National Eating Disorders Association

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Fiancee wont admit

Hey all, first time posting here! Unfortunately I feel like I'm running out of options, time and sanity with this problem. My fiancee won't admit to her ED. I love her to bits, she is my world. We've been together for 3 years and recently got engaged and when things are good, it's the best feeling in the world being with her. But I also know shes bulimic. The signs are all there, she's unnaturally skinny, she snacks a lot and likes to have big portions at meal times, and then always goes to the bathroom after every meal/snack. I have known for a while. I first found out not long into our relationship when we were living in my parents house, where they found a lot of discarded food packages in the bin and when questioned, she admitted it was from her. She then told me in private how she used to be bulimic before she met me but since got over it. She just relapsed this particular day but she insisted she was over it. At the time I was ignorant on the subject so have researched it a lot since. Like I say the signs have all been there but at first I went about it the wrong way, confronting her, following her to the bathroom, we had some huge fights over it. Since then the more I researched, the more I realised this was not the way to help, it's more up to her to face up to it and the day she does, I'll be here to support. But like I say we're now 3 years in and it's the same routine everyday. She eats and snacks, goes to the bathroom to purge, she comes out and I ask if everything is okay, she says yes and then we leave it there. But the problem is it festers inside of me, sometimes I can just leave it because she needs to confront it herself, sometimes I can't help but start asking questions until we end up in a huge fight. The past few weeks it's been okay, up till today when she's gone to work and left her phone at home. I've gone on it to check her emails, simply because there was an online order we needed to sort, but I've gone to her deleted items and found several takeaway receipts on days when I've been at work and shes been at home, and shes told me nothing about these. In fact when I ask what she had for lunch, not in any suspicious way it's just something we do as a couple, she'll tell one thing, but now I'm seeing it's something else. It's by discovering this today that has led me to posting on here now. I don't know how much longer I can cope with this. I suffer from trust issues, I've had terrible relationships in the past. My fiancee knows this, in fact before we started dating she was incredibly helping and understanding when I was having problems with an ex, so she knows all that about me. By knowing she's hiding all this from me is really triggering me. I know I shouldn't take it so personally and the main thing is I just want to help her, I'm absolutely terrified of her doing serious damage to herself. We've planned out whole lives together, talked about having kids in the not so distant future, and I really want to have this life with her. But at the same time I'm struggling with how she's hiding her ED and keep having terrible thoughts of her killing herself from the bulimia. But like I say she won't admit to it so I feel helpless in what to do. I have only come up with two ideas, one being posting on here. Two is speaking to her mother. My fiancee how told me how her mother also used to be bulimic right up until she become pregnant with her, and the doctor told her she needs to stop the bulimia or she'll do serious damage to her baby. So I thought if I confessed to her mother that I worry shes being bulimic maybe she could help, but also worry my fiancee will be mad that I've dragged her mother into something she says is not existent. Please help guys I dont know what to do.


Hi! Thank you for posting. We’re sorry to hear about what’s going on with your fiancee! We hope that you’re able to get the support you deserve here on the forums! We edited part of your post that mentioned specific foods that might be triggering for other members of the forum. Here are our community guidelines:  If you’re looking for resources, please feel free to contact the Helpline at (800) 931-2237. The Helpline is open Mondays-Thursdays 9AM-9PM EST and Fridays 9AM-5PM EST. During these hours you can chat with us also by clicking the chat now option at the top right hand corner!  Please continue posting!

Not admitting.

Hey NCH,

Here's one thing I can promise you : She's not happy about the fact that she's lying to you. You may think she's thinking "Oh, he's so sensitive, so I just have to lie". That may be some of it, because people with EDs despise the idea of being an emotional burden on their loved ones. But the point I want to make is that I don't think she's lying because you are somehow being unreasonable in your concerns. And really, she knows that too. Because any reasonable and caring partner would be concerned.

So what are you supposed to say, that might have a chance of making things better ? Not something that would stop her from being bulimic, because that's the other person's task, but which might help with the tension that's between you ? My sense has always been that trying to put ourself in the other person's shoes, and then thinking what we might want to hear, is a good place to start crafting our responses.

The other thing I try and keep in mind is a belief that what helps people feel a little better is when they feel that the other person really does understand at least some of their situation. Which is...that their situation is a difficult one. She doesn't like lying to you, and as is often the case with people who purge, they generally aren't happy about the fact that they are doing that either. Which is true - Not many people with bulimia are happy about being bulimic.

So one thing you might say is something like "I know it must be hard to feel like you have to keep hiding this from me." Which I can pretty much promise is just how she feels.

"Not being able to have much control over this…I know that must be difficult too."

Which is another statement which is sure to be true.

In any case, just some suggestions as to statements which might help defuse some of the tension. It can be pretty hard to know what to say sometimes, but anything that shows that you "get it" is usually welcome I've found.

And keep in touch here too, if it seems to help. In situations where there's no easy answers, it doesn't hurt to have a place to vent now and then.

Bob J.