Hearing loss and relationships

How much hearing loss effect relationship with your spouse. I am divorced twice so I sometimes wonder whether hearing loss has a role in it. I made utmost effort both times to make the relationship work but sadly the result was opposite. Both my exes were normal hearing folks. Emotionally I am scarred due to this awful experience. It’s easy to say move on but I am trying my utmost best. I think people lack empathy toward us. They cannot even fathom how we deal with this disability and how exhausted we are due to the effort we put to hear things. I am now scared whether to marry again or not.

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. Well there’s two sides to every coin. And everybody is different. There’s no question that a spouse may understand that you have a hearing loss and then later find out that they just can’t deal with it. At the same time a lot has to do with how you deal with your loss yourself. Yes there’s a lot of people that will see your loss as an inconvenience to them but at the same time it doesn’t help for you to feel sorry for yourself or even use your loss as an excuse. Marriage is a lot of work and a lot of give and take on both parts. It’s never about one person. It’s important that your spouse understand what your dealing with which is more than you just telling her. But you need to understand that she or he also has to deal with the frustration of you not understanding her. It’s a two way street. I can’t emphasis enough that you not use your hearing loss as the sole reason for a failed marriage. Usually a failed marriage is a two way thing. If you think it was caused by your hearing loss then if nothing else try to figure out what you may have done to make your loss a bigger problem than it should have been. You write that people don’t understand hearing loss. You’re right a lot don’t. So it takes patience to explain time and again what you’re dealing with. I have a brother in law who roles his eyes when I can’t understand him even though I’ve explained to him about my loss. Fortunately I don’t see him that often. It can make life frustrating but it’s probably just as frustrating for the person who can hear but can’t communicate with you. Never give up

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Sorry you’re having such a tough time of it. I have no where near the hearing loss you do so can’t imagine the challenges you are having. Some random thoughts (not advice) Have you considered cochlear implant? Have you had anything to do with the deaf community? Have you considered counselling? I would not consider remarriage until you get some of this sorted out. If you’re in a relationship, talk about your fears with this person.

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Here’s the other side of the coin. I entered my first marriage with a progressive loss but hadn’t progressed to hearing aids. After a year of marriage my wife suggested hearing aids. I said sure. Why not. Let’s see where we’re at. Prior to this I had been told there weren’t aids available for my loss yet. Long story
short I got the aids. Now I could hear my wife’s snide hurtful remarks she was making from the next room. The marriage ended a rear later. Now that wasn’t the only reason but it didn’t help. But my wife should have been happy because now I could hear her. She wasn’t. You can’t with

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My wife is normal hearing and I met her just before getting hearing aids. She has a brother with special needs so I think she’s more used to being accommodating but I’ve found that I just need to ask her to speak up instead is saying what all the time and we get along fine

Sorry you’ve been through it a few times. No matter the cause, that’s no fun for everyone.

It sounds like your just recently out of your second marriage meaning there’s probably a lot of mixed feelings swirling around inside you. It may not be time just yet to try to figure out why. I remember when my first marriage fell apart I felt like a total failure. The hurt takes time to go away. But it will. Then you can figure what if anything the hearing caused the problems. If the ex says it did it could be just her trying to be hurtful knowing it’s a sensitive subject. People do and say crummy things to get even. There are tons of marriages out there where at least one partner is hearing impaired. Don’t give up. Hearing impaired is not an end of the world thing that kills relationships

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Thank you for taking the time to encourage me.

I’ve been partially deaf almost since birth. Worn aids for over 4 decades. My wife is normal hearing. We’ve been married over 20 years. Yes, sometimes she makes a remark that I heard her but chose to ignore her. Most often that is not true……except when it is. Point is, if someone is bothered or embarrassed by your loss, they are not the one for you.

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Sorry about your dilemma. IMHO, this is not the place to get advice. True others have experienced
similar issues, but remember “there are 3 sides to a story. His, her’s & the truth.” As someone here suggested professional counseling/therapy is what’s needed. Opinions are worthless but suggestions are priceless. An Open Mind is a Must. Good Luck. Been there, done that.

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I will weigh in only to say that severe hearing loss acutely affects the day to life of a person. Hearing is such hard work, never more so than in a masked world. It is exhausting and frustrating. One develops an absolute phobia to the telephone, never knowing if the conversation will be successful. One might have no choice but to be dependent on a spouse/partner to advocate for them, handle business affairs, and speak for them - sometimes not accurately conveying the thoughts that need to be expressed. One avoids social settings which can be offputting to friends and family, perhaps very disappointing to a partner. There is no blame to be assigned to this, it’s just a sad reality and it’s hard to stay upbeat and cheerful when coping with this disability day in day out. I admit to feeling pretty cranky, even angry, at times when I felt people, who knew my problem, were inconsiderate or thoughtless. Occasionally I have felt quite sorry for myself. And I think that is understandable. However it does put added pressure on the cracks of a relationship, when you are not at your best and the partner is also adjusting to the changes in lifestyle brought on by problems with communication and diminished social life. Your loss is their loss as well.

Having just received a cochlear implant a couple of months ago, I am almost giddy at my restored hearing. So much of my stress has lifted - even my audiologist remarked on the change in me since we first met. I am getting my former life back, knowing that I can handle conversations outside my home. I have resumed long walks with a dear friend, which I had given up on because I had to face her to “hear” her rather than watch where I was going. I never volunteered to drive on outings, because it was my right ear which was fully deaf, so I couldn’t carry on a conversation on a road trip. I am so anxious for this pandemic to be over so that I can plunge back into social/volunteer activities that I used to enjoy. All these things made me a nicer person who was engaged with life.

I do hope that you can achieve some better hearing and the resulting confidence and optimism to get past your broken relationships. Wishing you all the best.

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My biggest concern right now is how depressed Issa sounds right now and tend to agree that this forum is not his main priority right now

I have been wearing aids for about 17 years, my second wife and I married about 2 years before I got my first pair of aids. It was my wife that pushed me to get my hearing checked. I went to a private audiologist and got the news and didn’t really believe it until I saw the audiogram. I didn’t get aids then because I couldn’t really afford to. I am a Veteran and I already knew my hearing loss was related to my military service. The VA and I sent paper work back and forth for about 2 years before I was granted the fact my hearing loss was service related. But in the meantime I had to give in and get my own aids that I couldn’t really afford. Not knowing anything about hearing aids or my hearing loss and needs my first aids were a disaster. Sure I could hear things I couldn’t before but it seemed to my my speech understanding was worse. I spend my work day on the phones, landlines, and the early cellular phones. No Bluetooth and no devices to help with hearing the calls. I would come home so tired I didn’t want to be around anyone or any sounds. My wife bless her soul seemed to understand and helped me adjust and deal with appointments after appointments to get the aids functional. Well the VA finally came through and the aids from the VA did make a huge difference and by then I was able to get a loop around my neck that had the t-coils and I could hear on the phone. It now seems like a long time ago that I had that trouble. Hearing aids are not perfect and more than likely never will be in my lifetime.
Hearing issues and relationships are a two way street. I have had to give up understanding every thing, and my wife and family has had to also make adjustments. I believe I live in the perfect community for my hearing loss seeing almost everyone here wears hearing aids or has CIs.

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I have to suggest counseling!!
I know too many couples with one hearing impaired and one not who are very happy to be able to buy your hearing problem as THE reason for breakup.
My husband’s family has inherited Sensorineural hearing loss. I knew when we married that his dad had very poor hearing and had worn hearing aids since the 1950’s. AND he would come into the house and TAKE OUT HIS HEARING AIDS because they annoyed him so much!!!
My children can not remember dad EVER NOT wearing hearing aids.
But fortunately because of the family history, my husband started wearing aids EARLY in his loss and always wore them from the time he got up until he went to bed and was always willing to go back for adjustments until he got them “just right” and try new things - - like the TV connector so that the rest of us didn’t suffer with the LOUD TV that we did at his parents house!!
Marriage is always a 2 way street. So, please get some counselling to look further into your issues.

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So extremely well said susanmarylynn! I can relate to so much of this. Having a hearing loss can be so isolating, a hidden disability, and get you really down at times. It can affect every facet of your life, but particularly existing relationships and how you connect, or are afraid to connect, with new people and creating new connections. I think down the track a CI might end up being something I need to investigate.

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You also need to understand that you have a loss. You may always have a loss and accept it and not allow it to be a controlling factor in your life. And not use it as an excuse everytime something goes wrong… That’s one of the reasons for a forum like this so we can all support each other

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@hass5744 - Ouch. The sad thing is that severe hearing loss does control one’s life in so many ways - as well as the lives of partners. Lack of effective communication is probably the biggest challenge in any relationship. Yes, absolutely, one has to “own” the problem, but it is much easier said than done - or heard, to be more precise. More than a dozen years of hearing aids for me and I still couldn’t hear my little grandchildren’s precious stories, or have an effortless casual conversation with my spouse. I even began to keep close friends at bay because it was so much work to keep up running conversations.

Things continued to deteriorate and I was referred for an implant. I realize that option is not open to everyone, due to type of hearing loss or finances or proximity to a hospital that performs the surgery and carries out follow-up. But when the implant was offered, I didn’t hesitate. It wasn’t just for me, it was for those close to me from whom I was drawing away.

I am much younger than my husband, and, chances are, I may need to cope alone for many years. At least my kids will be able to call me to check on me. Meanwhile, my improved hearing is improving both of our moods and day to day interactions and communication. My husband doesn’t have to repeat himself over and over - it made him cranky, too. He is enjoying playing the radio in the car again, because it actually sounds like music to me now. I can hear the TV at normal levels again, so he doesn’t get blasted. I can even hear podcasts that he found interesting, and then we can easily chat about them afterwards. And he is now the one saying “pardon” as I haven’t yet learned to control the volume of my own voice. I used to bellow, now I whisper, apparently! :sweat_smile:

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The nice thing is you have received love and support during your trials and tribulations. The op doesn’t seem to be receiving support and may be becoming depressed and possibly drawing the wrong conclusions based on his experience