Suicide Is Never Sexy
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”
Do I Need to X My Deceased Ex?
EUGENE, SIR: An ex of mine succumbed to cancer late last year. We were together for three years about 11 years ago, but we remained in contact. Not a lot of contact, but a few times a year we emailed each other. My current partner complains about me being sad that my ex has died: “If you loved him so much, why didn’t it work out?” That sort of thing. Are there tactful ways to stop this? — Mira
Dear Mira Mira on the Wall: Since when has your boyfriend’s butt-hurtness become your business to soothe? Clearly the largeness of the memory of an ex, a memory that will never seem anything other than noble, rankles your current partner and makes him feel small. Most relationships are predicated on the premise that it’s a mutual support system: When one of you is weak, the other will be strong. But if, say, your partner routinely soiled their pants on account of laziness or inattention, you would be justified in being irked.
I have scant details about your current setup, but like the fabulous Johnny Thunders once sang, “You can’t put your arms around a memory,” and if this is not enough for Mr. Butthurt I’m not sure what will be.
Now, some might suggest that you get to the bottom of why your grieving your ex bothers your current boyfriend so much. But not me. While his question is a reasonable one, asking it like an accusation right after the dude’s death hints at darker, and weaker, undercurrents. But you asked for “tactful” ways to stop this, so I’ll give you as tactful as I’m likely to get: “He and I made better friends than lovers, and I am missing a dead friend. That OK with you?”
Sure, you could stop before the last query, but that last query is your correction. And it’s a pretty tactful one at that: Get on board or get out. Clearly, life is too short to spend it with those who don’t know that.
Suicide: The Exact Opposite of Sexy
EUGENE, SIR: Over the past three months, the woman I’m with has both stopped having sex with me and threatened suicide if I leave her. Of the three suicide threats she’s made, there was only one attempt (with pills). I know I need to end the relationship, but I also know that if she were to kill herself it would be hard for me to get over it. She’s not close to her family, and in general has her act more together than her friends, so is there some other service and/or person I should call? — Name withheld by request
Dear Job: So sorry to hear this. Your partner may have serious mental health challenges. I am not a mental health professional, but I feel safe in saying that whether she’s genuinely suicidal or just acting like she is, it’s a lift way too heavy to be carried by someone who’s been in the relationship for only three months. (I’m assuming that it’s three months you’ve been together and not just your having hit a bad three-month patch.)
But to answer your question, yes, call 911 or another emergency number if you think more threats, and follow-throughs, are imminent. Prior to this, encourage your girlfriend to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) if you live in the U.S. Hope that helps with the handoff. And when you have the strength to depart, do, sans guilt. You can’t fix the world. Though trying is nice.
1, 2 + You
EUGENE, SIR: I’m dating two people. I don’t lie to either of them. One said he was cool with it, but then he flipped out, and then, post-flip-out, he came back all OK with it. The other said he was OK with it, but he whines about it. A lot. Suggestions? — Evelyn
Dear Ms. Waugh: You know those fight scenes in movies where people are moving in balletic slow motion with the light just right and they hit all of their landings without tearing their clothes or mussing up their hair? That’s fantasy. The reality? An out-of-shape middle-aged man falling down a flight of stairs. Forever.
A male fantasy in the face of honesty like yours is, “Cool … now I have much more time to whore around.” The reality? “Where is she now, who is she with and, most importantly, is his penis larger and more functional than mine?” A situation prime for flipping out and whining.
But what to do? Well, you’ve already done it. Frankness in all things. If the men show themselves unable to handle how it’s being played you’d be a fool to keep them around. Especially since there are plenty of part-time playmates who’d be happy to have half-time hangouts.
Know how to tell when to pass out pink slips? The second you’ve explained the situation a second time. We have limited time on this planet and must use it wisely. Trying to convince others that your truth is true? A colossal waste of time.