The occurrence of life events in the last 3 months & their significance as perceived by the surviving partners was studied among a subpopulation of suicide victims. Life events were reported in 85% of the suicides. Job problems, family discord, & somatic illness were most commonly reported. More males than females had experienced recent life events. Separation was seen as the most critical event: in 68% of suicides with separation in the last 3 months, the partner also rated it as a precipitant.