Ask the chicken: My husband won’t let me turn on the subtitles on TV. What should I do?

Posted on November 18, 2017

At weekends, we post some of our most popular blogs. 

In an uncertain world, there’s one person you can turn to for dependable advice: the limping chicken. Offering sensible advice for all kinds of common deaf-related problems. Without further ado, here’s the first instalment of our new ‘agony chicken’ column…

J, Taunton, says:

I’ve become more deaf over the past couple of years and as a result, I now wear hearing aids.

At one point, I gave up watching television as I found it hard to understand it all (even with hearing aids). But then one of my friends told me about subtitles, and I tried it out. They’ve changed everything!

Subtitles took getting used to, but now I read them without thinking about it.

Just one problem.

In the evening, when my husband gets home, he won’t let me turn the subtitles on. He says they are too distracting.

So there’s all these programmes I want to watch – but I can’t understand them.

I usually just end up wandering upstairs to read my book. It’s driving a wedge between us.

Should I do something about it? I’m going out of my mind with how inconsiderate he is. And I’m getting a bit bored of my books.

The chicken says:

When this chicken read your email, a small tear rolled down my beak.

You poor, poor woman. You didn’t say whether your husband is selfish in other areas of your life, as well as when it comes to subtitles, but we’re betting he’s the kind of guy who puts empty milk bottles back in the fridge of a morning.

You’ve got two options. The first is the nuclear option – leave him. But that’s fairly extreme. Do you love him? If so, you might want to try something else first: putting your foot down.

Tell him that if you can’t have subtitles on, then he’s not watching television at all. Turn it off. Take the plug out.

He may be a bit startled, but then you can tell him how bored you’ve been and how unfair it is that you’re stuck reading books (boring) while he gets to watch Phil and Kirsty flog more houses (infinitely more exciting).

You may have a row, and he may storm out. You can then turn on the television and watch Location Location Location with full access – for an hour at least.

After that, if he still doesn’t see the error of his ways, and goes back to non-subtitled TV, then you may wish to consider said nuclear option: going your separate ways.

If you choose to move on, then we recommend you find a nice Deaf guy (there’s plenty around) or a more understanding hearing chap who you can snuggle up with to watch as many subtitled programmes as you want.


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