Friend is Plotting to Murder Ex

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hi my friend was convicted of a sex crime at age 21. He says he never did it and the girl lied because he would not date her. He has dealt with it for years and has always said one day he would get her back for lying on him. The only thing that kept him in check was his family and he knew they relied on him for all the financial support. Its the only thing that kept him from seeking revenge on the girl.

Well he lost his job and his wife ended up with a job making way more than he ever has and they are very financially stable now. However he tells me he sits around all day thinking about how to kill her and her family and plotting it out and he can help but to have these thoughts. His reason for not getting his revenge is gone now.

I don’t know how to help him. He gets up in the morning and he is normal. By noon he is online plotting her death. At night he is in panic mode trying to figure out a way to stop his self. I really feel he is going to end up snapping one day soon and getting his revenge by killing the girl and hes going to destroy his life and never seeing his kids again.

Im not sure what kind of disorder you call this but he is in pain 24/7. I see him crying one second and laughing the next. Ive been his friend since 2nd grade. what should I do?

A: Your friend is very lucky to have a friend like you. You are very right to be concerned. I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of your letter but I can tell you that what you wrote suggests that losing his job and losing his sense that he was needed has put him over the edge. It’s possible that he is struggling with a depression with psychotic features. He needs more than your friendship. He needs to be evaluated by a professional mental health worker (psychologist) ASAP. Enlist his wife as a partner. She deserves to know what is going on. Make some calls and find a therapist or crisis team that will be willing to see him. Then do your best to get him there.

It probably won’t work to try to talk him out of his anger. It’s almost impossible to reason someone out of thinking that is so unreasonable. But maybe you can appeal to his sense of responsibility. You and his wife can remind him it won’t do his children any good to have their father in prison and to be the children of a murderer. Tell him that there are other ways for him to gain closure from what was a devastating experience for him. Murdering someone will only backfire on his family. Offer to drive him to the appointment and even to go with him if it will help him follow through.

If you aren’t successful, you and his wife should talk to the crisis team in your area and ask for advice about whether there are legal steps you can and should take to make sure both his ex and he stay safe.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Nov 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Friend is Plotting to Murder Ex. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/11/01/friend-is-plotting-to-murder-ex/