National Eating Disorders Association

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LaCrain
Please help me out

I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for about three years now and she is starting to emotionally slip back in to her ED habits. This started a few months ago and I'm having a hard time helping her. I feel like I'm being ripped a part. I feel like there is nothing I can do and that I'm not good enough for her. I know that she is having a much harder time then me right now but emotionally I feel like I need help.

PianoGirl
Hi LaCrain,

Hi LaCrain,

What you're feeling is totally understandable - supporting a loved one with an ED is a challenging journey. ED's can be very consuming at times, even to loved ones. Please know that you are not alone in this, and we are here to support you!!

Also, if you need some support and guidance, consider giving the NEDA Helpline a call at 1-800-231-2237. In addition, there is the Parent Toolkit that NEDA has on their website. It's made for loved ones of someone suffering from an eating disorder, not just their parents. Here's the link: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/parent-toolkit

torib23
Hi LaCrain,

I have been in a situation similar to yours, as the supporter of my best friend who struggled with an ED. As PianoGirl said, it is totally understandable that you're feeling this way. EDs affect so many people besides the sufferer, including friends and family. It can be a very helpless feeling to be a supporter, and I totally empathize with you on that. It's so obvious that you love and care about your girlfriend so much, but it is so important to take care of yourself first. You'll find it much more difficult to help her if you haven't helped yourself. I highly suggest seeking professional help for yourself as well; it is always helpful to have someone to talk to, and I truly recommend it to anyone.

Stay strong, and good luck!
Tori

Caseysinertia
Hi LaCrain

Your situation is exactly what I'm going through right now. My girlfriend is in treatment and individual therapy yet occasionally will still sneak away to throw up. We had to take a trip to the hospital last week because she was spitting up blood and we all thought it was a real wake up call for her to keep taking her recovery seriously. I guess not, unfortunately, the habit persists. I totally can grasp what you might be going through. As a partner, it can be tough when their habits stress the relationship and it has been hard for me to find the balance between offering comfort and reassurance that we are moving in the right direction but also staying firm when I see her hiding it from me. Maybe other people here can help me decide if I should be speaking up when I know she has been purging. Sorry to hijack the thread there momentarily!
So to maybe offer you some advice LaCrain. This is a battle for your girlfriend and you are certainly an important ally, but you must remember it is primarily her battle. You will catch some flak, daggers will be thrown at times, but try to keep in mind that it is sometimes the ED talking. Show her that you love her for other reasons than for her physical appearance without being obvious about it. I still tell my girlfriend that I think she is gorgeous, she is, but I also drop hints like, "today was so funny, you crack me up". Stuff that makes her feel loved because of her personality. Doing that will help you more than you think, it did for me.
In the meantime, go do something for you that reminds you that you kick ass for who you are!!
Yewww \m/