F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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Tahirua27
Hello again

I'm so sorry to post again but finding out that my younger daughter has anorexia in addition to the middle daughter who has just come out of hospital has been quite a wallop for our family.

My focus here is on what I can do to help my husband cope. Our modus operandi used to be that he left all the mental health, education and health issues (and we have a lot!) to me while he made the money, but with ED x 2, it's now clear that he really needs to support with this. Over the Christmas holidays, we have been tag teaming as much as we can with everything - including supporting meals, washing and cleaning etc (although this will stop once he has to go back to work and I'm trying to get some more help (I work too by the way and it is my sanity but I have to do it around the kids!)).

The main problem is that he has always struggled with having children and the time and financial demands they place on him - I think fundamentally he regrets it and says (embarassingly) to people sometimes that he advises people not to have them. Rather than accept that this is now his life (and not just the one with children, the one with three high-needs children) and try to take joy in very small things and be grateful for as much as I can as I try to do to survive, he is constantly trying to reclaim his old life (going fishing, hunting, adventuring) or plan a new life (being self-sufficient on a remote farm) and feeling endlessly frustrated that he can't. He tries very hard to be a good dad and husband but I feel he is utterly stuck in wanting what he can't have and being totally miserable about it - and blaming me somehow.

I have tried for years (and to no avail) to help him adjust his thinking - but now we are in a whole new order of magnitude of challenge with the EDs. I have absolutely no mental and emotional energy to give him and I really can't bear his moaning about his life when I feel like I'm the one at the frontline - I'd sure as hell rather be the one going to work!

Any ideas - especially from dads - about what might help? We haven't been able to start FBT yet (will finally get to do that in late Jan) - is this likely to help with these bigger issues?

Sorry to unload so much but I feel very stuck with this [frown]




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tina72
Hi, I hope the FBT therapist will help with that, too, but sometimes it is not possible to ask something from husband that will not be working because he just cannot help with it. So can you think about a plan b to get help from relatives, friends or can you afford to pay a nurse?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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scaredmom
It sounds like he is struggling with a lot of things. I wonder if he needs to talk to someone by himself to get the support he requires. We cannot make ourselves something that we are not, that is for sure, AND we can still try to do the best for our families despite that. Changing our expectations for what is required now can lead to personal growth, learning to accept things that we don't want/like/need is really tough. It is hard, change is hard.  That is where "acceptance" of what is happening right now will be helpful, if he is willing to get help with it. 
I know I did not like having ED in the home and felt very unfit to deal with it in the beginning and still don't want/need it and resentful that our lives were so changed and not good. But we do what we have to, and what is needed. He can still make the money, but right now those other hobbies may need to take a back seat so that you get the support too. It sounds that he cannot accept that, and maybe he needs to hear that from someone else that is not so close to the situation like you. 
So I would suggest he see a counselor at least a few times to discuss this too. If you are not together on this, I worry how that may affect your relationship later.
XXX 



Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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Tahirua27
Thanks so much for this guidance. We have had a few better days and I think he is starting to adjust to our new ‘for now’ life. It is a much simpler one than we are used to - but also less stressful in any many ways not dashing around trying to do things, have experiences, see friends ... Silver linings???!!!
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Mamaroo
Our life is also much simpler these days. Just to be able to go out and have coffee at a cafe is now a treat for us. It is very hard to adjust our lives when ED moves in and in your case you have 3 high needs children. Take some time away from ED to do something with your hubby. During refeeding, I would supervise ED d, while non ED d ate in front of the TV. Afterwards hubby and I would have a dinner date, with only 1 rule, no ED talk. In the beginning the dinners were very quiet, but after a while we were able to find new things to talk about. Now we all eat dinner together and afterwards hubby and I go on a walk while the girls do the dishes. Find something  you both can do everyday, which can take your minds off the children. 
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. Started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her.
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AUSSIEedfamily
Dear Tahirua27,


I have e-mailed you my contact details. If your H wants to he can contact me and get him to read my posts if it would help.
ED Dad
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Tahirua27
Thanks so ED Dad! I have passed on your details and given him the option of your support. I'm not sure whether he will take it (yet), but it is super kind of you 🙂
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