Disputes over eating habits can cause relationship rifts

(NBC) - Have you ever been irritated when your significant other takes food from your plate?

Or maybe you're a healthy eater and your partner is a junk food junkie.

Whatever it is, most of us have some sort of conflict in our relationship over food.  So what do you do when the fights heat up?

Licensed Professional Counselor Holly Webb specializes in eating disorders and says she sees couples fight over food on a regular basis.

"What can happen is it can cause some severe disagreements between couples, and what they need to be able to do is find ways to understand exactly what the problem is," Webb says.

She says after you have identified the problem, find ways to try and empathize with the other person.

"If we can empathize with the other person and help to have some understanding why they do things they do, it's going to be much easier to come up with a resolution to the conflict.

For most couples the conflicts are manageable, particularly with a sense of humor, but Webb says for people who carry around serious baggage when it comes to food, it can be a make or break issue in their relationship.

She says of one or both people in a relationship suffer from emotional eating or some other eating disorder, professional counseling may be the only way to get beyond the conflicts it can cause.

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