What To Do When Your Spouse Has Bulimia

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Bulimia is an eating disorder that is most common in women. But it can happen to anyone. Bulimia comes in with so many difficulties that it needs the support of your family, friends and mostly, your spouse. If your significant other has bulimia, then you have to get yourself educated with the said condition. In this way, you can help your partner deal with it and overcome the disorder.

With our eating disorder treatment centers currently full across the nation, one important word has been on our minds…PREVENTION. — Dawn Delgado LMFT, CEDS-S

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Knowing The Cycles And Symptoms Of Bulimia

This type of eating disorder does not only cause adverse effects on a person’s diet, but it can also disturb the emotions, attitude, and behavior as well. The condition should not be taken lightly since it can be life-threatening. Bulimia involves a cycle of binge eating, and then self-induced vomiting afterward.


Binge eating and throwing up can lead to severe damage to the digestive system. It can cause chemical imbalance and electrolyte problems. At its worst, the condition can result in severe organ problems. Bulimia is not only a physical problem, but it is considered a psychological issue too. What people don’t know is that bulimia is about lack of self-control.

Combining psychotherapy with nutritional therapies and yoga provides an integrative approach to efficacy and empowers our clients in their recovery process. — Leslie E. Korn Ph.D., MPH, LMHC, ACS, NTP

The Mental Causes Of Bulimia

Emotional stress and depression are identified factors that can lead to bulimia. People with bulimia tend to binge-eat to cover their emotional issues. They vomit their intake afterward when the guilt of overeating sinks in. Clearly, it is a mental and emotional problem. People with bulimia feel embarrassed with this condition once they come to know that it is unhealthy, and considered a mental health problem.


Don’t Take Their Actions Personally.

As a significant other of someone with bulimia, you need to prepare yourself. Don’t take your spouse’s actions personally. Most people with bulimia tend to hide their condition even from their loved ones. It is not because they don’t trust you, but instead, they are ashamed of it. From your end, it is expected that you will feel the following when you find out your loved one suffering from the condition:


  • Mistrust
  • Guilt
  • Confusion
  • Hurt
  • Shock


Bulimia can be frustrating, but don’t let it get to you. Being a partner of someone with the said condition, it is best that you treat the person you love like nothing is wrong. In this way, you will have your loved one’s trust, and you two can address the issue efficiently.


Eating Disorders Are Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms.

This eating disorder is a coping technique used negatively. It takes control of the person’s mind and emotions. The only way to mentally heal is to identify the factors that have contributed to the condition and practice proper eating habits. A person can overcome bulimia, but the battle will be long and hard.

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There is no one size fits all treatment, and standardizing treatment is no longer the goal. — Judy Scheel Ph.D., L.C.S.W., CEDS

Talking And Showing Support

Show support to your partner by opening communication. Make her feel that you are by her side at all times to overcome the condition. It will be challenging at first, especially if the partner is still in denial. Eventually, after your show of persistence and support, she will come around and confide in you.


Treating bulimia is a process. It should first start from home. Once support is established, health restoration will soon follow, and then the treatment can be determined. It is a time-consuming and tedious process. But keeping yourself emotionally strong for your partner is more than enough to get her through the ordeal.