How has bulimia ruined your relationships?

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ladeedah's picture
How has bulimia ruined your relationships?

I am single and it has been so long since i have been in a real, intimate relationship. I believe that having bulimia was somehow to blame...I believe that maybe in order for me to meet my soulmate i need to take my life into my hands and heal myself and by doing so, open the gates to finding real love.Maybe my soulmate couldnt come because the bulimia was blocking it?Maybe my bulimia would have ruined the relationship? How has having bulimia been detrimental to your initimate relationships? I am trying to ready myself for a relationship and seeking to repair what the bulimia has apparently taken away(hopefully temporarily)!Has your process in recovery helped in your relationships?

sara's picture
ruining relationships...

My bulimia has totally ruined my relationships in the past. I was engaged at age 23 and he left me after a year, stating he couldnt deal with it, saying it was too much stress to deal with. In the end it was a good thing, people tell me as he would have opted out down the road anyways. It was the hardest time in my life, by far. I now have a great boyfriend of almost 2 years that not only supports me in dealing with my bulimic issues, he goes to a support group to learn how to deal with all of the ways it effects us, him etc. I almost let the bulimia ruin us, as I've had it for 16 years and Ive only known him for less than 2. Fortunately, Ive "seen the light" and want to recover more than anything. Having such a strong support is rare, but I am very blessed. I think that having time alone is helpful in finding out who you are, what you like and so on.

ladeedah's picture
Thanks for your

Thanks for your comment,Sara...yes, as lonely as i sometimes feel, all my friends are married and have kids, I suppose i am meant to heal and recover on my own without distractions, time alone to be with myself and maybe when i do recover enough I will meet someone and can create a real intimate relationship without having to hide this secret from him

the_fix's picture
Just starting out.

I've recently entered into a new relationship which will be the first one I've had since I've had bulimia. Since I am very serious about putting an end to this illness, I told him right off the bat that I have an eating disorder.

I can already see the toll that this illness has taken on my new relationship. Yes, feeling sick and bloated after a binge makes me miserable, but the biggest issue is how bad my self-esteem is. I hate intimacy and just being touched in general.

I'm scared that this will scare him away, but at the same time it is more motivation to stop.

Take care of today and tomorrow will take care of itself.

jamies_girl81's picture
I'm with you!

I am so with you. Bulimia has ruined or messed with every relationship I have had. I have been divorced for a year. I met this wonderful guy who I have been dating for the past few months. I am terrified that my bulimia is going to mess it up. I have a panic attack every time he touches me because I am trying so hard not to b/p then, I feel like my stomach isnt flat like it used to be. I am sooooo self conscious when I don't vomit. I feel like I'm already messing up my new relationship. I don't know what to do, my ex was not supportive at all and I'm scared if i tell my new boyfriend it may stress me out worse worrying about what he'll think. Its scary. I've waited so long for the right person to come along and now I'm scared of losing him. What should I do? Tell him and risk losing him since it is early in the relationship? Don't tell him then i feel like i am not being honest and maybe he doesnt know who he's getting mixed up with. Help!!


jesskax's picture
I was in a relationship for 3

I was in a relationship for 3 years with a guy who i eventuallly told i had bulimia. he said he would support me or whatever but never brought it up again. he wouldn't ask how i was doing..didn't act like it was a big deal. this was very it took a lot for me to tell him and i was reaching out for help. as our relationship progressed, there were several breaches of trust on his part. this fueled my eating disorder and made it 10 times worse. of course i got into a cycle of feeling like maybe if i was skinnier and prettier he wouldn't be interested in other girls!! i felt so bad about myself..we got totally physically and sexually disconnected as a result..and then it ended. very sad. i can see that it was partly him and partly me not being able to handle my disease and my insecurities. bulimia complicates every issue. plain and simple. good luck everyone..bulimia is not an acceptable lifestyle for any of us! we deserve better!

msupup155's picture
I am engaged to a guy that

I am engaged to a guy that has been through a lot with me for the past 3 1/2 years. He is wonderfully patient and if not for that, we'd be over with. I have really just lost the drive to be intimate anymore with him. I hate this because he thinks it reflects how I feel about him but I can't bear to tell him the truth...that it's my ED. The funny thing is, when I have a day without b/p I feel great and get the drive back. Overall it has not ruined my relationship but I think it has come pretty close at times. I used to direct my frustrations with bulimia at him and lash out for ridiculous reasons. I could never pinpoint the true feeling that bulimia made me upset about but instead I was just a constant 24/7 basket case that got upset about everything. I still am a little now and then :)

sara's picture
problems that come with ED

Hi there,
I read your post and decided Id tell you a little about my frustrations on that part. Ive been doing well at not b/p for over 16 days now(the very first time in 10 years) but the sexual side of my relationship is suffering too. I've been with my guy for almost 2 years, and as well, he has been incredible in terms of support and finding more ways to help and show he cares. Since I've been eating well, the drive has just gone away, on one hand I want to be more physical with him, but on the other hand, if he doesnt start it, I never will. I tried to the other night, but it just ended with him falling asleep and me sitting on the end of the bed crying quietly. Ive sometimes thought that all of us who struggle with bulimia and ED have issues with asking for what we want and following through. I tend to let him always be the leader, unless Im having a particulary great day and dont feel needy at all. I think that any ED really messes us up in terms of our sexual lives, maybe?

aimsee's picture
wow, I can relate

wow, I can relate ... My hubby & I are definitely not as close and intimate as we should be in part because my ED has made me feel so horrible about myself 75% of the time, I'm so not confident enough in my own skin to want to go there...
But then also, I get what sara is saying because I am definitely learning that when I am so into my obsessed ED world, I let everyone else do whatever they want & dont seem to have a voice.
I have another wrench to throw into the situation - my husband also has his own food issues. He was always overweight growing up & turned to food for comfort ever since he was 5-6... He's lost about 100 pounds from his heaviest at the worst time in his life.... but it makes it really difficult to try to eat "normal" around him because I know he views a lot of foods as off limits and cant control himself around them, so if I eat something on that list I worry about what he thinks of me & it probably also stresses him out. He also typically doesnt know how to show his love or his concern for me a lot of the time (probably because he doesnt know how to deal with stuff the right way either) so that makes it hard to feel attractive and accepted when I have so many body insecurities... I'm praying we can both heal together!! I was nervous going into a relationship with someone who also has crazy obsessive food issues, but I do believe there is a reason we are together & we can work on it together! But it has taken me a really long time to get to a place of being totally honest with him about it all & not try to focus on being perfect for him.

So, in this process I am learning how to 1) be comfortable in my own skin no matter what and 2) say and do whatever it is I truly want, not what others want or what I think they want and 3) work on our communication and affection with one another

Really tough stuff, but it's comforting to know there are a lot of us going through similar stuff.

ladeedah's picture
Wow..thanks so much to all of

Wow..thanks so much to all of you who spoke up here on this topic! Reading it I can see how in a way I am "lucky" to be single and working on this now..I too,tend to not like to be touched when i have had a binge or feeling gross and that would definitely take its toll on any intimate relationship...I have been "clean" for a week now and it feels so good to like me body and myself and not be angry and disgusted with myself all the time|!

runner4230's picture

Does anyone else feel that bulimia makes them act like who they are not at all?? I feel like the ed makes me distant and deceitful in my relationships because I never want anyone to know what is really going on?? So even when I am in a relationship I feel alone...I am an honest person in every area of my life except for the ed and relationships because I feel ashamed I guess of my struggles and I just want everyone around me to think that everything is great...It really takes a toll on my relationship though because I try to act as though everything is fine yet inside I am miserable and desperate and eventually it all comes to a head and I break down and then my partner is like where did that come from...and I want to be like it's always there I just keep it in??? Any thoughts??

change is progress

kateritza88's picture
I totally feel the same way.

I totally feel the same way. I am in a relationship right now with my boyfriend we have been dating for four years. I am in first year university and I am living in residence. He lives about 5 hours away and we have been doing long distance. The phone is not cutting it for him and he is miserable everytime we talk so its not cutting it for me either. My anorexia/bulimia has gotten a lot worse since university and although I am seeing a psychiatrist here it is not helping and I still binge and purge, drink and smoke weed. I feel really lost and I don't even know if I want to stay here anymore or transfer schools to be close to home and him. I would move in with him. Part of me thinks that I can really work on my eating disorder and maybe really recover if I move in with him because I think I will be happy. Part of me is still mad that things did not work out here for me and that I had a full out relapse upon coming here. I feel like I have dug myself into a hole and I can't get out. My boyfriend is pressuring me to get transfer documentation process going and I'm really stressed. He knows about my ED so that is why I think he can help. I am hiding it from everyone else in residence and my closest friends here. I feel guilty and I don't even feel like they know the real me. Someone please read this and just say something.

the_newski's picture

About a year ago my fiancee confronted me about some "evidence" he found in our bathroom, and I came clean about my ED. I told him that I was going to need his support in my fight. At first his was over supportive, almost militant - making me use the bathroom with the door open, not letting me use public restrooms after meals, etc. He was pretty harsh, but I don't think he knew of any other way to handle it. After a while his diligence waned and acknowledgment of my ED just faded away, like it wasn't a problem anymore. I don't think he knows that this is still an everyday challenge for me.
And now I have begun to relapse.
I don't think he wants to talk about my ED, because he doesn't want to see me as someone with, "those kinds of problems".
How do I get him to be more supportive and helpful without becoming like a prison guard?
Do I really need his constant support?
If I come to learn that I do need his help and he still refuses to give it, do I leave? Give an ultimatum?
Any thoughts?

bulimic slave
bulimic slave's picture
My entire family hates me

I think my entire family hates me. I've been so moody, self centered and selfish. My siblings treat me like crap, and my parents make me feel like I can't live up to the image of my sister. I fight with my family all the time. Bulimia has also made me too afraid to get into relationships and make new friends cause I'm not good with new surroundings. I think bulimia has stripped me of having a normal life. I hate it and I feel like it will always be with me, i'll always be struggling with food and thinking about it somewhere

The mirror does not see the person inside

adrienne's picture
feeling alone

i too feel alone in this fight. i am because when i left the treatment center early almost a year ago the deal was no bingeing, purging, laxatives, diuretics, smoking, cutting...or i would be kicked out of the house. well i have done really well with the last two but i have really within the last 3 months fallen back in to the ED. Now before i was severely underweight. But now despite bingeing and purging i haven't lost weight so it isn't obvious. i feel like i am such a liar. i feel ashamed. but i am REALLY working toward recovery so i am hoping it will all be okay. i will not binge again.

bailey1983's picture

I have been bulimic for about 13 years and i have gone through many phases of it getting better and getting worse, and when it is at its worst i tend to gain weight. I have been really struggling with it over the past year and i have gone from a size 8 to a 12. I have been trying to move towards recovery over the past month or so and i feel like i should be honest with my boyfriend about it (he has no idea i have an ED). He is very kind and understanding but i am worried that if i tell him about it he will think that i am lying or just trying to get attention because im not loosing weight from it.

easyasshegoes's picture

I am in a relationship, and have been for around a year now. He is like my link to normalcy. I don't want to tell him about my ED because I am afraid his opinion of me will change or he will over analize things. Then the ultimate fear is that he would leave me if he knew. But I think this relationship is actually what is giving me the strength to seek help. He is the first person I've known that tells me I am beautiful just how I am. He makes sure to let me know that every part of me (thoughts, feelings, etc.) are important. The problem is that his career has him leaving me for months at a time for work. Last time he left I did a total nose dive into depression and b/p. He is leaving again in a month. I am hoping this website and other tools will help me use his time away as a time to focus on my recovery and not relapse. I think my relationship is helping me, I definitely want to make him proud of me.

happyhed's picture
When I was able to admit to

When I was able to admit to my sweet heart I had an eating disorder, it was the best thing I could have done. He assured me I was still loved, still normal, still the girl he fell in love with. I was afraid that if I told him it would burden him and that it would change our relationship, but it did not. If anything it just strengthened my resolve to get better, so it wouldn't burden him. I don't think you should tell him yet, but somewhere down the road on your path to recovery, it might be nice if you did. It would be a wonderful symbol of your recovery and your trust in him.

My b/f was honored I trusted him that much to tell him, and i felt silly that i ever doubted in him!

And I'm not sure where he's off to for months at a time, but that is enough to make anybody depressed and fumble their coping skills. That's a lot for someone to take! Maybe not mention bulimia, but definitely let him know you're having a hard time coping. That way you two can brain storm ways of dealing with his absense.

easyasshegoes's picture
Thanks for the suggestion. I

Thanks for the suggestion. I have told him a little bit about how hard it was for me last time he left. This time he is taking extra steps to make sure we can talk more and he wont be quite as far away so I'll be able to visit atleast once a month which will be worlds better than last time.

Thank you for telling me about your experience, you have given me hope that this wont damage our relationship. You've also given me a greater drive to work harder on recovery, so when I feel that I am really on the winning end I can tell him.

Thanks Pandorax

mumin's picture
I cant even think of being in

I cant even think of being in a relationship until ive lost weight, the thought of a guy touching my disgusting stomache or thighs just puts me off the idea. Without the bulimia im pretty sure i could have been in a happy relationship by now, i have to learn to accept myself first though...

leycinester7's picture
I have no relationships when I'm full...

As soon as food enters my body which I intend to purge, it's like a switch gos off in my body. I can't enjoy anything. Last week, my mom took me to Macaroni Grill and I ate, thinking that I could purge afterwards, but she decided to suprise me with a trip to the beach instead of going home. We drove downtown to South Beach and walked through Lincoln Road mall and then sat on the sand at night by the shore. Any other day, I would have been thrilled, but thinking that I was going to digest like 3000 calories and I was practically a zombie all night. Looking back, I regret it so much because it was such a rare thing for her to do, since I love the beach soooo much, but being worried, I just couldn't enjoy it at all.

Luckily, my digestion took longer than usual and I was able to purge when I got home, but that still didn't return those precious hours to me, still didn't let me spend that time with my mom, enjoying the sea breeze, or allow me the ability to beg her for five more minutes on the sand.

Whenever I have food in my stomach, I can't think about any single thing else besides the prospect, the need to purge.

I want that time back...

Thanks for listening,


jamies_girl81's picture

Its crazy isnt it? I believe you took the words right out of my mouth. When I am full I can't even think straight until i get to the toilet to get it out of me. i have been in awful fights with my ex-husband because he wanted t go somewhere after we left a restaraunt. I have a time limit on things and if I don't get it out in time i start to get mean, then eventually panic and cry on the spot. Its ridiculous to live like this. my whole world revolves around b/p. I have a new boyfriend and when he takes me out to dinner, I have been reluctant to hardly eat anything yet. This is for the simple reason that I know we may go some where else and i cant purge in time. Even crazier than this I am starting to turn him down sexually because I am scared if he spends the night with me i want be able to b/p. how shot out am I???


leycinester7's picture
Re: OMG!!

Yes, I know what you mean. I don't even myspace my friends anymore. I don't enjoy activities after dinner, and all I can think about after I've eaten is when my mom will leave or take a shower so that I can purge. After that, I'm fine. I'd rather my mom and I eat at home than out because she likes to go out and have fun afterwards so I just start shaking if I think I won't make it home before the three hours are up. Calories have instilled a fear in me greater than dying, greater than life itself.

I'm releived that I'm not the only one who feels this way. :)

Thanks for listening,


jamies_girl81's picture
You make me feel better. I

You make me feel better. I swear up until i found this site i thought I was the only sick person out there. i mean i knew there were other bulimics, but not with my crazy habits and sick rituals. I am not alone!! Thanks so much.


leycinester7's picture
Thanks to you!


Thanks for listening,


tmp545's picture

That is the worst thing! Not cherishing valuable time because of it. I have the best boyfriend in the world right now, and last night he made a great dinner. When we went to bed, I listened to him sleep for 2 hours because I was fighting a battle with my brain. It couldn't stand that I had food in my stomach and I couldn't throw it up. I was fighting the urge to have him take me home at 11 o'clock, until after 12 o'clock, awake trying to think of an excuse for him to take me home. If it wasn't for this one small/huge dilemma, I would have been able to cherish the warmth of him beside me. But my mind was only on my stomach. ;(

steephi's picture
Oh thank god I found this

Oh thank god I found this sight. Bulimia hasn't (or so I thought) ruled my life as much as it has now. I met a beautiful guy and really want to stop so I can feel like I can have a normal relationship with him and not worry about when I can get to a toilet next. I want to be able to eat at a nice restaraunt with my friends, family and him and not worry about getting to a toilet. I am fine during the day - as I am at work, and my mind is on the job (I am a teacher - don't have time to binge) but when I am not at work on the weekends, its what my day consists of. I know I can be a better organised, teacher and can start enjoying life, as I have nothing to be unhappy about, but this. I am loving the fact that I have you guys to chat to. I havent reallly had that many purigng free days in 3.5 years. I guess my biggest woory is gaining weight and it shouldn't be, but ifI eat healthily and exercise, it can be controlled and my metabolism can start getting back together. I want to do it for myself so in years to come I dont have all these regrets of lost time... :(

jellylegs's picture
i was in a relationship where

i was in a relationship where my boyfriend knew about my disorder. I had had it for 6 years before we started going out so i wasnt holding out much hope. He took full control of my diet and weirdly i was able to eat around him - on the other hand when he wasnt around i was completely out of control binging and purging. It was such an unhealthy relationship.

I was convinced he was the key to getting better and that i couldnt do anything without him. I clung to him for dear life and he ended up treating me really badly. Each time he cheated on me i clung on to the fact that at least when he was around I could be normal for those few hours or days. Its strange to say but although he knew about it he didnt really have any idea the extent that it controls my life. It is me and it completely overwhelms me and i really don't think that there ever will be a day where i don't think about it.

For him it seemed like a problem solved after i told him and appeared to get better. What he didnt see was me falling apart when he wasn't there. As things got worse i was doing it when he was around and he didn't notice. I got more upset that he knew about my problem and didn't notice (sick reasoning i know - its almost perverse). I don't completely blame my ex for how he behaved only he is aware of what a monster I am to be around when I am thinking of nothing but throwing up - and although it didn't work with him I recognised how dangerous it was giving someone else control of my eating habits. This has made me really phobic about going out with anyone else. I tend to push people away rather than inflict myself upon them because lets face it who is going to want to deal with that? and if they do then they aren't going to understand and i'll just get bitter and start the same cycle all over again.

horsebacklover2's picture


dee, horsebackgirl

arcoiris's picture
missing sexual passion

I really can relate to your feelings! I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years now and I feel that our sex life is very unsatisfying to either of us and I wonder how much of it is because of my ED and negative thought patterns. This week during yoga class I realized that I hate myself. I was thinking, "why do I hate myself so much?" and it made me cry. Anyway, I know that when I can't accept myself, I tend to push others away especially those who are closest to me. I know that being aware of this should make it easier to change but it has been difficult for me lately. My boyfriend is very supportive and knows about my ED but I don't think he understands the stronghold of negative thought patterns that I battle constantly sometimes. I reach out with compassion to all of you who are experiencing the same feelings and encourage you to keep searching for inner peace as I do.

Live in the present

claire_quest's picture
i had the impression, that my

i had the impression, that my ED influenced my sex life a lot. And of course only to the worse.
I tink these things have a lot to do whit each other.
When i'm feeling better, and can accept myself it's always better.
There maybe other reasons though, but i think, this is the main one.

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