One of the things that’s gotta give if we’re really going to get to the other side of eating disorders is our lack of understanding and support for the loved ones of those affected by the disease. Watching someone struggle with this disease can be overwhelming. It hits them from out of nowhere, and takes time to get past the denial that something is actually wrong — and the (misplaced) guilt that they may have contributed somehow. Loved ones can experience enormous trauma: confusion, helplessness, family disruption. And because people cope with this trauma in different ways, relationships within families and marriages are often strained. Eating disorders are even hard on friendships, and change the very nature of those relationships. Part of the fight against eating disorders is about supporting those on the front line: the loved ones.