Conflict in relationship over deafness.

lindtoholic

New Member
Over the weekend I went to Download Festival, where the weather had brought about severe levels of mud - we're talking thick and clay-like mud which was up to ankles in some cases (if not higher), being walked on/through by over 70,000 people from Wednesday-Monday. Granted, on Saturday and Sunday the weather improved, but there were still some patches which were very difficult to manage.

In any case, I'm sure you guys are aware of the balance issues which can come from being deaf. The mud made it impossible for me to get anywhere unaccompanied, and I actually spent a lot of my time in a welfare tent (stayed there the Saturday night as I couldn't get back to the campsite). I was in standard camping, because at the time I was under the belief I would be okay [if it was dry] and was also informed it was only for physically disabled customers, and that being deaf wasn't necessarily applicable. I was meant to be camping with four of my friends and my boyfriend of four years.

So, it resulted in my boyfriend being 'assigned' to me for the first night (Friday) once they had set up camp. We were in the furthest camp, and getting through the mud was a nightmare. I was slipping a lot, and kept stopping to try and breathe because it was making me feel a bit ill with the swaying etc. We had already missed a few bands we had planned to see by this time, and in the end I stayed with some security guards whilst he took some of the things he was carrying to try and at least save a bit of time. After we (eventually) got to the camp and were planning to get back, that's where things went downhill.

For a start, we went down a very steep hill which was in the muddy conditions as mentioned above. I actually pulled a muscle from getting my leg stuck in it, and I had a panic attack at the top of the hill because of how stressed I was. He was getting annoyed by this point - in fact, in the time before this, he was calling me childish for the speed I was taking in frustration. I didn't appreciate it, but I can see his point. He was frustrated. Obviously due to pulling my knee I then had to go to the medical tent (another thing he wasn't impressed with) but I sent him off to try and catch the end of The Prodigy's set.

So, fast forward to after I got to the campsite with the help of others, and in the morning I was pretty ill, throwing up etc. A friend offered to take me to the medical tent, and I ended up sleeping there for a bit. Meanwhile, my boyfriend and our friends saw the bands they wanted to, and I was left in the welfare tent to recover. At first, not a problem, but eventually it became clear they weren't going to come back and collect me to go and see some bands with them. So, I went to the box office to sort out disabled camping passes as I was desperate, and was physically unable to walk back to the camp. They sorted this out with no problems, but with a catch: I could only take one person in with me. Now, no surprise who people suggested for this. I admit part of me did want my boyfriend to be the person, but there was another part of me who realised just how much he does for me in the first place, and how I wanted him to not be burdened with me again. But, alas, no avail there. Though I stayed in the welfare tent on Saturday night, he ended up packing all of his things (and some of mine) to bring down for the disabled camp despite being heavily set against doing so. I can't blame him.

He ended up missing another band on Sunday morning because of this. I thought it was the sole reason, but then I was told they (all) had woken up later than planned, and so hadn't had time to pack in advance and bring my things down so they could see the band. I guess it was fair play, but at the same time I shouldn't really be held accountable for that too. But, nonetheless, when he did bring the things to the welfare tent, I was already in the arena on the disabled platform about to watch Anthrax perform, and he was aiming to be there too.

Overall, he was incredibly fed up with this. He felt like he was being messed around (I guess in some ways he was, but at the same time, it wasn't all my fault either), and not being appreciated for what he was doing to help me. It didn't help that the staff who were assisting me when he wasn't there began to be very rude to him, which just further made his mood worse. When it came to going to the disabled camp for the last night on Sunday, he was in a very, very bad mood with me, and in the morning it had gotten worse - not helped by the fact that a security guard had gone to tell him to pack up his tent by kicking his feet.

On the way to the meeting point for our friends, he told me that "the thing [he is] sick of more than this relationship is the way that others speak to [him] because of me". Though I said that I presumed he wanted to break up, I also said that it wasn't the right time to do so. Everyone was stressed, everyone was fed up, and I didn't want to have the train journey home marred by the break up. We're still, technically, together but he's not really speaking to me much. I'm fine with that in a sense, and I get he needs time to just cool off and think about himself, but I also get the feeling he doesn't want to break up with me just yet either. He kept saying it was the straw that broke the camel's back, but frankly I refuse to be dumped because a) my deafness caused difficulty, and b) other people were rude to him and I had no control over it.


The point of this thread is... I don't know what to do to try and convince him that it won't be this way again. In fact, I can't guarantee it never happening again because if there is this amount of mud again, I'll be in the same situation. However, should I decide to go to Download next year I have been given the go-ahead to request disabled camping, and I can do so for 5-6 people including myself. This means no one person has to come with me, and we can stay with our group. And we have a pretty neat shortcut to the arena/village area of the site. I feel this is one potential advantage, but what other things can I mention which might help? I'm so miserable at him constantly being like my carer... I want a boyfriend, not a carer. But at the moment there's no way for it to be separate (and to be honest, in most situations I don't require a carer either).
 

Grayma

New Member
I think you're right about needing time to calm down and recover from what sounds like a very stressful weekend. But I also have no other advice to give, just my best wishes for a healthy, nurturing relationship for both of you.
 

metalangel

Active Member
Sorry you had such a rough time.

I don't want to second guess, but my view is this: He's not mad at you. He's mad that other people perceive your deafness as a liability. They see both of you attempting to deal with your own problems as individuals, and perceive that as him not doing enough to help you, and thinking he's a selfish, inconsiderate boyfriend.

I don't think he is, and I think you both know that too. Consider this: he might have been mad as hell, but he was still there when you needed him through the whole ordeal.
 

lindtoholic

New Member
@metalangel: I'm thinking that's exactly it... you nailed it. But yeah, he was there even though no one else would step up (except for once perhaps). Problem is, no matter how hard I try and tell him how much I appreciate all he did, he won't listen. He just goes 'it doesn't matter' and/or shrugs. He's quite difficult to get through to sometimes.

Anyone have any tips on how to try and get this point across to him? I don't want to keep badgering him about it mind, but he is still appearing online to me on Facebook chat which is a sign at least. And, he has yet to change his relationship status, which suggests that perhaps he isn't so determined to. I realise it was probably something else to add to the list of potential reasons to break up, but to me it doesn't sound like the right thing to be the concluding factor.
 

Marie579

New Member
If I was really really blunt how mad would anyone get at me? Of course I don't have your entire background or relationship history but (big inhale and exhale) here goes: when he says things like it doesn't matter, then he's feeling trapped. Could be he'd be the bad guy for breaking up with a deaf girl. Or not even as bad as that. Just maybe his views aren't being heard at all. He feels like it's always about you and he wants to be there for you but because he chooses not out of force
Please don't get me wrong, you are doing the right thing by making him sure he knows he's appreciated. But then he's like well why is she thanking me for stuff I have to do. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Maybe if things were set in place to handle "what ifs" before the weekend started. And then the very unexpected things wouldn't be such a nuisance. And when my husband is helping me do something I always say "You know if you did it nicer, you would at least get points for it". It reminds him of all the things I do for him and that I will remember he's doing it for me by surprising him later. Your boyfriend needs more freedom to be with you on his terms. Sometimes guys just want to be the Knight in shining armour, but when u hand them a rule book to go by it becomes less a want to and more a chore. I know it all becomes a merry-go-round of well this is this way, and no one can help the way things are. But this guy sounds like he's being suffocated and giving up. Slowly, and not changing anything, well guys don't like change. Take action girl!!! By taking charge of your life. Let him be the man, but u be a strong woman that takes care of yourself and prepare, prepare, prepare. And prepare him too. This might happen or this could happen and I'm sorry dude but thems the breaks, and I deal, so you deal. I love you and we can do this. Sorry for rambling on, lol, hope something in there helped! Good luck!
 

Marie579

New Member
Oh and the points thing what I meant was if he was gonna do it, smile about it. I don't love doing some of the things he likes but I do them!!!! And I don't bitch through it all. Men are taught to save the woman then she pleases him forever. Huh???? Even the Bible says the husband shall love his wife... nowhere does it say the wife shall love her husband. She shall do lots of things, but doesn't say love him. If anyone finds it, let me know =)
 

lindtoholic

New Member
@Marie: I actually love you for being blunt. I need it. And yes, I can see where you're coming from re. being trapped - I do think he does feel that way. Problem was more that I think although I had tried to prepare in advance, this particular situation was one where I had to rely on others more than I would have liked. I've learned something from it now - to actually ask for help from the staff at an event. Before I would usually try and get someone else to, but now I have no issue about voicing my concerns. Perhaps that will help in future.

My main issue is definitely with regards to what if this happens again - i.e. if I need someone to support me, help me through such severe muddy conditions. Some of the staff at the event weren't allowed to be assistants to disabled people, so I had very little choice, and even those who were passing by couldn't extend their help beyond a short distance. It's difficult, and that's why I'm considering other options - perhaps an aid for if I attend such an event again, and I don't get into the disabled.

I will be emailing the staff of the event in any case - requesting mainly that vehicles be ready to assist those in need should it happen again. There were no provisions for this, and also nowhere for me to hold onto to get through. So, I guess it's not something I can do alone all the time, but I'm hoping providing my experiences will help them shape the event for next year better. :) fingers crossed I can take more control over other areas.

But to come back to your point: I guess I should probably try making a point of doing things on my own from now on. Am hoping my new job will help with that - I really do want to be purely independent, even if there are some problems which limit how often that can happen. Fingers crossed it works.
 

Marie579

New Member
No, I know exactly how you feel. No matter what you do or prepare for you feel isloated. Its like HELLO!!!! Is this the romantic deaf chick you wanted dude?????? Is this how you thought it'd be when you met me????? Well, welcome to real life, my life. Go play with your friends. Next time you wanna play grown up relationship with a deaf girl and think its all romantical (my word LOL) then think about the reality of it not the fantasy of it. Now you're feeling trapped?? Well, I'm feeling hurt. How about me? Its always about me?? Really, well if it was always about me then things would go a lit smoother ya dolt!!! Cause you'd thought about me, instead nope you got your little itty Bitty guy feelings all hurt...boo hoo!!!! That's what I would have said and things would have probably ended way worse with my big mouth!!!
 

lindtoholic

New Member
Haha, yeah! I have been close to saying that. In fact, when we first spoke (we met online through a friend) and fell for each other, the first thing I said to him before we agreed to give the relationship a go was: I am deaf. I knew there would be problems - no one in my school was interested because of either the bullying or the issues that came with it. For a long time he had no problems, probably because when we saw each other we made the most of it as we were in a long distance relationship of a sort. But since we came to university and my parents haven't been there to assist with everything, he's been getting frustrated. I've done my best, but it's difficult when everyone keeps relaying the responsibility to him. It's NOT him who should be doing it every time, no matter how hard I try.

Problem is also that we share friends - so obviously they want to hang with us together. Now, wouldn't be an issue if they would treat us the same, but they don't. If they invite me, they know I'll invite him - but not vice versa. My boyfriend's way of getting out of the responsibility niche so to speak is to not invite me in case it's a single invite (if that makes sense). So then I get left out of the group, and then questions are raised as to why he doesn't invite me. It's very difficult for him, and now I see why he's had so many problems with me having a go at him for that kind of thing. It's not his fault all the time, it's the people around us.
 

Marie579

New Member
I could be all wrong about it but I always speak before thinking. You're doing the right things. And it sounds like the staff was told not to babysit drunks and wiped out people. People that need help seems like would be an exception, like if I was 80 and loved to rock out bet they wouldn't hesitate to help me thru the mud and stuff.
 

Marie579

New Member
Uh, it his fault kinda, he should not let that happen. I don't want to harp on him hear me out ok cause I had this issue with my husband years ago. Where anywhere I went he was welcome, but I wasn't always welcome where he went. When he got a taste of that he didn't like it. Not anything I did on purpose, just life happened and he got to walk in my shoes
 

lindtoholic

New Member
There was actually a 50 year old woman from Arizona there who was complaining of similar issues - mostly with assistance. She went into the mosh pits and the like, but the mud still got to her. It was pretty bad, truth be told. Still - I'll do my best to make some alternative arrangements nonetheless. Am hoping to get into disabled camping next year if I decide to go and can take all my friends with me if that happens which should remove some of the conflict. I think I need to try and make some things clear to my network of friends, though....
 

Marie579

New Member
Now freedom in relationships when you're dating is another story, is he okay with you going out on your own without him being invited?
 

Marie579

New Member
This is funny, when I text my friends we do this, send several texts about different subjects and keep up with them, cause I don't like talking on the phone with my hoh...
 

lindtoholic

New Member
Re. going out places - it's a difficult subject to explain there too. Basically, he doesn't invite me more because he doesn't think it's necessary (if the other person wants me there they should invite me themselves kind of thought), not because he doesn't want me there. He's been raised to assume that unless explicitly mentioned, any invitation is for him only. He has no issue with me going out on my own without him, even if it includes mutual friends who he would like to hang out with that same night. Similarly, if I forget to invite him somewhere, he won't hold it against me as he would have thought they [the host/organiser] would have invited him, not left it up to me.

Texting's my saviour (or Facebook) but I had the issue of not living with anyone from our friendship group this year - whilst he lived with 4 others. This meant chances of me being invited anywhere were reduced because they simply overlooked me/forgot about me, whilst he was included by his housemates - who were under the impression that he would be "attached" to me. I.e. I would always be by his side for events - another thing he dislikes. He doesn't like the idea of us always doing things together - but don't get me wrong here... if we go to the same thing, we don't always end up *together*. I might end up with another group of friends at a party, or if at a festival, we would quite happily see different bands on our own/with others.
 

Marie579

New Member
Mmmmh then the cooling off is good, to repeat what others have said, but he's just not getting the fact that if he's gonna do something for you then at least do it nicely. Don't do it where its a chore. Cause I'm sure you do things for him in which you could behave the same way. Since I don't know either of you it could be anything from taking his dog to the vet to cooking his favorite meal to getting a beer out of the fridge. What if you were like yeah whatever every time he said thank you, ya know? Icould probably think on this better later but my head started hurting severely. Buy when I'm in less pain hopefully later I'll be back with something that might help. I don't even know if what I said made sense :crazy:
 

lindtoholic

New Member
That makes sense :) and yeah, I do quite a bit for him. I'll happily do the small things for him (getting a beer, making his bed, tidying up) as well as offering him other things too. Say, for instance, he's not doing well financially. I will offer to cook for him or cover some of his costs just to help out - reason being that my family are more able to help me than his are. I don't expect anything in return except for him to spend time with me. I'm a big believer in doing the small things to help people, really. It's how I've been raised - to appreciate everything in life and especially the small things. I don't need big gestures to please me, even if every once in a while they would be nice.
 

Marie579

New Member
Okay then he feels like he owes you something maybe. Noooo you stupid guy way of thinking :roll: , just appreciate and reciprocate when you can. Since I'm still making sense I can still comment. I just worry I could be going off in left field and everyone else is heading to the dugout...
 

Marie579

New Member
I know men like to ignore things so they'll go away, they hate conflict and they hate change. :run: They love being the hero, making the woman feel beautiful and taken care of, at the same time want a confident woman that is strong. :fly: They are insecure creatures that the more you build up and tell them they are the one that does it for you and have the macho male stuff then you have their full attention. :cool2: And that's it. Men may take offense at that, but it sums it up. :hmm: There is more to each individual man, but still they're just not as complicated as women. :shock:
 
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