National Eating Disorders Association

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ENEMYOFED
Hit and Run

I dont know what the heck happened. Whirlwind romance unlike any I've ever experienced, everything was perfect from the humor to the sexual attraction to both being completely vulnerable and telling each other our darkest secrets and preparing for a future...For me, I never did that before in my life...she told me all about ED and how she has risen up against it and has taken control of her life...total loving connection daily...planning a future...MAKING and booking plans for the future...then complete disconnect...she says a few days into the disconnect perhaps we got "relationshippy" too fast...Huh ? Then total one sided conversations from there on out...like I'm talking to myself or her just repeating what I say for the sake of responding. Like she was kidnapped...like a switch turned her off...I've tried to learn on ytube but there isnt much there about relationships...I know a lot but dont know anything it seems...im trying to be supportive but also scared for myself, heart broken and only opened it because everything went so smoothly...devastated...now I'm wondering if she could maintain a manic personality or something or was that the real her or is she really sick right now and her mind shutting down ? She was sharing her food content and strategies and maybe I shouldnt have reminded her that she missed one meal already and it was time for her next scheduled meal...maybe I triggered ED inside her to wake up ? I dont know...its just so confusing and heartwrenching and unfair...I'm lost.

BobJ48
Sudden pulling back.

Hey Bud,

I'll have to admit, as soon as I read your first sentence, I said to myself "OK, here it comes - The withdrawing thing."

Because I've been on boards for partners for over ten years now, and I gotta tell you, this is absolutely the number one scenario that guys write about. Things are just wonderful, their partner is an authentically wonderful person, and in a moment of intimacy, the person reveals their ED. This sort of sharing is a really intimate matter, but rather than creating an atmosphere of trust and increased closeness as one might expect, much to the dismay and puzzlement of the fellow, their partner starts withdrawing instead. I've heard this same story literally hundreds of times, so you have plenty of company when it comes to this unsettling outcome.

If I had to guess, it has to do with the fact that she understands that since you are such a loving and caring fellow, it follows that you're naturally going to have hopes that she recovers. Which…a lot of people with EDs don't really want to do. Or alternatively, they believe it's something which is impossible for them. So they begin to understand that sooner or later they and their circumstances are going to evolve into a disappointment for you. Plus the knowledge of your sure-to-happen expectations can create anticipatory stress and guilt, which can cause their ED thoughts to get worse. Basically they see your kind-hearted and good intentions as inevitably going for nothing, and the whole thing is just evolving into this big emotional tragedy. So best to pull back and disengage before things come to that point. For the good of the both of you.

Or some variation on that mode of thinking.

Which is a pathway of thinking that gets WAY ahead of the game, but even so, it's a pattern that you hear about a lot.

Plus yes, the part about suddenly being unable to get through to the person. It leaves us personally stuck with a lot of feelings alright, so I'm glad you took this opportunity to write.

What to do about all of this, I'm not sure, particularly if she really seems like she has cut herself off from you. If it seems that she is still listening, my might say that you understand that she probably has a lot of fears about how the relationship might go. Which I suspect is what's at the heart of all this.

Because yeah, what a bummer. I think you can count on the fact that she is the wonderful person that she seems to be, but EDs really can derail a person's ability to see those good parts of themselves, and they can come to view themselves as an inevitable source of pain and disappointment instead.

So you'll just have to see how it goes I think. It's not impossible that she'll let you into her life again, and people with EDs will sometimes say what a difference a caring partner has made for them. But a lot of it will hinge on her own thinking, and the stage of her ED that she finds herself in, along with the amount of hope she will allow for herself. Which may not be much at the moment.

Anyhow, just some thoughts.

Keep writing ?

ENEMYOFED
About to let me go..forever. Or is it "ED" pushing me away ?

Wow...I'm so grateful its you Bob...Thank you such much for responding, I feel like you're a celebrity therapist...a guru...a shaman...and a warlock all wrapped up in one person who can maybe help navigate this troubling world of sorcery known as "ED" (Eating Disorder. I've been checking over and over the past couple days to see if a reply or even if my query would be accepted on this forum, and as sad and confused as I am, I feel elated that you're willing to help me, and its you. I've read as much as I could since I found this forum, and saw a few of your replies to partners just like me, "the withdrawing thing" whoa, we're THAT common ?? Yikes...I was shocked to see that some of the situations mirrored mine almost to a tee, all had a common ground, and I think the only reason shes still listening is because of your advice I found that was given to others. She told me to stop leaving messages for her, which I thought next would be the "just stop calling/texting me" statement which seem to be the pattern of how it goes for unfortunate souls like myself. I saw your advice to one person and coupled it with a husband in one video on ytube that explained in depth of how a sufferer of ED is STILL caring for you, and probably still loves us more than anything, which is why she will leave forever...because that's whats best for me, (what ?!?! I WANT NEED to be WITH YOU FOREVER, I LOVE YOU !...and she loves me too, so she has to leave,to protect me.. I think thats kinda the wonky gist of it ?) Nurture over nature ?...at least to the ED affected mind it seems the proper decision for them to make...which makes "ED" my enemy, as stated in my username lol...and they do this while distancing themselves from what could be the greatest bond any two people could share together...its such a contradiction of sorts but so very true, I know it has to be, because she has done everything described in your forecasting of how the nature of these events fall out ...I thought yesterday was it,done, kaput, finito, broken forever...I thought she'd disconnect from all social media to me and not take my calls, but I read as much as I could here, I read as many partner posts male or female that I could find and you responded to many...you are a gift to this community Bob, everyone is I know, but you really stand out and speak in a way that made me step back and try to look at this as rational and as caring as I can without the emotional knee jerking (which I was initially doing, like "what happened ? Are you in psychosis ? Did you take a new medication ? The Who What When Where Why and.. HOW ?!!")...this has truly buckled me...So I've tried to do exactly what I've done all along, LOVE her...period...no matter what...its what I promised her from the get go...she told me EVERYONE in her life leaves...So I'm finding my own "how" to love her unconditionally with or without her... and so the last volley of interactions went like this, she said my "messages is causing a lot of anxiety and need you to please slow up"..I left a bunch of light hearted and humorous messages the other night while I couldn't sleep, we did this for each other, but she was beginning to cut me off totally and not responding to any of them now...wont answer my calls either...However, I did mention how I was concerned about her recovery, and she replied "my recovery is fine, I’m doing great, And it’s my responsibility.", she also said she needed "quiet (her name) time"...Ouch...Oh boyyy did I step in it...and then I put my other foot in it...seems I'm a glutton for punishment, but I'm so emotionally confused with so many waves of contradictory feelings that overwhelm me, like I love her, I hate her for doing this, Why is this happening, the once in a lifetime search was someones manic episode ? How is ED winning over me ? Why does ED win over everyone ?, it becomes a seriously negative and unforgiving thought pattern...I emotionally knee jerked with a response saying that "I get it. I never implied ever that it wasn't (the recovery responsibility, she never said that before)ok. I never said it was my responsibility...i expected that response. I'll stop messaging."...and she replied to that with a similar tone now stating "I’m here as your friend and recovery pal but need time to myself right now"...Wait a sec...WHAT ?!?! "Recovery pal" ?!?! ...hold the phone Chuck, "PAL ?!?!"...HIT..AND..RUN. These drive bys are harsh Bob. So unforgivably harsh...but that's "ED" for ya...I'm getting it now, I'm REALLY getting it. Thanks to all your responses Bob, I'm beginning to really have an understanding of this sneaky bastard...and all the anger and confusion I was feeling is being replaced and lifted with care and concern, and love...slowly...I wish it was instant, but I'm working on it..because those positive feelings were always there, until "ED" popped in and began to hijack her brain, again, yet this time my brain was available too..."ED" can cover or mask my true feelings by throwing the blanket of confusion, anger, and negative emotions over me through her, to blindfold me in a way, not to see who is responsible for all of this...its not her for me to blame..or I...its ED..Period..something that I never saw at his level, ED never came to the surface like it has now, and stuck around..it visited, but never stayed... That is NOT her. Its "ED". My new enemy who was there all along...At least..I think..I've been dwelling on so many comments I may have made not knowing enough about ED that may have contributed to triggering her and letting ED surface again, I know this kind of rumination doesn't help but it seems to keep surfacing nonetheless,I really haven't figured out how to cope with all of this yet, I'm trying, and learning much much more..too late it seems..I've studied as much as possible from the beginning but was so focused on the science of it, the nutrition, the techniques to help her survive and maintain a healthy weight, all of the practical scientific approaches but none of the partner related consequences that could accompany a relationship...Are us loved ones responsible for triggering the ED sufferer because we don't know enough ?!? I feel so foolish not examining it enough, like all the relationships she had prior to me that she talked to me about...I thought I was doing more than the rest, but obviously not..how she'd tell me her own family and every romantic relationship she'd ever been in wasn't willing to learn enough about ED or just how important it was for her to "keep" ED in her life...I thought she had it in check..I dropped the ball..I tried not to dive into it being she'd been through treatment for it in various times in her life, and to me it seemed like she finally had control over it enough to take giant leaps with me, and plan for a future together, which we did and were doing, and open up in a way she never experienced before with anyone, because finally as she would say, shes on a road to do it all "without" ED, that was her goal she'd say...I told her we'd make it through it all and beat all roadblocks by dancing through the fire alongside her, because it seemed everyone would always abandon her when ED shows up, which it never had for me...at least, not at this level..I learned daily about ED following ED sites and reading daily something that would help, not enough though...it peeked in, but boy did it wait for the most opportune time to strike and kidnap the woman I love whilst trying to make my brain a scrambled gobbledygook of confused, angry, and nearly unbearable emotions...which led me here, to try and figure it all out and win..to be the fixer like I've always tried to be...except this time..I'm lost..I'm hurt more than I've ever been in life at this moment..My heart and my brain are suffering emotional trauma...again...I feel ransacked..and as smart and resourceful as Id like to think I am.. I didn't even see it coming. What a maroon...oh boyy I just went on a tangent there, sorry...I just start typing and am just trying to get it all out hoping that maybe all of it will help me or someone else, just like all the other posts have helped me, so I'm trying to give an insight into it all...sorry its so wordy and most likely confusing, I appreciate it if you've made it this far, thank you...ok, so I was just told "Recovery Pal", "quiet time needed" and she's close to ending all messaging it seems...so this morning all I wrote was "Good morning, hope you have a brilliant week. I believe in you. I'm here for you.I love you."...to which she replied "Thank you. Have a great day as well. Be strong and be brave."...which I imagine is the polite precursor to being told to shove off for good, if this common pattern continues...I think she's telling me to "Be strong and brave" because its preparing me to accept life without her, which I don't want at all..I'd love to weather this storm and all storms ahead if she's willing to, with ED if that's the case...I embraced that from the beginning...but from what I've read so far with all the others who've gone through this, its inevitable that she will disengage from me...forever...and I wish there was a way to navigate a different ending...Sadly, I should probably begin to work on the acceptance of it...to be in love and lost at the same time is a cruel hand both of us were dealt. My apologies if this is all over the place, but I'm just kinda shooting from the hip at the moment while trying to absorb everything you've just told me as well...I'll definitely follow up to this being I know its helpful to me as well as anyone who stumbles here like I did...its truly been helpful in all of its perspectives.Thank you NEDA and thank you Bob. I still hope. I'm not giving up. Maybe I can change the script on this one. I hope.

BobJ48
Yep.

First off, try not to beat up on yourself if it doesn't seem like you approached all this in a perfect manner. This stuff is complicated, and "normies" can't be expected to understand it if they don't have prior experience. As I suspect you are seeing, EDs are a lot more than simply the person trying to get thin, or somehow punishing themselves. And while they may hate their condition, they aren't aways ready to get rid of it either.

Also, watch out for your feelings of helplessness. You're seeing how much they can upset us, so you'll want to stay calm. If she starts feeling like she is responsible for you being in a tizzy, she's likly to pull away even more. People with EDs hate the idea of being a burden on others. Besides, they often feel like it's their own private thing, which to a large degree it is.

Watch out for the "rescuing" thing too. It's a real temptation to take on that mindset, and if we really care about someone, it's hard to completely set those sorts of feelings aside, but again, the person may see it as intrusive.

In my experience, the "Love is all you need" cure is unlikely to work either. Not that we should, or can, avoid feeling affection for the person, but laying it on thick can sometimes feel like pressure too.

One other thing to keep in mind is that EDs are often about control. (Insert long explanation of the control thing here ) If you start coming at the thing hard, it may give the impression that you have hopes of exerting some kind of control yourself, and that's going to feel like a real deal-breaker to her.

So basically you want to project a calm sense of support, a level-headed appreciation for what she's dealing with, and unless she tells you otherwise and spells out how she would like you to help her, you have faith that she'll be able to stay on top of things and make the right choices for herself. You also know that sometimes she may not make the right choices, but how that kind of comes with the territory too.

I also try and avoid cheerleading. "I know you can do it !!" You'll probably want to cool it with that sort of approach as well, as it may give the impression that you just don't get it.

I do think it's fine to tell her that you believe she is a good person. People with EDs can often question that about themselves. But as an outside observer, that's how it continues to look to you. It's a reasonable and supportive stance I think.

But you don't want to appear like you are losing it if she's not replying to you. It's hard to know how things stand now, but if she is asking for space, I'd be saying " I understand where things could be feeling intense, and how you might be feeling that way" and then wait and see how things proceed from there.

I know the situation feels tumultuous and unsettled, but you're Joe Cool ; understanding but calm.

Even if you have to fake it a little.

ENEMYOFED
I hope.

Yep...thanks for getting through my word salad, really wish I didn't just throw everything out there like that but I've been flying by the seat of my pants and I guess I just needed to vent too...I'm buckled, but am much more understanding of it all than I was a few days ago.

All points well taken Bob...I'm not going to rescue (impossible), no lovebombing (I think it really annoys all ED's from my experience and reading), no more beating myself up over things I could never have enough time to understand ( Its so complex, it takes a lifetime), no cheer-leading (I was never really a fan of that anyway, they like subtle support in my experience), and I guess all I can really do is exist ( Be here for her, unconditionally on her )...in the sense to just deal with everything as it is and breathe...slowly...through it all like one long exhale..and like you said..Joe Cool style.

One of the major things I was really surprised at was how we immediately feel so helpless, but then get sandbagged by the tricky way they can upset us to varying degrees with no discussion or reasoning at all....and we better not bring up ED.. Thats when the Joe Cool chill tude is really necessary to offset that knee jerk responding like a high school kid...its unsettling how those feelings come to surface and logic is late to the party during this sudden transitioning phase...so, stepping back and reflecting about all our interactions and taking time to understand each individual exchange or situation has become paramount moving forward. It always was, but everything is so magnified now, when they're in, or under, or coupled with "control" of ED that every response needs to be given with extra care, credence, and compassion. ED has a reach I totally underestimated...and was certain that it couldn't reach me in a negative way...not so.

One thing I haven't delved into yet is the whole "control" issue. I've studied it some, but its so complex I think I'd need 4 years of study for me to be somewhat articulate in trying to discuss the nature of it in a forum of this magnitude. Really appreciated your "insert long explanation here)" lol, because I've read a bunch of the control posts and boy is it an infinite topic to delve into.

I'm sorry for writing so much, probably too much...and in looking at it now I suppose I really needed a soundboard to validate a lot of what I'm feeling, thinking my circumstance was much worse than everything I've read already, but, not so much at all. Most important to me right now is to gain a greater understanding of ED of how I can be a better person of support than I was...I'm grateful that I found NEDA, and I hope to utilize all they have to offer and am looking into volunteering or interning to gain a greater understanding of all ED's and just be of help to anyone whether my own relationship works out or not. This experience will make us both better people no matter how it plays out...I know since she said she needs quiet time, that she NEEDS quiet time, and to respect her needs which is what has always been the most important thing to me knowing that recovery is so difficult for sufferers of ED and that I've always told her to put herself first over anything including me because prior to me she didn't really practice self care and love...and she still struggles with it, always putting others first.. but has gotten better at it and utilizes all the support now that she receives from her recovery support system. Also, one other thing I've noticed is how social media can become a huge part of their lives, some negative...not sure if its a total negative but it is something to be noted and hopefully I can assess just how much if at all in the future..I think if I could do it all over again, I should have made more time to learn of so much I should've known before one decides to spend a life with a sufferer of ED. No matter how much she says all is fine and its all good, we should always educate ourselves as much as possible about any struggle the person we love is dealing with, in depth.

Its a devious disorder, all the ED's are, and even though I spent time in the medical industry I was never taught too much about ED's, and that's probably where I've been beating myself up the most...but we love, and trust...and learn. Life. What a ride.

So this becomes the fragile time where I have to take my love and faith and put trust into the hands of the person I love... whom I hope still loves me... And hope that during this period of uncertainty that she will still love and care for me in a way that allows me to do it again.

I hope.

BobJ48
Back at you.

" ED has a reach I totally underestimated...and was certain that it couldn't reach me in a negative way...not so."

Here's one thing I've noticed. There's a part of ourselves that wants to believe that once we educate ourselves about something…once we get it mapped out in our minds, somehow that's going to protect us from the emotional effects of the thing. "Knowledge is Power" and all that. But when it's someone we are personally close to, it just doesn't work out that way. No matter how much we know, it still effects us. So if you still feel kind of crazy, that's just part of it. From an emotional standpoint, when someone we love has a problem, it's our problem too, and it's kind of hard to escape that.

"This experience will make us both better people no matter how it plays out."

Yes, hopefully so. But for yourself, most likely. When it comes to understanding other people, it's a whole other world when it comes to EDs. But as time goes on, you may come to understand that many of the issues they are dealing with aren't so different than the sorts of emotional themes that any sensitive person deals with on some level. Our sense of lack or attainment of personal power, how we do or do not fit into the world, the often-fragile sense of our self-worth and worthiness. Are we a good person or not ? These aren't such odd issues, really, but when they get tangled up like they can, things like EDs can be the curious outcome.

Plus, you've got this thing going that helps you feel in control, and you're doing pretty good at it, until you realize that now it's controlling you instead, and on top of that, you are finding it almost impossible to escape from ? Imagine what that must be like, and the various states of mind it might put you in ?

So yes, a lot of aspects of human existence that we may not have had to think about before. And just as a general thing, hopefully that's an angle helps us grow wiser.

I'm kind of involved in the social media thing which you may be referring to, and rather than giving a lot of suggestions, I'm mostly "I can only imagine how difficult this must be." "It's gotta suck, I know." and that sort of general approach. This may seem like stating the obvious, and going with the negative, but people do appreciate that you at least get that part.

So what's the situation now ? Is it still seeming like she's not wanting to hear from you ?

If so, that can be a roadblock too. And like you said, we gotta find some way to be comfortable with the fact that that part is all in their hands.

ENEMYOFED
Comfortable being uncomfortable

"But when it's someone we are personally close to, it just doesn't work out that way. No matter how much we know, it still effects us. So if you still feel kind of crazy, that's just part of it."

Indeed Bob...not gonna lie, I do feel kinda crazy..I am BUCKLED. Devastated being I was planning to spend the rest of my life with her and making the concrete plans both emotionally and financially to do so. I love her…and yes, this event has made me crazy somewhat with the 5 stages... denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance...I'm having a tough time with the acceptance...but I'm trying..I go from being rational and taking a medical or scientific approach as to why this happening and how much ED has played a part in all of this to waving my fist in the air with confusion, sadness and mourning.

Its an emotional overload for me at the moment.

I'm a sensitive person who has a high emotional IQ in many respects. So is she. It was uncanny how we could sense things were off sometimes, and when we did it opened up an immediate discussion to alleviate any of our insecurities or worries, and we both attributed it to our emotional IQ being able to sense and work through these moments...However, it didn’t happen this time…as much as I requested a discussion on the matters at hand, THIS time it was different... I’ve never seen ED get this much control over her as well…it scared the crap out of me how it appears to have kidnapped the woman I know and love…I’m not sure if others feel like that with ED partners, but the drastic change which happened overnight brought me to my knees…I’m still bewildered by it al to be honest.

Having a high emotional IQ also has a negative sides being we put up walls to protect ourselves…our whole lives…yet all of my walls she penetrated and pierced like no other relationship I ever experienced. I let her in. She knew exactly what to say, how to say it, and with my heart in her hand was careful and compassionate in helping me confront many of my own demons whilst sharing with me the demons that haunt her...I never let anyone all the way in, which was probably why my prior long term relationships always failed in the end…this time I shared all my trauma with her…all my baggage from childhood and adolescence was shared with her, and she shared all of hers with me…Something she told me she never did with anyone prior to me…and now I have felt feelings of regret surface for doing so...I know that's irrational, I am grateful for the growth she opened up for me to experience and have healed even more as a person because of the care and compassion she provided.

I'm just feeling shattered that I may not get the privilege to heal alongside her and help her heal, or just help her cope with the weight of all she carries and continue what was a loving and comforting support system for both of us, holding each others hearts carefully and compassionately…I worry that she may get worse, and lose more weight…miss more meals...and as you've mentioned which holds true...Her problem is my problem, and loving someone makes us not want to escape it, in fact I think it drives us even more to confront every issue they are suffering from hoping to either alleviate or eradicate their suffering on any level and provide the solace they require. However, her feeling is "my recovery is fine, I’m doing great, And it’s my responsibility." ..which creates a real problem for any way I approach it. I feel at the present moment that I’m walking on eggshells and any interaction has to be given great care and consideration so as not to upset her or it may be the last exchange I’ll ever have with her…which breaks my heart.

At least in my mind I became "The Little Engine That Could" and I think I can...not really knowing just how heavy the load of ED I'm trying to pull is, or what tools I need, or if the ones I was acquiring and did acquire were helping or being applied correctly...self doubt again just crushing through the surface...or if I'm even in the vicinity of the right toolbox...doubt creeps in...Uncertainty...self doubt…for both of us I presume...but when this occurs, their feelings of uncertainty compared to ours are at two completely different heights of understanding. I think that yes "Knowledge Is Power", but conceivably there's also a school of thought that "Knowledge Is a Burden"..,a burden we'd like to carry for them if possible, which it isn't...but trying is what makes it all work I think, to a degree.. Illustrating to them we care, that its not a burden to us, that yes we are a good person…that not only do we have compassion for their suffering, but that we are willing to learn where others haven't and have failed them... and unfortunately in this process maybe we get tricked at a certain point into the mindset that perhaps "love is all you need" can address all the issues . Nope. That doesn’t seem to work either. Is this how it all gets tangled up ? I don’t know. I’m lost.

“So what's the situation now ? Is it still seeming like she's not wanting to hear from you ?”

Situation…hmmm..SNAFU comes to mind. I don’t think she wants to hear from me. Well, I kinda know she doesn’t. She told me to be strong and be brave the last time she wrote back…I don’t know what that means, and took it as a precursor to just not talking to me anymore as I’ve seen in some of the other posts by partners of ED sufferers…I sent something generic yesterday mentioning how I was making phone calls she knew I was making about some of the plans we were making and nobody was returning my calls, to only find out it was a holiday yesterday and they were not around anyway.. I though it was funny my forgetfulness of the holiday and she didn’t reply back…but she spends time on all social media platforms communicating to other people, so that’s a strong enough message to me that she doesn’t want to interact with me at all…and I’m accepting that…well I’m trying to…just preparing myself for what seems so many other partners to a person w ED before me have gone through and that my hopes of flipping the script would probably be in vain anyway… It’s a roadblock, one that I just don’t know how to circumvent…and I also want to protect myself through this…I’m hurt enough, I really don’t want to drag out something that sadly wont make any difference to a person with ED…or just a temporary difference that will result in me suffering all over again even though I’m willing to take that risk…How she was able to just flip a switch, or ED flipped the switch to not even want to converse with me about any of it has been a difficult pill to swallow. We were always extremely caring about each others feelings and worries determined to resolve any difficulties in our path. This time it feels as if I was never even in her picture of the future…I know that’s not true, that its ED talking, but I’ve never experienced the disconnect or being untethered from her to this degree. I’m lost.

Conversing with strangers on the internet over me…I guess kinda like I’m doing with you Bob, so maybe I’m wrong for feeling this way about some of the things I feel, but a lot of her interactions that are visible to me are random interactions that maybe make others feel good, and I know they make her feel good too… for a like, a share, a click, a tweet, and all the other positives that I do indeed recognize that social media can bring to anyone… especially someone struggling with something as powerful as ED which requires constant distraction which indeed social media does provide. I’m glad its there for her to be honest…shes good at it, and has a gift for making people feel good with a few kind words… BUT, there’s a part of me that’s selfish and says what happened to us ? We were planning a life ? And the negative cycle of thought begins again…it’s a process I know…I’m trying to take all the right steps to learn as much about ED as I can…to understand her more than I did…to seek out the ways to lessen the grip ED has on her...and to just be here for her should she decide that its worth it…We’re worth it…She’s worth it…I’m willing to wait and sacrifice all I have if I can save what we have together…its everything I’ve ever wanted but its all in her hands now…and all I can do is keep learning, loving, and living…with the hope we become tethered again to battle together against ED for a lifetime if necessary…Its uncomfortable, and maybe that’s where I need to be…being comfortable being uncomfortable…Its so worth it, so I wait.I don't know what else to do.

ENEMYOFED
Thats it. Shes cut all ties. its Kaput.

So I've reached the point where she doesn't respond at all. I'm guessing I just need to cancel all the financial moves I made and was making for us to protect myself. There really is no proper way to navigate through this situation when an ED sufferer ends the relationship out of nowhere and within 24 hours moves on with their lives like we've never existed...its as uncomfortable a feeling as we can suffer and being comfortable with it will take a long time I imagine. I hope I learn as much as you one day Bob. Thanks for the help.

BobJ48
"That's it "

Hey.

As you said : "but the drastic change which happened overnight…"

Pretty crazy huh ? But that's definitely how it can happen. And how it's happened with a zillion other guys too.

So which of the persons that we saw was the "real person" ? I've been on message boards with these folks for over 20 years now, and I always feel that we are seeing the "real person" when we see them like you saw her in the first place. But as you've seen, EDs can really do a number on the ways that a person looks at the world, looks at themselves, and and how they look at relationships too. The real person can see all the wonderful things in a relationship, but once ED pokes his head up, relationships can look like a source of emotional danger and potential intrusion. Like it's just not worth going there, you know ? So the person begins to withdraw.

Again, keep an eye on the rescuing thing. Yeah yeah, if they would only accept our care and affection, then somehow things would get better. And there may be a bits of truth to that, but as I expect you've seen on other occasions, truth doesn't always play the role we might hope that it does.

Anyhow, from a practical standpoint it's probably best to just go along, and write this off as bad business. But we are emotional creatures, and it's true ; it can be hard to be pragmatic for some of us. So yes, if this continues to eat at you for a while, that's only natural I think.

But again, hopefully there's been some wisdom to gain from this too. And I don't mean "Keep away from people who seem sketchy". More that we've had some special experience with the ways in which people can be effected by things. And as someone who I suspect has sympathy for folks in this world, it's not bad to understand things like this.

ENEMYOFED
Thank you.

It was indeed a special experience..."Pretty crazy" from A to Z...Sadly you're right, I have to navigate based on the zillion other guys like myself...I guess I'm lucky too, well I know I am...I had a love longed for, love given and received, and love lost...with the "real person" that I met before ED reached a stage where its control was greater than her resistance to it...nobody's fault...life is contradictory, isn't it ? Its difficult to find that the woman I waited for my entire life I have to write off as "bad business"...damn...no lie I'm heartbroken...Striving and Letting Go...Triumphs and Traumas...in a weird way I felt like I was in the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" where the woman has her memory of her boyfriend wiped clean from her mind...and I have to accept that as bizarre and unforgiving as it is... Acceptance can..sometimes..be a great thing and not a compromise or a 'settle for'...and hopefully this doesn't skew my vision of the world for too long if at all...I'll continue to try and figure it all out I imagine, and continue to not be successful at it...its my nature...Everything that is contradictory creates life. Thanks for walking me through this Bob,I think I'm gonna be ok...I hope she will too, and I'll be here for her if she needs me...its really all we can do for each other as you've just done for me...be here. Thank you for being here for so many others for over 20 years...you are a saint, and have inspired me to learn as much as I can about this relentless disorder. Maybe one day I can help someone too. God bless brother. Peace.

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