Love and Hearing Loss – Couples Tips for Stronger Communication

Senior couple with hearing loss drinking morning coffee together

Many facets of your daily life can be affected by Hearing Loss. Your hobbies, 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. This can cause increased stress, more arguments, and even the development of animosity. If ignored, in other words, hearing loss can have a significantly negative impact on your relationship.

So how are relationships affected by hearing loss? These difficulties arise, in part, because individuals are usually oblivious that they even have hearing loss. Hearing loss usually is, after all, a slowly advancing condition. Consequently, you (and your partner) may not recognize that hearing loss is the underlying cause of your communication problems. This can lead to both partners feeling alienated and can make it difficult to find practical solutions.

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

Can hearing loss impact relationships?

It’s really easy to ignore hearing loss when it first presents. Couples can have substantial misunderstandings as a result of this. As a result, there are a few common problems that develop:

  • Arguments: Arguments are rather common in almost all relationships. But arguments will be even more frustrating when one or both partners have hearing loss. Arguments can happen more often too. Hearing loss associated behavioral changes, like needing volumes to be painfully loud, can also become a source of tension
  • Feeling ignored: You would most likely feel like you’re being ignored if you addressed somebody and they didn’t respond. When one of the partners has hearing loss but is unaware of it, this can frequently happen. The long-term health of your relationship can be severely put in jeopardy if you feel like you’re being ignored.
  • Couples frequently mistake hearing loss for “selective hearing”: Selective hearing is what occurs when somebody hears “we’re having cake for dessert” very distinctly, but somehow doesn’t hear “we need to take out the garbage before we eat”. In some circumstances, selective hearing is a conscious action, in other instances, it’s quite unintended. One of the most common effects of hearing loss on a spouse is that they might start to miss words or specific phrases will seem garbled. This can sometimes lead to tension and resentment because one spouse confuses this for “selective hearing”.
  • Intimacy may suffer: In many relationships, communication is the cornerstone of intimacy. And when that communication breaks down, all parties might feel more distant from each other. Consequently, hearing loss might introduce friction throughout the relationship, leading to more frustration and tension.

In many cases, this friction starts 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.

Tips for living with someone who has hearing loss

How do you live with somebody who is dealing with hearing loss when hearing loss can result in so much conflict? This will only be an issue for couples who aren’t willing to establish new communication strategies. Some of those strategies include the following:

  • When you repeat what you said, try using different words: When your partner doesn’t understand what you said, you will typically try repeating yourself. But instead of using the same words over and over again, try changing things up. Some words might be harder to hear than others depending on what frequencies your hearing loss effects most. Your message can be strengthened by changing the words you use.
  • Patience: This is particularly true when you know that your partner is coping with hearing loss. You might have to repeat yourself more frequently or vary the volume of your voice. You might also have to talk more slowly. The effectiveness of your communication can be substantially improved by exercising this kind of patience.
  • As much as possible, try to look right into the face of the person you’re talking with: For somebody who is dealing with hearing loss, face-to-face communication can give an abundance of visual cues. You will be providing your partner with body language and facial cues. It’s also easier to maintain concentration and eye contact. By giving your partner more visual information to process they will have an easier time understanding what you mean.
  • Help your partner get used to their hearing aids: Perhaps you could do things like taking over the grocery shopping or other tasks that cause your partner stress. There also might be ways you can help your partner get accustomed to their hearing aids and we can help you with that.
  • Encourage your partner to come in for a hearing exam: We can help your partner regulate their hearing loss. Many areas of stress will fade away and communication will be more effective when hearing loss is well controlled. Additionally, treating hearing loss is a safety concern: hearing loss can impact 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 help managing any of these potential issues by scheduling an appointment with us.

What happens after you get diagnosed?

A hearing exam is a fairly simple, non-invasive experience. In most instances, those who undergo tests will do little more than put on specialized headphones and raise their hand when they hear a tone. But a hearing loss diagnosis can be a significant step to more successfully managing symptoms and relationships.

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

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.

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