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Is It Possible to Continue Relationship After a Suicide Attempt?

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From a woman in the U.S.: I met the most loving guy 6 months ago through a dating app. He broke up with me a week ago through text saying he “couldn’t do this anymore” and “wanted it over” when he was having a depressed episode, a week after his family had called the psych ward because he was suicidal.

That week I had witnessed him hurt himself and he was suicidal. After he was handcuffed and taken in, he convinced them he wouldn’t hurt himself and the next day he sought a psych eval that showed major depression and PTSD, but he needed further evaluation to rule out bipolar disorder due to familial history.  He was very angry and aggravated that he couldn’t get help, argumentative at times and would blame me for fighting.

Lately, in the past 2 months, he had become distant and wanted to be alone, avoiding spending time with me. He was usually busy working or wanted to spend time with friends. In the beginning, he was very interested and by the 2nd week we had 7 dates and he met my family. He had been married twice before but wanted to have a committed, exclusive relationship. He made me feel loved before I told him on the 3rd week and then he told me the next week after.

We each have a son and would spend time together with the boys. My friends and family were very happy for us and approved. Earlier on I knew about his self-harm because he told me and I could see scars on his face. Communication was difficult at times since he has a hearing disability and during the 2nd month, he thought I broke up with him and we got back together 12 hours later. I had witnessed some PTSD episodes that he attributed to childhood abuse but never actually saw the self-harm till 2 weeks ago. He had mentioned that he felt pressured at times and that I was insecure.

We both love each other and wanted to be in the relationship 3 weeks ago. I am very hurt with how he ended it but confused as we are still friends on Facebook and he hasn’t deleted our pictures and posts. I still have belongings at his place and he hasn’t asked me to get them. I have given him space and only reached out twice to check on him and let him know that I am here for him. I really care about him and loved him. Do we have a chance to get back together?

Is It Possible to Continue Relationship After a Suicide Attempt?

Answered by on -

A.

There’s always “a chance” but in this case it’s really up to him. He has long-standing issues that need to be addressed before he can maintain a healthy relationship with anyone. Two of his marriages have fallen apart — probably due to inadequate treatment.

I don’t doubt that he has feelings for you. I do doubt that he can sustain a loving relationship when he is so distressed himself.

You’ve only known this man for 6 months and things already were shaky by month 2, and again at month 5. I’m sure he has many fine qualities or you wouldn’t be interested in him. But for your own mental health, I do think you should take a big step back. Block the FB. Get your stuff or abandon it. As lovely as he may be, he has too much personal work to do to be a consistent and loving partner for you at this time. To try to make a solid relationship with him now will be disappointing and frustrating.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Is It Possible to Continue Relationship After a Suicide Attempt?

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Is It Possible to Continue Relationship After a Suicide Attempt?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 30, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/04/05/is-it-possible-to-continue-relationship-after-a-suicide-attempt/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 3 Apr 2020 (Originally: 5 Apr 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 3 Apr 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.