Dealing with an eating disorder is not easy on your own. Involving your partner can give you the added support you need. First, however, it’s essential to talk with them honestly and openly about it. Simply admitting to your partner that you have an eating disorder can be the biggest hurdle you have to get over. You wonder how they will react, the questions they may have, and whether or not they will support you with what you need. The same feelings you felt when first admitting to yourself that you had a problem can surface when telling your partner for the first time.
Learning how to tell your partner about your eating disorder will help you be more open and honest in your relationship overall. At an eating disorder treatment center like Crossroads, you can get the tools and support you need to talk to your partner about your eating disorder confidently. For support, please contact our team today at 877.978.1667.
Communicate With Your Partner
To tell your partner about your eating disorder, you should prepare for every possible reaction. You know best whether or not you think they’ll be supportive, so choose what you’ll say accordingly. Pick a good time to tell them, and be honest about what you need from them to support you in your recovery.
It may help if you write down what you want to say to your partner. Putting it on paper or even typing it into a note on your phone can help you organize your thoughts ahead of time. Then, if the stress of it all gets to you and you can’t go through with talking with your partner in person, consider putting those notes together and writing them a letter. You could also ask a close friend or family member, or even your therapist, for help in telling your partner.
The different reactions your partner could include:
- General sadness
It’s best to be prepared for a variety of emotions after you tell them. They could react one way more immediately and then another way once they’ve had time to process the information. Whatever the outcome, after the conversation occurs, consider a relaxing activity to alleviate the stress of having that conversation.
Educate Your Partner
While communication is the key, teaching your partner about your eating disorder can help them better understand what you are going through. So, once you’ve had the conversation and know about your eating disorder, it’s time to help them understand how and why.
- Tell your partner about your triggers. Someone spending a lot of time with you needs to know what will make you react negatively. This could be anything from discussing food or weight topics to social settings that make you uncomfortable or even foods you can’t keep at home.
- Provide your partner with information about your specific eating disorder. They may not know that there are different kinds of eating disorders or mental health disorders.
- Outline what treatment looks like. Don’t leave this part out of the conversation. They must know where you are in the process. Tell them if you’ve been to rehab, if you take medication, or if you are currently seeing a therapist. If, for some reason, you haven’t gotten treatment yet, then now’s the time to tell them what your plans are and get their support.
Learn More at Crossroads
Crossroads has been a leader in treating addiction and behavioral health since opening its doors in 1974. Eating disorders are complex conditions, and there is not one single cause or solution. This can make it explicitly challenging for women and their families to find effective ways of managing these issues and begin a healthy path to recovery. Involving your loved ones is an integral part of a fully integrated treatment program, primarily if a co-occurring disorder is being addressed. Call us at 877.978.1667. Our caring team is standing by to help.