National Eating Disorders Association

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Not sure about anything

My wife is going through her second round in a treatment facility. Unlike other family members I know that I shoulder some of the blame for her being where she is.
I never know the right thing to say or the right thing to do. I have my own issues that I am battling that have also put a great strain on us having a happy and healthy relationship.
I love her more than anything in the world, but don't know what to do and am really afraid to speak up and say anything.
I am truly lost without her, but want her to be well for her and our children. I don't know what to do.

me either

I'm in a similar situation (minus children, so perhaps very different, I wouldn't know), and am asking a lot of the same questions. It's an incredibly difficult place to be, a kind of madness in itself, actually. The best I can offer in terms of advice, and the thing I'm trying to accomplish myself, is to understand that a partnership means shouldering each other's troubles, but not each other's blame.

Hi DDaughtry,

Hi DDaughtry,

I can really see how much you love and care about your wife and her recovery. She is very lucky to have someone like you supporting her! It is okay for you to be confused about how to handle her journey towards recovery. It can a very sensitive issue and it can be scary to feel like you are saying the wrong thing or not helping enough. NEDA has some resources you may find helpful as you try to talk to your wife!

This link has some great info about how to talk to a loved one who is struggling with an eating disorder.

You may also appreciate "Stories of Hope". People write about their recovery to remind others that recovery is possible! It could lift your spirits about your wife's journey!

If you ever want any more information or support, feel free to contact the NEDA Helpline. You can call the helpline at Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm and Friday 9pm-5pm who can speak to you! Helpline volunteers have extensive training to prepare them to be able to help you find treatment options, information and referrals in a compassionate manner. You may reach the Helpline at (800) 931-2237.

I hope this was helpful! Remember, recovery IS possible!

Thanks for sharing. I'm

Thanks for sharing. I'm doing my best to stay away from giving advice for the eating disorder. For the most part, we don't talk about it much now. It's not that we're avoiding the topic but I'm not prying. Last week though we had a huge argument right before I was going to the office (my fiancee works from home) and she said she was really stressed out and my responses weren't helping and she had the urge to binge and purge. I'm pretty sure that she binged and purged that day.

I'm still trying to think through how to approach her when she's upset. That's still not entirely clear. I think she's taking the initial steps to move past the eating disorder. She is seeing a therapist and she is seeing a nutritionist (and we're both doing our best to stay on this meal plan). I suppose that it can take many months for some of these changes to stick so I'll do my best to be supportive and not focus on the setbacks.

It's really helpful to hear stories from other people and share ideas. Thanks for opening up.

I am going through the same

I am going through the same thing right now. I have six kids, my wife has been gone for three weeks now, she was gone three months at the beginning of the year. I have made a ton of mistakes, but I did not know at the time. I can't be too hard on myself, I did not even know what anorexia was when she finally told me in November. I had to google it. Most of what I did or said was in blind innocence. I still apologized for it, I could have a been a lot more understanding. I was very hard line and judgemental, but that has all changed this last six months. I realize the dark hell my wife is in, and I can empathize with that. I am in a dark hell as well, it is crummy for me not having her here, it is crummy for her not being able to be here to spend summer with the kids. I fight the thought in the back of my mind daily that if she really loved us, she would just eat the food. But it is not that simple and I have to push those thoughts aside constantly. She is just as unable to eat as a paralyzed person is able to walk. She can learn, I have a hope in that, but I have also come to the realization that the struggle is real. It is difficult for me to not adopt a father/child relationship with my wife when she is not taking care of herself. I finally realized that the only way to get away from that was to get a good medical doctor who would do weekly blind weigh ins and hold my wife accountable. The doctor was the hardliner, not me. Also a good marriage counsellor has made all the difference in our relationship, a neutral third party therapist will see things from both view points. Don't give up. If you do, she may give up on herself. Here is a blog i started writing to get some of my emotions out, might be helpful. Good luck brother! We walk a tough road!

Hi! I'm so sorry to hear

Hi! I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. It must be really difficult as a parent to handle that, but so far you have taken the right actions.