View Full Version : How to tell boyfriend

02-20-2012, 06:13 AM
My boyfriend and I have been together nearly six years. Before we met, I had eating issues, possible anorexia, associated with sports, including wrestling.

Since we've been together, eating too little hasn't really been an issue, and I gained a significant amount of weight.

He left to study abroad last fall, and since then, for many possible reasons, my disordered eating has returned.

I'm wondering how to tell him - I know he'll be OK with it, we've been together long enough and dealt with enough that I don't see this as a problem in the long term.

I'm still nervous about it, and worried about what to tell him about my eating and exercise habits, and the way that I think about food and my body. I'm going to see him in less than three weeks. He has complemented me on my apparent weight loss over Skype, but we haven't talked about it at all.

Any advice?

02-20-2012, 08:25 AM
I'm wondering how to tell him - I know he'll be OK with it, we've been together long enough and dealt with enough that I don't see this as a problem in the long term.

Honesty is best I have found. You could simply let him
know about your eating issues and let him ask any
questions and just let the conversation happen.

It sounds like you both have been thru a lot before
and you have a good relationship.

god bless.

02-20-2012, 11:22 PM
Me and my boyfriend just started dating less then a month ago. Before we started getting serious I told him I had an eating disorder and sometimes still have thoughts and always comment about my body. My ED started to get bad again, I was scared he was going to leave me if I told him, but I told him over the weekend, now I was drunk and had a break down when I told him, and we have still not talked about it, but he told me today that I was the best thing that has ever happen to him. The best thing is to tell him, it seems hiding it is harder. When I hide it I seem to struggle more. But if he knows you have struggled with it in the past, he will still stand by you now. Good luck!

02-21-2012, 10:42 AM
I'm concerned that he has been complimenting you on your weight loss. Does he know that you struggled with eating issues previously? Have you ever had any conversations about eating disorders before this?

You may want to think about what kind of support you might like from him. Is there information you could give him or resources you could point him toward that might help him support you in the ways you need right now?

Even if he has the best intentions, eating disorders can be hard to understand sometimes, especially if someone doesn't have much experience with them.

02-22-2012, 01:22 AM
Thanks all for the replies!

My boyfriend knows that I struggled with eating issues years before I met him, but they had been so latent, and were so wrapped up in competitive sport, that we never really talked about it at all. It was always mentioned in passing, talking about high school.

He was actually the one who always said how unhealthy it all sounded and that he thought I probably had (as in had and recovered from) an eating disorder.

I high school, I gained quite a bit of weight, and was slightly overweight when the two of us met. Then, my weight grew to the point of clinical obesity. I think the weight he was complimenting me on losing was getting back to a healthy weight for my height.

But, that's the problem that we need to talk about, because once I started losing weight again, of course only to get healthy, it kinda spiraled.

He's a scientist, so I know he'll read whatever literature I give him. The hard part will be figuring out what type of support I need from him, and the best way for him to support me, both while I'm there for the week in the UK with him, and especially when I'm back in the US without him.

02-22-2012, 12:32 PM
Hi Ubicaritas,

I was really nervous to talk with my husband about this. We also did long distance for a number of years during grad school and sometimes things got a lot worse in his absence. When I did finally tell him

- he was nervous to say anything at all because he didn't want to say something "wrong"; i misinterpreted this silence as anger. It was great when we figured this out.
- he said he felt more relieved than anything because he felt confused by my shrinking size.
- it took him a while to understand the best way to be supportive and it took me a while to figure out how to communicate the support i needed. I didn't want him walking on eggshells, but I also didn't feel supported by comments like "well if you need to be in the hospital, half the people we know need to be in the hospital." gah.

I suppose my only suggestions would be
- to keep lines of communication open
- ask him if he wants to ask you anything.
- to try to trust that each other has good intentions. Then you can respond to comments like the hospital one by saying "I know you mean that in a supportive way but that is not how I/my ED hears it. [and in my case: my T is on our side and I will recover faster if you and she are on the same team.]"

I know how hard it is to tackle these things long distance. Do you have any kind of N support? Depending which institution you are at in Boston, you may be at the heart of amazing ED research and care. You might even have something on campus. An ED nutritionist would help you work on weight goals very very carefully. One of the things I feel certain about is that I will *never* be able to lose weight safely without monitoring and support.

Lori Lieberman is in your area and has a pretty cool blog: http://loriliebermanandassociates.com/

Okay, sorry this was way longer than intended. But am wishing you luck with this conversation! Also wanted you to know how much I appreciate your responses to my Ash Weds questions (thank you!) There was a really neat labyrinth that I LOVED at the Serra Retreat center near LA when I lived there. I'll have to find one near my current home; it's a perfect style of meditation for me.

Best of luck UC!