“Some people should use a gluestick instead of chapstick.” This meme appeared on my Facebook newsfeed this morning and I identified. My mind zoomed to Trump and his tweeting fingers in the middle of the night, but it’s really more personal for me than that. I’m using a gluestick more and more as I face my husband’s hearing loss.

I’ve had my share of morning-after regrets, wishing for a redo of the day before. “Oh, why did I say that!” This is when email is so great. Apologies flow easily from the keyboard. Just one sentence sets everything straight, at least on this end.

Yakking is on my mind a lot lately. My husband’s hearing loss is getting worse, AND he resists wearing hearing aids around the house. I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t like it either. Apparently I have a resistance of my own– forgetting he can’t understand me unless we’re face-to-face. Or if there is too much background noise. Or his cereal is crunching in his ears. Road noise means no car talking, and this has been especially hard to remember. What if we took a long road trip for fun. Would it be?

The frustration of living this way has made this subject blog-worthy. Bill and I have always talked a lot. It’s why we’ve been together so long and why we once dubbed our love seat the “communication station”. This glitch in the way we relate is taking it’s toll. I’m coping with the frustration by talking less, but putting a sock in it is turning out to be a very big challenge. I love people and sometimes get carried away with much blibber blabber. Happy to report that the fine art of “thinking before I speak” is slowly sinking in.

Adapting to His Hearing Loss Made Me Cut the Small Talk

My frustration of not being heard and having to repeat myself is forcing me re-evaluate what’s really important enough to say out loud. In order to avoid repeating everything and perhaps punching someone in the nose, I’m learning to censor what I say. I do this already to a certain extent in the effort to not hurt feelings or step on toes, but now I’m working on cutting down on small talk.

All this non-talk makes for a very quiet household, but I’m beginning to appreciate the silence more. After all, he can’t help his hearing loss, so snippy responses or yelling the repeats is not fair. Adapting is mandatory. I’ll let you know whether silence is truly golden.

Patience, aw, patience. Definitely not in my skillset.

SECRET: Pay attention to their eyes. The next time you’re talking to someone and see their eyes wandering around the room, you know it’s time to wind it down. They are done listening in their heads so you’re wasting your breath. And, making sure they’ll be avoiding you the next time.