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Hello friends, I decided to at least write in some forum and ask for help/guidance. Here's my situation, I'm not looking for pity or being shamed, I just want to share my story and maybe some of you guys has an idea what I could do/pray for, or something like that: I'm a man, 33 years old. Married since 5 years. About 2-3 years ago I was working a good job and doing education on the side so I could continue working in the field. Short version: I failed my studies and had to change my field of work. I took it pretty hard because the circumstances were messy and I was doing very well in my job - only the grades were an issue. Anyway I was a mess for a while but I knew God had a path for me. During that time my wife, who was dealing with depression earlier in her life, started developing an eating disorder. When we realized it was time to do something about it was already pretty severe. I prayed for her and I tried anything to help her anyway I could, encourage her, help her make plans on how to eat enough, went to therapy with her etc. But nothing really helped. She played her therapists, she lied to me and to herself. And after ~2years of ED (eating disorder) in our lives, it started to take a heavy toll on our relationship (I'm not blaming her btw, it's the sickness that's causing this). I tried to lecture her, she started to tell me things that were not true etc. She temporarily lost her fertility (body shuts down reproductive systems when there is not enough food) and with it, the rest of what was left in terms of sexual desire (we don't have kids!). And me, as a guy who enjoys the more chubby kind of females had a real hard time finding her anorexic body attractive. About 3 months ago she finally decided it's time to go to a rehab clinic to really concentrate on getting better. The fact that she wanted to do that of her own volition, was like a miracle. All was looking well for a while. But she's on break now from the clinic and it seems to me like nothing really changed. She didn't really gain weight and she still has her eating habits. Anyway. I mentioned I have a new job now and I'm teaching on the side. My life apart from my wife is amazing right now! BUT. I met this woman in a seminar, also married - getting neglected and hit by her husband (human beings are messed up I tell you...), and we immediately clicked and felt connected. We had amazing talks and it was a "healing experience" for both of us, I'm 100% certain that God made us run into each other. But now I'm afraid we're getting almost too close... yay... :/ I believe what we've been doing is called an "emotional affair" (having an affair without the physical component). Well, we just met this evening before I started writing this and after talking for a while we started comforting each other and finally went to the couch and just held each other in embrace for over an hour. Nothing sexual, no kissing or anything - just intense hugging and a little crying. I have to be honest, it was the most wonderful, blissful experience I had in almost all my life. After a while I started shaking all over my body because of all the happy hormones and that feeling of being loved and sheltered... Now I have no idea what to do. I don't want to leave my wife. I don't want to have an affair but I was craving being close to someone so much... And I really can't tell my wife about it - that could make her kill herself (literally). [e] Since I cannot find the reply button I'll edit my post. First of all thank you for your answers. If it were that simple. Cut ties, it's a sin, don't do it. I'm too weak for that right now. I know it will lead to pain, probably. But I already am in pain most of the time. Basically, I'm completely separated from my wife emotionally and physically and I fought for like two years to prevent that. My wife told me a few days ago that it's pretty clear to her that it's my fault that she started developing an eating disorder. I wasn't stable enough for her etc... Just to clarify what's the state of our relationship is she is completely absorbed by her ED-thoughts. I want to work on my marriage and improve it (it's what I'm trying to do since all this started, we already went to therpy and everything) but as long as we don't have a common ground to build from I don't see the way. Btw: I cannot completely cut ties with this woman, we are gonna meet semi-regularly because of our jobs for at least another 1-2 years. [e2] @Abby-Joy "All that to say ...I needed my husband's love, understanding, prayer, support. He wasn't there for me like he should have been." I'm trying to do all that and been trying for the past years. It's just that I'm a human being too, you know. I also have my weaknesses and a difficult past and my strength has its limits. That's no apology for anything - i know the scripture well enough. I have problems with addiction myself - as almost any human has... right? I only recently stopped smoking for example and I could only do that because of the support and faith that other woman had for me. But thank you for encouraging me to go another round. This is all very very hard and it's times like these when I understand why Paul said it would be best if we would live alone and concentrate full on the Lord. [e3] I'll think about someone I could talk to at my church... I came here because I have a hard time talking to people about these topics. It's well known in our church that she has an ED. And a lot of people come to me and ask me how we are etc. especially now that she's at a clinic. But I feel most of them come because that's what you do, not because they actually want me to open up. I usually tell what they want to hear, you know. And since I didn't have a single male father figure in my life I have a hard time talking to males anyway... But that's another topic -->Thank you for offer Abby-Joy talking to her. Who knows, maybe I'll pm you about that when the time is right. I don't think that I have to be afraid that she would commit adultery, she's pretty much asexual since all this started. At least that's how she behaves. I'm not sure if I still know her well enough though. She has changed soo much since we first met each other. I think the environment of our marriage (the first years) allowed her to start dealing with certain things from her past (much like you described) and then everything turned sideways. Thank you all so much for your replies, really helps me a lot even just writing here.
I have been off and on a road to disordered eating recovery, and have been doing the online Christian program called Setting Captives Free, and it's been wonderful! But I started to get discouraged with the slow progress and fell back into not eating again for a short time. And now once again Im trying to be healthy. I was looking at some things online to help with recovery. I found some Youtube videos by eating disorder specialists who strongly encourage the person in recovery to eat whatever they want and however much they want without worrying about weight gain. Their theory (and what they said they've seen works) is that after the initial weight gain, which could even cause the person to become obese, they will level out and not binge or crave junk anymore, but they will start to crave healthy foods and lose the weight and become a normal weight. They admit that this isn't always the case and that some people remain obese. They said it is so so important to not restrict yourself at all or else you will relapse and hinder the process. Something about this doesn't sit well with me. First of all, Im already ten pounds into the overweight BMI, despite starving myself before, so why would I want to gain even more weight? Why not just eat healthy most of the time and exercise? Second of all, wouldn't allowing the patient to become obese put them at risk for diabetes,heart disease, depression, etc? And my final point, and this is what raised reg flags; this goes against what the bible has to say about eating. The bible talks about having self restraint with our appetites. I agree, our bodies have a certain wisdom, for example if we are lacking certain minerals or vitamins we will crave certain foods and thing like that, but we don't need to follow every craving our body has. Our flesh desires to satisfy itself. So I just get confused about the two competing worldviews. On one hand you have the world using "science" to say to follow our flesh because it knows how to keep itself healthy, it will eventually crave healthy foods and eventually reach an optimal weight (setpoint theory). On the other hand you have to Bible, which has more logical advice...the more you eat, the more you want to eat. Overeating is called gluttony and becomes an idol. Laziness is called being slothful. So there is certain personal accountability. The world says eating problems are a disease and takes away much of the accountability. The Bible says it's a choice. Amd the choice turns into a habit that feels extremely hard to stop and can feel like an addiction. I think I will start listening to the bible and not the world. I have been gaining the weight I lost back, it's terrifying. But I have to force myself not to starve. I think if I try to just be healthy i don't have to get stuck in the cycle of overeating and then restricting to compensate. Any thoughts? Can anyone else relate? Thank you