Question of the Week #160

You become involved romantically but after six months realize you need to end the relationship. If you were certain the person would commit suicide if you were to leave and were also certain you could not be happy with the person, what would you do?

I’d break up with her.

Look, I’m not entirely heartless. Obviously, I wouldn’t want to watch someone I cared about suffer to the point that they felt the need to take their own life. But that doesn’t mean I should take responsibility for her decision to hurt herself.

I would do whatever I could, within my own power, to make sure she gets the help she needs. But I refuse to be manipulated into staying with someone who is clearly psychologically unbalanced. She needs help and I would make her friends and family aware that she needs help. But, having me stick around to play into her obsession with our relationship is not going to help anyone. Over time, she would simply get worse without treatment and I would grow resentful.

What would you do?

*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

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