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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. No excuse not to learn the main communication style of the one your love.
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! Tell him what you just said.
He is deaf but can understand.
If you need time to clear your thoughts do so. Another way to communicate is via Skype or any video app. Deaf people can have hearing children or deaf children and they are normal anyway.