We all have that thing we are better at doing than practically anything else.
But with that success comes the pressure to keep doing better than we did before. For some of us, it becomes too much.
A guy realized the pressure was becoming overwhelming for his girlfriend on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor MenaceForTheLongest shared what he knew about his girlfriend with people they could trust, and she did not react well.
So much so, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he overstepped.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my girlfriend’s parents that she has an eating disorder?”
The OP’s girlfriend was very important to him.
“My girlfriend (16 [Female]) is an absolutely beautiful person. Her skin is flawless, her hair is perfect, and she always looks gorgeous no matter what she’s wearing.”
“Most importantly, she’s one of the kindest people I’ve (17 [Male]) ever met, and in spite of her looks, she’s incredibly humble and sincere.”
“On the other hand, I’m extremely bookish and introverted (I nearly collapsed when I first asked her out). So, I’m shocked that she’d want to be with someone like me.”
But recently, her behavior has been concerning the OP.
“We’ve been dating for a few months, and during that time, she’s lost quite a bit of weight.”
“She used to be much fuller, but now, she looks considerably thinner, especially in the face. She’s not gaunt or anything, but she’s definitely underweight.”
“For a while, I thought she simply wasn’t eating much. She’s a teen model, so I assumed this was just par for the course.”
“So, whenever we were together, I’d try to get her to eat more, always offering to pay.”
That worry only worsened after a recent visit.
“Recently, I went to pick her up so that we could go to the mall. Her parents weren’t home that day, and she texted me to say that the door was unlocked and that I could come in whenever I arrived.”
“When I walked in, I saw her in the kitchen. She was wearing a bikini and leaning over the sink. She clearly hadn’t seen or heard me walking in because she was pushing the bottom of her toothbrush down her throat and vomiting her guts out.”
“Naturally, I ran over to make sure she was okay. After a few seconds, she threw her arms around me and begged me not to tell her parents.”
“Then, she told me all about how she’d been doing the toothbrush thing for a while but claimed that she was getting it under control. (I don’t know why she was wearing the bikini, but I think it may have had something to do with trying to convince herself that she was getting thinner.)”
“I asked her if she was doing this because of the modeling thing, and she said she’d been doing it before then, too.”
“I insisted that she looked perfect and that everybody considered her insanely pretty. I told her that all the guys I knew were constantly talking about how beautiful she was.”
“She said that it had nothing to do with any of that and that she was doing this ‘for herself.'”
“I told her that she needed to stop purging and said that I’d do everything I could to help her overcome her issues with food. And I gave her a hug, peppered her forehead and cheeks with kisses, and gave her a glass of water.”
The OP wasn’t sure she would forgive him after he tried to help her.
“A few nights ago, I decided to tell her parents.”
“They must have talked to her when she got home, because the next time I saw her, she told me I was a ‘terrible boyfriend,’ a ‘liar,’ and a ‘phony’ and said that I’d embarrassed her.”
“She said that, because of me, her parents were acting like she was a ‘mental patient’ and a ‘time bomb’ and making her go to a program.”
“And that’s when she took off the necklace I’d bought her for her birthday last month and threw it on the ground.”
“She hasn’t responded to any of my texts. AITA?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP may have saved his girlfriend’s life.
“NTA. Your girlfriend has bulimia and from what is sounds like, she’s had it for a while. Bulimia is a serious illness — not only can it cause your teeth to rot and mess up your stomach, but it can cause electrolyte imbalances which can lead to irregular heartbeat rhythms, low potassium levels and possibly death.”
“Bulimia is also an extremely secretive disease — if your girlfriend said the door was unlocked and to just walk in while she was purging…she wanted you to see. She wants help and didn’t know how to tell her parents. You did the right thing, OP.”
“Source: I am a recovering bulimic.” – m_alice88
“NTA. Bulimia is an incredibly serious health condition that cannot be ignored or taken lightly. You absolutely did the right thing making her parents aware of this.”
“You may have lost her trust but there a good chance by doing what you did you may have saved her life.” – Dont-trust-it
Others agreed and said no matter how she reacted, the OP did the right thing.
“I’m gonna say NAH which might be a little controversial idk (I don’t know).”
“However, I do want to say that I was leaning towards you being the a**hole because she asked you not to go to her parents about it. Which I know that from the perspective of someone who is not mentally ill/does not have an ED (eating disorder) seems completely ridiculous, now she’s just going to resent you, and probably her parents.”
“I know it seemed like the right decision to go to her parents but you didn’t give her much time to come to terms with that herself. Obviously, she’s going to be frustrated and upset.”
“A common symptom of eating disorders is not actually being able to acknowledge that you’re sick or quite how sick you are. So her reaction about being treated like a ‘mental patient’ is completely valid for her because she probably doesn’t actually see herself as being sick.”
“And especially considering she’s in teen modeling, I wouldn’t doubt that other models her age also partake in eating disorder behaviors which further normalizes it in her head.”
“You thought you were doing the right thing, and it is the right thing but it’s also not and the likeliness is that your girlfriend will have very little trust for you at this moment.”
“She isn’t the a**hole because her reaction was valid. She asked you not to tell her parents and you did. You broke her trust. It sucks, but you did.” – paralorie
“NTA: op, I know it might be incredibly hard and hurtful at the minute, but I genuinely believe you did the right thing.”
“I’m nearly 10years older than your gf (girlfriend), and I wish that my ED (eating disorder) would of been caught earlier. I lashed out, I lied to myself and others, I cried, I fought back, but I’m sitting here now (hopefully) over the peak of the mountain of my ED.”
“You showed genuine love and care for your gf, and like me, she may think negative things about you atm (at the moment), but I promise that when she is able to look back, she will be deeply appreciative that you tried.”
“Well done on making the hard but right choice OP.” – loreoesify
A few also pointed out, however, he could be making her behavior worse.
“NAH. I know you genuinely want her to be healthy, so I hope you can understand what I am about to say:”
“‘Her skin is flawless.'”
“‘Her hair is perfect.'”
“‘She always looks gorgeous.'”
“‘I insisted that she looked perfect.'”
“‘Everybody considered her insanely pretty.'”
“‘All the guys I knew were constantly talking about how beautiful she was.'”
“Though they come from a place of love, these aren’t realistic and are such impossible expectations to meet. She isn’t perfect, she isn’t flawless.”
“And no doubt, the pressure of having to live up to the pedestal you and others have placed her on is contributing to her condition.”
“If you do reconcile, consider a different approach. One where you embrace her for who she truly is and how she truly looks: imperfect but beautiful.” – DaisyInc
“My thoughts exactly – when I read that and the part where he said everyone finds her ‘insanely pretty’ and the guys constantly talk about how beautiful she is, I just thought if she has been told this consistently (although I’m sure it’s meant in a really complimenting way) there is probably some pressure to live up to that every day, especially if it’s always mentioned to you and maybe becomes part of your ‘personality’ in some way” – Unlikely-Armadillo16
The OP later shared an update, with some big feelings.
“My girlfriend called me about an hour ago and apologized for everything she said.”
“She says she was upset because she was afraid that her parents would think less of her. But she now realizes that I did what I did because I love her.”
“She says she felt awful about throwing her necklace and says she wants to come over tomorrow and just lie down in bed and cuddle with me. It was really sweet, so much so that I’m worried she’s wracked with guilt.”
“Either way, I’m not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth. I’m gonna be the most supportive boyfriend imaginable and be by her side no matter what happens.”
“You guys have no idea how happy I am. I’m dating the best girl in the world right now. I love her so much, and I’m glad she feels like she can trust me and her parents.”
“I can’t wait to see her again. I can’t wait to kiss her and hold her and stroke her hair and look her in the eye and tell her that she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“What an incredible day. I think I’m gonna cry. LOL (laughing out loud).”
It sounds like the best possible outcome.
The people who care about this young woman the most know about the situation she’s working through and are willing to show her support during recovery. Not to mention the OP’s relationship with her survived, which sounds like a joyous thing.