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Husband's bad relationship with food and DCs

(6 Posts)
Saladsun Sat 27-Jun-20 07:48:49

My husband has a bad relationship with food and I am concerned for my DCs.
He admits that where food is "free", think buffet food, cake table at work etc, he has to eat as much of it as he possibly can. Like he has to take advantage of a free opportunity of food and not just have some, but fill himself up to the brim.

He has a BMI of 38.

He also piles his plate very high, if he discovers that I've eaten a packet of crisps or biscuits or chocolate when he's been at work, he will have to eat some too as soon as he finds out.

Before he goes to bed most nights, he will have a sudden rummage through the cupboard and eat as many dry crackers as he can fit into his mouth having sat on the sofa not eating anything all evening.

His sister and DM both have had eating disorders.

He will not discuss food or his weight at all so getting him to consider getting help is definitely not going to happen.

However, how can I protect my DCs from this? I am really concerned that they are both going to pick up on his behaviour and grow up with eating disorders themselves. What can I do?

I've had boyfriends in the past who have eaten a lot and piled up their plates, but this is something else. It's hard to describe, but it's like a need to eat all the food before anyone else does.

What can I do to ensure this does not rub off on my children?

OP’s posts: |
Anothernick Sat 27-Jun-20 08:48:10

I have known several people with eating disorders - work colleagues and the daughter of a close friend - and the sad truth is that they are very hard to overcome and, even with treatment, they rarely disappear permanently. They are often associated with other MH disorders, depressions, anxiety etc so these underlying issues also need to be tackled.

if your DH will not even discuss the issue then I'm sorry to say that I think there is nothing you can do. Unless he acknowledges it and seeks treatment things will not improve. You will just have to do what you can to help your DC and ultimately this may mean splitting up, though none of the ED cases I have been aware of involve a hereditary or familial element so the risk here may not too great.

A difficult situation.

partofyoupoursoutofme Sat 27-Jun-20 09:21:48

I'm sorry you have this to deal with, eating disorders are so difficult. I agree with the pp that there are often other mh disorders involved too.
It will be very difficult to prevent your children being affected, but if you are honest and open about what is healthy behaviour and what is not, and encourage them to be open and honest about their thoughts and feelings then you may be able to help them. Your husband may find this difficult though, so it will not be easy.
Educate yourself as much as you can, maybe look into therapy for yourself to help you with the process. You have spotted the problem so you are on the right track. Good luck flowers

CodenameVillanelle Sat 27-Jun-20 09:25:15

BMI of 38 is almost morbidly obese. He's putting himself at risk of early death.
I'm afraid for me it would be time to give him an ultimatum. Deal with his food addiction or live separately from the children. That's just me though.

ThePathToHealing Sat 27-Jun-20 10:08:54

Really sorry to hear this. I had an eating disorder and know that my attitude to food was tied up with my mum's problem and money (and society in a way). My early years we grew up in poverty and often didn't have enough to eat, going to birthday parties was a real treat because I could eat as much as I wanted. I still have this in me when I'm offered free food. Do you know what his childhood was like in terms of food?

I've been in recovery for 6 years now.

A BMI of 38 is quite high, if he is tall and/or has a big build then you can expect even his healthy BMI to be towards the higher end of normal. Would he be willing to see his GP for a check up for medical reasons? They would be able to run blood tests etc and also the message coming from a professional might have more strength to it.

I had a boyfriend once who was obese, if he had an argument with anyone I could count to 5 and know that at 5 he would be in the fridge. He was completely incapable of any kind of self awareness because the emotions he was avoiding were too strong
My own eating disorder was to deal with my emotions. Once I learnt to communicate and understand my behaviours I made real progress.

How old are your children? If you can keep communication open with your children so that they will come to you or your husband with any issues that will be a huge help. Comfort eating can be a really nice thing but if it's the only way of soothing yourself then it will lead to trouble. Also think about any messages that you might be sending.

sunflowersandtulips50 Sat 27-Jun-20 13:08:10

If he doesnt want to talk about it or get help the risk your DC have is growing up with no father as he will likely die young.

My OH was not morbidly obese but was obese and was a glutton when it came to food. He grew up with his mum feeding him all the time so he couldnt cope if he wasnt always full. He was always wanting giant portions and couldnt wait until a meal was served before he was looking in the fridge for food. My DC dont eat until there full, I have no issue with them not finishing there plate if they have had enough, I do home cooked meals and have plenty of fruit in the house and an occassional treat. I have encouraged all my DC to do a sport from a young age too. All of my DC are slim and healthy. Protect your DC from having a bad relationship with food.

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