National Eating Disorders Association

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Pacman
I don't know where to start...

I met my wife 6 years ago. We were a couple for 2 years before we got married. I knew she had been diagnosed with anorexia a while back but she was much better when we met. After we married we had a good year or so and then she started showing signs of relapse.

She will exersice exsessively, not eat, not bring food with her to work claiming that she will buy something to eat, but no money is ever drawn from our account. It all came slowly with small steps so I kind of missed it until it was too late. She seems to have developed a massive need of control which goes above and beyond the task of avoiding food.

She will also hoard food, flail out at anyone who dares to throw it away (even if she dosn't eat it herself), constantly speak about food, read cooking magazines, try various diets such as raw-food, vegan, vegetarian, talk about how good they make her feel and so on. She is also very focused on how un-healthy some food is. This kind of mode turns on and off, it seems that she realizes how crazy it is sometimes.

Her BMI is low, and she seems genuinely happy about it, even if she stopped having her periods recently, making us unable to have children.

She have also started the habit of lying to me. Every time we have a disagreement about something she has done and talk about it (we communicate alot) she will promise to not do it again and then proceed to do it anyway. This applies to small and big things alike and every aspect of life. Being very unwilling to compromise for the sake of our relationship she still demands alot from me. In the beginning I was willing to walk the extra mile, thinking that it would make her see my love for her, but her unwillingness to "meet in the middle" have just shattered my love for her in the long run.

We went to therapy together and the psychologist noted that my wife had some serious issues. After about 5 or 6 meetings my wife was still unable to see that she had problems and resorted to blaming "us" for them. She only had a problem with herself when she was with me, when she was alone there were no one who blamed her for anorexia or anything else. The shrink tried to convince her that this was not the case, the problem was independent of our relationship (though it effected it)

She have since then talked with many friends, her family and her sisters and they have all told her, independently, that she is never hungry when they ask her, rarely eat and have a strong will, so to speak.

Now she wants a divorce because she thinks we make each other unhappy. It's kind of true because living with her is really draining my energy and making me depressed, being lied to constantly and watching your wife focus all her energy on herself while destroying herself, is no easy thing and has left me withdrawn and unwilling to have guests, go on trips and so on. On the other hand this is because of my wife's ED and changed personality, and she realizes that fully, but still refuses to change or do something about it. She just wants to be "who I am".

It feels like my wife has chosen her strange relationship to "food" over me, her own husband. I don't know what to do. I'd like it if you guys could give me some tips, and perhaps share your own stories. Is all hope lost?

Brooke125
Hi Pacman,

Hi Pacman,
Everything you’re describing about your wife are all tell-tale signs of having a clinical eating disorder, but I am not a professional nor offering professional advice. You obviously love her a great deal if you’re seeking ways to help her get better, and I wish I was able to offer some words of wisdom. For me personally, I never got better until I finally made the decision for myself. For years my disorder distressed my parents, family, friends and boyfriends because they wanted to help and for me to get better but didn’t know how and I couldn’t tell them how because I felt like it was something too personal. We are all different people and your wife may or may not be the same, but if she is refusing to admit that there is a problem or seek treatment, then that’s a tough situation.
Have you considered reaching out to NEDA’s helpline? It’s a great resource for family and friends of those suffering. 800-931-2237. They are available from 9 am to 9 pm Mon-Thurs and Fri from 9 a-5p EST.
You’re doing the right thing by being here and I’m sorry that you’re watching someone you care about much struggle. Take care.

KAN123
Pacman, Parts of our stories

Pacman, Parts of our stories sound very familiar, particularly that it's an issue with "us". So frustrating to hear that! Check out my story further down the entry list:

Wife & new mother has an eating disorder

Wish you and your wife all the best!