Emotional blackmail: suicide threats in abusive relationships

Avalanche of the soul

Self-harm and suicide threats are amongst the most terrifying – and effective – manipulation tactics in an abuser’s toolkit. Here’s what happened when I called the bluff of an abusive blackmailer.

An extreme form of emotional blackmail is an abuser’s threat to kill themselves if we don’t do what they want. This is a low-blow, but often an effective move because it taps directly into our compassion for another human being, and our fear of being the cause of them ending their life.

Kim Saeed posted a very informative article on suicide threats as a manipulation tool. This post made made me think of all the times that my abusive ex did exactly this. I want to tell you about one of those incidents – and what happened when I called his bluff.

“Come back. I’ll kill myself if you don’t.”

We were in the middle of one of…

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