My boyfriend told me that if I ever left him he would kill himself. Any advice?

Auntie, my boyfriend is in prison and I feel that I should move on with my own life! However he has told me on several occasions that if I ever left him he would kill himself or go back to doing meth. I know it's not a healthy relationship but I love his family too much to take the chance! Do you have any advice?


You're doing the right thing right now by reaching out. You need support and I'm happy to have your back.

When I read your question, which I've done over and over, I keep coming back to, "I feel that I should move on with my own life! When you know something, you know it. Listen. Too often I think we disregard our instincts because there is fear and uncertainty about what might happen.

As you start to put together a plan, here are a couple things to think about. The first being the most important:

1.Your safety. In this situation you are the priority. Think about the timing of delivering your news. If your boyfriend is in prison that says to me that he might be there for some time. I take some comfort in this. This is a more controlled situation because he is under someone else's supervision. Also, he has resources and time. Resources like counselors, spiritual leaders, and people around him whose job it is to keep people from hurting themselves and doing drugs. He also has time. Time to cool down, brood and be pissed, and ultimately time to reflect, which will be part of his process. But he won't have physical access to you during this process, which is good.

2.Get support. This will be one of the hardest things you go through and you're going to need support whether you think you do or not. Be good to yourself in this process and go to your tribal clinic and ask about their counseling services. If that's too close to home, get a ride to your biggest city and look there. If you can't do either of these things, you can look for support through Love is Respect (text "loveis" to 22522 ; or call 1-866-331-9474), or talk about this with a trusted friend or adult.

3.Devise a plan. Once you start talking with a professional (which I recommend), or your trusted friend/adult, they can help guide you in the right direction and help you come up with a plan. I have to say it again, talking with a professional is my recommendation and could be the key to getting through this the best way possible. Whoever you choose, tell them that you would like to include your boyfriend's family and someone at the prison (like a counselor or a case worker) in the plan before you deliver the news. This will help everyone be as prepared as they can be, to be an immediate support for your boyfriend. Having family members and someone at the prison available to support him may help decrease your anxiety about following through with what you know is best for you. When you talk with his family, don't expect to get their blessing though, they may even disagree with your decision. But then again, you don't need them to validate it. You know what is best for you, which is most important. They'll know you care for him and care for them by getting help and coming up with a plan. You'll also want to come up with a plan with your counselor, friend, or trusted adult for when he gets out. Always keep in mind that your safety is the most important thing. Remember, if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, call 911. When the time comes, write us back. I am sending you my deepest love and best wishes. Keep your head up and give yourself a big hug knowing you're pretty freaking amazing!

Love,
Auntie Manda