Great discussion over at Filipino Deaf about deaf and hearing marriages and when the wife is deaf vs. when the husband is deaf.
From the post:
This leads me back to my main query, how successful is a deaf marrying a hearing person? Here are my succinct personal assessments on the four couples I had the opportunity to be acquainted with:
* The hearing wife is a skilled signer. She had a deep immersion on deaf culture and its peculiarity.
* The deaf husband is a well respected leader of the community. He has the appeal and at the same time, the intellectual maturity compared to other male deaf of the same age.
* Since deaf people are more straightforward in dealing with things, hearing wives tend to be more forbearing and patient with their deaf husbands than the other way around.
I guess I don’t count here because the closest I ever immersed myself in the deaf culture was participating in the deaf group in the Department of Transportation in Washington, DC. We had over 30 of us. Most I’ve ever met.
A friend of mine’s father is deaf and mother is hearing. Based on her stories and my experience, I would’ve thought it was easier to have the wife be deaf rather than the husband in a mixed marriage.
While I try not to think in stereotypes, husband often tend to be the stronger person in the marriage (not always!). My friend said her dad didn’t say much or get involved with the parental duties much. Since women have the advantage of birthing babies and all, I figure a deaf woman has a better chance of being involved as a parent than a deaf man. I’m lucky my husband is an involved dad.
There’s the discussion of interpretation. I communicate for myself, but I also do a lot of communication online. The only time my husband gets involved is when he recognizes my facial expressions and asks, “Did you catch that?”
I could slap him when he says that in front of the person! Of course, I wouldn’t do that. But I don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings for not catching what he/she said. That’s the extent of his help from a communications perspective.
Sounds like a potential topic for a graduate student’s thesis.