My Husband Yells And Screams At Me, Is This Abusive?

Here's how to protect yourself from an angry spouse whose yelling has become emotionally abusive.

Last updated on Jun 01, 2024

Couple fighting, man screaming at woman. They have serious relationship problems Tiko Aramyan / Shutterstock

When couples resort to screaming, yelling, and swearing at each other, the respect at the foundation of their marriage will deteriorate.

Under no circumstances does your spouse have the right to subject you to any kind of emotional abuse.

When a spouse has unchecked anger management issues, the end result is the person who is being screamed at will eventually become numb to and resentful of their spouse. All the love, affection, and respect they had for each other will vanish.


The eroded respect guarentees neither person's point will be heard, thereby making it difficult, if not impossible, to resolve the problem at hand.

Screaming and swearing at your spouse is among the forms of dysfunctional communication that can arise in a marriage.

RELATED: 5 Signs Your Husband's Anger Issues Are Destroying Your Marriage (And What To Do About It)


Screaming and swearing are the behaviors of a bully who is trying to dominate and control the other person.

The person doing the screaming may think that they have gotten the other person to change or agree with them in the past, but the truth is that they just bullied their spouse and forced them into a corner. No one likes to be screamed at or called names.

The person who uses this type of communication usually has low self-esteem and a lack of proper communication skills.

Trying to change your spouse's behavior will not work. You must start by changing your own role in the pattern if you want to save your marriage.

Unfortunately, when there is a difficult problem threatening a marriage, one or both spouses will often look to the other to change the situation in order to avoid addressing their own part in it.


Here's what to do when your husband yells, shouts, and/or swears at you.

1. Stop taking the abuse.

If your spouse treats you in this manner, then you must put a stop to it. This is unacceptable behavior and must not be tolerated.

The only way to change a marriage in which one spouse screams, calls names, and puts the other down is to walk away from them, pack up your bags and go.

Unless you change the way in which you respond to them, they will continue to bully you. You have to stand up for yourself and not allow this to happen.

Many times, the spouse who is being abused will try to justify the bullying spouse's behavior, saying their husband or wife can’t control themselves or that they just have a short temper or any other excuse they can think of.


The truth is that most people can control their temper, but they choose not to because they have been allowed to get away with their bad behavior for so long.

2. Ask these 3 questions.

One way to prove that your angry husband or wife does indeed have the ability to control themselves is by asking yourself these three questions:

1. Do they fly off the handle like this at work?

2. Do they act this way around their friends?

3. Do they act this way in public?

If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then the person who is bullying you is perfectly capable of controlling their temper, they just choose not to control it around you.

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3. Leave.

If your spouse truly can’t control their temper, then you need to leave and stay with someone safe. That is a sign of a person who allows themselves to get out of control and who may become violent. This kind of situation might even be more likely if they drink or take drugs.

Most people are able to control themselves and their anger if and when expected to.

The majority of bullying that occurs between spouses can be controlled by the person who is doing the bullying.


If you want the name-calling and yelling to stop, then you must do something dramatic to let them know that you are serious and you have had enough. Living in a marriage with a spouse that yells at you and calls you names is not normal and can be very damaging to your self-esteem and to both your physical and mental health.

It's also toxic for any children you are raising to live in that kind of environment.

Tell your spouse calmly and directly that you will leave the next time they behave in this manner, and that they must put an end to it now. Then make sure you have a plan and are prepared to leave should the abusive behavior begin again.

"Even though emotional abuse can be subtle, it is the foundation for other types of abuse and can leave a lasting impact. That’s why it’s important to understand the warning signs." — National Domestic Violence Hotline (@ndvh) August 26, 2021


RELATED: 21 Signs You're In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Dr. Dawn Michael is a nationally recognized expert whose writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Huffington Post, Fox News and NBC News.