We're all human. This means we all lose our temper sometimes. In fact, many of us have yelled at our child then later thought we were terrible parents or lost our cool on our best friends because they said something mean.
However, there's a big difference between occasionally "losing your cool" and having a husband who yells at you day in and day out.
Although it can be hard to understand why your husband is yelling at you sometimes, it's important to learn the possible reasons behind this behavior and how to distinguish between run-of-the-mill frustration and something more serious.
Things to know
- Husbands often yell due to stress and mental health issues, but also when raised voices have been a part of conflict when growing up.
- When he yells at you, strike a balance between remaining calm and considerate but also remaining firm with your personal boundaries.
- Yelling could be a sign of an abusive relationship, so it's important you can spot the signs before it escalates.
We'll delve into the following to help you understand the situation further:
- Why Does My Husband Yell at Me?
- What Should I Do If My Husband Yells at Me?
- Understanding Different Types of Abuse
- Signs of An Abusive Relationship
- When To Seek Professional Help
- Can An Angry Partner Change?
- How To Get Out Of An Abusive Relationship Safely
- Remember, You Deserve Love And Happiness
Why Does My Husband Yell at Me?
Yelling could mean your husband is struggling with stress, or it could indicate a bigger problem like mental health issues.
When we think about why someone yells, we usually associate it with anger. However, there are many reasons why spouses yell at each other, and sometimes these angry voices have nothing to do with what's happening on the surface.
Here are some less obvious reasons why your husband might be yelling:
Stress is one of the most common causes of irritation and frustration for individuals. People often find it harder to control their emotions when they feel stressed, especially if they try to think or focus on their stress when someone interacts with them.
While this never excuses bad behavior, it can be important to recognize that your husband's anger could be coming from the increasing stress he feels. This can be especially true if your husband is dealing with a lot at work or you are having a hard time financially, as these are both common causes of stress.
2. Physical changes
As people age, their bodies undergo many physical changes. Sometimes, these changes can include fluctuations in hormone levels, including testosterone. This can cause irritability and other emotional side effects.
Sometimes, physical health complications can also impact sleep and digestive function. Unfortunately, both of these can affect emotional responses as well, which can lead to anger issues in men.
3. Lack of purpose
Men feel their best when they feel like their life has a purpose and that purpose fulfills them. Many men find this purpose in their careers or through parenting. However, sometimes men feel like they aren't living up to their own or others' expectations, or they may feel like their life is too monotonous to provide true purpose.
Over time, this lack of fulfillment can really wear a man down and cause him to lash out. Even though it's not a wife's fault, a husband may blame his spouse and yell or argue more often.
4. Undiagnosed mental illness
Men are significantly less likely to reach out to a mental health professional than women. Unfortunately, this means many men live with undiagnosed mental illness and never get the treatment they need to feel better.
Many mental health conditions cause mood swings and other changes that can present as anger or frustration. Untreated mental illness can also cause an increase in stress hormone production, which creates a vicious cycle of feeling angry, lashing out, and feeling guilty about the way he reacted to the situation, which then leads right back to anger.
We all have moments where we yell at someone, only to realize we were mad about something completely different the entire time. This is called projection. When we project, we displace our emotions (like anger) and place them somewhere else instead of where they belong.
Husbands may project their feelings of anger toward their spouse if they are having a difficult time at work or if they've reached a breaking point with another family member. Unfortunately, this projection often happens subconsciously, so your husband may not even realize he's doing it.
6. Family history
While this isn't always the case, there are situations where a partner's angry outbursts are learned from their upbringing. This can be especially common in older sons who witnessed their father yell often or in situations where one or both of the partner's parents used drugs or alcohol.
Unfortunately, dysfunctional families aren't the best setting for learning social skills, and conflict resolution and fair fighting are things that we typically learn through modeling from our parents. If this is the issue with your partner, counseling can help.
What Should I Do If My Husband Yells at Me?
Even if your husband seems to yell often and loudly, you may still have a perfectly happy marriage. In these instances, you may want to help your spouse work on controlling their aggression so they can eventually handle their emotions more effectively.
So if you don't want to leave him, and you're asking about what to do when your husband yells, these are some things you can do to handle the situation effectively and help him manage his emotions:
1. Stay calm
Most experts will tell you never to fight fire with fire - and for good reason. When we express anger, it engages a "fight or flight" response in the other person. So, if your husband is already angry, he will just grow angrier if you meet his emotional response with the same feelings.
Instead, it would help if you tried to remain calm and use diffusion techniques to help lower your spouse's emotional intensity. Often, expressing empathy and validation can help someone calm down, as can speaking with a soft, quiet voice.
Although it can be hard to meet someone's aggressive behavior with calmness, it can go a long way toward diffusing the situation.
2. Look at the situation from every angle
When your spouse has a short fuse, it can be easy to start assigning blame and picking the easiest explanation for their intense emotions. However, the obvious answer isn't always the correct one, especially when it comes to angry words and yelling. So, it may help to fully evaluate the situation before diving in too deeply.
3. Offer support
Sometimes when a husband yells or lashes out in anger, he's just looking for comfort and support. He may cover up his emotional pain or sadness with angry responses because he thinks it makes him seem "more like a man." So, why not give him what he really needs?
Like the first point, it can be hard to support someone who is saying mean things to you and behaving in a way that isn't acceptable. However, offering your support to a spouse in a time of need can really help them feel loved and appreciated, especially if their angry vibe is a way of covering up pain.
4. Try the fair fighting rules
If most of your partner's anger appears during disagreements between the two of you, the relationship fair fighting rules may help.
These rules lay the needed groundwork for couples to manage conflict effectively and fairly for both partners. These rules eliminate yelling and harmful remarks while allowing both people to speak their minds and work towards a joint resolution.
Although it takes time to learn these rules, they can be an excellent tool for high-conflict couples.
5. Set boundaries
Boundaries are essential in any marital relationship, but they can be especially beneficial in a situation where one spouse seems angry all the time.
Although we all feel angry sometimes, the long-term ramifications of constant verbal assault can take a toll on a woman and her children. So, don't be afraid to set some first boundaries and let your partner know you will not put up with abusive behavior at all.
When your husband yells or acts in a way that isn't calm, you can set a hard line for what you will and will not tolerate. This may mean you leave the house if he starts acting aggressively or you hang up when he screams into the phone. Whatever your breaking point is, let him know calmly and keep it consistent.
Understanding Different Types of Abuse
Obviously, the suggestions above on dealing with an angry spouse are very different than the advice an expert would offer if you were in an abusive relationship. But where do we draw the line between healthy anger and a partner whose anger issues are out of control?
Well, it may help if you understand the different types of abuse and what the warning signs of an abusive partner are. It also may help if you know what kinds of professionals can help you and your partner should any signs of abuse be present.
As many people know, not all abuse leaves a mark. Although physical abuse is the most apparent type of domestic violence, it's not the only type of marital abuse that occurs. In fact, there are several different types of relationship abuse.
Physical abuse involves some form of physical contact. This can include hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, or restraining a partner to inflict harm. This is the type of abuse people most often think of, but it isn't necessarily the most common form of relationship abuse.
Sometimes, a toxic husband will even try to make the physical abuse look like an accident or use excuses to dismiss it later. In more extreme cases, the spouse will lie when medical treatment for the abuse is provided.
Sexual abuse can involve forcing or withholding sex as a weapon or form of control over a partner. We most commonly think of rape or sexual assault when discussing this type of abuse, but it can involve so much more than that.
Often, sexual abuse is a power play, and the abusive partner uses it as a way to maintain control over their spouse. They may even become violent if the submissive partner puts up a fight, and they rarely stop to consider the partner's feelings about the sexual acts.
Emotional abuse involves using emotions to control a partner. Usually, emotionally abusive partners will make their spouses feel ashamed or embarrassed. It can also include blaming and criticizing to the point that the other person feels like a failure.
Emotional abuse is often meant to wear down a partner's self-esteem to the point where they begin to believe what they hear. They may even lead to depression or other mental illnesses, like eating disorders.
Verbal abuse can also be emotional abuse, but it primarily involves using words like weapons. It can also include lots of yelling and harsh language.
Similarly to emotional abuse, verbal abuse is often a tactic to wear down the other partner without "leaving a mark." However, it can take years to heal from a verbally abusive relationship.
Psychological abuse is often connected with verbal and emotional abuse, but it is a specific type of abuse where one partner wears down the other one's mental health to the point that they question their sanity.
These partners will often confuse their wives by going between being mean and harmful to being kind and caring. It makes it confusing for the wife to predict what's coming next, which contributes to the feeling of insanity that occurs.
Financial abuse is a type of abuse where one partner controls all of the couple's money. It's a tactic many abusive partners use to keep someone from leaving the relationship.
As you can see, abusive spouses come in many forms. And while a husband who yells isn't always abusive, there are many times that the yelling is just one indicator of abuse.
If any of these types of abuse sound like something you've dealt with, then it may be time to seek professional help. Or, if things are bad enough, you may want to consider moving out, whether as a temporary measure or for something more long-term. At this point, you should definitely confide in a trusted friend.
Signs of An Abusive Relationship
With so many different types of abuse that can go on in a relationship, it can be hard for someone to really know whether or not their partner's behavior constitutes abuse:
However, there are several key warning signs of an abusive relationship, including:
- strong feelings at the beginning of the relationship
- hypersensitivity and defensiveness
- controlling behavior
- unrealistic, often impossible expectations for the partner
- severe mood swings
- threats of physical violence, sometimes with the follow up of it being "a joke"
- frequent outbursts of anger, often without prompting
- inability to respect boundaries, especially when it comes to sex
- regular put-downs or jokes at the partner's expense
- physical harm in the form of hitting, kicking, etc.
- complete control over all finances
Regardless of what signs of abuse are present, if your spouse frequently makes you feel bad about yourself or takes out all of their aggression towards you, then chances are likely your husband's behavior isn't just typical angry responses but rather abusive actions.
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is trust your gut or confide in someone you trust to get an objective perspective on your relationship. You just may find that the things you've put up with are actually red flags to your friends and family.
When To Seek Professional Help
While your husband's anger issues may not seem like a big deal all the time, the fact is these outbursts can quickly escalate into something more. In fact, a partner can go from yelling at you to hitting you without any warning — and nobody deserves that.
If you feel like your husband's anger is caused by underlying stress or similar issues, it may be worth reaching out to a marriage counselor or individual therapist to get some professional help.
These trained individuals can help your partner learn coping skills and more effective tools to help them channel their anger and express it in a way that isn't harmful. Similarly, they can help you learn what is normal behavior and what isn't so you can make the best decision for yourself and your children (if you have kids) on whether or not to stay in this relationship.
There's no shame in asking for help, especially if you feel like your husband's anger has gotten worse recently or you feel like you have reached your breaking point in terms of what you're willing to deal with.
Can An Angry Partner Change?
Anyone is capable of change, even a partner with anger issues. However, no one can change if they aren't willing to put in the work, so you have to decide if your partner truly wants to change or not.
If you've been asking "why does my husband yell at me" for a while now, taken action, and nothing's changed, you might have to consider some unpleasant next steps.
Chances are, if your partner really wants to change, they will need to find a therapist to work with for a while. They will need to get to the root cause of their emotions, learn how to cope with their feelings, practice coping skills to help them deal with these feelings, and make lifestyle changes to help them manage their anger.
This process can take months or even years, depending on the severity of their angry outbursts and the underlying causes. It takes a lot of patience on your end and a lot of work on theirs, but the work is often well worth the reward on the other side.
If you're willing to wait and you see your partner putting in the effort toward change, then your future will be bright. Just remember that even people who are trying their hardest have good days and bad days, and one bad day doesn't mean that your partner is incapable of change.
How To Get Out Of An Abusive Relationship Safely
Despite your partner's flaws or anger issues, chances are you love them with all your heart. Unfortunately, sometimes love alone isn't enough to make a romantic relationship work, especially if your partner is verbally or physically harming you in some way. A happy life is one in which you feel safe, not like you're constantly walking on eggshells for your safety.
Whether it's the first time your husband has yelled at you or this is the second time he's done it in the past hour, you get to decide when you've had enough and want to leave. If you think it's time to leave, know that you have options. You can talk to friends or family members to plan where you will stay and how or when you will leave.
If you do not have any local support, you can also contact local shelters or use hotlines to get information about your options. Depending on the specifics of your situation, it may not be wise to tell your husband when you are leaving or where you are going.
Instead, you may want to leave when they are not home and take steps to keep your location private until you can thoroughly assess your safety. Even after you leave, you may need to get a new phone or at least check the settings and apps installed on your device. The same applies to other electronic devices, such as laptop computers or tablets.
You may also want to go no contact with your partner for a while and, if needed, obtain an order of protection from the court system. These measures may seem extreme, but they can also keep you safe.
Eventually, you may find a time and place where it is safe to talk to your husband again and try to work through your issues. However, you should never risk your safety just to talk to him — remember that.
Remember, You Deserve Love And Happiness
All couples fight and yell at each other sometimes. However, if your husband is yelling and screaming at you out of anger on a fairly regular basis, that isn't healthy, and you definitely don't deserve it.
No matter how long you've been together and what you've been through, the fact is that nobody deserves to live in a house with someone who verbally abuses them and makes them feel awful all the time.
You can still love someone and set boundaries or take other measures to protect your heart and your health. Sometimes couples find that a trial separation helps really put things into perspective so they can both improve and eventually come back together.
Other times, partners are set in their ways and unwilling to change. If this is the case, then no about of help or pleading from you is going to help your partner change and stop yelling at you all the time. If that's the case, then it's time to pack your bags and leave.
Sometimes, love alone isn't enough to make a relationship last a lifetime, but you are always enough on your own, no matter what obstacles life throws your way. You deserve a partner who sees you and appreciates you, not one who makes you feel awful for who you are.
So no matter what happens in your marriage, remember this: you deserve love and happiness no matter what.
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