Advice

On cutting him off forever

Dear Coquette,

Last night an ex sent me an email in which he informed me that he resents me for convincing him not to kill himself four years ago. It’s been two years since we were together, near as long since we’ve talked, so when he sent me a message a few weeks ago asking me to answer some questions about why we didn’t work out so that he could avoid making the same mistakes in the future, I tried to be as civil and kind as I could.

I took the responsibility for the stuff between us that was my fault and tried to extend an olive branch. Our relationship was unhealthy and destructive to both parties (for so many reasons — it was a pretty stereotypical “No one understands us because we’re so unique and we’re such close friends, but really everyone has been through this same scenario” type of deal). I feel like since then I’ve had a lot of opportunities to grow up and quit being such a selfish, whiny bitch. I’m getting to a place where I’m finally happy with who I am or at least the fact that I’m trying to be a better person than I was even if I’ll never be perfect. I told him that I felt like growing personally has given me the tools to be a better friend and that I don’t regret breaking it off with him. I’m even in a happy, healthy relationship now. I had hoped that he had grown up a bit too. Then, I got this:

“Do you remember when [ex-girlfriend] broke up with me, and I called you? What was going on at the time was that I had decided to kill myself, and I felt good about it. I was calm, collected, and I knew what I was going to do, and you were soon in tears. I want you to know how much I resent that. I would have been gone, but you couldn’t handle that and I had to listen to you cry about it until I agreed not to kill myself. I want you to know that all the shit I went through since that point was for you. So when it comes down to your personal growth versus our friendship, you need to know that I am choosing sides, and the choice you made is not okay with me.”

This sort of baiting, dramatic crap is part of why I’m glad he’s not (usually) in my life anymore. I was so mad at the time that he couldn’t take responsibility for his own life and just be happy for me that I wrote out a horribly long-winded response about how his happiness is not my responsibility and how he treats himself like shit and therefore creates a shit life for himself … is it even worth sending? I’ve made my apologies and my conscience is clear as far as the relationship between us goes, so should I just forget about it and cut him off forever or should I finally take off the kid gloves and let fly with all the things I always thought he was too weak to hear and then cut him off forever?


Don’t take the bait. Don’t hit back. Whatever you do, don’t email him your horribly long-winded response. That’s what he wants. You think that all the stuff you have to say is poison, but for a guy like him, it’s fuel. You wouldn’t be hurting him if you hit “Send.” You’d be justifying his miserable existence.

This guy is vindictive, manipulative and potentially dangerous. You’re not obligated to keep that kind of chaos in your life, and you are not responsible for his actions.

Just cut him off. Cut him off forever. Do not speak or respond to him again, ever. If you’re lucky, he’ll just go away, but if he keeps attempting to make contact with you, stay strong. No matter what he says or does, do not engage.

If he threatens any kind of violence, be it to himself or others, even then do not engage. Just call the police and report it, but let them know that you do not want to be involved in any way.

I know it sounds dark, but even if he ends up mentioning you by name in his suicide note as a final little fuck-you, do not engage. That’s how far you need to take this.

I hope I’m being crystal clear about what it means to cut someone out of your life forever, and for your own sake, I hope you’re strong enough to actually do it.

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