Love and Hearing Loss – Couples Tips for Stronger Communication

Senior couple with hearing loss drinking morning coffee together

Many aspects of your daily life can be affected by Hearing Loss. Your pastimes, your professional life, and even your love life can be impacted by hearing loss, for example. For couples who are struggling with hearing loss, communication can become strained. Animosity can develop from the increased tension and more frequent quarrels. If ignored, in other words, hearing loss can have a substantially negative impact on your relationship.

So, how does hearing loss impact relationships? In part, these tribulations arise because the parties are not aware of the hearing loss. After all, hearing loss is typically a slow-moving and hard to recognize condition. Consequently, you (and your partner) might not detect that hearing loss is the base cause of your communication problems. This can result in both partners feeling alienated and can make it hard to find practical solutions.

Relationships can be helped and communication can begin to be repaired when hearing loss is diagnosed and couples get reliable solutions from us.

Can hearing loss impact relationships?

When hearing loss is in the early phases, it can be hard to identify. Couples can have significant misunderstandings because of this. As a result, there are some common problems that develop:

  • It’s not uncommon for one of the partners to blame hearing loss on “selective hearing”: Selective hearing is when somebody easily hears something like “let’s go get some ice cream”, but somehow misses something like “let’s do some spring cleaning”. In some instances, selective hearing is a conscious behavior, in other instances, it’s quite unintended. Spouses will frequently begin to miss particular words or phrases or these words and phrases will sound jumbled when one of them has hearing loss. This can sometimes result in tension and resentment because one spouse mistakes this for “selective hearing”.
  • Arguments: It’s not abnormal for arguments to happen in a relationship, at least, sometimes. But when hearing loss is present, those arguments can be even more aggravating. Arguments can happen more often too. For others, an increase in arguments could be a result of changes in behavior (for instance, boosting the volume on the television to painful volumes).
  • Intimacy may suffer: In many relationships, communication is the foundation of intimacy. This can cause a rift to build up between the partners. Increased tension and frustration are often the result.
  • Feeling ignored: You would most likely feel like you’re being dismissed if you addressed somebody and they didn’t respond. This can often happen when one partner is suffering from hearing loss and doesn’t know it. The long-term health of your relationship can be severely put in jeopardy if you feel like you’re being disregarded.

Often, this friction begins to happen before any formal diagnosis of hearing loss. If someone doesn’t know that hearing loss is at the root of the problem, or if they are dismissing their symptoms, feelings of resentment could get worse.

Advice for living with someone who is dealing with hearing loss

If hearing loss can lead to so much conflict in a relationship, how can you live with someone who is dealing with hearing loss? For couples who are willing to formulate new communication techniques, this typically isn’t an issue. Some of those strategies include the following:

  • As much as you can, try to look right into the face of the individual you’re talking with: For someone who is dealing with hearing loss, face-to-face communication can give an abundance of visual cues. You will be supplying your partner with body language and facial cues. And with increased eye contact it will be easier to maintain concentration. By giving your partner more visual information to process they will have an easier time understanding what you mean.
  • Encourage your partner to come in for a hearing exam: Your partner’s hearing loss can be managed with our help. When hearing loss is well-managed, communication is usually more successful (and many other areas of stress may go away too). In addition, managing hearing loss is a safety issue: hearing loss can effect your ability to hear the telephone, smoke detectors and fire alarms, and the doorbell. You might also fail to hear oncoming traffic. Your partner can get assistance managing any of these potential problems by scheduling an appointment with us.
  • Utilize different words when you repeat yourself: When your partner doesn’t hear what you said, you will typically try repeating yourself. But rather than using the same words over and over again, try changing things up. Certain words might be more difficult to hear than others depending on which frequencies your hearing loss impact most. Changing your word choice can help strengthen your message.
  • Help your partner get used to their hearing aids: Maybe you could do things like taking over trips to the grocery store or other tasks that cause your partner anxiety. You can also ask your partner’s hearing specialist if there are ways you can help them get accustomed to their hearing aids.
  • Patience: This is especially relevant when you know that your partner is coping with hearing loss. You may have to repeat yourself more frequently or vary the volume of your voice. You might also have to speak more slowly. The effectiveness of your communication can be dramatically improved by exercising this kind of patience.

What happens after you get diagnosed?

Hearing tests are typically non-invasive and really simple. Usually, you will simply put on a pair of headphones and listen for particular tones. You will be better able to regulate your symptoms and your relationships after you get a diagnosis.

Take the hearing loss associated tension out of your relationship by encouraging your partner to come see us for a hearing test.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.