Emotional and disordered eating can lead to decreased intimacy... here's how to cope.
Often, a lack or decrease in intimacy is one of the hardest things for a significant other to deal with aside from watching their partner waste away. You don't have to stand for either.
Tips For Keeping Your Relationship Strong:
1. Say something. Even if you have to say it a thousand times and a hundred different ways, do not ignore the signs. Talking to your partner could show them how much you really care and open up a doorway to deeper love, as well as save their life.
2. Be supportive and non-judgmental Ignore the urge to badger them or force them to eat but find ways through professional support that you can be a positive part of their recovery. Remember each couple is different and every person with an eating disorder may have different emotional needs.
3. Express that you are able to wait on the sexual intimacy until some of the severe signs of depression are lifted and find other ways to express your passion for each other. Be patient.
4. Be honest with your partner about issues that you may have struggled with and needed to overcome.
5. Do not give up. Every person has some baggage that they bring to a relationship.
6. Don't just disappear. If you decide not to stay, tell them. Many people are afraid of mental illness, so at the first sign of something different than they are used to, they abandon ship. Try to stick it out, but if you cannot, be respectful enough to say you are leaving and why.
7. Be mindful of your eating habits as well. Many people have eating styles and habits that are not healthy; while your partner is recovering, it may be a helpful if you are both working on healthy eating together. A great mindset to have is to reframe comfort foods together.
For more in depth information on the statistics above or eating disorders in general you may want to visit the following websites: www.anand.org, www.bulimiaguide.org, www.nedic.ca. In addition, seek professional help. This is something that you cannot and should not try to handle on your own. A love affair with thinness could lead to death, you or the one you love deserve to live! Seeking treatment and being supportive of one another can make your love stronger than ever.