This post is about people having successful relationships while dealing with their own disabilities. Shelle asked me to write this post because she knew that I would be the perfect guest blogger.
How can I be the perfect guest blogger? That's because I have a disability, and you wouldn't be able to tell what kind of disability I have unless I tell you or you talk to me in person. If you're smart, you'll have figured out by now that I am...deaf. Shocker, I know. LOL
People have asked either one of us how we could possibly maintain a successful relationship when it's widely known that the divorce rate for deaf/hearing spouses (my wife is hearing) is so much higher than the rate for those who are both hearing. My answer to that is "honesty and open communication".
I am pretty sure that the first thing that popped in your head upon reading the word "communication" is "How when he's deaf?" and that is quite understandable. This happens to me more often than you realize. Sure, it is very handy (if you'll pardon the pun) that my wife is fluent in sign language and is an interpreter. ;) However, that is not the point - she and I have always told each other exactly how we feel about anything without any fear or hesitation.
The second key to a successful relationship is remembering that I have been able to function in the world by myself. My wife, in the beginning, tried to "help" me by acting as my interpreter and I would gently remind her that I have coped successfully for 30 years...before meeting her. It can be too easy to rely on my wife to act as a liaison between me and the world. I only ask her for help when it is absolutely necessary.
The third key is respect. Without mutual respect for each other, we would be fighting about everything and nothing. We barely fight and when we do fight, it is always brief because we adhere to the "no kitchen sink" rule. Let me explain that rule with an example. You're arguing with your spouse about who should be doing the dishes when you bring up the chore of taking out the trash. You've violated the rule by going off the subject...which was about doing the dishes and taking out the trash has nothing to do with that. By saying "what does that have to do with what we are talking about?", you return to the subject at hand.
You know what's funny? All the key points I touched on in the post above...applies equally to every couple, even if both do not have any form of disability. This applies to friendships as well.
I love my wife very much, even if she frustrates me some of the time. Oh, I am positive that I drive her crazy too. Remembering the rules is our secret to a successful relationship. If I feel that she hasn't been listening to me, I will let her know. Relationships are just like streets - they work both ways. ;)
If you are very curious about me and you would like to learn more about me, please feel free to visit me at my new blog and ask me questions in there. My identity there will not be Nolens Volens, so I would like to ask all of you to respect my desire to keep both NV and DCHY identities separate.
1 year ago