Relationships

What to Do If Your Wife (Or Partner) Yells At You

Table of Contents

It makes me so sad that so many people search for help with this.

From Quora to Reddit to Google, there are thousands upon thousands of people looking for answers to help them deal with their partner yelling at them.

First and foremost, you don't deserve to be yelled at.

Let's get that out in the open.

Still, as I'm sure you know, people lose their cool for all kinds of reasons.

And it's so important to know how to think through this type of situation.

Because men can also experience emotional abuse.

If your wife is yelling at you, the best thing you can do is step back and use a process to figure out what's going on--and what you need to do next.

Why Does My Spouse Yell?

To start, we need to try to get to the root of what's going on.

Is this something that happens all the time?

Or is it under certain circumstances?

A couple can fight for all kinds of reasons, but maybe this is something that is completely one-sided? 

Are you yelling back?

What did you do right before your wife started yelling?

Questions lead to answers, and the more questions you can ask yourself, the more data you can get to figure out what might be prompting this.

I want to emphasize again that no one deserves to be yelled at. This is not about assigning blame.

It's about trying to get as objective a take as possible on the situation.

Is it Normal to Yell in a Relationship?

That depends.

It is if that was your model growing up. Or your wife's model.

We are most impacted by the families we grew up with, also known as our families of origin.

I remember going over to hang out at my friends' houses in middle school and high school and realizing that the way my family acted was not the way that everyone acted. But when you're in any environment for so long, you think that what you experience in your environment is normal.

That is, until you move out of your typical environment and take in new experiences, you only know what you know.

So, take the time to consider that maybe the way your wife was raised was very different from how you were raised. If you're searching for help, there's clearly something going on that is impacting you and is difficult to understand.

Stay with that lack of understanding and try to be curious about what's going on.

I'm not saying you should tolerate being yelled at nonstop. I'm not saying you should be OK with abuse.

Because yelling can be a form of abuse.

Yelling to save a child who's about to run into the street is one thing.

Yelling at one's partner at all hours of the day is something entirely different.

When Does Yelling Become an Abusive Relationship? When Does "My Wife Yells At Me" Indicate Something Serious?

This is a very difficult question.

When does yelling become abuse in a marriage?

If it happens one time a month, is that abuse?

If it happens every day at the same time, is that abuse?

The trouble is, only the person experiencing it can say for sure.

Maybe a couple playfully yells at each other as a way to joke and inspire. Someone looking at that couple from the outside could be horrified by what they see, but the couple doing the yelling could both feel totally in control and OK with what they're doing.

Abuse comes down to a power imbalance, and it comes down to a pattern of one-sided behavior.

Do you feel diminished and threatened? Do you feel like no matter what you do, you can't get the yelling to stop?

That is abuse.

If you're not OK with it, and you've tried to improve the situation to no avail, that is abuse.

And yelling, even though it may never come to physical violence, is still a form of violence.

It's not a healthy relationship if one person has to scream their disapproval at another. That's not communication. That's an attack.

Communication needs to go both ways.

A couple can only ever hope to resolve their issues if each person in the relationship commits to understanding what the other side needs.

Anger issues conflict with that process and erode trust.

If difficult conversations almost always end up with yelling, or if chronic yelling is your partner's natural way of communicating with you, that is not OK.

Is Yelling OK in a Marriage / Committed Relationship? 

But hold on a second. What if you're married?

Isn't that OK?

You've made a commitment to each other, and that means accepting the good with the bad, right?

Not really.

Yes, yelling is context-dependent.

As I said earlier, yelling to save someone's life is not the same as yelling at someone for the way they cleaned a room.

It's the nature of the yelling that matters--and the subjective experience of the person who is on the receiving end.

If your wife yells at you once a month and only after you intentionally avoid a task that she asked you to do, then that might be justified.

But if the yelling happens on a daily basis, that is a huge red flag, and it doesn't matter if it's happening in a marriage or not.

It's still an abusive pattern.

What to Do if Your Wife Yells at You

First, you are not a bad person for seeking help.

It's not a sign of weakness for a man to seek help in his intimate relationships.

It's a myth that men should be able to handle everything on their own and not display any emotions when things go wrong.

An angry wife might just be the most disturbing experience a person is having in his life.

Emotional abuse cuts to the core of who you are. It makes you question your identity and your sanity.

And this is especially true in a marriage, in what is supposed to be the most important and supportive relationship in your life.

If your partner attacks you, the person who supposedly knows you best, think about what that can do to your self-esteem.

The ones we love the most have the ability to hurt us the most.

What Being Yelled At Does to You

This is something we don't talk about enough--just how damaging being yelled at can be.

And we especially don't talk about it when it happens to men.

One's gender, whether birth-assigned or individually chosen, does not magically diminish the hurtful impact that aggressive words and tone can have.

If you need support, help is available.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is always available. You can find them at the easier-to-remember web address, thehotline.org.

And The Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness has a good list of relationship questions and issues to consider with this resource they put together.

What's important is that you take your feelings seriously.

Your body is trying to tell you something, and you have an intuition for a reason.

I hope this short article gave you some things to think about and provided you with helpful information so that you can decide what to do next.

Take care of yourself, and trust yourself.

Unresolved issues grow the more they are neglected, and your mental health matters.

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