Can you hear me now? Divorce and Deafness

Many couples discover that in marriage it is not what is said so much, but how it is said that matters. But what happens when one partner cannot hear?

According the British firm Hearing, a retailer of hearing aids and other related products, “ongoing deafness in a marriage that causes arguments between spouses can promote marital breakdown to the point of divorce.”

A survey of more than 1,000 people over 40 “who admitted some degree of worsening deafness …found that 33 percent of them admitted that their inability to hear properly had caused arguments with their spouses and family. Of those reporting arguments, 7 percent said their spouse threatened to divorce them unless they go help with their hearing loss.”

“Nearly two-thirds of those affected admitted to pretending they can hear adequately and half said faking their way through conversations had caused them to become depressed and isolated.” In addition to isolation, hearing loss triggers feelings associated with disability and old age. Nevertheless, according to the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, “it can take as long as 15 years for people with hearing loss to get the help they need.”

That’s a long time for even the most patient and loving partner to repeat what he or she said. So when a loved one suggests a hearing test, listen up.

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