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  • "This girl gave me her number…. She never texts me first…. Whatttt givessss? Should I just not text her?"

    - Question submitted by Anonymous

  • "My 13-year-old recently told me she’s bi. My husband and I are both totally cool with it, as is our 11-year-old son. The problem is my family. I’m worried that my dad and his wife are going to react badly. I’m close to my dad, but I would do anything to protect my kids from getting their feelings hurt. Any advice on how to talk to him about this? I just want to protect my little girl’s feelings, ideally without having to distance myself from my dad."

    - Question submitted by Anonymous

  • "I had a real thing going on with this one girl, but things have gotten weird and that’s over. I’m having a really hard time not getting sad every once and a while, especially since we are still friends and I see her a lot. How do I fix this?"

    - Question submitted by Anonymous

  • "Hi! I have a friend who is pretty supportive but he thinks that wearing rainbows n stuff is in-your-face. How do I help him understand how important pride is to me?"

    - Question submitted by Anonymous

  • "Do you think opposites attract?"

    - Question submitted by Anonymous

  • **TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide is discussed in the below post**

    “I really need help! I want to break up with my boyfriend, but in past attempts to do so, he said he would commit suicide, and I don’t want to be responsible for someone ending their life. I do still care about him, so it makes me really sad. Please, please help me!”

    - Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Dr. Kelly Wester, PhD as a part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions 

    Dr. Wester Says:

    Let’s first acknowledge that this statement by your boyfriend, or any partner or friend for that matter, puts you in what feels like a helpless bind. Before moving into what you can do, we need to acknowledge that there are a lot of reasons why an individual might threaten suicide, including past experiences of trauma, current stressful situations that feel overwhelming and hopeless, a sense of feeling like a burden, being alienated from others, feelings of loss, and feeling out of control. With all of these going on, no one person (partner included) will be able to fix or save that individual on their own. A suicidal individual needs professional help, and sometimes from more than one professional. This can include mental health counselors, psychiatrists, medical doctors, and more.

    Getting back to the situation at hand, ultimately his threats of suicide when you attempt to break up are a way to manipulate you and gain control. And it seems like it has worked for him, as you have tried multiple times to breakup yet find yourself still in the relationship.

    In this situation he has, on the surface, put the responsibility of his life into your hands (based on your decision to end the relationships or not) – or so it seems. However, ultimately he has responsibility for his own life. Keep in mind that he is the only person who is responsible for his behaviors, choices, and decisions – the only person. He chooses how he reacts, what he says, and what he does. So you are not responsible. You can, however, make the situation better or worse based on your choices and behaviors.

    This acknowledgment of responsibility, though, might not make it feel better to have this threat hanging over your head. So what you need to do is not waver in your decision. Simply have the conversation with him and be direct. Say something like, “I need to talk” and then, “I no longer want to be in this relationship.” Stick to this decision (if it is what you want to do) regardless of his statements. Wavering back and forth and breaking up and getting back together based on threats is not fair to either of you.

    If he threatens suicide when you have this conversation, express concern. Indicate that you care about him as a person, as a friend, and as a human being. State that breaking up with him doesn’t mean you don’t care about him, but rather that the relationship is changing. Indicate that his threat is not fair and that it holds you hostage, and ask him if he really wants to be in a relationship that exists solely due to the manipulation or sense of hostage from your fear of his death.

    What you should not do in this situation is argue about whether he will commit suicide or not, or make challenging statements such as “I don’t believe you” or even “I don’t care” out of frustration. This can lead someone to assume that challenge and engage in the behavior or attempt suicide just to prove that they would.

    Once you leave that conversation (or while you are still in it, for that matter), if you feel uncomfortable or have a strong fear that he will actually engage in suicidal behaviors, call 911 and provide them with that information and the address of his location. It is not your job to deal with the suicidal behavior or help him through that emotional placelet a professional handle that. As a friend, your job is to listen and show concern and care, but not to treat the suicidal behavior or to handle it on your own.

    If you have questions, or if you want to refer him to a place to talk, feel free to call a hotline such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) or find one in your local state Rememberthe threats about suicide, although they seem like it, are ultimately not about you – they are about something he is going through and internally battling.


    Click through to read more about Dr. Wester and our other Second Opinions panelists!

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