Anyone suffered from relationship issues from communication troubles due to Dyslexia?

e.g. not hearing what your partner says or mainly not processing what they say, so that they think you are not listening or must have heard but are asking what - when actually you haven't heard at all what they have said. This mainly occurs when background noise, tv, washing machine, road, car engine, radio etc... or even with no noise when you are focussing on something else - like cooking, you focus so hard on that thing that everything else is blocked out. is this just me? Is this related to Dyslexia?

12 Replies

  • My husband is dyslexic and, bless him, quite often appears not to be listening ( maybe it's just me!!!!). I had never put the link together before but it is especially when the TV is on. I have to mute the TV before I tell him something important. I am aware that this is part of being dyslexic, and although it sometimes drives me mad, I know that he can't help it. My son is also dyslexic, but he also has Sensory processing disorder, particularly linked to sound - he is over-sensitive to sounds, and he struggles to cut out background noises to focus on what is being said. School was a disaster for him - too noisy! the normal sound 'filters' don't seem to work.

    My husband tries to explain to people that he is dyslexic and that sometimes they will need to talk slowly or repeat something to help him. He struggled in his last job with an unsymapthetic boss who kept giving him lots of verbal instructions and refused to write them down, then he would get in trouble for forgetting things. He has left this job, as, with age, he has decided that life's too short to spend with people who don't treat him with the respect he deserves - the same for friends - if they criticise him, they are obviously not true friends, and there are lots of nicer people out there who will be more understnading.

    Sorry - a bit of a waffle, but hope it helps - good luck and don't let anyone criticise you, I bet you are better at some things than us non-dyslexics!

  • Hi

    I know where your coming from although (thank you spell check) in my case I have a job in concentration and don't always try. Processing is a problem but try harder at the concentration with nosey background it will improve. I've been married for 48 years and only discovered I am dyslexic last year I've always been the way I am and as my wife love's me she is long past seeing my problems. I know your partner will be the same.

    Regards for future Don

  • Yes I do and I have read it is common among dyslexics. It's why we are often diagnosed (or more likely misdiagnosed) with ADD. I think maybe it's because we are mainly visual thinkers and we hear "blah-blah-blah" and realize someone is talking to us. By the time we switch over to our weaker left brains the person is half done with what they were saying. Another problem we have is being narrative thinkers something they say can trigger a scene in our head that distracts us down another thought path.

    When a normal left-brain thinker ignores you it's because they think you are boring or unimportant. Let your partner know that is not the case. The problem is with you, not them.

    Another problem to watch out for is my husband will ask me a question and gets upset if I can't answer him in ten words or less. I recently told him dyslexics think in stories rather than facts and he said "Oh, that's why you can't give me a straight answer."

    It can be a challenge living with someone who literally thinks differently than you, but if you can make it work it will be a stronger partnership since you can utilize each other strengths and make up each others weaknesses. Believe it or not, normals are in awe of some of the things dyslexics can do more easily than them.

    By the way, I've been happily married 28 years. BROWNDON above has been married 48. So yes, it can work.

  • Thanks for the feedback everyone. I guess my next question is have any of you experienced any ways/training to help address the concentration issues.

    I agree with you there are things i am good at but this part of my life is highly frustrating. i guess it is releiving to know that other people have this challenge with communication. I actually laughed out loud to hear UaLiathain say about telling everything in a story, it is like i have to tell every detail as it happened which i realise for someone not involved in the situation i am describing, it can be quite boring. Any recommendations on ways to improve listening skills and how not to be distracted by "noise" would be great - I can only seem to find stuff for children at school - not adults who know the basics of a phenetic (not sure that is spelled right?) alphabet.

    Glad to hear you have happy long relationships.

    It is weird really as my understanding of dyslexia was problems with numbers, or writing and reading but not listening and communicating in general. I never knew it was so hard to be dyslexic or be married to one :)

  • my son has never been chatty. but also I have always found it hard to really concentrate with alot of noise or distractions around me. my son never got statement but has dyslexia. he can read and write now but his writing can be untidy. Also - I cannot cook very well when people are talking to me. He can put furniture together without reading word instructions u know just diagrams and he was always good at lego -stuff like that. He lacks confidence even though he is a good looking young man.

  • I haven't got dyslexia - my son has. I have always loved reading so it upsets me that he doesn't read much. He is still at college.

  • I m dyslexic myself, I too have been married for 24 years. I find it is hard on my marriage. We do love each other but it's frustrating for my husband as he really doesn't understand it. I tried talking to him about it but he can't comprehend. He has know I'm dyslexic since we were dating back in H.S. I have know I am dyslexic since I was in 1 first grade. I learned to live with myself and I'm ok with it. I have a good career and I work 3 times harder than most people. I just wish he was more compassionate and knowledgable on the subject. It would be nice to really feel happy and free knowing he is understanding. Thank you everyone for your experiences and post.

  • I've been with my partner 10 years and she and i sometimes struggle with the fact that we have very different brains but most of the time they complement each other and we work as a team.

    The thing about stories is v familiar.

    When we met up for the first time she asked me 'How did you get here?'

    I gave her a very descriptive account of my journey with every left and right, every road I crossed and landmarks along the way.

    'So, you walked, you didn't come in a car then?' she responded.

    Luckily I only thought to describe the journey from my house to the campsite she was staying at; not my entire life til that moment.

    (I saved that for the next 10 years!)

    I think I have quite good hearing. But if you are going to ask me to listen to you whilst there is central heating on, a water urn / kettle on, a fan heater on let alone a TV etc. I think we might need to move to another room...

    I know people can find this extraordinary.

    I also find it extraordinary that people can routinely filter / screen out other things that seem so loud to me.

    But then, when I tend to answer a phone, I often go into a corner to block out other visual stimuli too.

    But neither do I walk down the street shouting into a mobile phone and ignoring the effect on everything else in the environment.

    But sometimes it can be the concentration required for chopping the onions and tomatoes etc. or triple checking that i've set the dial to the tight temperature that is a barrier to hearing.

    My partner will sometimes say, 'I'm going to tell you something, now....'

    It's like a cue. I guess, in effect, she is asking, 'So, are you ready? Are you actually listening right now?'

    For my part, I have done a number of trainings in visual, listening and kinaesthetic skills that have contributed to my practicing as a multi-disciplined artist, bodywork therapist and counsellor.

    I think for much of the time, people act in ways that do not create the conditions for the attention that rel hearing etc needs.

    Do you ever have conversations that are interrupted by people scrolling through messages on their mobile phones?

    Not everyone hears the birds or smells the roses.

    But we can all improve on our listening skills - in fact all our senses - all the time.

    I practice things that are often referred to as meditation or mindfulness.

    Maybe you might have a go at listing 3 sights, sounds, smells, tastes and things you feel each day...

    My experience is that people find having someone really, really listen to them and give them their (as far as is possible) undivided attention is very rare and wonderfully precious.

    May it happen for you both.

  • Hi friendlylion your descriptions ring so true. The onion example is identical to what I experience. It is even worse after a hard day at work. It is as if I have run out of brain power. Even in conversations sometimes when I am trying to make a point sometimes I think so hard about what I am trying to say that I go completely blank.

    It would be great to know what meditation or visualisation techniques you use to help you. I have looked up several things and tried memory tests etc but haven't really got anywhere. Thanks

  • Hi Pavarotti Slater (if that is right?)

    i definitely run out of brain power - i also have to manage my M.E. / chronic fatigue syndrome...

    well, i'm afraid i have been doing this kind of thing for about 30 years now, and whilst I'm no master, its never too late to start... or keep going...

    certainly trying to concentrate just on one's breathing (e.g. for 2 minutes at a time) is a good start

    sometimes watching the sunset / sunset, the waves breaking on the shore, or the wind blowing through the trees,

    or listening to one particular birdsong, or the sond of a drum

    or appreciating one flower is meditation.

    Sometimes it might be tasting - really tasting - one raisin, a grain of salt or a tiny piece of raw chocolate (i.e .being present with what you choose to put in your mouth rather than indulgent)

    and sometimes it is doing the washing up or pegging out the washing whilst simply giving full attention to what you are doing rather than 'being somewhere else'...

    if we keep in touch I might tell you other things sometime,

    but there are a few things already

    i dont claim any of this is easy

    and i think it takes commitment

    but in a year's time, you might look back and see you've done an awful lot!

  • Hi I have had relationship problems as I often get accussed of not listening and I forget within minuets sometimes what has just been said to me. Or my partner at the time has asked me to remember something and i have forgoten about it and has got angry at me. I offten forget to do things and some times my speach is not good and get muddled when talking and easly get tired and need to sleep. I do not mean to do any of these things but i can not help it

  • Thanks so much they a some good ideas to try and to start with. I appreciate your help :)

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