Another rainbow fish

This question deals with a much stickier aspect of getting rid of your low life ex. Sometimes it can seem like the solution to a problem can scar you for life as much as the problem.



Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché ;


In 2005, with not a qualm in the world about possible repercussions, I gave my husband divorce papers and a restraining order. Yeah, he’d done that old “I’ll kill myself if you divorce me” spiel, but I’d chalked it up to manipulation. Not so. Following reception of papers and restraining order, he carried out three suicide attempts involving rat poison, antifreeze, coma, psych ward, hospital, dialysis, shrinks, and police. My daughter was so distraught she cut her arm on purpose. There were raging, accusatory phone calls from my husband’s parents (calling me “brutal,” laying one guilt trip after another on me), more poison, more cops, more calls, more nightmares.


The whole dynamic changed. I drew back from finalizing the divorce out of fear, while my husband supposedly “healed.” After one year, I realized I was staying married out of fear and intimidation, so I went forward again with the divorce and completed it. I hesitantly took the restraining order out again at a later point.


But my ex wouldn’t PACK HIS BAGS! In his eyes, he wasn’t divorced because he had never shown up at court. It was all a “trick.”  So I was technically divorced, but my ex remained; and I feared tossing him out, because of his history. The police were no help at all. My ex is a charming psychopath who will seem like the most rational and kind being on earth when it serves his purposes. My own hesitancy led the police, I’m sure, to think that it was really all just misunderstandings. They have known him for years and they actually like him. 


I moved to a new apartment this year and the ex followed me, convincing the movers that he belonged there and we’d simply had a little spat. He got his stuff in while I was at work and every attempt I make to get rid of him ends with me screaming and him refusing to budge. I don’t want to go through the drama of having him arrested. In the past, it’s never kept him away.


I was, and I still am, filled with apprehension about actually kicking my ex out because of the past, his health, and thinking he’d pretty much deteriorate and die in a shelter if not by his own hand. He has complex medical issues now, after damaging himself physically. You might say “get him committed,” but amazingly, he always came through psyche tests with flying colors. He ain’t that crazy.


It’s foolish, but I defy anybody who’s been through a spouse or ex-spouse’s suicidal attempts to go through kicking them out without this type of fear. I really just defy them.


I am at a loss. I can’t live with this situation but I couldn’t live with myself if my actions resulted in my ex’s death either. These aren’t idle threats. 

I KNOW my ex should not be here. But there isn’t a single choice I can make that will make me happy. I will NOT be happy if I win my freedom at the cost of my ex’s life.


Gilda Cage




Dear Gilda,


Your sense of compassion has screwed you in two ways. First, it allowed you to be with this kind of leach in the first place. Second, it keeps you wishy washy now.


If he chooses to kill himself that’s his shit not yours. He is an adult and if he feels life is un-livable and refuses to get help… well, if he was a horse he would be put out of his misery. Why enable him so he can continue to endlessly suffer? That is your shit not his. Would you force him to be a Christian if he wasn’t? Would you force him life support if he refused? Why are you forcing him to live? I don’t understand that.

Your actions can not kill him unless YOU kill him. If he chooses to kill himself then it was his choice and his action alone.


Allowing yourself to be manipulated won’t buy you brownie points with God; there is no reward for being stupid. Besides, God’s gift to mankind is FREE WILL. You are both taking your ex’s free will away and giving up yours. It’s not commendable behavior.


Let him go.  Most often people like this aren’t suffering as much as they’d like you to think. They can be quite content being spoon-fed infants. That’s why they never change.  If they kill themselves in spite while trying to manipulate you, well… they win. They were willing to take that risk.


Sacrificing yourself to this leach isn’t helping your kids. It only teaches them to do the same thing themselves. It’s called repetition compulsion. They will play out the same scenario in their own relationships feeling they will in some way figure it out or get it right. This is always a losing game. 


Even if your ex someday matures and gets his shit together, it will be too late. Your kids have already been programmed.  They will find their own losers to ruin their lives.


The sad irony is if he does kill himself it increases the kids’ risk of suicide by 50%. So either way they will need their own therapy and help.  They are already trapped in his story. Try to help them find the skills to write their own.


See the movies Yes, But and The Beaver – between the two you can get some good perspective. In another blog, I’d like to discuss why the characters did what they did.


Dr. Brilliant Cliché



The Granny Doctor says- In Eskimo tribes where cooperation amongst the population made the difference between life and death, they had an efficient method of dealing with trouble makers.

At first, the troublemaker was simply excluded from general communications. If the hint was not taken and the behavior continued, the next step was to blatantly ostracize the trouble maker. Community members would cross the street to avoid them. They were not given shares of food. If the trouble maker continued to cause trouble, it was up to a family member to kill them. Otherwise, the entire tribe would be at risk for extermination in the harsh climate.

The Eskimo would have killed your freaking’ ex a long time ago.

In our country we have laws against such things, but let me just say this- if he’s gonna do it himself and save everyone the trouble, what the hell. Hand him a can of Draino and some rat poison and let nature take it’s course.


About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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