’t stand it. And I’ve tried to break up with him, but then he says, “I’m going to commit suicide and all this stuff.” And I’m like, “I can’t handle you doing all this. You need to stop.” I have another friend who’s helped me through it, but I don’t know what to do.

DAWSON MCALLISTER'S ANSWER:

Dawson: First of all, he’s not going to commit suicide. I think he’s playing you. Secondly, this relationship sounds on the surface at least, that it’s toxic. You said it best, “I can’t handle it. I can’t go through that.” You are saying to him, too much drama. I mean I have my issues too. I had my mini breakdown as you said, but he’s overreacting to your overreacting.

October: My mom doesn’t like him anyway. She’s like, “You need to break up with him and just stop.” And I’m like, “I don’t know what to say to him.” She says simply call him up and say, “You’re way too much trouble for me. I quit.” I’m like, “I can’t do that. That’s too mean. I need something to say, but not that.”

Dawson: Text him, email him, or write him a letter. He is way too much for you. I suppose it has happened where a guy has said to a girlfriend if you break up with me, I’ll kill myself [and then done it]. But the percentages are so amazingly low. It’s just one more manipulation on his part. He needs to go off to the army and learn to be a man. Your mother is right on the money.

October: She’s normally right about these types of things.

Dawson: Well, there you go. You tell your mother; she and I are in the exact same position. And however, you need to get the message to this guy, get it to him. Next time, be careful, because there’s a lot of feelings. Good talking to you.

For more on understanding if you're being manipulated in a relationship read, Dating and Relationships: Is Your Friend, Partner, or Parent Manipulative.

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