DEAR ABBY: After living with my husband's gradual hearing loss for several years and his refusal to get hearing aids, I finally asked him to get them as a birthday gift to me. He agreed, and I expected that he would wear them once he got them. When he does, it greatly improves his hearing. Instances of my having to repeat myself diminish noticeably. But he seldom wears them when he's at home with me.

I mentioned to him several times how important it was to me, then gave up. I managed to deal with it until the pandemic forced us to stay home so much of the time. I brought it up again recently, referencing the stay-at-home order and how much I would appreciate his wearing them, but he still wears them only occasionally.

I feel disrespected because he isn't willing to do this small thing to make both our lives easier during this period of confinement. How do you suggest I explain this to him so he "hears" me?

-- Still frustrated in California

DEAR STILL FRUSTRATED: This may not be a matter of your husband "tuning you out." Have you asked him why he doesn't wear the hearing aids? Could it be they are uncomfortable and need adjusting? Is inserting the batteries difficult because they are so tiny? Is he bothered by the amplified background noise? Once you know why he is resistant, you can consult the doctor who prescribed the devices.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.