Boyfriend's Tinnitus Is Killing Our Relationship

Discussion in 'Support' started by ezzy, Jul 3, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. ezzy

      ezzy Member

      Location:
      Boulder, CO
      Tinnitus Since:
      nov 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Paxil?
      It's not that I am not sympathetic to his problems, because I have tinnitus too and have had it a lot less time that he has. He's had it for 10 years, me for only 8 months, but I think I have habituated much better than he has. I guess he habituated to it fine until about a year ago, although even for the last 9 years he has been very sensitive to noise. He wears foam earplugs all the time (although I don't think he wears them properly) and ear muffs and caps in the winter and his ears closed when he thinks a louder than usual noise will occur. He's been doing this for most of the past 10 years but about a year ago sound became even worse for him. Then he started holding his ears almost all the time, anticipating louder noises. I say louder, not loud, because a lot of the noises I would classify as just sounds, not noise. He says that a lot of sounds will spike his tinnitus temporarily, sometimes for a short while and sometimes for days. Of course I have no idea how loud that is for him. I feel like my tinnitus is pretty loud but I have gotten adjusted to it. He is also worried (overly concerned, I think) that one of these days one of those louder sounds will send his tinnitus up permanently.

      I was pretty sympathetic until recently when his behavior got so bad that it is just not fun to be with him anymore. He is constantly holding his ears and being nothing but totally vigilant, looking around the vicinity for potential incoming sounds. I know it must be extremely stressful for him and it is for me too. I think the last straw was when he stuck a pill bottle under a pillow to muffle the sound while he put the cap back on. How f...ing loud can a pill bottle cap be?

      My question is: is there not a better way for him to deal with this? Is his constant vigilance, anxiety and avoidance of almost all sounds maybe actually making his tinnitus worse? And couldnt TRT help him? I would think that if he was able to get used to the ringing for several years, he could get used to the louder ringing if he'd give it a try. I can see avoiding rock concerts (he's been doing that for 10 years) and leaf blowers would be a good idea, but everything?
       
    2. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Does he have hypercusis ?
       
    3. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Im sorry but you dont know what severe loud tinnitus is...you cant "adjust" to that.
      Your boyfriend also probably has reactive T+Hyperacusis - same as me.
      We have UFC fighter, body builder, ex military, real strong men on this board suffering in the same way from the same thing your boyffiend has. Do you really think we would not be able to "adjust" to this had we had what you had adjusted to in 6 months?
      Do not mock his behaviour please. This is a horrid affliction at its worst and a cake walk at its mild/moderate forms.

      I would also like to refer you to the Story of Gaby Olthuis, thread.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    4. Well my dear, to someone who has severe H or yada yada..really f...ing loud!

      Enough to cause f...ing pain! or a f...ing T spike.

      I hope you understand now.

      Last year I had such a hard time taking pills out of the bottle, my very supportive ex would do it for me in the morning..so I could yes, avoid taking pills out of the bloody bottle ,cause imagine that, it hurt my f...ing ears!

      It's called hyperacusis and it really f...ing sucks!

      He needs help. Perhaps direct him here.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    5. ezzy

      ezzy Member

      Location:
      Boulder, CO
      Tinnitus Since:
      nov 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Paxil?
      Ok. Sorry, you guys. I'm not sure he has hyperacusis though. I've done some research on that and it doesn't sound the same. I thought with hyperacusis one is just very sensitive to sound, but not that it spikes one's tinnitus and makes it worse for awhile. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      I agree he needs help. But is there any treatment for this type of tinnitus? Has anything helped you two?
       
    6. ezzy

      ezzy Member

      Location:
      Boulder, CO
      Tinnitus Since:
      nov 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Paxil?
    7. Karl28
      Wishful

      Karl28 Member

      Location:
      Melbourne
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 bad since 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music via headphones
      Wow he sounds just like me lol
      Maybe a little bit worse though but close.
       
    8. Quentino
      Tired

      Quentino Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Decrease of Hearing i presume.
      So? He has hyperacusis or not?
       
    9. He has reactive T. Is there treatment? No and yes-possibly. He needs to join and speak with fellow members.
       
    10. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      Well what I don't get is why does this bother you so much? So he has to put a pill bottle under a pillow to put the cap on... so what? I can see how that'd be a hassle for him, but I'm puzzled why this bothers you, as it's not like it's an inconvenience for you.

      But let me say this: if this bothers you so much, do you think he likes it? Do you think he likes that he is so paranoid of noises that he has to do things like this? Do you feel that your attitude helps him feel better about his situation?

      Also, instead of it bothering you that he has to put his pill bottle under a pillow to muffle the sound, perhaps you could instead think of it as, "Well, it sucks, but I'm happy he's found a way to be able to put the cap back on".

      Also, perhaps you should discuss finding a good TRT clinician for him or help him get ahold of some drugs that have apparently helped others. But whatever you do, expressing our attitude like this will only make the situation worse, not better.
       
      • Agree Agree x 8
    11. ezzy

      ezzy Member

      Location:
      Boulder, CO
      Tinnitus Since:
      nov 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Paxil?
      I brought up the pill bottle as an example of how extreme his behavior has become. There is almost nothing we can do together anymore because of his fear of sound. He doesnt go out except where necessary. And I have been very supportive until now. Actually I have never said anything that wasnt supportive. I have talked to him about getting help many times. He won't listen.
       
    12. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Severe H and T can be debilitating. You need to make a decision, you either choose the easy selfish path and walk away, or you accept that life is suffering for some people and stick by him to the end...There is some good research coming our way.
      Personally, I did not let my gf make the choice as I knew she was not strong enough to see me suffer, so I manned up and walked away.
       
      • Like Like x 3
    13. Geo

      Geo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      its not a fear its the fact that the sounds hurt so bad that they feel like someone stabbing u in the ear..i have the same extreme H and T ..believe when i say its Hell on earth ..what you have is a walk in the park..my T also worsens because of the Hyperacusis not everyones does but some of us unlucky ppl do. mine is just on a downward spiral and im only alive because of the support of my family... and support is what he needs in his life right now...there isnt much help with T or H... its just us who have it that bad to maintain and survive..
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    14. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      You have no idea do you. Its not merely the "loudness" its also in the distortion of the normal frequencies that changes the way even sounds like this get perceived. Mouse clicks, light switches, shuffling paper...for some of us these are excruciating sounds because the normal depth of frequencies has been hollowed out and lost.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    15. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Unfortunately there's not much out there to be done for severe cases like your boyfriend and many others on this board.
      Tinnitus is/can be very debilitating and it's not just affecting the person suffering from it but also the whole family, social life, work....
      It's good that you came here so people can tell you that not every tinnitus is the same and you can possibly understand what your boyfriend is going through.
      It's up to you if you are prepared to stay or leave, neither is easy:(
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
      • Like Like x 2
    16. ezzy

      ezzy Member

      Location:
      Boulder, CO
      Tinnitus Since:
      nov 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Paxil?
      There's more to the situation that I have explained, but it doesnt have to do with tinnitus. I have a very good reason for leaving him, one that should have made me walk away years ago. I never could bring myself to do so until now. I could stick by him if it weren't for this other problem, so it's not like I'm just leaving him to struggle through this alone.
       
    17. spingee
      Wtf

      spingee Member

      He overprotected his ears, he should stop wearing ear protection so much and so his ears can adjust to loud sounds again
       
    18. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      Oh, so you were just looking for a good reason to take away the sense of guilt, cause actually it's not T that you will leave him for. That's actually a kind of relief cause I was once more about to get shocked by lack of understanding for the problem from sb who suffers from T to and if other T sufferers can't understand us , who else will , right? By understanding I mean not being bothered by it and be actually helpful and supportive. You say you talk to him and you offered help and you don't even know if he suffers from H ? So actually you don't know much. I couldn't agree more with Matt. And you just confirmed it - if you trully loved him you wouldn't mind. You just want to leave.
      What is so hard to understand about the fact that he avoids things that will make his T spike ? He should expose himself just to satisfy you ? You wre lucky cause your T is not reactive and probably mild .
       
      • Like Like x 2
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Winner Winner x 2
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    19. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      So why are you here?
       
      • Agree Agree x 5
    20. truesilence

      truesilence Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      The reason he's not getting any help? He's got YOU. I'm sorry but he's got you exactly where he wants.
      Look, there comes a time when you have to say to yourself ' I'm in a bad way and I'm making other people unhappy. What I'm going to do about it?' If he's not willing to get help what are YOU going to do?
       
    21. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      And you are not afraid your condition might get worse ? I guess that must be the difference between people with reactive T and the stable one. When you belong with the first group, you have a very good taste of what it COULD be permanently if you don't take care whereas the second type people might easily fall into the denial and put things into perspective excesively to the point where the first type people seem to 'exagerate'. Actually I perfectly understand it cause it's a copy cat of my situation too, just that it's me the ''exagerating'' one ;) and my bf lives as if he had nothing and seem either to deny or not acknowledge the fact that it might get worse cause it's such a 'weakness' to him to worry about health. And I feel misunderstood cause even if he seems to remember and understand, he doesn't cause he constatly offers me going to a concert for example and my arms just fall down in disbelief. Maybe if you and my bf, who I love very,very much, had a spike for a day or two which would deprive you of sleeping and scare the sh..out of you, you would understand..and would't ask questions like ' how loud can a cap be' ? I mean, for me opening a bottle is not too loud, but still somehow I perfectly understand what torture it may be to others, only after reading a few posts here. I recommend you do the same and who knows ? You might actually consider your bf is a hero in all this and not just a pain in the ass and crybaby. There are cases of very strong people who turned into a snale vecause of T. But that would be if you wanted to understand..cause you let us know that it was just an excuse to leave him for other reasons. I hope it is.
       
      • Winner Winner x 3
      • Agree Agree x 2
    22. ezzy

      ezzy Member

      Location:
      Boulder, CO
      Tinnitus Since:
      nov 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Paxil?
      I admit I'm conflicted about him and don't want to get into a therapy session here. i can see I'm pushing many buttons. All the time I've been in this group I've never gotten so many replies, but that's good. I'm glad people are responding, for whatever reasons. I can't fully answer everyone's messages here myself though, without getting into the whole nature of my relationship with the bf, because that would be way off topic. I am very concerned about his tinnitus, though, which is why I have been doing a lot of research in the past week and posting on forums. It's not like I want to abandon him. As a T sufferer myself, I do understand what he's going through. I just think I cannot be the one to support him through this now, but I'm still trying to get him to get some help for himself. I have emailed him several messages that I think could help him, but he won't pay any attention to them.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    23. Geo

      Geo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      its not that easy some people have mild H and some have it really severe.. how do i know i had mild H last year over the course of a couple of months it dimmed down and after 4 months it came back with a vengeance now any little noise reacts my T very horridly. noe its been 8 months of pure hell with my severe H and reactive T
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    24. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      If my T would affect my relationship so that my partner is unhappy ... she should leave and find happiness ... (it has happend before btw and we are good friends now) ... just sayin ... love is happiness... no happiness, no love ...

      don`t let anyone make you feel like you are a bad person because you consider ending a relationship because you are unhappy ... for whatever reason it is ...

      YOU are the most important person on this planet and you should find love peace and happiness ... no matter the cost ...

      so if you say you should have left him years ago you are actually keeping yourself in an unhealthy situation already ... I have heard of people getting beat up for years and years and still not leave there partner ... I never understood how this can happen ... but it also has to do with ego, having the sense of importance ... even if it is being important as a victim ... very unhealthy situation ... and live just keeps living on.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    25. @ezzy

      Whether you leave him or not is your choice and has nothing to do with us :)

      Personally speaking, it was me who ended a 14 year relationship while being sick with t and h, and how I saw it was, he deserved to be happy, as did I, because together we were not happy prior to me becoming ill..

      So yea, we tucked our unhappiness away for awhile and sought out treatments for me- almost weekly. ( I have more than t and h) and he was and is still very supportive.

      Anyways that's just a glimpse into my life, you do whatever you have to, but I hope he starts opening those emails and tries to get help. He is most definitely anxious and he needs help with that..

      peace out.
       
    26. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      @nills, there's such a thing called LOVE. And that's what often keeps people together even if they are not always happy with each other. Maybe in a dream world people are always happy together, but this is reality, planet Earth and I know hardly any people who are always only happy and satisfied in their relationship. Frankly, I don't know any. Of course I'm not talking anbout extreme cases : violence and betrayal would be unforgivable, but sickness should not be a reason to leave sb you love. If you love, you won't. If you stop loving because sb gets sick..well, maybe it's possible but as I see it, the person who leaves because of sickness of the other one can himself get sick every single day too and should remember that. What's the point of being together if it's only to have fun and not counting on each other in hard times? All is fine until we're in perfect state, shape etc but once we brake we should go to the garbage bin and be exchanged for a new model? Of course, everybody has the right to love himself the most and be the most important for himself, but such people cannot truly love another person. It's different if it happens at the beginning. Then we're not engaged yet, but I could not leave sb I've loved for a decade because he's sick. To me that is an extreme egoism and I consider egoism sth extremely un - noble and diminishing a value of a person ( My personal opinion) But of course, to state the obvious , everybody does what he wants to do.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    27. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      if you stay with someone long enough, your relationship is going to be affected by serious illness and death. That's how it works.

      If you don't want to deal with watching someone get very sick and die or suffer severe functional impairment, you probably don't want to be in a long-term relationship with that person.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    28. Mad maggot
      Breezy

      Mad maggot Member

      Location:
      New zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I hope I don't offend you but the minute you said: "How loud can a pill bottle be?" That's when I knew you didn't have a T that took much habituating and that you really have no idea what he's living with. If he was trapped in a machine with a hammer slamming on his head and he couldn't get out and was screaming... You'd be standing there saying for goodness sake get over it?
      The fact that he had to put the bottle under the pillow in the first place should be telling you something! I think you're feeling more sorry for yourself at the moment to feel any empathy for him. I apologise if that sounds too harsh. I really do. It is hard for people around a sick person to be able to cope. They need a break too. But remember - he doesn't get one! You can. Go have a break from the situation. At least you can. Perhaps you might be rested enough to be more sympathetic again.
      If my hubby was having to put a pill bottle under his pillow because the noise was too loud, rather than asking what you just did, I'd be saying: " oh my lord this must be a living hell he is in!" Do you have children? You wouldn't react this way to a suffering child. But you would become exhausted and need a break from it. Perhaps that's what you need. But just imagine being in his place and never having the possibility of getting a break. And try to imagine the guilt he feels for being a "bother" and not being able to stop it.
       
      • Like Like x 2
      • Agree Agree x 2
    29. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      the fact you don1t know anyone that is only happy in their relationship is my point exactly ... you all live a half life ... taking mediocrity for granted while the heavens are at your feet if you only dare to live and love ... problems have nothing to do with it ... if their is love there are no problems ... definitely not between people ... I talk out of experience ... I am ruthlessly honest as a human being and I have seen how unloving people can be thinking they really love (myself included) ... I hope you will find out for yourself and start living honestly because if you don`t it is your loss and a life wasted on lesser things ... don`t get me wrong but i`m not here to make a point and i don`t think you are ready to really see it ... but i`m happy to be proven wrong ... but i`m kind of done wasting energy .. i`m just happy to poke a few hearts and minds to ditch the garbage they believe in that the preist and parents and schools have put in there ...
       
    30. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      @nills, even if you think it's just a question of socialisation..so what ? We all live following some ideals and values..and these are mine. They constitute me so they don't make me unhappy in any way, on the contrary. Mind that I say ' not always and only happy' cause this is simply impossible, except in the beginning maybe when we are so enchanted we don't notice anything wrong. You write as if there were some stages and sooner or later everyone needs to admit the way you think. I don't live a halflife or definitely not a worse life than it was outside the relationship. Even though it's not always sunchine and rainbows in the relationship and difficulties always come along when you share your life with another being - ut's normal. We're not made of wood, we're complex. What I meant we're never always happy, but if we love sb that means he gives us happiness. Of course, if we are always and only UNhappy, then it's a reason to leave, but if you expect a perfect union you will always be disappointed.
      'Heavens are at your feet ' ? You mean 'other,better ones ' ? You don't just find people to love around the corner. So many will go through the whole life without even knowing how it feels like to love or be loved. And how can you know if you 'really' love or not..it's all subjective. 'If there's love there's no problems' - once more, in a fairy tale maybe. The outside world sucks. We have to fight constantly. For work, for surviving, for health , against the system etc. All this influences us and therefore may create tension in the couple. I experience this a lot, but still - there's love and that is what makes me feel that all these other shitty things are not that importatnt. But I don't say what you write is wrong..I'm sure some people are 'faking' or just trying to convince themselves about sth..just don't apply to everyone cause it is not true for everyone. You cannot possibly know ..
       
      • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.