National Eating Disorders Association

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Husband trying to control what I eat

Recently my husband has become very concerned with my diet and not just his own. I get that I'm not a very healthy eater, but I'm in a healthy BMI and fine with my body. I tell him this, but increasingly he tells me that I need to "eat better" and "be more healthy." This makes me feel very resentful since he hasn't got his own business under control and now he wants to take over mine.

I'm deathly afraid that he'll judge me for being "fat" and that he probably doesn't find me attractive anymore because I don't share his diet ideals.

(He is Vegan and only borderline bulimic.)

Has anyone else had a spouse do this? What should I do? I'm at a huge loss.

Kay - Projection

Hey Kay,

I was wondering if this concern about "eating healthy" is a newish sort of thing for him ? It's probably normal for people to want validation for their latest…I won't say "obsession", but you know what I mean, I'm sure. But it is unusual that he should now be pressuring you in this manner.

Still, in this day and age, it seems like its more and more common for people to get kind of evangelical about all sorts of heath related things. In ways that people might have considered a little bit odd in the past. Not that there is anything wrong with people having healthy habits, but like you said, one does begin to wonder if there's something more than just that going on sometimes.

Not to go too overboard with this, but there are people who do become hyper-obsessed with "eating healthy" to the point where it becomes obsessive, and does begin to effect their lives, and the lives of other's around them. In the beginning it can be hard for them to see any of this as problematic, because as we all know everyone's supposed to be "making healthy choices" these days when it comes to food. But if things reach a point where the the person begins to find themselves suffering a level of inordinate anxiety over what they do and don't put in their mouths, and finds more and more of their brain-space being taken over by food concerns, you can see where it might be akin to the more commonly known eating disorders.

Again, it's hard to know what his situation really is, but just the fact that you've come here to write about this in the first place, does point to the fact that his habits are beginning to have an impact on others. That other person being yourself.

Keep writing ?

Writing it out?

Not sure if that was a request for more details or a suggestion to write it out for myself, but there is a lot going on here. He's going to a counselor for unhealthy food habits (binging and then exercising to "make up" for it). He doesn't want to admit to any kind of label (he specifically wanted a counselor who specialized in eating disorders), but at the same time won't say he's actually bulimic.

He's also going through a faith transition, so just generally, he and I are not on steady ground on most topics. I have faith our marriage is worth saving and our relationship is strong enough to survive, but I really am starting to resent how he judges what I eat. Like, I'm doing fine over here, buddy. You do you.

He does say he's mostly worried I'll develop diseases from how I eat, like heart disease and diabetes, but that almost feels fake to me, like it's a "good" reason to worry about my food and not the reason that is really behind it.

Just... I'm not sure. That's why I posted. It seems like I've got nowhere to turn to to figure this out. I try to talk to him, but he's not the best at communicating and it just ends not great. So I was hoping for some perspective or techniques to use to turn him back to focus on his own problems and not make up ones that he perceives are mine.


Good that he is seeing someone, and I suspect it's no coincidence that he wanted to see someone who was familiar with eating disorders. So at least the person he's seeing will be familiar with the sorts of thoughts and behaviors that he'll need to work on. I think you can trust that they've pretty much seen everything, if they've been working in that specialty for any amount of time.

As far as perspective, there's a real chance that he sees your eating habits as unsettling to his "recovery". I know that the folks on ED boards often find themselves upset and unsettled by the fact that normal people "seem to be able to eat anything". But really, the rest of the world is supposed to adjust their otherwise normal habits to suit the issues and sensitivities that disordered people are prey to? I suppose that might help to some degree, but if people are going to truly recover, they'll need to reach a point where they don't get run off the rails by the normal sorts of eating that the rest of the world engages in. It's something they'll need to work on, you know ?

" I was hoping for some perspective or techniques to use to turn him back to focus on his own problems and not make up ones that he perceives are mine. "

OK, so it's probably fair to say that this has become an issue for you which is effecting the relationship that the two of you share. And why do people go to therapy ? To work on various issues they have. So…one thing you might do is ask your husband if he could talk about this matter with his counsellor.

"My wife is upset because she says I am always criticizing her eating habits. She says it's starting to effect our relationship. She's requested that I ask you about that."

This would seem like a legitimate issue for him to discuss with his therapist, one would think. He can go on and on about why your food choices are unhealthy, but this situation isn't really about that. It's about how his concerns about this are effecting you, and by extension the relationship you both share. If he were to mention this, perhaps the therapist could be the one to help him direct his thoughts back to his own situation ? Or at least help him figure out for himself what might be most helpful, from your own standpoint I mean. And perhaps help him gain some perspective on why he really finds himself doing it.

K -

K -

I replied to one of your comments before. My husband doesn't judge what I eat.. but he VERY closely monitors what our son eats. He's very concerned he doesn't eat too much"junk" and rarely lets him have a treat when he's around. Just to note our son is super healthy, extremely active and a pretty good eater for a 4 year old.
He is always harping for healthy meals and tons of fruit and veggies and forcing him to try vegetables and makes dinner a nightmare sometimes.
A recent revelation for me is that he made a comment he didn't want him to be a "fat little kid" and apparently that's something that used to be said to him.. comments on weight as a kid which I wasn't really aware of because he wasn't an over weight child per say.
So again, I'm no psychologist and I'm in the midst of problems myself but I just wanted to share that what you're saying is relatable.
I hope the therapy can bring light to this stuff for both partners.



This is inappropriate to post. I have contacted the moderators, and it will be removed.


Why is this inappropriate? Just individuals struggling to living with a loved one who is suffering with disordered eating, seeking help and getting it.. This is what this forum is for. They are mentioning behaviors, specific foods etc. So I don't understand why it is inappropriate.

Just wondering, iwanttolive

It was geared

Towards another person's response, which has been removed, so now is a mute point.

iwanttolive : Moderation


At the risk of sounding harsh, the anonymous moderation does feel arbitrary here at times, and is frequently late in arriving. The reasons given for moderators censuring member's posts are sometimes curt, vague, impersonal and sometimes paternal-seeming, and the rational for why things are "triggering" often seems not well supported.

The "Rules" section is really vague too I think, and not even accessible from the response pages.

The details of events which actually happen to people in real life are important I think. I'm not sure that having to censure them actually protects other members in any sort of real material way, particularly here in the partners area.

As I'm sure the moderators are aware, there are other websites where people can go where they are allowed to speak considerably more frankly and openly about their issues. Sites which get quite a bit more traffic than we do here. Which should be a matter of concern for NEDA I believe, if they are serious about providing forums which will be viewed as useful by the community they hope to serve.

Just one person's opinion though. Other members of this forum may feel differently.


Hi oliviaemily, This is to inform you that your posts have been deleted due to violation of community guidelines. We do not allow promotion of products, services, or personal websites on the forums. You can view the community guidelines here: Thanks!