DH's bulimia

(12 Posts)
IamAporcupine Sun 10-Jul-16 21:30:11

DH suffered from bulimia before we met. He never talked about much but when he did he said he said he was 'much better' and even that he was 'cured'. He has never been relaxed about food, but I truly believed he was doing fine.
I think he has relapsed. Don't think it is every day, I am guessing more like binge eating and purging. I thought this was also happening a few years ago and I confronted him. He got extremely defensive and denied it.
I really do not know what to do. I know how difficult it is to accept it (I've suffered from anorexia) but I'd hope he could talk to me? I do not want to have an argument like last time but it does not feel right to just ignore it.
I must admit I am also angry sad

Petal40 Sun 10-Jul-16 21:36:59

Yr dh is lucky you care...I've suffered for over 20 yrs....if it helps,for me its about control not weight....I find I slip back in to it when I'm not in control of my life for whatever reason....I just don't binge...but on a bad day I panic and throw up all food ,often no more than a few hundred calories...exercise seems to give me permission to eat normally....I'm regularly at the gym...no throw up on gym days....I've realised I will always be bulimic I just have to try to get through each day vomit free...

IamAporcupine Sun 10-Jul-16 22:28:12

Thanks for replying Petal40. Sorry to hear you suffered for so long flowers

He exercises compulsively. According to him, that keeps him 'safe', but I guess that is not always the case? Maybe, as you say, he will always be bulimic. Maybe it was just me wanting to believe he was fine.

Still what should I do now, should I tell him? If someone was to bring the subject up with you, what would be the best (or the least worst) way?
He started during his teenage years. His mother knew about it but did nothing sad. I can't do that

Wolfiefan Sun 10-Jul-16 22:32:30

What makes you think he is relapsing?

IamAporcupine Sun 10-Jul-16 23:18:27

wolfiefan there were other things too but what got me to write this thread was that I found a 750gr bag of chocolates with only about 1/3 left. It was given to me by work colleagues and I hadn't opened it.

Mellifera Mon 11-Jul-16 10:57:36

Has he ever had therapy? If it started as a teen, maybe Schema Therapy would be very helpful, dealing with wrong coping mechanisms from childhood.
Don't be angry, he probably doesn't know what to do, feels awful and hates himself for it. He needs help.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 11-Jul-16 11:03:01

Why are you angry? Because he's relapsed, or because he can't talk to you?

Either way, I think bulimia is one of those things that doesn't really go away. It can be controlled, to a certain extent, but it's always there. I also think it's something that it is incredibly difficult to face up too, until you're ready to take action and get it under control again, and that's probably why he can't see it yet. I've known people with a whole host of conditions who are the same - bulimia, anorexia, bipolar, etc. Unti they are ready to face what is happening, it's just not possible to have a conversation about it. There needs to be that slow acceptance that it's back.

Remember that this will be hard for him. It's impulsive. Also be very aware that this doesn't trigger your own eating issues to kick off again.

As you know him, could you guess how he'd respond to very subtle help? For example, if you took control of food a bit, and tried to reduce opportunities to binge/starve? Obviously you woouldn't be able to remove the risks, he'll find and buy food if he needs too, but that extra barrier might help him.

Look after yourself.

DavidPuddy Mon 11-Jul-16 11:13:35

I could never talk about it when relapsing, it was too raw. It helped to know that my husband would never push me nor judge me. When the bout was over (I was already considerably more in control by the time I met my husband) it would help that I could talk it through with him and pick apart the reason I relapsed.

I have it firmly under control now and I think that is because I do finally feel in control of my life and I am confident in the choices I have made.

I don't have advice, I'm afraid, I just wanted to share my experience in case it could help.

IamAporcupine Mon 11-Jul-16 21:54:19

thanks everyone

Mellifera no, he's never had therapy and I know he will never ever accept it. I am sure he is quite familiar with schema therapy as he is a therapist himself confused....

AnchorDownDeepBreath I am angry for different reasons, but definitely not for the relapse itself. the short answer would be I am angry because he can't talk to me. but I am also angry because I do everything to try to accommodate his needs so that he can be more in control. we eat different food, we usually do not eat together, we can hardly eat out, we can't go to friends' meals, we spend very little time together because his exercise is first etc etc etc. yet I feel if I was to bring it up I'd be told to fuck off and stop imagining things like he did last time.
he is grumpy and difficult most of the time and I do not know if I can cope anymore. I love him but he's become so distant...

I do not think it will trigger my own issues. I have been trying to lose weight and get back in shape for ages, but I am so fucking depressed I can't even do that. thanks for caring flowers

It's a good suggestion, but I do not think I could take control of his food.

DavidPuddy I totally understand how difficult it is and I would never push him or judge him. As I said, I just wished he would reach to me sad

GirlWithTheLionHeart Mon 11-Jul-16 22:09:51

Sounds like an ultimatum is needed then

IamAporcupine Wed 13-Jul-16 11:49:37

I do not think an ultimatum will work when dealing with an eating disorder?

Justasjolly Wed 13-Jul-16 15:58:48

The relationship side of things aside, please do not forget the medical dangers f bulimia. Regular purging can deplete electrolytes causing cardiac arythmias. Please push him to see a dr and make sure they check his u's&e's.

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