National Eating Disorders Association

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BF does not trust/believe in recovery

Is anyone else out there dealing with the intense frustration of a partner not believing you when you say you are recovered?
I was acutely anorexic from the ages 12-16 or so, and my recovery, which spanned a good decade, probably the defining struggle of my life (I am 33 now). I draw an immense amount of personal strength from that experience, and my recovery journey is a huge part of what shaped who I am now. As an organic farmer, I am intimately connected with where food comes from, and I rely on a strong and healthy body to do the work that is required and that I passionately love doing. My relationship with food has been completely transformed, and for several years now I have been very confident in my recovery.
Have been with my BF for four years, and told him early on about my past struggles so that he could know me better and hopefully appreciate my strength. I regret telling him, because though I have never relapsed since we've been together, he holds onto my past and continues to worry about me and treat me as though i am still sick. I am naturally thin, always have been, but very healthy. There have been times when I've lost weight due to illness or stress since we've been together, but i have intentionally gained the weight back each time, not just to prove him wrong but because I truly have no "use" or desire for EDs in my life anymore.
Part of what bothers me is that he brings it up in very unkind ways (angry and accusatory), talking to me as though I am in the throes of an active ED and in denial and harming my health, not trusting/believing me no matter how many times I tell him the full-circle story. Often it seems as though he uses it as "ammo" in unrelated arguments, trying to tear me down. The lack of trust also bothers me - as my partner i feel like he should be open to listening to where I'm at with this, and trust me, and not just make up his own truth. But more than anything, i feel like he is seeing me as so much less than i actually am, because coming through the struggle is such a big part of who i am, and he is in effect denying that whole experience and journey.
This makes me lose my mind with frustration, to be honest.
At what point does a loved one's relentless "concern" become a damaging thing that ties you to your past and to an unhealthy identity?
I guess i'm just wondering if others out there deal with this too, and if it's normal to be so upset by it, and if anyone has had luck working through this with a partner.
I also wonder if it's more of a relationship issue in general than an ED issue.


Hi. First I want to congratulate you on your recovery.. Congratulations. I have a few questions. Do you love each other? Or is this person someone you used to be comfortable around. He certainly doesn't sound like very supportive and it seems as if he is causing you frustration and pain. What benefits are there in staying together? Do you enjoy doing things together anymore? I am only asking because sometimes it is difficult to leave toxic relationships for many reasons. If you are in therapy, or know someone supportive, maybe you can ask them for some advice.

I again want to congratulate you on you recovery and don't let anyone take that away from you. Good job.


Thanks. We clearly have a lot

Thanks. We clearly have a lot to work out in our relationship. I guess I was just wondering if this was a common theme for recovered people. I don't want to lash out irrationally towards someone who simply cares about me (as he says he does, and I do think he does, though the delivery is awful and he doesn't seem to listen), just because the issue is so sensitive to me - more so than someone who hasn't been through it could understand. I know I certainly lashed out at caring people when I WAS sick and trying to recover. So just trying to check myself.
The relationship does have a lot of toxic elements - we both have our baggage. It makes it hard to know how to feel about things. Like who's being the crazy one this time, him or me?

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