What to do when your partner won’t acknowledge their hearing loss

What to do when your partner won’t acknowledge their hearing loss

When people find that they are having hearing difficulties, it can typically take years before they seek advice or treatment for it. If you are the partner of one of these people who are living in denial of their problem, it can be a frustrating time.

You may find yourself constantly having to repeat yourself, rehash conversations that they have missed, or deal with a television set that is turned up way past your comfortable level of volume. It’s natural to feel resentful and even angry that they are burying their head in the sand, but ultimately it has to be their decision to seek help. Today we have some tips for how to deal with a partner who is not admitting that they have an issue with their hearing.

See their point of view

It can be very frustrating to see that your partner has a problem and yet won’t do anything about it.

For many people who have found themselves gradually losing their hearing, they may not be aware of the extent of the problem. In a way, the sufferer “forgets” what normal hearing sounds like – and the impaired hearing becomes their new normal.

So while you may notice that they miss parts of your conversations in crowded restaurants, or that you have to often shout to be heard – they may not see that there is a problem at all.

In fact, the way that you naturally help them get through their hearing issues can hold them back from realising that they have a problem.

Avoid the cover up

It’s perfectly natural to try and help out a loved one when we see them struggling with their hearing.

For instance we repeat ourselves, speak in a loud voice (and ask others to do the same), and even choose outings where we know they will be able to hear better.

All of these actions though can help the denial of the issue continue.

One idea is to actually alert your partner each time you help them (for instance you could wave and say “I’m helping you”). In this way, you are making them very aware of how often you are helping them.

Eventually they will be able to see that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. You can then work with them to seek treatment and learn to deal with their new way of life.

Have the conversation

It can be very a very difficult subject to bring up with your partner, so always try to stay calm and focused on the issue.

Rather than starting with how frustrated you feel, focus on the fact that their hearing issues are impacting your relationship. For instance you could talk about how you feel as though you aren’t connecting as well as you could be because of the communication issues.

Be prepared for the fact that your partner may not be ready to accept that they have an issue. You may need to shelve it for a later date when they are more receptive.

In the meantime, you could begin documenting your observations of your partner’s hearing problem. You could then share this with them later to review in their own time.