During times of AN, we as the love and support really need to be careful about the things we say and do. The mind is at such a delicate state while going through this process and many times the littlest things can trigger a reaction we were not expecting.
I always let my wife know how beautiful I think she is, and that is something that I will never stop letting her know. However, during the times of her struggle, I had to be careful when saying that to her because of the fact that her mind was just not all their to really comprehend what I meant. Someone that is struggling with AN, can totally spin that around and take that as they need to do more now to look beautiful for you. I realized that some things that I just say naturally to my wife, became somewhat triggering and was something I needed to hold off on saying. Just a simple "you look beautiful today" became a trigger for my wife. I am lucky that I was able to catch this trigger early on, and as hard as it was to hold back on saying some nice things to my wife, (things that I thought were encouragement or confidence boosters) it had to be done for her sake. It's not necessarily a bad thing to tell your wife that she is beautiful. However, the point is to make the supporters aware that some things said to a healthy person would be a compliment, but to someone with an eating disorder, can be twisted into something completely different. Compliments are not bad. Just have a better sense of awareness.
One of the greatest things we can do as the love and support, is to stay positive through this process and let our significant others know that we are here every step of the way. Although many times they will not want you there, you have to show you strong love and support constantly letting them know you are right by their side. Look for things that may be triggering, and constantly look to push forward on the path to recovery. My wife and I feel we have a very unique story and are open to share every single detail with you all. Please feel free to contact us at any time, as we are very open to help. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
D and K