Who likes to be yelled at? Nobody. It’s disrespectful, can be traumatizing, and damages the foundations of your marriage. Readers have shared with us, “My husband yells at me. It makes me angry/sad/go numb.” If you relate to that, then tell us, is yelling a pattern for him? You need to know that this behavior is a form of emotional abuse, and you are under no circumstance obliged to take this.
You can walk away from the conversation or the relationship itself if it is taking a toll on your mental health because nothing is more important than your peace of mind. To find out more about how to handle a yelling husband, we reached out to counseling psychologist Namrata Sharma (Masters in Applied Psychology), who is a mental health and SRHR advocate and specializes in offering counseling for toxic relationships, trauma, grief, relationship issues, gender-based and domestic violence.
We ask her, is yelling a pattern? She says, “Yelling can possibly be a pattern if your husband very frequently indulges in such acts. As the yelling increases, so does the aggression and anger.”
Why Do Husbands Yell At Their Wives?
You might be having a hard time navigating why your husband shouts at you often, what is rubbing him the wrong way, and causing him to react in such a volatile way. Most of the time, the yelling isn’t about you, but about them. Here’s a common concern a reader from Nevada shared with us, “What does it mean when your husband yells at you for no reason? I am not sure what’s happened to him. I just want to know why my husband yells at me nowadays. I don’t know how to react when my spouse says hurtful things.” Below are some of the answers, as unfair and unjustified as they are.
1. Stress – one of the reasons husbands yell at their wives
My friend Anya, who has been married for six years, said, “I want to know why my husband yells at me in public or when we’re alone. He was never like this. Something seems off with him and his out of the blue yelling makes me anxious. I shut down when my husband yells at me.” It could be because of the stress he’s facing at work (though that’s certainly not an excuse to yell). A person who is stressed goes through many emotions. They feel frustration, anger, and anxiety.
When your husband screams at you, it could be because of work stress. Maybe he has a deadline for a presentation, or there’s been a financial setback he hasn’t told you about, or he could be guilty of hiding something bigger from you. Anything can be the reason behind this stress. The next time your husband yells out of nowhere, you need to sit down with him and get to the root of his stress that’s making him act up.
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2. Communication issues
Namrata says, “The central reason behind your husband yelling at you could be miscommunication or lack of communication. The husband feels that his wife is either not able to comprehend where he’s coming from or doesn’t care about understanding his side of things.
“Communication problems in relationships are quite common. A husband’s yelling could come out of feeling misunderstood or not heard. He feels like his wife isn’t interested in having a conversation with him. This frustrates him and he resorts to yelling. He raises his voice in order to get her attention. But that’s when things take a different turn. The man’s partner feel disrespected and they revert by getting defensive. If you want to stop a yelling husband, then first have a look at your own communication issues.”
3. They are going through intense emotions
What does it mean when your husband yells at you? It could mean that they are going through a turmoil of emotions they aren’t able to endure. When you can’t pinpoint where the yelling is coming from, then maybe your partner is going through a bundle of emotions. It’s a known fact that when someone screams, it’s because of one of the six different emotions they might be experiencing, which are:
What if your husband is yelling because he is going through more than one emotion at a time? The next time you are wondering “Why does my husband yell at me?”, ask him what he is feeling at that moment. A user on Reddit shares, “Yelling is usually a sign that someone doesn’t feel listened to, and/or is experiencing some intense emotion. If my wife or I start talking louder, that’s usually a cue to me to slow down, take a breath, and ask: what is really happening here?”
4. Lack of purpose in life
A man goes through a lot of pressure in his life. It’s because of the expectations set by society. These angry outbursts could be because of those societal pressures and expectations. You need to have a degree at a certain age, then get a job, get married, have children, take care of your parents, and whatnot. Maybe all this is making him question his purpose. He needs some self-love tips to regain his self-esteem and confidence.
If this is the answer, then help him find out what he wants to do with his life. The only way to do that is by trying a bunch of different things. Try any new activity or help him get back to his childhood hobbies as these hobbies can be turned into passion and passion can be turned into a full-fledged business.
5. They want to dominate the conversation
Namrata says, “And finally, by yelling at his wife, the husband is trying to dominate the conversation. Many men do this and it’s nothing new. He is trying to overpower his wife by raising his voice. He is just being a bully and trying to have the upper hand in the relationship. And let’s make one thing clear. Constant yelling by a partner can never lead to a healthy relationship.”
My friend Andrea from Yoga class shared the struggle she is facing with her husband. She said, “He has never liked displays of love or tried to stimulate vulnerability in the relationship. I’ve thought about it a lot and tried to figure out why my husband yells at me when I cry. His deep-rooted fear of intimacy is the only answer I can come up with,” shares Andy.
Namrata adds, “He could also be trying to create fear in you by yelling at you just like a parent yells at their child to discipline them. Yelling becomes a pattern when there is a lot of disturbance in the relationship.” No one deserves to be constantly yelled at. It’s either a habit picked up from their parents or they are being mean because they want to control the fights and the narratives surrounding the fights. If you are saying, “My husband yells at me in front of my child,” then there are chances your children might grow up and act the same way, or fall victim to such behavior in their future relationships.
9 Expert Ways To Stop Your Husband From Yelling At You
Namrata says, “Yelling comes under the category of verbal, emotional, and even domestic abuse. It is very common for yelling to happen in relationships. But if the yelling is because of trivial reasons or happens very frequently, then it’s one of the alarming signs you are being verbally abused.” Below are some of the expert ways to stop your husband from yelling at you.
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1. Have a casual discussion
“This is the first step you need to take if your husband frequently yells at you. Establish good communication between you and your husband. Your conversations don’t have to be anything deep or meaningful. See if your husband is in a good mood and strike a conversation about communication skills,” Namrata advises.
She adds, “When both of you are in a good mood, better ideas start flowing in and you understand each other’s perspectives in a better way. If you want to know how to handle a yelling husband, having a light conversation about your miscommunication is the way to go about it. Stay calm and let him know that you have been at the receiving end of their constant yelling and screaming. Let them know that you feel disconnected and you need to communicate to find each other again.”
Healthy communication is one of the things to look for in a relationship as it’s the only way one person can understand the other. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind if you give him a cold shoulder after a fight. Make eye contact. Handle a yelling husband by letting him know that you are worried about his behavior. Tell him it’s affecting you, your marriage, and your kids.
2. Have cooling-off periods
Namrata says, “When you feel like the argument is getting out of your hands and the yelling is too much to take, walk away. Him yelling and you yelling in return is just going to make matters worse. If it gets heated from both sides, it will wreak havoc and the cycle will continue.”
Mona, my colleague who was expecting her first baby, seemed disturbed. She shared her concern and asked, “I just want to know why my husband yells at me when I am pregnant.” I told her that maybe she was experiencing mood swings and this was frustrating him. But it’s not okay to yell at a pregnant person just because you can’t handle their mood swings.
My sister was in an emotionally draining marriage. All hell broke loose for her when she came home one day with her bags packed. She said, “I can’t take it anymore. My husband yells at me in front of his family.” We were shocked at first because her husband was always loving when he was around us. If you’re going through the same thing with your partner, then make sure you tell him to take a pause and put a pin on the issue for later, when your family members are not around. It’ll also give him an opportunity to reflect on what he said and calm down.
If your husband still doesn’t change his ways, then it’s completely unacceptable. He either has anger issues, or frustration is getting the better of him, or he just takes pleasure in raising his voice and asserting his dominance. Whatever the reason is, you shouldn’t have to continue to handle a yelling husband. He needs to change his ways and get better for the sake of your relationship. If it’s help you’re looking for, Bonobology’s panel of experienced therapists are here to guide you through the process and paint a path for recovery.
3. Identify the problem
Humans are quite driven to find love, affection, and warmth. It’s one of our desperate attempts to be happy. When that happiness is threatened by yelling, constant conflicts, and lack of communication in a marriage, it becomes very important to identify the cause behind such unusual behavior.
Namrata adds, “Once you have made your partner understand that there is something lacking in his communication, make him understand that it’s causing a lot of problems in the dynamic. Both of you need to understand, identify, and handle the conflict. He might get offended by this and will try to maintain his stance by putting up walls around him.
“It’s time to stop a yelling husband by helping him identify the problem. Make him see how his own behavior is damaging the foundations of a healthy relationship. Find the root cause of his angry outbursts. Help him find out what’s making him react so angrily in the first place. Is it certain topics that rub him the wrong way?
“What is it? Stress? Financial problems? Is something bothering him? Did he cheat on you and the guilt of it is not letting him think straight? Did you do something to offend him but he doesn’t know how to express it in a healthy manner? Identifying the underlying reason behind his yelling is the answer to your ‘why my husband yells at me’ question.”
4. Accept the problem
Namrata says, “When your husband finally reveals the root cause behind his anger, and let’s say the problem is related to you, have an open mind and try to understand everything from his point of view. This is not the time to get offended by what he’s saying and start an argument again.
“Maybe he doesn’t like a certain habit of yours and it rubs him the wrong way. This is where a lot of acceptance is needed. If you start quarreling again, then there’s no way to break that cycle. Try to understand what he’s saying and don’t get defensive about anything. Let him vent his heart out.”
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5. Make him realize it’s affecting your kids
Namrata says, “If you are saying “My husband yells at me in front of my child,” then make him realize how it’s affecting your kids. Tell him you don’t want to traumatize them. When parents yell at each other, it impacts the child’s brain development. It even leads to depression. That’s how serious it is.
“When the child is just six months old, they register the distress between parents. So, don’t think just because your child is a kid, they won’t know what a hostile environment is. Kids never get used to parents yelling at each other no matter how old or young they are. It is always harmful. Make your husband stop yelling in front of the kids and help him understand that his behavior is making the child feel insecure.”
If you are wondering “why my husband yells at me when I am pregnant?”, then you need to make your husband understand that pregnant people go through a lot. He needs to shower extra love and care during such times. He needs to be supportive as it’s one of the qualities to look for in a husband. But sometimes even husbands can have a mental breakdown thinking about their child’s future or the expenses that are going to follow. So, when he yells at you, maybe there are a lot of things going on in his mind. Still, it’s never an excuse.
6. Try to be patient
Namrata says, “This is going to demand a lot of patience from you. It will even drain you. But if you love this person and want to be with them, then being patient with them is how you fight it together. Breaking a pattern isn’t easy and it won’t happen overnight. Set ground rules and look after your mental health as well. Once you see a little bit of change, you will start appreciating your husband for trying. Show your husband this change as well. Tell him his efforts are acknowledged. The more you acknowledge, the more he will be motivated to better himself for the sake of this marriage.”
Patience is the key to a lasting and harmonious marriage. You need to find ways to be patient in a relationship. I am an inherently patient and quiet person. When my husband and I are having a fight, I make sure to stay as calm as I can. It’s not like I don’t get offended by the things he says. I just don’t get defensive about them right then. I choose my time and talk about it when we are both calm. If you are saying “My husband yells at me when I cry,” that’s truly unfortunate. He needs to understand that you are crying because of his actions.
I recently met my friend, Esther, from high school after a long time. She said, “My husband can’t stand it when I cry. He would either yell at me to stop crying or he would walk out of the room. It made me feel as if me being vulnerable is bothering him.” It baffled me as to how you can love someone and not care about them when they’re hurt.
She continued, “We had a discussion about this and I learned that crying makes him intensely uncomfortable owing to childhood issues. I made him understand that I can’t withhold my emotions in fear of triggering his traumas. We are both still working through this.”
7. Tell him he is seen, heard, and loved
If you are wondering “why my husband yells at me if I ask him questions?”, then maybe he was irritated or not in a good mood when you bombarded him with questions. Or maybe he’s hiding something and doesn’t want you to pry. Or maybe he feels unappreciated. Perhaps he thinks his acts of service or other types of love languages are going unnoticed by you. Everybody loves to be acknowledged for what they bring into the relationship.
Show romantic attributes. Cook for him, take him out to dinner. Get gifts for him. Compliment him. Shower him with words of affirmation. My friend Sharon spent all her time with her kids. She said, “My husband yells at me in front of my child and it makes all of anxious for hours.” It was obvious that care and intimacy now lacked in their marriage. Her husband felt neglected that all her time was spent with the kids, and he didn’t know how to cope with it properly. If that’s the case with you, then you need to know how to have a healthy balance between your husband and children.
8. Encourage him to go to therapy
Namrata says, “Yelling can cause a lot of mental trauma and stress to the receiver which can lead to a lot of problems in the future. In many cases, this has led to depression. Ask him to go to therapy or take counseling sessions. If he agrees, then well and good. He is putting in efforts to rebuild your marriage.”
But if he disagrees, then you might have to rethink the relationship or you need to take therapy for your mental peace. Lava, a scuba diver from Atlanta, said, “Why do I cry when my husband yells at me? He yells at me in public or in private, it doesn’t matter where we are and I always end up crying like a baby. He refused to seek help. So I needed to take care of myself first, and that’s what I’ve been doing. Therapy has helped me a lot in drawing boundaries. I’m now considering leaving him.”
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9. Tell him you won’t take it anymore
Yelling in anger is not an easy thing to deal with. If he resorts to name-calling and snide remarks, then you need to tell him you’ve had enough. Ask him to get better if he wants a happy future with you. Namrata says, “It’s okay to be in a relationship as long as the person is trying to get better. But if there seems to be no change, be it unintentionally or intentionally, you need to tell him you won’t take it anymore. When a person raises their voice, it instills fear inside the other person.
“Yelling can soon turn to throwing things around. Before that happens, either ask him to get help or let you go. You can’t be in a relationship where yelling is a pattern. How long can you handle a yelling husband? Not too long before your mental health reaches a dark place and that’s when you know it’s time to break up.
“If you are saying, “My husband yells at me in front of his family,” then maybe he has seen this behavior normalized during his childhood. He has seen his parents yelling at each other. For him, it may be normal. But it’s not. This is how he projects his anger. Make your husband realize that you don’t deserve to be yelled at. If he fails to accept it, it’s better to leave.”
- If yelling is constant and has become a major part of your daily life, then it can soon turn into aggression and domestic violence
- Stress and lack of purpose in life are a couple of reasons that husbands get angry and lose their temper often
- Talk to your husband and identify the problem. Make him feel like he is validated, valued, and treasured
- Talk to your husband and convince him to get help
- If his behavior doesn’t stop, this may end up affecting you and your child’s mental health severely. It’s better to leave him in that case
It’s one thing to get angry and yell once in a while because after all, we are all humans and we can’t handle our emotions rationally. Sometimes the anger gets the better of us. But if this is happening every other day and your husband doesn’t care about you or the relationship, then this is nothing short of abuse. It’s an unpleasant situation to be in. If your husband’s yelling is getting out of hand and you feel like your life is in danger, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (18007997233).
Conflicts are common in every household. But that doesn’t mean you will yell at your spouse every opportunity you get. It damages the person’s self-esteem and it creates fear inside the person who is being yelled at. The answer is no. It is never okay to yell at your spouse.
It affects a marriage in many ways. You stop respecting them, you stop trusting them, and there will be little to no sign of affection if the yelling continues. When you yell at someone, it makes them feel disrespected.
Tit for tat isn’t the way you go about it. Don’t yell because your husband is yelling. Try to understand that you both need to get out of this volatile situation. Be calm and let him calm down as well.
This article was updated in January 2023.
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