We discussed calmly and what I could see is that his head understand why he has to let go but not his heart (which is perfectly normal and conceivable). We even talked calmly about selling the condo.
Then things got weird and scary.
He proceeded to tell me that he had made a will and just signed it at the notary. That I'm the only beneficiary. Then he told me he wanted to end things. That he booked a room at the 18th floor of (specific hotel), because it has a balcony.
I made him promise not to do it. He told me that's what he hoped I'd say and he promised after many deep breaths. He showed me a farwell email he had prepared and deleted it in front of me.
Befor our meeting, I had sworn myself to refrain from wanting to help him (with advice and such) or show him that I care (since he was in such denial, I didn't want to lead him on to hoping for more), but I had to step aside from that "role" to tell him to call someone when he feels the urge. I talked about how the feelings are temporary and he needs someone with him when they happen. I also made him note down 2 self-help books that helped me a lot during my D. I told him I was doing this because he needed to seek help outside of me. Fortunately, he told me he had been discussing his suicidal thoughts with his therapist.
I just called a suicide hotline and the guy told me I did great. (Whatever that can be.) I took extra advice in case XSO tries to contact me in a crisis.
Any word of confort, reassurance, advice, wisdom, etc. would be really appreciated. I'm in shock.
[This message edited by burnt_toast at 9:26 PM, August 5th (Monday)]
He is manipulating you. He obviously has some mental issues and I am glad he is at least talking to a therapist.
At the end you have no control over what he does.
My very first serious boyfriend in college acted this same way when I wanted to break up with him. I felt bad for him, and stayed in the relationship because I didn't want the guilt if he did commit suicide. But, after a few times of him controlling my entire life, me wanting to end the relationship, him threatening suicide...I finally just walked away.
You can't help him. What he said to you, showed you, threatened you is just...horrible. His choices are his. You can't help him.
I think you handled it great and I'm sorry you have to go through this.
I've been suicidal once in my life, I can tell. It was detailed as heck.
But granted, I can't be his first respondent nor control how he deals with the breakup. I know that.
The whole thing is horribly sad and terrible in every way.
[This message edited by burnt_toast at 9:33 PM, August 5th (Monday)]
In the future, I would just go ahead and call 911!
I agree with the others that you shouldn't take this on by yourself and probably not at all...it appears he needs professional help for his suicidal thoughts and or his need to manipulate...he needs to get it and get it now.
I just think the best thing you could get from this site are the virtual hugs and support and...well hope he gets some serious therapy.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
It didn't end until I finally was counseled to tell him I'd never again beg him to live, I would simply call 911 immediately if he ever threatened suicide again, or if I ever even thought he was so sad that he might want to kill himself. And you know what? He never threatened suicide again.
I have been suicidal, many times in my life. starting in my early teens. It goes with my particular way of being severely depressed. It ramped up again with all the false R of this latest fuckup in my life known as my M to STBXWHNPDPAFTG.
I could NOT stop the thoughts from comping into my head. Driving was the worst. All the bridge abutments, trees, etc I could crash into.
I had to stop driving at freeway speeds. For months I took surface streets.
I told WH about my thoughts. He accused me of trying to manipulate him.
You know that if he does attempt or succeed at suicide, it isn't your fault. His depression is his to own. His thoughts are his responsibility to handle.
He can take specific action when he is less freaked out to help himself be less vulnerable to impulse when he freaks out again. Like, cancel the hotel reservation. Like, putting the phone number for his therapist, the suicide prevention hotline, etc. in his phone.
You cannot control him or cause or prevent any particular action on his part.
Let go. Breathe. Focus on you. When your thoughts go to this crazy shit, find an alternate thought to distract you. What are you going to put in the tossed salad? (one of my favorite go-to thoughts). Or visualize a park bench. Or upcoming maintenance on your car. ANYTHING to get your mind away from him.
Suicidal thoughts are not all that rare in depressed people. Actual suicide is.
My attorney said one phone call to the local 911 or suicide hotline would take care of it if it was a manipulation ploy.
Yes - you did the right thing and you are (unfortunatley) not alone.
[This message edited by EvenKeel at 10:05 AM, August 6th (Tuesday)]
Please take in consideraton XSO is the guy I rebuilt my life with after my D. He didn't cheat. He actually took care of me when I spent 2 years in a wheelchair. Understand this is an incredibly hard decision for me.
Thank you for all who posted. I appreciate all the wisdom and life based experience here.
I can handle shaking or challenging thoughts, but please be gentle as you deliver them.
I hope this message won't kill the thread as I still need support, but I had to clarify.
[This message edited by burnt_toast at 6:41 AM, August 6th (Tuesday)]
I feel bad for both of you. I think the suicide hotline person was right, you handled it well.
You cannot stop somone from ending their life if they are committed to that end, but you provided him with support and advice.
Don't be so hard on yourself. It is up to his therapist and himself now. Next time I agree that you should just call the hotline.
Your other post alarmed me when you stated how you broke up with him and he made camping plans and now this, him telling you of his plans of killing himself.
That sounds like a last stand statement that and his FOO issues might make him feel all is lost right now especially with the breakup.
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler
XSO has really put you in a hard place. I know that you are a very caring person and his actions will draw you to help. I am glad that you talked to a suicide hotline for advice.
The power to change the attitude of XSO is his. I am glad that he is in therapy. I am praying for him to be over his suicidal tendencies.
My only advice is don't get back together with him in these circumstances. Keep reaching out for support.
Take care of yourself! Do something for you today...
Remember you can care for someone without taking care "of" them. I'm so sorry he is is such pain, it isn't your fault and it isn't up to you to fix this.
My ex did this too when I told him it was over between us. I know it was only partly manipulative, and mostly based on his feeling hopeless. He had family that could gather around him so that I didn't have to. His family tried to make me "do" something about his sadness to take care of him, but I was able to set a boundary. I hope your XSO has other people IRL besides you. Can you let those people know he is hurting? Maybe they can offer him support so that you can continue to set limits...
[This message edited by better4me at 12:37 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]
Nearly ExH also did something kind of similar, where he talked to siblings during "confessions" about calling crisis hotlines and going to crisis centers. But he became such a blatant, f'ing liar that I don't know if it's believable or not.
I did the same as you and I also contacted his siblings, basically sounding an alarm for them to watch over him since I was no longer allowed.
I always have thought that if it made him truly that full of hurt, he should have tried to work it out when he had the chance. It was OW he should have let go, but he is so messed in the head that no one can tell him that he's mixed things all up.
It's not unheard of and things I've heard (from counselors, also) is that it sometimes is manipulation, unfortunately...but it's good that you checked up on what to do by calling the hotline. At least it's a bit of validation for you.
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
I'm sorry you had to go through this. I've ideated suicide before, but never went so far as to plan it or write a suicide note. Just thought about it. How not existing would be preferable to the unrelenting, fathomless pain.
And I've never threatened anyone with killing myself if they didn't respond the way I wanted. I am a controller, but I never, ever used suicide as a control method. Even to a controller like me, who controlled my wife for 4 years and is in IC right now to fix this, it wouldn't occur to me to use something as horrific as suicide as a tool. Yuck.
For sure there's some manipulation, but as you also pointed out, it was a massive cry for help. And you remain connected to him for some very good reasons. So of course you care.
You're not the only one here on SI who has been fucking BESIEGED by people who think they're being helpful, but who are in fact coming from a raw and traumatic place and want to protect you as much as they should protect themselves, and as a result are actually doing harm. It is difficult for a collective to allow for outliers or exceptions when they live so much of the time within the bulk of the bell curve. And who could blame them?
Understand that there are people who get what you're saying, we're just fewer in number because our experiences are less common. I sure learned that.
Hoping today is a better day with a bit more clarity for you and him.
It sounds like you did all that you could do to let him know you care about what happens to him, without assuming responsibility for his choices. I think you handled it as well as could be expected.
Sending hugs your way.