Tinnitus, Relationships & The Future — Is Committing to Someone Wise?

Discussion in 'Support' started by fortoolongnow, Dec 7, 2019.

    1. fortoolongnow

      fortoolongnow Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I am looking for some advice from people that have experienced this if possible.

      I am in my mid 30's and have had tinnitus for about 4 years now. When I first got it (exposure to loud noise based on my on stupidity) I think I went through what most others did, mainly the emotions of trying to get to grips with how am I going to deal with this for the rest of my life.

      I would say my tinnitus is around about a 7 level. I can hear it over everything bar being in the shower. I haven't gone to see any specialists or got treatment for it, I've managed to implement my own coping mechanisms which helps get me through. For those interested, I basically have white noise around me whenever possible whether it's a mini speaker or earphones not that it masks the tinnitus at all but it helps me get through each day.

      Up until now I have managed to cope alright. Life isn't great by any means, I've stopped doing most things I used to, stopped catching up with people or being in any environment I can't control, avoid situations that would be considered normal for someone without tinnitus, but I'm alive so I guess I'm "coping".

      More recently, it seems to have gotten worse or I have just become more conscious/aware of it, I don't actually know which one. I think it's gone up to an 8 and this I feel is very close to my limit. I am only just coping with it now. I don't think I am depressed, but I don't look forward to anything anymore, quite literally. I feel without a cure, there is no hope for life and when you take away hope, you are left with despair. This is how I feel every day now.

      I have been with my loving partner now for almost 3 years. She is wonderful in general especially when it comes to my tinnitus. She puts up with the white noise when sleeping, music always on inside the house, she doesn't go out much because she wants me there with her (even though I encourage her to go out with friends without me), she warns me before turning on loud appliances etc etc. She is an amazing woman and we are now talking about marriage and having kids which brings me to my current situation.

      I don't know what the future is going to bring. I can only assume my tinnitus is going to get worse as time goes on and what that is going to do to my mental state is unknown. I've been thinking about this a lot recently and I'm worried that if I get married and/or have kids, if it gets truly unbearable I don't want be in the position of choosing to stay alive for my family and have to live through this tinnitus, or committing suicide. I'm not saying that this is what I will definitely do, I'm just saying I don't know what will happen and this uncertainty brings a lot of different thoughts.

      Is there anyone here that has gone through this? Have you had a family and now feel like you have to stay round because of them? Has this made your mental state worse (or better)? Or the opposite, have you had a family and now feel better because they rely on you? Maybe it would be fair to my partner now to end the relationship so I don't have to put all of us in that possible situation. Is that selfish of me? I haven't brought this up with her yet, but I would discuss it with her before making any decisions.

      Thanks for reading, any advice and input from anyone would be much appreciated.
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
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    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @fortoolongnow

      There are many people in this forum that got tinnitus the same way you did: exposure to loud noise. It is typically caused by using headphones at too loud a volume and for long durations without giving the ears sufficient rest. Attending clubs and concerts where loud music is played can also cause it. If headphones was the cause of the tinnitus and you have been using them over the last 4 years, this is most likely the reason your tinnitus has got worse.

      You should have gone to ENT a long time ago to have tests done on your auditory system and have an MRI scan. These are important so I advise you to make an appointment. There are various treatments that can help you to cope/manage your tinnitus, but this will probably require a referral to a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist that specialises in tinnitus and hyperacusis management and treatment.

      Please click on the links below and read my posts on tinnitus and hyperacusis. Take your time and read them thoroughly and try not to skim through them. When using the white noise, try to set the level slightly below the tinnitus and not mask it. More is explained in the links to my posts. I advise you not to use headphones even at low volume.

      All the best
      Michael

      PS: Noise induce tinnitus, which is what you have usually improves over time. If it gets worse there are some possible reasons. Either you have been exposing your ears/auditory system to loud sounds, this could be working in a noisy environment. Using headphones or subjecting your ears to other forms of loud noise. Hyperacusis, sensitivity to sound can cause tinnitus spikes which can make the tinnitus worse over time if it's not treated.

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/acquiring-a-positive-mindset.23969/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-the-negative-mindset.23705/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-habituation-process.20767/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-positivity-important.23150/
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      fortoolongnow

      fortoolongnow Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Thanks Michael, I'll have a good read of those links.

      It was a caused by spending too much time in loud bars and concerts, then one time too many I woke up the next day with blinding tinnitus. The only time I wear headphones is for white noise. I don't listen to music with headphones.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @fortoolongnow

      It is listening to white noise through headphones that has made your tinnitus worse, trust me. Headphones often make tinnitus worse for people that have noise induced tinnitus. Please stop using them. Use a standalone sound machine or similar device to listen to while noise. Nature sounds is often a better sound as it's more soothing. More is explained in the links.

      Michael
       
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    5. Lilah
      Bashful

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, Lupus
      I am single and so cannot answer many of your questions. I think it would be wise for each person to reflect more on the general marriage wow "...for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part" and how seriously each person is committed to this. Tinnitus is just one of many sicknesses, and there are many unexpected curve balls life may throw at us.
       
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    6. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      Don't use headphones anymore. Why risk it? My tinnitus isn't sound induced, and even I stopped using headsets (excluding the occasional 5 minute weekly Skype call at work). There is no use in damaging the ears any further, it will only make tinnitus get worse.

      Also, keep in mind that you need to retain some hearing in order to use the possible tinnitus treatments (or even future cures) that are currently under development. Both Lenire and the Michigan device can't be used anymore if your hearing has been damaged too much.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      My 2 cents - DON'T use headphone system and don’t go to loud places.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. RishRamsey
      Doubtful

      RishRamsey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stupid DJ
      You have posed a great question, which something I've been thinking about as well. I am in my mid-twenties with a really amazing girlfriend. We were talking the other day about some future stuff we'd like to achieve, personally, and it hit my mind, having kids was one of the things I always wanted - to pass my understanding and personality to another generation. And it got us talking, and I told her about my apprehensions about committing to someone and then raise a family. That what if, someday, it gets so much worse that I wish to end my life. Would committing to someone, and to put them through something like this wise, and fair?

      She told me if we ever decide to get married, that would mean we really love each other till death do us part kind of a way. Would just getting married, change the pain that she would go through when I leave this world? Like I already love her enough, and have committed to her enough that I am thinking of marrying her, so if I decide to keep things as is, and not get married, but still be with them for 20 years and then do suicide, would it leave her in a better place than I would have if I had married her?

      I know I am still way too young and naive to think about marriage now (not for another 6-8 years), and don't really know how this would help you situation, but seemed like posting because I was actually thinking about it myself a few days ago.

      I hope you get what you are looking for, and all the best!
       
    9. Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello,

      I am not sure if this will help, but one thing I can say is I 100% understand where you are coming from. I am in my mid-twenties and single (dating unsuccessfully) and I have similar concerns about my future.

      I think of how even if I do manage to find a man who loves me for me, and understand my shortcomings and all of the special accommodations I may require, what if I do get worse. I have always envisioned myself with a ton of kids, and a big happy family and Tinnitus certainly threw me in for a loop here. I am still trying to figure out how I will be moving forward in life, but one thing I want to say is we never know how life will turn out.

      It sounds like you have a wonderful person in your life, and while your concerns are certainly valid, I do not think this should stop you from having a family. Who knows, one day your Tinnitus might go away, or there will be a cure that may not necessarily heal but will at least make things tolerable. Unfortunately many children do have parents that end up ending their lives, but maybe having a child will be the light in your life that will help you push forward, even if it is a week/month/or year at a time.

      Life is scary, and if there's one thing I've learned recently is literally anything can happen to our bodies at any moment and while some people are more susceptible to genetic illnesses, we never know what can happen. I don't mean to scare you here but people can get heart attacks, develop autoimmune diseases, neurological conditions, and so on, but living in fear of things getting much worse in the future is also no way to live.

      Unless you guys are already thinking of having children and marriage, just take it one day at a time. I do think a serious conversation with your partner would be useful, but remember that you are 1/2 of this relationship, and your very presence probably brings much happiness to your lady, despite of the rough time you are having.

      Hopefully this helps a bit.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    10. Tweaker
      Transparent

      Tweaker Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      It sounds like you have an understanding partner and my kids have enriched my life. I wouldn't let tinnitus stop you marrying and having a family. They are a big reason why I can keep going with this condition. Also, you should get some wearable white noise generators if white noise helps. I used them for a couple of years. The level should be set to just below your tinnitus level, not completely masking it. WNGs are used as part of TRT.
       
    11. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Sounds like a winner. Don't fear the future.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    12. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      I think it also depends on your personal situation. Once habituated, working and stable, there is no reason not to engage in a relationship. But if one is not capable of providing for the own needs (yet), then it is unrealistic to pursue it. I actually stopped dating when my T came up, specifically because I wanted to be able to take of myself first.

      Getting T while you're already married is different, of course. In that case, work on getting things figured out, hopefully with the support of the partner.
       
    13. Honey_Bee
      Barefooter

      Honey_Bee Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection?
      Hi there! Please don’t let tinnitus stop you from having a family. It is one of the best things in this world. When I got my tinnitus I had been with my boyfriend for about a year. I seriously thought he was going to leave me. I was a mess but he handled me better than I could have ever imagined and he is one of the reasons I pushed myself to not let tinnitus win. And somehow he actually asked me to marry him 9 months after I got tinnitus. Lol we got a dog, got married, bought a house, he retired from the military, and tinnitus has just been there along for the ride. My mental state has improved but it’s life so naturally there are going to be up and downs. We don’t know what’s coming our way. I ran down a hill in flip flops after my dog and tweaked my back that I haven’t even thought about my tinnitus! (I know, not the smartest thing to do lol) It sounds like you have an amazing woman beside you! Don’t let this stop you from making a life with her if that is truly what you want.
      Oh and carry some earplugs. Always helps me in noisy places. Forgot I was even wearing them watching my Rams beat up the Seahawks :)
       
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    14. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I've been married for a decade and I use headphones all the time and have for years with no worsening

      Your milage may vary on both fronts though my marriage might stress me out more if I didn't use headphones ;)
       
    15. forward

      forward Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      NA
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NA
      Since you think about the possibility of commiting suicide and don't show any interest about life, it is clear there are some mental issues going on there. When a condition is affecting your mental stability, you should seek for help to manage those intrusive thoughts (counseling, therapy...).
      Your story reflects mine in many ways. But in my case, I am the gf that gets dumped because of those fears. Be strong and trust the professionals. I don't think you should necessarily give up a future with your girlfriend if you are able to tackle those fears.
       
    16. Michael B
      Supportive

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Diego, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stupidity
      I've had severe tinnitus since its onset nearly 9 years ago. It hasn't gotten any better and in certain ways it's gotten worse. It was noise induced I'm sure by my constant use of earphones while running. I gave them up completely along with headphones. Yet it persists. I have a loving wife who is understanding and supportive of my situation. It sounds like your girlfriend is like that as well. If I was to give you any advice, I'd suggest that you hold onto her for dear life. Marry if that's what the two of you want. Having a spouse that is understanding makes having this all the more bearable.
       

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