National Eating Disorders Association

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I am certain that my spouse has a binge eating disorder. I think he knows he has it, but he won't tell anyone. It's hard to watch someone you care about go through something like this, especially when you see them hurting themselves and their health is slowly deteriorating. But sometimes I feel anger too...for which I feel ashamed. I know that he doesn't want an eating disorder, and he also feels ashamed. I guess the reason I am angry is because the disorder affects a lot of things...our relationship, his relationship with the kids, our sex life, finances, etc. Sometimes it feels as though he is refusing to face the issue and get other words, he is choosing the addiction over everything else. Has anyone else felt this way?

I don't mean to sound selfish. I just feel sometimes as though his mind is not really though his focus is always on something else. We have problems with trust because he is often dishonest with me about what he spends his money on. He will spend large amounts, but yet will come home empty handed. If I ask him about it (even nicely), he will get defensive and turn it around on me saying that I am micromanaging. I think he spends it on food and just doesn't want to admit it. It hurts our finances and we are often not able to afford things that we need, Also, his health has gone downhill. He now has erectile disfunction...and even medications are not working. This upsets him greatly. The doctor suggested testosterone replacement, which he is not following through on. He has also started having symptoms of psoriasis just in the last couple of years. The rashes on his skin smell really bad. It's disappointing that we are not able to be intimate in the bedroom. Any my sex drive has suffered. His energy level and motivation has also declined. He will often comit to things but then won't do them because he doesn't feel like it. I get very little help with the kids or the house. I just feel as though he is neglecting responsibilities and neglecting his family. I noticed recently that our oldest daughter (7 years old), never includes him in pictures she draws. Our kids are not very close to him because he seems to be so detached. I wonder if his computer usage has gotten out of hand due to his eating disorder. I sometimes wonder if he uses it as an escape from reality. He is addicted to online video games and spends all evening (every night) playing them as well as a large amount of time on the weekends. It feels as though we aren't really a couple anymore...and he is physically there, but not mentally. He doesn't want to do anything else besides be on his computer or spend time with his best friend. I'm just venting I guess. I find myself thinking about it alot. I know that this is his issue to deal with and all I can do is offer support. But it just hurts. And I don't really know how to talk to him about it, or if I should.

meeting needs

Hi Kim!

Thank you for posting that! It shows how much you care about your husband and family.

First I want to validate that it is ok to feel the way you do. Eating disorders are frustrating things and wil separate us from those we love. Have you considered seeking therapy? Even if your husband won't come, I would still suggest that you seek guidance and support in some manner.

As a guy who has recovered from an ED, I know how hard it is to seek treatment as a guy. But, there are resources available. I can relate that your husband feels shame and guilt for his ED. It is something that is very difficult to work through. Have you tried talking to your husband directly about your concerns? There is a technique called the DEARMAN script that can help you vaddress your concerns without coming across in a negative manner. Here's a link that shows how to do this script:

I know the site is about personality disorders, but the skills can be used with anything.

Would you be willing to call the NEDA Helpline? They can help you get a better grasp on what resources are available in your area. The number is 1-800-931-2237.

As far as how your husband is acting in your home, I can't really speak from experience but I can speak from my heart. For some people love is spelled time. What I mean by that is maybe your husband wants to spend time with you and your family, but is unsure how to do so? Again, I would use a DEARMAN script to express your concerns.

How else can we support you? You are a very strong and loving mother and wife. I can tell!

Completely valid emotions

Kim50 -

The anger you feel towards your husbands ED is extremely common. You have every right to feel anger towards his ED. EDs don't only steal from the person suffering with it. It steals from everyone involved. Just know that he is not making a conscious decision to choose the behaviors of his ED. It's a disease that controls us.

I commend you for coming on here to talk about this. I can tell you love your husband and want what's best for him. There is a lot of shame involved in our EDs and that is where his lying and spending is coming from, as well as the isolation. Talking to him in a loving, supportive way could help you both. It's important to know he did not choose to have an ED and his actions are his ED, not him.

Here is some more information on how to best speak with your husband:

Again, thank you for coming on here to vent. It’s important that you get the support you need as well.

Thank you

Thank you both for the great advice and support. It helps me to understand a little more from his perspective. I will definately try talking to him using the suggestions provided.