National Eating Disorders Association

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Help Me understand

I have read many of people who are dealing with the same issues with their spouses that I am. I feel your pain and frustration.
I am my own worst enemy when it comes to supporting my wife. We have been married since 2003 and she has been dealing with this since she was a teenager. We have fights over this on a regular bassis and each time its a little different. She always says I don't talk to her. I can see that. Let me say I am not the best support person when it comes to this. I know I am not. When it is anything else I'm there but struggle with the eating in supporting her. She has done more research on this than I care to imagine and I am playing catchup. I miss all the signs and feel so stupid after the face but by then its to late and the walls and fighting begin.
Today started out with argument and me not being there for her or talking to her. Issues have been boiling for a while now. We talk about everything else during the day while were at wok and things are icey but ok. I bring it up t talk and I don't have to confidence to talk to her because I am trying to fix the issue or she doesn't want to open herself up to what she is carrying around that I wont respond or know how to respond to be beneficial to her so we argue a little bit and then we stop. I was doing some research and not finding anything to help and she goes to bed mad because I ignored her the whole night. But we can't talk because I dont have the right tools. I see her point a little but struggle to do the right thing. Just want her to feel loved but she just feels alone. She is now in bed crying telling me to leave her alone. I see divorce coming because neither one of us are happy.
Is it to much to ask for a magical book on how to talk to my wife.

Help to understand.

It's late here, but I saw your note, and I'll try and get back to you on Tuesday.

apprecate the help

apprecate the help

Hey M,

Boy, she's been dealing with this for a long time, so I can see where it's discouraging for the both of you. She does seem to mention the "lack of communication" thing though, and it sounds like you know that that's something that you guys need to work on.

One think to keep in mind is that men tend to want to think in terms of "things getting fixed", while often all the other person wants is to be understood. So keep those two things in mind if you can.

Here's an example of something you might say, the next time she talks about how you don't talk to her, you could say "It must be frustrating to feel like I don't understand any of this." That's the kind of statement which will encourage her to talk, as well as showing her that you actually are hoping to understand her.

This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but you might want to think about couples counseling. Sure it costs money, but the few times I've been involved in things like that, it's been pretty great. Having a third party help with the communication can be a real eye-opener I found, and can help people get feelings out which they may have had a hard time expressing before. So you might want to give some thought to that.

Again, keep in mind that people want to be known, and want to be heard. If you can come at the situation from that angle, rather than worrying about fixing the situation, then you might see things start to shift a little.

Keep writing ?

Bob J