Why are relationship break-ups so difficult?
The end of a significant relationship is difficult and there can be a great deal of emotion and uncertainty. The decision to end the relationship is often made by one partner despite the feelings and commitment of the other.
In some cases, the overwhelming nature of the situation can lead to one partner feeling hopeless and suicidal. In these instances, it is more often the person who feels aggrieved or abandoned who might feel suicidal rather than the person who has chosen to end the relationship.
The person who made the decision to end the relationship has usually gone through a lengthy grieving and letting-go process, before leaving the relationship. And in most cases, they have already determined what their future will look like. They are much further along the journey of separation than the other partner.
In contrast, while the person left behind might have been aware of conflict or problems within the relationship, it often comes as a shock when their partner leaves. In some instances, the aggrieved or abandoned partner may then directly blame the other, for the suicidal feelings they are having.
Alternatively, the person who made the decision to end the relationship may in some way feel responsible or that they have done something to cause them to feel this way. It is important to understand that it is usually not their fault.
It may be helpful to remember the following if you are ever in this situation:
It is important for you to remember that your partner or spouse is responsible for their own thoughts and feelings, just as you are responsible for your own thoughts and feelings.
Supporting an ex-partner who is distressed or suicidal
It can be very difficult to work out how much support you can provide your partner as they go through their personal grieving process following the end of your relationship. Even though you have made the decision to end the relationship, it can be very troubling to witness someone who you have had a relationship with experiencing such distressing emotions.
While you may want to give the other person support, you need to think if you are the right person to do that. It is important that they do not get the wrong message about your thoughts about possibly continuing the relationship.
There are a number of things that you can do. These include:
If your former partner threatens suicide, you can seek the assistance of the emergency services and if you believe their life is at immediate risk, it is recommended that you contact the police and ambulance service by dialling ‘999’.