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Just found out my DP is bulimic...

(20 Posts)
muchostinky Fri 18-Jan-13 13:51:15

Bulimic (sp?)

I am putting on here as he doesn't want me talking to anyone in RL about it and I would like it to disappear.

As background, we have been together for almost 3 years and lived together for nearly 2 and a half of those. He has always been one of those people that seem to be able to eat a lot and hardly put on any weight, he does poo a lot though, (sorry TMI). So that always seemed to even the amount of rubbish he eats with the fact he doesn't out on weight.

About 2 months ago I went up for a wee after he had a shower and found some sick in the loo that he had obviously forgot to flush - I questioned him about it and he just said he had felt a bit rough. I didn't think anything of it to be fair.

Then just after Christmas I found some sick again, I questioned him again and he said that he had been thinking about his Mum (who died last year of cancer) and it had made him feel funny and made him sick. He was obviously upset, so I gave him a hug and again thought nothing else about it as Christmas must be a hard time for him.

It came to a head last night when again after a shower I went up to use the loo and found sick in there, loads this time too - not just the usual wee bit. I asked him about it again when I got into bed as he was already in there. Firstly he denied even being sick! I knew that it hadn't been DS as he is very vocal if he is ill and has to mention it to everybody and obviously it hadn't been me. I said that I didn't believe him and that it had to be him. After about 5 minutes of silence he eventually said 'Oh Yeah, I wasn't feeling well'. I said that I didn't believe him and that it would certainly answer questions about him disappearing after almost every meal and why he didn't put on any weight even though he ate so much rubbish (think about whole packets of biscuits at a time).

After ages of silence where I knew he was crying he just said 'since 2004'. I can't believe he has been doing it for so long!

I know that he must be in a bad place to do something like this, but I am veering back and forth between being angry at him, feeling sorry for him and feeling stupid that I hadn't realised before what he was doing.

We have talked this morning and he says he doesn't do it everyday now, the time before last night was when I caught him after Christmas. He did say that it has been more often though, ie a few times a day - although not for the past year or so.

I have asked him to book an appointment with the doctor as I think he needs to speak to someone about it.

What else can I do?

Branleuse Fri 18-Jan-13 13:53:27

oh your poor dh. Ive struggled with this for years. Please dont be angry with him. Its a coping mechanism for other things, rather than something you just stop and its cured.

Please don't be angry with him, I know it is easy to do that but it's a mental health condition.

I actually thought you were someone I knew when I seen this as it sounds a lot like my ex, I only found out about his ED after about 2-3 years and it was hard living with it.

If he makes an appointment with a Dr (which you must encourage him to do) the offer to go with him. At home, after he has a meal, stay with him and try and keep him away from the loo for an hour.

If he is pooing a lot I would look for a laxative stash.

Even if he isn't very very skinny, the internal injuries you can get from bullimia, especially long term can definitely be life threatning, I also would triple the amout of times he has told you about as that is the likely true number at least, he wont be fully honest with you about this and people who have lived with ED for a long time get very good at hiding it, it does sound like he wanted to be found out though.

I really feel for you and hope the 2 of you can pull through the situation.

sparklekitty Fri 18-Jan-13 14:13:27

I was going to suggest laxatives too (being someone who used them myself) might be why he doesn't feel the need to make himself sick as much as he used to (?)

Please don't feel bad that you didn't know, people with ED are excellent at deception, my parents only found out about my anorexia when I told them about it years after I was recovering, and I'd lived with them through the worst parts of it.

He really does need to see GP asap, I would suggest asking receptionist when you book an appointment if they have a doc whose specialises or has an interest in MH.

This might sound harsh but be prepared for more deception, it will more than likely take him time to get out of that part. And going against everything that makes sense, please don't try to stop him until he has a treatment plan (which may well involve you, I had to go shopping with dp but wasn't allowed to put anything in the trolley, I also had to let him serve all my meals as I had issues with portion size). If you try to stop him he will just find another way to get that release.

Finally, it's tough going but he (and you) will recover, it can be done x

muchostinky Fri 18-Jan-13 14:14:54

Thanks for your replies.
I know he won't be able to just stop, that's why I have got him to book an appointment with the doctor. i am hoping that he will get referred for counselling so that he can talk to someone as obviously something has caused it.

I am more angry at me for not realising I think! blush

We are supposed to be trying for a baby and I know it sounds awful, but I don't want to try until he gets himself some help.

I don't think that there is a laxative stash anywhere as we have a very inquisitive DS who opens every drawer and cupboard, so I am not sure where he would hide them. I will have a look though.

He has booked the doctor's appointment already, unfortunately for a day that I can't make it too. Will I try to get him to rebook, do you think?

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 18-Jan-13 14:17:31

On some level he must have wanted you to know if he kept forgetting to clean up after himself.

muchostinky Fri 18-Jan-13 14:19:03

yeah catching I think so too.

MadBusLady Fri 18-Jan-13 14:21:39

Poor DH and poor you.

I don't think it's at all awful to hold off ttc for the moment - for him as well as for you. This is a huge thing to tackle and he will need all his spare energy.

I think in your place I'd like to be in the appointment, to make him feel cared for as much as to make sure he's honest. He may really hate that, it's a very private thing and I'm assuming you're the first person he's ever told, so he's only just coming to grips with it himself. But I think there's such a thing as a time for intervention.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 18-Jan-13 14:23:27

I think offering support at the doctors appointment is important, but obviously only if he was ok with it.

specialmagiclady Fri 18-Jan-13 14:23:57

Oh poor you, so stressful. My DH had an ED though it didn't go on for so long. He lost 20% of his body weight and had major control issues with food. CBT and finding the right counsellor really helped. The day when we went to the doctor was definitely the start of the end. Good luck xx

muchostinky Fri 18-Jan-13 14:36:30

I asked him if he wants me to come to the doctors and he said yes, so I will have to try and sort something out to make sure I am there.

He says I am the first person he has told and I believe him, he (and everyone else) always makes such a joke about how much he can eat that it is heartbreaking. How am I going to laugh and joke along now that I know?

roguepixie Fri 18-Jan-13 14:41:49

Please don't be angry. This is always in response to some outside stress/trigger. He needs your complete support and understanding (even if you feel angry you need to not show you are angry, if you can). He needs help - the first port of call should be his doctor (obviously with his consent) although you may be able to talk to the doctor about it in relation to how you can help - it may give you some ideas/coping mechanisms prior to your DH going himself.

Do you think he may have been willing you to find out by 'leaving' the evidence behind, as it where?

AdoraBell Fri 18-Jan-13 14:53:57

So what hapenned in 2004 to trigger this? As that when his DM passed away?

It is a MH issue, he'll need professional help but may be reluctant to seek that help. You can't do it for him or force him. While your anger is valid directing it towards him will reinforce the behavior. I would suggest that you get some help and support in dealing with this so that you are better able to support him through it.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 18-Jan-13 15:15:39

Hello. Generally, we'd move a thread like this to Mental Health but we completely understand the OP's desire for it to remain in Chat. So, instead, we've slightly edited the thread title, with the OP's permission, so that folks can see it's a thread about bulimia before they click on it - and so avoid, if they need to.

muchostinky Fri 18-Jan-13 15:21:59

No his Mum passed away last year. I am not sure what made it start, he is not very keen on talking about it just now especially as our DS is at home because of the snow.
Everytime I try to say something to him about it he has a look on his face as if I slapped him. sad
I can't force him to do anything, but I am hoping that by me not wanting to try for a baby (something he really wants) will encourage him to seek help.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 18-Jan-13 15:53:28

OK, after another word with the OP <waves at muchostinky> we've agreed to move this thread to Mental Health. Sorry for any confusion...

muchostinky Fri 18-Jan-13 16:43:01

Sorry blush

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 18-Jan-13 23:23:07

Mucho, nothing to be sorry for. Eating disorders are more common than we think, and incredibly complex. A dear friend of mine has bulimia and anorexia, mostly anorexia in the time I've known her (5 or 6 years, has needed hospitalisation/tube feeding in that time) but she's talked about bulimia too, and the tricks she's used to conceal both. It is very much a mental health issue, but not one that's dealt with very well by the NHS; she was incredibly frustrated to be presented with "worksheets" that suggested she speak to a teacher or her parents, given that she's in her 40's and her parents are the root cause of her problems. <does the roll-eyes thing>

And a supposedly ED-trained overweight dietician who told her (in the direst grip of anorexia) that she "just needed to go home and eat more." <does a bit more eye-rolling>

If your dp is reluctant to see his GP (and there's a fair chance the GP won't understand anyway) there are self-help books available. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) can work with ED, and it can be done as a self-help thing - if your dp will put the work in. I forget the book my friend was recommended, and a glance at Amazon hasn't helped, but it was written by an Edinburgh-based doctor with specialist knowledge.

Hope this helps.

I totally understand your feelings of anger and frustration, btw, it took me ages before I could get my head round what my friend was doing, and even now I can't explain it. She's much better atm, and it's brilliant to see her so happy and reducing medication, but the ED will re-emerge at some point, and I just have to be ready to see the signs.

Not sure I am. sad

SirBoobAlot Fri 18-Jan-13 23:37:15

Oh my lovely. It is hard.

Please don't be angry for not seeing it, and please don't be angry at him either.

It sounds as though he wanted you to know, and take that as a bit compliment of his trust in you.

People can, and do, recover from eating disorders, and you have both taken the first important step in arranging a doctors appointment.

Try and be there for him, do not expect this to be a quick fix, but know that with help things can change.

Much love to you both. x

muchostinky Sat 19-Jan-13 09:09:48

Thanks everyone x

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