HEARING: Biggest relationship ‘boiling points’ revealed in new survey

Close to half of UK adults (42%) say that ‘my partner not listening to me’ or ‘having to repeat myself’ is what really gets them seeing red, a new survey has revealed.

The research, commissioned by Specsavers Audiologists, revealed that a simple breakdown of communication is what causes the most tension in relationships.

60% said they feel frustrated when their partner doesn’t listen to them, one in five said their partner not listening to them made them feel lonely and one in seven said it made them feel sad. Other boiling points included arguing over what to have for dinner (11%) and the in-laws (6%).

Being a good listener is key

The research of 2,002 UK adults also revealed that ‘being a good listener’ is the quality most valued in a partner (42%).

The findings show good communication is key to a happy relationship. However, many people may jump to the conclusion that their partner is choosing not to listen to them, when actually, they have hearing loss. Specsavers is working to remove the stigma associated with hearing loss and hearing aids, to help couples communicate better.

Of those asked, 82% said they would not be put off their partner if they started wearing a hearing aid.

Many unwilling to admit hearing loss

Specsavers chief audiologist Gordon Harrison said: ‘Our research shows that communication is key to a happy relationship and that partners feel frustrated when they’re not being listened to or having to repeat themselves. While people often jump to the conclusion that their other half is simply not interested in what they have to say, this is often not the case. Many people have hearing loss but are not aware, or not willing to admit, they have a problem.

‘That’s why we at Specsavers encourage everyone – particularly those over 55 – to get their hearing checked. Hearing aids are now so discreet and they can transform lives, and possibly even relationships.’

The Specsavers survey also found

  • 25-34-year-olds are the most concerned about losing their hearing (72%)
  • 52% of UK adults worry that they are losing their hearing
  • 34% of UK adults would rather miss out on conversation than admit they can’t hear – with this applying to more men than women (38% compared to 31%)
  • 45% of UK adults would avoid going out to social gatherings due to their hearing loss, with reasons including: they wouldn’t want to have to keep asking people to repeat themselves (24%), being afraid of people noticing their hearing aid (19%) and finding loud music disorientating (17%)

Visit an audiologist

Specsavers recommends that anyone over the age of 55 should have their hearing checked every two years, and if they are concerned about their hearing, make an appointment to see their local Specsavers audiologist. 

Click here to find out where your nearest Specsavers store is or to book a hearing check


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