If you are married to, live with or love someone who has a hearing loss this article is for you. Being in a relationship can at times be trying. Being in a relationship with someone who has a hearing loss that they refuse to do anything about can at times be impossible. Never are you more acutely aware of how much you interact with someone until you are repeating yourself two or three times, enduring the TV or radio louder that you would like it to be, every single time it’s on or are constantly correcting misunderstandings, “No, that’s no what I said, that’s just what you heard.
It’s exhausting, frustrating and frankly somewhat selfish. If by the end of the day you make sure you’re in another room, avoid conversation at all costs or sit suffering silently through yet another television program loud enough to be heard 2 blocks away, it’s time for an intervention.
THE IMPACT OF A HEARING LOSS ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP
A recently released British study reported the harm that is done when one partner has a hearing loss left untreated. The survey, of 1,500 hearing-impaired people over 55 revealed that:
- Almost one in two (44% of people) said that relationships with their partner, friends or family had suffered because they can’t hear properly.
- A third (34%) have lost touch with friends, and in some cases seen marriages fall apart, as a direct result of the breakdown in communication caused by hearing loss.
- Two thirds (69%) said their hearing loss seriously hinders their ability to take part in everyday conversations with friends and family, causing 52% of those surveyed to feel left out and ignored in social situations.
- Women (72%) were found to be more affected by social exclusion because of hearing loss than men
- Almost half (49%) said that losing their hearing is the worst thing about growing old.
You are not alone. If you notice a problem then chances are that everyone else notices the problem too. It’s time to sit down with your loved one and have a conversation about getting help for their hearing loss, a conversation that’s probably long overdue. Explain what they are missing. Explain how much you are compensating for their problem and when you’re not compensating you’re avoiding interaction because you’re just too tired to deal with the volume of the TV or their frequent need for repetitions.
It’s quite possible they aren’t aware how much their problem has become everyone else’s problem. You aren’t doing yourself or your loved one any favors by trying to sugar coat the severity of the problem. Make 2014 the year you convince them to get the help they need.