National Eating Disorders Association

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My Husband has an Eating Disorder

Hello Everyone.

I am new to this group forum and I have a husband who has an eating disorder. My husband has gained a significant amount of weight in the past few years. I recently found empty junk food containers hidden in a cabinet and a drawer located in our basement. I also found a stash of junk food in a desk drawer. After confronting him about what I found, he told me the containers were old. He didn’t have a large enough trash can to fit the containers in at his desk. Of course I asked why he didn’t take them to the kitchen trash can. I also found empty food containers in a trash can in our garage. That would have been too far to walk. The containers were hidden under a few pieces of trash. I believe the containers were hidden in his car. He is an on-site computer technician so he is often going from one client to the next during a workday. All of my attempts to share concern have been met with denial. I’ve become very frustrated. I wouldn’t have confronted him if I wasn’t truly concerned.

I also have concerns for his overall hygiene and health. He doesn’t shower as regularly as he should. He doesn’t brush his teeth. He doesn’t go to the dentist. He doesn’t go to the doctor. His excuses are because he isn’t sick, so he doesn’t need to do any of this. He rarely shares our bed anymore. Mostly, he stays up late and falls asleep on the sofa downstairs watching television. I tend to think all he does is sleep anymore. He sleeps in his clothing, so if he falls asleep on the sofa he may or may not change his clothes if it’s the weekend. He is 40 years old and playing video games with groups of people online. I have nothing against that but all he does is sit in front of his computer or watch television.

I love my husband but I just don’t look at him the same way I used to. I try not to get mad at him and lash out but it is hard not to. I feel like I’m his mother. Go get a shower. Go get changed. I worry because what if he goes to work and doesn’t shower. Are other people aware of his body odor? I don’t want to be the person who continues to nag but I don’t know what else to do.

I’m at a crossroads and I have hard decisions to make. Is this a battle I want to fight? How hard? How long? What’s the end? When’s the end? What’s the outcome?



Hi! Welcome to the forums! I’m sorry to hear about your husband's struggles and the difficult position you are in! It sounds like you are already trying to communicate your concerns with him which is important, but maybe this link will help you come up with some other things you can say: This may also help: Finally, the NEDA Helpline is available to provide you with resources in your area. You can contact them M-TH 9AM-9PM and F 9AM-5PM EST at 1-800-931-2237. Please keep us updated!

Hi edithparker,

Hi edithparker,

I can tell you really care about your husband and how much you want to help and be supportive. It sounds like he could really benefit from some professional help such as that of a therapist or doctor. From what you've described, he may not be receptive to that yet, but it might be worth a try to ask if he would be willing to get some help. As mel2016 said, the helpline might be another good resource for you.

Good luck! I will be thinking about you, and hoping for the best!