SUICIDE: Would your spouse prefer suicide than remain married to you?

Can a person drive a spouse to suicide? That is the question. The answer is not an easy one. It is not a matter of “yes” or “no.” Marriage obviously makes a person happy for a while – especially in the beginning of the giddy infatuation phase. But after that, real life kicks in and the two people start to get to know the real other. This can become a happier situation but it can also become a miserable situation. The thing is, each person brings their problems and baggage to the marriage. They have their issues. One or both may be prone to dark moods and depression, for example. But other life  issues can creep in – money, health, children, etc. And these can cause a person already predisposed to dark moods to be pushed  to their limit.
But the question is, if they were so on love with their spouse wouldn’t that love sustain them even in the toughest of times? That would be like asking, isn’t your spouse supposed to make you happy? The obvious answer is “no.” Each person – even those who are married – are responsible for their own happiness. But can a spouse just make a bad situation worse? Can they help to push their spouse to the brink of unhappiness? The obvious answer is “yes.” A spouse can help to make a bad situation infinitely worse. They are not responsible for your happiness but boy, can they make you miserable with all the things they do or don’t do. Let’s face it: it sucks to be married to certain people. And for a sensitive spouse already on the edge, suicide could conceivably look like a better option than staying married. The wrong spouse can make “ending it all” look really appealing.
But why don’t they just ask for a divorce? This is a complicated question for a psychiatrist, obviously. Always there are extenuating circumstances. There could be substance abuse involved such as drugs and alcohol; there could be terminal illness; there could be grave financial problems as well as other things that create that tipping point where suicide just seems the easiest option rather than add divorce to all the existing and underlying problems.
Statistics show that men are more likely than women to commit suicide. No doubt suicide is a very devastating and tragic event for everyone concerned. For the left behind spouse, there can be feelings of guilt associated to this situation as well. It is natural that someone in that situation could blame themselves and feel in some way responsible or inadequate. It is conceivable they could find themselves questioning themself: “if I was a better wife would he have done this?” or “If I were a better husband would she have done this?” It’s hard. But nobody can really explain why anyone ultimately makes this choice.