I heard an amazing quote from Blair the other day, “don’t complain to your wife. Tell me so I can resolve some of the fussing between you.” This was following a programming session for a new client. The new client had a history of telling everyone that everything was ok, but when he got home, he would complain to his wife.
As Blair and I can attest, marriage is hard. Being married to someone with a hearing loss is even harder. Being part of a family with someone who has a hearing loss is hard. There are more misunderstandings, more miscommunications and a lack of being heard all of which are foundations of frustrations. Being heard is the part of friendship we value the most. Being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t hear us can become painful at times.
When I married into Blair’s family, it was my first experience with people who had a hearing loss. I thought when people wore hearing aids they heard perfectly. I didn’t have any understanding of severity of loss, word discrimination, speech in a noisy situation or any of the complicated issues surrounding hearing in the real world. I thought, they wear hearing aids, so they must hear clearly.
Blair’s mom, MaryEllen, wore hearing aids and had a profound loss due to surgery. She still struggled to hear. His mom had a heart of gold. Seriously, of all the people I have ever met, she truly was a very kind person. It took me awhile to really appreciate this about her. In the beginning, I didn’t know what to think. She seemed really sweet, but then she would completely ignore me. I couldn’t figure it out. I recall one time when I was walking through the garage with her, it was pretty empty and I was wearing my high-heels from work. So there was the clacking sounds that reverberated in the empty garage. Without knowing, I was telling her about coming over for dinner on Friday and we would grill out and just relax with the kids. Then we got to the car and Blair was repeating everything I just said. And with that, she lights up and says how thrilled she would be to come over and could she bring anything. Well, I start fuming, what it’s not good enough to come from me, it only matters if the invite comes from Blair?
Now. Oh, how very humbled I am. She never heard a word I said in that garage. She had no idea I had extended an invitation. If misunderstandings are straining your relationship, please accept this invitation to call us, so we can help to reduce some of these frustrations.