It is pretty commonplace for people to assume that something like an eating disorder is a disease for women. Though it does happen more often in women than men, eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can happen with men as well. The problem is, because men are not known to express their feelings outwardly, figuring out that there is a problem could be a lot more difficult than noticing it in your best friend or child.
Eating disorders can really take a toll on your relationship and can ultimately wreak havoc on your partner’s physical and mental well-being. That’s why it is extremely important to pay attention to your spouse and recognize when things simply aren’t right. If it is determined that he is in fact suffering from an eating disorder, it is ideal to find eating disorder treatment centers for men to heal properly.
How Can You Tell?
There are different types of eating disorders. The most prevalent include anorexia and bulimia. If you’ve noticed any of the below signs in your spouse, it is possible that they’re battling an eating disorder and need your love and support:
· Avoids social events with food
· Increases his exercise routine without increasing food intake
· Cooks meals but does not eat much
· Drastic change in weight
· Continued trips to the bathroom
· Food hidden around the house (hoarding food)
· Sudden obsession with body image
· The use of muscle enhancers
· Vomiting (stains on teeth which could be from vomiting)
What Should You Do?
Recognize any of the above signs of an eating disorder with your husband? They are going to need all the help and support they can get from you as they seek treatment. First and foremost you need to address the matter. When talking with your spouse about something as sensitive as an eating disorder, be prepared for him to respond with anger or dismiss your concerns altogether. As men are known to be a bit prideful, they could feel vulnerable speaking on the subject matter. Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to providing support for your spouse:
· Do get help from a treatment facility as trying to beat something as severe as an eating disorder on your own can be rough.
· Do express how much you love and care for them
· Do try to lift their spirits by offering words of encouragement
· Do seek counseling for yourself so that you are better equipped to help your spouse
· Do NOT blame yourself as it is not your fault
· Do NOT force him to eat more or less food
· Do NOT make mention of his physical appearance
· Do NOT rush the healing process as treatment works better when he is willing to seek it
Dealing with an eating disorder is nothing like trying to quit a bad habit like smoking. It requires treatment that will not only deal with the physical effects of the disease, but the mental effects as well. If your husband is showing any of the above mentioned signs, talking to him about your concerns is your first step. Remember, it can take time for them to open up or seek assistance, but letting them know you’re in their corner will make the decision process a lot easier for them.