National Eating Disorders Association

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Grace_
Girlfriend has ed and I'm afraid that I'm making it worse

We have been together for a few years and I've always known she struggled with bulimia but didn't know how bad it was until recently. I love her and want to be with her but I'm worried that the stress of it is getting to me and im not capable of helping her as much as I should. She's started going to group therapy and bought some books to help. I know she is trying but I still get so upset when she purges and especially when I know she lies to me about it. I feel like I've been staying away from her more because I just get so sad and upset when I know she's purging. It makes me feel like I'm not important to her when she lies to me about it and does it when I'm around even though she always tells me she loves me and doesn't want to hurt me. We're both girls and I have my own struggles with body image like many young women do and I will sometimes criticize my own body or feel bad after overeating and I know it's not good for her to hear me say those kinds of things. I just have no experience dealing with this kind of a situation and I have no one to talk to about it because not a lot of people know about her disorder. I don't know how to see that she's making progress when I know she's still exhibiting unhealthy behavior.

How can I help her and maintain a healthy relationship while taking care of myself? Lately I feel like I've been neglecting my own health and I've been kind of depressed and when we were drinking one night I got really upset with her for purging and I confessed that I had been feeling suicidal and that I felt like she wouldn't care what I thought unless I was dead. The next day I felt horrible for having said that to her but it's hard not to feel like that sometimes.

How do I accept this part of her and help her recover?

kayleigh91
I was on the other side of

I was on the other side of things. My husband didn't know what to do with me. He felt like he was enabling me. He couldn't do it on his own. He had to tell my family about things and get them to do a meeting with me to get me to go to the hospital. It's good that you let her know how you were feeling, but honestly thats a big concern here. I suggest you call the suicide hotline because your safety is important.
Here is also a link for helpful information about how to support the ones you love:
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/parent-family-friends-network

Also, perhaps maybe meeting with someone who is unbiased to mediate a conversation between you and your girlfriend might be helpful.

Love,
KayLeigh

BlueS
My wife has a mix of bulimia

My wife has a mix of bulimia and anorexia that goes in cycles. Anyway, I wanted to mention that it's probably a good idea to get some therapy for yourself. What I've learned from my wife's ED is that there is little you can do other than to be supportive. This is a disease rather than something your partner is in control of. Getting mad at her for purging will do nothing other than make her feel more guilty and try to hide it even more. I can't say it's helped the behaviour, but I know my wife is completely open with me about her habits and when she's going through a difficult time. Whereas her mother used to use threats or sneak up on her when she was purging and forcefully try to stop it, I am there for her when she needs me even if I know she's been bingeing and purging. We cannot change others or force them to change their habits but we can help by not adding to the guilt and being there for them. You really have to focus more on your own health. That's what I've been trying to do lately.

Grace_
Thank you guys. It really

Thank you guys. It really helps just to know that other people deal with this situation. I guess what I really struggle with is what to do when she purges? Do I say anything? It's hard for me to just ignore it because it makes me really sad.

morgs87
Like kayleigh91said, please

Like kayleigh91said, please call the Suicide Hotline: 1-(800)273-TALK (8255) because your safety and health is important. And like BlueS said, you really have to focus more on your own health and you cannot change others or force them to change their habits. I know, it is hard to watch someone you love struggle with an ED and that it is difficult to ignore your girlfriend purging, but besides being there for her and supporting and loving her, there is not much you can do. Trying to stop her, instead of just being there for her when she needs you, even though you know she is purging, could make matters worse, and cause her to be secretive about it. It might help if you and your girlfriend talked to a counselor together. This way you have an unbias person there to help mediate the conversation.

icareabouther
This is new to me, so if I

This is new to me, so if I come off wrong I'm sorry.

I don't understand this disease.

_admin_moderator
icareabouther,

icareabouther,
we are glad that you are posting on our forums, but we do not want to shame any one body type. We took out your comment to keep this comment within our NEDA guidelines. The disease is not just about size, it goes a little bit deeper.

susanpetrick
Overcoming Bulimia

Hi ! First of all, take her to a doctor, and talk to her clearly. Tell her how you feel when she suffer. Otherwise, nowadays a spiritual master Mahendra Kumar Trivedi is solving such problems with his power called as Trivedi Effect. You can watch the following video for reference
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGo9HLbLsnM