National Eating Disorders Association

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Oliviatheb
My girlfriend is breaking up with me. Do I let her go?

We have been together for 4 years and about a year ago I started to see change with how she felt about her body etc. Bulimia entered in the mix a few months ago.

I've watched tv shows etc about eating disorders so I was aware her throwing up when she was 'too full' could be a slippery slope to something like bulimia.

I was there for her and got info off sites like this and advised her to see doctors etc. Which after a while when she was ready she did. She now has appointments with therapists etc and that side seems to be good and moving forward.

But a few weeks ago she said she needed time to get better and needed space. Which I obliged obviously and I assured her to not worry about the relationship stuff in just here to support you.

Then this week she decided we should fully break up and gave the 'I don't deserve you' line. She had previously caused a situation by getting slightly involved with someone (not romantically) but it had caused a bit of a rif. So I think the bulimia and tgat situation led her up to this.

I am absolutely heartbroken and I'm trying to be mature. I don't want this to be the end of our relationship but she said she loves me but isn't sure if she's in love with me or will be able to be in love with me again when she is better.

I understand she's trying to save me you g through this process with her and getting out the other end and still breaking my heart.

But I don't know how to act. She needs support. After reading forums, going through this completely alone is hard. I don't want that for her.

Her parents aren't really clued up and she hasn't got a many close friends as she's pushed them away a bit this year. I'm actually scared for her to be left to her own devices. But I need to look after myself too.

Does anyone have any advice. Should I just cut her out? Should I try to be her friend only?

Thankyou

BobJ48
Pushing partners away.

Olivia,

"But a few weeks ago she said she needed time to get better and needed space. Which I obliged obviously and I assured her to not worry about the relationship stuff in just here to support you. Then this week she decided we should fully break up and gave the 'I don't deserve you' line. "

I worked on a site for the partners of people with EDs for about ten years, and I have to tell you, this "pushing away" thing was absolutely the number one thing that folks would show up to discuss. So what you are seeing from your partner is not out of the ordinary at all.

My sense is that although she has shared this intimate information with you, which one might normally expect would add more intimacy to the relationship, that's not happening. Instead your friend understands that you'll hope she gets better, and believes that this is an expectation that she won't be able to live up to. So rather than growing closer, out of fear for all of the disappointment that will be involved, she pushes you away instead.

It's likely that she has the shame thing going on as well, and I suspect you know how powerful a thing shame can be. Pretty darn powerful alright. It's also possible that her bulimia is worse than she's letting on, and the fact that she's not been able to tell you that yet might be another source of shame for her too.

In any case, it will be up to you to decide what you want to do, combined with what level of connection she will allow. But you might want to see if she's able to discuss the things I mentioned above, and then see where things go from there ?