Is Valentine’s Day a wasted cliché? | Listening is the Shortest Distance Between Two People

Natalie Buttress








By Natalie Buttress

talking and listeningI try not to be so “bah humbug about it”, but I’m not big on Valentine’s Day. Call me unsentimental, but we should love each other on our own schedules!

However, I’m huge on connection! All the tabloids tell you that relationships are founded on trust, respect and yes, you’ve guessed it, good communication. With 20 years of marriage under my belt, I agree. But what if one partner can’t hear properly? And I’m not talking about hearing special, loving words (although of course these matter), but rather just being able to communicate about what time dinner is, where to fetch the kids, and who you’re meeting tomorrow?

University of Nottingham researchers found that hearing loss in families consistently created “conflict around television and radio volume, difficulties during telephone conversations, and frustration during social events and conversations” (ASHA Leader, 2018, p. 15). Family members spoke about feeling emotionally drained from the burden of adjusting to a partner’s hearing loss, and guilt about not being more understanding. The authors found a significant increase in the involvement of family members who advocated for hearing evaluation and assistance to ease the tension and improve connection. Do you have a family member with hearing loss? In this Valentine’s month, do something really loving and get them some help.

Your audiologist can make connection easier.

Hearing Loss Spurs Family Tensions, Desire for Discussion. (2018). ASHA Leader, 23(1), 15.