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My fiancé tried to kill himself; how could he do that to the people he loves?: Ask Ellie

Written by on July 3, 2019


This past year, my grandchild was seeing her biological parent, then having night terrors, accidents, later going after my animals. Life is not easy.

During March, when my mom was hospitalized a lot, my fiancé called me to express his great anger at his father (they never had a great relationship).

Their argument escalated, my fiancé left and tried to commit suicide (taking pills).

So, while worrying about my mom, I spent this day begging my fiancé to tell me where he was, so that I could try to help him.

Police were called. We spent hours trying to find him, calling and texting him to keep him awake.

He wouldn’t answer my calls, his text messages were cryptic, short and horrible.

Finally, his friend convinced him to go to the hospital, where he acted as if nothing was wrong with what he had done.

Meanwhile, my mom was transferred to a different hospital and not doing well. My fiancé was sent home late that night, and I demanded that he get help.

After two counselling sessions, he said that the counsellor told him he needn’t come back unless he felt it was necessary.

My fiancé has told everyone that the attempt was ALL his dad’s fault.

I’ve struggled with his attempt for many reasons: 1. He knows single-handedly what suicide does to survivors and has previously made it clear how he felt about people who do this to their families and friends. 2. He showed total lack of empathy for me and our kids (my four, his two) during his attempt by disregarding our attempts to help him.

I’ve since lost my mom and cannot understand how he could put the kids and myself through this kind of pain intentionally. I’d give anything to have my mom back, yet he was willing to end his life over an argument with his dad.

I’ve tried to forgive him and understand his thoughts, but he still insists it was all his dad’s fault.

I don’t think I can get over the emotional beating I took when he tried to do this.

I walk on eggshells, fearing I’ll say/do something that’ll push him over the edge again. My kids do the same (we have an eight-year-old at home and the grandchild).

People say not to make any major decisions following something like my mom’s devastating death, but I feel that I can’t stay. However, I can’t afford the house on my own.

Lost and Confused

A: You’re in deep grief, he’s grieving too, though in different ways.

It is unwise to make major, impactful moves like leaving a partner and home base so soon after a loss.

If you haven’t had grief counselling, start it now. But remember, the past two years have been chaotic on several fronts, it’s not just your partner’s behaviour that’s affecting you.

Yes, he needs more professional help. Since you say he “single-handedly” knows suicide’s impact on family, did his mother/sibling/a close friend commit suicide? What’s the underlying father-son issue?

If you and he get therapy separately and then together, you’ll be stronger to get past this difficult period together, or apart.

Ellie’s tip of the day

Let time and counselling help you absorb devastating events before making dramatic, difficult moves.

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Ellie Tesher is an advice columnist for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: ellie@thestar.ca.





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