Did anyone hear experience their abusive ex using suicide threats? After episodes of verbal and physical violence my ex would self harm and threaten to kill themselves. I would always end up comforting them. In the very beginning it would make me frustrated as the self harm always came when they had done something wrong or to stop me from expressing an opinion during or row or to stop me defending myself verbally. Basically, they would scream abuse and I would have to take it. They would then cut themselves and tell me it was my fault for not shutting up or for answering back or trying to leave or stressing them out. Even when they had started it. But in the end I would just end up feeling guilty and comforting them, even though they were the ones in the wrong.
My ex could turn it on and off. Then after being blamed for their self harming, for doing something they didn't want me to do, or for speaking out of place or defending myself, I would be accused of not showing enough concern that they were self harming, despite knowing deep down that they were only doing it for a reaction or to control and whenever I brought it up I was shut down or blamed. As well as all of the other accusations. I couldn't do anything right. It was all crazy. I am still struggling with feelings of guilt that I caused someone to cut themselves and that I caused someone to verbally and physically abuse me.
Yes, it is actually very normal for an abuser to use self-harming and/or suicidal threats. If you think about it, it's a great way to gain control by playing on your compassion and kindness. Who wouldn't feel bad for someone who seems to be suffering, after all? It's a tactic. My ex used it, as do many other abusers.
It was not your fault and you did not make him/her do this.
Hi Polarone, I personally did not experience it, but I had a colleague whose ex did try to commit suicide. I believe he did it to avoid showing up in court for the hearing to continue the restraining order she had against him. He definitely did it to get to her. And if I remember it right, the way he tried was very lame, meaning it really wasn't going to kill him. He took a bunch of pain pills or something along those lines. He knew it would just be enough to get him in the hospital for a few days.
It is very normal though. They use all kinds of tactics. The point is not to blame yourself or feel responsible for their behavior. You did not cause him to be the way he is. You did not make him make the choice to try and end his life. And honestly, if he REALLY wanted to die, he would have done something way more permanent and done something that would no doubt kill him. Many just want attention and to manipulate your emotions.
Hi Polarone, My ex used to do the same. He used to bang his head on the wall, punch the wall, or cut himself saying things like ‘every word you say I’ll cut myself more if I feel it’s a lie’. .. and of course in his opinion I was always lying. So I had to do everything he wanted to make him stop. He soon got over the self harm though and preferred to beat me. Once, I tried to leave him, and he left a note for me threatening suicide.. of course I took him back and the week after he sent me to the hospital. It’s not our fault, that’s their most efficient abuse technique.
Thank you marina. My ex stopped hurting themselves in the beginning to then just hurting me. They stopped self harming, just like that, like flicking off a switch and then it was all me being injured by them. I hope you are OK now thanks for sharing your story
My ex did that a lot. And it was all just to control and hurt me further. It was very effective because he knew I was traumatized over the suicide of my father. So yes, it is common. At the same time, I must admit that I only found the strength to leave him after I tried to suicide myself. But I never threatened him with that. I was emotionally and physically assaulted although I am handicapped because of him basically - he drove a scooter and caused an accident where I hurt my knees so badly that I cannot walk without crutches anymore. And after years of abuse after that accident in the name of "helping" me, I was so tired and empty inside, that I thought if this is what my life is gonna be from now on non-stop ( with the abuse getting worse and worse every year ), I rather end it now than take any more of that. But, then I thought of my friends and family and got to intensive care unit. Eventually I am glad that I went so far, because it finally freed me of him for good ! I did end it, but by staying alive !!! He is still stalking me etc., but my life is so much better now, and there is help available from other people and sources. Please, do not do what I did, just leave and get help before you feel so worn out as I did! And talk with your friends etc. My ex stopped threatening me with suicide after I said firmly that if he feels like that, I must call an ambulance and get him admitted to hospital for his own protection. But I still fear that he might do something just to punish me and play the victim. Luckily for me, at least my friends and family sees him for what he is, ´cause so many things he says and does are simply so irrational - but when he is doing better, he can truly collect himself and make a very good expression to many health-professionals etc. Has gotten out of so much trouble where most of us would never even dream of making it without prison-sentence or at least being forced to go into mental hospital. My advice : next time your ex says she will kill herself or does physical self-harm, call an ambulance ! I´m not in U.S. but where I live, self-harm is enough to get admitted to hospital, and seems like your ex really needs that. I wish you all the best, stay strong and don´t let her scare you!