DEAR HARRIETTE: I opened up to my partner about my eating disorder, and I did not get the supportive response I wanted. I have silently struggled with my eating disorder for years, so telling my partner about it was a huge deal. When I told them, their response was underwhelming, to say the least. They encouraged me to start working out and find a diet plan that works for me; they didn’t say anything about how I need to love and accept myself for who I am and how there is nothing wrong with me. I was disheartened by their response and a bit triggered. Am I wrong to feel so hurt by that sort of response? -- Opening Up
DEAR OPENING UP: Congratulations on opening up about such a sensitive topic. I’m sorry that your partner didn’t understand how to respond to you. That does not mean that they are uncaring. It likely means that they may not know much about eating disorders and were therefore ill equipped to say the words that would resonate well with you. You know what the favored things are to say in this type of “coming out” because you have been struggling with your eating disorder for some time. It sounds like either through reading or some professional intervention, you have learned that the “cure” is more about self-love and acceptance than anything else. Your partner probably doesn’t know that.
What you may want to do is open up a bit more. Share what you can about your journey, the difficulties, the highs and lows, and where you are now. You can also refer your partner to some reading to help them understand your condition better. Read more here: bit.ly/3At99GN. For more partner strategies, go to: bit.ly/3oF8zDd.