Yelling In a Relationship Part 2: What to Do if Your Partner Yells At You


Read part one o this series: What to Do if You Yell at Your Partner

People often exhibit their emotions in unique ways. Disagreeing or expressing frustration in a constructive way are skills that many never learned how to do well.  

If your partner or spouse yells at you, it is usually due to a desire to exercise control of you or the situation (or both). Yelling can be a way to attempt to exert influence into a situation they feel they need to “gain the upper-hand” in. By doing this, the person yelling often causes harm to others present, whether they are aware of it or not. 

How Being Yelled at Affects You

You might not even notice it in yourself, but there are several negative psychological effects of being yelled at by your spouse. 

Hearing raised voices causes fear, even on a primal level. Fear causes your brain to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. If these hormones are present for too long, they affect your physical and mental well-being.

Being screamed at frequently can cause trauma, which can result in:

While immediate feelings of fear may subside after a given yelling incident, repeated encounters like this over time can eventually lead to any number of the above long-term effects.  

Resolving the Disagreement

It is possible that your partner yells because somewhere along the line, they learned that was how adults argue. Together, you can learn how to disagree and then come to an understanding.

You and your spouse first need to understand that yelling in a relationship is detrimental to the both of you. It resolves none of the issues that your partner or spouse thinks it does. In fact, it can cause the other person  to go into “defense mode” and also start yelling. Learning how to communicate calmly goes a long way when resolving issues or just getting your point across. 

How you can set the tone

Sometimes frustration at your partner or a situation within your relationship is warranted. These are the opportunities to learn how to resolve arguments with respect. 

Encourage your partner to diffuse their anger before they fully address an issue with you. They can do this by exercising or even just getting some fresh air. This also gives a person time to think about what they need to say.

Make sure they know how their yelling affects you as well. “I” and “me” centered statements keep the conversation non-accusatory. Active listening is a way to acknowledge your partner’s problems that also keeps the conversation respectful.

Effectively communicating when emotions are high is difficult for most people. Couples counseling at Inner Balance teaches you and your partner how to communicate respectfully and effectively. Learn more about couples counseling at Inner Balance.

Verbal Abuse

There is a difference between raising your voice and verbal abuse. Frequent screaming at a partner is considered abuse, but it’s most often the intent and what they say that makes it cross the line. Verbal abuse is a form of emotional abuse, and it’s meant to take power away from the victim. 

How to Recognize Verbal Abuse

The most common signs of verbal abuse include:


This is when someone accuses you of something with no proof.  The accusation is often not even relevant to the issue at hand.

Personal attacks

Another tactic is to attack the other person with insults. If they are screaming about something personal or irrelevant character traits, that is considered abuse. Harsh criticisms are another sign.


One way to tear down another person is through humiliating them. This could happen when your partner screams at you in public, or when they bring up embarrassing information in front of others.


Threatening physical abuse is a tactic meant to incite fear. Any kind of threat is controlling. 

Yelling and Screaming

While raising one’s voice is not unusual in certain circumstances, habitual yelling is detrimental to everyone involved. 

What to do About It

Abusive behavior can start small and build. A person doesn’t have to show all of the above signs in order for their behavior to be considered abusive. 

If any behavior from your partner makes you feel put down or fearful it is important that you set boundaries. Establishing a healthy boundary could look like letting that person know that you will not tolerate abuse and being willing to remove yourself from the situation. 

In fact, limiting contact from that person is one of the most helpful things you can do. It can give them time to evaluate their behavior and you the clarity and time to reassess your relationship. It is possible that it may be necessary to end the relationship in order to give yourself the opportunity to finally heal.

If any kind of abuse escalates to the point that you feel you may be in danger, call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline.

Get Your Relationship Back on Track

Conflict happens. But feeling threatened by your partner is not ok. Between the psychological effects of being yelled at by your spouse and the physiological toll it can take on your physical and emotional health, there are many reasons to put a stop to it. Partnerships should be full of mutual respect and love. 

If you have found yourself seeking resources for “what to do if my husband yelled at me” or support from others who have admitted “my wife yells at me,” we are here to help. Counselors at Inner Balance will work with you to make your voice heard, or work through trauma caused by verbal abuse.

Whether you are being yelled at or you find yourself yelling, reach out for a consultation today.

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