I've been seeing a girl for a little while now. And there's this pattern that keeps happening which is driving me to insanity. It roughly goes like this:

1: Early in the day I say I can't meet her plans exactly as she wants. She has a habit of making grand plans without consulting and just expecting she will spend all weekend with me. I say I can't stay with her all day as I have to work in the evening or the like (the truth). I try to offer a compromise of doing something else with her another time.

2: She gets angry, dismissive, my not seeing her in the next few days the way she wants means I'm not seeing her for the next few weeks.

3: Constant phone calls at night. Often with her saying nothing. Sometimes screaming down the line. Either way it wears me down, saps all my energy and leaves me a zombie the next day.

4: Midnight. After I'm in bed. She calls and says she is going to jump on the highway or somesuch and I have to come. The first time or two I believed her and came running...she was fine. Since then I have tried to ignore this seeing it as just a means of control

Yes. I know. It's not a healthy relationship. She isn't marriage material. I won't be with her forever. Nonetheless I do care about her and have this big "what if she means it" in my head, I don't want to be partially responsible for her death. Like it or not I'm in this situation and of the people she is close to I'm the one who lives closest (40 minutes by s train).

My concerns are:

A: What if "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" comes true? What if this time she means it for real? How should I correctly handle these demands that I come to her place right now or else?

B: How do I avoid getting to this stage in the first place? Short of caving to her every whim and doing whatever she says. I can't live my life like that, I have my own stuff too.

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    Did you (or she, or you both) already look for professional help? Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 9:44
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    yes. she isn't a priority. health system is a shambles for this sort of thing
    – Jens
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 10:00
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    @Jens could you add a location tag to the question? We're a big fan of cultural context on this site :)
    – Tinkeringbell
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 10:25
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is something that requires professional help. All the advice you can get here might do more bad than good, so it's better not to ask advice from random internet people.
    – Tinkeringbell
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 16:31

6 Answers 6


First let me state that everything I am going to say is from my own experience as someone that was exactly like your girlfriend not so long ago.

I think that the best for you would be to break up. Your girlfriend is clearly overly possessive, somewhat manipulative, and potentially dangerous. But, if you really want to make things better, there's a few things that could help.

(A) Professional help

Like @Anne Daunted asked: did you look for professional help? If not, then it is a very good idea to look into it. A professional might recognise symptoms of a potential disorder, and/or help you and her control those reactions.

Most of the time, a girlfriend threatening to kill herself will not do it. But there is always a slim possibility. That is where a professional can tell the difference between possessive behavior, and dangerous behavior.

(B) Assert yourself

I think that in a relationship, once "roles" have been established it becomes extremely hard to move out of those "roles", because the relationship is building up itself on those.

That's why it is important to be careful to create a healthy basis for a relationship from the start. Things like Respect, Communication, and Honesty are extremely important in a relationship, and I think yours is lacking at least two of them:

Respect: She does not respect you, she treats you as if you belong to her, and while it is what some people want from a relationship, it is also not what you seem to be looking for. She calls you at any time of the night, meaning that, for her, you should always be ready to answer her, she threatens you, so that you go home to her. If you can't attend the plan she makes, she ignores you. She does not treat you as a human being, for her, you should plan your life according to hers.

In a relationship, both parties should be equals, if you want to avoid a situation like this in the future, make sure that the other person treats you with respect, and that you treat them the same way.

Communication: Obviously there is a lack of communication, I think that both of you are expecting different things from a relationship. She is planning things without asking you, and getting angry if you can't attend. When a couple or a group is planning something, everyone should be involved in the planning (unless it is a surprise, or something like a bachelor party of course).

If you want to avoid such a situation, you should make sure that both parties are involved in the planning. Also, you might need to make clear what you're looking for in a relationship when you start dating. Not everyone has the same view of what a relationship means.

(C) Another piece of advice

There is many professionals that help people when it comes to relationships, there is of course, couple therapy, for those already in a relation, but there are also some professionals that can help people find a partner that corresponds to them better. You might want to look into that if you find that you often fall in relationship that doesn't suit you.

My advice regarding what you should do:

You are currently in a relationship, which does not make you happy. Moreover this relationship is putting a lot of stress and pressure on yourself. I understand that you care for her and do not want to harm her. I have been like your girlfriend, I was the clingy one, the demanding one, I was desperate for my girlfriend's attention, and would resort to petty tricks to get it.

So from my own experience, I believe that the best solution would be to have a long, and clear discussion with her. Telling her how and why she is causing you a lot of problems, and that you need her to stop. You need to be as honest as possible, but also need to make it clear that you can't take this anymore, you are not her pet. If that doesn't help, then I would advise in breaking up.

I hope this might help you a little.

If you worry about her suicide threats, something that should be looked into is Preventions Hotline (they might change depending on your country). Those hotlines can help you deal with a potential suicidal person, and it can also give you insight on those threats, you can also contact them by chat if I remember correctly.

edit :

As stated by @Tycho'sNose: Crisis hotlines might be better suited for that kind of situation.

  • thanks a lot. I uncovered the local help line but its no good to have just me phone it, she has to do it herself, which when she is like so; she won't.
    – Jens
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 11:17
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    @Jens There are also hotlines for people in crisis, not just suicide lines. But I don't know if you live in the US. You can call to talk about how you can handle this. Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 11:37
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    @Tycho'sNose I did'nt know about the crisis hotline, thanks for brining it up
    – user3399
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 11:49

What if "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" comes true? What if this time she means it for real?

It's not your fault. It's not your fault. I had an ex who would lock himself in a room telling me he's about to kill himself and holding a knife. At first, I did what you did. Then I realized he's histrionic but I also knew that there is a thin line between being histrionic, acting and actually performing the act. People like him and your girlfriend are mentally ill and need help. Do you want to help her? You could suggest she seeks help or get counseling yourself.

She shouldn't blackmail you like that and you shouldn't have to put up with it just because she is mentally ill. This isn't healthy at all. And there isn't much to say other than she needs help and you need advice from a professional. Take this seriously because it is. I'm not saying she isn't suffering and I'm not saying she cannot love you but as the situation stands right now, she is not capable of being with you in a healthy loving relationship.

How should I correctly handle these demands that I come to her place right now or else?

You don't go to her place or else. If you do worry she might harm herself, you could tell her that next time she threatens to kill herself you might have to call the police (if advised to do so from helpline first) and give them her address. This is what is done in the United States as a last resort. Don't do this unless advised to.

If you don't live in the US search for suicide/crisis hotlines in your country.


This is classic mental abuse, you should leave.

This is just as unacceptable is physical abuse. It will not get better, and if it will it's temperal. I know this because I experienced something similar, and I though my situation was different than the others, which it never is.

I know this sounds really harsh and isn't the preferred choice, but I've seen myself and several of my friends crash while trying to find a solution because we though we could fix this.

"I'll just put in a little effort, it'll get better."
"It's not that bad really, as long as she's happy I am."
"I will just ask the internet for advice."

Sound familiar? The problem with each of those arguments is they're all from your perspective, it's all "I should", not "we should".

You could try one last attempt, but stick to it. Just state that you will no longer tolerate this. That shouldn't sound as a bluf, or challenge, or threat, it is just saying a fact. If she does not change, it's better for you to call it quits. You should expect that if you break up, she'll claim that now she understands and is changed! Fun fact: that very rarely actually happens.


The others all made excellent points, this is definitely abuse: Emotional Blackmail and Another link.

However, an important point has not been mentioned yet: you gotta save your own life...

This woman seems mentally unstable, therefore you cannot expect to be able to anticipate what she will do.

If you leave her, she could seek help and heal (let's hope for this) or find another boyfriend and repeat the process, but she could also ruin your life:

  • If she kills herself, you will be suspected of abuse, and at least go through an unpleasant interrogation. If she leaves a suicide note blaming it on you, then it could be a lot more unpleasant.
  • She could simply accuse you of abuse.
  • She could make a false rape accusation.

She could also go for the timeless classics like destroying your car. That's way less important, of course, it's only a material possession.

So, next time she threatens to kill herself, call 911 or the local emergency equivalent, and ask them for advice about what to do (always a reasonable thing to do anyway when someone threatens to kill themselves!)

They will have a recording of you calling for help, which you can later use in case of legal trouble.

Backup the emails and record all the calls.

This doesn't mean you have to be mean to her! On the contrary, you should help her find help with a professional.

And you should really end this relationship.


The other answers to this question are good, so I won't repeat them, please read user3399 and Tycho's Nose's answer and take them to heart. I feel I can add something, speaking from experience of having a girlfriend like this in my teen years.

You can't fix it.

She might think you can, or even claim you do but believe me, this isn't about you. If she can't be stable alone, she'll never be stable with you either.

I can understand wanting to be there, she probably makes you happy in a lot of ways and is worth fighting for. I understand wanting to help and by all means you can try - helplines, professional help, a shoulder to cry on - but that's all you can do. Being a romantic partner adds a pressure both on you and her that will literally block your ability to help her.

Even if the worst comes to happen and she does kill herself, that's her decision, not yours. No amount of niceties and hugs will save her from that, trust me. She needs to save herself, and you need to look after yourself.

That being said I understand the desire to go the extra mile: so try everything else first, professional help will always have better results because you are too close to the problem.

Tycho's Nose answers Question A: Call helplines and the police. My advice will be to not go to her. Get her to look forwards instead if you can. Hope always helps.

As for Question B: Do not play her knight in shining armour. You must live your life and only if you can share it with her. You cannot bend your life around her to such an extreme. If that means you need to break up, then so be it.


GET OUT. Others here have given really good advice which I won't repeat. Simply put, she's manipulating you to do what she wants. Things will NOT get better over time.

WRT your concerns about the "boy who cried wolf": are you the one making her jump on the highway? Are you the one physically or emotionally pushing her? That is a choice she chooses to make, and she's trying to make you feel accountable for it. If you are indeed the one pushing her, then I'd suggest getting in touch with a mental health professional yourself. Since (I believe) you are not, lay this exactly where it belongs: at her feet. "I'm sorry that you feel like you want to [stupid thing]. I'll call the crisis line for you." You simply cannot allow this to control you; it will only get worse over time.

I can't say this enough: leaving this relationship is the best thing for your sanity. I'd rather be alone than be in a lying, manipulative relationship.

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