I'm The Deaf One. Feeling Like I'm Holding Him Back.

SheWhoSigns

New Member
Where to start... I'll do my best to keep this short and sweet.

We met online. Neither one of us were looking for a relationship, and it started as a mutual friendship. I remember being struck by the fact that he never made a big deal out of my deafness when I finally admitted it to him.

So, over two years later into an usually happy and well communicated relationship, I've been slowly coming to a possible realization that I'm holding him back from greener pastures....

I have two cochlear implants but I am not very good at lip reading yet, and mostly sign. I think I speak fairly well for a deaf person but I could do better. He talks to me through signed English. Lately though, he's been down on himself for not being able to learn "fast enough" actual ASL and being difficult with reading finger spelling. That it took so much longer to express what he wants to say versus writing it down.

One night it resulted in a big fight and I was willing to accept parting ways. But, he broke down and told me that he didn't want to, and that I was too important to him. How he loves me. So, happily I agreed that we should work on getting better with sign and that I'm working on improving my speaking and lip reading skills and to use my CIs more.

However just this morning I was reading on a popular online forum populated by 99.9% hearing people and they were talking about how "normal people can hear" and that "deafness is a disability and it's cruel to hinder our children" (ouch!!!). It sent me into a downward spiral and now I'm feeling very guilty for being deaf and like I can't offer him enough.

We're pretty young, by the way. We're still in college getting our degrees, if that means much.

I don't know if I'm truly seeking advice or just venting, but it left me in yet another depressed slump. :(
 

iMaisie

Resident Glaswegian
Hi OP,

I'm also in a relationship with a hearie. We did have similar problems at the start of our relationship. We also met online and were long-distance.

Patience is key, really. Be patient with your relationship and with each other.

Maybe with your significant other up for ASL classes? Or get him immersed in the culture. The more he signs, the better he'll get.

As for you, you're deaf. He should be making more of an effort to communicate with you than the other way about.

I can communicate in both English and Japanese but mostly I don't want to nor do I like to lip read.
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
However just this morning I was reading on a popular online forum populated by 99.9% hearing people and they were talking about how "normal people can hear" and that "deafness is a disability and it's cruel to hinder our children" (ouch!!!). It sent me into a downward spiral and now I'm feeling very guilty for being deaf and like I can't offer him enough.
Try not to let these people's ignorance of deaf/Deaf get to you. It's obvious your friend doesn't think the same way. As iMaisie said, it will take patience on both your parts. And, believe me, all couples have issues they need to work together through.
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
It's not easy trying to read everyone lips , some men have facial hair and the made it hard to see their lips and some mumble or over pronounce when they realize you're deaf or hoh. I agree with iMaisie that patience is the key and the OP has nothing to feel guilty about . I like your username ! :)
 

sparrow2

Member
The main thing is that you love and respect each other. I'm a hearing person and was frustrated many times when learning ASL, because I wanted to learn it faster so I could communicate better. Appreciate the little things about each other. The fact that you both are trying and putting in the effort to learn each other's language is wonderful. See your journey together as an adventure?

That's how I viewed my guy friend and our constant misunderstandings. I found it funny most of the time. I was facinated with his way of thinking, because it was so different from mine,

Try to see the positives in your differences
 
If you leave him OWN the fact that you're doing it for you, NOT him. He is perfectly capable of making up his own mind. Clearly, he cares for you.

Relationships are tough gigs no matter what the circumstances. I wish you both the very best.
 
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