2
Aug
2006

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.

218 Comments
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. sandra407 September 9, 2009

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

    Reply
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. Jennifer April 22, 2012

    Thanks. 🙂

    Reply
  23. 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
  24. Jennifer April 23, 2012

    Thank you for that very helpful response.

    Reply
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. AlisonE January 13, 2013

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

    Reply
  36. andria deafy January 13, 2013

    Okay …
    AlisonE

    I understand that..
    You’re welcome

    Reply
  37. 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
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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
  41. 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
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. 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
  47. 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
  48. 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
  49. 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
  50. Blue May 19, 2014

    We cannot judge anyone! PEOPLE.

    Reply
  51. 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
  52. 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
  53. 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
  54. 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
  55. 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
  56. 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..

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  57. 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!

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  58. 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
  59. 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
  60. 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
  61. 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
  62. 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
  63. 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
  64. 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
  65. 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
  66. 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
  67. 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
  68. 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

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