Married to a Bulimic How can i make it work

This is not something i normally do (reach out to a group, especially some online group) but i need something.
I am 26 and my wife is 24 and has struggled with forms of ED for 8 or 9 years now. We have been married for a year now, and we were together a few years before. I knew she had an eating disorder well before we were married, but that alone was not going to stop me. We have a wonderful and amazing relationship otherwise, and seem to be perfect for each other.
Except the eating disorder. Maybe i was naive and thought i could "fix it". or maybe i didnt think it was so bad. or maybe i thought it would do away. or that we would work on it together. or something. i dunno. either way nothings changed.
But i dont know what to do. She has gone to a few group sessions, but they never allow me in. only people who suffer with eating disorders are allowed.
She had to go into an inpatient hospital stay. but once again, i was not allowed in. except for a one hour "family time".
She went to weekly hospital inpatient treatment/sessions, but once again, i was not allowed to be a part of it.
I tried to set up an appointment with a therapist who deals with eating disorders so that i could talk with her, but once she found out that i wasnt suffering from it myself the appointment was terminated.
Ive tried posting on a couple of other support group sites for ED a year or two ago, but once people read that i didnt actually suffer from ED myself i was told the forums were closed for privacy/safe space issues and my posts were deleted.

I cant get perspective from other people because everything is closed session. All the books i read and articles i read are aimed at the sufferer, not the person who has to live with them every day. i feel so in the dark and when she says "you just dont understand", she is completely right. but i want to.

I hate the lies. i hate being made to be a fool. Im not immune. i can smell it when i come home. I see the bits and pieces and oily residue on the water in the toilet. i know why the bottles of water, and sandwich baggies are kept in her closet. I know why after eating the cat litter always needs to be taken out, or the laundry has to be taken out, or a quick solo run to target needs to be made, or on occassion im herded out the door to run and get some milk, or grab something from the car that was forgotten but apparently needed right this moment.
But im always one step behind. and once i find out about one thing, its on to the next way to hide the when/where/how, etc.
occasionally we have conversations about it. i know it kills her inside.
im not mad. it didnt ruin my life like she feels. i just want to know the truth, and i want to be let in. but im constantly told that its not about me. Which is true to some extent. But since we've committed our lives together as one, my problems become hers and vice versa. and whether you want to admit it or not, ED has a very STRONG effect on loved ones.
we've tried therapy, but she feels guilty about the cost. we've tried leaving gatherings if the urges come up, but she feels guilty about ruining my fun. we've tried talking about it when it happens, but she feels guilty for bringing me into her "hell" when i shouldnt be worrying about it. and the more guilty she feels, the worse the symptoms get.

Ive known her for years. i know when she purges. im not stupid, and im not un-observant. i think most of the time she knows i know too. but she still tries her best to lie and hide it.
If she just purged, i have no idea how to proceed. If i confront her then i am accusing her, and what evidence do i have, etc? But if i simply ask to talk about it, or ask her about it, she gets upset about "why do you play dumb if you already know what happened. and if you already know then i dont need to talk about it"

Im not blaming her. i know its something on my end. something that i am not doing or saying correctly that sets off arguments. i just dont know what to change. and if i ask her what she needs she says "i dont know. if i did i would be better by now"

i dont regret getting into a relationship with her at all. She truly is a beautiful person, inside and out. but this chips away at the foundation of our relationship/marriage every single day, and im worried one day it will crumble. the arguments gets worse and worse with time. The guilt gets worse on her end, and the frustration gets worse on my end. I feel like i have tried everything on my end as far as support. From tough love, to acceptance. From practical suggestions of help, to a complete change in my life to accomodate it.
i dont know where to go from here. I just know i dont want to lose her. To ED, to Divorce, to suicide. none of which are immediate threats, but all of which are real possibilites.

sorry if this post was long and/or dumb.


I am sorry to here the situation you are in, as well as your wife.
I think what you need to work on most with her is if she wants help. Does she WANT to get better? Does she see what the ED is doing to her life and does she want change? That is the first step. She has to want to get better before you can be any more supportive than you already are; because you are not doing anything wrong.

Your wife is in a very dark place right now, and I think the best things you can do is explain to her that you're really trying. Tell her that you want to see her get better but you want to know that SHE wants to try. Let her know that there's hope.
My boyfriend is in the same situation as you, and before he could give me any real help I had to let him into my world. I told him whenever I got feelings of binging and/or purging, when I wanted to restrict, when I was afraid. And all he needed to do was console me. In the beginning I really hated it, and part of me resented the fact that he wouldn't let me do it. That he was stopping me. But now that I'm in a better place I am so thankful for all those times he forced me to sit with him, all those times he encouraged me to eat.
Our relationship is very open with my ED and I think that's the best thing to work towards with your wife.

Also ask her about her counselor appointments. Is there anything they suggested? Any goals she's set? Maybe even try to set some goals with her, such as reducing her purges for one day of the week (it's a slow process), and keep going from there. But you need to stop obliging to her shooing you off so she can purge. It may cause some serious fights, and there will be tears and screaming, but if she has told you she wants to get better, it will all work out in the end. There WILL be slip ups. There will be times she just can't fight it. But there will also be better times. Times of overcoming, and times of joy. It will take time, but be patient. Let her know everyday that she is beautiful. Boost her confidence whenever you can.
Also let her know that she shouldn't feel guilty for letting you in on her pain. I often did, but as much as I know my boyfriend struggled with it, I know he appreciated it more than me leaving him in the dark.

I also encourage some sort of family sessions...because know they do exist. I'm sure even if you're wife asked you could come in for part of one her sessions with her counselor (I hope she has one...if she doesn't FIND her one. And a dietitian. But talk to her about it.)
And when you don't have to deal with food...don't talk about it. Plan fun things to do together that you can both enjoy without food in the picture. Let her know that world is still a fun and beautiful place.

You seem to really love your wife, and I can tell you really want to help her. Just remember that while you want to do everything possible to help her get better, the majority has to come from inside her. You can help her stay strong and be someone to lean on and talk to, but in the end, it's all up to her.

I urge both of you to have a calm conversation about this and I wish you both the best of luck

It's evident that you love your wife very much. I think your situation goes deeper than the ED. Part of it is a trust issue; her able to put her trust in you and your trust in her that she is capable and able to make her own decisions. Since she feels guilty, she may perceive your interest as a way to control her. Since none of us like being told what to do, she may act out by purging more or not stopping. I'm going to suggest marriage counseling where the focus is NOT on her ED. Paige's advice is good as well. Your reaching out for help is never dumb. I'm glad you're not giving up! If your wife has a strong faith, you can both use that as well. God Bless!

this is a very tough situation... i was married for 8 years and tried my best to hide everyth from my then husband... he knew about my ED before we married as well but he had NO IDEA how bad it was. we have 2 beautiful (and healthy) children (thanks to GOD) even though I continued to b/p through my pregnancy - although I did cut back drastically - it was STILL done knowing the risks.

Bulimia is an awful disease. the best advice i can give you is have someone with her as often as possible. for me, Bulimia is a "crime of opportunity" -- if i could PREDICT my husband's schedule i would change MY entire schedule around just to give me a chance to b/p. i would do it at any costs and then have to rush and clean everything up before he came home.

Keep giving her support and look out for the warning signs - raw knuckles, bad teeth/gums, irritability, low appetite at dinner, bloating, blood shot eyes, etc.

Best of luck,