It usually hurts a lot when a spouse, child, parent, or best friend yells at you. I’ve had many women in a therapy session ask me, “Why does my husband yell at me?”. While obviously it is very painful to be married to someone who yells at you, it’s useful to look beyond the feeling of being attacked to possibly understand what is happening and why.
Sometimes anger and resentment builds in a marriage over lots of small conflicts and finally reaches a boiling point. When people lose their ability to put into words what they are thinking and feeling, anger and violence are often the result.
Use Your Words
You might remember some teachers way back in elementary school telling you, or another child, to use your words. It is a common concept that people should talk about what they are feeling and ask for what they want instead of acting out with violent outbreaks, whether verbal or physical.
While sharing your thoughts and feelings by using words is much better than acting out, some people still need to learn how to share those thoughts in calm and loving ways, instead of being angry and yelling. If your husband is probably someone who needs to learn to speak calmly even when stressed or upset.
Yelling Or Just Talking Loudly?
Some women, and men, think that their spouse is yelling at them because they are hyper sensitive to a raised voice. If you grew up in a violent home you might be sensitive to any raised voices. The opposite is true as well. If your parents were passive and did not express their feelings, you might overreact when someone expresses themselves louder than what you are used to.
Some cultures are louder and more expressive than others. Speaking from personal experience, I can share that my husband comes from a much louder, more animated family than my own. What he perceives as a perfectly normal lively discussion or debate (with loud voices and lots of gesturing) looks like an all-out fight to me. Sometimes it seems to me that he is yelling when he is merely trying to make a point. I need to remind myself that this is how he expresses himself and it’s not a personal attack.
Why He Might Be Yelling
Some people will raise their voice if they don’t feel heard. People tend to repeat themselves when not feeling heard. If it continues it might end up getting louder and louder until their partner acknowledges that they understand what is being said. Listening and perhaps mirroring back what you have heard is extremely valuable in getting your partner to calm down.
There’s an old saying by Theodore Roosevelt, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. That is so true. People want to be seen and honored for who they are and what they think and feel. That’s why people desire intimate relationships like marriage. It is where you hope to feel deeply loved and accepted, perhaps for the first time.
Childhood Or Other Past Wounds
Many people will yell because they are trying to connect and feel alive. They have trauma from their past, whether it is childhood wounds or old relationship struggles. Understanding how past wounds contribute to anger and resentment in the present will be helpful. This is an opportunity to help your husband heal from his past and find new loving ways to connect with you.
Upset About Something Else
Many people will yell because they are angry and frustrated because of other things going on, not necessarily because of something you said or did. Perhaps there is an issue at work, a medical challenge, or family issues.
Sometimes husbands will yell because they have some guilt or shame about having an affair or being on the edge of having an inappropriate relationship with someone from work or the gym. This could be a sign that you need to spend more quality time together.
Maybe your husband misses you and your affection and doesn’t know how to say it to you directly. Maybe he is not even aware how much he misses you; he only knows that you are really busy with the kids, work, or friends. Perhaps you haven’t been sexually intimate in a long time and your husband’s anger is a reaction to feeling rejected or upset that his wife won’t touch him.
A Marriage Retreat Can Turn Things Around
If you want to have a better, more connected and loving relationship, a marriage retreat might be your answer. Here at Marriage Quest we have helped thousands of couples get beyond their anger, power struggles, and resentments and find ways to communicate and connect with each other on deeper levels in a matter of days.