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Aug

Deaf-Hearing Relationships: Happily Ever After?

An Old Question: Once again up for debate is the seemingly age-old question: Can Deaf-hearing relationships work? Bloggers, including this one, have been weighing in with their opinions lately. A Deaf-hearing relationship can refer to a number of possible scenarios. It could be a signing, culturally Deaf person partnered with a fluent-signing CODA or hearing interpreter, or the same Deaf person partnered with a moderately fluent hearing person or with a nonsigning hearing person. It might be an oral Deaf person with a nonsigning hearing person, or any other combination of partner backgrounds.

The Communication Factor: Most people will say that the success of a Deaf-hearing relationship comes down to communication, just like it does in any other relationship. Communication, of course, is an extremely complicated matter for any couple. When it comes to listening and talking, couples may have differences based on gender (see Debra Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand: Men and Women in Conversation or John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus), personality styles, or what they learned growing up in different families, each with their own unique communication dynamics. These differences in communication styles are difficult enough for most couples to deal with; when you have two different languages, and perhaps two different cultures, in a relationship, things can get even more complicated. In cases in which one partner is Deaf and the other hearing, what we have observed in our therapy work, is that the more “Deaf-centered” the relationship, the better the relationship seems to work.

Deaf-Centered vs. Hearing-Centered: A Deaf-centered relationship basically means that both partners sign to each other, take equal responsibility for communication issues, and are active members of the Deaf community. Couples with Deaf-centered relationships tend to socialize mostly with other Deaf and signing hearing friends, minimizing the number of social situations in which the hearing partner ends up interpreting for the Deaf partner. Hearing-centered relationships, in contrast, often find the Deaf person dependent upon the hearing partner for communication with nonsigning hearing friends, a situation that can create feelings of stress and frustration for both. A listing of characteristics of Deaf-centered versus hearing-centered relationships clearly shows the differences.

190 Comments
  1. Abbe June 27, 2007

    Well, I guess in my situation it is neither centered. I am hearing and my boyfriend is deaf. He had an implant that lets him hear a little bit, but he can read lips and talk. I can’t sign, I am working on learning, but it is really hard for me to remember all the ones he teaches me. But he mainly hangs out with deaf people, and I only hang out with deaf people when I am with him. My friends can mostly understand things he says but sometimes they have little issues. When I am with his friends I basically just sit there moving my head back in forth watching them sign and have no clue what they are saying. Sometimes my boyfriend will say what he is signing, so I have at least a little clue what they are talking about. And if I want to say anything I have to tell him and he signs it. I actually guess you could say I am a little dependent on him. But I really don’t know…

    Reply
    • kara June 21, 2015

      If you want your relationship to last LEARN QUICKLY!
      He will think it’s really sweet that you are taking time and learning sign on your own,
      There are websites online, there are books and soooo many resources!
      No excuse not to learn the main communication style of the one your love.
      I’m not in a Deaf-Hearing relationship, but if I was, you better believe I would be studying sign like a crazed woman lol
      I would want him to feel like I love and except him, and care about him and his friends who he introduces me too.
      I would want to get to know his friends also. It would be a difficult situation, but I would push through every obstacle
      that was in the way to make it work.
      The question was can Deaf- Hearing relationships work. The answer is yes! But like all relationships it requires 100% participation.
      100% on each side.
      I’ve been learning Japanese from 2008 and now it’s 2015 I met my bf in 2012, and he’s Japanese and only speaks Japanese. Yes it’s a difficult relationship, because sometimes I can’t find the words to express how I feel, BUT it doesn’t stop be from continuing to learn and continuing to find the words to express my feelings.

      Reply
      • zandile July 29, 2015

        im dating a deaf guy sometimes its so hard to communicate with him,i cant call him only whatsapp talk but if im angry with him i feel so stupid cos to shout at him and express my feelings its so hard,sometime i dont know what he think i always worried that i will get bored of him and dump him just because i will get tired of i cant call him sometimes i need to tall but i cant

        Reply
        • Jamie February 17, 2017

          Tell him what you just said. He is deaf but can understand. I’m in a deaf/hearing marriage and it’s hard. If you need time to clear your thoughts do so. Another way to communicate is via Skype or any video app.

          Reply
      • Ken November 2, 2016

        Are you a white American woman??

        Reply
      • Lisa February 12, 2017

        I agree with you. I have been dating a guy that’s deaf and can only speak a little. I have learned a lot from him. He bought me a book that helped me a lot and utube is awesome! If you really like him you will learn.

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    • Sabrina Casteleijn July 17, 2015

      I am hearing and my husband is deaf, he has a cochlear implant and we chat to each other normally, there are times when he hears me and understands and then times he needs to focus on my lips to understand what i’m saying. When we started dating he would communicate through his phone then i told him it wont work unless we learn to communicate to each other and we understand each other very well now and i’m always there to help him. He started off with teaching me the alphabet and a few things and his got in the habit of just talking and not teaching me sign language. When we go his friends its difficult to understand whats going on and then i end up sitting by myself or feel like i been judged. Now we married and its getting a little easier with his friends but im still alone. I need help how to fiqure out to tell my husband that communication is a big thing in a relationship because the moment he comes home all he dopes is play games or on facebook and then plays playstation and never takes time to spend time with me or communicate with me then he says he doesnt have a clue what to say to me. The moment one of his deaf friends call he jumps for them and can chat to his friends days in and days out but if i try talk to him or try talk to him of what his doing wrong or try solve the issues he gets angry. How can i make things better for us?

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      • Mrs. K July 27, 2015

        My husband and I have similar issues even though we both sign. He grew up oral and is in the habit of talking to me, however I have to sign back to him because he doesn’t lip read me. So this is one sided. Also he is like your hubby buried in Facebook or TV at every moment hour isn’t working or sleeping. I have tried to talk to him and nothing changes. Nothing. It’s hard. In fact the only nice tomes we have anymore are when we are with our deaf friends. He lights up, gets off the TV and acts happy.

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        • Ann September 12, 2017

          Deaf people are VERY self absorbed and “needy”
          I have watch a relationship like this, from close up. The husband is deaf and married the women to Taje care of him. She was raised in a family where the parents were both hearing and worked to support each other.
          Now she is miserable and angry. It has changed her and that is very sad.
          He acts all nice around others not at home. He takes money they need to live and wastes it.
          Wish I had seen what he was doing and advised her against a relationship with him.

          Reply
      • lisa November 4, 2015

        stop telling him what he doing wrong and or try to solve the issues with him, its really with you, it you that needs to change, another word if you want to learn to speak in his world ask his parent or go to the library and or go online to learn sign language, remember your husband has feelings just like everbody else, I know im deaf myself, give him some room, surprise him, learn the language yourself if you love this guy! and stop telling him what he doing wrong. after all hes human with feeling

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        • Dany Hope October 7, 2016

          Well my wife is deaf and just about sick of seeing that excuse of you must learn sgin or the deaf community will be in arms over it. It’s not that the deaf community demand it or just be rude to everyone cause oh it’s your disability as if it’s your right to be, how about the deaf community get over your selvs and grow up life is not about getting your feelings hurt over people not wanting to sgin don’t force them. Ever wonder why over half of the deaf community is single and have to throw your self at anyone that will look at you. Its a two way street not one.

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          • Stephanie February 5, 2017

            I sure hope your wife has left you by now and found herself a very nice Coda or Deaf man. Smh

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        • Jamie February 17, 2017

          That’s true but you shouldn’t lie to a deaf person either and tell them everything is fine when it’s not. That’s unrealistic. Being deaf isn’t a free pass to do whatever they want.

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          • Hannah July 3, 2017

            I know you probably don’t check this anymore but I’m at a loss and don’t know what to do! I am no where near deaf, but I am hard of hearing! I have moderate-profound hearing loss (can’t hear high frequency at all and I rely heavily on lip reading) I don’t know sign and I function like a hearing person since I wear a hearing aid! I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a year now and I’ve met all his friends in small social gatherings but I noticed that whenever there are parties and such my boyfriend doesn’t invite me or makes them seem like no big deal so I won’t go. When I confronted him about this he told me it’s because he thinks I “can’t handle it”‘and that I won’t hear people
            Or that I won’t be able to have a normal conversation. This is so insulting to me because my hearing HAS NEVER ever held me back, I work for a marketing firm, I’ve gone to university, I’ve done public speaking, I’ve obviously gone to parties. I’ve never been to a party with him because he’s always made sure I don’t go. I feel I need to break up with him because I’ve never in my
            Life been made to feel like I can’t do normal basic every day things. And instead of asking me he just specifically hides these events from me. I’m worried that because he is a doctor that he thinks I won’t sound as smart or that
            I’m going to embarrass him because I mishear something. I don’t even know what my
            Question is but I guess I want to know oth r people’s opninoons on this matter. I’m 23 and lost my hearing when I was 1 yr old so this is the only life I’ve ever known and it doesn’t affect me or make me shy, I’m actually quite outgoing and when people ask why I have an accent I explain it to them. I’m not insulted but I just feel that our relationship can’t progress if he doesn’t think I’m capable of the most basic things.

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          • Edith JM September 21, 2017

            Based on what you have just described, there is no pleasant husband/wife future in your relationship. I would gather all my courage, find an excuse, and stop seeing that doctor. With your personality, you can find someone who appreciates your whole person as a partner.
            I am giving this advice as a hearing person even though my left ear is affected with deafening tinnitus. I am learning sign language for pleasure for the moment.
            Good luck!

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      • Alexseyia June 14, 2016

        That’s because he feels more connected with his deaf friends. I do too. You have to show that you want to learn. Get involved with the Deaf community..show interest. Connect with your husband. When he comes in from work, try signing to him. Compliment him. Try to surprise him with maybe words he taught you or something you learned on your own. Make your goal for the next few days to be able to sign two complete full sentences that means something to him. You just might see a difference.

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      • Eva June 28, 2016

        Hi. I met a guy who is deaf, through my cousin who is an interpreter. It was on a camping trip with family and friends. I didn’t talk to him much because, I don’t know how to sign. But I saw him with my female cousin’s children and he was so sweet to them. They called him, uncle. I really like the fact that he goes to church and through the camping experience, is up for adventure. There was a moment, he gestured something funny and I liked that. But he was quiet (not sign) majority of the time…he only communicated with my cousin, his buddy, because he (my cousin) was the only one that could sign. Basically, with those several days of camping, I found him to be handsome and I would like to get to know him more. I am learning to sign through youtube videos so next time I see him (at invited events that are coming soon), I can communicate to him. I hope he likes me too…but my concern is the communication and expressing of one’s feelings…if that comes up. Do you think, if he has mutual interest, would it work? (I don’t date just to date I am seeking/waiting for my husband). You are married so this is why I ask you. You have more wisdom in the marriage department.

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        • Lawrence Siwka July 9, 2016

          What does one think of a 30 yr., deaf woman liking a hard of hearing 69 yr., man? who lives apart more than 1,500 miles? She wants to be together in the long run.

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        • RonricoFoster April 21, 2017

          Hard Yeah I understand I’m so Deaf seriously

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      • Ana March 6, 2017

        This is so similar to my situation. I have been with him for 7 years . He does the same to me. I just don’t know what to do anymore to keep our relationship interesting. He can communicate with words as well (he has a cochlear). He doesn’t mean to but he can be selfish in a way. It seems as long as he’s okay he doesn’t see nothing wrong with not communicating since we are under the same roof. He says he has nothing to talk about it but assures we are okay. I try to bring up the problem but he too gets upset. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand. Nothing ever gets solved because he shuts down and gets upset. I guess that’s just how they are. There’s no right or wrong way to approach him.

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    • Denisse April 2, 2016

      Same here how long have you been with your bf?

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    • Luther Haynes July 17, 2016

      My name is Gene I Am in Love With a girl who is deaf I’m deaf in one ear but just started learning sign I one day want to marry her what advice can be given because I want her to be her own person! Yet at the same time take the best care of her possible

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      • Pamela July 30, 2016

        Be considerate, more anything. There will be misunderstandings- but she won’t know that she didn’t hear it right. don’t get mad at her.

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    • george July 30, 2016

      hello I am deaf

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      • Youknowwho March 17, 2017

        Hey I was born profoundly deaf but people don’t know I’m deaf when I have my hair down also I speak perfect english just like a hearing person, I have a cochlear implant in my right ear and it is a nuclear 6, also I know level 1 sign language I go to a hearing school just started level 2 I have hearing friends.
        But remember deaf people are as important as everyone, they can achieve great things and love others with their heart they are not robots or aliens I am so frustrated how a hearing person thinks they better than a deaf person because we are all equal! Please remember that.

        Reply
    • Stephanie September 10, 2016

      You need to learn the language if you’re going to be dating a Deaf individual. It is no different than a Spanish speaking man learning French for his lady love from say… Paris. You get the point, Deaf is a culture all on it’s own. Learn the culture.

      Reply
      • Siacri January 29, 2017

        i lived and worked in Austin Texas just a few blocks from the Texas School for the Deaf for nearly 6 years.. on so many occasions i found myself communicating through gestures and sometimes with pen and paper..and on numerous occasions i all but fell in love with some of the women i met..There is something so peacefull and pure that radiates from them. I somehow convinced myself that this peacefulness was an unacceptable thing to be attracted to and likely dodged something that might have been a most positive and true opportunity and i sometimes wonder if i denied myself the key to my own happiness. I never found much difficulties with communication even when pen and paper were not around.. But i had convinced myself that they wouldnt want to invest in such a relationship when they are already surrounded with so many who already sign.. I never was a vocal person..Now after 5 failed relationships with non hearing impaired women i find myself alone babbling constantly to my dog.. often wondering if i turned my back on the key to my own happiness..

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    • Malini October 12, 2016

      Its good to have a boyfriend that he is deaf. Im also wishing for a deaf boyfriend so that i can took care of him and help him in every way of his life. Its so good that u have a deaf boyfriend in your life and experience all the signing words and learning from your boyfriend. Good luck for your relationship and i hope that your relationship will last forever with him.

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      • Youknowwho March 17, 2017

        You think deaf people are incapable of looking after themselves?

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    • Alex February 6, 2017

      U don’t need to know them sign but it’s scary if u learn asl just will be shock how they talk about it , I am deaf have implant I m 17 I am single I try to reach my ex doesn’t work out if she really likes me than she would learn more about it

      Reply
    • Brandon Smith February 11, 2017

      I’m not hearing impaired, but am looking to find “the one”for me. I’m 42, divorced in 2010, and a protector of women and children. I’m not looking for an ordinary person, but rather someone that may be different, or require/rely on a trustworthy soulmate. Not sure where to look. Please help.

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    • Brandon Kepner June 4, 2017

      Hi my wife’s deaf and bin together 20 years it has taken a toll on me and at this point I feel it’s a real berden she’s so loud talking my ear drums pulsing the over expressions all driving me insane I can’t stand the sound off her voice anymore it has damaging effects on my soul most of the time it’s ok but always problem arrives miss understanding all to much let it be over I cry out deep whith in bail out now let them be with other deaf people we suffer there handicaps they don’t understand what we go through it wears you down even the kids get tiered of it

      Reply
    • Divine July 21, 2017

      Same thing here but I understand in slow motion

      Reply
    • Barry knapton September 5, 2017

      My mother and and my friends are deaf I can communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing But not (BSL) the trained

      Reply
  2. Rick Marshall August 28, 2009

    I am a hearing male with a deaf wife. Dealing with her handicap is a great burden. The handicap becomes mine, because I love to talk and communicate, but I can’t with her. It frustrates me. She’s has hearing parents and only reads lips. She has a very small vocabulary and has no grasp of repertoire, small talk, euphemism, figurative talk, humor, being facetious. I can talk for hours, but she’s lost after a few words. Even after 14 years of marriage, almost every conversation ends in hurt feelings from miscommunication. We’ve been in counseling for years. The first seven years, we created Hell for each other. The following seven years we oscillated between thinking we can do this and thinking we can’t wait to get out. We have two great kids and we will stay together until they leave the home. I beg anyone interested in dating a deaf/handicapped person to consider the following: You are sacrificing a part of yourself to be with that person. At first, you’re happy to do it, everyone thinks you’re a saint, but soon the accolades stop and you realize that you’re missing a part of yourself – something important that defines you. Do you enjoy moon lit walks in the evening? Not anymore. Do you like the stars shining into your room at night? Not anymore. Do you like being funny? Do you like to whistle? Do you like to dance? Not anymore. You won’t know what you’re giving up until it’s too late. You will pay a price for your sacrifice and get nothing in return, not even a thankful spouse. Why? Because of what you, the healthy one, represents to your disabled spouse. You represent normal to your spouse. If she is as good as you, then she is as good as normal. You become the standard of measure to beat. For her self esteem, she needs to break you down in order to build herself up. My wife found every fault I had and told the world. She nicknamed me blonde and made fun of me at every chance. She wanted me and everyone else to know that she wouldn’t make my mistakes. If she could just hear, she would be better than me – better than normal. But don’t you go and point out her mistakes, you meanie. Everything she does is designed to make her look good. She will sacrifice nothing for you. I’ve asked my wife to put me first and she absolutely refuses.
    A second insurmountable obstacle is, you are plan B. Most deaf people feel compelled to find meaning in their handicap. Why did God make me this way? So that I would strive to be the best WHATEVER and inspire other handicapped people. By the time you come around, they’ve already devoted 20 years and most of their parents’ money into plan A. My wife’s A plan was to be the first deaf equestrian gold medalist. I was simply a means (financier) to get there. Don’t think plan A will pass like a phase. It only morphs into other ideas like first deaf equestrian trainer. Plan B doesn’t have the same luster and never quite catches on.
    You are stuck, not able to develop you, not able to consider your dreams, in a marriage that is unfulfilling. I thought kids would change my wife’s self-centeredness and bring us closer. We had many fights over it, and I had threatened to leave before she agreed. You see, to her kids meant the end of her Olympic dreams, loss of purpose in her deafness, settling for plan B. In her mind, she was just a stay-at-home deaf mom, less than average. She will take her frustrations out on you. In our relationships, kids became one more thing placed above me in importance. If they’re not willing to put you first at the start of the relationship, then go no further. Find someone else. Do it sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the harder it becomes. If you dredge on, you won’t be happy. You’re not who you want to be and you never will be. That divide in your psyche creates anxiety. It builds until you have a nervous breakdown, complete with panic attacks, and you spend the rest of your life in therapy taking anti-anxiety meds and sleeping pills. I know, because it has happened to me. Let me put it another way. A normal healthy marriage has two people each with two legs eagerly supporting the marriage. These four legs hold up the marriage like a table. When life sweeps one of those legs out, the remaining three continue to sustain the marriage. When you marry a deaf person they bring only one leg to the marriage table, and they don’t intend to use it. You know this, accept it, and believe your two legs are strong enough to sustain the two of you. But you’re wrong. No table can stand with only two legs. The day will come when life breaks one of your legs, along with your ego, and the marriage will topple. Deaf/handicapped people do not marry hearing people expecting to carry the load. Hearing people that marry deaf expect to carry the load, but can’t. The divorce rate for the deaf is 90%.

    Reply
    • Jamie June 11, 2015

      Wow thanks for sharing your experience and the facts about deaf divorces. I had no clue!

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      • Anna January 10, 2016

        Hello,
        I found this post while researching deaf/hearing relationships. I am in a similar situation to yours, and am married to a deaf man who wears an implant. I’m curious how you resolved the situation, did you wind up divorcing?

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        • James May 20, 2016

          Hello Anne I am deaf my name is James Stevenson 3rd It is very important to understand to communicate with hearing or deaf I think most people who feels love and more importantly understand to talking better easy for you

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        • David August 22, 2016

          I was married for 22years and my ex wife found hearing man so I am hard of hearing .The women do change sometimes and I am ready for new life in the future

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    • Krista July 22, 2015

      This post angers me. Truly. Deeply. To generalize all deaf people and all hearing people this way is ignorant. I can tell even by your post that you are a holier than thou aggressor that would have failed at any marriage with the attitude you showcase here. And every problem you listed with your wife was one that could be said about any hearing female. Neither of you were ready for marriage (CLEARLY) and knowing you brought kids into your gongshow is offensive on the deepest level. You both need separate therapy to deal with the very questionable people you are.
      Every ‘sacrifice’ you listed I would HAPPILY give up if my husband became deaf. Maybe you could shut up and take a silent walk in the moonlight. But no. You want to hear yourself talk and have someone moon over you. This post enraged me.
      When I was 5 I went to summercamp and met a deaf girl whom I quickly found a soulmate (in the soulsister way) in. We spent every day together and it was the first time I experienced prejudice. No one else tried to communicate with her and when the 2 weeks were over I was signing while talking and I begged my mom to keep in touch and she told me ‘we’re from different worlds, say goodbye’ like that was just how it was. To this day I’m still mad that it went like that, and I FULLY understand any deaf person’s hesitation with the hearing world that treats them as if they’re stupid rather than simply deaf. I would happily sacrifice dark rooms and learning a new language for love. And I think perpetuating the idea that deaf is world’s apart does not grow humanity but rather takes out one of the legs you proudly state you provide two of.

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      • Laura May 17, 2016

        Wow! Thank you so much for your message! I truly believe in what you said as well! I was so getting angered and upset with some stories. The problem is the relationship. It takes two to tango, not one. I’m not in a relationship with someone who is deaf, but I’ve been communicating (online) and just his personality and who he is stands out far more than him not being able to hear and speak.

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      • Meg Wojcik June 28, 2016

        Absolutely arrogant guy for sure! Looks to me l8ke he just live rhe sound of his own voice and to say his wufe brings nothing to the narriage is pure arrogance. Sounds to me like thus guy is a Narcississt who would fail at ANY marriage!

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      • karen September 21, 2016

        Well said Krista 🙂

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      • Elle September 28, 2016

        God bless you for saying this! I was reading this post and all I saw was negative until this. I love a man that is deaf. I’m at a crossroads right now because I simply saw him as a person, just like everyone else, that just couldn’t hear. Now, people within my circle of friends and family are looking down on me because I am with a man that is disabled. Any insight or advice anyone can provide right now would be a great comfort. I learned to sign for him, and we never had any issues before. Now, facing prejudice and discrimination, doubt has started to settle in my spirit. I just don’t know what to do.

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        • Marissa December 1, 2016

          Elle,
          I’d make every effort to surround yourself with the family and friends that do support you, and stand up for yourself and your relationship. I am hearing, but I’m in school to be an interpreter in ASL, and often times I feel self conscious around my deaf teachers, not because of their deafness, but more so because of their intelligence! It can be intimidating. I know that while your significant other may have a “disability” in the eyes of your family, and friends it’s probably just a different way to communicate for you. Stay strong, and continue to fight for what you love! Don’t doubt yourself. Shame on your family and friends for not being more open and accepting of something different than their everyday.

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      • Bellainskin November 5, 2016

        Thanks for sharing, I was also getting upset with some of these crazy stories. I’m a hearing women myself not that it matters because hearing and deaf we are all equal, anyway I’m marring a deaf man. Funny before I meant him I was an extern in audiology. I meant him through a other friend. I had friend requested him a few years back. I knew he was deaf it stated on his bio and I didn’t know any ASL. We used our phones to communicate after a few months of dating he asked me to became his girlfriend and later is when I started ASL. I also didn’t want to waste my time learning if I knew it wasn’t going anywhere. Now I’m fluent, I’m in school to became in ASL interpreter and shooting for audiology doctor. Things are great between us, yes in times we have hardship but because we lover each other we learned to communicate. He includes me with his deaf friends and his happy to explain to me in case I misunderstood something his deaf friends said ect… If you are dating someone who doesn’t put you first or puts you aside to help you understand the conversation you simply shouldn’t be with person and that goes the same for hearing and hearing relationship. In order to be with someone both need to meet ends again goes with hearing and hearing relationships we we need to stop with the deaf and hearing aren’t happy with eachother. He is part of both hearing and deaf community he doesn’t believe that there should be a separation in both cultures. I love the deaf culture. I love that I know sign language is an awesome gift. There are some of his old friends that didn’t like the idea of him dating now marrying a hearing women. It is quite pathetic. Most common question I get, who orders the food at a restaurant ha he does. you can follow our story on instagram @bellainskin and check out our engagement video on YouTube https://youtu.be/K5qSz8V7x3Y we are thinking of making vlogs regarding our unique relationship. Everyone keep your head up things can work but both ends need to want the samething.

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      • Bellainskin November 5, 2016

        Excuse my typos, as I’m currently at working sneaking in my opinions lol

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      • Siacri January 29, 2017

        wow..you put my exact thought about his post right there! BAMM! It often seems to me that there are no handicaps.. Its a matter of will.. and ballance.. It seems to me one would view both sides as advantagious.. You have a deaf partner..now you have an open door to a world and a part of society that you may not have had without your deaf partner and vise versa… we must take advantage of such blessings and not attempt to drag one into the others world where we have the “upper hand” in communication.. and thus forcing this 4 legged point of view.. a table can stand on two legs if you bend them to a ballanced position..it just requires them to be a little longer to remain at the same level.. what i mean is.. the hearing world dominates by population and thus your deaf partner may need your assistance more frequently so you may need to grow a foot or two but you cannot try and look like some kind of hero by sweeping your deaf partner away from their deaf friends into your world.. you must seek ballance from the beginning. ..how sad that he would even say something to the effect of his being the “hero” in the beginning.. right there it was doomed to where it is.

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      • Siacri January 29, 2017

        Furthermore..to add just a bit of info..The last recorded tally on such divorce rates between deaf/hearing relationships was undertaken about 20 years prior to 80% of the population holding devices in their purses and pockets that can provide instant answers to many of the communication problems that once existed between deaf and hearing couples.. i switch screens on my phone and the directions for signing this very post are right in front of me.. Therefore i can only conclude that this must present as a great advantage that would deffinately have an impact on the number one issue that seems to play out and thus likely rips the top off the high percentage.. also..the studies on divorce rates were only calculated with US statistics..where we also have the handicap of poor role models for communication and morals in the form of leadership and our broken two party system!

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      • Jamie February 17, 2017

        Until you’re in a hearing/deaf marriage then you can’t really understand what it’s like. I’m hearing and my husband is deaf and I understand what Rick said. He was coming from a place of hurt and frustration and needed an outlet. It can be very difficult sharing certain things with a deaf person. There are things some of them don’t get because of the way the system teaches them. I think until you’re in a situation like Rick’s (or mines) you can’t fully understand.

        Reply
    • Sarah August 6, 2015

      Don’t assume your sad marriage is the norm between the Deaf & Hearing. I absolutely resent your comment. Perhaps your first mistake was viewing your wife as a helpless disabled female in need of rescuing. Don’t tell me she doesn’t see your pity, after all us Deafies are proven experts at picking up on“subtle visual traits in the actions of others.” Consider this…she may be trying to prove herself to YOU. I’m sure deep down inside she knows you believe she is inferior. I’m sure not all the blame lies with you…she sounds like a real prima donna regardless of her hearing status.
      Lucky for me, I married a hearing man who forgets that I am Deaf. He sees me as I am, simply Sarah. I have been happily married to him for 15 years. We love walking under the moonlight and stars, granted it’s too dark to lip read/sign but those moments are perfect for kissing and silence. During the day, we chat non stop and enjoy the hustle and bustle of our life. We dance together, I learned how to whistle, and he can sing out of tune all he wants. He has my full support and I have his. We are best friends and I look forwards to the rest of our lives together. I know I bring 2 legs to the marriage table.
      I really hope you find peace in your marriage, perhaps start by praising her for being a stay at home mom, it is the most important job in the world. Also look into http://www.fireproofmymarriage.com
      It is never to late to restart your marriage. It’ll keep you busy until your kids leave the nest. Bless you both.

      Reply
      • HelenA January 18, 2016

        I agree with Sarah and Krista. Being deaf cannot ruin a marriage, but being detached and unsympathetic can. One thing that those with hearing seem to not quite understand is; being able to speak and hear does not mean you are able to communicate. There are so many people in this society that speak , but really say nothing at all. My father was seventy when he passed away from cancer and in all those seventy years of life he did not open up to his wife, his children or anyone. Not until the very last breath did he finally tell us that we were loved. I am younger than my siblings and much more open with how I feel. In the last moments of our father’s life, I (a twenty-six year old) had to coax my forty year old brother out of the corner of the hospital so he could say goodbye to our dad. It was like years of perfectly polished armor had been shed and my brother became a child again. Not communicating is an epidemic in this society. Being given the tools to communicate and choosing not to, choosing to build a wall around yourself instead of letting those you love in, is the true disability. Being deaf, although it is a struggle, opens a new level of awareness that those with hearing are ignorant off. I notice things that others don’t, expressions, subtle movements and I feel I can sense what my partner is feeling. I live in a quiet world but I have no issues communicating with my boyfriend, I find ways. Speaking is not the only outlet for connection. I hug people a lot, it feels good and says so much. My boyfriend and I write to one another often and in my opinion, writing is the best way to really express what’s inside. Yes we have our problems but as long as we have the passion and the will to work on them, we will move past it. I wish someone would have told my father that true strength is without walls, I believe he would have been a much happier man and my family would not have been so divided. My deafness is the least of the worries.

        Reply
        • Sarina July 14, 2016

          “Not communicating is an epidemic in this society. Being given the tools to communicate and choosing not to, choosing to build a wall around yourself instead of letting those you love in, is the true disability. ” — Such powerful words! These can shake one to the core.
          Yes, us, the hearing and seeing people are afraid to communicate in cases when it is most needed. There are many problems, but a kind, understanding and patient approach can remedy those to some extent. Goes for all kinds of people. Thanks for sharing your beautiful, insightful thoughts.
          Take care. 🙂

          Reply
      • Eva June 28, 2016

        Hi. I met a guy who is deaf, through my cousin who is an interpreter. It was on a camping trip with family and friends. I didn’t talk to him much because, I don’t know how to sign. But I saw him with my female cousin’s children and he was so sweet to them. They called him, uncle. I really like the fact that he goes to church and through the camping experience, is up for adventure. There was a moment, he gestured something funny and I liked that. But he was quiet (not sign) majority of the time…he only communicated with my cousin, his buddy, because he (my cousin) was the only one that could sign. Basically, with those several days of camping, I found him to be handsome and I would like to get to know him more. I am learning to sign through youtube videos so next time I see him (at invited events that are coming soon), I can communicate to him. I hope he likes me too…but my concern is the communication and expressing of one’s feelings…if that comes up. Do you think, if he has mutual interest, would it work? (I don’t date just to date I am seeking/waiting for my husband). You are married so this is why I ask you. You have more wisdom in the marriage department. By the way Sarah, do you have an email? I would like to learn more from a female perspective and from one who has first hand experience with deaf-hearing relationship/marriage. Thank you so much for your post. That guys was bumming me out. But you brought hope to the table.

        Reply
      • Jamie February 17, 2017

        Sarah you speak so well for a deaf person! Fireproof is a wonderful movie. You are truly blessed with the husband you have plus I think he is too. Question, what if my deaf husband ignores my sadness or when my facial expression expresses pain? Or when he looks away because he doesn’t want to hear me? He just wants me to listen only. To the point where he has no clue what my day to day is like. What do I do?

        Reply
    • Thia December 22, 2015

      I’m going to suggest that you watch “and your name is Jonah” I hope you understand being Deaf is not handicap. The main reason for divorce is the Deaf person was raised hearing. Its a common misconception “if you treat them Deaf the will never cope with they’re disability” when in fact the are Deaf not acting or pretending. if you were to mute the television could you understand what they are saying? I can’t and I’ve tried for years. if you were Blind and everyone wanted you to walk without hitting something how could you? And you try to use a cain but every time you picked it up people would take it from you. That’s the same as a Deaf person not knowing ASL and if you want to try watch that movie and see what she has to deal with. After that take some ASL classes. And NEVER say NOR CALL HER handicap again .

      Reply
      • Ken Shipley June 1, 2016

        I am a hearing male and am building a relationship online with a deaf woman who has a problem walking When we started talking she called herself handicapped and a cripple. I told her I never wanted to hear that again because I accept and love her for who she is. We have been talking for 3 months and I go to meet her in 5 days . It just goes to show anything can work if you try hard enough.

        Reply
    • Kelly January 18, 2016

      Dude, have you and your wife considered learning ASL? I think that would simplify your communication issue a good bit. I’m surprised that after 14 years of limited communication with lip reading neither you, your wife, nor your therapist thought to take a few sign language classes. Sounds like your marital issues have less to do with your wife’s deafness and more to do with her issues with sense of worth and wholeness/validity as a human being (and then a human being with a disability) and your inability to connect with her. LEARN ASL. Figure out why she hasn’t learned it before. Learn ASL. Find an ASL therapist. Your marriage can be saved if you want it to be but it will take a lot of work and a lot of learning.

      Reply
    • Sam April 11, 2016

      I really feel like that was one really long rant…in the successful deaf/hearing relationships i have seen the hearing partner learned to sign. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t. 14 years seems like a long time to not learn to sign. And also why even bother to get married or have kids if you can’t communicate well? Also, using your marriage to judge ALL deaf people saying they only bring one leg to the table, I mean really? Bitter much? In a world where most people are hearing and therefore privileged because the world is designed for them, hearing people assume everyone needs to cater to them. If you want a relationship with someone deaf and aren’t willing to learn to sign or at least communicate effectively then you are at fault, and if you only did it because people thought you were a saint then you’re ridiculous. And yes I am hearing

      Reply
    • Andrea June 11, 2016

      Omg-I relate to so much that you said but my HUSBAND who is deaf..
      Thank you for sharing. We should start a support group for the hearing spouses of the deaf and communicate by talking on Skype or FaceTime…What do you think? May help us ‘find our voice’ again -and listen to each other. Could relieve some of the stress seemingly inherent in deaf /hearing unions.
      All the best. You ARE being heard!

      Reply
    • Terrance Paradise July 1, 2016

      Thanks. That makes me feel so much better about what I’m going to do later on in life.

      Reply
    • Beautiful Stranger July 29, 2016

      1. Why did you marry someone that you had communication problems with in the first place? This is such an obvious mistake that could’ve easily been avoided. I feel no pity for you on that front.
      2. You’re ranting and whining about all the “sacrifices” you had to make on your end knowing FULL WELL the set of challenges marrying a deaf person would bring, yet you call her selfish for wanting to pursue her dreams and desires outside of being your little wife, which you feel she should be sufficiently satisfied with. Can we say hypocrite? And narcissist while we’re at it?
      3. How ironic that you claim to be such a self-sacrificing man, yet you’ve never made the effort to do the ONE thing that might have saved your marriage: LEARN SIGN LANGUAGE. Why is that? You claim to have given so much of yourself to make her happy, why didn’t you do this seemingly simple thing that would have done wonders for your relationship? In all those years you spent with her, if you had bothered to learn sign language right from the beginning, you would have been perfectly fluent by now. Did you feel it was your wife’s duty to magically overcome her disability and communicate with you in a manner that is literally impossible for her to do?

      Every ill trait you’re projecting onto her seems to be a reflection of YOU as a person. YOU are selfish, YOU are lousy, YOU are narcissistic, YOU are a drain on her mental well-being, her roadblock to happiness. Your generalization of deaf people as cold, soul-sucking succubi unwilling to compromise for their partners based on your experiences with the only deaf person you have ever known says far more about your character than anything else. As far as I’m concerned, your wife is the one who got the short end of the stick— she wasted 14 years and counting stuck with a miserable POS like you. I hope she’s left you by now.

      Reply
    • Ken November 3, 2016

      Rick,

      I suspect that both your deaf wife and you seem to be as Christians. Did God tell you it’s OK for you to marry her? I don’t think so. You decided to choose her to be your wife. If you don’t have a sign communication skill, you don’t fit the level of sign because you just tried to learning sign in the beginning. You shouldn’t marry her unless you have sign skills. The level of communication without using sign would leave you deserted and uninteresting.

      Reply
    • Jon January 18, 2017

      I’m going thru that now. Since my wife lost her hearing communication is also very difficult. Even though it sounds mean after awhile you get tired
      repeating yourself. My wife is extremely angry since she wasn’t born hearing impaired. No one calls her and she has no friends. I can’t take her to a movie and she doesn’t like watching TV. If we go out to dinner she has no idea what the conversation is about. If I go out with my friends she blames me for leaving her alone and tries to make me feel guilty. I have gone with her to late in life hearing loss meetings but she feels she doesn’t belong there either. I honestly don’t know what to do for her. She drives locally only. We live in a 55 and over community but doesn’t want to get involved. I’m at wits end. I’m so sorry I retired since my job happened to be my social life as well. She is a good person , dresses nice, keeps the house clean and pays the bills. I can’t find things to do for both of us everyday to keep her occupied. Were both so bored. She also broke her hip and had several surgeries and does not walk well. She used to volunteer at a hospital but doesn’t want to do that anymore. She does not feel shes a candidate for an implant and even if she was she wouldn’t do it for vanity reasons. I don’t how much more I can take.

      Reply
    • Sally March 6, 2017

      i have a deaf boyfriend who I have been with for 7 years and You couldn’t have said it better because I too feel this way at times! I feel like I’m the one being punished since i have my hearing. It sucks because I love him but he’s too damn self centered ! What you said really has me thinking…..

      Reply
    • Sally March 6, 2017

      I can totally understand Ricks frustration. I have been in a relationship with my deaf boyfriend for 7 years and it hasn’t been easy but I do my best to be patient and understanding of his situation because I really do love him. Sometimes the deaf card gets old though. We hearing people have feelings too and sacrifice a lot to be there for our hard of hearing partner. we too have to get our feelings out and shouldn’t hold it in just because they can’t handle the truth that’s bs! The deaf are so blunt to each other but seem to be easily offend by situations they aren’t ready to handle. I get fed up with it too!

      Reply
    • Youknowwho March 17, 2017

      Fucking hell 🙁

      Reply
  3. ASCDEAF September 2, 2009

    Rick – Thank you for your comment and for sharing your perspective on what
    it means to be in a Deaf-hearing relationship. It sounds like you and your
    wife have been through some difficult years, which you seem to attribute to
    her being Deaf and “bringing only one leg to the marriage table.” From our
    perspective, this represents a pathological view of being Deaf, rather than
    the cultural and linguistic minority view to which we subscribe. We hope
    you find peace.

    Reply
    • Eb March 21, 2015

      I’m sorry this happened with you but you chose to marry her. You chose to not divorce her. I don’t know how you ended up with her.

      But I’m not like that. I’m not selfish and I do love my boyfriend. I cried when I saw how he was with his friends and family because he’s different around me.

      But i know we will find a middle ground and merge.

      Reply
      • Alex May 7, 2015

        Hi!

        Eb, you give me hope! I have strong feelings for a deaf guy. It is a deaf-hearing relationship. He is 56 and I am 59. We both have been divorced and are looking for love. The relationship is long distance so we are communicating through email only. He only reads lips. I don’t know what to do to avoid common mistakes and build a healthy relationship with him. I am opened for suggestions.

        Thank you in advance,

        Alex

        Reply
        • Christian June 9, 2015

          Im 35 and i hear and my deaf girlfriend is 26 . janet is the best thing that happen to me because i found a reason to love again. Janet is my world and i am happy.

          Reply
        • Rena Phegley June 21, 2015

          I am separated from my deaf , illiterate husband. We are in our 60’s and have been married 7 years. I see him frequently and try to manage his business issues because he is unable. He has never had to work ,I have had to work hard all my life, I am now retired. He does not seem to have a clue what all I do for him. When ever I he does anything for me he wants a lot of praise. Maybe he needs to prove to me he is useful. He tries harder to please than my ex but his needs are so great and I am constantly trying to interpret for him. He interrupts my conversations often, I believe because he cannot be a part of it. My signing skills are limited, so I cannot make him understand all that is being said. I understand his frustration but it is very draining and disrupting to my other relationships. His signing is limited because he cannot spell. Your friend can spell and read. That may be an advantage but spend time with him to find out if you can be yourself and communicate your feelings.

          Reply
          • Andrea June 11, 2016

            Andrea here again-I relate to you too Rena. My husband is deaf/wears a hearing aid and although he graduated from college he is pretty much functionally illiterate and cannot spell at all. Now, I’m not a great speller either but my husband can’t use spell check in email or texting because spelling phonetically is too much of a stretch for him also. He has recently lost a buisness contract because he could not pick up texting/emailing..Is there a statistically significant relationship between significant hearing impairment and illiteracy or spelling problems? I was thinking of asking my husband to learn sign (and taking it with him), but with absolutely the worst spelling imaginable -probably wouldn’t help. I had high hopes for cell phones/emailing/texting -but my husband seems adverse to almost ANY linguistic centered mode of input. HE loves talking-and being heard. But its as if he has no interest in hearing ( UNDERSTANDING, CONNECTING with anyone-not just me..In any case I think we hearing partners of the deaf should start a self-help support group on SYPE/FACETIME anything with AUDIO!

            Reply
          • Jamie February 17, 2017

            Learning sign language will help greatly do it!

            Reply
      • Eb September 26, 2015

        Greeting,

        I am back. I’m now engaged with my hearing fiancé after a year and half. I’ll give brief descriptions about us. I am deaf with hearing family. I mainstream all of my life expect two years in deaf school. I can speak okay with deaf accent and hear well but I’m completely deaf without my hearing aids. He is hearing and never learned sign language. We met through online. He live in Canada and I live in the states.

        It is very frustrating but the love is there still and we are working through it. I have to have patience and he has to have motivation. He can’t do it on his own so I try to research some things. He’d like to take class but it’s difficult to when he work all day so I pass on online things to him. It is team work and both partners have to put in effort.

        Sometime I make video via text for him in asl, fingerspelling and then signing and he’d try to do the same for me. I’d feel so much happy when he does a little.

        It is still tough because there’s no deaf community where he live. When he is around his hearing friends, I tend to zone out because I’m not good with group. It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting to try to not be rude. I’ve eventually ask him to not take me out to dinner with his friends or even family as often unless it’s a physical activity like bowling and such. It’s hard to sit at dinner with people unless it’s a three way street and not more than that even if they try to include me. It’s just awkward as heck for me even though I’m very friendly and open minded.

        We’ve had several misunderstanding when we argue because English isn’t my primary language and it’s hard for me to express myself verbally. I’d break down and cry. Later he realized that and he said he was fine with texting to talk things out instead of trying to force me to speak English. I appreciated that.

        What is important is that both of us recognized that ASL is important in our relationship. I’ll be patience as long as he start learning how to sign. Put in the effort and I will too because as much as I love him, I can’t marry anyone who doesn’t know sign language. Especially when there aren’t much deaf people around. But as I’ve often said… love is there. He care enough to acknowledge what I need and I care enough to be patience.

        I mean… if I were hearing and he speak french, I’d try to learn his language and he’d try to learn mine. That’s the matter of respect and how much we cherish each other.

        Reply
    • Mrs. K July 28, 2015

      I know this thread is old and the response is old. But I was reading the reply to this post saying that the poster ascribes to a medical point of view rather than a cultural and linguistic minority point of view. I want to say that I think the issues are more complicated than that in many situations. My husband was medicalized most of his life. From the time he was two he was fitted with hearing aids and sent to an oral only school from the time he was in diapers. The complete focus of his mother’s life was to make him ad much like a hearing person as possible. I believe this has left him with issues that linger today. Even though he went to gallaudet, became fluent in ASL, and found his niche with the Deaf community, I see that when he is not with Deaf people (at work, with family, out in public, and even with me) he sees himself as an incomplete hearing person. When he is with Deaf people, he is whole and “normal”. In every other aspect of his life, he is trying so hard to be like a hearing person, and even quite often he doesn’t disclose his deafness and tries to pass as a hearing person. These are scars left from a.childhood of never really being seen as complete or good enough. So even though I know he is a member of a cultural and linguistic minority, he still has a lot of remaining issues from being medicalized from age 2-18. A deaf person being married to a heari.g person might have a lot of issues trying to fit in with the spouses hearing friends and family or with their own family. Believe me there is a lot of baggage that carries into our marriage from his childhood as a “special but deficient” person (how his parents, extended family, and most of the world see him).

      Reply
  4. sandra407 September 9, 2009

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    Reply
  5. Nancy Lee September 16, 2009

    Hi Rick:

    I am oral deaf and have a hearing spouse. We have had 25 married years together, and I hope at least that many more. Yes there were challenges, but we worked it out. We never fight about my hearing loss anymore, it just is, we work on communication and we move on.

    I really think there are other issues with your wife, other than deafness, and it is being used as the crutch for all her problems. What I mean is that a while ago, I met a mom one day that told me all about her 13-year old daughter’s miserable life due to her deafness, and according to mom it was the cause of all her problems, at school, in sports and with friendships. Everything would be wonderful IF ONLY her daughter could hear. THEN, I met the daugher a month later. After two hours of observing her with her teammates and coach at a game, I came to a very different conclusion. She didn’t have any friends becuase she was obnoxious, the coach didn’t care for her as she was a ball hog and not a team player, and she probably didn’t do well in school as she didn’t pay attention to anything anyone tried to communicate with her. . . I don’t think anyone ever called her on any of these other behaviors as it was so easy to blame the deafness as the root cause of. Not to say that hearing loss doesn’t have an impact, but communication can be overcome if the girl were to actually work at it, and trying to be part of the team and people around her, instead of trying to control it all. Clearly,teamwork is an issue more than the deafness.

    Good Luck! You need it.

    Nancy Lee

    Reply
    • Sabrina June 2, 2015

      Nancy,
      I am a teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing. The child is obnoxious because that is part of deafness. Deaf/Hard of Hearing children do not have social language. They have to be taught why not to be a ball hog and how to be a team player. All language (words, social skills) have to be taught to the deaf. Some of my students would tackle another hearing child on the playground. They think that is how you play because of seeing that on tv. I had to teach them that you tap another child on the shoulder and ask them if they want to play tag or whatever.
      Nancy, every single word has to be taught to the deaf, they do not know the names of simple things because they never heard the name.
      ex. skateboard… I have to show them a picture and give them the sign for skateboard. They have seen one and maybe ridden one, but they have never heard the name of it. EVERYTHING has to be taught!!!! Reading and language skills are low. Written language is poor. They do not know sentence structure either.. Never heard it. It has to be taught!!!!
      Hearing children hear by osmosis. Hearing children hear words and social graces all the time. It is natural. They hear sentence structure and therefore can write a complete sentence. They come with pre-language background so that when they read a story, they have better comprehension because they already have language .
      Nancy, I want to challenge you to do research on deaf language skills and social graces. You will have a better understanding of why this child is they way she is.
      She does not have many friends due to the language issues, too. Her friends are talking about the skateboard. She does not even know what a skateboard is. Deaf children are often lonely due to language issues. One of my former students one morning fell to the floor on his knees and in front of his mom, he said, “God give me friends.” This little boy did not have much language at the time. He is very good looking and is someone that most kids would attract to.
      After several years of teaching language and social graces… he now has more friends than he knows what to do with. He still has challenges though and always will.
      So yes, deafness is the root of the problem.
      Sabrina

      Reply
      • Redd June 4, 2015

        Sabrina,

        That’s a brilliant reply. I am a gay hearing man in relationship with a deaf man from another country/culture. Fortunately for me, he is exceptionally brilliant, reads 4 languages, signs in 2 or 3 and is an incredibly patient teacher. We have been seeing each other for a year. I hesitated at first because I didn’t want to put the burden of communication all on him. I felt that it was my responsibility to catch up to him. If we were going to have a relationship in French, I’d need to learn that language! Because English is so rapidly becoming the lingua franca on this planet, many English speakers have an unbearable level of entitlement and, having lived abroad, I’ve seen this in action, often. I feel the same way about hearing people. Just because we are in the majority does not give us automatic rights to ‘our way of being’ as the main way.

        So, I am learning sign. Quickly. I love it. It’s kinetic, it’s lively and beautiful. It’s dance with one’s hands and, since I’m not very graceful, gives me an opportunity to do something beautiful with my body.

        My partner reads lips well and understands me very well. But there are times when we don’t communicate successfully and I have stumbled across this a few times, when I wasn’t “listening” very well. I saw the wrong sign, misinterpreted and paid later for not confirming communication. Communication is always a sticking point and we hearing folk have so many hidden tropes, assumptions around non-verbal noises and microaggressions communicated through tone, that we forget how much of that is NEVER conveyed to the deaf. They live in a world where that will never exist. Blessing and curse, that one.

        So we talk about this and everything else all the time. One needs to love communication, love discussing it and want to learn more about if one wishes to be in any form of non-majority-typical relationship. Whether it be in the realm of gender identity and gender preference, polyamory or in the DHH community, get on board with talking about your talking. It will save you in the end.

        Whether that teenage girl above ever gets the support she needs, I don’t know, but hopefully she’ll find a way to demand that her environment support her in striving around communication. It’s the core to living, in my not-so-humble opinion.

        This page is an eye-opener. I hope more people see it.

        Redd

        Reply
        • Krista July 22, 2015

          This post made my soul happy. I’m so glad for you and your boyfriend. I also think the country you are raised in and resources available to the deaf community has an affect because there is an excellent deaf community where I’m from that doesn’t showcase what was stated in the poster above you claimed. Maybe 60 years ago, but definitely not now, or even 20 years ago when I was in school. I went to Jr. High right beside the deaf school and no one ever had problems, we shared a field and all got along excellently. Education seems to be a massive factor on both sides of the equation.

          Reply
      • s December 15, 2015

        Yes, all children need to be properly educated, along with social skills and comprehension, to communicate well, get on with others, and be self-empowered. However, the claim of “deafness” as the root of problem is not accurate. It is the language of choice, usually determined by the parent(s) and educators, that is either conductive to clear communication or the root of problem. There is either spoken English or ASL currently, and most of the time, parents opt for spoken English as they think that will make their deaf offspring more successful in life. Not always true.

        In the classroom, if you are speaking to deaf and hard of hearing students and trying to explain that the name of the wooden plank with four wheels affixed to it is called skateboard, educating is the least of your problems because it is clear that the children don’t even understand you as there is no shared language between you. ASL is usually the language that is most natural for these children to communicate.

        Some children communicate well in spoken English and prefer this to ASL. No problem. f you have such students, great. However, in this case, your students may need to be transferred to a classroom that suits their communication needs as you don’t seem to be equipped to meet their needs.

        Why are hearing people forcing deaf children to meet their needs — speak, speak, lip read, lip read, hear hear — when, in a different scenario with blind children, the seeing adults are accommodating to their needs? Even the developmentally delayed get better treatment in the classroom!

        Reply
      • gie September 6, 2016

        Sabrina, I think you just opened my mind more about deaf people. I’m actually grieving over right now because me and my deaf fiance just cancelled our wedding. Our relationship was just on for 9 months and we never had problems and never had much issues though I can sign, it’s limited but I would like to think we understood each other. Then, just a few days ago, I was surprised with what his mom told me. He complained a lot about me, critized me for things I didn’t do and never did. He said all the nasty things to me, and I was really confused where did this all came from. I confess maybe he felt neglected when I cancelled our doctor’s appointment twice because he’s sick and at the same time we were preparing for the supposed to be wedding of ours. I, too got upset with his insults and told him that if he thinks of me that low then maybe we should just cancel our wedding. Then, the next day I apologized but he was really still very angry with me. Is this how deaf people really can be? I would appreciate your insight. Thank you!

        Reply
      • Jamie February 17, 2017

        I realized that with my husband. Everything needs to be taught. What should I do when I try to help my deaf husband understand something and he gets mad.

        Reply
  6. Andria DEAF December 28, 2009

    i’m deaf and my boyfriend hearing…

    i am hard of hearing and i can speak with him but hard understanding then he not sign at all but he love it sign make funny thing also i teach him not much and i am only really skill read lips a lot not really i not use it but i can hear my left ear and other right ear loss compete deaf…i’m born deaf and i have hard time my life but i not bad mood myself and him then i do love him very much also he nice guy and sweet,funny,silly i do always care about him a lot one thing hard time about relationships i try spend with him long time very hard i try make him happy or he will love me but different things plus i never give up for long time i never hate him at all…he sweet nice person and he still love me then he want me have finished high school later i get job plus anything want for him or me very serious thing later i hope for me make happy life ever never give up for him but one thing bad luck love me and him often fight hate it each other seem not right thing make right thing better life also i hate it thing for me he start it he talk about girl i not like that about it but my mind and my heart very painful very much make me sadly my face become tear hurt badly few day he start it really bad from me but he not know how thing i’m DEAF about relationship then he try make me feeling better and he make me laugh much for me happy also i not lose it my love from him… i do want for myself and him better life good things then i do want marriage or have baby too but someday i hope my dreaming all time i never give up my own life but i really fell in love with him very much serious a lot hard time life very patient very long time……we have hope life about future sweet life new family ! i not like break up or divorce hate it that… i do know everything about DEAF or HARD OF HEARING

    Reply
  7. ASCDEAF December 29, 2009

    Andria DEAF – Glad to know that you and your boyfriend are finding ways to communicate, even though he does not sign. All relationships take a lot of work and commitment, whether or not they are Deaf-hearing or hearing-hearing or Deaf-Deaf. Good luck to you both.

    Reply
  8. phyllis jennings March 24, 2010

    you are wrong about the burden ..for me i am deaf and my husband hearing ..most of our problems is this …you have the chance to learn our language and to be able to talk to us but you choose to not learn it ..that part it on you for not learning it not us… my problem is when i try to talk to you ..you do not alway listen and when you tell us you have already told us then we tell you we did not know and we try to understand you but you still blame us for not understanding you …so quit blaming us and start looking at the problem ..you had the chance to learn it before you married us and we try our best to understand you ..i am a lip reader but i can only understand brief message not long one and i spend most of my life in the hearing world and the deaf world ..split between two world can be hard and painful…so stop blaming the wrong person and start realizing it is your own fault for not learning our language…i have been married to a hearing person for 15 years and i am not hearing impaired but deaf now and it is painful when we argue and he does not understand ..that hurt more then most people realize…living in a world of hearing at holiday was so painful we try so hard to understand and we turn out to be left out because they did not included us by learning our language …

    Reply
  9. so_it_is March 31, 2010

    In a deaf-hearing relationship the hearing should realise that it will be a difficult road to travel.Any relationship has it’s challenges but a deaf-hearing one even more so. The hearing partner should know that it will always depend on the adaptability of the hearing because the deaf person will never adapt to the hearing, simply because it is not possible. Deaf and hearing individuals develop emotionally fundamentally different and these differences need to be realised and researched and worked on in a vigorous way in order for such a relationship te be a success. Both individuals need to work hard at it!

    Reply
    • Mrs. K July 27, 2015

      I agree very much with this. As a hearing person married to a Deaf man, I do 90 percent of the adapting. He takes it all for granted, and it’s been hard for me. However I will say that many of our problems are personality conflicts not specifically about him being Deaf. But I will say that for us, I have had to give up any social life with hearing couples. If I socialize with hearing people, it’s on my own, which doesn’t help keep us close. Any hearing couples we meet aren’t really comfortable around him because his social skills with hearo.g people are awkward, and I can’t interpret all the time. That is a sacrifice I never really knew of until after we got married. Also family events he sneaks off and watches TV. I used to offer to interpret but his parents are highly offended by that and he asked me not to. So forget family events. I’m alone at those too. Hanging out with deaf friends are the only times we have a normal social life.

      Reply
  10. booyah September 1, 2010

    Rick Marshall,

    I find your post hilarious. I am deaf and to find that your wife is a burden to you? That says it all in your relationship. Do you even sign with her? Maybe if you learned sign language, you two would develop a better relationship. I would assume that your wife gets bored with you quick because she doesn’t feel like struggling to understand every word. Trust me, it is a struggle and most of the time, it isn’t worth it.

    Yes, it is a challenge but to communicate with a deaf partner, sign language is always the best approach. Good luck.

    Reply
    • Linda July 3, 2015

      Booyah, I agree that it should not be a “burden” for him. That was cruel of him to say that. Just because she has a disability doesn’t make her a “burden”. His attitude and lack of appreciation are the “burdens”.

      Also, he shouldn’t have to learn sign language either. Being TOGETHER should mean EVERYTHING. There are many ways to be supportive, affectionate and communicative without sign language and voice. When he is away, they can email, etc. Their relationship will be unique but aren’t we all about sick of being “trophy wives” and “trophy husbands” and carbon copies of everyone else ? ?

      Rick, shame on you for being selfish and shallow. Do you think because she can’t hear that that makes her less of a human being? If she loves you and appreciates you, you have EVERYTHING. You have what MONEY CANNOT BUY.

      Reply
  11. Black Wizard December 22, 2010

    I read your posts it. You are just forget or deny to Jesus’s words. I am deaf and I have a girlfriend is hearing. We been together 8 years. She don’t know sign language. We always communication write paper. We still happy. Why? Because We believe in the God. We have a good life. That why you having problems relationship deaf/hearing. Just be yourself! I say good luck in relationship.

    Reply
    • ASCDEAF January 3, 2011

      Black Wizard – Glad to know that you and your girlfriend are happy
      communicating by writing on paper. Not everyone would be happy with that,
      but if it works for you, that is great!

      Reply
    • Christian June 9, 2015

      Black wizard

      My girlfriend janet is deaf and i hear and me text each other so we could understand each other. I felt in love with janet because she is her self around me and i love that about her. I think it better when you try very hard have that beautiful relationship with the one you love with your heart so much.

      Reply
  12. MommaRae23 June 24, 2011

    I just found your website and VERY thankful to see all the wonderful posts (both good and bad). I had to print everything out to re-read as many times as needed. I am hearing and just started dating a guy that is deaf (born deaf, can read a little lips, and speak a little). I have 3 young boys (10,8,5) from my first marriage and he has a son (9) from a previous relationship (mom was deaf, son is not). I learned a little sign language when I was pregnant with my first son, enough to teach all my boys the “basic/little” things for babies.

    When I met my bf, I was excited to learn more and have picked up on a lot of the signs he has taught me. In the past month that my boys have known my bf, they know the alphabet and can fingerspell. They also know some basic signs and love learning more. To them it is a game, and a game they are getting really good at.

    I admit there are times when I just shake my head or hold up my hand, but then he will try to write it out on paper. I stop him and make him go slow, because i want to learn. I have come up with a list of why I would rather have a deaf bf than a hearing one:

    1-He can’t hear my dog bark and bark and bark.
    2-He can’t hear me snore at night (however he can feel the vibrations).
    3-He isn’t going to complain what kind of music I listen to.
    4-I can listen to music (or talk on the phone) when he has the football/basketball game on.
    5-He can’t hear me yelling at my kids, or hear my kids yelling/playing loudly.
    6-My dad doesn’t keep telling the same stories over and over when we go over there.
    7-He actually has to LOOK at me when we communicate.
    8-He touches me if he has to tell me something (just the smallest physical touches can help any relationship).
    9-We can tell our own private jokes to each other without anyone else hearing.
    10-Being asthmatic, I am a very loud breather and it can bother people. Also, he can feel me having problems breathing before I can notice it sometimes.

    Reply
  13. AndriaDEAF June 24, 2011

    hi everyone !

    no matter what ever good love or bad love nothing happens but will make better love together still happy or excited about relationships.

    i just really successful my life right now and really hard time me and boyfriend still work on it relationships really great. i just make happy and my dreaming my love now we been together 3 year now we so seriously and love keep stick together forever also he miss me a lot and i miss him too so much long time. i always thinking of my boyfriend my heart care really do care about my relationships and i never give up my heart keep touch of goal future . i can’t think that happens seem hard time not really not great my goal already future about that . me and he already always talk each other about goal future and we still pick on each other very funny but silly thing also me still fell in love with him long time a lot very much so wonderful he great guy person and sweet plus he help me a lot and support me so much and i always dreaming about him i can’t help it myself lol !

    Thanks listen my story about who i am deaf .
    Have great day !

    Reply
  14. Debbie June 28, 2011

    I am currently dating a HOH man. He has 60% hearing loss due to his job. He is a mechanic. When he doesn’t wear his hearing aids we can communicate, I just have to speak louder. When he wears them everything is fine. He does not use sign language. His sense of humor is endless. He is hardly ever serious. It has been very difficult however. He doesn’t remember a lot, he seems to be in his own little world. Of course we text but he still doesn’t remember things which is really frustrating. He gets distracted very easily. We are extremely attracted to one another and care for each other a great deal. I think the most difficult part is that he just doesn’t think the way a hearing person does.

    Reply
  15. Nikkie August 11, 2011

    Hey everyone.
    I just recently got into an
    relationship with my boyfriend.
    I’m hearing and he’s deaf.
    I’m a bit nervous I’ve never
    dated an non hearing person but
    I’m well up for it. IF it’s meant to be
    it’ll happen. If not we’ll always have our relationship.
    I’m 19 & He’s 18. & I’m just hoping things work out.
    I’ve heard being in an relationship rather you’re deaf
    or if I WAS to be deaf, it’s an challenge. I just feel
    if you really like that person don’t worry about what
    others may think, or feel, maybe it’s new to them.
    I’m learning to sign and he’s willing to teach me to sign
    It’s gonna obviously take an long long long time before I’m
    even as good as he is, but I’m hoping he’ll be patient with me
    AS i am with him. Just wanted to share my story, if you have any
    advice It would be amazing if you’d share it

    Bye :D!

    Reply
  16. Vicente September 30, 2011

    I am hearing and my wife is deaf. We have been together for almost 7 years and have 2 beautiful hearing sons. It was tough in the beginning of our relationship just because we were young. She was 18 I was almost 20. It wasn’t until we grew up more that our relationship got better. I learned sign from her after a few months of dating since we spent every minute together and I have picked it up really well. I even fooled some of our deaf friends when I first met them with my sign but of course they saw right through me since I sign english and not pure ASL. My wife and I are very happy. Of course there are things that make our relationship hard. My family doesn’t sign very well but my brothers and my sister spell pretty good but there are times I have to interpret. Things do get hard when my hearing friends come over and we start talking about everything and she can’t understand without me interpreting. Things do get crazy for me when we are in the deaf community since it is different and not everyone signsnclean as my wife so communication gets hard with the people that sign too fast or not as clear but we make sure that we are both involved and comfortable before doing anything that would make they other mad or uncomfortable. There is a lot to learn than just signing. The deaf culture is very different than hearing culture and that will scare or just surprise anyone not ready for it. Because of my wife, I have some of the best friends ever that are deaf and some deaf friends that are closer than my hearing friends. I do recommend anyone willing to date a deaf or hard of hearing person but do realize the sacrifices both are giving up for each other as any relationship between two people. Even though I am giving up using my voice to talk to my wife, she has given up much of her deaf community just to be more involved for my hearing world and sometimes that makes things hard for a relationship but every relationship has sacrifices hearing or deaf. Anyone thinking about dating someone deaf or hard of hearing should definatly do it and if worst comes to worst just do what every couple does if things don’t work out, just go seperate ways. I wanted to share my story with you all and hope you all know that I wouldn’t change anything about my life or the gal I am sharing it with. Good luck to anyone already with someone deaf or hard of hearing I hope things turn out great.

    Reply
  17. Laurie October 8, 2011

    I was looking for advice for a deaf/hearing relationship and found this webiste. I am encouraged that with communication and with work, these relationship can be successful. Last summer, I re-connected with a boyfriend from college. While in college, he had some hearing but is now completely deaf. He has always been able to read lips great which was how we communicated long ago. Since then, he has been married and divorced (was married to a hard of hearing person) while I am now widowed. First and foremost, we are friends and that has always been the case-then and now. We share the same interests, have the same goals and we have learned hard life lessons. He learned sign language when he went into working with the deaf community (as a counselor for deaf and troubled adults)-in his mid 20’s. We are both fortunate to love and are successful in our current work (he is contractor now). Both of us had abusive marriages and are now very independent. We are both fearful of commitments (he is more so and recognizes this “wall” and is getting counseling). Besides a solid friendship, we are both strong Christians and we believe with this foundation, anything is possible. We both agree that communication is important and even though, we are doing pretty good-it is frustrating at times, especially for me. I am learning sign language and because I don’t know certain signs yet, I get frustrated with trying to communicate an idea or thought. I am slow but he tells me I am doing well (and not be so hard on myself). I love signing and feel rewarded when our conversation flows. With his reading lips, we “talk” a lot. Because of his being independent, I have to be patient and not try to help him in every day situations-at first, I found myself trying to jump in to “talk” for him to another hearing person. He doesn’t need that-he handles himself beautifully! When a hearing person looks at me to get clarification, I now tell them to talk to him. It is frustrating to realize he doesn’t need me! I am so proud of how he does and I am proud to be with him. Another thing in our favor is our age-he is 53 and I am 52. We look at this as a second chance for us-but, we are thankful to still be friends, no matter what. We don’t know what will happen. I love signing and will continue to practice, study and learn. I am a strong person and I feel that I can handle the difficulties of this kind of relationship. We have alot going for us and with patience, the possibilities are endless. But, after 33 years of friendship, I am just thankful to have my friend back in my life. With these things in mind, I would love for any advice from anyone-how I can help my friend overcome his fears and overcome the high stats of divorce with a deaf/hearing couple (he quotes this every once in a while-but then tells me he is not referring to us, like there is anyone else in the room:).) Thanks for reading my story.

    Reply
  18. Jolynn J December 27, 2011

    Hi,

    I am hearing and my boyfriend is deaf. He isn’t completely deaf. He has 5% hearing in one ear and 25% in his other ear, but when he wears hearing aids he is about 75% hearing which is great. He doesn’t know any sign language, but he hears pretty well and reads lips. I will admit that communication is sometimes a struggle. I repeat myself quite a bit and usually have to talk to him face to face for him to really understand what I am saying. He has a hard time in cars and can hardly hear a thing which makes drives a little boring, but I am happy. In all relationships people need to adapt. This relationship just requires a little more adaptation. Even though I know there will be some rough times we are planning on getting married. Marriage is hard and I know it’s going to be even more hard with somebody who is almost completely deaf, but it’s worth it. He makes me happy and treats me like a princess. He is a very humble person because of his deafness and likes to build any relationship he has. As a child he didn’t have any friends because all of the kids would make fun of him because of the way he talked and that continued all the way up through high school. Relationships are very important to him because he didn’t have many as a child. Because of that he treats our relationship like it is the best thing on the planet and will do anything to make sure it works out. That is a enormous perk of having a relationship with somebody who is deaf. All I can say is give things a chance. There will be hard times, but if you learn to work through them, it will all be worth it in the end. 🙂

    Reply
  19. Chelsea January 14, 2012

    Hello, I am a hearing and my husband is deaf. He lost his hearing when he was almost 3 so he speaks pretty clearly. I actually didnt find out he was deaf till our 2nd or 3rd date. He does sign to other deaf people but mostly relies on reading lips to communicate. He has never really been socially accepted into the deaf culture because he speaks really well and really doesnt embrace his deafness. he sees it as a handicapped and something that limits him. he is also not really accepted socially into the hearing world because, well, he is deaf. We met, dated a while, got pregnant, continued to date, fell in love and got married. He had a few deaf acquaintances while in college but since married life he doesnt keep in touch. His choice not mine! I know a bit of sign but because he does not sign to me when speaking it is hard for me to retain it and remember it. Our children are learning sign but the same with them, they are not retaining it or remembering it because it is not used by him. I have asked and asked him to sign when speaking to us but he sees it as an inconvenience because we do not NEED to have him sign. he understands the gist of what i am saying to him when speaking by reading my lips but I KNOW that he is not understanding everything. He doesnt give the appropriate responses a lot. We have quirks in our marriage that do not revolve around him being deaf or me being hearing but one of our major issues and fight causing issues is the LACK of communication between us. I talk and he tries to listen and look at me but he get distracted so easily so then I pause and wait till he looks at me to start speaking again. I have to repeat 90% of what i say multiple times a day to him. When people pass by and say hello, I am the one who responds for him ALWAYS becase he doesnt hear it and I dont want him to look mean.At the moment i am trying to find somethign to read on how to have a successful marriage with e hearing wife and s deaf husband.
    Thank you

    Reply
  20. Jaxxara February 21, 2012

    I hear a lot of people talk about how a large percentage of deaf-hearing relationships don’t work out, but does that really apply if the hearing person knows ASL and has had a great deal of exposure to the deaf community (say, the hearing person is a Sibling of Deaf Adult or a Child of Deaf Adult)?

    Reply
  21. kellie April 11, 2012

    Hello my names kellie I’m a visually impaired girl which in this situation makes me the hearing girl. My wonderful boyfriend is fully deaf he is my first offical fully deaf partner before i had the oppertunity to date hard of hearing boys so this is something new for me but i love it! I’m lucky for i was raised with sign lanuage in my family because of my brother i’m no where near fluent but i can stick to conversations for a long time and even start not using my voice when i start signing like crazy. I am very social in the deaf community i love it to be fully honest. I dont see anything about deaf-hearing relationships that is negative. to be honest my Deaf boyfriend makes me feel something that no hearing boy could ever do. h e is no where near a burden signing and interpreting doesnt bother either of us no matter what social center we are in we learn to adapt all i can say is in a year i hope our plan for marriage comes into action! i love my boyfriend for who hes not olny he’s deafness! Hooray for deaf- hearing relationships 🙂

    Reply
  22. Jennifer April 22, 2012

    Hi, I have a query that I wonder whether anyone could help with. My partner of 12 years is hearing impaired, with minimal hearing with his hearing aid in one year and significantly more hearing in another through his cochlear implant. His parents raised him ‘mainstream’ and did not teach him signing and sent him to mainstream schools. He got his cochlear implant at 27. There have been the obvious challenges associated with adapting my own communication style to his hearing impairment, which we have managed. But does growing up with profound hearing loss, without being given the option of other communication modes such as signing, leave their impact on an individual’s overall approach to communication? I find that my partner omits the little things, that sometimes mean a lot, such as please and thank you and sorry and just those short, but really appreciated!, bits of communication that those with hearing often say quietly or in aside and are therefore perhaps not picked up or learned as practice by hearing impaired children when they are developing their social skills? I sometimes feel as if my partner feels like I should know what he’s feeling without him saying it … And I’m just not that clever! I would really appreciate any advice.

    Reply
    • ASCDEAF April 23, 2012

      Jennifer – For Deaf people who grow up without full access to
      communication, such as your husband did, missing out on vicarious learning
      is typical. It could be that your husband did not learn the commonly
      expected courtesies you mentioned, but his omissions could also be
      reflective of his general approach to communication. Assuming you have
      already shared your concerns with him and he has not made an effort to
      incorporate these courtesies into his interactions, it could be that there
      is something else going on. If it is bothering you a lot, you may want to
      look into couples counseling to discuss the issue with a therapist
      familiar with Deaf-hearing marriages. We wish you the best.

      Reply
  23. Jennifer April 22, 2012

    Thanks. 🙂

    Reply
  24. AndriaDeaf April 22, 2012

    hi everyone !

    my experience lots thing when i grow up have special education needs only for deaf or hard of hearing or for program school special education needs little kids or high school that it, not basic college adult not have to special education not important but only be important interpreter for college. I was born full deaf and im just baby i not know yet sign language and speak voice too also i watch whole my family that all make me strange thing LOL them action and more know learn more then i were 6 or 7 i not remember i have huge experience special education i went school i met lots people deaf or hard of hearing amazing kids sign language that awesome i understanding them and they teach me sign i was 8 or 9 age also i learning more skills and speech therapy for years then i love it. when i grow up my experience more thing skills it awesome.

    Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  25. Jennifer April 23, 2012

    Thank you for that very helpful response.

    Reply
  26. kandies May 23, 2012

    Im deaf woman with my boyfriend is hearing, we have been together for 7 years and just have a child will be 1 years old. I use sign language and some read lip, he is the most to use spelling and several sign like home sign. He learning, but once i teach him a new sign and next day he forget. we did very good at our communication only spelling pretty fast then many of my friends cant do it, but we does have a problem is our communication, but every time if not understand and will have to ask the question what its mean then solve the problem. im the only problem is voculary and not very good with spelling like not use a word very often. We dont really argue very often but just frustration about our communication. I wanted him to full sign language and how to teach him? Something work for hearing.

    Reply
  27. Dale June 18, 2012

    I have to be honest, i had dated only one full deaf girl. I was hooked. She and I broke up, i was having very bad problems. She was great. I found another deaf girl, where she and I worked. I had started to learn signbefore I met the first girl.
    the first thing that I need to say is that i am blessed to have my deaf wife. We have had our share of bumps. he biggest problem has been with my sign. I have gone to school, been involved heavy with the deaf community, and my brain has a road block to ASL. It is so frustrating to me.
    I used to do a lot of interpreting for the deaf community where we worked. But the number one biggest problem has been misunderstanding one another. We have had some major battles. What i have found is that most of the schools that had deaf children years ago did not do a good job of teaching the deaf. This has caused a lot of problems for the deaf community fourty and fifty years ago.
    Yes we still have our problems BUT, I challange any one to W O R K at a relationship. It is to easy to say that it is the other persons fault. My wife is a gift from God. I am so happy that she said yes. I had done millions of hours interpreting for her, and have been lucky enough to be her interpreter at church.
    Any relationship will have bumps but the real test is to be able to look at it and want it to work. But to be able to see someone that signs and to watch their expressions, to see how much they love their culture and to really love, there is nothing that will compare to the beauty of sign in song, sign in plays, and to be able to be a part of the deaf community is beyond understanding.

    Reply
  28. Rosita August 4, 2012

    Hi, I am not deaf but hearing impaired and also implanted in one ear. I am functional on the hearing world but when it comes to relationships and social life in general it is always a big strugle for me. Right now I borike up with my hearing boyfriend and I can’t help but feel that it was my hearing loss that turned him off, I think was more thatn dificult for him to accept that on me after he realized that it is so dificult for me to comunicate with his friends (who are so important for him). I even came to think that he was ashamed of me at some point, for acting dumb some times. I guess I am just venting here, the pain I feel that our relationship ended because I was not good enough.

    Reply
    • ASCDEAF August 14, 2012

      Rosita – Thank you for your comment.
      By “Deaf”, we do mean anyone who identifies as “hearing impaired”, “hard
      of hearing”, “implanted”, etc. Even though Deaf people may communicate in
      different ways, we all rely on visual communication to some extent and we
      all share the common experience of not being “hearing”.

      Please check your email spam folder, as ASC has sent you a personal email.

      Reply
    • Linda July 3, 2015

      Rosita, I am going through the same thing. The hearing loss turned MINE off too. But it shouldn’t turn ANYONE off. We are who we are. We are DIFFERENT and if a potential romantic partner wants to make an issue of that, that is THEIR problem. We are enough just as we are.

      Reply
  29. Dale August 4, 2012

    Rosita,
    It hurts me to hear what you have to say. The fault is not you. Too many times the hearing people have a serious lack of manners, patience and maturity. Then the next problem is schools that fail to equip students. They teach Spanish, French and have a hard time understanding that embedded in this nation there is a class of people that are slaves. Slaves to people that expect everyone to be English spiraling hearing people and anyone that they can’t understand is labeled a retard.
    No, the problem is not you

    Reply
  30. Kristine August 6, 2012

    Hi, I am partially hearing impaired, I can speak well and I wear hearing aids. I depend alot on lip reading, a person has to speak to me slowly and face-to-face in order for me to understand what the person is saying. i never learned sign language. i am lucky to say that i lead a very normal life, i went to school and graduated, and i also have managed to find a good job. i find it difficult to socialize with people. if the other hearing person does not know how to talk to me, it becomes very awkward and i become lost for words. moreover, if there are more than 2 persons speaking in a conversation, i find it impossible to follow what everyone is saying, since i have to lip read. it is not easy to follow what everyone is saying in a normal flowing conversation. i need someone to stop and explain to me in short what is being said, which is very frustrating. i also have a hearing boyfriend and he is wonderful. he repeats nearly everything he says more than once to make sure that i understand him. it becomes frustrating for him too sometimes, but thats normal – who wouldnt get frustrated having to repeat everything all the time?? what bugs me most is that when we are out with other people, i find it difficult to communicate and have a normal conversation, especially in places where there is alot of noise. my boyfriend tries to explain to me what is being said as much as he can, but it is a strain on the relationship because we cannot communicate with other people normally like other couples do. he does feel the burden sometimes, but he does his best to make things work. he wants our relationship to work, so he makes alot of effort. but it still is not easy. sometimes he does not feel like explaining everything to me. sometimes, even when he explains what the others are saying, the whole conversation that was being discussed with his friends loses its meaning through the explanation. a joke does not remain a joke when it has to be explained again. he feels guilty for not being in the mood to explain sometimes, but you cannot blame him. i wish i can do something about it but i do not know what i can do. we go on dates just the two of us, as this always helps us to connect. however, sometimes our relationship is not easy since sometimes i cannot easily communicate normally with other people. can anyone tell me if he/she goes through this? is there anything that you do to make your relationship better? do we need counselling? thank you

    Reply
  31. Natalie August 10, 2012

    Hello everyone. I’ve spent the past few days Googling things about deaf-hearing relationships mainly because I’ve grown very fondly of my new deaf friend. We met about.. A week ago at a camp for burn survivors. I myself am a burn survivor. Have been for 7 months so technically, I am still what we call a “baby burn” due to the emotional toll & etc. Anyways, at this camp I met my friend Deborah who is also a burn survivor (burned when she was 5). We are both 14 right now. The whole point of this camp wasn’t just to have fun but to be aware that as much as we felt alone or isolated because of our burns, we weren’t the only ones. They had support groups & therapy sessions for everyone including siblings of the burned persons. This is where my deaf friend comes in. His name is Solomon, he’s 15 & Deborah’s older brother. He has been deaf since he was 2-3 months. When he was still very small, one of his lungs collapsed & the other had a hole punched through. I’m not sure why or how this happened but from what Jr. (their oldest brother, 17) told me, it was very traumatic. Solomon was living off machines when his doctor suggested they use a medication that would practically save his life but could end up taking away all or most of his hearing. His parents agreed & eventually Solomon got better. As he grew older, the doctors noticed that the medication took a big toll on his hearing & in the end, he only had 20%. Since he was now deaf, his parents decided to home school him & Jr. This meant that everyone in their house-hold, including the oldest sister (18), had to learn sign to better accommodate for Solomon. A year later, Deborah was born & she was taught sign before she even knew how to speak so it was her first language. At camp, Solomon didn’t need interpreters at all since Jr. & Deborah were always around for him & he’s very good at reading lips. Once I became friends with Deborah, I asked her how I could introduce myself to Solomon (what? I thought he was cute & wanted to get to know him). She showed me & from there me & him managed to communicate as much as possible before the camp ended & trying to talk without needed Jr. or Deborah around. We liked to keep things private. Since they were from the same area I’m from, we’ve been keeping in touch through Facebook & texting & I’ve been brushing up on my ASL & deciding wether to change from Spanish to ASL once school starts. I want him to notice that I’m willing to learn ASL & go through all the struggles to be with him. Anyways… I guess this was just a post so someone who understands will listen to me. *sigh* I’ve been getting mixed responses from my family & friends so it’s better to know what others’ experiences are & their opinions first. Thanks for reading through all this. I really appreciate it.

    Reply
  32. Dale August 15, 2012

    Let me make something real clear ;-). The first deaf person was what the defy’s call stone deaf. My present wife is considered hard of hearing. Even with hearing aids, she can only hear noise. She refuses Cochlear Implants. I am proud of her.
    I stood for the deaf at work because of the lack of respect for the deaf. So much do that at the job where I met my wife I was called to a meeting for the deaf. I found out later that I was not supposed to be there. In the meeting, the supervisor was belittling the deaf. One of the young women that I trained wanted me to let her know if the certified interpreter was correct. I started signing on the sly to the girl, being as sneaky as possible. From then on none of the deaf trusted her. I was willing to go to court to testify as to what the supervisor was saying.
    Anyway I am the proud husband of a hard of hearing (15% left / 10% right) impaired, her words, woman. Deaf, may be better. The woman could wake the dead because of her snoring but if she were to stop, I would not be able to sleep.
    I have interpreted when we went to a Benny Hinn, faith healing for almost five straight hours with no breaks, at Rhema Bible Training center, because she wanted to be a pastor, I interpreted the entire school day. Not for the money but for the love. I still interpret. I have more difficulty because of arthritis and my 64 years of age. Not one person in her family can sign except for her daughter. So, I am the proud husband.
    I am not certified, although I did test. I missed one too many questions so I free lance. But I don’t charge. At my age I have learned one thing about my relationship with my wife, we will never completely understand one another. My signing and her understanding or her deaf concept and my lack of deafness will never really agree.
    Until I die I will be in love with her AND her deafness. Even two hearing or two deaf, there will be times when you don’t agree.
    We duo have rough places

    Reply
  33. Kate October 18, 2012

    I have been dating thi wonderful man for a few months now .. I am hearing and he is deaf but Inspite if all that we are able to communicate well .. Mostly because I am willing to take ASL classes and be patient .. Something to remember is that the language barrier is harder on your deaf spouse than on you because for in my case I live in a mostly hearing community meaning there’s only 2 deaf people I know of and my boyfriend is one. It has been a struggle so far including him In conversation with my hearing friends but they are patient and I do my best to interpret .. I do get frustrated which I’m sure he notices and my sign isn’t that good yet but I can tell he truly lives me and I love him so I feel it is worth the effort to learn ASL . I’m not saying If you don’t learn ASL that your you don’t love your spouse I’m just saying that it might be a way to express to them that you love them enough to show an effort to make them comfortable and included when you are with hearing people .. I love my boyfriend and I would do anything for him .. Learning ASL I’d just a SMALL price to pay to be with the one I love:)

    Reply
  34. AlisonE January 13, 2013

    I am hearing and my husband is deaf. He went deaf at 14 and he can talk really good. Our problem is that his mom has always done everything for him. He don’t use a TTY because he has me or his mom. He doesn’t take himself to the Dr because he wants me to drive him. He will not look for a job. I look for him s job I call about it Ischedule tthe interview and I go with him and interpret as well. I don’t mind interpreting for him at all. I am very good at sign language so I enjoy it. But what I don’t enjoy is doing every little thing for him. I cook I clean the house I take the trash out and I take care of our 4 year old. He sits and does nothing until he needs something then he yells at me to do this do that for him. If I tell him to stop being a baby and do it yourself such as take yourself to the Dr he yells at me telling me I’m a bad wife because I am supposed to cater to his needs because his mom always did. He constantly puts me down to make himself feel better about his insecurities. We have been married 5 years and together 8. We separated twice and he has kicked me and my daughter out twice over his friend. He meets new friends and he conforms to his friends activities beliefs and ect. His friend kept telling him to go off with him go clubbing go cheat on his wife. He did all that because his friend did. He has turned our life upside down. He blames it on me. When his friend went to jail for theft and he almost lost his job because of it he finally calmed down and started listening. But now he is back to himself again. I can’t deal with this anymore. I just want him to let go of his ego and be independent for once. Not to mentioned he is so so so so stubborn and doesn’t listen to me. I have tried to explain to him why I am depressed all the time and why I always want to be left alone and he blamed it on me saying it is my fault I’m depressed and maybe I need to change to make myself better. Help me please !!!!

    Reply
    • Jamie February 17, 2017

      So sorry to hear this! Sending hugs. Hopefully you’re better. If not get deaf counselling together. Pray! Having your married life separate from your in-laws can help also. Meaning don’t discuss personal things with them. Learn how to build that unity in your marriage. Praise him when he helps with your 4 year. Ask him to share the responsibility and come up with a system that gets you some rest. Encourage him to the the things he can do himself, himself. If he can drive, tell him take the car. He can walk with a note pad to his appointments. I pray this helps. It’s tough but it’s not the end!

      Reply
  35. AndriaDeaf January 13, 2013

    hey AlisonE
    i read your post and i know how your feel about your relationships .
    i suggest you then if he not want use TTY but i suggest you for free better look up website free for deaf or hard of hearing need help easy way http://www.sorensonvrs.com/ that reason for use that help.

    not your fault but you need take time keep control how communication with your husband or try different way ..

    i hope you be alright

    I am deaf and i am student college then i not looking for job yet but im need finish my college lol .

    i love to help you for better way.

    Reply
  36. AlisonE January 13, 2013

    He used to have that and never used it. He just wants to rely on me. Thank you Andria

    Reply
  37. andria deafy January 13, 2013

    Okay …
    AlisonE

    I understand that..
    You’re welcome

    Reply
  38. Dan July 19, 2013

    I am hearing and my wife is HoH. I use sign language as my primary means of communication with her although she is proficient at lip reading. I have a couple of years of formal ASL training but rely on straight English sign as a rule. I learned the ABC’s before our first date and have for the most part learned sign from my wife. She was born deaf and attended a school for the deaf from age four through high school. We have been married for 29-years and most have been blissful with the usual struggles. We are very compatible in nearly every other way and share equally in most household chores (I’m sure she would beg to differ). I know some of her OCD has wore of on me as far as keeping a neat household.

    We have two hearing children (now grown) so our social life was primarily around hearing people, many at school functions or our kids extracurricular activities. I am not a certified interpreter but try to sign everything I can when I am with my wife. We don’t have many close social friends because most hearing people we have met prefer to avoid prolonged and repeated encounters with us. I believe it is in part because they feel some awkwardness when I interpret and she tries to engage in the conversation and the fact they are uncomfortable with the effort conversations require. This continues to put a strain on our relationship because she becomes frustrated with not getting all the communication going on and my limited ability to keep up with multiple conversations in a group setting. One-on-one is where my wife does well and gets the most out of communicating with hearing people.

    My wife works at a local hospital in a data imaging center where she is one of the most productive workers, mostly because her co-workers leave her alone and she is the only deaf employee in her department. I feel angry when she feels omitted from conversations at work and their general lack of deaf awareness. The fact we have moved several times to different geographic regions has complicated the development of a social life for her, especially. She has worked outside the home on and off ever since we met but always in a hearing environment.

    I am giving you all this detail to hopefully frame our situation better. If I had to do it over again, I would absolutely have a relationship with a deaf or HoH person but would do things a little different or make different choices. Here are my suggestions:

    – Find a core group of hearing and deaf friends where there is mutual support for both you and your partner
    – Master sign language if your partner uses it as a primary source of communication
    – Use FaceTime (best), Skype, oovoo, Sorenson VRS, or any other video system to avoid misunderstandings
    – Recognize the difference between anger and frustration when conflict arises
    – Truly understand the culture and don’t assume you know what its like to be hearing or deaf

    I hope to be married to this woman for the rest of my life and care for her more than anything. The challenges never go away and sacrifices must be made on both sides (as in all relationships). As long as your partner is your primary support person and both parties remain patient, there is no limit on what love can conquer.

    Reply
  39. ravenpaw1996 December 4, 2013

    I am a hearing student in asl 1. I love the class and my teacher is deaf no implants. I love it. I’ve learned more from him than I probably could from a hearing teacher. This will be a great experience in my life and I wish it could last forever. Sadly my next asl teacher will be hearing. It wont be the same without him.

    Reply
  40. jpmabary December 31, 2013

    well this is great i hear and wife is deaf yes it is hard but i think it is worth it.we do have some problems in commuication.we have found that writing does help us.we keep a notebook handy.i am learning to sign and she is patient with me and yes i am with her . please do what ever it takes to make it work.we have been together for 5 yrs now and looking forward to the rest of our lives together and hope you all will to jp and sj mabary wish everyone the best in this

    Reply
  41. Craig Passi January 8, 2014

    All of you present excellence comment! Thank you for sharing, let me ask each of you to go into deeper meaning on about deaf/hearing relationship. Communication is important but are there other factors that we often missed clue in our daily communication. You know how hearing person use their tone to express toward each other, the same for deaf people use their body language, facial expression, etc. These are the most critical issues we face everyday. Love may be in the air but I seem to be lacking on how we depend on visual communicating, eyes contact, feeling and sharing the most imitating touch to let each other to know how much we appreciate each other. My hearing girlfriend is a sweet person with caring but her soul will always be hearing, she talkative and can share deep communication but still lacking visual stimulus!

    Reply
  42. Dale Kliner January 8, 2014

    As I was trying to say before I pressed to enter key and i entered in a small of text above.
    From my own experience with my beautiful wife of 26 wonderful years. Some very hard years of her having to deal with my anger issues because of PTSD. We took the time to sit down and have some heart to heart talks. It took her letting me know that this was two different worlds coming together and part of the help was reading one of the books that help to become an interpreter here in Oklahoma. It took almost a month for the library here to finally get it from Tulsa to Oklahoma City but it opened a lot of doors. I still make mistakes when it comes to love is in the air. But the biggest thing is communication. Without communication there can be no Love. Communication is the Bridge of Trust, Love, Understanding, Relationship, and it is the key to everything in a marriage.
    The hardest thing to remember is to NEVER GO TO BED MAD. If one person goes to bed mad then that person does not get any sleep and they spend the night tossing and turning and finding all kinds of reasons to want a divorce or worse.
    Two people get together for a couple of reasons anyway, #Love, #Sex(Lust), #Money or some other earthly reason that only ends up in court.
    I now have a deeper understanding, i’m not going to say I totally understand because that comes with time. I now enjoy deaf theater, deaf movies, deaf gatherings, I have even been to see Joel Parrish here in Oklahoma City, what a blast. Am I now a deafie, no, but I am accepted and soon I hope to become a Lawyer for the Deaf. But to immerse oneself into a community does not mean that you die to your old ways, it only means that you take time to be with the one you Love and to OBSERVE and LEARN and ASK QUESTIONS. If I have learned any thing about the deaf community, they bleed red, they hurt, they really do think like hearing, they have feelings, they have rights, they can drive cars, trucks, have babies, and do most anything a hearing person can do. Given the right devices, THEY CAN DO EVERYTHING A HEARING PERSON CAN DO. How do I know?
    I have worked along side of, stood up for, interpreted for, married to, friends with, played Bible trivia with, been invited to their homes where there are little children, seen them as they answered the door, the telephone, attended to children when they were crying in another room. The list goes on and on and on and on.
    If my wonderful wife should die and I ever have to get married again, you can bet, it will be a deaf woman.

    Reply
    • Roy March 17, 2015

      Wow, this was such an inspiring post. Thank you!

      Reply
  43. Mariah February 15, 2014

    I am hearing with a deaf boyfriend. My whole life I’ve never had any luck with finding the right guy, but I tell you what, finding my boyfriend was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. He’s the perfect gentlemen and treats me like a queen. He opens my door, rubs my feet daily and even massage my body without me having to tell him. He’s introduced me to another world and I thank God everyday for a wonderful man like him. We are having our first child in a month and I couldn’t be more happy. If you really love someone, nothing will keep y’all apart. Our communication is great, I’ve learned all the asl letters and some sign. We interact just like any other couple would. I couldn’t imagine my future without him in it. I COULDNT BE MORE HAPPIER TO HAVE A DEAF BOYFRIEND

    Reply
  44. OliviaLia February 24, 2014

    I found this blog very informative. But that Rick guy scared me a bit. ANyway,

    I have been searching online trying to find ways and answers on how to communicate on a dating website. I am a 36 year old deaf speaking woman, I was born deaf and I wear two hearing aids. I have never done sign-language because at the time my mother couldn’t balance it with two other small children. I had a speech therapist for years as an child and I continue to read lips. I am a single woman and it has always been heard for me to date and explain my hearing situation. Should I put it on my match.come profile that I am a deaf speaking woman? Or is this something that you tell someone in person. How should I kindly express this without getting a pity email or something. I have never been around other deaf people. However, I do wish I grew up around that culture. I grew up in a hearing household, regular school and classes. In college, I take my classes online to avoid some rude professors I have come across having issues repeating and being sarcastic. I chose not to use a note taker because I feel I can do it myself since I have always done things my way and never used my disability for anything.

    I would greatly appreciate advice on this dating thing since I have had issues with it. Some have gotten mad at me for not telling them upfront, some have stopped talking to me because I didn’t tell them upfront, and very few were ok and understanding my situation. I’d like the best way to approach my hearing situation. Should I put it up on my match.com profile in the about me, or somewhere else. Or should I say it in an email before meeting?

    A response will be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  45. Dale Kliner February 25, 2014

    A real man will not care. It is a good idea to be upfront with your situation. If it were on the other foot, I believe that you would want the other person to be up front with you.
    A real man is not going to care because he is not after the disability but after the complete package, I mean the mental package as well. Don’t let another persons hang ups rent space in your head. As long as the music is right between the both of you then dance to the music.
    My wife is beautiful for who she is, not what she is. The both of us have enough querks and faults to sink a battleship, but why dwell on them? If I go looking for a fault, you can bet I will find plenty. But if I go to find someone to share my life with, who makes mistakes like I do, who grows old, who may not look good upon waking up in the morning, who may eat with their mouth open, but who is HUMAN like I am, then I am pretty lucky.
    So be like the new born baby, take the chance and walk if you fall, get back up and try walking again. You may fall several times but don’t wallow in the tears, just get back up, smile in their face and say I won and go on.

    Reply
  46. Deaf April 11, 2014

    If you are a hearing person with a deaf person….LEARN SIGN
    You won’t have these miscommunication issues.
    There is no excuse not to learn sign especially after 14 years with someone

    Reply
  47. angela April 24, 2014

    Hi I am a hearing person with chronic pain. I am at the other end of the spectrum where I have acute hearing and find my life to be very small because of these factors.. I went to a dinner where everyone signed and I loved the joy in the spectrum gning. I found myself lost in a world of happiness towards lamguage. It was so nice to c9mmunicate with9uyt my ears hurting. There seems to be very little place forme in this world do u have any ideas of changes I cam make to make this life better

    Reply
  48. Kathy May 10, 2014

    My husband is about 35% deaf and I can hear. People do need to think twice about marrying a deaf person. We have been together 10 years and it’s really taken a toll on me. I am exhausted repeating myself over and over. If I need him, I have to drop everything, go out to the garage or his man cave until he can hear me. We have a two year old so it’s draining as well. Forget concerts, movies or anything else you have enjoyed in the past.Be prepared for the “deaf entitlement” when he or she has low self esteem, is emotionally abusive out of jealousy that you can hear and follows me around the house whenever I am on the phone so he can read my lips. He has a business and can’t hear 90% of his phone calls so I have to keep dropping everything when he throws his phone up to my ear. I have friends who work in the deaf community and they say this is extremely common. They don’t know how to give and it’s a very self centered lifestyle for them. They are used to most everything being coddled for them. Do I sound jaded? I definitely am.

    Reply
  49. Vikas Joshi May 13, 2014

    Hey..thanks for this page…I got a lot of information…

    Actually I love a deaf and mute girl…and want to get married to her but was confused that will i be able to cop up with her or not. Nw after reading this page, I think I CAN.
    But my family is against this. They don’t want me to get married to a girl like this.

    Some one can help me …How I CAN MAKE THEM AGREE FOR HER….SHE IS ALL GOOD ..ONLY DEAF AND MUTE… PLEASE HELP WITH UR IDEAS AND TIPS

    Reply
  50. Mariah May 17, 2014

    Y’all seriously? I’m reading these comments and I’m flabbergasted.. I’m hearing. My boyfriend is deaf. When we first met I had NEVER met a deaf person. I s so excited to learn his language.. 1 year later we are STILL very happy with each other. He taught me to sign. I learned to sign because I really wanted to be with him. I knew it from the start. He makes me laugh harder then any man I have ever met. We have a good time together. He’s goofy just like me. We are hard working people who pay our bills. If you truly want to be with someone you will be with them. End of story

    Reply
    • Linda July 3, 2015

      Mariah, that is the truth what you posted. Big thumbs up for you!

      Reply
  51. Blue May 19, 2014

    We cannot judge anyone! PEOPLE.

    Reply
  52. Dale May 20, 2014

    What is the problem? Why did you connect in the first place? It’s always easy to quit when you don’t really want to try. After all, it’s not your problem, besides sign language is too hard.
    I’m a better person for being married to my wife. Maybe she does not understand everything I try to sign, but I learn new signs every day. I’m 65 years old and I would not have it any other way. It had been worth every bump in the road, every disagreement and every time that we have kissed and made up.
    She had been a blessing to me. She can dance, cook, takes beautiful pictures, fun to be with, is very funny, and is just add beautiful as the day I met her 25 years ago.
    She tries to speak and she does a pretty good job but sometimes her words come out wrong, when we are in public I don’t laugh but in private I let her know how funny it was and she makes fun of her mess up and we both laugh.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again it is not worth having if it is easy. L O V E means that it takes T W O. It is never a bed of roses. Take my word for it, it’s worth it.

    Reply
  53. Wizzy Wilz June 3, 2014

    Well for me, speaking from experience i can say that there is nothing like burdens having a deaf/ hearing girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband. The barrier of communicating with each other can be bridged by simply learning each others language especially for those who are hard of hearing.
    My self I’m a deaf with mild hearing loss and have an hearing girlfriend and there is nothing like having trouble in communicating with each other as my girlfriend is very keen in learning to use my signed language and sometime she interprets for me whenever I’ m having difficulties to understand. We understand each other very well and if not, we send each other text messages.
    I love my girl very much and trust her which otherwise others would find hard to do on the fact that an hearing mate will cheat on the deaf accomplice because sometime it is hard to hear or understand what is going on when you (deaf person) cant understand a thing.

    Reply
  54. RommeL June 28, 2014

    Im falling in love with a deaf girl

    One cute deaf girl have a crush on me, and I like her too.I am a hearing person. I think i am fall in love with her but my problem is i do not know what is she talking about and I always need a interpreter to know what she is saying but i will work hard to learn sign language just for her . I’m shy when her friend told me if I have a crush on her too,but my answer is friend only :(. I’m shy because all of my classmate are staring at us. I think I`m gonna present my feeling to her if me and she only . If she invited me in her debut i will present my feelings to her. If both of us develop to each other and have a relation i will love her all of my life because i dont want a short time relationship. All i want is a happily ever after with her . Do you think that a beautiful deaf girl will stay strong to a relationship . two weeks of our school day only he had a crush on me and i like her to, do you think its real love when i and her are get in a relation …….. im 20 and shes 17 and on aug she is turning to 18 .

    Reply
  55. Ro July 16, 2014

    I am hearing and my boyfriend is deaf. Communication is extremely difficult due to both the cultural and language barriers. Since my boyfriend is wonderful at teaching me ASL and SEE, I can communicate more effectively with him. There are still the occasional misunderstandings and misinterpretations, but we learn and grow from our mistakes and trust issues. I love my man so much. I just wish my parents and other friends and family members accepted and supported my relationship. But nonetheless, Dale…thank you for sharing your story. I feel inspired and encouraged to keep moving on in my life. I’m happy with my boyfriend. I have finally found someone who actually stimulates my thinking and provokes me to stop thinking too much and too negatively about myself and those around me. Life is too short. Enjoy yourself and your loved ones. It is worth it!

    Reply
  56. kam September 5, 2014

    i am partially deaf and my husband hearing we marry 17 year i have 2 kids 1 boy who 10 amd 1 girl who 16 both hearing
    me and my husband talking alot i can hearing moblie and teleohone very well and i just speak only english not my laug punjabi 6 7 word that my family speak they punjabi i don’t understand what they say my husband speak 3 laug and i can’t. my husband working 7 day a week i looking my kids i speak my kids only english not punjabi i told my husband teach your laug he said no i tried it how i teach my kids they know 10 word they know more than me and i love my family

    Reply
  57. michaeline September 6, 2014

    I am divorced for 13 years and full deaf. I met hearing man who learned sign languages. I met him at deaf and.Hearing social in 1989. We dated for. 1 1/2 years. We got married in 1991. We did not have kids. End of my marriage, he was tired of interpreter. I found out that he talked dating. online and pose. He wanted divorced from me. He was not pay attention to me when. I talked to him. He ignored me lots. He went to Christmas party with hearing friends not me . He went to his grandma’s house all times.. my deaf friends came to my apt and he was snob  … my family did not like him.. he was not right for me. It broke my heart and I was .depressed.. he wanted hearing Woman …. I got divorced from me. I am happy in my life now..

    Reply
  58. Stephanie September 9, 2014

    I am hearing and my boyfriend was born deaf, we’re both 23 years old. We met online this past May and he explained straightaway that he was deaf, as if that would be a deterrent! I’ve always been fascinating by deaf people and deaf culture so that fact about him got me even more interested.

    Our first date was a coffee house and we discussed about how we would communicate ahead of time, so I brought my laptop. He can speak (I can understand his speech most of the time now because we’ve been together for months now) but he prefers not to speak in public. He also lipreads and has a Cochlear Implant (since he made the choice at 15 years old). We typed back and forth, he would lipread sometimes (I talk fast when I’m nervous/excited), so it was mostly typing. We both had a great time on that first date and had a number of dates after that before committing ourselves to the relationship. Also, I took out a couple books from the library, one that would help me learn ASL and another about the Deaf World.

    At the beginning, I didn’t sign much because I was embarrassed that I was terrible at it. After a few weeks, and his encouragement, I started to sign and got better and better. He speaks while he signs so I can more easily make the connection (he uses pidgin sign language/Signed Exact English) and I speak while I sign so he can more quickly catch if I’m not signing correctly. He is a very patient teacher. We have wonderful communication and are both very happy.

    I have only met his one hearing friend that signs. All of my friends are hearing and don’t know sign language, but I would check in during the conversation to see if he understood everything by lipreading. If not, I would speak/mouth the words and do my best to sign until he understood. He plans on introducing me to his deaf friends (none of them live close by) and I’m interested to see what that is like. So I would say that we are currently more hearing-centric in our relationship (since we spend most of our time together and not meeting friends) but we sign together as much as possible, both take responsibility for communication issues (which we clear up ASAP), and I do have a vested interest in deaf culture.

    It angers me that he has such limited job opportunities because he is deaf. A lot of positions he’d be interested in require verbal communication, which he is uncomfortable with doing around people he doesn’t know, since most hearing people would not understand his speech completely. I had wrongly assumed that the Americans with Disabilities Act would prevent discrimination against him, so now that I’m enlightened on the matter, I’m doing my best with assisting him find a better job than he has now and reaching out to deaf people online for any insight on the matter. I want him to reach his full potential!

    Reply
  59. Vincent September 12, 2014

    Hello all,

    I have read about 75% of the posts regaurding reactions to the information put out in the above article. Though the article did not answer my quetion, I found that alot of posts had a very unique perspective. Spouses and significant others learning ASL or pidgon signing and the oposite with the Deaf side learning or attempting to addapt to challenge.
    I am a 29yo man who is dating a Deaf women, and like alot of relationships these days, started on an online dating site. One of the first things she asked me was “is it a problem that im Deaf?” i was a little suprised, due to the deaf community im my area of Ohio being a small minority, but thought nothing of it and continued to talk and now shes all i think of. Of course, like all relationships, i agree with the communication part of the article. I found it hard at first and thought it was part of the language barrier but i was dead wrong. its about understanding and telling whats going on in your life. Just like any other relationship.
    In the Deaf culture, from what i have experienced, communication is the biggest part of the relationship. not the signing but the normal topics and issues. Deaf people love to be informed. LEARN TO SIGN!!! it not only shows that your taking a real interest but helps you understand more and more about that person. Heck, ive learned that just a simple eyebrow movement can dictate the mood of the other. I just started learning in may and now dont have to rely on anything but asl and fingerspelling to communicate. Unlike my girlfriends friend who has been dating a hearing person for over a year, and learned NO asl or attempts fingerspelling, my girlfriend and i have had very little problems and rarly fight.
    Small rant: being Deaf is NOT a crutch, its NOT a disability, and by NO MEANS SOMTHING THAT NEEDS FIXED! would you call someone that speaks italian, spanish, or french disabled?!! its just another language.

    Reply
  60. jlong September 14, 2014

    I am hearing and was starting my sign language class when I met my husband. We were married for almost 21 years and loved each other very much. Of course we had some issues like any couple but we were very happy. I sign, we taught our boys to sign. The only thing I hated was if we had an argument and he was done “talking” he would just walk away. Sometimes I wasn’t done. Yes I would do it again. (He has now passed away)I do believe the hearing spouse should learn to sign (I know a couple where the husband doesn’t know much sign and he makes his wife wear hearing aides when she goes out even though they don’t really help her.) I think that is wrong.

    Reply
  61. Grace September 15, 2014

    I just wanted to express a sincere thanks for all of you who have posted. I met a wonderful man online and we have been having incredible conversation via text for a couple weeks now. We are meeting for the first time tomorrow night – he is deaf; I am hearing. I am a little nervous but I think it’s because I am so excited to meet him in person and I have a slight fear of the unknown, which is probably normal (he is the first deaf person I’ve ever met to be honest). His first language is ASL, so I’ve been looking up some words and phrases. If anyone has any other advice, please let me know!! Thank you again to all of you for sharing your experiences!! You’ve given me some hope and an enormous amount of awareness.

    Reply
  62. AlisonE September 16, 2014

    Update: I am happy to announce that we are happily divorced and we both couldn’t be happier. He has gone psycho and bought a mail order bride and I am happy with my guy. Thanks All !

    Reply
  63. mariah September 16, 2014

    @Grace: I was in your same situation a year ago. If you want my advice, I say stick with him and see where it takes you. If you are cell phone savvy, download the ASL app to your phone and practice the alphabet everyday. That’s what I did. My boyfriend and I communicate great. I love being in public and being able to sign what I want without everyone listening in on our conversations. WE have the best conversations. Like I said, try it out. See where it goes, you never know. I love my Deaf Boyfriend.

    Reply
  64. joan tunick September 21, 2014

    **Take advice from a 74 year old deaf lady. Life’s too short to hassle with stuff you can’t change! Cry, use klenex to wipe those tears, dump it, throw it in the recyclables and put it outside to be picked up. Don’t forget to buy lots more because you’ll cry again. When you’re done, tell people you don’t like to sit on your deaf side! Tell people you like to sit on your hearing side! Why waste time fighting things you can’t change.

    Reply
  65. Megan September 24, 2014

    Hey ro, I had the exact same problem as you do with your family and friends not accepting your deaf boyfriend. My family didn’t accepted my boyfriend because he was born deaf and I was hearing well my cousin Britney was the only person who accepted him because she knew ASL. My mom didn’t accepted my deaf boyfriend at all. She will tell me he isn’t deaf or he won’t call me because he might have lied being deaf. I knew he was deaf because he told me the first time we met on line. He said he was born deaf. I told him I was born with a disability when he ask me why I wanted a deaf male. He was better at making me cum almost every night. We talk about his family and mine. He said he love playing the guitar, cooking and basketball and also football. He said he has a half sister and a younger brother. He had dark brown hair and blue eyes. God how I miss him still. It has been six months since I lost him because of my mom’s predijuce and them all shutting my Facebook. He was my friend on face book.

    Reply
  66. BRM October 2, 2014

    I am appalled by your response Rick. I feel sorry that your wife puts up with someone who views her as handicapped. That is the true problem in your marriage. She deserves much better than you. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. You have aome work to do on your own life because you are seriousky misguided woth your viees.

    Reply
  67. BRM October 2, 2014

    Grace,
    My boyfriend is Deaf and we are very happy and have an extremely healthy relationship. Please feel free to chat if you have any questions. I am happy to share with you. I hope your date went well.

    Reply
    • Giri July 29, 2016

      I’m hearing but I’m going marry a deaf girl.
      How would be my life?

      Reply
      • Jamie February 17, 2017

        Learn about deaf culture and sign language. Also come up with a system of what’s expected from each of you. How much or how little you want your in-laws to be (better if it’s little).

        Reply
  68. Jessica braddy October 15, 2014

    I just married the love of my life, my husband and he is fully deaf and I been signing now a little over two years.
    We have no issues really :). I Still learn everyday and we have mostly hearing friends, because there is not a lot of deaf where we live, but we do have some cool deaf friends too that have
    Helped me branch out and feel more comfortable with signing :).
    I love the whole culture and accept him 100%! He is not very vocal, but can be
    If we get in a argument :)! I met him and instantly wanting to learn
    Sign for him. Started with my ABcs and went from there. He stuck through when I was
    Diagnosed with a rare cancer and I was in stage 4.
    I said to myself I have to marry this man. Love goes beyond barriers others
    Do not see or hear lol :)! My family loves and accepts him and he
    Is the only deaf in his family, but all the deaf people I meet say I am so good in
    Sign and can not believe I have only been signing a few years.
    When you love someone you go that extra mile. It’s all about
    Talking and learning. Never boring :)! We love each other and are for sure soul mates for life!!

    Reply
  69. TC October 16, 2014

    Hi BRM & Grace,

    I have been dating a great guy for almost three months now. I thought everything was going well and that we talked about everything. Last night we talked and I found out he is very upset about a prior weekend which was meeting a group of my friends for a wedding and wine tour the next day. My friends did incude him but both days were buzy and loud. I thought we did pretty well besides me messing up once snapping at two friends that I couldn’t hear the bar tender then my bf couldn’t hear him either. He let me in that all his life he has been on the outside of conversation and just that he doesn’t fit in. It seemed like he was dumping me since he is thinking about our future down the road. We agreed to work on making it easier and working on me learning asl. I am eager to learn more to help us in growing closer.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  70. Dan March 16, 2015

    You guys may want to see this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8mmbuHuPUs. Two women shared nice tips on relationships between deaf and hearing couples!

    Reply
  71. marie May 17, 2015

    Hi, thank heavens for this wonderful site, it is a big helping hand. I’m hearing married to a deaf man, we are both 35 and have been married for six years plus one year dating. I can tell you it’s a bed of roses in the beginning, I had never met a deaf person before, never wondered what it was like to have a romantic relationship with one. I thought he was the most interesting and gifted man I had ever met. He’s an artist, he can really express himself through his drawings. He doesn’t SL, he just reads lips. I realized he can’t always do that, because people tend to speak fast and he just nods like he’s getting everything right.
    I’m not here to defend or attack anyones opinion, just to give mine: I don’t blame Rick for feeling that way, because believe me, sometimes you feel a bit frustrated and your partner won’t easily cooperate. When you start dating everything is just perks and blessings, I’ve been there too, it is normal to “idealize” the loved one. It’s good that some hearing-deaf couples work out, but be sensitive about the ones who don’t.
    I will tell you what the shades and the highlights are, starting with the not-so-cool stuff.
    In my case, the things I resent the most are: being put in the second place, always. For his family, sometimes for mine too, he comes first, all the credit goes for him while I am the one always helping him with practically everything (phone, meetings, writing). It is not his fault, that’s true, but the problem is he believes it is all of his credit, that’s when I infuriate, like any human, it’s good to be thanked every once in a while. Second, I must be always, ALWAYS available for him, I’m writing, cooking, drawing, bathing, taking care of our two kids, feeding them or any other given activity, he comes to interrupt, or to ask for immediate help, or yell for it. I got it, he needs help with certain things he can’t do or finds hard to accomplish, but I have to argue just to have him helping me with the other things. It really irritates me. Third, I never really know if an argue is successful, because he tends to play the victim, I don’t know how much he follows me as we fight, because same tiny, stupid issues have to be discussed almost every month.
    Look, the problem here is we all think we can change things, change people. I married a deaf guy thinking I could always be astonished with all of his abilities (he is the SMARTEST guy I know) and feeling like a saviour (yeah, hearing folks LOOOVE to play hero), but time reveals a dark period when crisis arises and one sinks into the shades; hangouts with friends are exhausting for having to be the translator -both ways-, have to flap your arms as to park an airplane just to get his attention when he’s not using the implant nor the aid, not being able to share a deep conversation, completely explain my feelings, because he has a short vocabulary.
    These little things build up and create dispair. Really meaningless things get meaningful and things you had never thought would be a problem become one. Your deaf prince charming turns into an annoying toad. At least it is how you think it is. What really turns things ugly is the lack of sympathy. Yep. Day after day the hearing hero fades out, realizing he will be deaf forever and you are not a damn hero. Instead of just accepting that very fact, you go crazy, wishing you had never married him. Changes can be made: let’s not yell out for help, let’s not do the arm flapping, let’s facetime instead; you don’t yell, I don’t have to go upstairs. Maybe the arguing part must keep going…XD Losing sensitivity for his condition, his needs is a key for disaster, he is a completely different person, to begin with, plus he can’t hear or express himself correctly, then I think, it has to be hell for him not being able to be understood either. See? So, bring the patience (it takes a lot, for the both of us), acceptance and sensitivity. But it is REALLY important that both work together, and this doesn’t limit to deaf people, but all of the people, right?
    Now the highlights: he is absolutely brilliant, my personal computer wizard, he is the most patient fellow I have evr met and without hearing a bit, he is always willing to ‘hear’ me, unlike my past boyfriends. He is a great father, when the twins were born, there wasn’t a night he slept either, we were a real team. And I find his ‘deaf universe’ more peaceful, which has helped me calm down, reduce my anger bursts, live more happily. And the most fascinating thing, even though he is hearing impaired and people don’t understand him, he loves talking, he has no fear of absolutely nothing, he feels no shame, no embarassment whatsoever, he really taught me how to be a poised and secure being.
    Crisis is always crisis, it comes to every couple on earth. A work of two, equally. A great moral for me has been not to mix deafness with faults that are proper of human nature, it is very easy to do that, suddenly everything that goes wrong is because he was born deaf. One has to be very careful, impaired people are somehow casted away by us, hearing dudes. This is the exhilarating path of marriage anyhow 🙂
    I hope anyone in my situation can feel comforted, or may yoy have any point outs, be my guest. I feel so good now, I had not had the chance to share my experience (nor get things off my chest), since not everyone can understand this.
    Love for everybody,
    Marie.

    Reply
    • Jamie February 17, 2017

      Thank you for this!

      Reply
      • Marie June 1, 2017

        Thank you Jamie! You are very supportive 🙂 I’m not in the best of places now, honestly, two years later I’m here again seeking for answers that can bring my zen back! I think the counselor is a great idea, I just never thought about it! Maybe this happens to you too at times: you feel stranded. I feel like I really have to speak to other hearing spouses and not lose my mind, are you part of one of those groups? Do you know about an online support group?
        Lots of love <3

        Reply
  72. Daryl June 24, 2015

    I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years. He is deaf and I’m hearing. We met at a gay bar and it’s been happily ever after… maybe not that far, lol. I didn’t know any signing, we would use our phones to communicate. The beginning was a little difficult because it was easy to misunderstand each other. I learned the alphabet first and he taught me signing. If I didn’t know a word, I asked; if he said something I didn’t understand, I asked. He taught me everything and I learned fairly quickly because I was eager to learn and communication is important, especially with someone you love. I’m not gonna lie and say things were easy. There’s a lot to learn with signing, including deaf culture. If you are in a deaf/hearing relationship allow your deaf partner be proud of who they are. Don’t cut them off from their deaf friends/culture. Go with them to deaf socials, you won’t regret it. Unfortunately, I know of people where signing is not allowed in the home or they force them to abandon deaf friends and culture. This, of course, causes stress and eventually breakups. I truly love this man, I can’t imagine my life without him or with someone else. I read some comments on here from the hearing partner’s POV about the negatives of being with someone deaf. In general, I know what they’re talking about. We have had our arguments, but the key is to be patient and respectful. I wouldn’t change anything about my bf, he’s amazing, intelligent and mine, lol. If you can’t offer that (in any relationship) then please let them go, no one is going to be happy. We plan to be withe each other forever, and it seems everyday offers something to love him more.

    Reply
  73. Myr July 9, 2015

    My sister is deaf and she’s married to a hearing guy.. probably 20 years now. BAD relationship. It was never good. Now she wants a divorce, but he is a controlling husband. She really has no skills. She has low self esteem. How can my sister be fairly represented in a divorce? Language is a huge problem, she does not understand so much. Already, she’s saying she doesn’t want to get a lawyer because her husband says they make couples fight more, and she believes him. I’m so afraid she’ll get taken advantage of.
    If she has no money of her own and is dependent on a controlling spouse, how is she ever to survive this? Their two girls are 18 and 20 years old. Both can hear. Her husband is an alcoholic and is a “mama’s boy”, that is, he cares more about his mother and his two girls, and always has, and treats my sister like she’s dirt. She’s used to it. She’s afraid if she gets a lawyer, she’ll make life difficult for him and the girls.
    It’s messed up. Are there resources for underprivaleged people like her?

    Reply
    • Deaf Counseling Center July 10, 2015

      Myr, I am sorry that your sister is dealing with a difficult situation. You may want to suggest that she work with a counselor, who would be able to support her through the process of reviewing her options and making decision about what to do. Please feel free to share our contact information with your sister.

      Reply
  74. Dreia July 16, 2015

    I went on this page to get some advice and there were things that I could agree and yet there are things on here that make no sense to me. If you marry someone who is deaf and you complain here about it then why did you marry your partner in the first place. (sorry if that is out of line) My boyfriend is deaf and we have been dating for about a year now and he is ready to pop the question. Granted in the beginning it was hard because I did not know any sign at all, I just knew the basic that I learned in elementary school which was many moons ago, and it was a challenge but you have to arm yourself with the knowledge and basic understanding, if he knows that you are trying that is what counts. While you are learning ask him to help teach you, something to do together and then when you are with your hearing friends and family you can tech them the basic. That is what I have done with my friends and family and he lights up when he sees me teaching them, and in a way he will be able to join the conversation with your hearing friends too. We would text a lot, he would teach me the signs, and know I can finger spell the words and he will show me the sign for the words. We still use text once in a while especially when I get tired but we try and have talks without it. There will be times that we write things on paper but we try not too. There are so many other ways that he have fun with each other, By reading each others body language, or looking into each others eyes, he can tell when something is up and the other way around. When we go on long road trips I put the bass low so he can enjoy the music as well.
    But what I am trying to say if you really are in love with your partner it takes two to tango, both of you have to compromise, have trust in each other and communicate however you feel comfortable and the most important thing is PATCIENT. I am not saying I am a saint but there have been times that my boyfriend and I have not seen eye to eye on some things, but with time and either us did not have a our back up against a wall we, calmly texted, or wrote out what we were feeling, and we make sure we do not go to bed angry, IF THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY!!
    I saw many of the responses on this page that were many pity parties, or partners who did not want to learn sign but if you are dating someone who is deaf or from any culture if you are interested /in love with the person wouldn’t you want to know about their language or their culture? Granted it is challenging but it is a way to bond with your partner as well.

    Reply
    • Jamie February 17, 2017

      Being married is wayyyyy different for hearing-hearing and even more so for hearing.deaf. You can’t understand until you’re in it. If someone has never been deaf then they can’t fully understand the depth of what it is like for their deaf spouse and vice versa. No hearing person (who didn’t have any previous deaf relationship) can ever fully understand what they’re getting into. Yes, I’m hearing and my husband is deaf and it’s very tough!

      Reply
  75. Mrs. K July 27, 2015

    It’s interesting reading these blog posts and I find everyone’s situation so different. I wonder if anything at all can be generalized about deaf/hearing relationships.
    I am an ASL interpreter, fluent in ASL, and married a Deaf man 6 years ago. It has not been easy. I had worked with Deaf people as an interpreter for years and was naive enough to think that the fact that we share a common language was enough. We didn’t date very long, so that may have contributed to some of the issues. I have a hard time separating which of our issues have to do with the Deaf/hearing cultural divide, and which have to do with our personality differences, and which are personality differences that grow out of him growing up as a deaf person in his particular family/oral school philosophy/ audism… I do know that what was said is true about the more Drag centered our world is, the better it is. when he is arou.d his deaf friends he is a bright, happy, sociable person. Around hearing people (including me when not with Deaf) he becomes totally different. Surly, passive, uncommunjcative. He was babied and spoiled by his parents who refused to learn sign and still won’t sign. He is good at oral communication but isn’t smooth with the language and can’t have a Ln in depth conversation that way. Sign Language is the language he is best in, and yet he refuses to sign with our daughter, and doesn’t want me to sign when with his family. His own sister has begun to shut us out. She says he doesn’t interact well with the family, which is true. He sneaks off to watch TV as soon as he can. (ironically she is deafened but doesn’t know sign). He seems to resent me, and I’ve grown to resent him because he is a bright guy who is very passive and refuses to do anything that requires the least bit of effort. He is a university graduate who never worked in his field and makes a low wage at an unskilled labor job. He generally won’t make his own appointments and relies on me to make all appointments for the DR, dentist etc. I can’t say all this is due to deafness, but it’s exacerbated by the fact that everyone around him other than me expects exactly nothing from him. And gets exactly nothing. This is basically because he is deaf. He went to am oral school as a child and was told how special and wonderful he was for years. (he had a moderate hearing loss and could speak. Wow.). I do see a lot of his personality as a victim of audism
    All his life he was trained to value speech and passing as hearing. But he is comfortable in a Deaf world. I think somehow he sees me as an oppressor. Honestly I do t know. Just know that Deaf world and hearing world are very different. And the more Deafcentric our lives are the easier it is. But that’s not every day. It’s only once a week or so.

    Reply
    • Jamie February 17, 2017

      So sorry to hear this I totally understand! I think deaf counseling will help so you don’t have to interpret. Try to have time for yourself once in a while to get a breather. Go get your nails done or spend quality with family or friends when you can. Hope things are better or will get better God willing.

      Reply
  76. ABC August 1, 2015

    I came across this page today and read some of the comments. I have a severe hearing loss, and it has gotten worse over the last 30 years. I’m now 39, and I just wanted to say that so many of you are so lucky, and fortunate, to have found someone.

    I wish i could say i have been as fortunate, but the communication barrier caused by my hearing loss has consistently been an issue. I tried for about 15 years to find someone, but only ever went on 3 dates in my life. When i was about 30, the difficulty in trying to communicate finally drained me completely of any desire to peruse anyone, and it was around then i gave up looking.

    It was hard to avoid gatherings, parties, outings, groups, and other get-togethers i was invited to (even harder to explain why i didn’t wan to go). But i had to avoid them, because i could no longer hear what was being said, and i was misunderstanding and replying with the wrong answer, becoming a nuisance for asking people to repeat the same thing over and over, or just feeling disrespectful towards them by pretending to hear. I did not enjoy finding myself in the middle of the party, yet being removed completely from it. Nor could i bear not communicating or understand the people i wanted to talk to and understand (or even worse, who waned me to talk to and understand them). Neither did i enjoy ending up in the corner with my own thoughts, wishing i was not there, wondering why i came, looking for an exit, or dealing internally with group stares and conversations (presumably about my situation).

    On regular days it was hard to not look at someone who i found attractive, or who was also looking at me from afar. I would get sick to my stomach with depression after every time i went up to someone, only to have their eyes dart to my hearing aid, and a disgust look cross their face as “stay away from me” glazed over their eyes. Well, it taught me to stay away, to not look anymore, and not interact, no matter how much i may think someone is attracted to me.

    I tried to get to know people on-line, because i don’t have a problem with communicating on the internet, and i can understand what is being said. It seemed all right at first, and there were even a few people who really wanted to meet me in person. But as soon as they found out i had a hard time hearing, the whole communication went south, until it didn’t exist anymore. I signed up to a dating web site, and didn’t mention my hearing loss in my profile, received at least an e-mail a day from people who were interested. I tried to see if i could find a friend, but none ever seemed to go that way except for a few. I was extremely hesitant to mention my hearing loss, but I didn’t feel that was respectful to lead someone into a blind date without knowing how different the communication would be in person compared to the Internet with me. Eventually i lost hope that i would find even a friend on the dating web site, so i bit the bullet and changed my profile to mention i had a hearing loss. Suddenly the 2 year stream of 1 email per day stopped, and i didn’t receive another email for the next 2 years, so i deleted the account.

    The only positive thing i can say about the whole situation is that it helped me to grow stronger within myself. But every once in a while, like today, something will remind me of how much i long to communicate better with others, or find someone to share my life, or maybe just end the loneliness, and it makes me a bit sad. Reading posts like these help me to get by, so thank you.

    I’m a bit emotional now, and i apologize for writing so much, but be thankful, and count your blessings if you have found someone.

    xo

    Reply
    • Jamie February 17, 2017

      Did you try to find a deaf community? Try learning sign language and find people who understand you. You would be surprised to find others just like you who understand. God bless your heart and bring you peace, joy and love!

      Reply
    • Little Old me July 13, 2017

      Hello ABC,

      If I could just encourage you not to give up. Not only are there groups for the deaf, as the above poster mentioned, many other people grew up with parents or siblings who were hard of hearing or deaf (as I did), and would cherish a friendship or relationship with a nice person.

      Best wishes

      Reply
  77. LAP November 20, 2015

    Wow, I have been looking for website like this for my answers. Thank you for developing the website and sharing the comments. It is overwhelmed to read all of the blog because it is so diversity of the thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Is there information I can look up about what I as a deaf person can do with hearing people since there are a lot of useful information for what hearing people can do with deaf people? I don’t want my hearing sweetheart to stop going the hearing friends/families parties/events because it is difficult for me to interact and chat with hearing people without relying on my sweetheart’s help for interpreting and it is hard for hearing people to do with me too. What can I do with hearing group to chat without being rude or disturb? I don’t like standing there not to do anything or not to understand while I am at someone’s place. Keep myself busy with my phone, magazines, tv or try to interact with them or individual again? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Jamie February 17, 2017

      My husband has a hard time with this also. I think key is understanding. If you don’t understand ask whoever to repeat, if that’s a nuisance (to either) have them write it on paper or text. Or there’s talk to text on smart phones. If you’re in a group ask them if they wouldn’t mind speaking one at a time to help you follow along. It will be difficult if it’s more than four of you though. Maybe ask your sweetheart to ask her friends if they wouldn’t mind trying to look at you while they speak (that can be difficult for most but if they’re willing great). Hope this helps!

      Reply
  78. taiwo May 20, 2016

    anyway, I’m hearing and girl friend is deaf. despite of that, we are of different tribe but she understand me most and I do. we sign a lot and people at time think I’m also deaf like but it doesn’t bother me. I enjoy stay with her most she can read lips and talk but I enjoy sign with her most.

    Reply
  79. Alma Moores August 1, 2016

    Hi there
    I used to be hard of hearing . I used to wear my hearing aid , used to understand my family quite well with their lip read . I lost my Hard of hearing since 5 years ago . I could not understand their lip read after I lost my HH.
    I suggested my sister to please write on a paper .
    She refused to write . I told her I had bed very patience with her .she said she did have patience with me . I told her she won’t site how can I understand , she said to read my lips in front of my extend family .
    It was. Awful feeling for me.
    Please help me how to explain to her?

    Reply
    • Jamie February 17, 2017

      There’s this video my Andy Mineo https://youtu.be/ZD0fhCZFjjI It’s a beautiful video of a hearing brother who finally understood his deaf sister after many years and made a video just for her to apologize. The video incorporates a lot of visual for his deaf sister to get the different beats.

      Reply
  80. Alma Moores August 1, 2016

    Hi there
    I used to be hard of hearing . I used to wear my hearing aid , used to understand my family quite well with their lip read . I lost my Hard of hearing since 5 years ago . I could not understand their lip read after I lost my HH.
    I suggested my sister to please write on a paper .
    She refused to write . I told her I had bed very patience with her .she said she did have patience with me . I told her she won’t site how can I understand , she said to read my lips in front of my extend family .
    It was. Awful feeling for me.
    Please help me how to explain to her?
    Please reply back to me as soon as possible .

    Reply
  81. Mark Sultana October 13, 2016

    Hello. I have been in a deaf-hearing relationship for a year and 3 months. I am hearing and my girlfriend is deaf. We met at a program for people with Mental Health issues. I have major depressive disorder and anxiety and she also has major depressive disorder, anxiety, and PTSD. When we met she was living with her mother and stepfather. A little bit into out relationship she told me that her stepfather was abusing her and that she had been telling her mother for 10 years, but her mother called her a liar every time and didn’t believe her. I encouraged her to leave her living situation and moved her in with me. I am young and foolish and after about 3 months of living together I began to feel smothered. I convinced her to move into a shelter until the state could find an apartment for her, which they did, but we continued our relationship. I feel like she latched on to me and we had very little communication with the outside world besides each other. I had a job and she didn’t. She severed ties with her whole family (rightfully so) and feels that for her to get a job as a deaf person is almost impossible. I tell her this isn’t true and that she should at least try, but I see that fear holds her back. A few weeks ago I noticed that I kept bringing her along to see family members of mine and though I have learned ASL and try to translate what is going on it becomes tiresome for me to translate everything and I cannot enjoy my conversations with my family, and she becomes frustrated because she feels left out. I feel bad because she has no family and we have become so codependent and I feel like she doesn’t spend time with anyone but myself. I try to create some space between us but I am so wracked with guilt when I leave her home alone. I have come to realize that this is not entirely my fault but I still feel guilty. This weekend I was overcome with panic attacks at the realization that the relationship is too stressful for me. I told her that I need some space and I don’t know for how long. I love her so much. I love her voice and how she sounds so cute when she speaks. She has a very caring personality and she is so sweet all the time. She does experience trauma and flashbacks from the abuse that she has been through and in the beginning of our relationship it was easier for me to be able to be patient with her through this. Now I feel like it overcomes her quite often and that fear controls many things in her life. I have tried to encourage her to go to deaf events but she says it is hard for her to trust people. Again, she doesn’t want to even try to go to work because she feels it can be too hard for her. I just don’t want to be the only thing she has. We go to couple’s therapy and she brings an interpreter but it is still hard for us to communicate and when we do I feel like her trauma and fear becomes the main focus of our interactions. I want to take a break from our relationship because it is not working for me right now. I am struggling with my own anxiety and I feel like when I am away from her I am worried about her, and pressure myself to spend time with her because I want her to be okay. But then I am sacrificing myself too much. If anyone could ead this and provide some insight or suggestions I would appreciate that. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Jamie February 17, 2017

      Have you tried deaf counseling? That way the counselor already knows sign and understands the dynamics of deaf/hearing relationships.

      Reply
  82. Mike Johnson October 31, 2016

    Before I write anything, I want to be clear that my experience is limited to having friends in the deaf community, and have dated a deaf-woman before. That relationship ended for reasons not associated with her being deaf. So, while it’s limited, I’ve gotten a glimpse of both deaf/hearing and deaf/deaf relationships.

    First, let me say I am sick of people referring to Deaf as a “disability” that places limits on a deaf person’s abilities and opportunities. I know it’s just a phrase, but it’s inaccurate. In the 1960’s some people referred to them as “Deaf and Dumb” but we know that’s not the case now so please stop perpetuating ignorance. Each deaf person is unique. Their personality differs on the experiences they have and want. If you were deaf and grew up with parents that encouraged you to understand the world around you, see the challenges sooner than later in life, you had the opportunity to learn to overcome them and build on that. If you were sheltered, and were limited to experiences within the deaf community of kids, you seemed to learn a perceived “role” in society. This doesn’t even factor in the human curiosity and drive to grow and learn through experience that the individual has, and in the context of this post, emotional desires. That said, let’s get to the topic at hand.

    Expectations when you’re dating someone who’s deaf:
    If they’re interested in you, and you feel the same, congratulations! Dating a deaf person isn’t as daunting as some people post here. In fact, the 2-people married to a deaf partner seem to have more interpersonal issues, and deaf culture seems to be an easy target. The point is not jumping head first in, like us hearing people sometimes do. Here’s some important factors to consider if you’re hearing and their deaf:

    Culture Shock can be a GOOD thing
    In any relationship, there’s always differences, it’s just a bit more complex in deaf/hearing relationships. Both sides she be sure they understand they’re going to have to be willing to explore the other person’s culture. If they don’t, you’ll end up with one culture being the center of your relationship. For example, a deaf woman may understand that her hearing boyfriend not translating every conversion with another hearing person as excluding her, but could expect that he would share the important points of the conversation if she engages in the conversation. When he attends deaf community events, especially if he’s just learning ASL, he’s not going to be able to communicate or keep up with the conversations going on. Like any language, the more you use it, the better you are at it. Someone just learning ASL will be surprised at conversations that could be happening between multiple people at the same time. Some of them might even be signing at the same time. He might feel left out, but she will ensure he engages, and that she be open with others about who you are to her, and what level of signing skill you have. I’ve found that when they find out you’re hearing there’s a common few possible responses; most are impressed that you’re with her at the event, and showing initiative to learn to sign – these people will often talk to you, others will be confused – why would she date someone who doesn’t understand our core language, and a few even are somewhat offended – How can she date a “hearing”person! There’s a part of the deaf community that believes deaf should date deaf. Like any culture, there’s always going to be resistance. The point is there’s a great difference in cultures, and BOTH of you need to be willing to explore and accept some cultural differences.

    Factors in a Deaf/Hearing Relationship that I observed to be important:

    – What are you attracted to?
    No matter hearing or not, you must connect on some common interests or beliefs. This will be a foundation that will drive you both through the challenges all relationships have. It’s even more challenging in deaf/hearing relationships. Believe it or not, there’s people out there that are attracted to people solely on the fact their deaf. If you happen to be one of these people, you’ll find out that it’s not going to work. The same can be said about some deaf people that date hearing because they believe hearing people are going to open their world to more, or that hearing people are somehow better, or more-able, that deaf people. Again, this typically ends badly.

    – HEARING People
    Communication is key: If you know ASL, you can skip this paragraph. If not, start learning NOW. Even if you just buy a book, online class, or just watch free videos on YouTube for ASL basics. Not only is this going to help you better communicate, but it shows your dedication to the relationship by working to learn their language. Don’t worry if you’re slow to learn. Sign when possible, and let them correct you. Don’t be discouraged if they get frustrated once in a while. Imagine if someone didn’t speak your language, a discussion over where to go to dinner could be frustratingly long.

    Be their partner first and their voice second: Most deaf people are proud of their independence. Most of their lives they’ve been met with challenges we never had, so they’ve worked hard to achieve independence and you need to recognize and respect that. Never treat a deaf person as a child or lessor-abled person. Even if they overlook this because of attraction it does a lot of damage to your partner’s self-esteem. Be supportive, and learn to identify when they would like you to help. Then offer, and complete the task as if it was commonplace. Show them you’re helping because you care about them, not because you feel like you must.

    Don’t be afraid: Most deaf people who are open to dating hearing people knew there would be several cultural differences along the way. If you have a question about being deaf, deaf culture, or the experience of life being deaf, ASK! While running up to deaf person on the street and asking “how do you know when to wake up?” might be a little odd, in the context of a relationship it’s ok to ask. This again shows interest in adapting to their culture because you care about them. Just don’t ALWAYS talk about it.

    -DEAF People

    Deaf-Pride vs Romantic Nature: At some time in your life you’ve likely attended a life-skills training about living independently in a hearing world or been raised with supportive parents that taught you to do for yourself, and take pride in your accomplishments. So, in many ways you walk around guarded, ready to say “I can do that myself just fine!” at any given time. If this is going to work, you need to take down those walls, or at least lower them a bit. Remember that any relationships it’s ok to let someone help, it’s often a sign of affection, not a challenge to your abilities. It’s like them saying “I’m here for you, because I actually CARE ABOUT/LOVE you. that said, if they start treating you like you CAN’T do something then speak up.

    Socializing Between Cultures: In social settings where most are hearing you may feel left out. The truth, while sad, is that you are being left out of most of the experience and conversations. It’s OK to talk to your partner about it before the event. Ask them what to expect it to be like, and tell them any concerns you might have without hesitation. It’ll be a better experience for you if your partner knows the level of involvement you want. That said, do not always expect them to translate everything. You should remember that some things that people verbally say don’t always translate well in to ASL. Instead, tell them you want the basics of the conversation. Trust me, the English language is full of double-meanings and nuances that it’s amazing hearing people can understand each other sometimes. Spoken English is more tolerant of new words than ASL. A good example of this is if a hearing person walks up to another hearing person and simply says “Knock-Knock” the hearing person associates this with the start of a joke they’ve heard several times in their lives. They also didn’t hear a knock at the door. However, A hearing person signing “knock, knock” might lead to you wondering “are they saying someone’s knocking at the door? What are they trying to say?” Finally, extend the concept of PRIDE to your relationship. You are proud to be with that person, right? When at deaf-events introduce them, involve them, and most importantly DEFEND them. Jokes where your date is the focal point should be considered rude, and you should say so.

    In closing, relationships and love truly have no boundaries of sight, sound, or other physical factors more than the one’s we place on them. If you love someone who’s deaf, love them first and try to treat as many challenges as opportunities to explore their culture. If you’re deaf and in love with a hearing person know that it’s not just “you” it’s “we” now. Don’t automatically to deafness being the reason things don’t work out. As a hearing person, I can tell you that we ALL are hurt when relationships don’t work. In the end, hearing or deaf, we all know that finding someone to share life’s experience with is worth the sadness and disappointment we had to endure to get there.

    I hope this helps.

    Reply
  83. Sharon January 6, 2017

    I’m curious. Throughout each life, hearing & seeing people almost always experience emotions mainly through senses of sight and sound in juxtaposition; eg, listening to music, watching movies, listening to inspiring talks, seeing acts of kindness, courage…etc….you all get the drift. So if a hearing challenged person were to be born that way by birth, or even made limited through sickness at a very early age, how then would he/she comprehend or even understand how to navigate and translate events or situations into the appropriate emotional experience with one vital sense unavailable (notwithstanding the other remaining senses of sight, taste, smell and touch). Sight and sound always work in tandem to produce a synergistic response. Lacking one would compound the absence of easy speech outlet for both parties, creating an emotional void and distance. This inevitably would breed a fertile startup to many unnecessary misunderstandings to come.

    I believe one needs to be brutally honest on why one is pursuing such a relationship. It takes a lot and even a lot more to be able to seek an equilibrium in a “normal” pairing, let alone one loaded at the beginning with open challenges. Unless one can be honest and not confuse guilt, sympathy, duty or whatever else, with genuine or true love, it will be a ticking time bomb where the opposite of two becomes one, will eventually implode to happen. I speak from a non biased experience.

    Be available as friends if both can and wants each other in each other’s lives, but never choose to morph into each other’s bitter melon as lovers or spouse. That sadly, can be a lose-lose situation for both with dire consequences.

    Reply
  84. Jan Jansen February 12, 2017

    My husband does not hear, and does not care. We have not communicated for years, because he refuses to think it’s important. this is shit.

    Reply
    • Jamie February 17, 2017

      Sorry to hear that. Show him this video when you’re both in a good mood and tell him someone sent it to you. https://youtu.be/ZD0fhCZFjjI Tell him this is how you feel too in your marriage. You want to be understood too. Do you know sign language? It will help greatly. Go for deaf counseling center where the counselor is trained.

      Reply
  85. Alice July 11, 2017

    My husband and I were married for 5 years before I lost my hearing.

    Before I’d lost my hearing I had always loved learning languages, so learning ASL was a fun new challenge for me. I quickly made friends in the Deaf community and embraced it.

    Unfortunately my husband has dyslexia, and learning sign language has been difficult for him. He’ll mime, and use facial expressions, but specific signs and fingerspelling are basically non-existent. Fortunately I can still speak, and I’ve been practicing lip-reading, so we’re able to communicate fairly well. Sometimes I can follow the conversation well enough that he’s convinced I’m hearing again, (which leads to it’s own issues) and he thinks I’m just ignoring him the rest of the time. There have been a few times that my husband has surprised me with learning a new sign and it was the sweetest gesture I’ve ever seen.

    Unfortunately, while I don’t see the hearing loss so much as a disability, my hearing loss resulted from me getting very sick. I had many seizures, migraines, falls, and other issues that were the likely cause of my hearing loss, and I think that this has caused my husband to resent my hearing loss. I see my hearing aids the same way I see my glasses, they just help me out. My husband seems to see them as proof that I’m not getting better.

    While I’m on new medications and the seizures have stopped, the migraines have gone down, and I’m basically living a normal life again, I still have difficulty hearing. I’ve tried to explain to my husband that this may just be the new normal, but he says that I’m just not trying hard enough to hear again. He sees the hearing aids and ASL as giving up, that I’m accepting this new normal too easily. (these are based off of direct quotes) Is this denial? I’m hoping that over time things will go back to at least somewhat normal again. Not so much with hearing, but with our relationship.

    Reply

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