My Husband Yells at Me: Reasons and What to Do
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When you find yourself realizing, “My husband yells at me quite often!” it can be rather distressing. You likely feel hurt, alone, and perhaps confused. Relationships typically don’t thrive with frequent yelling and screaming, so it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue.
If your husband yells often, there is likely an underlying problem. In many cases, the problem can be solved, so you can return to a state of marital bliss.
Why does my husband yell at me? Common triggers and underlying issues
If your husband yells often, you likely want to know the reason behind this behavior. Chances are that you simply want to resolve the problem so you don’t continue to deal with their yelling and screaming.
The underlying reasons behind a yelling husband don’t excuse the behavior. However, they can help you understand their behavior a little better and get closer to a solution.
Below are some common reasons for yelling at a spouse. After learning more about these underlying reasons, you’ll be ready to move toward solutions.
Not everyone has healthy stress management skills, so if your husband is under a significant amount of stress, he might resort to yelling. A study in the Journal of Family Psychology found that high levels of stress are associated with more conflict between spouses.  Timmons, A. C., Arbel, R., & Margolin, G. (2017). Daily patterns of stress and conflict in couples: Associations with marital aggression and family-of-origin aggression. Journal of Family Psychology, 31(1), 93–104. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000227
So, if they’re under stress at work or perhaps worried about finances, this may spill over into the marriage.
If they don’t communicate well under stress, you might find that they’re yelling at you more often. It could just be that they’re taking their frustration out on you.
They grew up that way
Research has shown that issues in the family of origin can contribute to conflict within a marriage. In simpler terms, people who grow up with a significant amount of fighting are more likely to have conflict in their own marriages.
One recent study found that destructive conflict in the family of origin was linked to destructive conflict in marriage. This, in turn, leads to lower marriage quality.  Monk, J. K., Ogolsky, B. G., Rice, T. M., Dennison, R. P., & Ogan, M. (2020). The role of family-of-origin environment and discrepancy in conflict behavior on newlywed marital quality. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38(1), 124–147. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407520958473
What this means is that if your husband grew up in a family with unhealthy conflict resolution strategies, such as screaming and yelling, they’re likely to repeat these behaviors in their marriage with you. They learned to yell by observing this in their own family growing up, and they’re simply handling conflict the way they were taught.– Dr. Jenni Jacobsen, PhD, Licensed Social Worker (LSW), mental health writer
They have a mental health disorder
Some mental health conditions are linked to difficulties with emotion regulation, which could lead a person to yell and scream when they become angry. Research has found that a number of mental health conditions are associated with anger.
Some conditions linked to anger include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social phobia
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Drug and alcohol addictions  Barrett, E., Mills, K. L., & Teesson, M. (2013). Mental health correlates of anger in the general population: Findings from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 47(5), 470–476. https://doi.org/10.1177/0004867413476752
Sleep deprivation can lead to moodiness, which could be the reason your husband is yelling at you so often. Lack of sleep has been found to be linked to anger, so if they’re not sleeping well, they may have a short fuse with you.
Evaluate their sleep habits. Do they seem to come to bed late? Do they toss and turn at night? If they’re not getting proper rest, they’re much more likely to lose their cool during the day.
They’re maintaining control
This isn’t always the case, but some people who yell and scream at their spouses do so in order to intimidate and maintain control. If you are frightened by yelling, your husband may choose this behavior because it gives them power.
When you’re fearful of the yelling, chances are you will give in to whatever your husband wants. Therefore, yelling becomes a way to control you and get what they want out of you. They will continue this behavior because it works for them.
Is yelling in a relationship abuse?
When you’re dealing with a husband who frequently yells, you might begin to ask yourself, “Is yelling abuse?” This is a valid question, and the answer depends on your situation.
We all lose our cool from time-to-time, especially when we’re feeling stressed or frustrated. We might sometimes yell at someone we love, only to feel badly afterwards.
If the yelling is occasional, or it’s a new behavior, it might not be abusive. For instance, perhaps your husband is under stress at work, and they’re started to become more irritable. Yelling might be a new behavior in response to increased stress. It could be that they haven’t learned to handle stress well, and they may not even be aware that they’re yelling more.
Or, they could be repeating patterns from their childhood, perhaps subconsciously. They don’t intend to threaten or intimidate you. This doesn’t make the behavior okay, but it isn’t necessarily abusive.
On the other hand, if the yelling is frequent and leaves you fearful and walking on eggshells, it may be a form of emotional abuse. Yelling in and of itself isn’t necessarily abusive, but when it’s frequent and occurs alongside other signs of domestic violence, you could be dealing with domestic abuse.– Dr. Jenni Jacobsen, PhD, Licensed Social Worker (LSW), mental health writer
Some indicators that yelling is a form of emotional abuse include:
- Your husband calls you names when yelling
- They make negative comments about how you look
- In addition to yelling, they tell you where you’re allowed to go and what you’re allowed to wear
- Your husband threatens to physically hurt you when they yell
- They accuse you of cheating, even when they have no reason to believe you’re being unfaithful
- They embarrass you in public
- They prevent you from having a job
- They don’t allow you to spend time with friends and family, or they’re extremely jealous when you do
- You feel that they try to control your behavior
- They blame you for their inappropriate behavior  What is emotional abuse? | The National Domestic Violence Hotline. (2023, July 4). The Hotline. https://www.thehotline.org/resources/what-is-emotional-abuse/
Yelling that occurs alongside the other indicators here is a form of domestic violence. In some cases, emotional abuse can escalate to physical violence.
What to do if my husband yells at me
If your husband has been yelling at you, there are several potential solutions to the problem. These are discussed in more detail below.
Tell them how you feel
There is a chance your husband doesn’t realize that they’ve been yelling more lately. In this case, it’s important to have a conversation with them.
At a time when you’re both calm, sit them down and tell them that you’ve noticed they’ve been yelling at you quite often. Explain that the behavior isn’t acceptable to you.– Dr. Jenni Jacobsen, PhD, Licensed Social Worker (LSW), mental health writer
Give them a chance to explain their side of the story. Maybe they’ve been feeling stressed, and they’ve been taking it out on you. Bringing it to their attention gives them an opportunity to correct the behavior.
Set firm boundaries
If you’ve talked to your husband about their yelling, and they continue to engage in this behavior, it’s time to set boundaries. Tell them you’re not going to have a conversation with them if they’re yelling and screaming.
If a discussion turns into yelling and screaming, walk away from the conversation. Tell them you’d be happy to talk when they’re ready to speak calmly and respectfully.
Ask them to seek counseling
Yelling could be a sign of a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety. It could also be an indicator that your husband didn’t learn healthy conflict-resolution skills from their own parents.
In either case, counseling can help them to correct their behavior. A counselor can work with your husband individually to help them develop healthier coping skills and communication patterns.
Evaluate your own behavior
Sometimes, yelling can be a pattern that occurs in both partners in a relationship. It’s possible that you and your husband have both been using yelling as a way to express yourself during conflict.
If you realize that you’re also a yeller, it’s important for you to make an effort to handle conflict in a healthier manner. Have a discussion with your husband to devise solutions for how you can both stop yelling when you have a disagreement. You might agree to take a moment to calm down before having a heated discussion.
Develop a safety plan
When yelling occurs in the context of domestic violence, the most important thing you can do is keep yourself safe. Develop a plan for how you will stay safe if yelling escalates to violence.
This could involve going to another room of the house, seeking help from the neighbors, or calling a trusted friend or family member.
It is helpful if you can seek support from friends or family. If domestic abuse is a concern, confide in someone you can trust. This should be someone who is willing to take a phone call from you at any time if you’re in danger.
If you’re not sure where to turn, the National Domestic Violence Hotline offers resources, including a 24-hour phone and text hotline. Remember, you should never have to tolerate abuse.
Seeking professional support
When yelling in a marriage becomes an ongoing problem, professional support can be helpful. Working with a mental health professional, both as a couple and individually, can reduce the yelling.
As a couple, you can work together with a therapist to learn strategies for managing conflict and communicating effectively. Individual counseling for marriage problems can also be beneficial, especially if your husband is experiencing a personal problem, such as stress or a mental health issue, that makes it difficult for them to cope under stress.
At Calmerry, we offer individual online therapy and counseling services. While we do not offer couples counseling at this time, we can work with you or your husband individually.
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