Is bulimia too much for a I being too selfish by letting the e.d. into the relationship?

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FionaN's picture
Is bulimia too much for a I being too selfish by letting the e.d. into the relationship?

I'd like to talk relationships and I think I might find some pointers here, 'cos no. 1, we know how bulimia seeps into more of life than just eating and body, and no. 2, there's a lot of women here older than me who will have more knowledge about relationships than I do. I've been with my first 'proper' boyfriend for 2 years now..and basically I don't know how much of our problems is influenced by just us, and how much by my bulimia...

Is it too much to ask of him to be there for me through this? I always feel like he doesn't really take the e.d. very seriously..he never asks how I'm doing, and if I ever bring it up, he has a very harsh attitude..basically he says I should grow up, that I act like a child. And it's hard to know how much of me is still the child, and how much of me is the super-sensitive bulimic..??
..I mean, he's only 19. But he is a mature 19 year old..he's been through a difficult childhood, he knows what hardship is. I basically would think he would be more empathetic because of this. And then, maybe it's all too difficult for him for the same reason?

..I just can't keep pretending that my bulimia is just a side-issue in my life. I've tried to just keep it out of the relationship because any time I bring it up, it ends up in fights. A lot of it is that I am simply so disappointed that he's not more supportive. Is that wrong? Is it wrong to have such expectations?
..I mean, my best friend always gives me the feeling that she cares about my well-being. Simply by asking often how I'm doing and being aware of my food issues. And she listen when I talk. It shouldn't be all that difficult to give somebody the feeling like you're concerned about them??

I just don't know if I'm being too selfish or demanding by looking for real support from him? Ugh...and then other times I genuinely feel like he does care about me. Maybe I shouldn't even be in a relationship until I'm stronger?

Do any of you have a boyfriend/husband (or girlfriend) who IS very supportive? Or is an e.d. too much for a relationship to handle?
Anybody with any similar issues? Or any ideas? Maybe what I'm asking is a little too specific for the person I am, and the person he is.
Honestly I'd appreciate any feedback, whether its dead on relevant or not. It's a very chaotic situation.

Thanks, Fiona X

Kaza's picture
Hi Fiona,I am just giving you

Hi Fiona,I am just giving you my experiences of this, it may or may not help you.

I met my husband while I was very actively bulimic (we are together 10 years now, married for the last 4). I hid this from him for a long time. It took about 2 years before he realised what was going on. He didnt know how to deal with it but he never judged me, never wanted to leave me. How he dealt with it was to pretend it wasnt happening, he believed my lies that i wasnt sick that day or after we had been out for a meal, other times he genuinely didnt notice my behaviour. I went along with this as well because I loved him so much (but not enough to give up being bulimic) and wanted to be with him, and he said he felt the same about me. We even got married, even after I said that I had a serious problem with food and i didnt want our marriage to be based on lies. He still wanted to get married.

I am now in recovery seven months and ironically, our marriage got strained in the first few months while I was trying to recover. But the reason for this is because my health got affected by the bulimia and it was only then that it really hit him how dangerous this was. Now that i am starting to feel and look better and my health problems are improving, he is now feeling guilty that he never said anything to me before about this. What he said was he thought I would have made a choice between him and the bulimia, if he had forced the issue. And do you know what I would have done back then? I would have chosen the bulimia, I know that as sure as I know anything. Now though, NOW, I would choose him but that is only because recovery has shown me another life that I never thought possible (and that is regardless of the health problems i have).

What I am trying to say to you is that bulimia in a relationship is a double edged sword. Our men want to be with us and love us and they try to accept the bulimia as part of the package and hope that eventually their love will help us overcome the bulimia. This is what my husband said and what I know a few other recovered people said to me that their husbands said. For some, the love can change things, for others like me, it start with, but when my health problems hit and when I saw how much my husband was there for me, didnt judge me, I realised there and then that i wanted to recover more than anything else, more than the bulimia, because of the great guy still standing by my side.

I dont know if any of this has helped, you ask a great question about relationships and bulimia. I think its hard for our loved ones to know what we are doing to ourselves but it comes down to fact that can they love us anywyay, regardless of the bulimia? The answer to this is that yes, they should, because you are still YOU, not just a bulimic. The only advice I would give you is to ask your boyfriend if he loves you and wants to be with you regardless of the bulimia. If he says he does, then that is enough. That is all I wanted from my guy, I went to my mother for support and advice (like you have your friend), I just knew it may have been too much for my husband to be giving support as well for something that he he knew was hurting me.

Does any of this make sense to you? If it doesnt, its only my experiences, best of luck :-)

Catherine Liberty
Catherine Liberty's picture
Hi Fiona :) Firstly no I

Hi Fiona :)

Firstly no I don't think you are being selfish asking for and wanting support from him. But I do know that in order to get to that place where he is able to support you it takes a lot of time, and a lot of hard work on your part.

For people who've never had bulimia or an eating disorder our lives can be a whole world of confusion. It's very hard for them to "get it" especially without continual communication. Their reactions can sometimes seem hurtful and they can often act like they don't care for any number of reasons.

But I do know that relationships can be stronger than bulimia. In recovery I got closer to my husband than I had ever been.I think I could share my own experiences with bulimia and my relationship like Kaza has in the hopes that it might help.....

I met my husband when I was 19 (I'd been bulimic for about 5 years at that point). Randomly I told him about my bulimia almost immediatly - he was the only person I had ever told. He reacted like most "outsiders" - stop doing this please/get help/ you're perfect the way you are and so on. It was frustraiting so I just blocked it out.

For the next 5 (almost 6) years we lived on pretty much never talking about my bulimia. Sometimes it upset me that he wouldn't talk about it, as much as I didn't want to be forced into recovery it killed me that he seemed to not care. Of course now I know he did, he was just scared and confused. He never knew what to say or do so he internalised it all.

When I started recovery he really turned into my rock. He wanted to learn and he supported me in every way that he could. But you know what I had to tell him, I had to communicate with him,

I had to learn not to be frustraited when he did triggering things because he truly didn't understand why they were triggering. He learned so much about bulimia in that time, and self education like that really can be key.

I recently put together two resource - one for telling someone you have bulimia and the ohter for people who've just found out that their loved one has bulimia. It might not all be relevant at this stage but why not have a think about the points I've mentioned in these booklets:

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