What Marriage With A Recovering Eating Disorder Patient Looks Like
Is your spouse on his or her way of healing from an eating disorder?
Finding the strength to say no to yourself whenever you want to overeat or abstain from eating for days is never easy. For your better half to be in the recovery mode, therefore, it must mean that you both had a life-changing experience for your better half to decide like that. So, congratulations are in order.
Most people who have never had an eating disorder and those who have recovered feel deep compassion for the sufferer. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS
Regardless of that, it is best not to let your guard down until months or years after your significant other makes that decision. Any eating disorder is like an addiction that can quickly come back if you do not avoid its trigger factors.
In case you cannot gauge what marriage looks like now with someone who is recovering from anorexia, bulimia, and other conditions, let us offer you a vivid description of that.
You Need To Check Their Feelings Regularly
Considering you used to ask your spouse how he or she was feeling every morning when the disorder was still active, you should continue doing that even during the healing period. It is normal for doubts to enter their mind at some point, especially if the recovery takes longer than expected. As their ultimate caregiver, however, you have to ensure that your man or woman will not let conflicting emotions get the better of them once again.
It is not common for the intervention of a higher level of care for eating disorder clients to be a tricky one, demanding both grace and firmness to support the scared client with making an accountable choice. — Dawn Delgado LMFT, CEDS-S
Invitations To Gatherings Do not Get An Immediate Yes
Eating disorder patients are prone to bailing out of social events without prior notice or contemplating for too long about going to the occasion. If your recovering significant other still does that, it may imply that he or she requires more time to feel okay with being around people or food in general. Hence, you should ask where their response is coming from instead of getting upset whenever your spouse declines a social invitation.
You Cannot Expect Old Habits To Die Fast
The fact that your better half is on his or her journey to recovery does not entail that he or she is capable of thwarting past habits now. Your partner is still working hard to cut their ties to the eating disorder; that is why you might see their old self-seeking
through sometimes. Despite that, it is vital for you to keep your expectations in check to prevent pressuring your loved one.
Emotional avoidance, is described as actions that are intended to prevent an emotional response from occurring, such as fear, anger or sadness. — Jennifer Rollin MSW, LCSW-C
Stressful Situations May Still Trigger The Disorder
Many things can occur if the recovering eating disorder patient faces stress on a daily basis, but the return of the disease is on top of the list. In case the problems do not get resolved immediately, your spouse may consider going back to binge-eating as a quick fix to the stress.
Will that be beneficial for your marriage? No. For that reason, you should make it your task to free your better half from stressors as often as possible. Divide the household chores equally, for instance, or cover some of their activities without being asked to do so. If you have kids, make sure that you are fulfilling your parenting duties well. In other words, do everything to make life easier for your partner until he or she can handle stress on their own.
To Sum Things Up
It is too early to claim that your marriage will not meet roadblocks on your spouse’s way to recovery. There are plenty of temptations and situations that may cause their eating disorder to return any moment, and that might bring forth arguments between you two later. However, if your support never wavers, it may help your better half to stay on the right path.