National Eating Disorders Association

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My girlfriend has relapsed

My girlfriend and I are in a long distance relationship. We've been in one for about almost 4 months now (I'll be back home in a month). The first couple of weeks we really struggled, but only because of the external factors that were affecting the relationship, and so these factors created an environment that reminded my girlfriend of the state she was in when she first got her eating disorder. Ever since she's relapsed, she's become much more distant, she says she wants to be outside of the relationship in order to recover for herself. But when I do talk to her about the eating disorder (which is very rare), I only hear about how it just gets worse and worse. She's really scaring me. She's in a graduate program, and it's gotten so bad she can't focus on any of her work because all she thinks about is how much weight she's gained and lost. And today I found out that she went and bought a scale yesterday, and she's spent the whole night just constantly weighing herself. I am so far away, and I have no idea how to help. This is my first-ever experience with an eating disorder to someone really really close to me. I feel like I'm losing her, and I'm so scared, and we live in a really ignorant part of the world, where people have no idea or understanding about how eating disorders are represented in different bodies, and I think that's just making it worse. She realizes that she has disordered thinking, and she points it out to me, but that doesn't stop her from acting on it. I don't know how to help her recover, I don't know how to get to her WANT to recover in the first place. She's very aware of how social media and other factors influence how she sees bodies and all of that stuff - and I think that just makes it worse, because I have nothing to offer her, I cannot offer her reasons why she feels the way she does, because she already knows why - but that doesn't stop her. I just need to know if I can help her, I'm so far away. I need someone to tell me this is going to be okay, I don't want to lose her, she's so numb.

Hi MarianneKy

Hi MarianneKy,

Long distance relationships can be difficult when you know your partner is struggling. I'm sorry you are going through this and feeling the way you do. Although difficult, it is still possible to help, and hope is not lost! Does she have a therapist out there she can see, or any support groups? NEDA has a lot of tips and information regarding eating disorders in general and suggestions as to how to help or guide your love one towards the right path. I encourage you to browse the NEDA website to find out more information. If you would prefer to talk to someone you can also contact the NEDA Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 M-Th 9-9 F 9-5 EST and they can help you and your partner find support and resources. Hang in there and don't give up! It is going to be ok and I know you two will be able to get through this together. I wish you the best, and keep us updated.