From a Non Misophobic husband – A Personal story.

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    Len Gurney

    I do not have misophonia. I am certain of that. I am an everyday regular 67 year old English chap.

    I re-married about 10 months ago after the death of my first wife. I have known my new wife who is a little older than I (yes, I am a toy boy :-0) ), we courted you might say, for 4 years, and married last year. I was aware that B (we shall call her) could be a little “fractious” quite often for reasons that escaped me. This became an issue and we frequently had rows, some of them BIG rows. For the sake of ease in this missive, shall we just accept that when I say B gets ANGRY, this may also mean just a bit miffed, or huffy, or full blown eruptive anger.

    I would feel, indeed still feel, she was/is “picking on me” for the smallest of things, but I did notice it was mostly (though not entirely) associated with noise. B also likes to sleep in late in the mornings very late, 10:30 is not unusual. I do not. I am an early riser normally.
    So most mornings, for the first 3 hours or so for me consist of creeping around the house, trying to be quite. (have you every tried making a cup of tea, making some toast and emptying the dishwasher in almost silence – trust me, it’s an art form yet to be recognised).

    She would, and indeed still does, keep telling me I am eating with my mouth open and making horrible sounds; (funny no-one else has mentioned it, not even my first wife who was a stickler for such things), and yes, I did, and do, get angry when she mentions such things. Sometimes yes, very angry.
    Sniffing is another. I do have a slight breathing condition (OSA – and use a CPAP at night) and that causes a “runny nose”, so yes, I do sniff more than most people.
    Other “triggers” (as I now understand they are called), include but are not restricted to, breathing hard or irregularly, sighing, clearing my throat, scratching/itching and god forbid the neighbours should have a conversation on their patio (they do talk loudly yes – the are German – but come on, live and let live).
    I cannot watch a TV program that she is not interested in while she is in the same room, the sound annoys her. Plus, at all times I MUST keep my hands and feet still, IE: fidgeting.

    If she isolates herself to a different room, perhaps because I REALLY want to watch a certain TV program, and you know what?; she can still hear the bloody TV and gets angry, so I have to wear headphones now, (try wearing headphone for hours – sore ears or what), and you know what happens when you wear headphones? Not only do I end up talking to myself or commenting about the program, she then hears that and still gets angry. She does sometimes wear ear plugs as well. That helps a little it seems.
    She will isolate herself from me due to these noises and I don’t like that either, it makes ME feel abandoned, alone, lonely and discarded, cast aside like an oily rag so to speak. This is not what I signed up for when we got married. This situation was, and remains a thorn in my/our sides.I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO OR HOW TO FIX THIS.

    Then B chanced upon an article in a newspaper about this misophonia thingy. Apparently it took her a few days to pluck up the courage to show it me. I read the article and said straight away, bloody Norah, this could have been written about you.
    I have read much about it now, and although I get what the problems are, I have failed dismally to stop annoying B with my “habits”. I am in trouble. At my wits end if you will.
    I do not want her to keep isolating herself in another room, because of my random noises, but after saying that, I also think her expectation THAT I STOP these sounds and actions unrealistic and unreasonable.
    What do YOU the reader think? (actually I have just about mastered stopping my hands and feet from fidgeting when watching TV).

    I love B dearly, and wish to spend much time with her, but not like this. I dearly hope we can find methods to cope with this or I fear we are doomed to separate lives.

    This missive is from the heart. I think that most misophobics will feel me unreasonable or unsympathetic, and that is understandable, but please misophobics, please think of the impact on your partners’ lives also and try to work together to find common ground or coping mechanisms. Talk about it between yourselves, to try to work out a personal system that works for you both.
    Please trust me when I tell you, just removing yourself from the presence of your loved one because of the human sounds, may it fix you, but like me, it may leave them feeling unloved unwanted, and abandoned, which as we know, is a first class recipe for separation.

    Good luck… Len

    #1008837 Reply

    Hi Len

    I came onto the forum for a rant yesterday and read your story. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Yours is only the second story I have read from someone living with a Misophone, and both have seriously upset me, and also made me have a good look at myself.

    I really feel for you and your situation. I don’t disagree whith most of what you have said (except saying how much headphones hurt after a while – you don’t need to tell us, most of us wear the wretched things all day!).

    I’d like to think i’m not as harsh on the people around me. But occasionally I’m afraid that I am, or used to be. I don’t usually tell people what they do that triggers me, I don’t want them to be paranoid about it. However I know that when I was young I didn’t ever tell my mum that her chewing was driving me insane, but I would instigate arguments at the table so I could be sent to my room (blissful escape!!) but I can see now that those arguments would have been upsetting for everyone, and probably confusing. I knew even then that I was seen as irrational and maybe even spolit or nasty, which I hated and felt unfair, but I just had to get away.

    I’ve told her since during an honest discussion and when I visit now she does make concessions that she wouldn’t have done when I was a child – she was very strict, and less understanding as a person than she is now (she will leave the TV on during dinner now, and sit at the seat furthest from me). But I am an adult now and I think we achieved this through, as you say, compromise and discussion, or even just being honest so we can understand each other better. You might be interested to know that now we have had those discussions, and both been honest, reasonable and willing to compromise: she triggers me a LOT less. Her chewing sounds annoy me less and we went on holiday together recently for a week with absolutely no problems! We even shared a room! (Unless she ate an apple, some things are insurmountable haha).

    I don’t want to say bad things about your wife, particularly as I understand her reactions – if not her way of asserting them. I do think she needs to discuss this more with you, and help to find ways of making this bearable for you both. Perhaps finding her triggers which are insurmountable, and others which might be worked around. Have you told her what you’ve told us? The piece really, really made me think about the poor people around me and others like me. I think in a way it has helped me too. I hate that I might have made anyone feel like you do 🙁 🙁 and your wife in ‘normal, untriggered mode’ I’m sure would agree, and it would hurt her that you feel this way.

    I don’t think you can have these discussions when she is in ‘trigger mode’ so pick your time well! Sadly I don’t have the solutions but I agree that they can only be found during a caring discussion, you are partners and need to work together on this.

    I’m not a remotely sloppy person but your second chance at love has got me a bit! and I hate to think it is being so tainted by this horrid condition. You being constantly on edge as well isn’t the answer is it. Thank you for sharing your story and I wish you all the luck in the world.

    #1009032 Reply

    My boss has misophonia. I may have to quit my job because he is so mean to me about it. So my heart goes out to you.

    #1009061 Reply

    Lack of sleep is really bad for misophonia, try getting her to sleep earlier and getting her to have a good night sleep so she doesn’t need to sleep in to half ten. Do you take anything for your sniffles? I use a nasal spray and sometimes apply vix to the chest on a night time.

    A boss with misophonia needs to be told to make an effort and try meet you half way. Try and apply humour if you can to do this.

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