My girlfriend is in love with me. I like her, but I’m not sure it’s a forever thing – and when the ‘how long will we stay together’ question popped up recently she said if I ever break up with her she will end her life. I feel our relationship is winding down and to be honest I was actually thinking of ending things. Now, I’m worried. I’m not sure instigating a break-up is the smartest of ideas. If she does kill herself …. well, I feel like it’ll be my fault. Can you help me out? What do I do? Jay
Threats like that puts you in a really difficult position. Your girlfriend obviously really has feelings for you but she also has other feelings she is finding it hard to control – for example perhaps anxiety (“I’ll be too anxious without you and I won’t cope”) and depression. You sound like you are both fairly young? If so, it would be a great idea to communicate with her parents – tell them that you are worried about her and the way she is thinking and feeling. Tell your parents. You cannot keep this information to yourself.
Chances are, she is not sure of how to cope and manage with her feelings, and needs support and help to do this which means sharing the responsibility with positive adults. If you really feel like ending the relationship, then do so with honesty, compassion and kindness. Tell her you’re worried about what she said, that you’re going to/have talked to other adults/friends of hers about it so she has help around her. A threat of suicide should never be taken lightly, but nor should it be a kind of ‘hook’ to keep you in a relationship you don’t want to be in.
The Friendly Psychologist