Valentine’s Day is not too far off, and if you are going to be celebrating with a significant other who has a hearing loss, there may be a few hurdles for you both to overcome. Hearing loss can be difficult for couples. Studies indicate that high numbers of people with hearing loss state that their relationships suffer due to hearing loss. However, instead of dwelling on the negatives, here is some advice to help you both make your relationships healthy.
Communication Is Key
Effective communication is the basis for a healthy relationship. Hearing loss has a detrimental effect on these critical interactions, and when communication breaks down, frustration is not far behind. Sadly, this frustration quickly turns to resentment, which further erodes communication and intimacy. Ultimately, both partners experience a sense of loneliness and isolation. It is common for spouses to blame each other for an inability to listen when in fact, there is a real hearing problem to blame.
Communication, no matter how slight or unimportant, build intimacy and connection between partners. Even those little jokes and mindless meanderings create companionship and reflection. The absence of communication, any communication, significantly impacts the health of a relationship.
When communication breaks down due to a hearing loss, numerous detrimental effects occur. Some of these include:
- A decrease in intimate talk
- Loss of companionship
- Shared communication difficulty
- Curtailing of social activities
Support Your Significant Other
Before the breakdown of communication and negative emotions ruin your relationship, take a few steps to help your loved one. Please speak to your spouse about their hearing loss and try to get a sense of understanding from where they are coming. Put yourself in their shoes. There are even apps that can simulate hearing loss and can help you better understand your partner’s problem.
Try to make conversations easy. Cues other than sound can be helpful for a person with hearing loss during a conversation. When you speak with your spouse, gently get their attention and face them directly whenever possible. Avoid eating or chewing gum when speaking, as this makes lip-reading difficult. Try to have conversations when you are both calm and avoid noisy places if possible. Avoid shouting and try rephrasing instead. Always try to make a sincere effort to support your spouse who has a hearing loss. Not only will this demonstrate your love and commitment, but it will also give you the chance to understand your spouse better.
An intervention can help. Devices such as hearing aids improve not only the life of the person with a hearing loss but also help the partner. Better hearing thanks to a hearing aid can improve relationship satisfaction, communication, and social functioning. Addressing hearing loss can enhance intimate conversations, make watching TV together fun, and improve both parties’ social lives. People who get a hearing aid enjoy life again, and even more importantly, enjoy their partner.
If hearing loss is affecting your relationship, it is time to act. Please schedule a hearing evaluation with a hearing healthcare professional today. These hearing specialists can diagnose your hearing problem and develop a treatment plan that will help you and your spouse enjoy your lives together.