How do I help my husband understand?

mrsburgett

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I have known my husband all of my life. We grew up together & have an amazing relationship story. He has known since we were kids that I have degenerative hearing loss. There has recently been a major shift in my ability to hear & I have started actively seeking to learn ASL. My husband has an extremely hard time accepting I am losing my ability to hear & we need to learn to communicate. While I am learning ASL, he has no interest in it at all. He is in denial. How can I help him to understand/accept this is a part of our life?
 

LoveBlue

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I have known my husband all of my life. We grew up together & have an amazing relationship story. He has known since we were kids that I have degenerative hearing loss. There has recently been a major shift in my ability to hear & I have started actively seeking to learn ASL. My husband has an extremely hard time accepting I am losing my ability to hear & we need to learn to communicate. While I am learning ASL, he has no interest in it at all. He is in denial. How can I help him to understand/accept this is a part of our life?

Ask him to wear deafeing ear plugs for a day.

Or show him how much volume you need on the TV to hear it comfortably and to understand what is being said on it (assuming you're not past that abilityto understand speech on the TV). He may need the earplugs for this example. :lol:
 

VacationGuy234

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This is a very hard issue to discuss because it is going to bring a lot of personal feelings to the service. You both are hurting from this experience and fighting about it is not something you need at all.

Learning a new language is going to take time so I would try to introduce signs to him slowly. As you learn ASL talk to him about the signs you learn in a conversational way, don't do it as a learning lesson. Tell him you learned this sign today and what it means.

You can't force someone to learn a language. It is something they have to learn on their own.
 

dereksbicycles

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So, if a person has 2 cats that grows up together and then one cat becomes deaf from old age, the other cat will be in denial and not want to learn about deaf/Deaf world within the feline circle, right? Or will the hearing cat take time to understand deafness?

Sometimes, I think that cats have more sensitive bones than humans. This story explains why some humans suck!! You either swim with current or drown.
 

deafdrummer

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This, I can say... The struggle that the husband is having, I believe, is losing the ability to communicate with great detail in the information and expression of emotion in the easiest way possible. It's what adults are used to once we have mastered the language which offer the least path of resistance to getting a message across. He may have had learning issues growing up that that remind him of the nightmarish, sticky days of learning his primary language. I don't know if that's true of some hearing people, but it certainly was for me, only because I was delayed for so long in acquiring language. It's a block for me in learning a language beyond the writing system of word formation and the basic pronunciation of letters and some words. When it comes to grammar and syntax, my brain just pauses and I want to go do something else.

For all I know, he may be afraid of the unfamiliar, not being able to communicate as deeply in sign (for lack of experience and vocabulary) as he can while speaking it. It's why I rarely sign when discussing difficult topics. I want to talk it out as deeply and detailed as I need to, not as I "can" while skipping on needed detail. That's just my take on it.
 

tuatara

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First of all, I'm really sorry to hear that you're having to deal with this. I never understand how people don't want to learn to sign when a loved one is Deaf or losing their hearing. But I wanted to comment about this:

Ask him to wear deafeing ear plugs for a day.

Please don't expect too much from this. For people with good hearing, if we put ear plugs in, our ears adjust: they become *more* sensitive. In some cases, certain noises become louder for me when I'm wearing ear plugs. I know a guy who wears them (I'm talking about custom made plugs from the same people who make hearing aides, so this is the good stuff - both his and mine) when he rides his motorcycle, to protect his hearing. He says after he rides for a while, he often gets frustrated that he forgot to put his earplugs in. Everything is so loud. Then he goes to take a break and finds that he *did* put them in. His ears just adjusted to receiving less noise. He takes them out and the noise of the world around him is screaming-loud. Hearing is a weird thing.
 

MCB

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IMHO, a marriage counselor who is experienced in working with couples having trouble with transitions in their marriages may be your best option.
 

green427

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Sounds like your husband has been in denial for many years.

Unfortunately things like this bring out peoples' true colors.

He needs to "want to" accept it and adapt before you can convince him.
 

sonocativo

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Sounds like your husband has been in denial for many years.

Unfortunately things like this bring out peoples' true colors.

He needs to "want to" accept it and adapt before you can convince him.

Yeah, My wife is an ass towards me since my hearing aids are out of service and she has the attitude and all like "I dont listen to her" more fights than its worth, I cant wait to get the house done and out of here.
Everyone is invited to the good riddence party too when the day comes !
 

Journey

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Have you had a really detailed heart-to-heart discussion with your husband about the facts of hearing loss and, most importantly, both your feelings about it? He has a reason for resisting taking interest in, and learning, ASL. Until you hear it, accept that it is a 'reason' to him and share how it makes you feel, things will not go forward in the right direction. Having to realize that the picture of your shared future is now painted differently can be very hard. It will take time and requires open communication that is absent of assumptions, accusations, and blame. Good luck to both of you :).
 

ladysolitary85

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I have been in a few rocky relationships with hearings and my current one is the first one where the person is very aware of deaf culture and loves to sign with me.

I have a guy friend of mine, known a deaf girl for 15 years and their together. He absolutely refuses to sign with her or even learn to sign. In his eyes, he works 60 hrs a week and doesn't have time to learn.... and that she can read lips, turn her hearing aid up or if needed they could just text on their cells....

Personally, I feel communication is a #1 thing in relationships. I couldn't settle with someone who had no interest in signing. My last ex basically told me "It was only MY responsibility to learn sign." And that relationship just went down hill.

Now, I'm not saying you need to divorce your hubby or anything like that. I'm saying communication is everything. Someone has to want to learn the language. The analogy I use to describe my deafness to the hearings is lstening to the adults on Charlie Brown, that usually helps them understand a little on just because we may HEAR you speak doesn't mean we can understand it. I say have a long heart to heart talk with him and tell him how important this really is to you.
 

VacationGuy234

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I can see both sides of the issue. You have to keep lip reading and using the aid because it's not reality at all to think the world is going to learn sign. On the other hand, the person you are with needs to make an effort at communication because that person, "is not the rest of the word".

There is truth on both sides, and one thing is certain, compromise has to come from both sides.
 

Bottesini

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I have known my husband all of my life. We grew up together & have an amazing relationship story. He has known since we were kids that I have degenerative hearing loss. There has recently been a major shift in my ability to hear & I have started actively seeking to learn ASL. My husband has an extremely hard time accepting I am losing my ability to hear & we need to learn to communicate. While I am learning ASL, he has no interest in it at all. He is in denial. How can I help him to understand/accept this is a part of our life?

Amazing? How amazing is someone who wants to make your life more difficult.

If your hearing has actually declined to the point where you can't understand speech at all, just find a new interest and wait until he wants to talk to you, in sign if that is what you want.
 

PowerON

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Cannot expect mate being perfect healthy. Everybody are sick, include me.
 

sonocativo

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My wife took ASL with me in college, Im still learning as well as she, she will sign to me but when I go to sign back she gets all anal and yells, I CAN HEAR YOU.... expecting me to just talk. Then she continues with I never listen to what she says and so on... I just down right HATE her and her sorry azz little brats with all the disrespect. My son shows alot of interests in ASL and he uses it to communicate with me as well and he is only going on 3. Mostly basics (Bath, Hungry, Eat, cereal, drink...ect...) but I know what he is saying to me and he is not as frustrated as trying to say what he wants.
My wife has no clue what its like to be deaf, I agree with the hearies are ignorant at times. Maybe I would be happier with another who shares the same impairment as I?
 

whatdidyousay!

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You can try to explain to your husband you need him to know ASL so when you both go out to eat or whatever he will be able to tell what being said. Like someone said I would go slowly with this. I would try find why husband does not want to learn ASL, maybe he worried about how it will affect your marriage. I would not assume he is in denial , it can be something else.
 

sweetkisses89

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think the using the ear plugs for a day is a good idea. it's the whole walk in my shoes for a day method that actually works it's builds a understanding and new bond. I never thought of trying that and may do that with my boy friend on his off day


Posted from Alldeaf.com App for Android
 

drphil

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Take your husband to visit your ENT doctor/audi to explain your condition.
 

illusive man

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I think what he needs is time. He is upset because the person he loves is losing her hearing, but you need to make him realize that this won't change much.

As a young man with progressive degen. hearing, simple things like not being able to hear the door bell when my girlfriend comes really annoy her. It doesn't annoy her because she has to wait outside, it annoys her because it's a brutal change for her. Shes scared it will change everything. Sure it's easier for us deaf peoplz ;) :)cool2:yea, we are pretty awesome:cool2:) because we have to get use to it so we naturally do, but the normal hearing people just need time to understand.

Another poster said to give him ear plugs for a day, and i think that's a very good idea, to give him more insight on what it's like for you. Great start.

Another thing to consider is maybe sitting him down, telling him all that you've said in your initial post, tell him that you know it's hard for him but that you will adapt fully if you are determined to. Maybe seek out for some relationship advice from professionals out there? Your choice.
 

mrsburgett

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Thank you everyone for your advice! We have had many heart to heart talks about this & he is always very attentive, reassuring & supportive. Right up until I ask why he has such a hard time accepting asl as a form of communication. I took a day last weekend where our only form of communication was texting, writing & me lip reading. It took sooo long to just complete one conversation. Nothing got done due to us spending so much time trying to talk about what needed to be done & how to accomplish it. We have 3 kids, both have full time jobs & are very active in our church community. We don't have time to constantly be texting or struggling to communicate.
When asked why he doesn't get mad or upset, just says similar to what ladysolitary85 said about working or being busy. However, deafdrummer hit the nail on the head. As we were talking he brought up a lot of memories of struggling through school. My husband is a very intelligent man. But he doesn't learn the way most people learn. He remembers having extreme difficulty learning in school & with asl he sees it as he can't ever fully understand what to do or how to learn.
We are working on it. Thanks again!
 
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