You never married a screaming man, did you?
Oh, no, your boyfriend was a normal, caring person talking to you with respect…that is why you married him! So now, why is he transformed into this raging man? What happened to him that now you are shocked by his anger explosions?
There is a process that takes you from that sweet time of starting a love story with him, to now. You had this intense love affair where you felt smothered by his strong love and need for you….so getting together was the most exciting part of your life. All this time, he was gentle, patient and understanding… and you felt secure in this relationship. You even believed that he was attentive and interested to listen and solve your needs.
Who is this man now?
You are probably surprised to watch him suddenly acting as if he is always right (and if he has a suspicion that he’s not, it’s your “fault” and you’re “just out to get him”). If now he perceives you as confronting or criticizing him, (or worst, putting him down!) because you ask him only about what’s wrong, he can be even more enraged.
You are starting to discover his deep insecurity, which will demand a show of anger to put the sacred order of marriage with him on top in place again. He is always right, remember? Later on, with more personal learning, you will see your husband attaching himself to the male brotherhood trying to impose their personal model of primal masculinity on their wives, so as to get the primacy in marriage. They believe that male leadership is imposed with violence, and not with integrity and respect.
If you move from asking what’s wrong to confronting him, he will transform this normal conversation into a serious offense, and will resort to yell and fight in messy anger explosions in order to get what he wants, (to silence you just now) especially when it seems like he is losing the battle to get his wish.
It is important to keep in mind that you may encounter this type of loud and angry attack, when trying to confront your husband for the first time, when having to set some limits to his behaviors in order to preserve your integrity, or when trying to take a break from the relationship. Knowing that, do you feel the need to find some help for relationship?
Many women are shocked the first time their husband screams, name calls or insults them. He is angry, shouting and facing her down with his entire wrath. Let’s remember this first shock of yours; it is the first indication that the promise of marriage (“to be together to love and respect each other”) was not his soul truth, but only words.
As a spouse, you have to feel shocked, hurt and totally blindsided by this attack. There is no way we can cover up and deny the total effect of this aggression on us. It is sudden, unexpected, and leaves us with a sour taste afterwards. But how do we make sense of this aggression in the midst of a marriage we deem happy? How do we recover the lost sense of security being with him, when you don’t know if this terrible anger episode will repeat itself? Unfortunately, almost by mandate, we immediately run to forget the incident or make excuses for his behavior. We do this either because we fear the unknown aspects of his anger, or are unable to address them, and so we choose denial by saying: “he was stressed out; too tired; under a lot of pressure, etc.”
This is the first mistake: not taking this violation of interpersonal limits seriously, and so, absorbing rather than deflecting the abuse. Remember that you must respond to his anger, and never ignore it as if it is “ok.” If you ignore it and make excuses for your abuser, he will succeed in controlling you. An anger attack on an unsuspecting partner is abuse, and qualifies in the same line as either emotional or physical abuse. It is experienced as a violation of boundaries: as an abusive interaction. When this boundary is crossed your precious trust in your partner is gone. It’s true that you get emotionally hurt with his verbal violence, but there is not outside bodily mark of his anger on your body… “only” on your soul, which is a lot to suffer!
There are many ways that you can respond to an abusive and screaming man. Of course you can scream back, but this does not help you communicate past his defense of “make noise and hope it scares my enemy off.”
Responding in a healthy way means first being able to recognize in time his “anger cues”:
Physical: tensing muscles, clenching fists, jaw tightens, agitation;
Behavioral: raise voice, stand up tight, fix his eyes on you, breathe short and shallow, leave theroom, yell, pound the walls, slam doors.
Emotional: feelings of being abandoned, discounted, disrespected, guilty, humiliated,impatient, insecure, jealous, afraid, or rejected.
How do you react after seeing an anger attack coming (watching two or more of the above cues)?
Can you remember that he is doing a show of anger in order to scare you into submission? If so, then:
1.- Leave the situation and/or house
Remember that if he has your undivided, scared attention, then he can go full blown into the attack: nostrils flaring, screaming and cursing you for all his problems, fixing his eyes on you so as to see how scared you are (meaning that he is successful, and you will not leave him), and if you seem not scared enough, then escalating into slamming doors and punching walls. He can make also a show of breaking things, probably your most cherished household things as to teach you a lesson and prevent having you “enraging him” in the future.
2.-Leave emotionally (detach)
If you had some kind of psychological support, as in having a coach, or a good friend, you could get the resiliency necessary to care for yourself first. Here, you need to create a special mantra to protect your mind along this trial by fire. To save your sanity you need to repeat to yourself:
“He is choosing to have now an anger attack. It’s his decision and nothing of what I have done to him warrants this attack, directed to me but triggered by who knows what from his past. I can stand here, and wait until he is finished, because this is the safer spot in the house now. Once he is finished, I will make better plans to protect myself and the children.”
Meanwhile, if you have to hear his ranting along… try to detach yourself of his words and the content of the words he is saying. Keep repeating:
“Nothing of what I have done to him warrants this attack, directed to me but triggered by who knows what from his past,” several times.
Breath deeply and detach, trying to look at this unleashed fury as it you were in a theater watching a powerful, but alien performance. It’s not with you, has nothing to do with you and you’re better off watching without engagement. Watch out to any guilty feelings you can have, and decide to ignore them…you are not guilty of enraging him; he is doing it by himself.
3.- Stand up to him (if it’s safe)
There are varying opinions on whether to fight back (meaning confront/take a stand, not shouting back). Some people feel that it is important to stand up for yourself and show that you won’t be pushed around. Others claim that this may subject you to greater violence. You can say, in a normal voice:
“Please, lower your voice, I need to hear what is bothering you; if you shout, I can’t hear you.”
Knowing your own strength and your husband’s personality will tell you whether fighting back will benefit or harm you. Avoid screaming back or shouting back, because that will endanger you, and can prompt more violence.
There is no big win here, so select the behavior that will you help you be safer, not the most heroic. Remember, your aim is to survive this outburst with minimum damage, so let it go!
4.- Take care of the children
If you have kids pay attention to their behavior. Every child reacts differently to anger explosions. You could have even one imitating such behavior. It’s highly recommended to seek for professional help for them immediately. It’s not just your personal security and health which is at risk, but theirs as well. The impact on their emotional well being of being scared by anger attacks will not be activated perhaps until adulthood, but it will be there. And the consequences for them will be a general fear of life, and/or a permanent sense of insecurity in the world.
What is that you want for yourself:
- A place of honor and respect?
- A way to be appreciated and understood?
Only you can use the energy from that repressed wish of yours to crawl from under abuse and recover your life! Do you want help with this life-saving project? You can always reach out to my book: Emotional Abuse
And remember that you can get connected here, tell your story and get responses also, because we care about you! Wishing you the best in life!
My husband yelled at me for the Second time in our 3 year marriage and I went numb with shock. He has apologized profusely and said he will see our marriage counselor on his own to work through that disgusting behaviour. I just don’t know where to go from here….I feel so hurt and unloved – never thought he would treat me that way.
Chandel Marie Brown says
My husbands yells at me like this several times a week. Some weeks it’s daily.
My husband yells at me every single day. Anything from me accidentally choosing a different brand from the grocery store to him having to wait an extra 10 minutes for dinner to be done, he’ll yell at me about. We live in a TINY apartment with thin walls and he yells at me with a loud screeching voice. It’s not only the volume of his voice that is the problem, it’s also all the stuff he chooses to scream like “You’re a fucking cunt!” or “You stupid fucking BITCH!” or “Go jump off a cliff!!” or “SORRY you’re on your PERIOD!!! But doesn’t mean you get to act like a FUCKING BITCH!!” basically yells the most embarrassing things out for all my neighbors to hear, just for the intention of hoping our neighbors hear how horrible I am to him. The funny thing is, according to him, I am NOT allowed to have or experience any mood shift while i am pmsing, but oddly enough, he is the one displaying PMS behaviors whenever its my time of the month. I’ve asked him calmly and on multiple occasions to please lower his voice, but that only aggravates him more. It’s like adding fuel to the fire. i leave the room to go to my bedroom to distance myself from him, he follows me and pounds on the door while screaming. He is ridiculously controlling. i’ll keep trying to avoid him, but that only makes things worse and he’ll scream at the top of his lungs until i let him talk to me. and by talk i mean yell insults. he’s only satisfied when he is standing over me and screaming down at me for things i didn’t even do to him. if i don’t respond to him, he goes crazy again. sometimes i just silently cry while he’s yelling down at me, which then he starts mocking me and starts fake crying and says how pathetic i look. sometimes i cant take it any longer and i just want him to get out of my face so i’ll try to shove him out of the way, but as soon as i make first contact with him, according to him, everything is fair game. now, he has every right to “defend” himself, so he will usually grab me by the top of my hair and slam me down and put his whole body weight on top of me and slap my face, while screaming out loud “WANNNA HIT ME?? STOP PUNCHING ME! YOU CRAZY BITCH!” loud enough for neighbors to hear, although he is the one with my hair and on top of me. I used to be very outgoing and friendly, but now i just want to hide whenever i see any of my neighbors. i don’t like to go out much anymore and have intense anxiety. he also likes to make fun of my anxiety and depression (which I am sure he is the cause for) by screaming things like “I go to WORK, unlike you, WHO WANTS TO STAY IN YOUR ROOM ALL DAY LIKE A WEIRDO!” I don’t know what to do anymore. (A little about me: I am a full time non-traditional college student. I will be working full time again once i get my degree which will be in a year. Before college, I was active duty military. My husband was also active duty. We have been married for over 8 years. i understand that he provides for the both of us, but he makes it seem as though i don’t do anything because of the fact that he works. i take care of all the “house” stuff including cooking, cleaning, groceries, etc. i make it so that he doesn’t have to worry about anything except go to work.)
My husband gets mad, screams at me at the very top of his lungs. Hes like a badly behaved toddler. I go upstairs to get away and he follows me and yells more. Cussing, ranting on and on, throwing things. It’s very scary. I get very anxious and nervous.
My husband does this for every discussion that involves me trying to convey, how he makes me feel. I call it, his “military voice”, used to intimidate, because he literally thinks he is the model husband and I should just bend myself around his selfish, insensitive, actions.
He refuses to go to therapy. He told me, that I need to go.
I told him no therapist on the planet, would agree to ignoring your own wife, 7 days a week, nor the incessant screaming he relies on.
He thinks I am being selfish because I believe he should pick one day a week, to do something with me.
He spends every single day, 4-5 hours,playing recreational tennis, with people not related to him. They never see this side of him.
He hides it well and comes off as the “good guy”.
He reminds me of Donald Trump, and I told him that~
Brandi West says
I told my husband the exact same thing. I’ve been having to deal with for a little while and we’ve only been married for a year but together for 3 years. He wasn’t really like this when we were dating. He told me the other night…. I asked him to stop yelling at me and he got in my face and mocked me in a high pitch voice saying that’s your new thing now… stop yelling at me whaaa what. I just stared at him in shock. I feel like he’s having a man tantrum and it doesn’t end until I apologize and tell him it was my fault. I’m about to snap but I really love him but my kids here all of this. He is really loud.
I’m shocked to hear all of this, cause this is my reality and it’s horrible- I have been married for 11 years with 3 children 10,7,6 – I’m am very fortunate that he did agree for me to go to school for an RN – so thankfully I will be on the right path for a better future- I am being abused by being screamed at everyday – even the dumbest things like not putting a cap on something like oil – it’s endless – these type of people are disgusting and selfish-
Ilse Nel says
I’m in the same boat as you. I get accused of lying when Im telling honest truths. But he doesn’t straight out say “you are lying” he is very clever in saying things indirectly that hurts. We have twins age 3. My oldest daughter from my previous marriage lives with us. His salary is a lot higher than mine and he is struggling to carry living costs. I also stress because of that, I feel like I’m not helping enough. I work from home and look after the twins…they are busy little ones. I also clean and cook, so basically my day ends after 8 at night. When I open up and tell him I’m burning out, he tells me I have no reason to be and that HE should be as HE DOES EVERYTHING. I don’t know what to do and my health has taken a big knock. I have chest pain and I’m so weak. I am crying more than I’m smiling. This isn’t the man I knew 2 years ago. He used to call me beautiful and even that stopped. any advice???