National Eating Disorders Association

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Two EDs, One Relationship

My partner and I both experience disordered eating. At this point, I am farther along in my recovery journey, but I can't seem to shake the feeling that the disgust she feels at "fat" on her own body must be disgust that she feels towards my body as well. This is compounded by our differences in race/ethnicity that already make me the conventionally less desirable partner.

I feel so guilty because it makes me feel like I'm making her ED all about me, but it's really triggering for me to hear her talk about her body in the ways that she does. I go to therapy, which is definitely helpful in working on my own stuff, but I'm really struggling to believe it when she says that she's attracted to me or likes my body in some way.

Does anyone have any experience with disordered eating and being in a relationship with someone else experiencing disordered eating? How do you resolve it when your individual experiences create conflict between the two of you or internally?

Doubts and comparing.

Hey there,

I'm not in your situation, but I know how it can be with doubts and the comparing thing. Like how we can seem to avoid emotional feelings that are based on various sorts of physical comparisons.

And how our feelings probably *should* be based on assessments that are deeper than just surface things like that. Which of course they should be, but you know how it goes I'm sure - various physical things can take on all sorts of emotional symbolism, and our minds get kind of stuck with that.

I suspect your partner is stuck in the same symbolic mindset too, and that's part of why the ways in which she discusses her own body remain so triggering. Because with recovery, part of the task is that people are trying to escape that.

I'm not sure how you resolve this with your partner. But if she can come to understand the dynamic that's involved, perhaps she can mindfully try and avoid that body-based sort of talk, and see if she can talk about the emotions and feelings those statements represent instead ?

I get it

hey!! So i actually understand. Even though I'm not diagnosed I have suffered with my weight in the past and recently. My fiance suffers from severe EDs and is already insanely small. I feel horrible since he's now more worried about me then himself and he's always blaming himself for triggering me.

As of right now we have a rule of being completely honest with each other and open. We are asking the hard questions and checking in. Its not easy but I understand.

Hows it all going now?