WARNING: IF YOU THINK THAT SOMEONE IS AT RISK OR HARM, CALL EMERGENCY ‘000’
THIS ARTICLE IS FOR PEOPLE WHO KNOW THAT THEIR EX-SPOUSE IS SAFE AND NOT A THREAT TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS.
At the end of a relationship, often one spouse copes better with the change than the other. One of the spouse may feel a sense of relief, optimism and elation compared to the other who is lost, confused and filled with remorse or regret. Grief is also a common emotion: Grief for the loss of what was, what could have been and what should have been in the marriage/union can cause people to behave in unusual ways after it has ended.
I once had a partner who (at break-up) said that if I wasn’t in his life, then he didn’t want to live. He liked to drive fast and I remember thinking that he was going to either wrap the car around a telegraph pole or drive it off a cliff. I recall being so stressed that I didn’t sleep at all that night. I heard every sound and siren out of my bedroom window. I didn’t know what the severity of the situation was or could have been and what I should have done. The next day, when I learned that he was safe and well, my first reaction was relief that he was safe followed by anger towards him for making me so concerned.
If your ex-spouse threatens suicide and the suicide threat is unexpected, you believe it is genuine or if you know of other contributing concerning and relevant circumstances (such as known underlying issues or mental health concerns), call the police ‘000’.
An ex-spouse who unexpectedly finds themselves single may want to control your happiness by making you stress, worry, become concerned and anxious to induce regret for breaking up. Your ex-spouse knows how to ‘get a rise’, aggravate and frustrate you. They will know that the fastest way to get you seriously concerned is to threaten suicide.
When someone says their final farewell, or says they want to end their life, it isn’t that they necessarily want to be back with you. Some reasons may be:
By reaching out and saying their last goodbye, more often than not, the person is asking for attention rather than actually trying to end their life. Sometimes it isn’t a direct “I am going to kill myself.” The veiled messages are ambiguous which makes knowing how to best handle the situation even trickier. They may say things like: • ‘You were so good to me. Don’t ever forget that I will always love you’ • ‘You’re the best mother/father. I will love you forever.’ • ‘Look after those beautiful children. Remind them every day that I love them’ • ‘I don’t want to live like this’ • ‘How can you be happy when I am so miserable? It’s not fair. I am not going to do this anymore’ • ‘Bye, bye. I am done’
It is commonly sprouted that if someone was going to commit suicide they would just do it and not tell anyone. However, you do need to take pre-cautions. As you can appreciate, every person is different and every situation is different.
However, if you are confident that your ex-spouse is safe, below are some techniques for you to employ
If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact Emergency ‘000’. Alternative contact numbers are: Suicide Call Back Service - 24/7 Helpline 1300 659 467 LifeLine - 13 11 14 White Wreath Association – Action Against Suicide - 24/7 Helpline 1300 766 177 or 0410 526 562