‘Being the (partner) of someone with an eating disorder is an invisible position’ This article (recently posted on the Men get eating disorders too website) pretty much sums up why I decided to start blogging about my experiences as the girlfriend of a male with an eating disorder.
I am a 23 year old girl in love with and living with a male with an eating disorder. I have been in my relationship for almost
five years now, for four of those my boyfriend has had an eating disorder and for the past three or so months I have been writing a blog, my boyfriends eating disorder and me.
The article is right, my experience taught me that not only is it an invisible position, it can also be incredibly lonely. The first couple of years were ok, I kept telling myself that it was a phase and would pass, plus we were quite young in our relationship and I wasn’t sure just how far I could push the subject of his disordered eating. But as time went on and we started to face up to the reality of this eating disorder, as more behaviours started manifesting and I was taking the full force of a lot of the emotions associated with it, it became clear that he needed help but also that we did.
I knew that we were barely
holding our relationship together, and whilst I wanted to be there to support him through this, the emotional strain on me was becoming too much. So I decided to start looking into support groups, but always felt disheartened when they seemed very geared towards parents and partners of women who have eating disorders, and never felt that our relationship would ‘fit’.
Then I started looking for articles and websites specifically to support the partner of a male with an eating disorder, I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone, that we weren’t the only ones who were battling through this, I found very little and it was scary to consider that maybe couples didn’t get through this and would I be wasting my time trying?
I have been incredibly lucky to have a great network of family and friends who have been listening ears when I need them and who have supported me through all the difficult times and low points, and I cannot thank them enough. But there are still times when I am looking to know that someone else is in my position, to have a place like the parents of someone with an eating disorder where they hear from people that they are not alone. Plus sometimes I just want to rant, i’m not looking for solutions or answers, not looking to make my boyfriend out to be this horrible person who only cares about food and exercise, I just want to get things off my chest, and this can be difficult when everyone who is supporting me also knows and loves him too.
So I decided to start blogging, it had been suggested to me a couple of times by a few people and I have finally started it. My boyfriend has just started treatment, the road to getting there has been long and difficult, and i’m sure the road ahead may look very similar at times, but throughout it there have been great times of love, joy, adventure and fun, and I hope to share all of those things through my blog. If it serves for just one other partner of a male with an eating disorder to keep going, know they are not alone and be that place on the internet that I looked for (and still do) when times are really tough then it will be worth it.
To read Anne’s blog go to: http://myboyfriendseatingdisorderandme.wordpress.com/