Deaf-hearing relationship problems

Discussion in 'Marriage, Dating & Single Life' started by casablanca, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. casablanca

    casablanca New Member

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    Hello all

    I am a 21 year old hearing girl and have been in a relationship now for 6 months with my 26 year old boyfriend who is deaf. Before we met i didn't know any sign language and almost nothing about deaf culture. I decided to just see how things would work out and we dated, sent text messages and wrote on a piece of paper for a while. Now I am completely in love with him. I have been on a sign language course for a month and he has taught me a lot. I just think he is so beautiful, intelligent, and probably the best person I've ever met.

    But there is some big problem in our relationship that I just can't figure out. Sometimes I just feel like I am dating someone from the other side of the world, he is so different from me and everything I know. He has a very different kind of humor and there are just constant misunderstandings between us. At first I thought learning the language would be the most difficult part but I was so wrong. He is completely unpredictable, which is part of what I found interesting at first I think, but there is just no way of figuring him out! I have tried to talk about this with him but he doesn't see a problem and just says that he is really happy with me.

    I live in a country where deaf education was really bad until recently and the deaf community is very small. I understand that he does not know all complicated words or misunderstands them, he told me that he had a horrible teacher as a child and did not learn to read until he was 15, although now he is at university.
    Well if anyone is still reading.. don't know if anyone is interested in my problems and I am actually starting to suspect that maybe our problems don't have much to do with him being deaf. I don't know any deaf people except for him so I really don't know.
    But I had decided to end things tonight but I decided to try this first...maybe I could get some answers here. Well it would be nice to just hear anyone's opinion. My friends can't help me at all. Thank you.
     
  2. lumbingmi

    lumbingmi Active Member

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    You just came to the right place. My suggest is to visit this message board often so you ll gain more knowledge and understanding of deaf culture. Basically, both hearing and deaf act/think same way except of course hearing.

    Btw where do you come from? I know some 3rd world countries are very bad and put negative views on deafness.
     
  3. DeafBorg

    DeafBorg New Member

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    Hi there, I am a deaf woman married to a hearing man. I do speak very well and hear very well with a hearing aid. But I do see where you are coming from.

    I kinda feel that way now as in I feel like I am in another world full with hearing people which I don't have a problem with cause I am the only deaf child in the family.

    You did what you should, learn to sign to communicate with him, to make him feel good that you are willing to do it for him, also for his deaf friends. Don't give up, it may take time for you since this is all new to you.

    I wish you good luck
     
  4. JClarke

    JClarke AD Veteran Premium Member

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    He's right -- it will take time to understand more than you thought. Best to let it take its course and see what happens. Didn't you know that learning sign language is fun to learn, hey?
     
  5. VamPyroX

    VamPyroX bloody phreak from hell

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    As long as communication between you two is good, then your relationship will succeed.

    I've dated hearing women before. One was wonderful and I would pursue a relationship with her if the opportunity arose. Another was okay. She was fluent in sign language, but she always ended up not signing whenever she was around hearing people.

    My friends have gone through the same thing. One deaf guy I know dated a hearing gal who was an interpreter major. Whenever he invited her with him, he always made sure that she wasn't left out and everyone got along fine. However, when she invited him to her hearing gatherings... she would end up leaving him out and he would be bored. No matter how many times she apologized, it never worked out.

    With me, I would rather date a deaf girl because that's the only way I can maintain my deaf life. When I date hearing people, my parents immediately treat them like my interpreter. :roll:
     
  6. casablanca

    casablanca New Member

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    Yes I really like learning sign language that is definitely not a problem. I think I just need to be more patient and not compare us to other relationships... I think.
    Thanks a lot for your answers, it really helped!
     
  7. JClarke

    JClarke AD Veteran Premium Member

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    No worries, good luck! :)
     
  8. moshierdi

    moshierdi New Member

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    reply to casablanca

    I don't know how it happened that I found this post. It feels like it was meant for you to see my message. I was browsing sites,trying to find something to ease the heartache and pain I'm feeling. I am a hearing woman and have dated/lived with a deaf man for 3 years. After three breakups it's over. All three times our breakups have been because of his distancing himself and the last time I found out that he was on a deaf single site looking for a "good woman". His best friend did the same thing to his hearing girlfriend. I have tried to interpret, learned asl, tried to improve, cared for , been there and professed my love to him He told me he loved me but was looking for a deaf woman the whole time. He never put the effort into the relationship that I did. His reading and writing skills are poor and he hardly read lips. He ultimately wanted a deaf woman. I'm just saying I don't think love will conquer all. There are alot of problems from both sides. I particularly feel that it was held against me that I am hearing. I could never even discuss this. He acted like I was crazy. I guess I was a fool. Goodluck to you and I truly hope this post is not offensive to anyone. I'm sure that a hearing/deaf relationship can work with some people. I'm just sharing my story with you.
     
  9. Dharma

    Dharma New Member

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    He's pushing your buttons with his odd humor and unpredictability. You're not used to moving in that way and are putting up some resistance.

    You could say this to yourself:
    "I'm asking myself to get over these things inside me so I can experience so much more with this man and within myself."

    Try this the next time you feel funny, it's called "reality check"
    "Y'know I'm feeling emotionally charged right now, could I ask you something to help me with how I feel?
    I'm feeling when you do xyz you're doing it to upset me (or whatever your experience is). Is that true for you? "

    And just let him answer.
     
  10. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

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    You are not a fool ..he is because obviously you loved him so much that u have learned ASL and everything for him. His loss.
     
  11. Babyblue

    Babyblue New Member

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    Deaf or hearing ...if the relationship is making you feel distance and you feel the sign language is not a problem. Might be something else that is causing the distance such as cultural clash. It is always hard when two people from two different sides to combine as one. But if the patience and understanding is there give it time...especially if you love each other.

    If HE says there is no problem then it may lie with in yourself.. your feelings may lead you to believe there is something wrong... Tell him your feelings. and see what goes on from there...
     
  12. Pinky

    Pinky New Member

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    Same here. But I am getting marry with hearing man on June. We are together for 4 half years. We are happy together. I found a right man from god answered my pray. I have no problem with hearing man and circle hearing friends. They really love me so much! They wanted to learn sign languages to communicate with me. I am only deaf child in my family. I have 1 little cousin have an implants. My future husband's nephew is hard of hearing. I am not social with deaf people in hometown. They're not my type to hang out. They always gossip and stabbing back. I just tired of drama. I stayed away from them. I got a new life with hearing man and circle his friends. We are fine so far.
     
  13. Pinky

    Pinky New Member

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    I prefer to be with hearing man!

    I had dated with all deaf men. They weren't work out for me. They were cheat and treat me a crap. I dated 2 deaf men from internet at deaf chatroom. I will never go to Deaf Chat room even again. I had a bad experience. It all over with deaf men. I like hearing man better. My soon to be husband treated me very well. We are happy together. We have no problem with communicate. Because He know sign languages. He learned it from me since we met. He wanted to learn sign languages because of me and his nephew is hard of hearing. I had to be patient and teach them to learn sign languages. I am so happy with my new husband!!!!!
     
  14. VamPyroX

    VamPyroX bloody phreak from hell

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    Meeting people in chatrooms isn't always the way to go. You're better off meeting them in person. :thumb:
     
  15. Gemma

    Gemma New Member

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    Well there is nothing wrong with meeting people in chatrooms - as there could be nice surprises but the best way to do is meet them really quickly in Real Life to see the true colors of this person.

    I have met men in churches, through nice friends, schools and coffee shops yet there were some jerks so it doesnt really matter where you meet them as long as you exercise common judgement and NEVER ignore red flags!

    Good luck with this one, Pinky - am glad that you are happy. :wiggle:
     
  16. Chase

    Chase Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I met my girlfriend in a chatroom in six years ago. After we both got tired of the juvenile chat--ironically for senior citizens 50 and 60 years old--we kept in touch.

    After once-a-month notes for three years, we began talking more frequently and one Thanksgiving I came out here to Oregon to meet. It went so well, I came back for Christmas-New Year, then a week in the spring, then a couple of weeks in the summer. Then I transferred here to Oregon, and things are going quite well.

    The problem I have with deaf-hearing relationships in the last seven years is a reapeating scenerio: when the newness wears off, the hearing person finds she has to make considerable adjustments.

    1. Despite the initial "wonder" of my "magical" ability to speech-read, the reality sets in that it's never with 100% accuracy (closer to 75% one-to-one and goes down sharply with more people in the conversation) and misunderstandings happen.

    2. She needs to learn ASL (or SEE). At first, it's fun and exciting. After a month or so, it becomes hard work and the learning curve gets ever flatter.

    3. At first, I'm always a hit with her friends. Then more and more they tend to leave me out of conversations at gatherings, because hearies only think they speak one-to-one on social occasions, when in fact they all talk at once, chattering over each other on multiple subjects going on at the same time. Most don't want to change this excitement to talk one at a time so the deafie can hear.

    4. About that time, someone raises the ugly suggestion that if the deafie would only try harder, things would be okay.

    5. The next ugly specter is that the deafie can really hear. Someone always thinks it's cute to whistle or make a noise behind me. If I turn by coincidence even one time, it's proof positive in his or her tiny mind that I can really hear.

    The fact of the matter is I've studied Tae Kwan Do, a martial art teaching one to always check behind. I'm an NRA personal protection instructor; we teach to check behind you. I've always found someone want's to add "just one more thing," so it's habit now to turn back when I walk away. So it's not really coincidence that I turn to see some jerk whistling or barking "Chase . . . Chase . . . Chase . . ." like a yappy little dog.

    In my experience, all this is part of the his-her relationship, and it's difficult for both.

    Those are just a few reasons that if my present relationship doesn't work out (which it is at this time), I will probably never date another hearie again.

    Just my feelings from the last seven years dating hearing women.
     
  17. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

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    Some of the issues were also the same issues I have experienced when I was with my hearing ex hubby and my current hubby. The only difference between the both is that my current hubby stands up for me or has gone past the difficult stages of learning ASL while my ex hubby couldnt do both. It took a toll on my former marriage especially after I became fluent in ASL and more involved with the Deaf community.
     
  18. Gemma

    Gemma New Member

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    I think the hardest part was educating about, dealing with and accepting the norms/values while dating a hearing man. It seemed like every one of the hearing man I was involved with seriously had qualms about the norms/values. For some reason, some of the norms turned him off and would judge other Deaf community members harshly.

    I am not dating anyone seriously but there is a hearing man who has a huge crush on me told me the other day that he would take ASL class so that it could help us. While I was flattered by that, I dont know if he would really understand Deaf Culture. Sometimes I feel like slamming my door on all potential hearing mates as I dont want to go down the road again but then again there arent many single deaf men my age in where I live. Another long distance love? No way! But I dont want to end up like an old lady with 10 cats!

    Kudos to these hearing men who really do have patience and empathy to make it work out with these ladies like Shel90 just mentioned...a rarity!
     
  19. shel90

    shel90 Audist are not welcome Premium Member

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    Aww thanks!

    After my ex hubby and I split, I vowed never again to date another hearing guy so I dated many deaf guys during the 4 years I was single. I fell for some but they didnt feel the same way as I did and some fell for me but I didnt feel the same way as they did. Others were just more of casual and for fun. If those 3 deaf guys whom I fell hard for had felt the same way as I did, maybe I would be married to a deaf guy instead of my hearing husband but it wasnt meant to be. So, I ended with another hearing to my surprise! Life is full of surprises and we all never know what the future holds for us. :)
     
  20. Gemma

    Gemma New Member

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    Aww thanks Shel for comng back and reassuring me that LIfe does hold surprises and I shouldnt slam my door on ANYONE ...for all I know, I could be plesantly surprised! I guess it is just that it seemed so easy for my deaf brother to find a hearing woman - I would guess it is harder to find a hearing man who could be empathetic, flexible and comfortable in his own skin than a hearing woman? (but fortunately he found a deaf woman so they're married now happily) That is another topic we would have to explore on! ;)
     

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