Missy recently posted a very open and honest piece on her relationship with food over the years. To me there wasn’t any surprises contained in the layer cake of paragraphs, however, I was surprised when missy suggested I write something for the mental health meme from the perspective of someone with a partner who has this controlling relationship with food. So I thought, sure, I’ll share the smorgasbord of situations that have provided a better understanding of the ‘third’ in our relationship.
I would say that the over arching fallout of living with someone who is overly body and food conscious, is the language you learn to use around them. Firstly, trying to dumb down someone else’s reaction in a negative situation doesn’t help. Making light of it, cracking a joke and offering general encouragement is futile, and often an insult. I have come to learn this the hard way, however, I learn fast!
You have to develop a patience you never knew you had. Being willing to accept that half the entire contents of the wardrobe on the bed is not enough mess when trying to find something. ‘that fits.’ Clothes being tried on require time to be set aside for observation and comment. My reaction, or lack of it can trigger a downward spiral in mood very quickly. I know what I like to see missy wearing and quite frequently I will comment honestly that she looks fantastic; should I not have that same reaction to something being worn for the first time, it is likely I will be in the post office queue next day with a large parcel under my arm. Attention to detail is very important when commenting on clothes.
When I first met missy, food was not an issue. To develop our relationship she ate very much the same as me, and then behind closed door wished she had not. As time went on and we became closer she voiced her views on certain food groups. I love pasta, missy likes it in small quantities. I like cake, missy will try a small piece. The list is modest in size, however, it crosses many food groups and meals. Whereas I will grab a sandwich for lunch because its easy, missy won’t, and could end eating a rice cake which is like eating a flip-flop. We both have a sweet tooth, and yet missy will eat a whole bags of sweets and feel physically and mentally turned off by the whole experience. Sexual play will not be happening after that!
On a more serious side, missy’s own body perception was at one point so far off it was alarming. I think my attention to her body, physically, sexually and photographically has made a massive difference, as has the positive comments people leave on line when she first posted her naked pictures.
I know what missy’s body had to go through over the years to maintain control of her life. Her eating disorders were not fruit of a born-again-muncher, they were symptoms of trying to have control where life and people were trying to take that from her. I do not pretend to say I understand what people go through where their behaviours seek to do extreme things in order to gain control. I am not stacked that way, I just have other problems to deal with!
Living with someone who does not see themselves as you do, and as lots of others see them, can be challenging. Coupled with someone who really has to think hard about what they put in their mouth is frustrating at times. However, it’s not such a big deal. You adapt to the basic rules of the game, you influence a change where you can and you accept that’s how they are. Things that are buried so deep in a person’s mind rarely see the light of day to be completely fixed. All you can do is know it’s there and accept it’s part of who they are.
Missy has recovered from an eating disorder, it does not control her anymore, and yet there are still echoes that make her aware of the dangers of being in that place. Does she eat things that cause her strife? Sure she does, she’s human not a robot. I would obviously never describe her as foodie, based on what I have previously said, however, she appreciates good cooking. I suppose what I am trying to say is that she has her like and dislikes, just like you, however, the triggers that are buried deep can be initiated very easily if the chain of events are broken. Nann bread – without oil, Asparagus – without butter, Fajitas – without sour cream; you see where I am with this.
Finally body image. One rule I set in place when we came to D/s – No self criticism of your body. I do not want to hear that you are getting to be a ‘chunk’ or that you are a ‘muffin top’ or that your legs are ‘flabby.’ The reason I wanted a stop to this is because firstly it is really negative language and not healthy; and secondly 99% of the time the statements are very over exaggerated. Most of us have fluctuating body weight, my own can span 14 pounds or more in a year, however, I may not be happy about that but I don’t let it define me. Pissed off at my lack willpower? For sure, but there are no alarm bells going off and my mental health being affected. So for us, it’s be aware of body changes, however, let’s try and not get into a hole about it. To me missy is by far the sexist woman I know on many levels, and each night when she takes off her bathrobe and walks around the bed naked, I always wish the walk took just that little bit longer.