National Eating Disorders Association

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Erika1781
Help

For the last few weeks I've been catching my fiance in lies about where he is. Today I caught him in another lie, and he admitted to me that he's been attended a group therapy session because he has an eating disorder. I was pissed and angry but not shocked. Since we've been together I've noticed things like purging behaviors and strict dieting. I saw all the signs, and I even questioned him numerous times if he had an eating disorder and he lied to me. I was so angry that he lied. He's only been in going to these group therapy sessions for a couple weeks, and I have no idea how to deal with this. I'm seeking my own therapist, and am currently being treated for anxiety and depression, so I understand mental illness. And I knew he had bipolar disorder when we first started seeing each other, so why did he feel the need to lie about this? If I had known there's a lot I would have done differently. I feel like I've triggered him, and have made him worse. Please someone tell me that we're going to be alright. This is the man of my dreams, and we're engaged to be married. I'm just so angry at him for lying to me.

mycatblue
Welcome to the forums!

Hello,

Just wanted to post and say welcome to the community.

I get why you are angry, no one likes to be mislead by loved ones, but keep in mind that ED can be a very secretive disease and often people feel shame or embarrassment about their behaviors. I would urge you to try and focus on the positive, which is that he is in therapy and taking steps towards recovery. He probably needs your love and support right now more than anything.

I wish you the best, please keep posting and let us know how you are doing.

Adage
Right now, I imagine that he

Right now, I imagine that he needs his partner. That he needs a healthy support network that he can rely on.

If you learned to be accepting and understanding about his bipolar disorder, can you learn to accept his eating disorder to? Its not like he cheated on you. He was and likely is very embarrassed about his ED. And if you've experienced anxiety before, then you should know exactly what he's going through. He probably didn't want to burden you with his eating disorder. That is how so many people with EDs feel.

On top of that he's trying to seek help. You should be a part of that help as I said before. Yes, he lied. But did he do something like lie about loving you or was he lying to try to maintain some semblance of control in his complicated life?
Ultimately, its up to you whether or not you want to forgive him and whether or not you want to stay with him.

Here's some literature if you care to read it:
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/what-should-i-say
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/family-and-friends
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/sites/default/files/Toolkits/Par...

Erika1781
Thank you all for your kind

Thank you all for your kind words. After I had posted this, I went home and we had a very long conversation where I stressed to him that I am his #1 supporter and how proud I was of him for seeking help. Today he made some phone calls and is being evaluated for an IOP tomorrow. He also made an appointment to see a PCP to get a physical which is something he hasn't done since high school. He's making all the right steps, and I do understand why he kept this from me, I am the only person he has told since his ED started 10 years ago.

We agreed that once he is healthy and done with his IOP we would start couples/marriage counseling to try and work on our communication.

BobJ48
Good for him.

Erika,

As the others have said, you know how guys can be sometimes : They want to deal with things on their own. And "having a problem" is never what makes fellows comfortable either. And then the whole "The Shame of Eating Disorders" thing on top of all that. I'm not surprised that it was difficult for him to come out to you.

But gosh, it really does sound like he's had a breakthrough, and want's to finally start turning things around. I mean, going to a group therapy thing ? Not a whole lot of guys would be comfortable taking that sort of step either.

And then all the rest : the physical, and the couple's counseling ? This all sounds like awfully big stuff to me.

Still, EDs are generally extremely tenacious, so in the midst of all of this hopefulness, you'll need to come to terms with that part as well. Even people who are highly motivated can, and generally do have slip-ups, so as part of your own task in all of this, it will be important to prepare yourself for that part too.

When slip-ups come along, it may feel like a disappointment for you, but it will be harder for him I promise, so again, you'll want to be prepared to provide understanding and sympathy when those moments come along.

Bob J.

Erika1781
Things are bet

Things are doing okay. He went to his evaluation yesterday, and is starting his IOP tonight. So he's feeling nervous about it I'm sure. So I'm makin sure to check in on him during the day since I'm at work and had school al morning.

It's weird since he has told me, it's like it's brought us closer together. For months before all this happened we had been been drifting apart, but now that everything is out in the open, we've gotten closer.

BobJ48
Good progress.

Erika,

I'm not surprised you guys feel closer now. These matters are close to the heart I think.

And things are turning in a better direction. It's a good moment I know xx

Bob J.

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