I have read countless pro ana blogs and how there is such a struggle to manage a relationship as well as the eating disorder. Often times the relationship has ended from something in relation to the ED or downright because of it. This doesn’t have to be so, however. I have my own thoughts and opinions on the matter and I think it might prove valuable to some of you. So here we go, on to some things to consider…
1. First and foremost if he isn’t willing to work with you and your ED then how can you expect him to work with you through anything else life throws at you? Think about it. If you two aren’t at a place in your relationship where you two are in love, then you can’t exactly weigh this in terms of how much he loves you. But if you two are in a relationship then I am assuming you two want to be for as long as you can. If that is the case then this means you two are going to need to be willing to help each other through thick and thin. Stupid little things to drastic big things and everything in between. If he isn’t willing to do that then frankly there isn’t much to lose. Sorry.
2. If he is willing to work with you, you must take into consideration whether or not if he has gone through any level of what you are. You can’t exactly blame him if he has no clue about what you’re going through. You might as well be speaking a foreign language. What I do in this instance is try and explain whatever it is I am going through (anxiety over binging, lack of confidence, fear of food, etc) in a way that my man will understand. Just the other day I was freaking out because my scale broke. He couldn’t grasp the intensity of the situation as I perceived it so I explained that it was the feeling of ‘all lights suddenly going out in a pitch black scary street with no way to see where you’re going’ and he knew then how to help.
3. Speaking of perception; just because it is huge and astronomical in your eyes does not mean it is in his. A lot of the time we forget that everyone feels differently unless proven otherwise. So he may react in a way that can be considered offensive or insensitive and not even realize it. Again you have to talk to him to try and give him a chance of understanding and then explain how whatever his reaction was, if bothersome, how it was bothersome. Give him the chance to try and understand instead of instantly taking everything as wrong and running away with it. This does not help you nor does it help your relationship. As cliche as it may be, communication is important.
4. But sometimes he just isn’t going to understand. Plain and simple, this is a definite possibility and you know what you do? This is where you need to help yourself. Don’t blame him because he doesn’t deserve that guilt. But find a way to vent your feelings. If he can’t help you by relating then he might be able to help you by serving as an emotional lightening rod. But please please please talk to him about it prior so you don’t just randomly attack him verbally and he is sitting there trying to figure out if you’re crazy or should start yelling back.
5. He may be completely against your eating disorder in such a way he tries to work with you, against it. This right here is where the big kicker is as far as a relationship is concerned. Sometimes you’re just not ready to do the healthy thing and he may want what is best for you but want it now and not even bother to listen to any other option. In this instance if you explaining that it takes time or you’re not ready isn’t working, you might need to seek help from a professional (therapist) or heck, even a mutual friend to try and reason with him. When you say it he might think that it is entirely the ED speaking, but if he hears it from someone else, he might listen. Maybe. Other than this, I have no other ideas. Good luck I guess. :c
6. If you aren’t wanting to “quit” your ED anytime or anytime soon, communication and sensitivity. Seriously. It is a strain and sadness to watch your loved one undergo suffering, especially when self inflicted. This is where you need to be sensitive and keep that in mind. You’re lucky if he isn’t griping you or laying on additional stress about it. You’re lucky if he is trying to work with you. If he accepts you for you, eating disordered or not, then you are a very lucky lady and you need to do your best for you AND him. Whatever that translates to for the both of you.
By no means am I a professional. This is literally just things that I have gone through myself and wanted to share with you. I hope I could provide some sort of help. If you have any more suggestions and experiences then please feel free to let me know. I am happy to do what I can to help you and others. I wish I could of provided more advice but again, I am just another person living just another life.
Good luck to you and may you have a wonderful relationship.