Struggling with an eating disorder is a tough issue. Food is the main problem, but still necessary for survival, and this is where the matter of contention starts. People fighting with an eating disorder, will feel like prisoners in their body and you are actually dating or are married to a trapped person in chains.
You have to be patient when you love someone with an eating disorder, cause you will need lots of luck and must know this following things first:
- They are not trying to please you
- Eating disorders are not about looking good for the partner. As much as you would like to convince yourself, don’t get your ego think that. In fact the disorder, its more about control and often self-hatred issues closely associated with low self-esteem.
Eating disorders can also be linked with deep feelings of insecurity and shame and usually from post-traumatic memories mixed with suppressed feelings.
The persons suffering from this kind of disorders, are not starving themselves or binging and purging because they want to be perfect for you, rather because they want to be perfect for themselves & in perfect control! Until & unless the eating disorder is dealt with, they will never drop that false belief of perfection.
- They set up insane goals for themselves
People dealing with eating disorders, will often tell themselves little twisted stories, such as if they could achieve a certain size, weight or figure, they would be happy! but the sad truth is that since they never will be good enough even if they’ll reach their set up goals, they will still be miserable!
We know for a fact that no one is perfect, however, eating disorders patients brain isn’t functioning the way it should, cause it tells them to keep on doing certain things until they will find perfection. The problem is though that they will never stop cause they’ll never be perfect enough!
- They are obsessed with control
The most powerful word in their vocabulary is CONTROL. Your loved one is married to control. They want things to happen in a preset way. They ought to have the control over everything, especially over food. When they are concerned about something going on in their life, no matter if its about their job, health, relationship problem with either you or a friend, their eating disorder will appear almost simultaneously.
If you think you’ve met a disciplined person before, think again. An obsessed person struggling with an eating disorder will take discipline and control to a whole new level.
- It takes years for them to recover
Recovering from an eating disorder is just as hard as it is with drugs. Its almost impossible for anorexics or bulimics, to reach their perfect weight and goal and stop with all the nonsense around them.
It may take years for them to realize they have a problem and seek help. Their feelings of past abuse, anxiety, or depression won’t simply trickle away if they don’t find some other way to handle the problem.
Most of the times, these people need special help, so you may eventually start to learn new ways of assistance, leading them through therapy, self-evaluation and maturity.
- They may avoid or excessively use sex and intimacy due to the shame they feel about their distorted body image.
- Some people may also try to unhealthily cope with their past sexual abuse through an eating disorder, so don’t be surprised if the person you love is not so into sex or is, on the other hand, extremely sexual. In this last event, they may use sex as a numbing tool in order to cope with their demons. By the way: don’t think that by telling them that they are too thin, while you’re in bed together, will make them fatten up for you, cause it won’t happen.
- Don’t tell them they are too thin
Telling them that they are too thin to show them care and affection and your concern about them, will only make it worse and keep them from eating.
So remember; The more you tell them about their thinness, the more they are bound to race to their delusional idea of flawlessness: the thinnest person alive!
- Don’t ever mention their weight.
What if they are bulimic? As a matter of fact if you tell them they lost weight, they just might burst with enthusiasm, determined to never binge again until they will again, only to feel ashamed and defeated.
Just remember, don’t mention anything about their weight, period. It won’t get you anywhere good. Trust me.
- Encourage them to get help
If your partner is dealing with an eating disorder, encourage him/her to get help. If it takes an intervention, do it. Gather all your loved ones and find some treatment plan options, so he/she will have less chance of backing out of it.