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Author Topic: 2.12 | Is Food a Source of Trouble in Your Home? [romantic partners]  (Read 6664 times)
an0ught
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« on: May 31, 2011, 01:58:53 AM »

Over the past few years, eating disorders have become fairly common. They are even more common in people suffering from BPD. A recent study1 found a 20 times higher prevalence of anorexia and bulimia and a 10 times higher prevalence of unspecified eating disorder2 in borderline sufferers than in the general population.

Eating disorders (ED) are a way to express yourself (to exert control over your body and manipulate your health) so the high number of pwBPD struggling with it should come as no surprise to us. Eating has been with us from childhood. Eating together is a common way to relate to each other.  Food requires shopping which in a common household affects both sides. Meal time is a time for sharing and bonding. Food is the oldest gift. Meals structure the day. The person who cooks controls the food categories and the quantity of food offered.

Food is a strong and emotional relationship link and just invites game playing - meaning it affects us.

Is food a source of trouble in your household?
<br/>:)o you feel that you or someone you care about, uses food in unhealthy ways?


1 The Course of Eating Disorders in Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder: A 10-Year Follow-up Study; Mary C. Zanarini, Ed.D. et. al. ; Int J Eat Disord. 2010 April; 43(3): 226–232.

2 The researchers labeled them EDNOS covering eating behavior like binging without purging, purging without binging, restricting without low weight etc... .
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 02:21:55 AM »

It depends on the day for us.  Food has always been one of our great bonding activities - we both love unusual foods, trying new things, going to the good restaurants, etc. 

That said, food has also been a huge source of struggle for us.  S suffers from major self esteem issues relating to her appearance.  Major.  She thinks she looks heavy; in reality she is healthy or even underweight.  Although this plays out in many ways (lack of interest in sex, lots of looking into various procedures, etc), one of the primary methods is her criticism of MY food choices.  Specifically, if I'm eating even a little less then her, she gets very upset, accusatory, self-demeaning, etc.  Even if I am sick, she will get upset that I'm not eating.  So... .although she doesn't have anorexia or bulimia, she does have something like body dysmorphic disorder - and that is played out frequently enough with us to make it an issue.  I've learned to not cave to it - if I'm done, I'm done.  This does essentially guarantee upset (as she'll stop eating too... .or call herself something... .or accuse me of being selfish for not eating)... .but I refuse to pander to her issues in this regard.  I got sick one to many times and all it did was cause me to resent her. 
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Aurylian
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2011, 11:06:56 AM »

Is food a source of trouble in your household?

Do you feel that you or someone you care about, uses food in unhealthy ways?

This is a big issue in my house.  My BPDw is a binge eater and is obsessed with weight loss.  If you saw her you would say she was slim, but about right.  The cycle is: she gets stressed (is on anxiety meds); comforts with junk food; despises herself for her failure and gets irritated with the family; skips dinner or has some kind of funky mail order food.

If I don't request that she eat dinner with the family, she would find some way to avoid it 95% of the time.  She never eats breakfast if we all do, and lunch is almost never as well.  She doesn't like people to see her eat "different" food (diet, or healthy) so she tries to hide it.
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 06:10:22 PM »

It was huge with us and thanks to this post, I just had a bing, bing, bing moment.

He was an alcoholic and most nights drank instead of ate.  I put weight on during our time together because of the erratic eating habits and lack of regular meals.  He never wanted me to eat and the last few years, he lost all kinds of weight. 

I was a size 10 when we met and he tries to tell me that I was not so my fantasy is that when I take off my weight, I will go back there wearing the outfit that I wore the night we met and say, "See, I told you."

He also complained that his dad worked nights and they did not eat dinner together.  I think that's another reason why he avoided it.
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an0ught
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2011, 03:02:06 PM »

Let's see where we are... .

That said, food has also been a huge source of struggle for us.  S suffers from major self esteem issues relating to her appearance.  Major.  She thinks she looks heavy; in reality she is healthy or even underweight.  Although this plays out in many ways (lack of interest in sex, lots of looking into various procedures, etc),

It was huge with us and thanks to this post, I just had a bing, bing, bing moment.

This is a big issue in my house.  My BPDw is a binge eater and is obsessed with weight loss.  If you saw her you would say she was slim, but about right.  The cycle is: she gets stressed (is on anxiety meds); comforts with junk food; despises herself for her failure and gets irritated with the family; skips dinner or has some kind of funky mail order food.

She doesn't like people to see her eat "different" food (diet, or healthy) so she tries to hide it.

Thank you for sharing your plight. Clearly self esteem is a big factor. Being slim/right but extremely worried. Eating habits not in line with stated goals.

Specifically, if I'm eating even a little less then her, she gets very upset, accusatory, self-demeaning, etc. Even if I am sick, she will get upset that I'm not eating. So... .although she doesn't have anorexia or bulimia, she does have something like body dysmorphic disorder - and that is played out frequently enough with us to make it an issue.  I've learned to not cave to it - if I'm done, I'm done.  This does essentially guarantee upset (as she'll stop eating too... .or call herself something... .or accuse me of being selfish for not eating)... .but I refuse to pander to her issues in this regard.  I got sick one to many times and all it did was cause me to resent her. 

Self hate to the extent you can't avoid getting some of it rubbed off and then resenting her. This stuff is hard to stomach. 

There is a distinct element of lack of sense of self, enmeshment and projection from her side.

I put weight on during our time together because of the erratic eating habits and lack of regular meals.  He never wanted me to eat and the last few years, he lost all kinds of weight. 

[... .]

He also complained that his dad worked nights and they did not eat dinner together.  I think that's another reason why he avoided it.

If I don't request that she eat dinner with the family, she would find some way to avoid it 95% of the time.  She never eats breakfast if we all do, and lunch is almost never as well. 

Irregular meal times are an issue. As does it seem questionable whether they learned in their FOO.

And now going further



   Similar experiences?

   What are working strategies to cope?

   What has not worked for you?
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Nawledge

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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2011, 11:13:41 PM »

My dBPDw has a number of issues with food.  Her mother has invalidated her for her entire life, especially when it comes to weight... .so no matter what, she never think she looks good enough, or is thin enough.  She also uses it as a control issue, or an attempt to gain control... .as she says herself, there's a lot people can do, but they can't make her eat.  Lastly I suspect it's used as a tool to self harm.

It makes me sad and frustrated... .on top of her BP and BPD, she has MS, and so she's just adding to her physical health problems.  Which in turn has an effect on her mental health issues... .it's a vicious cycle.  You can read my entire story on my "welcome" post... .but short part is, she wants me back, I've required she completes the 6 months of DBT, and start to establish at least a minimal level of healthy eating/living.  She has agreed, so we shall see.
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2011, 11:35:10 PM »

when i lived with my BPD wife,she had bulimia, but didnt care if i heard her yacking off ,while i ate my meal. Another form of abuse i guess ,awful
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2011, 10:25:44 AM »

Hello,

My wife recently admitted she had been making herself throw up for the past three years and had been taking about 16 laxative pills a day for the past four. This was a big step.

My wife has never been officially diagnosed with BPD, but she does meet about 6 of the 9 criteria for it. Our families and I knew she was severely ill, but didn't know why. She had been hospitalized 3 times and taken to the ER several other times (severe dehydration and potassium deficiency). The docs never found anything physically wrong with her.

Now she just announced to me about a month ago that her unexplainable illness that sent her to the hospital and ER multiple times and caused her to drop to 113 lbs (she's 6' tall) was actually caused by three years of vomitting multiple times a day and pounding about 16 laxative pills on days where she could only dry heave.

In the process of getting her into an IOP. I hope it helps, regardless if we stick together or not.

My question is, is bulimia and laxative abuse common with BPD. Several counselors have asked her if she cuts, but she hasn't done that (that I'm aware of).

Thanks.
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2011, 10:33:54 AM »

Yes.  i am recovered from an eating disorder and I have run across many people who also have BPD plus eating disorder.  I'm not saying it is a majority, but definitely enough people that I took notice of it.

Is she willing to get into therapy in order to focus on the self-injury aspect of eating disorders?  She doesn't cut, but she is harming her physical self through her actions.  Eating disorders also require attention to the emotional, medical, spiritual and physical parts of a person.

bulimia, medically speaking, is one of the more harmful eating disorders. 

BW
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Overcomingbpd
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2011, 01:26:08 PM »

My exbph wanted to control everyone's food. He was totally insane on food issues.We were not allowed to buy things he did not like, example Cheetos. However he bought stuff we hated and were expected to eat it and be happy. Our T. said  food issues come from feeling unloved in childhood? All I know is my 17 yr old daughter hated his food so much and he made such a issue of it she weighed 95 pounds when we separated. She is back up to 100. I should have never let him control and abuse us that way. Who knew food could cause such chaos and rages.
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2011, 09:59:31 AM »

My exBPDgf suffered from an eating disorder when she was a teenager, although she refused to ever clarify exactly what it was. When we first met she wouldn't eat anything more than a packet of crisps for meals. We quickly fell into a routine whereby I cooked literally every meal - if I didn't she simply wouldn't eat - or eat incredibly unhealthily.

When we went shopping she refused to make any decisions on the food we would buy, often reacting angrily if I tried to ask her what she wanted. A common response was "I have better things to think about" followed by "I don't want that" when I made the decision. Unpredictable responses... .she was full of them!

She would be critical of the amount of food I would put on her plate one day, only for the next day to complain I hadn't cooked enough. She would always leave a small amount of food on her plate though. She would quite often complain that she felt ill after eating the food I had cooked, with the blame always falling on me. 2 hours later she would then ask me to go to shop and buy her chocolate.

As you may have guessed this was pretty damn confusing... .! She would quite often go for short walks after eating, or brush her teeth a lot. I also discovered a batch of laxatives which at the time didn't really think about but now realise was another sign that the issue wasn't confined to her past and she was still living with it.

I guess the best way to describe all this is that it left me treading on eggshells in fear of upsetting her. Romantic meals were quite often stressful events because I never knew how she would react. It was very very difficult... .I was trying my best to understand her but whatever I did wasn't good enough. Control is such a big part of eating disorders and I guess I got entangled in that web.
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2011, 01:57:27 PM »

Binge eating when stressed.  Seeming to create stressful situations to give herself an excuse to binge eat.  When confronted about binge eating, simply stating I had a stressful day, or getting angry at me for asking.  The fact is, when I think back in time to when I really noticed my wife's BPD tendencies, I also noticed her gaining weight to the point where she was obese.  In college she gained close to 100 pounds from when I first met her.  The strange thing is, you would think I would notice the gain, but it happens so gradually that one day you just say wow.  She really hasn't lost the weight since, and that was about 15 years ago.  The fact is she wants to, and has an extremely low self esteem when she isn't raging at me.  A definite trigger is my wife's weight, and anything related to food, proportion size, type of food, etc... .  If I mention something related to food it may or may not trigger my wife depending on how she interprets it, and that depends on how she is feeling at that time. 
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2011, 02:04:33 PM »

Oh yeah, forgot a good story as an example of the trouble this can cause.  For mothers day I made her brownies that she loves.  I personally don't like them even though I found the recipe and am the only one who makes them.  Even our oldest son doesn't like them.  So in fact I don't make them very often because she is the only one who will eat them.  So I made her the brownies and she says "Oh great" rolling her eyes and saying it sarcastically.  I ask what is wrong.  She says isn't she already fat enough and then goes off on me for making something fattening.  I said that I made them because I know you like them.  I then brought up the fact that she brings tons of crap into the house, which she does continuously.  She buys crap, brings it into the house "for the kids" and then continues to binge on it.  The fact is she hurts herself, and when I did something nice for her, she couldn't see it for what it was... .a nice gesture.  So Rule, what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander.  The hypocrisy of living with a BPD is so frustrating. 
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HardDaysNight
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 03:36:13 PM »

Yes.  Food is used in "unhealthy" ways by my BPD wife.  She is well aware of this and admits she can't control herself.  So there are certain foods (patatoe chips, cookies, ice cream) we can't buy and if we do it is our fault if she eats them all in one sitting.  The thing is she wants to control us as much as she can't control herself.  We put these outof site and things work pretty well.  Unless she gets "down," i.e. not enough drama in the week, things going too smoothly.  Then she will scarf down a bag of chips, eat all the cookies and be sure to let us know about it.   

I wouldn't call it so unhealthy because she works out 2-3 hours everyday (there are potentially some unhealthy habits in her workout obsession) and is not overweight, or have high cholesterol etc., but she does not have an easy relationship with food and uses it as a weapon.

Food is a big way she criticizes me as she has this view that any kind of red meat is bad, no matter if field raised, hormone free, grass fed, buffalo, but has no problem feeding the children McDonalds because she is busy, or take-out pizza, with all the processed, saturated fat dough, and nitrate laden ingredients.  She'll make a big deal of eating healthy (and a big show of it) when it can be a way to harsh on me and what I make for the kids, then moments later feed them the most highly processed, fat laden, calorie laden things you can think of. 

The latter is some weird BPD self-fulfilling, or self-making prophecy complaining about the problem she creates, and having to make a problem where none exists.  Her identity is so wrapped up in health and fitness she cannot stand that I have and am making the kids healthy meals they enjoy.  She loves to make healthy meals for the kids with the most awful tasteless recipes, with flavors only adults like, and then claim defeat.  It wouldn't be bad if she wasn't feeding the kids crap out of laziness or this bizarre I give up / let me bribe you with food to love me mentality.  The kids ask for salads and the stuff I make that is wholesome, and she won’t even serve them the leftovers.

Food is used as a weapon in our house against us and herself.

I haven’t gotten on top of this issue so well.  I have only so much time.  I make the children’s lunches now and the meals on weekends.   Advice welcome.

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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2011, 08:42:38 AM »

My dBPDw has a number of issues with food.  Her mother has invalidated her for her entire life, especially when it comes to weight... .so no matter what, she never think she looks good enough, or is thin enough.  She also uses it as a control issue, or an attempt to gain control... .as she says herself, there's a lot people can do, but they can't make her eat.  Lastly I suspect it's used as a tool to self harm.

It makes me sad and frustrated... .on top of her BP and BPD, she has MS, and so she's just adding to her physical health problems.  Which in turn has an effect on her mental health issues... .it's a vicious cycle.  You can read my entire story on my "welcome" post... .but short part is, she wants me back, I've required she completes the 6 months of DBT, and start to establish at least a minimal level of healthy eating/living.  She has agreed, so we shall see.

As an update, I've spent some time with her this past week (including our 1 year anniversary Smiling (click to insert in post) )... .and she is eating... .she's paying close attention to calories and what she eats... .but she is eating... .so that's a very good thing Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2011, 09:35:49 AM »

H is an overeater, He eats semi healthily at meantimes but binges on chocolate etc. He also gives loads of rubbish to D who is 3. She is the perfect size atm, but I am worried for the future. He ignores my pleas not to give her food and drinks with additives, even though she has vomited after some of the drinks. He's home most of the time, I'm out at work. He loves to cook, so does it all. I do the big shops and try to save money. He goes shopping almost every day to buy rubbish and his cigarettes with the money he hasn't earned. He's getting D3 into this habit too (shopping, not smoking!). He buys me chocolate which I have a terrible weakness for when he wants to buy me a present or to say sorry for yet another rage (when he bothers). I have put on so much weight since we got together. Arghh!
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marlo6277
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2011, 01:31:27 PM »

I know that this is mostly directed at spouses, however I just wanted to chime in and add that as a stepmom to 3 kids with a uBPDmom, the effect on moms house has trickled over to ours. My DH has custody and I am residential smom, however even one night a week with mom brings back all kinds of ideas and views about eating.

Both my DH and I have relatively healthy eating and lifestyle habits.  DH works out regularly, whereas I do not, but I am extremely active all the time. I have a fairly slim build and I know this has an impact on the kids. Every time they see me eating they make the same comment - are you anorexic? I hardly ever see you eat.

As I said this is said to me nightly while eating.

When I ask them why they think that, they usually come up with various responses - mom says you must not eat much and that's how you are so skinny. Or we only ever see you eat at dinner time (because I work 12 hour days and am usually up and gone before they get up for school).

They have returned home from moms to declare "I'm off the sugar this week". When asked what that means, they state that they had a lot of junk at moms house on the weekend and so mom says they need to refrain from having any sugar this week to make up for it. This is moms plan as well and she'd like for them to be on board.

My oldest SD hoards food. Not as much as she used to when my DH first got custody, but continues to stash candy and choc bars around her room and we discover the wrappers in the garbages or under her bed.

My middle SD is frail looking and my attempts to get her to eat are difficult. She is constantly asking how many calories are in something or how something was cooked and if "fat" was used to cook it.

I have had to refrain by buying a weigh scale as both girls would be on it checking regularly.

I have tried to create awareness with the kids about food guides, healthy eating, eating things in moderation instead of gorging and explaining to them that they can pretty much eat whatever they want as long as there is a balance and they are active.

I taught them to read labels while shopping and I have a set limit for sugar content in cereals and snacks. But I don't prevent them from eating sugar at all and frequently have a sugary treat for dessert - like ice cream, cake or pies.

I've noticed my middle SD refrain from such indulgences stating that she doesn't want to get fat.

My oldest SD is referred to as "fat ass" by her mother. She is extremely self concious and feels she must hide anything she eats. Her mom asked her if she wanted to go on a diet with her - by consuming several laitives over the weekend in order to lose weight quickly.

My DH has said that his ex was always weight concious through their marriage and she suffered from both bulimia and anorexia in her late teens/early twenties.

After the birth of the 3 kids, she began starving herself and consuming gros amounts of laxitives to lose a lot of weight and when I met my DH, his ex looked like a bobble head - her skin was stretched over her face and she was emaciated and it looked like her head was WAY too large for her body. She has since had 2 more children and she has more than doubled her weight from when I first met her. She has been struggling with losing weight and has now found "team mates" in both of my SDs for her journey to being skinny again.

My SS is a very healthy eater and quite tall and lanky. He's extremely active and doesn't seem to suffer the same effects as his sisters.

So I just wanted to add in the effects of the behaviours on children in the household.

Marlo xoxox
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« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2016, 08:38:41 PM »

My diagnosed wife said she suffered from Bulimia when she was a teenager. 

I was very surprised to learn just recently that she has been bulimic for quite a while.  We are in process of divorce and were married 18yrs.  I never realized it.  However, in the divorce it has come out that she has been active for quite some time (3-5 years at least).  It makes sense now because she would have
1. chronic dry skin,
2. constipated for 1-2 weeks at a time,
3.  had reflux really bad,
4. very bad dental issues,
5. and just recently got a Nissan surgery where they seal off the esophagus to prevent the reflux.   

In some ways I selfishly thought... .wow you have been falsely accusing me of being sneaky about have extra lovers, etc... .but the whole time it was you that was not being transparent and lying to me.  I know that is short sided and selfish to feel that way as having an ED has to be awful to be consumed with that daily... .but I still was. 

In the last 10 months since I moved out... .she has gone from about 160 lbs to probably about 115lbs.  She looked normal at 160lbs.  Now she does not look healthy. 
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