Non-signing Hearing Partners?

Would you date/marry a hearing person that didn't sign?

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 36.4%
  • No

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • Maybe, it depends

    Votes: 4 36.4%
  • I would never date a hearing person

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    11

Jetti

Member
Hello, everyone!

One of my Deaf friends recently married a hearing man who she had been dating for 5 years. He does not sign. I believe he knows a few basic signs, but he normally talks and she lipreads and listens with her CI.

When I found out about this, I was shocked. I am hearing and my fiancé is Deaf. I didn't know sign when I had first met him, but now I'm fluent. I always thought that in hearing-deaf relationships, the hearing person would learn sign (if that was their partner's first language/preferred method of communication). However, my fiancé changed my opinion about them, saying, "The way they communicate works for them. They're happy so there's no reason to judge."

For all of you Deaf people out there: would you be comfortable dating/being married to a hearing person that did not sign? Why?
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
Why does this matter to you ? You should be happy for your friend that she found someone to love and wanted to marry.
 

Muse

Active Member
I echo whatdidyousay!'s sentiment. But I think the OP has a really good question.

I am sometimes astonished at how many of my Deaf friends have hearing partners who do not sign. These are intimate partners who do not even learn the basics of fingerspelling. Often they have difficulty connecting with the social life of the Deaf partner.

In my experience, this goes back to Deaf people (of all types, oral, CI, ASL, SEE, etc) being taught to modify how they communicate to fit the norms of society. We learn to accept a lower standard, and then don't even think twice about it when it comes up in a relationship.

Now, that being said, I would consider a hearing woman who didn't sign, if there was a reason for it (maybe a brain pathways issue?). But I want to see incentive, ambition to connect to my life. To the people I sign with. I believe any human should love their partner deeply and be involved in their relationship together. If I can't connect with a woman's friends, I'd be concerned because I'm missing an essential part of someone I love.
 

Jetti

Member
Why does this matter to you ? You should be happy for your friend that she found someone to love and wanted to marry.
It doesn't matter to me. I'm only explaining my reaction to learning that my friend's husband doesn't sign, my erroneous assumptions about hearing-deaf relationships, and how my Deaf fiancé's response changed my opinion on the matter. Then, it got me thinking and curious about other d/Deaf people's opinions on the topic, which is why I created this thread.

For example, my fiancé is profoundly deaf. He relies heavily on sign language to communicate. He could not date and become serious with someone that doesn't sign. Lipreading and writing back and forth would be exhausting to do all the time with someone he was intimate with. That's his perspective and opinion. I am sure other Deaf people have their own experience and opinions that are different from his, and from my Deaf friend. I'd like to see what other unique opinions are out there!
 

dogmom

Well-Known Member
My husband is oral deaf/hoh and Hearing <note capital>....was mainstream solitaire in a small rural town with one traffic light...no sign. He wears bilateral digital Resounds. He did not know anything of Deaf until he met me...and I was at one time working with a school-based childhood recreation program that had d/Deaf kids and Deaf staff.
I'm hoh and sign a little. We've been together for about 20 years. I would be fine to sign only. Hubby would not be comfortable with it. We are used to each other :)
 
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whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
It doesn't matter to me. I'm only explaining my reaction to learning that my friend's husband doesn't sign, my erroneous assumptions about hearing-deaf relationships, and how my Deaf fiancé's response changed my opinion on the matter. Then, it got me thinking and curious about other d/Deaf people's opinions on the topic, which is why I created this thread.

For example, my fiancé is profoundly deaf. He relies heavily on sign language to communicate. He could not date and become serious with someone that doesn't sign. Lipreading and writing back and forth would be exhausting to do all the time with someone he was intimate with. That's his perspective and opinion. I am sure other Deaf people have their own experience and opinions that are different from his, and from my Deaf friend. I'd like to see what other unique opinions are out there!
You sounded so judgmental in your first post when you said "You were shocked" . I was born HOH and the only person in my family that was . I only knew 2 people growing up that were HOH and wore a HA too , one was my first speech therapist and the other a classmate . So I had no needs to learn ASL and only dated hearing men and my husband was hearing too. If I had meet a deaf guy that use ASL I would learned it. I was learning ASL when I lived in Ca. so I could use it with deaf people but I moved back East and there wasn't a lot of deaf people around so I forgot what I did learn.
 

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
I know an old deaf friend. She attended deaf school and everything. She doesn't consider herself Deaf. She does speak and lipread more than sign. She can interact with hearing people well. Her hearing husband and hearing adult children know some basic signs. They have been married for about 30 years or longer. She decided to get her CI later and enjoys it. However, she still takes her hearing dog with her anywhere. She is still learning to recognize sounds like birds chirping. When she and I sat together on the couch, we both wore hearing aids. I heard her phone rang, but she didn't recognize it, and her hearing dog alerted her. I was going to tell her the phone was ringing, but her hearing dog beat me. Ha.

I'm married to my hearing husband. He does sign, but he wants to take ASL class. The problem is it's so far away. We are looking into ASL tutor close to us. I've been wearing my hearing aids since I was 18 months old. I can recognize computer hum, talking behind me, refrigeration noise, etc.
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
My husband has a friend who is oral deaf, completely, no CI no hearing aid.

His friend is extremely proud of his skills, and married well over thirty years to a hearing woman. They mostly communicate by speech. They seem perfectly happy.
 

Jetti

Member
You sounded so judgmental in your first post when you said "You were shocked" . I was born HOH and the only person in my family that was . I only knew 2 people growing up that were HOH and wore a HA too , one was my first speech therapist and the other a classmate . So I had no needs to learn ASL and only dated hearing men and my husband was hearing too. If I had meet a deaf guy that use ASL I would learned it. I was learning ASL when I lived in Ca. so I could use it with deaf people but I moved back East and there wasn't a lot of deaf people around so I forgot what I did learn.
Oops! I did not mean to sound judgmental. Maybe I should have used the word "surprised" or described my feeling as "didn't expect that" or something. I admitted what I had been feeling at the time.

My friend always signed when I saw her at college. She was born profoundly deaf. Her hearing parents had her implanted when she was young. The CI had a leak and was shocking her when she was 15 years old. She also got an infection, I think, from it and had the implant removed. She needed to be without the implant for a year to heal. She couldn't hear anything, so her parents had to learn sign to communicate with her. This made her happy. When she was healed, her parents made the appointment for her to get the implant again, without asking her opinion. She felt pressure to have it. After she did, her parents didn't sign anymore and didn't want to learn.

So knowing all of that, I was surprised to learn that her partner doesn't sign either. Phew! I didn't want to write a super long OP, so I hope I've explained everything fully here in this reply.
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
Oops! I did not mean to sound judgmental. Maybe I should have used the word "surprised" or described my feeling as "didn't expect that" or something. I admitted what I had been feeling at the time.

My friend always signed when I saw her at college. She was born profoundly deaf. Her hearing parents had her implanted when she was young. The CI had a leak and was shocking her when she was 15 years old. She also got an infection, I think, from it and had the implant removed. She needed to be without the implant for a year to heal. She couldn't hear anything, so her parents had to learn sign to communicate with her. This made her happy. When she was healed, her parents made the appointment for her to get the implant again, without asking her opinion. She felt pressure to have it. After she did, her parents didn't sign anymore and didn't want to learn.

So knowing all of that, I was surprised to learn that her partner doesn't sign either. Phew! I didn't want to write a super long OP, so I hope I've explained everything fully here in this reply.
WOW ! Poor kid her parent should had ask her is she wanted the CI put back in a second time. I guess your friend doesn't feel it a big issues that her husband doesn't want to learn how to sign.
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
I am married to a hearing man. When we first started dating he knew no sign. But he's gone on to take ASL 1 2 3 and 4 so he does pretty well now. But I lipread well so the signing wasn't that much of an issue.
 

Muse

Active Member
Married to hearing female. Dated 7 yrs prior to being married 31yrs. She knows basic signs, but we mostly do oral. She does get aggravated once in a while if I do not understand her. Oh well, such is life. Here is to 31 more years, cheers! :)
Congrats on three decades! :)
 

Muse

Active Member
Oops! I did not mean to sound judgmental. Maybe I should have used the word "surprised" or described my feeling as "didn't expect that" or something. I admitted what I had been feeling at the time.

My friend always signed when I saw her at college. She was born profoundly deaf. Her hearing parents had her implanted when she was young. The CI had a leak and was shocking her when she was 15 years old. She also got an infection, I think, from it and had the implant removed. She needed to be without the implant for a year to heal. She couldn't hear anything, so her parents had to learn sign to communicate with her. This made her happy. When she was healed, her parents made the appointment for her to get the implant again, without asking her opinion. She felt pressure to have it. After she did, her parents didn't sign anymore and didn't want to learn.

So knowing all of that, I was surprised to learn that her partner doesn't sign either. Phew! I didn't want to write a super long OP, so I hope I've explained everything fully here in this reply.
I hope that I didn't come across as judgmental of your first post either!
 

Mieke

Belgian ASL noob
I guess love makes people do crazy things...

As long as they are happy together, I guess that is the most important.

But I'm also curious for the outcome of your poll
 

zephren

Active Member
This is a good question.

I married my hearing wife last year. We had been dating for six years. She didn't sign when we met. Although she has been practicing and taking classes for a few years, she is only just now reaching a somewhat intermediate level. She has some learning challenges that make spatial learning difficult. She has short-term memory issues which makes it difficult to remember signs when you forgot there was event a lesson. We make it work accommodating to each others needs.

I didn't set out to marry a non-signing hearing person. I had always though I would marry a Deaf person or at least a hearing person that signed fluently. We met online. I knew during our lengthy email chats that she was "the one" even before we met. Our first date just confirm that. It is an ongoing cooperation to make "us" work.
 

dogmom

Well-Known Member
zephren I liked what you wrote about accommodating...you may recall I have learning disabilities myself and have issues with motor-spatial things, among other challenges. Hub and I are an interesting pair...he's so auditory/oral though his hearing level <"loss"> is technically much more severe than mine; he also has many Aspberger-ish traits. I have issues with speech and auditory processing issues aside from the hoh thing. We just work around each other's "stuff".
 
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