Do you find your parents screaming at each other over the dumbest things, saying things like, “Turn the TV down” or “Stop mumbling at me?” Are you worried about their relationship?
They may not need a marriage counselor – one of them may just need a hearing aid.
Hearing loss causes arguments and other problems in all relationships, especially in marriages, because it interferes with communication. PsychCentral calls communication “one of the most important aspects of a satisfying marriage,” saying that a solid marriage thrives on exchanging emotions, desires and beliefs. Breakdowns in this exchange leads to arguments and, in some cases, even divorce.
Arguments and Divorce in People with Hearing Loss
A British firm performed a survey of more than 1,000 people over the age of 40 who were experiencing some degree of hearing loss. The results, published in The Telegraph, show that inability to hear can result in intense arguments and even lead to marital breakups. One-third of respondents in that study said that hearing problems led to arguments with family members; one in 16 respondents said that a partner threatened separation or divorce if the participant did not address the hearing problem.
The survey found that one in five people with some degree of hearing loss had lied about it to friends and family. Two out of three admitted to bluffing their way through conversations. Lying and bluffing can have a profoundly negative effect on marital relationships, as trust and honesty are important foundations of a healthy marriage. Faking your way through conversations can lead to loneliness, isolation and depression.
Hearing loss can also trigger feelings of failure, old age and disability that can taint even the most enjoyable moments in a relationship. Marriages can be strained when one spouse misses the experience of hearing a grandchild cry for the first time, for example, or when one can no longer enjoy the shared love of the symphony. Left unaddressed, these marital strains and arguments can end in divorce.
Divorce rates are higher among people with hearing loss. In fact, those with severe hearing loss have divorce rates that are four times higher than in people with normal hearing, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America.
How a Hearing Aid Can Help Fix a Marriage
Learning that one has a hearing problem can come as a real shock. Hearing loss is often associated with old age, and most people do not consider themselves as old. Others hate the thought of wearing a hearing aid. Some just refuse to think they have a problem.
Urging your mother or father to wear a hearing aid, however, can help fix your parent’s marriage. Hearing aids can help your parent engage in conversations without having to lie or bluff. Wearing a hearing aid helps your parents share special experiences and intimate conversations that keep a marriage happy and healthy.
Helen Keller once famously said, “Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.” Don’t let deafness separate your parent’s marriage – encourage your mother or father to seek help today.