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Eating disorders

Any adult (male) around? Bulimia advice [Edited by MNHQ at OP's request]

26 replies

IamAporcupine · 30/03/2021 15:47

My DH has (finally) admitted that he has bulimia. I suspected it but he always denied it and got extremely defensive about it.

He now says this is the reason why he was (almost) impossible to live with for the past 10 years. He was grumpy, intolerant, distant, unengaged. I was walking on eggshells most of the time and my mental health really suffered.

He says he wants to change and is begging me for an opportunity to show him he can be better. I beleive him but there is something that really confuses and scares me.

I know everyone is different, but if you have any experience with this - would you mind if I asked you some questions? Thanks in advance

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IamAporcupine · 31/03/2021 16:12

no one?

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picklemewalnuts · 31/03/2021 16:14

Bump. Thanks

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MarkRuffaloCrumble · 31/03/2021 16:19

Maybe try editing the title to ask for help specifically with bulimia. Anyone scrolling by might not notice it’s in the ED section and miss it as you’re asking for men to reply - you could get some help from other ED sufferers if you ask specifically about that - unless your questions can only be answered by men - In which case maybe a different forum would get you more replies.

Flowers

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picklemewalnuts · 31/03/2021 16:21

In case you arent familiar with MN, you can report your post and askmfor a title change. Dont use ED as people may think its something else.

I'd use Bulimia amd preferably male.

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IamAporcupine · 31/03/2021 17:37

Thank you picklemewalnuts and MarkRuffaloCrumble

Makes sense, I will change the title

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picklemewalnuts · 31/03/2021 20:07

Another bump Sad

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DayBath · 31/03/2021 20:12

You might get more luck posting this on Dadsnet if you only want male perspectives

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OrchidFlakes · 31/03/2021 20:22

Not male but battled bulimia for years. Do you know what for his bulimia takes - binging and purging food (vomiting), excessive exercise, laxative use? Does he have a trigger food/food group)
It really will be a case of unravelling each layer and eventually looking for different coping mechanisms for whatever is causing the stress/distress.
Bulimia is shrouded in shame (for the sufferer) which makes talking tricky. I had endless counselling which didn’t work at all for me and only served as a trigger to spiral more after each session. For me, intensive NLP worked but there are still foods I actively avoid to prevent being triggered. I had NLP 15 years ago and have lived a happier more balanced way with food since but to me it is akin to alcoholism, it’s always there, you’re never cured but you can live alongside food in a more ‘normal’ way.
I do have male friends who have been bulimic too so happy to help if I can.

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GoWalkabout · 31/03/2021 20:34

I've treated men with Bulimia?

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IamAporcupine · 31/03/2021 20:52

Thank you @picklemewalnuts for the bumps!


@OrchidFlakes - it is binging and purging and excessive exercise. Not sure if there is a trigger food. He says he was deeply depressed and the bulimia was his way out.
As you say, he was/is very ashamed and found it impossible to approach me all these years.

Can I ask you why counselling didn't work?

@GoWalkabout, thank you.

I am just very confused. I can understand that bulimia took over his life, and he was suffering but he treated me like shit for 10 years because of this.
Would you mind having a look at my other thread? It's the idea of him being manipulative that really scares/worries me

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/4205990-How-would-you-feel

thank you

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IamAporcupine · 31/03/2021 20:54

@OrchidFlakes - sorry you battled with this too. Flowers

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GoWalkabout · 31/03/2021 21:09

I remember your thread. I don't think depression or bulimia excuse or explain his actions - more often people with Bulimia mask their emotions or put others needs first in my experience. Perhaps the black dog of depression or his own black and white unrelenting standards also made him critical of you? But you didn't deserve that. I don't know what is happening for you now, but it's OK to not want to support him.

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IamAporcupine · 31/03/2021 21:17

Thanks so much @GoWalkabout, that helps.

I do want to support him, I just do not know if I want to continue the relationship.

He says he 'assumed' we would always be together and took me for granted. That the depression didn't let him see beyond his nose and he didn't realise how badly he was treating me?

I know he suffered. I need to understand whether he is also a bastard if that makes any sense?

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GoWalkabout · 31/03/2021 21:19

Could he have emotionally unstable personality disorder (self harm including bulimia, unstable sense of self, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, desperate attempts to avoid rejection)?

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GoWalkabout · 31/03/2021 21:20

Has he changed his behaviour at all? Do you trust that it will last?

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TheDaydreamBelievers · 31/03/2021 21:26

I have worked with adults with a range of MH difficulties including men with eating disorder.

The key thing I would say is unacceptable behaviour is still unacceptable behaviour, even if the person is affected by poor MH. Its okay if things have gone on too long for you and you want to leave. And it is his responsibility to improve his own MH, with or without being in a relationship with you (eg going to GP, getting a referral to adult MH services etc)

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IamAporcupine · 31/03/2021 22:28

@GoWalkabout, is emotionally unstable personality disorder same as BPD? I never thought about it, but I think he would know if it was (due to his profession)

He has changed his behaviour completely - he spends time with us, has changed his look (shaved and changed clothes), wants to talk, gets involved with parenting. A bit too much I would say.

Do I trust it will last? I am not sure. I really really hope it will last in regards to our son. And I think it will. But I am very concerned re. what would happen if I said that the relationship was not working for me.

At the moment I do not feel at ease with him, but I can't tell exactly why

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GoWalkabout · 01/04/2021 08:00

I think you are right to feel wary. If manipulative behaviour is his playbook then it is likely this is that. Are you scared he will hurt you or the children, or himself? Sad

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IamAporcupine · 01/04/2021 12:10

No, I don't think so - he has openly said he had expected to want to hurt himself, but he does not feel that way.
He will never hurt our son, that I know.
But I am still worried he might become more angry towards me. I did say this to him - that I was so used to his outbursts that I am somehow expecting them now too. He swears it will not happen agaian

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GoWalkabout · 01/04/2021 22:16

Do what feels right to you but I wonder if instead of walking on eggshells for years, it is worth 'finding out' what happens when you disagree with him, offer mild criticism or similar? It will help clarify whether your unease is founded. But I will repeat what pp have said, you don't need any reason to leave him.

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IamAporcupine · 02/04/2021 00:46

For years, I knew that small disagreements, even innocent comments might result in outbursts of anger. I just could not tell when it would happen.
It will be different now.
He knows that I will not tolerate any of those anymore and has also promised that they will never happen again (how is this possible?).

Thanks for your help
I am not sure what I will do. I am very confused and upset

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GoWalkabout · 02/04/2021 11:18

Take care, talk to someone irl if you have the chance. I think you need some space from him to feel clearer.

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IamAporcupine · 02/04/2021 12:54

I've started conselling. I agree I need some space but not sure how to do that in practical terms.

Anyway, thanks a lot for your help

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TheDaydreamBelievers · 02/04/2021 19:11

@IamAporcupine Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) is the new name for Borderline Personality Disorder.

My concern would be that your DH may struggle to maintain behaviour change, particularly if he has not sought any mental health support x

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IamAporcupine · 02/04/2021 20:08

@TheDaydreamBelievers, thanks I am worried about that too.
I mean the change is sooooo drastic that I am struggling to adjust myself, let alone him?!

He has talked to the GP to get checked physically, has accepted a referal to a psychiatrist and has looked for support groups, so that's good I suppose.

Still I am so so confused.

He comes over every 10 minutes to kiss me and say how sorry he is he didn't look after me properly, and I am like WTF

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