National Eating Disorders Association

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I told my fiancee we need to reschedule the wedding...

We are scheduled to get married in early September. A little over a month ago, I suggested we start going to couples therapy to learn how I can better support her as she grieves the loss of her mother (her mom died in November). In reality, I was hoping this would open her up to seeking help on her own with the grief. I dismissed most of her behavior this time around as dealing with the loss of her mother. The day of our first session she confessed that she was still bulimic. I felt empty after hearing this news. She had told me the same thing 2 years ago right after I ended the relationship. That time she assured me she would get help and that she would get better.

I wish it had worked.

Now this time around there are three therapists who are saying she needs to start IOT (intensive outpatient therapy) immediately, including her primary care doctor. She however refuses to move the date of the wedding thus pushing out treatment again.

I finally decided that I needed to make the decision for myself and us. I let her know that we need to reschedule the wedding to a future date so that she can begin treatment immediately.

We are about 30 minutes away from her intake session at a local treatment center. She still thinks that she can handle a wedding and starting treatment for bulimia. She's been suffering for 16 years. Sixteen years...and I'm only now able to see it. We've been together for nearly 5 years. Have been engaged for close to 1 year. We've been together through the loss of her grandpa, my grandma, my grandpa, her mom, my uncle. We've housed my younger brother as he recovered from drug addiction and eventually lead to late night sessions on the phone while he was in jail. I've always been amazed that we make it through, yet I feel like those events just provided perfect cover for the pain she was hiding inside all this time.

The members of this board seem absolutely lovely. Just wanted to share my story and thank you for what you've already written. It's helped me get through today. It hasn't been easy to say the least.

Hi, hockeyman92!

Thank you so much for sharing your story. The people on this forum can be an extremely valuable resource, and I hope you'll find the support you're looking for here. We're here for you.

You sound like a very supportive person, and it's clear from what you're saying that you really care about your fiancée and her well-being. You both have made some great, positive steps toward her recovery by working with professionals and seeking the care she needs. You should feel proud for taking these steps. This is no easy task.

Postponing your wedding date was undoubtedly a huge decision that I'm sure you didn't take lightly. Prioritizing your fiancée's health is important, and it may turn out to have been a good idea to set aside the wedding plans for now so that you both can focus on her recovery. The stress of planning a wedding and making the major life transition into marriage is hard enough for anyone, but trying to manage that plus ED treatment would be incredibly challenging. Postponing the wedding is a big sacrifice for you both, but it sounds like you have your fiancée's best interests in mind. I imagine your fiancée might be feeling overwhelmed right now, and trying to stick to "the plan" in regards to the wedding might be her way of trying to feel like she has control over what's happening to her. Hopefully you both can get on the same page and she can understand why you made the decision to reschedule.

You've been together for a long time, and you've endured a great deal of loss and struggle. As you said, you made it through all of those challenging times, and now you're facing another huge trial. However, you have each other, and you have the support of professionals, plus resources like the NEDA forums. You both can get through this. Recovery is possible. And having a joyous event like a wedding to look forward to as a goal in the future might provide additional motivation!

In addition to the Partners/Spouses of Sufferers section of the NEDA Forums, you might also consider the NEDA Navigators program: . They'll put you in touch with someone who has first-hand experience with ED recovery, or with the recovery of a loved one. You can get even more individualized guidance and support this way.

NEDA also has information online that may help you understand more about the recovery process: .

And, here's an issue of 'Making Connections' (a NEDA publication) that has personal stories from other couples affected by EDs:

I hope this helps at least a little bit. Please keep posting on the forums. We're here for you! Good luck to you and to your fiancée!


Thanks so much for those links and for such a thoughtful response!