My husband has an eating disorder and it’s ruining our relationship

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  • Sophie
    October 15, 2022 at 2:44 am #1116509

    I’m in complete and utter despair about my husband and his eating disorder. We’ve been together for 7 years, and married for 3 months. He’s just been diagnosed as pre-diabetic and is severely overweight with no sign of changing his habits. I’ve come to realise it’s a compulsion and he’s addicted to sugar. He secretly eats cookie dough, brownies, chocolate bars, anything sugary and sweet. I’ve stopped buying anything sugar/processed to stop him eating it, but then will find wrappers and takeaway cartons buried in the bin that he’s bought himself or ordered in. He even eats sugar out of the sugar bowl, so soon I’ll have to stop keeping that in the house too!! I have tried every way I can to beg him to change his habits and lifestyle – I’ve cried and begged him, I’ve talked to his family and tried an intervention, I’ve gotten angry, I’ve started dieting and changing my eating habits to lead by example, but nothing seems to work. It’s devastating me – he’s gained 5 stone since we’ve been together and I’m ashamed to say there is now zero physical attraction there for me at the moment. We haven’t been physical in months. Even on our honeymoon we had sex only once and it felt like something we should do, not that either of us wanted to do. He constantly talked about getting fit and losing weight to anyone who’d listen while we were on honeymoon, so I was hopeful when we got home things would change. They haven’t, in fact I think they’ve gotten worse. He’s in complete denial about what he’s eating and the impact it’s having on his health, our relationship, our future..
    Also, it’s a vicious cycle because he doesn’t sleep well (he’s developed sleep apnoea) so feels tired constantly so reaches for the sugar. He smokes too and is just generally so unhealthy. In my darkest moments I can’t help think he’s in self destruct mode and is killing himself on purpose.
    I don’t know what more I can do, but I can’t stand by and watch him do this to himself. Can anyone help me see a way through this?

    October 15, 2022 at 6:40 am #1116510

    I just wrote a long response but the page refreshed. I think the only thing you can do is ask him to see an eating disorder counselor and dietitian. Disordered eating can be treated but I think you have to get to the underlying issues for there to be progress. And he has to want to change. You could set a deadline in your head, like, I need to see progress in 6 months or I’m moving on.

    I’m super curious what was going on for the 7 years before you married.

    October 15, 2022 at 6:43 am #1116511

    I also tried to describe to you the dynamic with my 50-y/o brother and my parents. Basically, you do not want any part of that dynamic. Just being around it my whole life has been traumatic. You’re in the early stages of that right now.

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    October 15, 2022 at 11:54 am #1116512

    I’m curious why you married a man you’re not attracted to and don’t want to have sex with.

    You can’t make someone change, nor is it your responsibility to do so. He needs to want to change AND be willing to put in the work. You can’t do that work for him.

    Therapy for yourself would be a good idea.

    October 15, 2022 at 1:53 pm #1116513

    It’s time to MOA. You’ve demonstrated that you can’t change him, because he doesn’t want to change. It’s obvious that you can’t accept him as he is and that he’s been this way during your whole relationship. Begging, crying, trying to enlist his family in an intervention, no sex… that isn’t much of a marriage. Your presence isn’t helping him and it seems to be tearing you apart.

    October 15, 2022 at 2:51 pm #1116514

    I agree with Ron.

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    October 17, 2022 at 10:22 am #1116533

    I am also curious why you married him when these issues seem to have started well before. Is it because you felt like you’d already sunk a lot of time in?

    Anyway, sounds like he may have binge eating disorder. And yes, there is almost surely an underlying mental health component there and would need to work with a professional because odds are high it’s not about willpower. And yes, he’ll have to want to do that, which I’m unsure he’d want to do if he already has health issues like pre-diabetes that he’s allowing to go unchecked.

    Kinda different but my sister is overweight, she has PCOS, and my mom is pretty bad with the nagging about her diet/weight. Behavior like that — in this case the crying/begging and interventions — are usually not super helpful.

    October 17, 2022 at 11:17 am #1116534

    Were you in complete and utter despair three months ago, when you both said “I do.”? It’s so intriguing why you got married, if you’ve been so unhappy. You (probably?) agreed to love him in sickness and health and now, just three short months later, you are done.

    Therapy. And be nice when you break it to him.

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My husband has an eating disorder and it’s ruining our relationship

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