National Eating Disorders Association

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Trying to be strong for the whole family

My husband has recently told me that for over three years he has been bulimic. I've told him that I will do anything he asks to help him through this. We often discuss how he is feeling and lately he keeps saying that he stopped loving me long before his eating disorder started. Which ends up breaking my heart to the point were I can't breath in my everyday life. I can't be in the same room, or even smell his cologne on the kids without turning into a watering mess and hiding In the bottom of my closet so no one sees. I don't want to add anymore stress on them and I'm trying to stay strong and brush it off but what should I believe? Is he doing this just to push me away or is this his way of telling me that I'm the problem? And how do I help him cope with all these issues?

Hi there.

Hi there.

My girlfriend recently disclosed to the extent of her bulimia, and I'm still learning to understand the devastating affect it's having on her life. When it gets the better of her, and she has massive feelings of lack of self worth and insecurity, she will tell me she doesn't love me, and doesn't want to be with me anymore.

Please don't feel like you are the problem. My girlfriend says it's her bulimia that is trying to push me away, and for one reason or another I was stubborn enough to resist. It's incredibly difficult from a non sufferers point of view to understand the devastating affect bulimia has on our loved ones, but please understand that it is the bulimia talking, not your husband.

There will be those on this forum better equipped than I to offer advice, although I recommend he seeks professional help. As a partner, I just listen, and do what I can to show support. We've reached a stage where we talk about how she's eaten during the day, particularly as she's doing so much better now she has someone who's trying to understand what she's going through. When she has bad days and feels like she'll never get better, I remind her of how well she's done.

It'll be a long road for the both of you, but you must remember to look after yourself, as well as your husband.

Trying to be strong for the whole family

Dear Taillefer_c and Duncvoice,

Thank you both for trusting this incredibly supportive forum with your struggles in supporting your loved one that's battling an eating disorder (ED). Your loved ones are incredibly fortunate to have your love and support.

I can only imagine how difficult it's been for you and must feel like an emotional roller coaster. I'm not a psychiatrist, but it seems highly likely that your loved ones may push you away because it's not uncommon that someone battling an ED often feels a tremendous amount of shame because of their ED. Plus, the ED becomes their frenemie. The ED feeds them negative messages, especially when they try to recover. However, with patience and time, it will get better.

I would encourage you both to reach out to the "free" and incredibly supportive NEDA Helpline. #.1.800.931.2237 (Mon. - Thurs. 9am-9pm/Fri. 9am -5pm/EST). They can provide you both with valuable tools and resources to help you navigate the recovery support process, as well as a great resource for your loved one to reach out to as well.

They also offer a "free" NEDA Navigators that are basically individuals whom have battled and survived an ED. They are like a "recovery" buddy that's located near you, in which they can meet in person, speak on the phone, or e-mail. Whatever fits your comfort level.

Here are some "true" inspirational Stories of Hope!
I hope this has been helpful! Please know you and your loved ones are NOT alone. We are here for you every step of the way. Please let us know how we can further support you.

HEALing Hugs!
Legacy of Love



I am so sorry that you are suffering through this. My husband has been bulimic for years and struggles everyday. When we were dating he broke it off with me and completely cut off communication. I was devastated, but a few months later he realized what he had done and that he had a problem so he sought professional help and was able to get into an inpatient program. After the program he approached me and we got back together. We still struggle and hurt everyday, some days (or weeks) are harder than others, but his treatment helps him to understand that pushing me away will only hurt him in the end. I can't speak to the kids aspect, as I don't have any, and we have only been married for a few months, but on the whole they have been the happiest few months of our lives. The only suggestion I can offer is that you encourage him to seek help. You aren't alone in feeling lost. Just try to take care of yourself the best you can. Don't let his illness consume you, you will be of no help to him, your kids, or yourself if you do. Good luck taillefer_c.

Thank you

Thank you all for the advise and support. I've been struggling with trying to find help for myself the past few months. I've told very few people about the circumstances of our life, but none of them seemed able to give me the support I was searching for. Not that they aren't trying, but rather I think I needed to hear from ssomeone who understands what we are going threw and have there own experience in dealing with issues like this.
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You have given more strength than you can ever imagine.

Thank you

Thank you all so much. I've been struggling the past few months trying to help for myself, unfortunately every time I confided in someone it never made me feel better. Although they all try very hard I think I needed to hear from people who have experience with the issue. I cant thank you enough for your support and advise. I feel like u can breath for the first time in a long time.
Thank you all for the strength you have given me

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