National Eating Disorders Association

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alyki8
Will you still love me if I put on weight

Hi everyone,

I've posted in this forum before, but just to re-hash, I am a senior in high school with a girlfriend suffering from anorexia. She was diagnosed officially about 3/4 months ago and is seeing a psychologist weekly and regularly visiting a doctor to keep tabs on her progress. She has successfully put on a bit of weight but I know is still finding things very challenging, especially in conjunction with all of our school stress (there is about 6 weeks until our final exams which will determine whether or not we get into university).

Hearing some of your stories is so inspiring - especially hearing about people who have been supporting their partners through EDs for years, if not decades. I almost feel selfish sharing this, but I am beginning to find it quite challenging to support my girlfriend.

The emotional labour that I need to put into our relationship is starting to take a bit of a toll. I am always really, really tired, I will get sudden bouts of sadness and anxiety for no real reason and when she lashes out at me (when having a bad mental health day) I feel really guilty, quite awful about myself and feel like I can't do anything right. The impact of all this is that I am finding it increasingly challenging to focus on school work and I am feeling really unmotivated. I know that this is all being impacted by Covid-19 as well, but I feel like I can definitely attribute some of it to our interactions.

I'd say our communication is pretty good - we speak on the phone at least every second day and we always try to talk about issues that we are having, how we are feeling or anything like that.

For further context, the city in which I live is in total lockdown - we are unable to leave our houses for more than one hour a day and even, we can only do so whilst wearing a mask and go out for exercise. I am able to see my girlfriend face to face around once every two weeks (under a rule that allows 'intimate partners' to visit each other) and I am currently completing school work on an online platform. This has been the case for around 3 months. More broadly, the mental health impact has been really awful, around 1000 people have commit suicide during this period because it is so difficult not being able to socialise/go to work/go to school.

The combined effect of these two factors (my girlfriend and my social isolation) is having a pretty bad impact on my mental health overall. I'm not really sure what to do because I obviously want to continue supporting my girlfriend in whatever way I can, but when she says things like 'will you still love me if I put on weight?', 'I have no friends except for you' or 'I'm not good enough/won't achieve anything in life/I'm dragging you down' I just get so upset and so anxious, which in turn puts a strain on our relationship. I can't distance myself from her because a) she will notice b) I don't want to and c) communication is so important given that we can't see each other face to face because of covid.

I'm just at a bit of a loss as to what to do. I feel so tired all the time, but I really want to make our relationship work, but not at the jeopardy of my school work or my own mental health. Does anyone have any effective coping mechanisms for a situation like this?

_admin_moderator
Dear alyki8

We are sorry to hear you are struggling and wanted to make sure you had some resources. For crisis support you can reach out to:

For additional support and resources you can always reach out to our confidential NEDA Helpline at 800.931.2237 M-Th 11am-9pm ET and F 11am-5pm ET or chat with us online M-TH 9am-9pm ET and F 9am-5pm ET. We also have our Help & Support page available here: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/how-do-i-help Stay well and take care!

sayia_valentine
Hey!!

so I just want to say, I totally get it. Helping your SO through an ED AND school is so tough, my fiance been struggling for over 8 years -- 5 of those which we have been dating for. ((We are 21 and are high school sweethearts)) adding COVID on everything as well is also a stresser.

Recently I have been having my own problems with trying to support my fiance, as he is has been struggling alot, we also have good communication and it sounds like you are doing everything you can.

It sounds like she is projecting onto you how she actually feels. Espeically with the "if i gain weight you won't love me" it sounds like she is insecure. And thats always a hurtful one. What I have to do is remind myself that, its not them talking its their ED. I also found it important to be honest -- let them know when you're struggling as well and when u ou need support.

You mentioned she was in therapy-- that's amazing! One thing you could bring up is possibly doing a session with her, so you can have someone who's specially trained give you both advice on the best ways to support each other.

I also get the tired and anxious feelings, I get those alot, what I have found has helped me is being honest with my fiance and letting him know I'm worried, and he will l give me the chance to express it. Even if I don't have the right words I will say something like "I just am worried about you today, and im not sure how to handle it." This helps him so he knows not only to reassure him, but in a way himself.

I really hope any of this helps and good luck! Keep us updated!

sayia_valentine
Hey!!

so I just want to say, I totally get it. Helping your SO through an ED AND school is so tough, my fiance been struggling for over 8 years -- 5 of those which we have been dating for. ((We are 21 and are high school sweethearts)) adding COVID on everything as well is also a stresser.

Recently I have been having my own problems with trying to support my fiance, as he is has been struggling alot, we also have good communication and it sounds like you are doing everything you can.

It sounds like she is projecting onto you how she actually feels. Espeically with the "if i gain weight you won't love me" it sounds like she is insecure. And thats always a hurtful one. What I have to do is remind myself that, its not them talking its their ED. I also found it important to be honest -- let them know when you're struggling as well and when u ou need support.

You mentioned she was in therapy-- that's amazing! One thing you could bring up is possibly doing a session with her, so you can have someone who's specially trained give you both advice on the best ways to support each other.

I also get the tired and anxious feelings, I get those alot, what I have found has helped me is being honest with my fiance and letting him know I'm worried, and he will l give me the chance to express it. Even if I don't have the right words I will say something like "I just am worried about you today, and im not sure how to handle it." This helps him so he knows not only to reassure him, but in a way himself.

I really hope any of this helps and good luck! Keep us updated!

NEDA is here to support you during the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The health of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus' serious complications, remains paramount. To access resources that can provide free and low-cost support, please click here.

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