Your Boyfriend Says He Will Kill Himself If You Break Up!

What Can You Do?

Hello there,

There are many things that are common in abusive relationships but here is one you may not realize!  

The abusive partner threatens suicide when the victim either tries to break up and leave or he is losing control. I have seen this happen many times including with my own abusive marriage! 

So when you try to break up with your boyfriend or leave your husband and he tells you, “If you leave me I will kill myself”, what do you do?

It seems like a no-win situation. When someone you’re close to says something like this, it can feel like the world just stopped spinning.

If your boyfriend or spouse regularly threatens suicide, particularly whenever you’re not doing something he wants you to do, or when you’re trying to leave the relationship?

It is first important to understand that this is a form of emotional abuse.  By playing on your feelings of love and fear from them, they are trying to manipulate you to get what they want.  When this happens it may make you feel like you have to give into them in order to keep them from attempting to end their life.

 Here are some suggestions to help you and possibly your partner as well.


There is a reason you want to break up!  Having a boundary set before you talk to them about breaking up and sticking to it is huge.   Giving in to threats over and over does not make a relationship healthy, and it only creates anger and resentment on your end. You could say something like, “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.”

Don’t take on responsibility for their choices! 

Put the choice to live or die where it belongs – on your partner. You can’t be responsible for another person’s actions, no matter what – and this includes when your partner chooses to be abusive. An optional response is: “I think our relationship should be based on love and respect, not threats. I really care about you, but this is your choice and I can’t stop you from making it.”

Remember that you have nothing to prove! 

No matter what your partner says, you don’t have to prove anything. Even though they might be saying something like, “If you really loved me, you’d stop me from killing myself,” the real truth is that there are unhealthy patterns in your relationship. Until those unhealthy patterns are addressed, they will most likely continue no matter how many times you give in to your partner’s demands.

Remember!  You are not qualified! 

Unless you are trained in counseling someone who threatens suicide, you are not qualified to help them one on one.  If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, it is important to get them help.  

If you really are afraid that he may harm himself, call emergency services and tell them what happened. 

  • If calling emergency services, tell them specific details. Be clear about the threats made, and add details.  

  National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Remember, you are not your partner’s counselor, and you can’t force them to get help if they don’t want to. They have to make that choice for themselves.

Tell Someone!  

If your partner threatens suicide DO NOT keep it a secret.  This is something that is too big for you and him to handle alone.  If he truly is suicidal, he needs help.  

Avoid blaming yourself for the situation!

Suicidal thoughts are not your fault, and they are not because of you—they are the product of the person’s life, brain chemistry, and history. If your ex gets hurt, it is not your fault. Don’t stay in a bad relationship out of fear. No one person should be responsible for keeping someone else alive.

I hope this has been helpful to you.  You deserve to be in a happy, healthy and loving relationship.  Being in a relationship is hard work even when it is healthy and full of love.  Loving someone does not make them healthy and  it does not make them treat you better.  Getting away from a destructive relationship is ok!  They get to pick and so do you!  

Peace and Blessings, 




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