Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

How can I convince my husband he really, really needs a hearing aid?

Asked by Dutchess_III (44145points) December 7th, 2017

His hearing is getting really bad. In his younger days he raced, mostly flat track, and was exposed to extremely high decibels of sounds but never used any ear protection. It’s really catching up with him now, but he refuses to admit it.

For example, he will have his phone right next to him and I am across the room. When he gets a text message I can hear the notification but he can’t. I have to tell him he got a text, and his phone is right there, practically touching his hand.

He misses much of what I say, or worse, misunderstands what I say, and always for the bad. He’s actually started arguments with me because of things he thought I said that I didn’t.

He says I’m the problem, that I mumble, but I’m not the problem. According to him his hearing is just fine, but everybody else mumbles.

He refuses to even consider a hearing aid.

What can I do or say to convince him to get one?

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33 Answers

MrGrimm888's avatar


SQUEEKY2's avatar

Are you sure he isn’t just ignoring you?
The average person only listens to about 20% to what people say, I really hate that when a waitress doesn’t listen.
Oh yeah back to your issue, maybe get him an appointment with a hearing clinic, and tell him if he passes you won’t bring the aid thing up again, or at least for a while.

tinyfaery's avatar

Don’t ever repeat yourself. Don’t be his ears for anything. People do not usually change their behavior unless they absolutely have to.

zenvelo's avatar

Don’t tell him if his phone goes off. If he says anything, tell him you heard it just fine, bit it is his phone, not yours. And when he says you should have told him, tell him “get a hearing aid”.

If he doesn’t understand what you say, write it down or email him, but don’t repeat it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m sure he isn’t just ignoring me. The reason I even tell him when he gets a text is to highlight the fact that I can hear his phone way over here and he can’t even hear it when it’s right next to him. I just I’m trying to yank the chain to the lightbulb in his brain.

I have gotten so frustrated that I’m at the point where I’ll snap “Get a hearing aid!!” often.

That’s a good plan @tinyfaery. What if he asks me “What did he / she say?”...what do I say?

tinyfaery's avatar

Tell him to ask the person who spoke.

Dutchess_III's avatar

….. how to do this without pissing him off?

tinyfaery's avatar

Who cares if he gets pissed off. Maybe if he got a hearing aid he wouldn’t get pissed off.

marinelife's avatar

Make an appointment for him with an audiologist. They have scientific tests that they do and will show him in black and white on a piece of paper that he has hearing loss.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I care if he gets pissed off. Not because I care that he’s pissed off, but because he makes my life miserable when he’s pissed off.

I’ll try that @marinelife. I really wish I could do that. However, I seriously doubt he’ll keep that appointment.

tinyfaery's avatar

@Dutchess_III Then you have bigger problems than a hearing aid. Go away when he acts like an ass. Deny him your company.

marinelife's avatar

Go with him Dutch. In fact, you could both get your hearing checked and then he would have no answer regarding that you mumble.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I can’t force him to go, is what I’m saying. I will try though. It’s liable to cause tensions that I’d rather avoid. Maybe, if he ever goes to the doctor (and he should go regularly, like every 6 months for another issue, but won’t) I’ll suggest he ask the doc to check his hearing. Maybe I’ll go with him.

I know that @tinyfaery.

Thinking about all of this. I think @tinyfaery was spot on in her suggestions. When I thought I was highlighting his hearing issues, hoping he’d see the light, I was actually enabling him so he didn’t have to face it.

Good suggestions guys.

Adagio's avatar

Perhaps you could simply suggest he has a hearing test, maybe you can both get your hearing tested at the same time. It would then be someone else telling them that his hearing is not so good and could be improved. I wouldn’t even mention a hearing aid.

flameboi's avatar

Speak to him softly, just to make him realize that he is missing out your melodious voice. He will get the hint….

Patty_Melt's avatar

If you want to get someone’s attention, whisper.

imrainmaker's avatar

Start using sign language!~

johnpowell's avatar

I have really bad hearing. Like 20% in the left ear and 70% in the right. And you would have drag me kicking and screaming to get hearing aids. And I wear glasses. And I love wearing glasses. They hide my unibrow.

But hearing aids. That is a bridge to far. I manage to get by. I am sure they would make my life better but they are just so rare and visible.

Get the sexy librarians to start sporting hearing aids and we can revisit this.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m pretty sure they have much smaller, very discrete hearing aids now. I think that’s his biggest hold back too.
But when it starts causing marital issues, it’s time to man up. He may feel he’s getting by just fine, but I’m not getting by just fine.

Rarebear's avatar

Shit. If I were your husband I’d skip out on the hearing aid too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL! I wasn’t talking to you! And that’s another thing, I’ll be talking to the dog and he’ll go “What? What?”

snowberry's avatar

Ask him if he wants some dog treats. LOL

Dutchess_III's avatar

The only good part about it is I can talk behind his back even when I’m not behind his back.

marinelife's avatar

Nothing new there, Dutch. You’ve been ragging on him here for years.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Maybe try and convince one of his close friends he really should consider taking a hearing test.
If he hears this from someone other than his wife, he might think harder on it.(Just a thought)

Dutchess_III's avatar

He has a good friend he tends to copy. He has hearing problems too. His wife comments on it. If he’d get a hearing aid I know my husband would get one too. Hopefully his friend will get one soon.
It’s just such a pain to deal with. Frustrating.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I know @Dutchess_III but we men hear it too often from our wives we just chalk it up to nagging and shut down to it, sorry but that is the truth.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know. And I suppose it IS nagging. But then again, we’re the ones who have to deal with it more than anyone else.
But even his daughter has said, “Get a hearing aid!!” to him.

Funny story. His Dad is 95. We were at his house about a year ago, and some relative who was sitting next to me asked if Dad had a hearing aid. I said I didn’t know but I didn’t think so.
Then I turned to Dad, who was sitting about 4 feet away and said, “Dad. Do you have a hearing aid?”
He said, “Wha??” and leaned toward me with his hand cupped behind his ear.
I said, a little louder, “Do you have a hearing aid?”
He said, “No. Do you think I need one?”
Man, he cracked us all up! He’s still so, so sharp. He’s all there mentally.

Pandora's avatar

Can you make a doctors appointment for the both of you to get your hearing checked. Maybe if he hears it from a doctor he may consider getting it. My husband tends to be stubborn until he hears it from a professional.
People get use to what they are not hearing well and pretty much as they do to glasses when they need a new prescription. They honestly believe they are fine until they find out they aren’t. My husband had glasses for years and then he had eye surgery. He was absolutely blown away at all the colors and brightness he was missing. Your husband is missing out on a lot if he doesn’t hear well.

Hearing is necessary for safety. Ever had someone come up on a bike behind you and you didn’t hear them and they barely missed you? Or a car come out of nowhere and you almost got hit when you crossed the street? Hearing is very important.
Hearing aides doesn’t mean he is old. It just means you need help hearing. I never looked at a person with a hearing aide and thought they were old. I’ve seen it in young and old.
Explain that having an hearing aid doesn’t make him old. Being old makes a person old.
Not to mention, its annoying for people to have to repeat and people who can’t hear well tend to speak louder because they don’t think they are speaking loud.
Poor hearing also effects the way songs sound. He is missing out on some of the finer tones and probably can’t distinguish many words to a popular song. And probably has gone on for some time missing some of the details in a story in a movie or show.
Maybe for a while keep telling him to speak lower. He’s too loud in public and drawing attention.
Now that I’ve said all that. I have to go get my hearing checked. LOL

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s been discussed. I am certain he would refuse to keep the appointment. He would probably get angry with me for making one for him.
I’ve been working on letting him suffer the consequences of his inability to hear, as was suggested, with mixed results.

snowberry's avatar

So he’s going deaf. And you’re dealing with a double edged sword. If you’re always shouting at him trying to get him to understand, there is stress and all kinds of upset. If you just go on about your life and ignore him when he acts inappropriately because he didn’t understand what was said, if left unaddressed, the consequences run even farther and deeper.

Deaf people have it much more difficult than blind folks because so much of our communication is done with sound. There are the words themselves, and then there’s also all the nuances in tone, the pauses, the volume, whether it’s whispered or shouted, The list could go on and on. So the longer a deaf person is isolated, The more out of touch with society they become. Oh, and they lose the blessing of music too, which is a tremendous loss in itself. Bottom line there is depression and isolation ahead. Keep your eye on him.

hearkat's avatar

Untreated hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline and dementia:
The desire to stay active and independent is often motivation enough for many people.

I agree with those who said to stop enabling him. I’ve joked with patients that their spouse is an awfully large hearing aid. It is also easy to point out that having to ask for repetition and misinterpreting what one thinks they hear are definitely more obvious than hearing aids are.

Hearing aid technology has come a very long way – especially in the past couple years. More facilities are offering risk-free trial periods. I’ve found that the proof is in the pudding… if you can get him to agree to get tested and give them a try, then he will be able to experience the difference for himself. He’s got nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.

Here is one of the newest technologies that patients have really loved because of the natural sound quality. There’s a link on the page of where you can sign up for a risk-free trial and they will put you in touch with a participating provider in your area.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thanks @hearkat. They have a center not far from us. I’ll see if I can’t convince him to pay them a visit for at least a risk free trial.

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