Dear Mary: My ex-girlfriend says she’ll kill herself if I don’t move in with her

I am currently in a difficult situation with my ex-girlfriend. We are both in our early twenties. Towards the end of last year, we were still together and she asked me if I wanted to pack up and move into an apartment with her. I told him that I didn’t know yet if I was ready to make this decision.

We broke up the following week and didn’t speak for a few weeks. However, recently she keeps asking me if I want to move in with her and her friends who currently live in the apartment. I told her again that I wasn’t ready for this and she got mad at me. More recently, she said she would kill herself if I didn’t move in, because she thought she was going to charge me rent and share my bed. She had attempted suicide before I met her – I was unaware of this until later in our relationship.

I am very afraid of being manipulated into making this gesture, but I fear that she will follow through on her claims if I choose to move on.

Mary responds: Looks like you’re still somehow involved with this girl, even though you refer to her as your ex. As far as I know, she wanted you to move in with her when you were still a couple, but now she wants you to move in anyway so you can pay some of the rent and she can share your bed. So even though you refer to her as your ex, she still wants to have some kind of relationship with you.

In today’s society, there are so many deaths by suicide, especially among young people, that we all need to be vigilant whenever we hear of someone threatening to end their life. All the more so for you when you know this girl has already tried it once.

However, you can’t afford to be coerced to such a degree that you do something you don’t want to do, like move in with her and her friends. You will therefore have to explain very carefully to him that it is extremely unfair of him to put you in this position.

People move in together when they are sure of their love for each other and want to take the relationship to the next level. It is a serious form of commitment, often predating a lifelong commitment, and something that cannot be undertaken lightly. When you were in the relationship, you told her that you weren’t ready to move in, so you have to point out that nothing has changed at all in that regard.

I appreciate that you’re really worried that she might kill herself because of all of this, but you have to consider your own needs as well.

Instead, make sure she knows the Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123 for those feeling suicidal, or just because they need someone to talk to. . Or she can call Pieta House, which offers a similar crisis telephone service, on 1800 247 247.

She has put you in a difficult situation, of course, but you must protect your own well-being while being concerned for her. It might also help to have a word with one of her housemates so you can better understand how she is doing mentally.

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If you continue to struggle with this and you already know them, talk to a family member and tell them about your concerns.

They will no doubt know his story and will therefore take everything you say seriously. Once informed, you will no longer feel so alone in your sense of responsibility.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting or by emailing her at [email protected] or by writing to c/o 27-32 Talbot St, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be dealt with confidential manner. Mary O’Conor regrets that she cannot answer any questions in private.

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