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Old 02-19-2011, 12:39 PM   #1  
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Exclamation My life is **** right now...please help.

<sigh> Where to begin. This will be long and probably sporadic. I'd understand if you wanted to skip over it, but I really hope somebody can give me some help.

First some background. My mother is a severe alcoholic. I grew up watching addiction. Feeling the hope on the good days, celebrating the little progressions, and then the disappointment, anger, fear on the relapses. On one hand I just wanted her to be normal and to put the drink down, but I grew up watching her *struggle* with it. Maybe I just have a deeper understanding of the mental/emotional struggle with a disorder than other people because I watched her WANT to put the drink down but not be able to. Also, because of her drinking, I was alone most of my childhood and learned to use food as comfort, something to do, "company," and also as something I could control.

Well throughout my childhood and very early adult years (I'm 22), I turned out quite well considering my upbringing. I went to an elite prep school back East, got a full ride scholarship and just graduated college near the top of my class. Never got in trouble, never hung out with the wrong crowd. I was always chubby, but even still, my eating wasn't all that disordered. I ate too much fast food, could definitely eat more than my fair share of junk food, didn't exercise enough. I even had a few days when I turned to a tub of ice cream because I was just upset. That's not healthy behavior, but it wasn't anything that deviated way outside the boundaries of normal. I wasn't a serious overeater or anything. I wanted to lose weight, but I just wasn't psychotic about it.

I met my now-husband two years ago. We fell in love fast and were talking about a future together early on. About six months after we met, he went to Iraq. I decided to use that year to get healthy. And get healthy I did. My healthy decisions snowballed quickly. It started out as just cutting back and playing on Wii Fit. But as I was motivated by real results on the scale, my plan got more specific. I truly did lose weight in a healthy smart way. I was not obsessed with counting calories, rather, I enjoyed putting together menus that were healthy and tasty. A treat now and then didn't derail me, in fact, I planned them. The whole thing was a fun healthy hobby for me, and I was loving myself more and more. I was proud of my results, how I looked, how great I felt. I told my then-fiance, who was still in Iraq, and he was proud of me and assured me that I was beautiful no matter what. I was happier than I ever had been before.

Then he came home. And PLEASE, I am NOT saying that I became unhappy because he came home. But it began a domino effect, of sorts, that have brought me to where I am today. He came home from a year in Iraq and moved in with me. I was thrilled to have him home, but there was that awkward period where we had to get to know each other all over again. Suddenly I wasn't an eating buddy who could drink beers and eat pizza every night. He wanted me to "eat normal." He wanted me to cook his favorite foods like cheesy enchiladas, meatloaf, etc. I wanted to do this for him too, since heck, I love him and he just spent a year at war. So I would make him his greasy cheesy delicious foods, and I would eat my "on plan" meals. This didn't bother me one bit, I cooked it, cleaned up after it, and didn't mind any of it. He wanted us to eat *together* as in eat the same things. I can understand this, I really can, but I needed him to understand that it was hard for me. I tried for a couple days to eat light during the day, eat a small portion of the greasy unhealthy food and a big salad, but I was just hungry and unsatisfied. So ever since, we'd been trying to find a balance between Megan-food and Sean-food and who eats what, etc.

Well on top of that stress, I graduated college three months after he got home. Then three days later we got married. Then two weeks later we moved to a new state. I had a new routine, was in a new place, didn't know anybody, so that was stressful. Most of the stress was from positive things, but stressful nonetheless. I was thrilled to be married, to graduate, even moving has been exciting. I am not unhappy with those changes, but they've thrown my "on plan" eating out of whack. I binged. It started out as just one bad day. Then we'd have friends over and I'd have another bad day. My dreadful all or nothing mentality makes me think "Ugh, I'm going to have a bad dinner tonight, might as well just screw it for the day" so I binge. I had about three weeks of just bad eating. A few days thrown in. I was up 6 pounds and mad at myself...that was NOT me. So I told my husband. I told him what I'd been doing, and I was ashamed, but also relieved to tell somebody. I told him I'd been sneaking food and eating it in private. I told him this needed to quit. I also explained to him where a lot of my food problems stemmed from. Using it as a coping mechanism as a child, then having self esteem issues, etc. I told him that I soooo desperately needed him to show me that he loves me and that he thinks I'm beautiful no matter if I'm up 6 lbs and that we can get over this little bump together.

Well, again my all or nothing mentality. I felt like I'd had three weeks of bad eating, I was up on the scale, I needed to remedy the situation. I needed to grasp some control back. I needed to restrict for a few days for damage control. So restrict I did. I have eaten 600 calories for about the last week. Nothing healthy. Big bowls of popcorn because it makes me feel full. I knew it was wrong, unhealthy, completely against my beloved plan. I knew it was stupid while I was doing it. But I craved that control feeling. To be in control again, back on the horse, telling myself "no" to food I wanted to eat. I wanted that again. I am not justifying it, but those were the thoughts in my head.

Well last night my husband and I went to dinner with some friends. I had bad heartburn to the point where I got fainty...that cold sweat, shaky, dizzy headrush feeling. I stood up, and my husband came with me while I got some air. I told him flat out...I'm hurting myself, I know it's dumb, I need your help to get back on the right track. I started feeling better, went back and sat down for dinner. Perhaps since we were with friends, he showed loving behavior. Squeezed my hand and smiled at me. I ate most of my large place of grilled tuna and sauted veggies and even a piece of bread with some butter on it. I am not afraid to put food in my mouth. It was a healthy meal, I enjoyed it, and I was looking forward to having the support of my husband while I planned good healthy balanced meals when I got home. Starving myself is NOT something I do. It was a bad week, it was dumb, I don't want to do that nonsense. I like being a healthy vibrant person that eats good nourishing food.

Welllll...we got home, went to bed, and I was eager to talk about it in the morning. I wanted to tell him my healthy plans. But then all fit hit the shan. He told me our entire marriage has been a lie. If he had known I was a binge eater and anorexic before, he wouldn't have married me. He said it wouldn't be a divorce, it would just be an anullment. I tried to tell him that I understood his anger and frustration, and that I was angry and frustrated at myself for this stupid week, but I was getting on back on track. I begged him to have some compassion, not just anger. He said he couldn't, how could he have compassion for a problem that was in my control to fix. (This is where I think that I might just have a better understanding of disordered thinking. He doesn't understand how difficult it is for me to just "eat normal"). What I absolutely desperately need most from him is a hug. An "I love you, and I support you." I can understand his anger, but I need some overlap with love. At first he said he was hard on me with anger because he loved me. Not five minutes later he said he doesn't love me right now. He said he wasn't attracted to me.

He walked off, and I'm not sure where he went or if he'll come back. I'm heartbroken, ashamed that our marriage is in such shambles after two months, disgusted with myself that I could let 6lbs make such a catastrophe of my life. I'm not sure if I should pack up my things and leave. I'm feeling desperate and terribly...horribly alone and abandoned. I still need that hug. The "I love you." From somebody, anybody, at this point. But I'm too ashamed to call my friends or family. I also feel numb, I'm not letting myself feel the depth of all the emotions quite yet...I'm still in survival mode to figure out my next move and then I'll let all the sad and hurt and fear in.

But you better believe I'll be eating my tunafish sandwich on wheat bread with an apple and some cheese slices for lunch. 340 calories, as planned.

Please help
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:48 PM   #2  
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Oh dear. Not sure if anything I say will be helpful but I'll try. I've been with the same man for 37 years. I was thin for the first 20 and then got heavy. I am trying to get back to a normal weight. The one thing I know for sure is that most men do not want to hear about diets. I think we expect them to be like a best girlfriend and listen to every detail. They are not interested for the most part. Now that he's back from Iraq I'm sure he just wants a "carefree" life, and there you are, "causing problems". I of course get what you are doing, of course you want to be healthy and eat right. I have noticed that my husband doesn't pay the slightest bit of attention to what I'm eating while he is eating. Can you just continue to make the dinners for him but do whatever it takes to keep yourself on track? He might be having some PTSD as well. Try and be patient and see how things play out, I wouldn't just give up on him over something like this. Best of luck, I hope everything works out for the best for you.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:49 PM   #3  
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wow, im so sorry you're going through that. i don't know what to say except keep strong and focused. your husband should be supporting you, unfortunatly he isn't. i just recently went through a bad break up, some one told me i 'need to be responsible for my own emotional wellbeing'. im not saying your husband and you should seperate, you only just had this argument and hopefully it was just a kneejerk reaction to your revelation on his part and he will come around. just keep your plan in mind, you cant force him to be supportive, but you can support yourself. and you've always got us here
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:51 PM   #4  
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OMG!! I wish I had some word of wisdom, or some laughter for you. I wish I had SOMETHING I could give. I don't really have any advice even, I just wanted to say "someone cares".....

I don't know what I can say to make things better, or even make them seem better. I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone, and that people here care, and want to help.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:54 PM   #5  
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Oh, Megan. My heart is breaking for you. I wish so much I could reach through this computer and give you a great big hug. You do not deserve the over-the-top reaction you got from him. I really think he is way out of line. He really ought to know that binging and anorexic behavior is certainly NOT within your control. Does he really think any woman would do it if she had control over it?

This just makes my heart sick. I'm a little speechless right now, but will be revisiting.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:56 PM   #6  
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Here's a

This sounds like a situation where you 2 need to be better able to communicate clearly to each other once everything calms down. Sometimes just taking a step back and having a chance to think and breathe is useful to both of you. So hopefully you can do that first.

Then, I would advise you to seek professional counseling for the 2 of you next! And perhaps as part of that to have both of you talk to someone who can explain some of the eating issues to him.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:00 PM   #7  
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MKendrick Find a counselor or therapist and start right now with someone who can help you get to a good place. Dieting is the least of your "problems". I have been in the same place that you have and it is a long road back to "sanity" but you can find it. You are very young and believe me life can be so much better than what you think.

Until then, keep reaching out to friends, ideally, someone who can be there with you physically. Do not turn down help. If you reach out, that is the healthiest thing you can do right now.

God bless, and you are in my prayers.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:07 PM   #8  
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Perhaps you need to get some conseling for eating disorders and get your head around the problem and find the solution. It sounds like this is something you can't fix on your own.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:09 PM   #9  
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I want to first give you a virtual hug. Like everyone else, I wish I could say something to make this all better. First off, know that the only thing you can change is something that you have the power to change. You are not going to be able to control your husband or his choices. So the first step you are choosing to make - controlling what you eat is a huge one. It sounds like food is almost symbolic for you - when you get out of control there, you get out of control in the rest of your life. So taking back the power to start eating right, that's so important. A few days into this and your body will stabilize from what you just put it through and once you are feeling better you should be able to make some good decisions.

I am not making excuses for your husband. He just spent a year at war. He also just spent a year in what is primarily a "good ole boys" mentality. Of course he is looking for the instant gratification of just hanging out with a "buddy" drinking and eating pizza. But he is a grown man and is now a husband and the time for acting like an 18 year old frat boy is over.

Let everything cool down. It sounds like the 2 of you need some couples counseling. If he chooses not to go, that's something that is beyond your control. And if he chooses to end the marriage, again, all you can do is what YOU can do.

You have some eating issues. That does not mean that you are defective in any way. You deserve someone who can and will do their best to understand these issues and work with you and for you. Not someone that punishes you. If this is not him, then there is someone out there who will.

I hope everything works out for you!
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:09 PM   #10  
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It sounds like a really bizarre reaction to me, and would have to wonder if it is more about problems he is having? Maybe the way you are confronting and being so honest about things you struggled with is making him shy away from doing the same.

I really hope you can work things out, perhaps even talking to your doctor or a counselor about the issues you have experienced with food with him there may allow him to see it differently.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:16 PM   #11  
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I'm so sorry. I don't really have any advice to give, but I wanted to give you a

I know exactly what you felt, when you lost control and then just needed that feeling of taking things back into your own hands by eating so little. That has happened to me, even though like you my plan has always been about definitely NOT starving myself. But one day of eating so little leads to feeling like you have to eat less again, and again. It turns into a cycle of hunger, loss of control, and panic. People who do not have this type of problem with food can't understand the utter terror it creates while you're in the middle of it and how difficult it is to get into a different mindset.

I can't begin to imagine how incredibly devastating it was to have your husband, the person who is supposed to be your loving support for better or for worse no matter what, say those things to you. All I can think is he must be scared and overwhelmed by something that is so foreign to him. Could you try to talk to him again once he has settled down, and suggest marriage counseling? Getting a professional and neutral third party to help you guys work through this and open up the lines of communication might be what is needed for him.

I hope things get better.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:16 PM   #12  
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It sounds like you are goingt hrough a time of change and turmoil. I think you need to go to your doctor and share a bit of how you are feeling. When I was going through a very hard time a little pill called Xanex saved me! Not to be a drug pusher- but really we all need a little help every now and then.

Now- I am supposing your husband was disappointed in your ACTIONS and not in your BODY. I hope you understand that. Men are usually a lot more low key and don't like all the drama that us women like to give... sounds like he doesn't want to have to deal with a problem like anorexia/bulimia. Let things cool down and circle back.

You can make it work with your eating... my husband does not like to sacrifice his meals. I end up cooking 1 meal for him, 1 meal for me and 1 meal for our children every night. You can eat healthy while those around you don't.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:21 PM   #13  
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First of all, well done for making some great changes in your life initially. It sounds like you really had some control and were enjoying this new you.

I am sorry to hear about where you are now. It must be very hard for you not knowing where you stand with your husband and I hope this part of your story sorts itself soon, as like the others said it sounds like you two need to spend some time talking.

Reading your story I am not surprised at the recent events and how you have coped. For us here, eating is a struggle, and sometimes that’s hard for others to understand. Control over it is so difficult at times. I would imagine he is worried for you and uncertain about who this new you really is. But much more importantly is how you are feeling.

You have described a huge upheaval in recent times for both you and your husband – marrying, moving etc. You have had the controlled side of your life upturned and heaved all over the show with all the recent changes and of course the one thing you can still control is your eating.

Do you think you could explain to him how all of this has made you feel? Do you have anyone you trust who you could say the words to out loud. Sometimes it really helps you to think things through this way. This could be the start of something really positive if you can both address how you feel and where you want to go with this.

If you gain more control over the situation its even possible you may start to relax about the control on food and this will help your husaband to see both how important the changes are to you and hopefully to then understand why it meant so much to you.

I truly hope things start to sort themselves for you soon.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:22 PM   #14  
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You poor thing! You so did not deserve that kind of blown out of proportion reaction. What he said was not a " normal " reaction. It sounds to me that maybe HE has some issues HE needs to work out. That being said, you can't work his problems out for him. You need to take loving care of you right now. As important as it may seem to get on track with your eating, it is more important that you work on your head.

Please, please, please don't let this make you hurt yourself by restricting. You've been deprived of enough growing up. Don't deprive yourself of the food or love you need. You should be so proud of the way you've overcome what life has thrown at you. You're a strong young lady and I know you will overcome this adversity, too.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:25 PM   #15  
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Look, is he still military? Go see a counselor. The guy may have processing to do from his war experiences. And you have processing from your... food behaviour/alcoholic mom background. And you both have new move/new marriage/new to each other stresses too.

I know you have a lot of stressors on your plate but c'mon. This is marriage. You do not throw in the towel in this early on over the first bump in the road. Or if you do, maybe it's just that this person wasn't the right one after all or things moved too fast to the marriage.

Did you guys get any kind of marriage prep talk? Not just with each other -- but like the county extension office, your place of worship, the military, whatever? If no, go get it so you get the real picture of what marriage is like and start anew with your relationship better prepared.

And go check out the www.something-fishy.org stuff.


Last edited by astrophe; 02-19-2011 at 01:28 PM.
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