National Eating Disorders Association

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shuba
Looking for support group for spouses

Sorry if this has been asked and I didn’t see it, but where do find a list of support groups for partners/spouses? My wife suffers from an eating disorder and I need to be more involved, and better at listening/caring/dealing with issues, etc. but I don’t know how - or maybe I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing and or triggering a bad response. Thanks

_admin_moderator
Welcome!

Hi Shuba, welcome to the forums, it's great that you are posting. If you browse the NEDA website, the "Help & Support" tab as well as the "Learn" tab have some information that may be helpful for you. You could also contact the NEDA Phone number or Helpline chat which could help you find some options. You can call 800-931- 2237 or chat, https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/helplinechat  to discuss support options. Helpline phone hours are Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm ET, Friday 11am-5pm ET. Helpline chat hours are Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm ET, Friday 9am-5pm ET. We hope you find the support you are looking for and keep posting!  

MidlifeED
Awesome that you are seeking

Awesome that you are seeking help for yourself to help your spouse!! It’s not easy, I’m sure. I’m not the other spouse, but I am the eating disorder spouse … so I can’t be of any help to you. Except to say please be kind to her; it is irrational behavior… yes. We get it. But we don’t do well with yelling or critical statements. We don’t want this illness just like you don’t want us to have it.

jdbryant00
responding

Hey shuba, have you found a support group for spouses yet? Honestly dude it's wild how few support groups there are for spouses specifically. I've been looking for 2 months and still haven't found a spouse-specific support group.

I'd even be willing to start one if you're down. My husband has anorexia, and he's in the midst of treatment, and I feel so damn stranded dealing with this thing. Feel like there's gotta be others out there going through this.

Hope to hear from you soon. All the best to you and yours, my friend.

BobJ48
JD Bryant

Yeah, back in the day there was a pretty active web forum for partners, but for reasons beyond it's control it became unavailable. That was back in 2015 I think, and as far as I can tell, nothing else has ever shown up to replace it.

This place is the only place I know about now, and you can see how active it is. Like not at all. Probably because these forums are hidden away, and NEDA doesn't do much to promote them. So I'm not sure what the solution is, or how something like that might get going again.

jill106
Support Group for Spouses/Partners

JD Bryant, BobJ48, Shuba, My husband suffers from Anorexia and I have been looking for a support group for almost a year and none of the organizations seem to have them. I would be interested in starting one as well. I have attended a bunch of support groups, but they are all geared to families with children with ED. JD Bryant mentioned interest above in it. Anyone else?

BobJ48
Jill

Yep, back in the days when the web was smaller, it seemed much easier to put significant groups together. These days, when the web is so huge and social media is so fragmented, it seems a lot harder to get something rolling. You can see how non-active it is here on this forum, and NEDA represents itself to be the largest ED organization in the US...

jill106
Support Group for Spouses/Partners

BobJ48 I would be willing to set up a zoom and host a call with people - maybe we could get a small group started. How about September 21st at 7:30pm EST? I know of another person that would join. Would you want to join? (or September 23rd at 7:30pm EST)...or feel free to propose another date.

BobJ48
Jil, the problem is that NEDA

Jil, the problem is that NEDA won't allow people to post any links, or any type of personal information at all, so unfortunately I think we'll be out of luck as far as making any sort of connection through NEDA's forum. If the NEDA folks have a suggestion for helping, perhaps they'll post it here ?

Otherwise it's mostly "It's great that you care for your loved one, call our hotline." But who knows, perhaps they'll post something that refers more specifically to your interest in getting a peer-to-peer support group going ?

jill106
Support group for Spouses/Partners

thanks for the info - I didn't realize that we couldn't post links. It would be great if NEDA could host a support group for spouses.

HDpanamerica13
Just starting to look into

Just starting to look into support for myself to support my a wife who is struggling with ED. It is very difficult and from everything that I’ve looked at there’s really no resources available for spouses and it’s very frustrating.

dwyer.karen1
spouses group???

Hey. Looking at these posts about support group for spouses of ED. I am looking into getting help/support for my spouse, bec I am the one with ED. I am getting therapy, in a support group, RD etc and team recommending higher level of care, maybe in patient. I really want my spouse to get support for himself and have others to talk to. to help him & to help him deal with me, support me etc. But I know he is having a hard time and feeling frustrated and alone. Do you know of any groups??? someone mentioned starting a zoom. did that happen?

Tryingtoheal
Unfortunately

We cannot list any of these groups, otherwise it will be deleted.

dwyer.karen1
thx tryingtoheal

so what do you think i should do? I have been encouraging him to seek support and learn not only how to listen/help me but also himself. is it even ok for me to ask this of him? as a couple, both of us suffering, it's hard to find help for spouses. If you can't talk about groups where/how do I direct him? I want him to be able to talk to someone who gets it, who is in/has been in his shoes. any advice?

Tryingtoheal
Best advice

A Few things. Unfortunately, if the sufferer isn't willing to work on getting better or wanting to, there's nothing you can do to force them to get help. I know this isn't what you want to hear, nor is it advice that really helps, but that's the nature of this mental illness. I struggled for 30 with eating disorders, but worked my butt off to get better. It's taken 4 years.
I would suggest that you focus on your recovery. You've done all you can to help. Now the ball is in his court.
If you try to force it, resentment slowly starts to grow, then comes bitterness. Just be there when and if he's ready. That's all you can do. I will be praying.
Perhaps chatting with NEDA will get you somewhere.
Please keep us posted.

_admin_moderator
dwyer.karen1

Dear dwyer.karen1, thank you for posting on the forums. We’re sorry to hear about this difficult time for you and your spouse. We encourage you to reach out to our confidential NEDA Helpline to discuss finding support group options and resources at 800.931.2237 M-Th 11am-9pm ET and F 11am-5pm ET. You also can chat with us online M-Th 9am-9pm ET and F 9am-5pm ET. 

We understand that this can be a challenging and isolating time to navigate. Here are some tips from a NEDA online toolkit (for family members as well as parents, p. 65) that might be helpful to offer him guidance: 

  • Take time for yourself. Keep in mind that what you do is a much more powerful message than what you say. Being a good role model for your family member during the healing process means taking care of your own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. 
  • If you are married or in a significant relationship, spend time on that relationship. Talk daily to your partner about your feelings and frustrations. Take time for a hug. If time allows, make a date for something you both enjoy to have fun. 
  • Seek support from family, friends, and/or professionals whom you find to be helpful. Allow yourself to be cared for. 
  • Ask for help with the mundane. It makes your friends feel useful and keeps you from becoming isolated. Make a list of things you can use help with: laundry, errands, lawn care, housecleaning, meals for the rest of the family. If someone says, “Let me know if there is anything I can help with,” show them your list of unassigned tasks. Ask what they can do. 
  • Remind yourself daily that you are doing the best for your family member. Keeping a journal can help— making a self-commitment to jot down one positive thought each day can help. 
  • Find support in what others are saying – join a local or online support group. 
  • Say “No” when you can. Give yourself a break. Don’t take on any added responsibilities at this time. 
  • Explore your options if you think you may need to leave work temporarily to provide full-time care. Learn about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA provides job protection for employees who must leave their job for family medical concerns.

 
Again, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Helpline and to continue posting on the forums
– both you and your partner matter, and you are not alone.

_admin_moderator
Finding Support Groups

Hi NEDA Community friends! If you're looking for online support groups or support groups in your area, check out the Free and Low Cost Support page on the NEDA Website! To get there, click the "Help & Support" tab and then "Free and Low Cost Support." There are tons of resources there, and we hope you find what you're looking for!