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Marriage break up and talk of self harm

(26 Posts)
ConcernedFriend90 Mon 15-Jun-20 18:06:48

Hi all,

I read a lot on here but haven’t posted in years. I’m after some advice to help a friend.

He’s married to his wife of 20 years, he’s been unhappy for a few years and started seeing someone else with the intention of leaving. It all came out and he said he told his wife he wanted to leave but was then convinced to stay and fix things. He’s just told me that he’s concerned as she’s intimated towards harming herself if he leaves. I don’t know what advice to give him, he now feels like he can’t leave because he feels responsible for her and wouldn’t be able to cope if he left and she did do something.

I’ve said that if she feels that way he needs to find her some support from the Dr or something but if he is serious about wanting to leave he can’t stay for that reason.

Thanks for any advice

OP’s posts: |
Oliveoil2020 Mon 15-Jun-20 19:49:23

Sadly, many people threaten to kill themselves in times of desperation, especially when they want to keep another person in their lives.

In my job, I've seen in over and over again and research shows that the people who threaten it, often don't go through with it.

I feel for both parties. It's traumatic after such a lengthy marriage. x

longtimecomin Mon 15-Jun-20 22:22:52

This is a common tactic of an abusive person, don't leave because I'll myself.

It's fine to call their bluff, if a person kills themselves, they can't blame another, it was only ever the person who killed them selves.

And they don't tend to do it, it's just a tactic.

Embracelife Mon 15-Jun-20 22:26:20

Her mental health is her responsibility.
If she threatens to kill herself he must dial 999 and she will then get medical support.

ConcernedFriend90 Mon 15-Jun-20 23:18:41

Thanks so much for the replies!

I have told him that her mental health is her responsibility and the only thing he can do is get her help if she genuinely needs it.

I think he’s just so scared and would feel so guilty if something happens which I understand but he can’t stay somewhere he doesn’t want to be for that reason.

OP’s posts: |
ChittyChittyBoomBoom Mon 15-Jun-20 23:25:50


This is a common tactic of an abusive person, don't leave because I'll myself.

It's fine to call their bluff, if a person kills themselves, they can't blame another, it was only ever the person who killed them selves.

And they don't tend to do it, it's just a tactic.

It’s not always a tactic of an abusive person.

When my husband ended our 16 year marriage, I genuinely wanted to die. I couldn’t see a way forward and thought I’d have to live with the unbearable pain forever.

Thankfully, he booked me a gp appointment and took me to the appointment himself where I was able to get some support in place.

Yeahnahmum Tue 16-Jun-20 03:31:11

It's a tactic. He needs to get her a go appointment and then leave her.

user1481840227 Tue 16-Jun-20 04:38:52

My ex used to threaten works. I stayed trapped for so many years.

The best thing to do is let her family and doctor know

I don't know the circumstances and don't always think that cheating is black or white, but she could be very emotionally fragile right now if he's been gaslighting her or convincing her she was paranoid while he was seeing someone else and now he's up and leaving. She could have a few years of pain/hurt/trauma and be completely emotionally drained if she was doing the pick me him saying he's leaving now might make her genuinely feel that her world is ending any maybe she is in a very bad headspace.

OR she really could just be saying it to try to stop him.

Either way he needs to tell her family and/or doctor.

Embracelife Tue 16-Jun-20 16:11:10

Ask him does he actually have the power to stop her killing herself ?
He has power to call 999 and to tell her gp (gpwill decide what to do with the information)

He has power over his own choices
If the marriage is dead hd is not helping v her by staying
He should free her.

Embracelife Tue 16-Jun-20 16:12:16

If you were speaking to the wife you would say
Kick out the cheating arse

So staying is not the answer

Cocobean30 Tue 16-Jun-20 16:24:04

My abusive ex did this and I stayed unwillingly and miserably for a couple more years. When I snapped and left he threatened it again but did nothing. He needs to book her a gp appointment, make her family aware, and leave.

However as some have said she might genuinely mean it because of the pain she is in, I’m not trying to diminish that.

Embracelife Tue 16-Jun-20 16:35:51

Him staying will increase her pain as he is a cheat. Shd is missing directing her pain and needs therapy counselling to see that

TwentyViginti Tue 16-Jun-20 16:38:38

She is in turmoil and pain because he cheated on her. She needs support, but not from him.

litterbird Tue 16-Jun-20 16:40:27

This happened to my friend not long ago who finally got the guts to leave her abusive husband. She left that morning, bags packed and went to her parents after trying to leave countless times. He pulled this little number on her and she went running back. She is now trapped as she is now scared he will actually do it next time she wants to leave. It can be an abuse tactic, not anyones responsibility but the person threatening. Get her to a doc and phone 999 if they pull this stunt again.

litterbird Tue 16-Jun-20 16:41:30

Sorry didn't see the next posts, if she feels like this after knowing about an affair then she needs help, maybe therapy and medication to help with the shock and pain.

ConcernedFriend90 Tue 16-Jun-20 23:01:17

Thanks again for replies.

I don’t know her so I don’t know if it’s genuine, he says he didn’t expect it from her but from what he’s said it sounds like she’s using it as a last desperate attempt to make him stay, but as I say I don’t know her so it could be genuine.

Yes I’ve told him he need to get her support from friends/family/gp and as much as she wants him to be the support it has to come from elsewhere.

OP’s posts: |
needhandhold Wed 17-Jun-20 06:56:18

Has she got any support at all? He’s your friend but you don’t actually know his wife? So he’s got another woman on the go and you as his emotional crutch and who has she got? Why are you propping up a cheat? Do you even know if this is true? How long have you been friends and how do you actually know him? If he was unhappy then why didn’t he leave BEFORE having sex with another woman. Have you actually asked him any of this? Maybe the reason the marriage is unhappy is because he’s been having an affair? You really want to be friends with this person? Why are you listening to his sordid little affair stories? Poor wife was my first thought. Maybe you should ring her and offer her some support

Mimishimi Wed 17-Jun-20 07:03:03

20 years. Woah. So she's probably at least 45. I can see why she would be really sad and concerned for the future. However, she shouldn't be threatening to kill herself - it's either her overreacting initially or perhaps she is manipulative.

ConcernedFriend90 Wed 17-Jun-20 11:41:30

@needhandhold I’ve known him a couple of years through work, I don’t know her it wouldn’t be my place to call her, I know she has friends/family.

I don’t think it’s for you or me to judge their relationship and why what has happened has happened as we aren’t there.

OP’s posts: |
ConcernedFriend90 Wed 17-Jun-20 11:49:43

@Mimishimi They’re both late 30’s. Yes it’s a big change and a lot to come to terms with so bound to be really sad.

OP’s posts: |
WellIWasInTheNeighbourhoo Wed 17-Jun-20 11:50:23

Is he still seeing the OW? Maybe Im cynical but that sounds like the sort of thing cheaters say in order to stay with the wife and keep on with the affair. If he truly cared for his wifes mental health he would not have cheated and left the marriage with both their dignity in tact. Cheating is a really crap thing to do to an unsuspecting spouse and its no wonder she freaked out. I bet there is all sorts of hysterical bonding going on. I would take the cheaters perspective and story with a grain of salt, they have already proven themselves to be dishonest.

ConcernedFriend90 Wed 17-Jun-20 13:13:05


I don’t know? You might be right but I’m not really sure then what the benefit of him telling me that would be?

Yes I agree, and from what he’s told me he has handled the whole thing pretty badly and I’ve told him that.

OP’s posts: |
Buffyer Fri 19-Jun-20 16:57:20

Chances are she hasn’t threatened that at all. It’s something people say to their affair partners to keep them sweet. Not always, but often.

He is probably telling her this affair is completely over and telling his new lady that he really wants to leave but his wife will kill herself if he does. hmm extremely common tactic.

What it really means is he wants his wife to remain his wife and his mistress to remain his mistress and he won’t ever leave her, but she may get lucky and he will choose her if the wife finds out and leaves him.

1235kbm Fri 19-Jun-20 17:01:41

OP are you the OW? Sounds like the kind of spin someone would tell the OW as a reason as to why they couldn't leave.

LouLouLoo Fri 19-Jun-20 17:05:45

He didn’t care about her when he was shagging another woman did he?

Maybe if he’s handled things better she wouldn’t be so desperate now.

I wouldn’t necessarily believe him either.

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