How to Get My Wife to Understand Bad Tinnitus Days

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Mike Steckley, Sep 11, 2015.

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    1. Mike Steckley

      Mike Steckley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      I came home yesterday from a completely busy day, and left Night class because I just was having a bad T day. I came home to cook for my wife who wanted to tell me about her night at work the night before. As her voice got louder, I lost focus on what the recipe was saying and just cringed because my ears were ringing badly. I suddenly snapped and asked my wife loudly to summarize what happened. That shut her down and she didn't speak to me the rest of the night.

      Apologizing and explaining that I was having a bad T day didn't help after the fact.

      I sometimes don't realize how irritable I am because of the T until it is too late.

      How do I cope? How do I get my wife to understand?
       
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    2. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      That's an interesting question @Mike Steckley. I respect the fact that you are asking it. It shows, in my opinion, that you value your marriage.

      When I was in the Neuromonics program, my husband and I were part of a University of Miami study that my audiologist was doing on how tinnitus patients and their the spouses/partners each perceived the disorder and the patient's reaction: how much they complained about it, how distressed they were by it and how it impacted their marriage. Spouses and patients both did ongoing surveys. We were told not to share our answers or thoughts with each other until our participation was over. Study hasn't been published yet but I will share when it is.

      After we finished our paperwork, my husband and I did talk about our thoughts unveiled in the survey. I had severe panic and anxiety when my tinnitus began. We did the survey about seven months into my T, after the worst phase had based but where I still was severely bothered by tinnitus. My husband said he felt very scared and bewildered when it first began, and he didn't know how to help me. He also was upset that I said during a presentation at our church one Sunday, about a year after my T began, that tinnitus was the only thing that every made me seriously considered suicide. My husband pointed out I never had shared this with him privately at the time. I told him I had not wanted to scare him even more. Yet his take on this very different than what I imagined.

      So: this is a time, in my opinion, that you must communicate, communicate, communicate with your loving spouse/partner. Share the good and the bad. Explain that you don't expect your spouse to "fix" things, which is what we often want to do for those we love. Tell him/her that sometimes, you just need someone you trust to listen without judgement and comment. Express your feelings and what might help you (a positive) rather than focusing on his/her difficult behaviors (a negative). For example: Instead of saying: "You are too loud! Tone it down and just tell me what happened at work.", try: "My tinnitus is so loud, it's hard for me to have a long conversation right now while I'm trying to cook. Is it OK if I wait until we sit down for dinner and then maybe I can give you my full attention, if I'm up to it?"

      Also: I did a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help me deal with my T and anxiety (worked wonders for me, best thing I did to get over the tinnitus hump). As part of that, my therapist had my husband come in twice with me. She talked to us together about what to expect in our lives when one of us was dealing with a serious medical disorder, then had some private time with my husband. Then she talked with us both again about how we could support each other during this. In other words, I needed to support my husband as well, even if I was the one with tinnitus.

      If you scroll the board, you'll find many people here talking about how amazing their partners and spouses have been during this time, that they have been their lifelines. We and your wife together can get through this. Your love is stronger than tinnitus.

      Blessings. Hope this has been remotely helpful. Sorry for the ramble.
       
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    3. Xorthian
      Balanced

      Xorthian Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial 2012. Massive spike 4/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisey Lifestyle. Increase from infection.
      Just download white noise app and play some sound similiar to your t at level thats again - similiar to your in head for couple of hours or minutes while you spend time together watching movie for example.

      I did something similiar with my gf and she is much more understanding.
       
    4. Josef Mills

      Josef Mills Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1997
      I had Tinnitus before keeting my wife. It was s very stressful marriage to a very cold callous person. I did explain it too her. The whole of the summer of 2014, out of the blues I developed Anxiety disorder and nearly lost my job. I could have a panic attack at any given moment, and between attacks I was getting dizzy spells and adrenalin pulses. I knew the reason it was happening because j was bottling my feelings up,. I did this because I was tired of fighting. During fights she would would mock my tinnitus, by holding her ear doing a zombie walk and moaning. I got the same amount of compassion from her for the anxiety disorder, although she was the cause. Needless to say, I am going through s divorce. With a wife like that who needs enemy's, I don't ever want s partner again in fact. I'm better off on my own
       
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    5. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      Going through the same things - he calls me Tinnitus Head amongst other insults. Also tells me that I will die in 2 months, that I am going mad, that I will never be alright again as it is incurable.........and that I need to get over it and move on!
      Cruel and uncaring and unfeeling.....
      How to cope with him is greater than coping with T.....
      Life was hard before with him but now it is impossible and I dont know how I managed to stay alive and sane till now.
      He is now telling me that he has mild t due to blocked ears.....whatever next? Would not wish this on my worst enemy and that includes him.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    6. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Oops, sorry for all the typos in my previous post on this thread! And now I can't go back and edit it. :sorry: This is what I get for not back-reading my own work.
       
    7. michaelbio

      michaelbio Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Long Island, New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Teenager
      Just be aware not to take it out on her. If you are feeling you want to snap, explain your discomfort respectively. People who don't have this condition or any other ailment they don't have just can't relate. Don't expect your wife to relate either.
       
    8. sigep0519

      sigep0519 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      There have been several occasions when I need my wife to "quietly" finish a story (she can get a little high pitched sometimes). I simply take a deep breath, in order to calm myself and ask as nicely as possible, and then ask "Babe, my ears are a little sensitive right now, can you continue this with just a bit less emphasis?" She understands and takes it down a notch. Everybody is different of course, and some just don't get it, but asking a nicely as possible has always worked for me.
       
    9. Gabrielle
      No Mood

      Gabrielle Member

      Location:
      Netherlands, Utrecht
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, maybe bad syringing
      tape the sound of your T on your iphone. put that sound to your wife's ear for 1 minute.
      tell her that she only has to listen for it for 1 minute.

      And that you must listen to it every second of your life.

      Maybe than she will understand what T can do to a person.
       
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    10. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      I massaged my wife daily while an ipod was masking my T with nature sounds. That should make her appreciate your sufferings more, lol. Use some youtube videos of T sounds and find one matching yours. Then play it to her so see if she can bear it for 1 minute (5 minutes may be too long, lol). I have ultra high pitch dog whistle T. I talked about how to make my family understand my T suffering in my success story with a video, and I also have discussion on family relationship as well as important points to help me turn around. I also used some mental imagery technique to help me stay calm during huge spikes. For brevity, here is my success story post with these details:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/from-darkness-to-light-how-i-recovered-from-tinnitus-hyperacusis.3148/
       
    11. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      So how could it have been ultra high pitch loud that it could be masked? with nature sounds?
       
    12. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Honestly I could only do partial masking most of the time due to hyperacusis as louder volume hurt. That was why the initial period was so tough as I had to face the ultra high pitch dog whistle evem with masking. Anything is better than the monotonous ultra high pitch shrill. So nature sounds such as waterfalls, heavy, heavy rain shower or river sounds with continuous cicadas without breaks or squeaky fawcet did help to mix with the high pitch T. Gentle rain, waves and running brooks are not good enough due to either breaks in between crashing waves or not enough high pitch with running brook sound. But these were initial condition. Now I don't give a dime as the brain is hardened to the high pitch shrill and I don't need masking unless my nerves are shaky (due to my anxiety and panic disorder) or that T is on a huge spike for extended period. And even with masking nowadays, it is not used to cover the whole T scream, but just to have other soothing sounds for the auditory system to focus on instead of listening to a single mono tone screaming out of its lung.
       
    13. Josef Mills

      Josef Mills Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1997
      Well I sorted that problem out. We are getting divorced. . I have replicated the sound through a KHz scale, she cringed and held her ears, she has seen me have panic attacks. But I don't want pity,( which I never got) I want support. I did not petition divorce over just this, it was symptomatic of systematic verbal abuse from my wife. Whilst the nagging acted as a mask, I could do without it, as it stressed me beyond limits. I still have the tinnitus, it's actually louder, but I can cope better, because I don't have the stress from her
       
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