Understanding and Navigating Eating Disorders Together as a Couple

Cheerful Afro Couple Sharing News With Marital Therapist After Reconciliation

A strong relationship can have a significant positive impact during eating disorder treatment. Therefore, as you work toward recovery, it is important to evaluate the health of your relationships. There are many factors that can strengthen your relationship as a couple during ED treatment, including effective communication, education, and therapy.

The Importance of Communication in Eating Disorder Healing

Communication is a key aspect of navigating an eating disorder as a couple. First, it is important to communicate your needs within the relationship. The person suffering from the eating disorder may benefit from specific types of support that may not be intuitive for their significant other.

For example, the person in recovery may benefit from having their partner do the bulk of the cooking and grocery shopping for a while. Without communicating the why behind these requests, a person without an eating disorder may not understand the importance of completing these tasks.

Likewise, partners also feel the weight of their loved one’s eating disorder. While they may not understand what it’s like to live with a damaged relationship with food, they can see how much their loved one is struggling.

Plus, the side effects of malnutrition may lead to increased forgetfulness or irritability. Someone with an eating disorder may not be fully honest about their disordered behaviors, which can erode trust within the relationship. It is important for a partner to clearly express how their significant other’s behavior is impacting them.

For those struggling to believe they are sick enough for treatment, open and honest communication may be a key element in helping them understand the deep impact of their disorder on every part of their life.

The Vital Role of Eating Disorder Education

Eating disorder education can be helpful for both people within the relationship. Many loved ones find it beneficial to learn about the specific disorder and understand ways in which an eating disorder may distort someone’s view of reality. They may begin to understand how their partner’s behaviors are actually normal signs of the disorder they are battling.

It can be challenging to face the reality of how harmful and dangerous the eating disorder may be for you and your loved one. However, you have to understand the problem in order to work toward a solution. Once you understand the beast of the eating disorder, you can learn how to fight it together.

Eating Disorder Support for Couples

This is one reason why counseling can play a positive role in the recovery process. Couples counseling provides an opportunity for both parties to express how their partner’s behavior is impacting them in a supported environment.

They may also see how their behaviors are negatively impacting their partner and have the opportunity to talk through it together. Individual counseling is also recommended for both parties within the relationship to work toward healing.

While navigating an eating disorder, you and your partner can work toward improving communication, understanding, and love for each other. This will serve you both not only during the duration of treatment but for years to come.Magnolia Creek offers a family therapy program to help you learn to effectively communicate with your partner in a safe space. To learn more, contact us at 205-678-4373.


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