Your wife is struggling with hearing loss, and you want to do whatever you can to help her deal with these new challenges. However, as a man, understanding hearing loss from a woman’s perspective can be difficult. Below are some things your wife wishes you knew about her hearing loss.
- It affects her self-esteem.
Women with hearing loss often experience problems with self-esteem, especially in the time immediately following diagnosis. You can help your wife deal with this by reminding her that you still find her interesting, attractive and fun to be around. Make sure she knows that you love her the same as you did before she started losing her hearing.
- She doesn’t want your relationship to suffer.
Communication is an important component of any relationship. Your wife doesn’t want her hearing loss to affect your ability to communicate with each other, even if it means you will need to change the way you talk to her. Don’t reduce the amount of time you spend communicating with your wife because of her hearing loss. Instead, be sure to get her attention before you begin speaking. Face her and use hand gestures and facial expressions to make it easier for her to understand you. Avoid shouting, as this will only distort your words. Instead, speak loudly and clearly.
- She wants to retain her independence.
It is natural to feel protective of your wife. You may have the urge to speak or answer questions on her behalf in order to prevent her from struggling to hear the people around her. However, your wife still wants to be able to speak for herself and make her own decisions, even if it may be more difficult than it once was. Allow your wife to be as independent as possible, and don’t speak for her unless she asks you to.
- She gets self-conscious about her hearing aid.
If your wife needs to wear a hearing aid, she probably feels self-conscious about it. Even though the device may be small and difficult to see, your wife may still feel like it makes her less attractive. Be sure to remind her that you think she is beautiful, especially if she mentions the issue.
As your wife begins this new phase in her life, challenges are inevitable. By following these tips, you can make this transition as painless for her as possible.