Boyfriend of a woman with an eating disorder
I have come on this website for some advise and knowledge from the people within it.
Currently, I am in a long distance relationship with a woman who has an eating disorder. We have currently been going out for 11 months and I first realised that she had eating issues within the first or second month.
Although my girlfriend has an eating disorder, she is not at a weight were one might not consider her overly skinny. She weighs 53kg but as a woman of 5' 7', this makes her BMI borderline underweight.
Her condition can involve restricting her food intake to 0 calories a day to throwing up anything she has ate. This can happen for weeks every month. The reason I am posting is because I need help and advise, and to get this off my chest.
After seeing my girlfriend put herself through all this, causing arguments and stress along the way, I managed to convince her to speak to her doctor last month. When we went together, she was 100% convinced that the doctor would side with her and that I have been fretting over something that didn't exist. But of course the doctor said that she was anorexic with bulimic tendencies.
Our conversation straight after the doctor was that while we are apart, she doesn't want to speak to anyone but will do when we move away in 6 months. She then proceeded to ask me "Could I just not put up with it?" insinuating that I just accept that she continues to restrict her food intake and vomitting while I sit back and allow it to happen. I told her no.
I feel bad, as each time she does something, I get upset and sometimes angry that she is hurting herself. She has suffered depression previously and from conversations I found she may have been sexually abused when aged 14. This did not extend to anything penetrative but rather inappropriate touching. I believe this is the reasons she does these things to herself but she refuses to accept this and says its just about control and wanting to lose weight.
And as I understand that she has a problem, I still struggle to cope as alot of our conversations revolve around her wanting to throw up, feeling constantly sick or her refusing to eat.
This is very difficult as our conversations are over the phone so I can't be with her and I can't talk her around to my way of thinking. So knowing she is hurting herself while I am away causes me to be stressed.
We have had plenty of conversations about her situation and she still refuses to admit she has a problem and can't understand why I get so upset.
I am here to ask for help and any advice you may have. Recently I have considered leaving the relationship as I feel it isn't moving anywhere and physically our relationship hasn't moved anywhere as she struggles with any loving acts. I don't believe she will be able to progress in our relationship without some counselling.
Now, I don't want to portray myself as selfish here and I am very conscious of how I am. I care for my girlfriend so much and this is why I get so upset and angry at her when she hurts herself. But I don't know what to do, should I stay in a relationship that is so difficult for both of us?
Also, she has made me promise never to speak to her parents which, if broken, she would break up with me and never forgive me.
I can't talk to anyone about it and it is a relief to even type on this website.
The thought of breaking up really hurts me but I don't know if it is best for me.
Can you give me advice on how to handle this situation?
I am sorry for such a long thread. I am at an end and need someone to talk too.
Thanks a lot.