National Eating Disorders Association

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giosn
Girlfriend has an ED, lost for words.

Me and my girlfriend have been together for 1.5 years now, we had to go through a year of distance which put a lot of stress on our relationship, including her parents scrutinizing me and our relationship. This put a lot of stress on our relationship and has caused us to have many fights. She has been suffering from anxiety for a while now and it started back in Feb 2014... She was making herself crazy and basically creating self fulfilling prophecies. She got over that and our relationship was remotely stable until september of 2014 ( Her parents were still constantly scrutinizing our relationship ). I moved to NY for her to start college here and things were going great. However, I had just found out my parents were divorcing and my grandmother had passed away, so I wasn't at my best so to say (We're only human right?). She started developing an ED where she would restrict her calories. She once asked me to get her food from a specific place that was not near my place. I spent about an hour and a half getting her food and such, she arrives home late and throws it in the garbage proceeding to flip out. This is just one example of the many times she has flipped out on me. Well to sum up, yesterday she told me we needed to take a break (After flipping out in a restaurant because of something silly with the food) she said she cannot be in such a serious relationship when she is not herself. We went to a coffee place after, sat and talked, laughed, kissed like it was all normal. Except it wasn't.

I am lost for words as I try and help her every single way,I admit that I have lashed out in response to her behavior towards me, but I have a very short fuse for unnecessary drama. I love her like crazy and don't want to lose her. We still talked about spending dinners together and such so I feel she is very conflicted towards me and the relationship... I just don't know what to do, wether to give her space or to try and be there for her.

Thank you,
G

hannahls
giosn

giosn, I am so sorry to hear about your girlfriend's struggle with an eating disorder. I'm so glad that you were brave enough to open up and share your story with the forums, and I hope we can provide you with some help and support. You seem like an incredible man, and I want you to know that the fact that you have "lashed out in response to her behavior towards" in the past does NOT take away from how strong and supportive you are. Like you said, we're only human.

Is your girlfriend currently seeing anyone (therapist/nutritionist/etc) to get help? If not, I highly recommend that you encourage her to get professional help. Even if she is already seeing a psychiatrist/therapist regarding her anxiety, it might be a good idea to look into seeing someone who specializes in treating patients with eating disorders. If you call the NEDA Helpline (Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, at 1-800-931-2237), they can give you information about treatment options in your area.

In regard to your question about "whether to give her space or to try and be there for her," I recommend that you try and have an open discussion with her about what she thinks would be best. I think she would really appreciate your desire to take her feelings about it into account.

Lastly, I encourage you to stay positive, patient, and strong throughout this challenging time. Take care of yourself, too, instead of using all of your energy trying to care for her. You will be a stronger support system for her if you are healthy (physically, emotionally, and mentally) yourself.

Best of luck,
Hannah