My Husband Has an Eating Disorder

My Husband Has an Eating Disorder

A man sits with his head in his hands.

If you’ve found yourself here, you are undoubtedly feeling worried and overwhelmed. And we can’t blame you. When the man you love suffers, you suffer right along with him. And when the suffering is caused by his own behaviors, like with an eating disorder, it can be all the more painful for you, as his partner.

Today, we’d like you to take a moment for yourself. To breathe slowly and deeply. To let go of your obligations for the next few minutes as you learn more about what your husband might be going through and what your role in helping him might look like.

One more deep breath, and let’s begin.

5 Truths For the Spouse Whose Husband Has an Eating Disorder

When we’re going through a difficult season, it can be hard to sort through the weeds to find the truth. So, we’d love to share five quick truths with you today.

It’s Not Your Job to Fix Your Husband

Consider this permission to breathe a sigh of relief. When your spouse has an eating disorder, it can feel as though you may be the only one who can help. And you  can help, but you cannot fix your husband. You might be able to help show him the way—research treatment options, connect him with a local therapist, make an appointment with his doctor— but only he can take the steps necessary to make a positive change.

You’re Not the Best Accountability Partner (But You Can Offer Him Your Love)

 Spouses don’t often make the best accountability partners. And because eating disorders are interwoven with an activity that takes place three or more times a day, we don’t encourage you to be at the ready, calling out your husband for every infraction of his nutritional regimen. Instead, offer your love. And connect him with someone who can hold him accountable for his actions without inducing shame or encouraging lies.

 Gender Stereotypes Are Real and Hurtful

 Society and pop-culture portrayals assume women are the primary people who struggle with eating disorders. But men struggle too! Make sure your words are carefully chosen so as not to make your husband feel less-than or strange compared to his male counterparts. Eating disorders are a human problem, and all humans need love and support.

You Need Something Else to Talk About or Do Together

While your husband’s eating disorder may feel like the elephant in the room—an ever-present worry and concern—it’s important that the two of you find something else you can do together to help pass the time and bring joy to your day. You may benefit from activities that do not revolve around food. Go for a daily walk, watch an engaging show together or play a relaxing game.

You Need Time for Yourself

The burden you carry in supporting your husband through his eating disorder and on to recovery can sometimes really weigh you down. You can be proactive in supporting yourself by scheduling time with friends, preferably outside of your home, as well as time alone to regroup and prepare for facing another day.

We’d love to help you as you help your husband. Give us a call today at 562-434-6007 or connect with us through our contact form.