National Eating Disorders Association

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I am just seeing the signs in my Husband

My husband threw up multiple times last weekend.. He had told a year and a half ago when we first got together that he used to be bulimic.. He made it sound like it was in the past.. and maybe it was.. Within the year and a half I have noticed when he gains weight he will not eat for a while to slim back down (it's never weeks at a time or a huge amount of weight) I have also notice in the time we've been together he goes into the kitchen at night when we are watching tv and he secret eats really quick and then come back out.. I am so so worried. I am a yoga instructor and health and fitness are my life. I care about what we put on and in our bodies, I am afood activist and try to live as chemical free as possible (which in this world I know will never be 100 percent) But the food he puts into his body concerns me and all these other signs concern me.

When he threw up this weekend, I asked him about it gently. I asked do you know why you do it? Will you talk to me.. all he said is it's like when you are upset and you get depressed...

I am at a loss. I am scared. I am worried about his health. I am worried about him.

Stay strong


welcome to the forums, I hope you find information, help and support. It's been a great help to me. Be sure to read as much as you can, and use the help line if you need someone to talk to about this.

My experience is with a woman and anorexia, so it would be much different, but many traits are common to all Eating Disorders.

Food and Weight are confused with life values. Someone is worth as much as he/she is reaching his/her goals about what they consider appropriate about food and weight.

One of our jobs as partners is to show them they are worth much more than their body or their behavior regarding food . But they will fight us on that.

I'm guessing that if yourself put so much importance in fitness and food, even if your stand is healthy, you're adding some pressure on his illness, because he can't be rational about it, and he can't see the limits you have so clear in your mind.

I'm sorry to tell you this, but an ED is never "only in the past", is the same as alcoholism, once you are alcoholic, is something you will be fighting all your life. But it can be great if you keep it in line.

The good thing is that is seems that the line of communication is open, and that he's not in a very advanced phase. So you did great catching the signs and starting to be concern right away, I think you're going to be a great support to him, and he'll be all right. He's very lucky to have you.

You need to focus not on his food, but in his mood. Why is he upset/depressed? Listen to him, support him on that, and try your best to lower his anxiety levels. He needs to recover two things: feeling in control, and feeling proud of himself. I'm told that bulimics feel worthless all the time, they find less peaceful moments than anorexics. So all your focus must be on his peace of mind and his self esteem, not on what he does or eats (or purges).

Good luck and God bless.

Thank You!

We have had quite a bit of stress the last few months in our marriage, blending our very unique families together.. And I had always been putting a lot of emphasis on and talking about health and the types of food we eat... I had NO CLUE how ED worked, and had NO CLUE that he was so sensitive and broken. He keeps it all in and seems so strong. I feel aweful like I was the trigger for this. I absolutely know that this is not the case and I have not spoken this to him and will not speak this to him.

I have been reading and reading and reading for days. And your words resonate with me and follow what a friend had told me. My only job is to love him like God wants me to, my only job is to support him emotionally and love him unconditionally. I have this past week kept my thoughts and feeling about his eating choices and such to myself. I will from now be very careful about my word choices. He is open to talking when I gentle (which is a learning curve for me, I can be abrasive.. but God is working on me) I will be a guide and "role model" just by doing, not by saying..

Yes his mood, you're right. He has had a lot of anxiety for months. I want to help him so very much. He agreed to do some gentle partner yoga at home with me (like a date night once a week) concentrating on breathing and non sensual touch (creating more of a bond and connection with all the good feels) which can bring people closer. Non sensual touch is proven to elevate moods and positive emotions.

Thank you so very much for your kind words! Your response was so very comforting!

Really glad

I'm really glad I was of some help,I thought I had been too harsh. There are very good people at comforting with words, but I feel fake, as it doesn't come naturally to me, as English is not my 1st language.I feel most of us underestimate the severity of EDs,I did for so long, and now we have a lot of road to walk ahead of us.

There's not much we can do, as partners, but it's important to start doing it ASAP, and even more important to stop ASAP any counterproductive actions. We all felt clueless at the beginning. We are not doctors, and the popular believes about EDs are very deviated from the reality of it. You'll need to learn to forgive yourself, because many times it just won't be a right thing to say or do. You have a great mentality and attitude about it, I'm sure you'll do as best as anyone can.

Make sure to tell him he IS strong, this is not a sign that he is (or was) weak, it's just bad luck that he got this disease, and he bears it as best as he can. We healthy people don't know how much he has to face everyday with a disease that turns him against himself. So he has to be strong just to keep fighting and to keep living. There's nothing embarrassing about having this, he doesn't need to keep it inside, because you can admire him for the fight he's fighting, and you are here to help.

That partner yoga sounds amazing, and it can do wonders. I'm a massage therapist, and I can do some good with contact. Any sensual thought on my GF feels like a threat, so I need to be very careful not to be confused (which is not easy at all, as I love her so much), but mostly I manage, one thing that works is just brushing her hair. Any head massage also takes a lot of pressure of her and is safe. So I feel you are in a very good track about this.

Maybe there are some things you can take slower in that process of blending your families together. Both of you will benefit from lowering the stress level. This has to raise in your priority list.

Keep it up, and keep us posted.