He Said He'll Kill Himself If I Break Up With Him

Published: February 20, 2018
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I recently started dating someone, at first everything was great. But now he's constantly calling me at all times asking what i'm doing, where i am, with who and sometimes even telling me who I should and should not hang out with. A few weeks he got very drunk and started saying he'd kill himself because i was going to break up with him and I'm kind of scared.
Signed: He Said He'll Kill Himself If I Break Up With Him

Dear He Said He'll Kill Himself If I Break Up With Him,

TeenHealthFX can appreciate that you would be feeling scared about this situation. For one thing, it is certainly unsettling to have a significant other relate in such a controlling way in terms of following up on where you are and who you are with, as well as making demands on who you can be with and where you can be. Even more, it can feel very scary for someone to make it seem like it is up to us whether or not they live or die. So TeenHealthFX would like you to remember the following:

A healthy relationship does not involve the type of controlling behaviors you have described. You should not be told by your significant other who you are allowed to see or where you are allowed to be. That is not how a loving, trusting, healthy relationship works.

As for his comment to you that he would kill himself if you broke up with him, FX invites you to look at that statement as unloving and manipulative because he is basically making it sound like it is in your power and control as to whether he hurts himself or not. And he is trying to use guilt to keep you in the relationship, which is not a caring thing to do. The fact is that he is fully responsible for his own emotional well-being and whether he takes action to harm himself or not. If he is concerned about how depressed he is or that he might hurt himself, the healthy response and the caring response to you (and to himself) would be for him to seek out professional mental health treatment.

FX thinks that it is important for you to share this with a trusted adult such as a parent/guardian, a school counselor, your school nurse, a teacher or anyone else who can intervene and provide you with the guidance and support you need right now as you deal with this complicated situation. It would be helpful for you talk to someone about your being in this unhealthy relationship and how to handle it. FX also thinks it is important for someone who can intervene on his behalf to be notified about his statement so they can ensure that he gets the help he needs.


In addition to reaching out for help for yourself, if you feel it could be helpful you can also pass on the information listed below. You can let him know that you are very sorry to hear he is feeling so distraught right now and you definitely do not want him to do anything to hurt himself, but that if he is in struggling emotionally to the point where he is talking about suicide, he needs to seek out professional help for himself right away.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

If you get to the point that you are seriously considering suicide or are afraid of your impulses then you need to seek help immediately. You can call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. In northern New Jersey you can also call the crisis hotline from Morristown Medical Center at 973-540-0100. Outside this area call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, available toll-free 24/7. You can also use the Crisis Text Line by texting “connect” to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. This service is free and available nationwide 24/7.

Signed: TeenHealthFX