National Eating Disorders Association

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tiflaw
Looking for guidance

My boyfriend and I have been together 4+ years, we just purchased a house together in April of this year and just 2 months ago he tells me he's not happy and is probably going to leave.
My boyfriend (44 years old) has struggled with bulimia for nearly 20+ years and never been properly treated. He does go to therapy and is medicated for "depression", but I don't think he is being upfront with his therapist and I don't think that she realizes that he is still struggling. He doesn't see his therapist on a regular basis...mostly when it's time for his meds to be refilled. I know that depression goes hand in hand with bulimia along with other feelings (negative). I am afraid that all of my boyfriend's issues (bulimia, depression, low self-esteem, low self-worth, mid-life criis and just the inability to cope with day to day issues) has taken him to a terrible place and he is confused-he is attempting to make life changing decisions and not thinking clearly...he seems to be all over the place. I've suggested on many occassions within the past 2 months for us to seek a therapist (for couples) or go see his current therapist, but he's not budging. My next step is to try to get him to go back to his therapist on his next refill visit and hopefully open up a bit more...I would like to go with him, but I don't know if he will agree to that. Believe me, I encourage him daily by telling him what a great person he is and how much he means to me...I mean those things, I just wish I could make him see how special he is and what a great person he is. It breaks my heart to know that he feels so badly about himself.

Does anyone have any words of advise or encouragement...how can I push him to get help without pushing him over the edge...I don't want to risk losing him in this relationship, but I want him to get help. I feel that if we get him the help he needs at least his head will be clearer eventually to make better decisions about life in general.

michael26
Support!!

Hi there!! Thank you so much for your post!!

You are definitely a great partner for your boyfriend!! You care so much for him and it truly shows through your post. He is very lucky to have such a supporting and active advocate for him!

Your observations about his mental health are very concerning and I think that you need to ask him some serious questions such as if he wants to end his own life and if he has plans to do so. These are really crucial things to ask as soon as possible!! If he answers yes to either question I strongly say to call 911 immediately and seek out help for him.

If he says he does not have intents or plans then I still feel it is important to begin looking in to some additional support for you and him during this time. Have you tried seeing a therapist to receive help and support for you? Certainly this is a very emotional circumstance and it is really important to take care of yourself!!

If you would like some guidance as to therapists in your area please call the NEDA Helpline!! Their number is:

1-800-931-2237

I cannot stress enough that your love for your boyfriend is real and that at the same time your health and well being is vitally important as well. The only way to truly stay strong for him is to stay strong individually!!

Here are some links that may help you!!

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/family-and-friends
https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/parent-family-friends-network

Please let me know if you have any questions!!