They say love is blind, but what happens when hearing loss is involved? We all know active listening is an essential part of maintaining healthy relationships, but how do you deal when you can’t always hear your partner? We opened our ears to our trusty Facebook fans to hear their best advice.
Be upfront and unashamed
While Bindii B. advises to simply “meet someone who also has hearing loss so they understand it,” we know that’s not always the case! Kathy C. stressed how important it is to tell someone straightaway that you have trouble hearing, even if you’re fitted with hearing aids. “Let them know that you are not being rude or ignorant, but if they keep background noise to a minimum, face you when speaking and avoid shouting, then life will be easier for everyone.”
While it may only directly affect one person in the household, hearing loss is always a two-way street. Carol N. advises: “realise that sometimes your spouse forgets you can’t hear them and forgive them without getting angry.” Solid advice for all!
Don’t fall victim to lazy listening habits
Longevity can lead to laziness! Oftentimes, the longer we’re with someone, the more comfortable we get in our communication style towards them. This can be good for openness and honesty, but we can also start adapting less active communication approaches such as shouting from another room in the house trying to talk to them when their head is nestled in a pillow. Harold T. says “my wife makes it a point to find me in the house every time she needs to talk to me. After years of failed attempts to just call my name or ring my mobile phone, we’ve realised how much more efficient it is to just wait an extra few minutes to talk face to face. Not only do we have less misunderstandings, but the little extra effort she puts in to walk through the house and find me really means a lot.”
Get a little extra help
Aside from hearing aids, Lester S. had a loop system installed in their household, which requires only the click of a hearing aid to activate. While he admits it was a costly investment, he said it’s definitely paid itself off!
Recognise the difference between hearing and listening
Our best advice for anyone is to avoid blaming your partner or using hearing loss as an excuse. If you don’t hear them, simply let them know, and if you think they didn’t hear you, just ask! The dishes won’t wash themselves….