Your Chance to Help a Reader Out
When I asked about your most vexing problems, Alexandra commented:
“My husband does not like to wear his hearing aides. I know this may sound trivial to some of your younger readers, but it does drive me nuts and maybe, for some of you, could be a problem in your future. It has become hard to have a conversation, because when I remind him to put them in, he gets irritated. I’ve noticed that I tend to shout, rather than talk at a normal volume. Then my daughters get irritated because I speak more loudly to them than before. Any suggestions?”
This question made me think of my grandparents. Neither heard well with their hearing aids, and often one or both of them would not have their hearing aids in. When this was the case, I had to shout to be heard and, even then, I wasn’t sure they really got what I was saying. Both had adapted to their lack of hearing by learning how to nod and comment as a conversation unfolded, even if they couldn’t hear that conversation. It was only after one of them made an odd comment that didn’t go with the conversation at all that I would realize they couldn’t hear what I was saying.
So I feel your pain.
My best advice is to seek understanding. Ask why he prefers not to wear his hearing aides. It could be that he finds them uncomfortable. It also could be that he finds the silence comforting. He also may not realize just how much conversation he’s missing. It’s possible that, by seeking understanding, you might arrive at a solution.
If not, then perhaps ask him to help you solve the problem. Keep in mind that the problem isn’t, “You never wear your hearing aides.” Your real problem is that sometimes you want to tell him something important, but he can’t hear you. Ask him to help you solve that problem. See what he comes up with.
Readers: What advice do you have for Alexandra? How would you solve this problem?
A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.