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    Old 11-23-2007, 02:57 PM   #1
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    In a relationship with an anorexic girlfriend.

    I've been dating my girlfriend for the better part of two years. We went to separate colleges last year, and when she came home, it was apparent that she was battling anorexia. Extremely emaciated, amenorrhea, failing kidneys, was very serious.

    Both she and her family have taken a very proactive approach in battling it. She immediately got with a team of doctors, including a general practitioner, nutritionist, psychiatrist, and a therapist, all of whom she visits regularly. She's since gained weight (enough to regain her period, body is functioning properly, etc) but is still battling with all of the psychological aspects of anorexia...anxiety about food/weight, compulsive exercise, depression, panic attacks sometimes...etc. She's not comfortable with gaining any more weight, even though her doctors are telling her she needs to for health reasons and also so she can take new medications that will be more effective for her. She's gotten better physically, and a tiny bit emotionally, but she's not where she needs to be.. Basically stuck in a rut. So, her parents have decided to check her into an inpatient eating disorder clinic.

    Obviously I support this decision, the only thing important in all of this is that she gets better. But, obviously, this has taken a toll on me as well as our relationship. Dealing with these things is no picnic, at I'm sure all of you know too well.

    The program typically runs about 60 days...during which time I'm not likely to see/speak to her at all (out of state, pretty much no visitation for non-family). My concerns are all about what happens after she gets out? I'm looking for any insight as to whether or not these things linger for a long time. I love this girl, make no mistake about it. I've known her since I was six yeras old. We grew up together. BUt at the same time, I'm young, and the way that it's been the last six months, I know that I can't be in a relationship like this for the rest of my life (we've talked a lot about a future together). I can't deal with this thing again, and again, and again.

    So in your experiences with yourself and those around you, how bad/common is relapse? And even if you don't fall back into an anorexic pattern (not eating, compulsive exercise, etc), how much does anorexia continue to psychologically affect you throughout your life? (insecurity about your choices...sexually...things like that).

    I'm trying so hard to be supportive through all of this, and be there for her unconditionally, and I feel like I have. But as much as she needs to focus on herself 100%, I also need to look out for myself here. She's reiterated many times that she still wants to be in a relationship with me, and doing so would not hinder her recovery at all. I'm just not sure it's the best thing for me. I could care less about missing her the next two months, it's not a big deal in the scheme of's absolutley worth sticking it out if I knew that that would be the end of the line. I just don't want to get deeper and deeper into this and go through all of the struggles, etc. if it turns out that this is something that's going to affect our relationship substantially for as long as we're together.

    Any feedback anyone can give me?

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    Old 11-23-2007, 06:32 PM   #2
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    Re: In a relationship with an anorexic girlfriend.

    hey first of all id like to congratulate you for being so supportive so far i know its a very very demanding and challenging disorder to tackle especially from an outsiders perspective...i have been battling with bulimia and anorexia for 18months now and it has been terribly hard to fight, however i am now with a very good docter who is very very slowly getting results out of me...i have never been to an inpatient clinic simply because i refuse im terrified of them but i know deep down itd be the best place to go...i really think that this clinic will help her however the chance of relapse is there as with everybody dealing with this disorder or any kind of disorder like alcoholics...this is a disorder that will be there for life like alcoholics it may not be a demonant active disorder but it is something that can not saying this to scare you and to be quiet honest i have never gotten to that recovery point so i dont know if there is a place outside of this, but from what ive read on here from different women who have infact recovered and are able to regain there normal lifes and confidence it does seem possible ...i think that the choice is yours my boyfriend and i broke up recently mainly to my disorder and i dont hold it against him for one minute i understand why it happened and im not near enough to being better to be able to give him the reason to stay but i think its something that you are going to have to decide for yourself maybe wait and see how it goes after this inpatent clinic and if things havent improved maybe sit down and have a talk with her about how you feel really sorry that this is disjointed and may not be much help but trust me there are people who have beaten this thing and it sounds like she is getting the best help are a truely good person for sticking this long
    if you need anybody to talk to dont hesitate to ask

    Old 11-24-2007, 01:31 PM   #3
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    Re: In a relationship with an anorexic girlfriend.

    Not disjointed at all thank you for your response...that was really, really helpful.

    You seem like the perfect person to ask this question...would it be okay for me to talk to her about everything that I'm thinking/feeling? We've always been really open/honest with each other about pretty much everything, but at the same time this is a little bit different. It's a really legitimate long-term concern that there's really no answer to, you know? I don't want to drop a bomb on her right now with everything she's going through.

    So is this concer I have something I could talk to her about or would you advise me to stay hush hush about it?

    Old 01-07-2008, 01:56 PM   #4
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    Re: In a relationship with an anorexic girlfriend.

    Hello there,

    Wow reading your post really made me see things from the other side, I admire you for comin onto this site and sharing your experince so far, I am only speakin for myself so I dont want to offend anyone, but if I'm honest I am selfish, a liar and am not thinking of how anyone else feels and its so hard to admit, firstly I am fightin anorexia for the 5th year running, I am selfish because of what it is doing to my wonderfull and supportive partner, and I am a liar because like most people with an ED I lie all the time about what I have eaten,what I have not eaten, I actually find it has started to help me when my partner sat down with me last week and told me exactly how he felt, I have to say at first I was defensive (naturally, you get used to that) but then I felt awful , which is why I am back on these boards.
    I asked my partner to be honest about how he felt, we have been together 5 years, are due to get married in 2 years and have 2 children together so I thought i was prepared for anythng he had to say, now I am not a bag of bones or look like like I am about to drop down at any moment (or atleast I think), but I am very underweight and my BMI is quite low, so my partner told me he isnt going to marry me until I put on <a certain amount of weight> because although its for sickness and health he doesnt want me to have made myself sick before hand, I knwo its shock tactic but nothin else has worked, he also said he looks at me and thinks I am painfully thin, I dont think I am but thats what an ED does to you, he also told me a few home truths about me not bein able to be a fit mother (not as in a bad mum) as our children get older because I wont have energy for them, its quite awful when the one person who loves you inside and out actually tells you how they feel, but now I have digested it I have 2 choices I can ether carry on being selfish and lose my partner and eventually my children if I become a statistic that didnt survive or I can get my life in order and start enjoying myself,
    So I think although its so hard to be honest, I think it does help, and it will give her time to reflect, not everyone is the same and I can only go on how I feel now, also alot of people feel because someone has an illness, or an ED they feel they have to tiptoe around and not upset them, well I disagree, good luck with what you decide, but I thank you personally for givin your side, its helped me.
    Keep us posted I hope your girlfriend gets better and you both live happy lives.

    Last edited by mod-anon; 01-07-2008 at 11:56 PM. Reason: edited triggering words

    Old 01-07-2008, 04:13 PM   #5
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    Re: In a relationship with an anorexic girlfriend.

    Anorexia and bulimia are selfish diseases. I am in my 40's and I've been battling this since I was a teen. I really think it takes a toll on the people around us and it is hard for family to live with.

    If you're not 100% sure that you want to continue on the path you've been on then I suggest you make a choice to move on and talk to your girlfriend about it. She will be better off if she is free to focus on herself and her recovery; that is if you aren't 100% sure, but if you are sure you can continue to deal with the ED then you could be a great support, but you need to sure what it is YOU can do for you.

    Good Luck

    Old 01-13-2008, 08:54 PM   #6
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    Re: In a relationship with an anorexic girlfriend.

    hi.....i wuz just wondering how much this is affecting u--my boyfriend has been affectedd by my eating disorder and i dont knoee wut to do to help him. i wuz wondering if u had anii advice on how i could help him through this too. I attend an outpatient program once a week, just to giv u a lil insight on where i m in an eating disorder. i used to talk to him about it when i wuz upset, and hav only now realized how much it has bothered him. from ur perspective, izz there aniithing i could do to help him with this? id appreciate ur advice sooooooo much.

    Old 01-15-2008, 05:59 AM   #7
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    Re: In a relationship with an anorexic girlfriend.

    I have an anorexic girlfriend as well and i can relate to your situation... I wrote down my story some time ago, i know its long but maybe it can help explain some things.


    Old 01-29-2008, 05:02 PM   #8
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    Re: In a relationship with an anorexic girlfriend.

    I am in a very similar situation. I have a girlfriend that I have been dating for 9 months. We are in a long distance relationship since I am fisnishing up my college but We hit it off really well and our relationship moved quickly. She has been going in and out inpatient treatment during this whole time. She is really struggling with keeping on weight. She has had symptoms since age 9 and stuggling badly since 22. She is now 26. Recently I had to talk with her about the possibility of breaking up because of the many problems ED causes. I could tell that she was only going through the motions of recovery. She wanted to want to get better but did not want to.. It has been a part of her for so long that it is tough for her to loose the Identity. I simply told her that I could not be with her anymore if she did not start accepting help and start trying to achieve recovery. It was not a case of get better or else because that is not fair. She did not want to lose our relationship and it has so far put her at a place where she actually wants to get better and is trying. Right now she is doing it for me. Hopefully that will transform into doing it for herself. She is doing better but not everyday goes great I know that there will be slips and that is OK as long we perservere. You can't make her chose between you and the eating disorder becase you will loose everytime. There has to be options. Our relationship is more about her recovery than anything else. I think that is the only way to make it work when Ed is so strong. If you are not willing to make the sacrifices to put recovery before you in the relationship then you are doing more harm than good for both of you.

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