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Thread: Spouse of Tourette

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,858

    Default Spouse of Tourette

    How does Tourette Syndrome affect your relationship with your partner, or is it a non issue?

    How did you deal with your earliest conversations with your partner to explain and to discuss your Tourette?

  2. #2

    Default Spouse of Tourette

    My TS only became noticable (or unrestrainable) while I was with my girlfriend... and it's pretty much a non-issue. Fortunately, she thinks most of my tics are cute.

    We've been engaged and living together for a while now, and there have been no problems. The only time it's ever a problem is when I have my vocal tic when we're trying to go to sleep. But she's tolerant of it, and very supportive.
    Colin

  3. #3

    Default Spouse of Tourette

    I was married for 25 years before finding out about TS. I did my best to hide my tics all that time, spending many hours in the bathroom.

    I go through phases of repeating things I say many times, and my husband would always get angry with me for doing that. It was very frustrating, because I didn't know why I did that and had no way of justifying it. All I knew was that I had no control over it.

    Now that we know about TS, most of the time my tics have become a non-issue. Just some vocal tics will get him to say dumb things about them, instead of ignoring them.

    I guess the biggest problem is that now I won't suppress tics in his presence any more (most of the time, anyway), and he isn't used to especially the vocal tics (other than throat clearing, which always seemed normal) and I am sensitive to comments. I'm sure this phase will pass.
    German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

  4. #4

    Default Spouse of Tourette

    i am only just "coming out" about the TS to my husband,he is the only one who knows,but he doesnt want to know really,he will pretend to be interested as he is watching the telly or on the computer with his back to me ,grrr,or the most annoying thing is that he will turn it round to himself,always relating something about me to something about himself,he is so far up himself,well,i wont go on,but he does annoy me !! :x
    nothing and no one in the world is worse off than him !!
    feel better for getting that off my chest,lol
    jo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,858

    Default Spouse of Tourette

    Perhaps your therapist or physician can of assistance in informing/educating your husband, provided he is willing to listen, to help him understand that sometimes it isn't just "bad habits or behavior", "stubbornness", or "drama".

    Could there be some denial:?

    "A member of my family couldn't possibly have something like this!"

    Could it be fear?:

    "I don't want this to be true so I refuse to let it be true."

    Or, could it be about power struggles?:

    "She thinks this is a problem and I hate/am angry with her so I'll refuse to accept this" .

    Friends support friends in time of need, and the same should apply to spousal relationships.

    Can a third party counselor or health professional help in a relationship where one partner unwilling or incapable of providing support?

    Would it be different if the situation were reversed or if the need for support was in connection with a medical issue like cancer or diabetes?

  6. #6

    Default Spouse of Tourette

    In my relationship, it's totally a non-issue.
    But considering my SO has severe Panic Disorder and Bipolar-'lite' (and probably a med-induced Attention Deficit behaviors) what's a few tics? LOL!


  7. #7

    Default Spouse of Tourette

    My TS has recently begun complicating my relationship. My husband knew I had TS from the very beginning. It was no big deal, kuz I haven't had tics in years. But I have a lot of comorbid conditions. He knew about those too, and again it was no big deal. He understood, he loved me, nobody's perfect, we'll work together on it. But then I moved to Canada to be with him (I'm from the States). Things were fine for the first year. BUt since my immigration isn't complete, I'm not allowed to work. I'm in an unfamiliar country. I know nobody. I have no established routine whatsoever. Can you imagine what it's like to go over a year without a routine or place to call home? Everything has been so unstable for me. So now all these little comorbin demons are coming out. I'm driving myself crazy. I'm driving him crazy, bless his patient soul. I can't seem to initiate any activity, even if I honestly want to do it. I sit there and think about it and will myself to do it and play it over in my mind...but NOTHING HAPPENS!

    So yes, it's causing problems in the relationship. My husband is a saint. Very understanding and loving. But the housework doesn't get done. The bathroom has been half-painted for almost 3 weeks now. I never leave the house without him. I start tasks and never finish them. And the poor guy works all day to support me, and he comes home to this unfinished mess. He's exhausted and asks what I did today and I've done nothing. Needless to say, he gets a bit frustrated.

    It has gotten to the point for both of us where something just has to be done. We're both going crazy. That's why I joined this forum and started talking with the TSFC. I'm hoping I can find some help and suggestions here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    557

    Default Spouse of Tourette

    Hi kwhitlock

    Some of what you describe -- not being able to get into a routine, not getting housework done, etc. sounds like depression. With your comorbid stuff acting up and all the changes, have you considered that depression might be an issue on top of it all?
    Cathy
    Forum Moderator
    TSFC Homepage

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,858

    Default Spouse of Tourette

    Kwhitlock,

    It is understandable that you are feeling isolated and alone in unfamiliar surroundings, along with the other challenges you mentioned.

    Stressors in our lives are cumulative, and we each have a limit as to what amount of stress we can tolerate. It is postulated that people with Tourette begin with a higher than average baseline stress level due to the disorder.

    In your case, you have moved to a new place (major stressor), cannot work (major stressor) dealing with Tourette (another stressor).

    All these add up and if your brain chemistry is pre disposed to depression, then it would be prudent and wise to consult your physician.

    There is no shame to feeling anxiety and depression, both of which are treatable medical disorders.

    As for local contact, are you in an area where you can participate in one of the local BC Chapters of the TSFC?

  10. #10

    Default Spouse of Tourette

    I've struggled with clinical depression my whole life, so I'm very familiar with it. I'm not Depressed, just depressed. Don't know if anyone can relate to the difference. It's all these problems have me a little bummed, but I'm not Depressed, ya know?

    It's just when I have no routine, I'm completely lost. I stand there not having a clue what to do with myself. It's frustrating. There's no natural prompts to do anything. Like when your alarm goes off, that's the prompt to get dressed, which is the prompt to bruch your teeth, which is the prompt to go to work, and so on. But I have no prompts or routine with consequences.

    And I do want to see a medical person, but I can't. Since I'm still immigrating, I have no health coverage whatsoever. I'd like to get a neurotransmitter level test done.

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