Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Am I wrong to tell my husband that I refuse to repeat myself anymore?

Asked by Dutchess_III (43344points) 1 week ago

He refuses to get fitted for a hearing aid. It makes things hard for me and him. After years of this I put my foot down. A few months ago I earned him I wasn’t going to repeat myself and I’m sure as helI not going to to yell. That’s just rude to everyone around us.
If say something and he says “What?” now I just say “Nevermind.”
Even worse, when he can’t understand he makes some assumptions that it was some disparaging remark and he’ll get mad.
If he isn’t going to take care of himself I’m not going to enable him.
Am I wrong?

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50 Answers

kritiper's avatar

If I were you, and hubby said “What?” I’d just give him a look. A disgusted look. You know what look I’m talking about!

hello321's avatar

@Dutchess_III: “He refuses to get fitted for a hearing aid.”

He’s choosing hearing impairment? What is that about? Maybe he needs to see a therapist.

JLoon's avatar




Nomore_lockout's avatar

Nope, it happens. I am going thru the same thing with my wife right now. I love her to death, but I’m freaking tired of repeating everything I say 25 times, and I’m on the verge of suggesting that she gets a hearing aide. She claims it’s only congestion, and I suppose that’s possible. She has had hell with her allergies for years, but it gets old. We’ll get thru it though, so will you folks. Chin up!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@hello321….hahaha he’d never in a million years see a therapist! Besides. It’s not his fault. Everyone around him mumbles.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

@Dutchess_III LOL! That is exactly what Beth tells me all the time. Stop mumbling! I don’t mumble dammit, face reality! You’re getting hard of hearing! No I’m not, waaaa! Good Gawd almighty. Just shoot me.

hello321's avatar

@Dutchess_III: “hahaha he’d never in a million years see a therapist!”

What is that about? Are you serious? Around these parts, everyone sees a therapist.

jca2's avatar

My guess is he either has a big ego or he is selfish.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He’s an old fashioned guy. Therapists are for losers.

hello321's avatar

@Dutchess_III: “Therapists are for losers.”


Dutchess_III's avatar

I hardly find it “terrifying,” @hello321. “Frustrating” yes. “Terrifying” is absurd emotional overkill.

hello321's avatar

^ Cultural difference, I guess.

Jeruba's avatar

My husband’s hearing declined to the point that he did get fitted for hearing aids some years ago, and went on to purchase them for nearly $6000. I was there. The specialist, George, noted on the test that his greatest hearing loss was just in my vocal range.

George emphasized again and again that the most important place to wear them was at home. Did he? Guess again.

I wish I’d been tough enough to refuse to make up for that by repeating and speaking louder. (It was my fault that he couldn’t hear me, because I speak quietly.) But we both took on a lot of unnecessary stress when he thought he heard some ridiculous thing, didn’t verify, and later acted on the basis of mumblescrambledywhackdoodle, which could have been anything from when we have to leave for an appointment to thinking I was taking him to task for something.

More than once, I said, “I’m just going to start only saying things the second time.” Of course I was being facetious, but he didn’t bother to listen until I’d said a thing once.

We were in the car on our way to a meeting once when I asked, “Do you have your hearing aids?” and he said “No. There’s nothing that I want to hear.” And then he wondered why I didn’t feel like talking to him.

A few years later, he decided that it was too inconvenient to put them on and off when what he really wanted was to wear earbuds and watch movies, so he quit using the hearing aids at all.

He didn’t even wear them to onsite medical appointments. I’d stay with him (right through covid time) and take extensive notes.

I wonder if the hearing aids have any sort of resale value now.

Stick to your guns, @Dutchess_III. This isn’t on you. Not when he has a choice.

si3tech's avatar

@Dutchess_III I am deaf. ( I do not hear sound WITHOUT my hearing aids.

Communication is a 2 way street. The hard of hearing/deaf person needs to
do his part by at least investigating the hearing technology we have these days.
Some people who have hearing aids will not wear them. They are NOT doing their part to communicate. This is your loved one. If they have tried to get help and it did not work, then you need to be patient and keep repeating/trying to
reach him.
My hearing loss is profound. My friends will always repeat if necessary. That is everything to me! They care enough to include me. That’s love.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@si3tech would you expect your friends to continue to cover for you if you refused to wear the hearing aids?
And he has not tried to get help.

AK's avatar

You just need to sit him down and have a proper chat about the issue. Nothing we say here is going to be of help to you, until you bring him abreast of the issues both of you are facing. I do know that it can be a tricky discussion because you’ll be telling him that he has a medical issue and no one likes to hear that. I remember having a similar discussion with my dad and he was absolutely sure he had no hearing problems! You need to be patient and maybe even understand that some people accept aging and the inevitable deterioration of body and some are scared of it. Eventually all of us come to grips with it…in the meanwhile, just make sure you aren’t going to lose patience with your life partner.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You aren’t wrong in principle. Where you are wrong is in the assumption that this will work for the 2 of you. You will repeat yourself simply because it’s necessary UNTIL you can weasel him into a doctor’s office. And you can do it Dutch. You know you can do it. I’m fortunate in that my wife’s hearing issues taught me lessons as her hearing deteriorated. I found it more fascinating than frustrating the way things developed. In fact SHE is the one (understandably) more frustrated by her condition, and more irritated dealing with it. The reason I believe you should adapt to repeating yourself is simply because even after your husband is fitted, you will find it necessary whenever the devices aren’t “in”. At home the wife prefers not to wear her hearing aids unless she’s watching the television. I laugh as I write this because my wife is terribly nosy, and if she prefers not to wear her hearing aids, I figure there must be some very compelling discomfort involved! So I have adapted. The ringing telephone or doorbell are strictly my responsibility. I never know if the aids are in or out. When she’s out of the room I scream at her and half the time she either doesn’t hear me or replies with “why are you yelling?” (my clue that they’re “in”). All in all, it makes for an interesting life and sometimes I just laugh uncontrollably over the irony of it all. And my poor wonderful wife suspects that I am somehow poking fun at her, but by now she does understand that I adore her. And stand up. You know damned well that any man is just another version of those 5 and 6 year olds you substitute teach. Put your foot down, grab him by the ear and march him to the doctor’s office.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I wouldn’t scream constantly to communicate.
Like @stanleybmanly said, march him in.

rebbel's avatar

What was that? ~

If he were my husband I would totally annoy the living daylight out of him.
I would start lip syncing (or however we call thst; talking with no sound) all the time.
Stand close behind him and shout in his ear “DO YOU WANT ANOTHER CUP OF TEA?”

My father was not keen on getting aids fitted, but the second they were eventually placed he didn’t want them out anymore.

“You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Song Is About Him”

stanleybmanly's avatar

Life is short enough. In more relationships than I can count, one of the partners has all the practical sense, and to my great disappointment, it is almost invariably the woman. If it falls on you, just accept it and pick it up. The sooner you get it over, the sooner you can get on with the adventure.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
smudges's avatar

When I met my birth-mom and her husband, I could tell he had a great sense of humor, but he had lost 80–90% of his hearing due to his job. When I questioned her, my mom said he wasn’t receptive to a hearing solution. The next time we met I said, “He’s got such a great sense of humor! I hate to see him missing out on so much just because he can’t hear. I’ve done a little research and based on what I found, why don’t you suggest that he at least look into surgery?” Long story short, she did, he did, and he had the cochlear implant surgery! He got his hearing back to about 80% and is enjoying life. Sometimes it takes someone else to make us see the obvious. She could have suggested that until she was blue in the face, but it took a relative stranger (me) to make a suggestion he would listen to.

Maybe that’s a possibility in your situation.

Brian1946's avatar

You’re not wrong, but vocalizing your announcement might not be the most effective way to tell him.

How about writing it on red paper with large white lettering?
That way, he’ll think it’s a message from the Kansas City Chiefs! ;-)

Caravanfan's avatar

…really trying to keep my mouth shut here… It’s really hard…

gorillapaws's avatar

It is my understanding that a hearing aid can slow the decline in hearing, and that the sooner one gets them the better off they will be long term, but if they wait, then the benefits will decrease. We’re dealing with the same thing with my dad, who is a surgeon and should know better. I’m not an expert, but it does sound like a consult is the appropriate course of action.

Maybe mentioning that the longer he waits the worse it will be for him might be enough to motivate him. Best of luck to you and your husband.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ll find a way to convey that to him.

Dutchess_III's avatar

This is how conversations go. He took Cato out to pee. It’s sprinkling. They were back in in a few seconds and Rick said “He didn’t like the rain.”
“Wuss!!” I said, referring to Cato.
Rick spins around and angrily yells “He. Didn’t. Like. The. Rain.” Obviously he thought I said “What?”
Stressful, man.

smudges's avatar

^^ Ha! So he doesn’t like repeating himself either! Maybe use that as an example of what you go through all the time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The point is, he didn’t have to repeat himself. I did not say “what?”
I said “wuss,” referring to the dog.

stanleybmanly's avatar

How does he possibly get along apart from your presence?

Dutchess_III's avatar

IDK Stanly. I guess they just all cover for him because they’re nice.

gondwanalon's avatar

I think that you two are both wrong.
Be kind to each other.
Instead of being cold and cutting him off with communicating with you, try to understand how he feels about his hearing disability. Perhaps you may be able to convince him that he needs expert medical help for his hearing loss.

My wife has tinnitus and she can’t hear me well when I talk normally. It can be frustrating for both of us and it is uncomfortable for me to raise my voice and then she still can’t understand me. I try to put myself in her position and think how terrible this condition is for her.

Be patient. Be kind. And try to understand. Good health!

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m sorry I can’t give @gondwanalon more than one GA.

You are risking more than you realize when you cut him off. Of course it is annoying to repeat things. It is also annoying for him to not understand. Maybe he does not realize how many times a day he asks: What?
For one day the 2 of you can play a game. Every time he asks for a repeat, he has to put a penny in the “What?” jar. After you answer, of course. You get to keep the money. At the end of the day see how much is there. You may find it is only 10 cents – or it might be $10. Either way, you both will learn something.

He’ll try to not ask, and you will hope he does. Win-Win. And it is a win for your relationship.

rebbel's avatar

Or the house will burn down (because he doesn’t want to lose his pennies).
“Honey, did you turn the fire under the steaks to low?”

Dutchess_III's avatar

There have been times I was outside and approached by a large dog. Sometimes I get scared thinking he can’t hear me if I scream.

seawulf575's avatar

I think you should repeat your complaints to him at least one more time.

rebbel's avatar

That’s funny.

seawulf575's avatar

Seriously though, you might want to consider some of the times he doesn’t hear you. And don’t take this as making you the bad guy and him blameless, but it is something to consider. I have been accused of having hearing problems by both of my wives. But the first one would do things that made hearing her clearly impossible. She would start to talk and then wipe her mouth in mid-sentence…blocking and blurring her words. So I would say “what?” And she would repeat herself, turning away as she spoke…again making her words get blurred. So I would say “what?”. I was actively trying to listen but her part of the communication process was part of the problem. My current wife will talk to me when I’m not even in the same room. And when there is a lot of background noise. She has gotten mad at me because she was in the bedroom asking me something. Now to be fair, she rose her voice to help me hear. But I was on the other side of the house in the kitchen with water running or with the TV going. She’d come in and, in a snit, ask “Didn’t you even hear me? I’ve been calling you!”.
I have had my hearing checked several times during this time and have had perfect hearing until last year. I had one range of sound that was slacking. Typical for aging. But to be perfectly honest, after being chewed out for not hearing and being accused of having hearing problems, I just quit answering. If my ex felt that talking into her hand or to the wall was adequate, I’d just ignore her rather than asking “what?” And the same with the current wife if I am across the house or in another room. I see communication as a two-way street. It is incumbent on the person speaking to consider conditions that might interfere with the receiver getting the message clearly.
If all that is considered (honestly) and the receiver can still hear or chooses not to listen, then there might be another issue. Could be hearing, could be attitude.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 Hypothetically speaking, what would motivate you to get and use hearing aids at home—had they been recommended by a professional?

Inspired_2write's avatar

Sometimes people don’t realize that they may not need a hearing aide but rather have their ears cleared of years of build up of ear wax.
Have that done first then if he improves , problem solved.
If he doesn’t then the doctor will advise him on getting tested.
If he can’t hear write it down or give him a printout of having ear wax cleared out and he won’t feel afraid of old age problems creeping up on him.

To him perhaps its like a nail in the coffin , slated for him and scared to accept?

See link:

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws I take my hearing very seriously. I enjoy talking with my wife and I love music, both quite a bit. Had my hearing loss indicated the need for hearing aids, I would have been researching and buying them. In fact when the hearing test showed reduced hearing in one range I asked the audiologist whether they would be worthwhile. He showed me what my graph looked like and what a graph would look like when he would recommend hearing aids. They were grossly different. He said that my hearing wasn’t that bad…fairly typical for my age in fact. The loss I am experiencing comes from years working in an industrial setting according to him. He came to that conclusion before asking me if I worked in that sort of setting so I’m guessing it is normal.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 I see. So if @Dutchess_III’s husband is experiencing hearing loss, what would be the best way to approach getting him checked out without hurting his feelings? I’m asking because I respect your opinion, and you seem to have experience from the other side. For the record, my wife also loves to try to communicate with me from 4 rooms away.

seawulf575's avatar

Find something he likes to listen to. If it isn’t @Dutchess_III then find out what it is. If he can hear that fine then the issue is @Dutchess_III and her relationship with her husband. If he can’t, then the issue is his hearing. At that point you need to point out that he is missing things by not being able to hear all the ranges of the human ear. In my case I actually can tell the difference in music. I miss some of the nuances I used to be able to hear. If it is movies, then watching a movie at normal volume shouldn’t impact him. If it does, then there is something wrong with his hearing. At some point it comes down to him. Is it his actual hearing and does he care? Or is it that he is selectively ignoring things in his life? My guess is, if she isn’t saying things when he is 4 rooms away or while there is a bunch of background noise or while she is talking into her hand or the wall, and he is asking “what?” then it is his hearing. Because if all the other options are eliminated and he is still interested enough to ask “what?” then his hearing is deteriorating.
At that point, instead of approaching it as a “you’re wrong” issue, you approach it as a “I’m concerned” issue. When the approach is “you need a hearing aid!” the natural response is to be resistive, unless you are a complete jelly-fish. People get recalcitrant when they are accused of something. When the approach is more of “I’m concerned because I am missing the full you” it means you are concerned and would like to eliminate that as a possibility. That is much more easily digested than a full frontal assault.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s my goal. He needs to deal with the consequences of not being able to hear. That won’t happen if I keep covering for him.

seawulf575's avatar

For the record, my hearing “weak area” is at 4000 hz. This page shows where that falls on the normal human hearing. It is a mid-high tone that is the issue. Sucks when I listen to music since it throws my overall sounds out of balance. It is towards the upper level of normal human speech. If you have a relatively high voice it could fall into that range.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t have a high voice. The problem is with his ears. We’ve been together for 20 years. His hearing has always been bad (due to racing) but it’s gotten especially bad the last 7.
At one point he started looking at me to repeat what was just said on TV. I complied the first few times then said “Nope.”

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: You can keep a pad of paper and a magic marker and then write things down and hold up the paper (or index cards). He may not like it but it would work.

seawulf575's avatar

@Dutchess_III My personal feeling is that there is nothing wrong with getting your hearing tested. You get your teeth checked, you get your eyes checked, you get the rest of your senses checked…all on a regular basis. Why not the hearing? If nothing else, it would take that off the table as where the problem lies. Most likely it IS the problem.
I give you my results not to suggest that your husband has the same hearing loss. If he was in racing, it could be more widespread, it could be in a different range…lots of variables. And his hearing loss could coincide with your vocal level.

crazyguy's avatar

From the number of responses here, I guess it is a common problem. My wife can hear stuff my grandkids can’t; I need the TV volume set at 10 before I realize it is on, and at 15 before I can understand a word! My wife can hear at 3 or 4. That is awesome when we go to bed. However, our communication is hindered. And she always tells me to get hearing aids. So I finally did, and even wear them from time to time. However, hearing the same drivel a bit louder does not help my comprehension, and hearing aids are uncomfortable. So I stopped wearing them completely about three months ago.

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