Hearing loss can put a serious strain on relationships, but according to a study by the Hear the World Foundation, 70% of couples reported an improvement in their relationship as a result of the use of hearing aids. Let’s look at some of the ways these small, important devices can improve your connection to your loved one.
How Hearing Aids Help your Relationship
1) Better Communication
Any relationship will break down without communication. Talking about emotions, ideas, desires and beliefs sustains the connection between two people, and if this exchange begins to disappear, the relationship itself may have trouble standing. The good news is that a hearing aid can help to restore the ability to communicate effectively, and you will once again be able to engage with your partner in conversation the way you used to.
2) More Intimacy
A whispered “I love you” in a crowded room or quiet words of encouragement in a moment of distress will lose their subtle quality if they have to be repeated at top volume. Untreated hearing loss can result in an unwelcome loss of intimacy, along with the loss of those special moments, and a lonely distance may begin to form. Being able to hear your partner clearly will go a long way towards closing that gap.
3) Increased Independence
Marriage partners support each other in sickness and in health, and there are countless times over the course of a marriage when one partner will depend on the other. However, when one spouse increasingly relies on the other because of untreated–yet very treatable–hearing loss, the situation can be frustrating to both people involved. Hearing loss forces one person to act as a “hearing helper” by repeating what has just been said, and the obligation may eventually become a source of resentment. In addition, the spouse with hearing loss may begin to lose self-confidence and withdraw from potentially noisy situations rather than have to rely on their partner. Being fitted with a hearing aid can restore the sense of independence and confidence so vital to keeping a relationship enjoyable and satisfying.
4) More Activities To Do Together
Along with a feeling of independence, hearing aids can restore a sense of spontaneity and fun to a relationship, by opening up a world of activities that had previously been a source of frustration and anxiety. Having limited hearing makes dinner at a busy restaurant, a concert in the park– even a movie on the couch–difficult to enjoy. These are the kinds of activities that make for a great date night, yet they may be crossed off the list if hearing loss goes untreated. But sharing fun experiences together is one of the most important ways couples bond and keep the spark alive–and these experiences needn’t be a distant memory with a little help from a hearing aid.
5) Fewer Arguments
Not being able to decide on the right volume for watching television may sound like a trivial argument, but these kind of small disagreements that fail to resolve themselves can wear on a relationship over time. If the hearing loss hasn’t been diagnosed, one spouse may begin to think the other has selective hearing, another source of strife. Hearing aids can smooth out these disagreements and also make for easier conflict resolution when problems do arise.
6) More Sensitivity To Your Partner’s Needs
From answering the door, to getting the meatloaf out of the oven when the timer rings, there are hundreds of small ways people in relationships can make each other’s day-to-day lives easier. Hearing aids will also ensure that your loved one can fully rely on you in the event of an illness or an emergency. Taking steps to treat your hearing loss will allow you to be the supportive partner you would like to be.