Are you worried about your spouse or significant other? Do you notice your relationship revolving around food and weight issues? Power Struggles Sound Familiar?
In couples with eating-disorders there are many different factors can put strain on the relationship. Below are issues and suggestionsfor help to aid the couple in the difficult process of dealing with these problems.
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One of the major issues is the keeping secrete of the eating disorder. Often the person with the eating disorder is ashamed of his or her behavior. This can lead to hiding binging, purging or consuming very little food. The partner at first may notice an emotional distance, and wonder about various problems that could be occurring in the relationship. It may take time to notice the problem. Once the problem is noticed the partner may have a difficult time dealing with the issue and pressure the other to resolve the problem.
Pamper Each Other and Show Compassion
Couples with Eating-Disorders may have difficulties because the non eating disordered partner may lack the understanding of the type of eating disorder his/her significant other has. They may begin to pressure their partner to eat or loose weight depending on the problem.
When one partner pressures the other, the result is usually the opposite of the desired response. Most people were told what to do as children and do not respond well to this as adults.
The response for an anorectic person may be to eat less and the response of a bulimic or binge eater may be to eat more.
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Power Struggles, Only Give as a Gift if you and your Partner are in a good Place related to Food Issues
To feel in control couples with eating-disorders may get into power struggles.
The non-eating disordered partner may be concerned about the health of their significant other.
They may also be conflicted as they as they become less attracted to their partner.As they try to discuss the issue and make their concerns known the other may push back because they feel misunderstood.
The eating disorder may become intensified either consciously or consciously as a way of sending a message that they need to be in control of their own choices. They may need a sense of control perhaps due to lack of control in other areas of their lives.
As long as the eating disordered partner is medically stable, it is best to be respectful of his or her choices about food. If you get into a power struggle, you will lose and end up worse for it.
Eating Disorders can often have a mood disorder that goes alongside this already difficult problem.
Depression, anxiety, and/or substance abuse are possibilities. This can effect many areas of life including intimacy and sexuality.
In addition, it is important to find out the severity of a mood disorder.It is imperative that you become aware if your partner is in danger. Sometimes a person can be so depressed that they become suicidal. This most commonly can be suicidal thoughts or heavy substance abuse. Professional help is necessary if your partner expresses depressed or suicidal feelings.
Treatment For Couples with Eating-Disorders
It is very important that couples with eating-disorders seek professional help. The help is paramount in helping the eating disordered partner to get back to a healthy place in relationship with food but is also important for the significant other for their own support and to aid them in learning how to deal with the problem so as not to exacerbate the diagnosis.
“1000 Questions For Couples” by Author Michael Webb
There are hundreds of fun “getting to know you” questions but there are also important questions that most people don’t even think of asking but are absolutely necessary if you want to have a happy relationship.
This book can provide a way for couples to know each other and possibly help understand an eating disorder.