Relationships are complicated. It is a pure and simple fact that when two people spend that much time together they get to know one another in detail. They learn what makes the other happy, what their dreams are, what their fears are, what their pet peeves are and what they struggle with. This level of intimacy isn’t always easy, and in some cases, it leads to a divorce that results not from the “fault” of either spouse.

A recent article in a magazine called “The Cut” took a look into what can be a very sensitive issue to talk about in a public setting and an even tougher subject in a relationship. The article focused on men who suffer from an eating disorder and what it can be like for the women who live with them.

In the past, specialists in the field estimated that only 5 percent of those suffering from the eating disorder anorexia were men. This may have been due to the stigma that surrounds the disease when it concerns men. As with ads that make women feel forced to be thin, the same could be said about public figures that are prime specimens of the perceived perfect male body.

Now, after further research, estimates land around 25 percent of all eating-disorder sufferers being male. Although awareness has helped provide extensive treatment programs for women, men still seek help in low numbers — as low as 20 or 30 percent of males seek treatment.

Women interviewed as a part of the article said that it is a struggle being in a relationship. It isn’t that they look at the disorder itself as a problem, but it can become exhausting for some to deal with. Some find that it wears on them when they do everything to help their spouse or significant other stay healthy but still fear to ask the other spouse if he wants help.

In even other cases, some women reported feeling like they were an enabler. One woman from Salt Lake City said that she met her significant other in a recovery program for eating disorders, but that led to them enabling each other.

Relationships are difficult, and in some cases, a medical issue can bring couples closer together or cause a stress on the relationship. In some cases, a couple may simply decide that they love one another but are better off apart. For these couples, an uncontested divorce is a possible route.

Source: The Cut, “The Women Who Dated Men With Eating Disorders,” Kayleen Schaefer