Self-Injury and Relationships

November 2, 2012 Christie Stewart

One of the most-requested topics among readers of this blog is self-injury and its affect on romantic relationships. In this blog, I will give you some quick tips on how to tell your boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other that you self-injure.

  • Make sure you're at a comfortable place in your relationship, and that you trust them
  • Make sure you have lots of time to talk in a private place, where you won't be interrupted
  • Plan ahead: You may want to tell them a bit of back-story on why you began self-injuring, let them know it's a coping mechanism.
  • Family members usually react with fear, confusion, and frustration. Much of this comes from being uneducated about self-injury.
  • Be prepared to give them information about self-injury, perhaps give them a book like Bodily Harm or link them to HealthyPlace's Self-Injury Center
  • Relationships should be based on honesty, so be willing to be open, honest and answer questions (within reason).
  • Don't expect them to be your therapist, they should be willing to listen and support you, but remember that even if they want to, they can't "save" you or cure your self-injurious behavior.
  • Give your significant other time and space if they need it, but if they can't cope with it; then they aren't the one for you.

There's more information on how to tell someone you self-injure here.

Next week, I will go through the bullet points more in-depth, as well as how to discuss scars and injuries in intimate relationships. As always, if you have any requests please leave a comment!

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2012, November 2). Self-Injury and Relationships, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Author: Christie Stewart

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