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What could be the cause and solution of listening problem?

Jun 2013
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Answered by
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2219 Questions
This question is for my wife. She has a very bad lisetning problem. I have to repeat everything at least 3 times for her to hear properly. There is nothing wrong with her ear. She does hear things well. I am pretty sure it is a concentration problem. She is not able to concentrate on what someone is saying. For example, if I say something when not looking at her, she will never understand what I am saying. However, if I am looking at her and say the same thing at the same volume, she is able to understand it instantaneously. Is this there any solution to this problem?
Posted Thu, 19 Dec 2013 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Sushil Kumar Sompur 8 hours later
Brief Answer: Need more information Detailed Answer: Hello there ~ You seem to contradict yourself by saying that your wive has a very bad listening problem and that there is "nothing wrong with her ear and that she does hear things well". I wonder if she has selective hearing / hearing loss which is common in domestic issues and new relationship. It is also a way of control where the person feigning hearing loss is trying to get what they want. I also believe that your wife has no problems concentrating as this as well as the problem with hearing are totally different problems. This said, your next questions makes that situation a slightly complicated one. I wonder if your wife is autistic (high functioning type) where eye contact is a must to make her understand what you are saying otherwise she is in her own la-la land and is not able to grasp anything you say. It may also be easily to communicate at the dinner table and at the coffee table when you are making eye contact since there is no external disturbance e.g. music, television, kids, kitchen obligations etc to settle things down a bit. For all that she may be feigning symptoms to get what she wants. I information I need is about your living situation, the amount of your married life and the intensity with which you enjoy each other's company, any extraneous influences like in-laws in your marriage, work stressors, sexual problems, personal medical/surgical problems, past issues that need to be protected by each other no matter what (confidentiality), etc, etc and the list may go on. I hope this helps. I am sure you have a lot of ideas now and can start working down a list of priorities that you want straightened out. I hope she is aware of your wanting solutions to your problems as much as you do. Take care and I look forward to hearing from you! Have a lovely one!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What could be the cause and solution of listening problem? 22 hours later
Hello Dr. XXXXXXX XXXXXXX Thanks for the detailed answer. The reason I said contradictory statements was that, she had got her ears checked at an ENT's place and he did not find any issues with them. He said clearly, the problem is in the mind. She has no problems in hearing when talking on the phone or 1to1 situations that you have mentioned. However, problems come when say she is in the kitchen and I say something from the drawing room. I have to repeat the sentence at least 3 times. Also, by that time she has almost entered the drawing room. You may be right about this being a case where she is feigning hearing loss to get what she wants. How do I confirm this? What are the exact symptoms of a person who is feigning a fake hearing loss? Coming to your other questions: Just to give you some background, I am an engineer working in a MNC and my wife is a homoeopath. She works at a clinic where she has to go everyday in the evening 5-8:30. She was in Ahmedabad before marriage and moved here after that. We have been married for the last 9 months now. We do enjoy each other's company and she does make me feel that she is very happy with me. (eg: she keeps telling me that I am a very nice person and she is happy/lucky to have me in her life, her parents keep praising about me to her etc.. ). These things have been going on from Day 1 of our relationship. Sexual problems: We have not been able to have a successful intercourse so far due to multiple reasons. Initially I had erection issues due to an over sensitive glans (which was a result of slightly tight foreskin). I worked on that and now my foreskin is loose and the glans sensitivity has reduced and I am able to maintain erection for a longer period now. I think we should be able to have successful intercourse in the next few weeks. Other reasons being tiredness after the days work some stress factors which I describe below. My parents have been staying with us for 7/9 months so far. During that period she has had some issues with them. 1. She likes to talk to her parents on phone everyday for ~30 mins or so. My parents dont like that and that resulted in some clashes. She claims that my parents keep track of her every movement when I am not at home and that makes her feel like a prisoner. I think it might be true partially but she is definitely exaggerating when complaining about my parents. 2. My mom does not like things being wasted in the kitchen (like too much water/detergent for washing utensils) and unfortunately, my wife has a tendency to use excess of everything. So my mom would have told her a few times to reduce wastage. She didnt take it well and that resulted in some clashes. She has a habit of loosing her temper quickly and speak whatever comes to her mind. This has led to an overall increase in stress. 3. My wife has a habit of eating very spicy and hot food while my mom doesnt cook that spicy. Usually dinner is cooked by my mom since wife goes to work. Almost everyday she complains about the blandness of dinner and how she ate it by forcing herself (complaints are in private to me). Anyway all the above three things have also been the source of stress to me (since i dont have anyone to complain to :-)). She claims that she is highly stressed by all this and that stress is affecting her as a person. In general, she has very bad concentration (which again might be feigned) and she blames everything to stress. She claims she was not like this (short tempered) before marriage but I dont think that is true. Another main reason why she claims is stressed is that we havent been able to have intercourse. She keeps saying she wants a baby (as she is 29) as soon as possible. I am not that keen on a baby so soon after marriage but have given in to her daily coaxing. I have tried to give as much info as I could. Please let me know if you need anything more in specific.
Answered by Dr. Sushil Kumar Sompur 43 minutes later
Brief Answer: Answer: Malingering Detailed Answer: Although it is difficult on an online forum to ask and get all the information, I am very close to being sure that your wife is malingering. The cardinal symptoms can be found on the following link: WWW.WWWW.WW After you read the above please do the following: 1. Talk to your wife, starting with the hearing problem and the evidence you have for there being no problem and that you have had a consultation with an online doctor and have her read the article as well. 2. Talk to her frankly about sexual intercourse, being married for so long an not having consummated your marriage is a serious deal and should not be ignored. Although sex is not everything in marriage, it is an important part and leads to bonding and the sense of being "married". 3. If you know that she is exaggerating complaints about your parents, its a part of her malingering behavior, again please gently confront her about this and have a XXXXXXX discussion (NOT an argument) along with her and your parents together. 4. If your wife is not getting along with your mother in the kitchen, have them schedule days in which each of them gets to use the kitchen on certain days - maybe alternate days - and the other will not talk about whatever is going on in the kitchen, just that it has to be the way it was at the beginning for the next person the next time around. 5. Everybody has different tastes, and if your wife does not like not-so-spicy food, you can give her ideas in private that she could use spices on her food, for example she could use sauces, condiments, etc of her liking to make her food taste like it should. May sound like an easy solution which is not but is worth a try. If your wife cannot compromise and / or adjust to this new situation, she probably will not to any other new situation, be it work or friends or travel or food or whatever and she might just be saying that she "loves it" even though she actually doesn't because she does have a problem - Malingering. The fact that your anxiety is going up due to this situation that you have tried to cope with in the best possible manner indicates that there is a problem with your wife. If having her educated about her problem does not help, give her examples of your friends who are doing well in situation similar to this though no two situations are the same. If its all about the baby and you are able to have sexual intimacy, i.e. penetrative sexual intercourse with her and are not able to conceive even after 6 months of trying, get yourself and your wife checked out; by specialists; psychiatrist and gynecologist. There are many ways to get pregnant, however I suggest that you make sure you want to live with your wife to raise that baby. Babies are not the answer to relationships that have gone sour due to problems in your spouse a.k.a malingering. That said there are limits to coping and if you think you have crossed yours please consult a couple's counselor. It is better to be out of a bad marriage than to be in one where your partner is not adjustable/compromising of any situation and does not give even one ear to any of the solutions to the so called problems that come up. I hope this helps. I wish you the very best. Take care of yourself and have a good one! Dr. Sushil Kumar Sompur
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