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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 underwhelm- ing, 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 noth- ing wrong with me. I was disheartened by their response and a bit trig- gered. 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 there- fore 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.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My two best friends and I are planning a trip to Las Vegas. We wanted to have a relaxing ladies’ weekend, and we’ve already booked our flight and hotel.
One of my best friends is now insisting that her husband come as well. Two out of the three of us are not married. I personally think that we need to cancel the trip if she insists on bringing her husband, because it would defeat the purpose of a girls’ trip. What should we do? — Girls’ Trip
DEAR GIRLS’ TRIP: When one member of a friend group marries or is in a serious relationship, the friend dynamics often change. Some friend groups are able to maintain their friends-only activities, including trips. For others, it can be difficult.
Go back to your married friend and tell her that you understand that now that she is married, she wants to include her husband in her activities, but this trip is reserved for the girls. Encourage her to keep this time as precious — just for the three of you. Suggest that at another time you can all take a trip that includes him and possibly other partners as well. If anyone cancels this trip, it will be her for breaking the agreement.
Harriette Cole is a lifestyl- ist and founder of DREAM- LEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and acti- vate their dreams. You can send questions to askharri- email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.