When people are married for a long time, chances are they will fight now and then. But when disagreements become more and more frequent, divorce can be imminent. People fight about money, commitment, and many other topics, but lack of communication is right at the top of the list. And when one person in the relationship is hard of hearing, their deafness can be a catalyst for more frequent fights and troubles. Let’s face it: Spouses are often accused of not listening to start with, so if one part of the duo is actually hard of hearing, this can exacerbate small problems into big ones.
Marriage Requires Clear Communication
The statistics on marriage in America are not very promising. For many couples, what starts out as wedded bliss can quickly turn into a hot mess. According to the CDC, the marriage rate is 5.1 per 1,000 total population, and the divorce rate is 2.3 per 1,000 population. That means that nearly one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. While divorce can be caused by a number of factors, from abuse to infidelity, one of the major contributing reasons is lack of communication.
Communication is essential in a strong marriage so that both people feel like their voice is being heard, and that their needs are being met. Not only does a couple need to talk about the daily grind, but they also need to discuss their hopes and dreams, express their feelings for each other, and enjoy some fun things together too! If one half of the partnership is hard of hearing, all of these communication needs become more difficult to fulfill, and this can cause rifts in the relationship.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors and the condition seems to be worsening with generations. One traditional cause of hearing loss is music played at loud volumes, or excessive use of music. Over time, hearing loss and the trouble communicating can lead to divorce. Dr. Damon Cave, who led a study in hearing loss, said, “The rise in divorce rates in the United States that has been occurring for the last few decades is, we believe, directly connected to the rise of Rock and Roll music and the related hearing loss. Most couples that encounter serious problems cite listening as a major cause of the issues but now we know that there may be an actual physiological root to those problems.”
Since listening is such an integral part of communicating, those who cannot hear are certainly at a disadvantage, as are their partners. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can affect a person’s hearing throughout his or her life. Besides music, hearing loss can also be caused by pressure changes, the buildup of wax in your ears, puncturing your eardrum, and normal aging. Some medications can also damage the inner ear, making hearing more difficult. And other diseases or illnesses such as meningitis can also harm the cochlea and lead to hearing loss.
How Hearing Loss Can Break Communication
There are many common problems that occur in a marriage when one partner cannot hear well, and this affects marriages and relationships across the country. “Hearing loss is a major public health issue,” said study author Adele M. Goman of Johns Hopkins University. Currently, about 15 percent of all adults, or 44 million people, experience hearing loss. That number is expected to rise to 74 million by the year 2060, or 23 percent of the population.
With so many people suffering from poor hearing, this can lead to many problems in relationships. For those who cannot hear, they can misinterpret words they hear, leading to confusion and hard feelings. They can also jump into conversations where they don’t understand what is being said, and this can lead to more trouble. Often, those who struggle with hearing loss blame the other person, saying they are too quiet or mumbling.
For the hearing person in the relationship, things can be just as frustrating. Constantly having to repeat yourself, deflecting the frustrations of your partner, and being unable to communicate freely are all difficulties to bear in the relationship. Resentment may build up, especially if the hard of hearing partner is unwilling to seek help. This makes everything about the relationship harder to deal with.
Many Married Partners are Reluctant to Seek Solutions
Because losing your hearing has such a stigma attached to it, many people are reluctant to let people know that they are having trouble hearing. Hearing loss is thought to be a problem for old people, and no one wants to deal with that issue. Joan McKechnie, a UK audiologist, said, "It can be a real shock for many people in their middle age who begin to experience hearing loss, as they do not like the idea of wearing a hearing aid, which has a real stigma associated with 'disabled' and old people." Because of this, many people who are experiencing trouble hearing attempt to hide their deafness. Experts say approximately one in five of the nine million people who suffer some sort of deafness are actually secretive about their condition.
There is Hope in The Darkness
Although losing your hearing can be frightening and will definitely affect your communication, it is not worth losing a marriage over. At Nano Hearing Aids, we offer personalized service at a low price so that you can seamlessly integrate hearing aids into your life and begin to heal your communication wounds. If you or your partner are able to hear better, your whole outlook on your relationship can change. And this will positively affect your communication, as well as your marriage. You don’t have to worry about breaking the bank or breaking your spirit with hearing aids. We offer discrete, affordable, helpful hearing aids that will open up a whole world of sound to you. This in turn will open up a whole new world for your relationship.