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Have You Told Your Partner About Your Binge Eating?

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Old 01-27-2014, 03:55 PM   #1
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Default Have You Told Your Partner About Your Binge Eating?

I suffer from binge eating. I also am very very skilled at hiding it, or at least I think so. My binge eating has been totally out of control for almost a year now. I had previously done really really well.

My question is this, do any of you share info or tell a partner about your binge eating? For me my binge eating is a dirty secret and its also all mine-something that I have worked to hide from my husband especially. While I have hinted around to my husband for the past several months about "eating more" or at times not being able to stop eating, I have not been able to totally describe my binge eating to him. I remember one comment I made to him about how I felt out of control lately, have gained a few pounds, but that I just couldn't stop myself from eating, felt out of control. My husband responded, I'm sure you will stop when you want to, you have a lot of willpower..and if you don't' stop, you don't' stop. I tried to keep in my mind the fact that my husband has only known me to have success in "dieting". I was 250 when we began dating and married, several years later I was 150 lbs. But, I've been gaining again.

You can only hide binge eating for so long, you can't explain away 20-30 pounds or hide it very easily. I have brought up eating disorders before, and mentioned binge eating but his comment was that people just need to have self control and that is all there is to it about losing weight. He never said things like this to me when I was very over weight. He again will go on and on about how I have great self control and have lost the weight before, I'll do it again.

Well, last week at an emotional low I found myself again thinking of talking to my husband. I've never flat out told him I have an eating disorder. He never sees me binge, never sees the food I eat or hide, and I know that even though I have tried to explain to him what it is I suffer from, he still doens't get binge eating. While I don't know 100%, it just seems from our past conversations he views binge eating as eating a bag of chips instead of a few, or something that can be stopped. I know he loves me, but I wonder at times if he would really truly get what I am going thru. I had a moment last week after days of binging where I asked myself just what am I hiding? I mean my husband would be blind not to notice the weight I have put back on, and while he doesn't see me eat "what I shouldn't'" he would have to know I'm eating right? I had almost convinced myself to be brave enough to tell my husband I suffer from binge eating and that I have been trying to control it for over a year. I even thought for a moment that it might be nice to share the info, get the weight off my shoulders and not hide it anymore..I had this thought for over an hour..then when I saw him that self doubt, disgust, and other issues popped up and I said to myself I just couldn't share this information. That he would be repulsed, or just again not truly understand the scope of the disorder, and I'd have opened myself up and shared my deepest darkest secret only to be embarrassed and not understood.

Do you tell? Have anyone of you shared your binge eating with your significant other? If so what was your experience? I want to tell him in a since because its a huge secret, but I am embarrassed and the thought of judgement or appearing weak or "suffering from a fake illness" just scares me. I am also considering speaking to my husband because I am contemplating seeing a therapist again for the binge eating. I have suffered from binge eating for 25 years+. Its the one thing I hang onto and I really can't completely sort out all the reasons it started and all the reasons I haven't been able to stop-what I get out of it, even though it makes me suffer. Its a relationship that punishes me, takes from me, doesn't give me anything or so it seems. So, why can't I break it? Ive seen drs, therapy, support groups, been on meds, in the past, nothing sends it away completely.
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:04 PM   #2
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I definitely think you should tell your husband. The longer you keep it a secret the more shame you feel, and it's something that hopefully he will support and help you with.

A lot of the time we pre-judge what others' reactions will be based on past incidents. I know this isn't the same problem you have, but I was always afraid of telling my bf about a huge problem I have, after 7 years on psychotropic meds, I lost a lot of my cognitive abilities, mainly my short-term memory among others. We watch lots of movies, and he kept saying things like "oh that's (so and so actor), remember him in (so and so movie)?" I'd struggle so badly and he'd say things like "we just watched it yesterday!" assuming I was bored with his choices of movies...finally one day I just told him, and he's been so understanding. I was so embarrassed, but it's something I have to live with so I wanted him to know so he could support and help me.
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:33 PM   #3
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thank you. I often just wonder if he will understand after some of the things he has mentioned about people just needing self control to handle their weight. I don't doubt that he loves me totally and is wonderful to me, but its so scary to think of telling him. I mean once I do, I can't take it back. If that makes sense? He is never hurtful or mean, and I am sure he will listen but I am sure its the judgment or letting him down etc. that is running thru my head.
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:49 PM   #4
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The most important thing you mentioned is that you want to get therapy again. The therapist can help you find a way to talk to your husband, and support you when you do.

The therapist may help you formulate replies to your husband if he does not understand binge eating.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:02 PM   #5
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I don't hide it. I mean, I don't binge to his face but he knows I do it. I share... many times over-share!!! I can't binge without sharing that I did out of guilt.

And... he binges too. And he DOES hide it. And it is so painfully obvious to me he is doing it, he just looks so much bigger and rounder. And I am at a loss on how to help, because he doesn't confide in me. I have to respect that he will ask for help when he is ready. Not that I can actually help or I would have helped myself already. But having someone to talk to makes everything better in my opinion.

Anyway the point is that this is not something we can hide. What we eat in private, we wear in public. This is so true! Anyway he probably knows and is respecting your decision not to share. That alone shows he cares. I would tell him. I think you will find him supportive.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:21 PM   #6
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I have been with my BF for 6 years. I'm sure he knows that I binge... but I don't think he understands. It just isn't a topic I feel the need to discuss with him, that's what I have you guys for! And Yeah, I hide it, not very well. (ie. He can totally see the backseat full of fast food bags...) In the past when I have brought up the subject of food, as a problem that I struggle with, I can see that he wants to be sympathetic and helpful, but he doesn't get that it's not something you can just turn off... He is as supportive as he can be regardless and I love him for it! There are some things that we don't talk about. Apple vs. Android, my lack of money saving skills, and my issues with food. I think we're just fine for knowing what topics we don't need to discuss
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:03 PM   #7
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Thank you for the replies everyone. It helps sharing with people that do know what you are going thru.

Quote:
And it is so painfully obvious to me he is doing it, he just looks so much bigger and rounder.
This is what I am facing. I mean my husband never sees me eat anything but a normal meal, and nothing that is sugar or flour. Yet, how would you explain extra pounds? Yes, I'm not getting out and exercising like I used to, but even that wouldn't explain it if it was me noticing it. On the other hand, my husband has such a short attention span (he says so himself, adhd and add) that a lot of things he doesn't notice. No one, no one at work, in our home, or my husband, notice any changes at all in my appearance.

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Apple vs. Android, my lack of money saving skills, and my issues with food. I think we're just fine for knowing what topics we don't need to discuss
When I look back at everything I do share with my husband, and what I don't, it ONLY EVER involves my weight or my eating. I Never once told my husband that i had even wanted to lose weight before I did, I never mentioned the word diet, and never told him how much I weighed. Of course, he eventually did notice as the weight came off, but I was too embarrassed to actually tell him I was "dieting". I have tried to explain in the past about binge eating, I've used the term, but he didn't get it so it seems. I have never shared with him the amounts of food I've eaten, in fact I hide the evidence all the time. I push things to the bottom of the trash, tell him I took things to work or the kids ate them, or eat in my car and throw it away before I come home. I leave no evidence and I have lied to him, which makes me feel bad.

Quote:
I think you will find him supportive.
I know if my husband could actually understand it, he would be supportive. He is always behind me in all that I do, encouraging and being supportive. But, just the idea of trying to get him to understand that I'm not talking about occasionally over eating. I am sure that this is where a therapist would come in. I have thought about trying to speak with my personal physician about binge eating and how severe it is but even with professional people they don't always get it. I could try, and have thought about it twice.

Quote:
after 7 years on psychotropic meds
I can understand how you are feeling about keeping some things. I have been on some medications for depression and anxiety, not told him, and I have been put on ADD meds myself and never told him. I still take those meds but I haven't told him and often just dont think he'd understand. I don't feel my husband would judge me, but he is one that feels everything is just a matter of self control-yet he has had and still has his own vices lol.

So, just as confused and unsure as I was. Perhaps, I will get strong enough to bring it up again and somehow get thru to my husband the seriousness of binge eating disorder I have.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:32 PM   #8
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You're hiding being on meds? I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but shouldn't you share such a big thing with your life partner? I didn't mean any accusation, but no wonder you hide the binging, you're hiding such huge parts of yourself...I feel so bad for you, it seems you're hiding out of fear of him judging you or ridiculing you? In this case, I do agree that therapy is a good idea for you. Even on good days, I couldn't hide my depression from anyone. I would never want to be with my bf if he didn't understand my issues, I'm the same with him. He as ADD and had a sorted upbringing like me, and I'm fully there for him too. I hope that you can find a way to talk to your husband, not to hide things...because I found out the hard way for so many years, when you hide such things, they find ways to come out...causing even more physical and emotional damage. Hugs.

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Old 01-28-2014, 09:32 PM   #9
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I am so sorry you are struggling with this, one can hear the depth of your angst

I can not say that binge eating is a big problem for me, for some relevance to your situation; but I do know the horrible feeling of not knowing if one is going to get support or condemnation from sharing something deep. I agree with Valkyrie1, that a therapist is trained to help you...a husband can be supportive and understand but NOT be trained or educated to speak to you in a helpful way.

I can add that something that seems so very obvious to us. might be totally invisible to our partner. It's so crazy how differently we are hard-wired.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:56 AM   #10
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I agree with Chardonnay that you can't hide such a big part of yourself from you husband. He is supposed to be your partner in this life and help you with anything that is an issue for you... and vice versa of course. If he loved you enough to marry you then he should love you enough to support you through seeking help.
If it were me, I would talk to him and tell him what's going on. Find a health website to show him what you're talking about if you don't think you can explain it. Take him with you to see the therapist to help explain if he still doesn't get it. It might be scary for you both, but you can't add the stress of this secret to your other stressors in your life that contribute to your eating, right?
And finally.... this man vowed to love you honor you and cherish you FOREVER. If he loves you he will love you no matter what; and if he doesn't then he really didn't to begin with. Just me thinking.

That's my 2cents.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:15 AM   #11
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He knows, he has seen me do it. My binge food is candy and he has come home with a month's worth (not smart) to "keep in the house" and watched me plough through it in 2 days. I think he's always thought it was funny since I've never been too overweight so he just says I'm a candy fiend. I don't think he realizes I can't control it. Recently its been bad because I do all of our grocery shopping and buy candy to eat in the car on the way home and put some in my purse so he doesn't see it when he helps me unpack the groceries. Its bad.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ash15+ View Post
He knows, he has seen me do it. My binge food is candy and he has come home with a month's worth (not smart) to "keep in the house" and watched me plough through it in 2 days. I think he's always thought it was funny since I've never been too overweight so he just says I'm a candy fiend. I don't think he realizes I can't control it. Recently its been bad because I do all of our grocery shopping and buy candy to eat in the car on the way home and put some in my purse so he doesn't see it when he helps me unpack the groceries. Its bad.
This was me almost exactly. My husband thought it was funny when I would binge because I was never (until recently) too overweight - probably due to having been an athlete until a few years ago. But, then I had three babies in 4 years and I suddenly starting seeing the effects of the eating. I also didn't even realize my behavior was binging until I started looking into it and realized that it was a disorder.

My husband is now supportive of my commitment to not binge. In the past, he would buy me certain foods if my time of the month was coming. I've explained everything to him and he now asks how he can help reduce the stress level with something other than food.

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Old 01-30-2014, 09:05 AM   #13
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I don't think you have a problem sharing with your husband. It sound like you have shared and that you want to share. The problem is that your husband does not see the magnitude of your situation. If he brings up words like "self control" and "willpower" he's not really addressing what you're saying, he's pointing out what he thinks are character flaws. Those of us who are binge eaters know that we can have iron willpower and not be able to fight our COMPULSION to binge.

The secretive aspect of binging is one that has plagued me as well. Stopping at a drive thru before I headed home to eat dinner... yea that's me. And of course I stop by an empty parking lot or a gas station to dispose of the evidence. I've gone as far as to hide food in my purse, in my closets, under the bed etc.

In order for you to talk to your husband you will need to feel a sense that he understands. And you don't, that's why this is so hard. I've had the same conversations with my hubby. After seeing a therapist and finding out how to explain it he didn't understand either. Because my husband is normal, healthy, mindful eater, doesn't think about food when he's not hungry, doesn't eat more than he should, all the things I want to be when I get past my disordered eating. But he now understands that it's an eating disorder, he may not "get it" but he knows that I am a strong person and that my disordered eating does not mean that I am a weak willed person. How can I be weak? I have a master's degree, started my own business, and am a mommy to a boisterous young toddler. Weak people can't do those things, weak people can't get good grades, weak people can't accomplish all their goals.

I don't know what we hope to gain by sharing with our loved ones, especially when they don't see this as a disease. I've shared, but I don't overshare. This is my issue, it stays between me and my therapist and I don't feel like there's anything to gain by sharing the entire process with hubby. I don't feel like I need that in order to get better. But that's because he's supportive. He may not get it, but he supports me and doesn't use words like "self control" or "willpower" which are soo sooooo hurtful.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:05 PM   #14
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My girlfriend knows the things that I struggle with, just not the magnitude of the issue. I've mentioned them before but I downplay just how much of my life has been spent fighting these problems. I honestly just don't want to burden her with what to me is a daily struggle. There's not too much she can do other than offer love and support which she does anyway. /shrug
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
I don't think you have a problem sharing with your husband. It sound like you have shared and that you want to share. The problem is that your husband does not see the magnitude of your situation. If he brings up words like "self control" and "willpower" he's not really addressing what you're saying, he's pointing out what he thinks are character flaws. Those of us who are binge eaters know that we can have iron willpower and not be able to fight our COMPULSION to binge.
You get it!!! I have tried explaining many times in the past and I have used the words BINGE, out of control. I used to try to explain it and tell him I "binge eat" and he'd say well just watch what you eat or eat less or "you will stop if you want and if you don't well you don't" I couldn't get him to totally grasp or open his eyes as to what it was, and what I needed. When I was at my heaviest and losing weight he told me if I wanted his support he'd give it. However, support is basically always, well you have willpower, your the strongest person I know, you can do this I have faith in you. I tried talking to him about binging over vacation and told him I had gained about 15 lbs and needed to stop, how I just can't seem to..he didn't get it. He has no concept of what it really is and I've tried to say no its not just "over eating once in a while".
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