Better together!

November 9, 2016
Humans are social beings who want to interact and create and maintain relationships with others. It is vital for physical, mental, and emotional health to have a happy intimate relationship. Communication is the main tool for connecting with others. It makes it possible to build an identity and to create intimacy.

That said, communication in a couple is a big challenge. What happens when both partners have untreated hearing loss?

Studies have shown that untreated hearing loss can have negative impacts on the family and particularly on couples. Psychological barriers to communication are the main culprit. They include communication obstacles in partners such as frustration, stress, feelings of exclusion, irritability, insecurity, etc.

In a 2009 study by British Study of 1,500 hearing-impaired people, 34% admitted that a communication barrier had led to relationship or marriage breakups.

There are two simple rules for overcoming psychological barriers to communication:

  1. If you are speaking, make sure you are well understood. If not, remedy the situation.
  2. If you are listening, make sure you hear and fully understand what was said.

Of course, communication strategies are fundamental, but make sure you use them continually. You can obtain the Communication strategies for hearing-impaired people guide to improve your communication, available at the Lobe clinics. Also, healthy and active communication requires a positive attitude, patience, and the ability to admit that no one is at fault. People make mistakes, so learn how to forgive.

It has been proven that hearing with hearing aids improve quality of life, including intimate relationships.

Hearing-impaired people in a couple who want to take action together to improve their hearing will benefit from being active allies in each other’s hearing life, going through the adaptation or rehabilitation process together, supporting one another in follow-ups with an audioprosthetist or a specialized educator, and being a solid and united team in facing the misfortunes hearing loss can cause.

In couples where one partner is hearing impaired, the same things apply. The hearing person can be a pillar supporting the other in times of difficulty. It is best to see this as a shared challenge, a marital lesson that will strengthen and solidify your relationship and have a positive effect.

Consult a specialized educator or an audioprosthetist for more tips!

–BATARSHEV, A. V., “Organisationnel et qualités de communication de la personne (pour les entreprises).” Tallinn: Information and Social Technologies Centre. Regalis. 1998. 146S.
-LOMOV, B.F., “Communautaire et sociale – la régulation du comportement individuel : Les problèmes psychologiques de la vie sociale régulation du comportement.” 1976. 270 C.
-SHAFER, Dee Naquin, “The ASHA Leader,” American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2007.