Effects of yelling at spouse (List)

Effects of yelling at spouse

In this guide, we will discuss the “effects of yelling at spouse” and how to cope with it.

What are the effects of yelling at your spouse?

There are many effects of yelling at your spouse, one of them is fear. This is the same effect it would have on a child since the brain perceives it is a potentially dangerous situation inducing fear. If you need to let your spouse know there was something they did that really bothered you, yelling is not the appropriate way. 

It is not a secret that we are emotional beings, and on many occasions, we act moved by how we feel and experience at a certain moment. When we are frustrated, angry or sad we desperately seek to be heard by yelling, crying, throwing things, etc. Even though having a happy marriage takes time and effort from both parties, you need to consider that there could be potential threats and danger when someone acts moved by rage and anger. 

Effects of yelling at spouse (List)

Yelling is considered by many researchers and clinicians as a form of verbal abuse. However, we have to recognize we all have resorted to yelling, probably more than once in our lifetime. This type of behavior can have short and long term consequences, and usually, it is the result of an ineffective way of communication we tend to replicate from our parents or previous relationships.

Therefore, if we consciously think about it, no one deserves to be yelled at. When you are in a relationship where yelling is frequent, respect loses its meaning and the marriage tends to deteriorate. Consequently, the spouse who is being yelled at will eventually become numb and love and affection will turn into fear. In addition, constantly disrespecting our spouse will not guarantee your point of view getting heard faster or more efficiently, on the contrary. 

Yelling as the need to control

Yelling, screaming and eventually swearing, will make us become bullies. No one enjoys being around a bully, nevertheless, living with one. Bullies normally feel the need to control and dominate the other person by using abusive language. Usually, a person that uses this type of communication to get what they want from their spouse has low self-esteem and a lack of communication skills.

Subsequently, if you are the one being bullied, expecting your partner to change their behavior will not work until you start changing your own. When we are married, we tend to wait for the other spouse to change rather than effectively addressing their part in it. 

Effects of yelling at spouse (List)

Controlling your spouse or being controlled is not healthy, just as there are house rules about who is doing what, there needs to be marriage rules. For instance, respecting your partner is a must, same as your freedom and privacy.  So you may be wondering, what can I do to deal with my husband?

What can I do so my spouse stops yelling?

First, you need to stop thinking it is a normal situation since we tend to tell ourselves “married people have fights and arguments all the time, it is normal”. Yes, married couples do get into arguments because we disagree about many things but you should not be treated with disrespect, being humiliated, belittled or with abusive language. Once you start tolerating and accepting the situation, it will continue because it is a vicious cycle. 

In addition, if your spouse starts calling you names, screaming at you or making you feel useless, you need to assess and consider if it is better for you to walk away from your spouse unless they really commit to changing their behavior. However, many abusive relationships continue the cycle by saying things will change, and they actually don’t. Undoubtedly, they will continue if you let them.

Effects of yelling at spouse (List)

On many occasions, your spouse will try to justify their behavior as not being able to control themselves or having a short temper but the truth is they are choosing not to control their emotional response. Think about how they choose to react when you are with friends, at work or in public places. If they tend to control their emotions in those scenarios then they can control themselves around you, it is just they decide not to. 

Therefore, if you want the yelling and screaming to stop, you need to act accordingly to let them know you have had enough. This is also considered a very toxic environment to raise your kids, if you already have them or during your pregnancy, especially because it can affect yours and their mental health. 

When Yelling becomes dangerous

Some may argue words are just words, but they can have quite an impact on how we perceive ourselves especially when they come from someone we love or care about. As opposed to hitting, words leave an invisible mark that can be felt through emotional pain so it basically has the same effect as physical abuse. In many cases, one follows the other. 

Effects of yelling at spouse (List)

As we have discussed, when we are being yelled at, our brain processes the information and activates our fear response, meaning fighting, running away or freezing. Our survival mode will be on to avoid getting hurt. If your spouse started with yelling and now got physical, chances are they will continue to do so. Take action, do not let the situation escalate any further or wait for a second time to do something about it.

However, it is important to read the context very well. If you are going to walk away because you can’t take it anymore, the recommendation is not doing it out of the blue and leaving your partner in rage. Communicate your intention from walking away from the situation so you can both have a time out to think and then resume the conversation when both are calm. 

Always remember that no one should feel obliged to constant abuse, especially if your spouse does not have the willingness or commitment to make an effort to break this pattern. Also, if you feel your life could be in danger it is necessary for you to remove yourself from the situation and ask for help. 

Rage and anger

If your spouse has rage outbursts or anger is the emotion that is frequently taking over when there is an argument, it means they lack communication skills. In addition, our own past experiences mould our behavior without us being fully aware of it. For some people, their immediate reaction when being yelled or screamed at is going into a defensive mode or giving them a silent treatment, but this only makes the situation worse. 

When we are moved by rage or anger we tend to say things we later regret but the damage has been done no matter how many times we say sorry. In the end, all is left is resentment, frustration, and emotional pain where blaming the other is the easiest thing to do instead of solving the problem. Consequently, it may be helpful to find professional counseling when things get out of control.

Alternative behavior 

If you prefer handling things on your own and keep it between you and your spouse then consider the following alternatives:

  • Before engaging in a fight or argument, you both need to be willing to break the cycle saying something like “the last time we argued about this we both reacted ineffectively so we should try to approach it by communicating better.”
  • Acknowledge what you are feeling and how to body reacts to it. When we are angry or frustrated, our body starts to react by activating us physiologically. Next time you could say “I am starting to feel that I want to scream and yell. I can feel the heat and the tension rising, let’s take a few minutes to breathe deeply so we can calm down and then discuss this calmly”. 
  • After a discussion, analyze your own behavior and let your partner do the same. Here it is easy to fall back into a “blaming, who did what” pattern. Determine and commit to how your behavior can affect your partner’s behavior and what is needed next time to become more effective when communicating your feelings or disagreement.

Is raising your voice disrespectful?

Raising your voice can be considered as disrespectful, especially during a conversation or when arguing with someone even more so if our main purpose is to be heard, people can still hear us with a regular tone of voice. When we raise our voice, there is a higher risk of shouting, yelling, or screaming at other people.

Why is this blog about the “effects of yelling at spouse” important?

As discussed, there are only negative psychological effects of yelling at spouse. It is considered a way of abuse even if there is no physical evidence. If you want to fight for your marriage but after trying everything, consider seeking professional help, otherwise reconsider if you want to keep being married to your spouse, especially if you have kids that indirectly or directly are suffering from the verbal abuse. 

Please feel free to comment in the comments section!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the effects of yelling at spouse

Is it OK to yell at your spouse?

It is not OK to yell at your spouse and also shouldn’t be considered normal. Behaviors such as yelling, screaming, abusive language, etc., can damage your self-image, self-esteem, and your overall mental health. In addition, it is a very toxic environment not just for you, but for children.

How does yelling affect relationships?

Yelling can affect relationships in a very negative way. No one likes or enjoys being yelled or screamed at, it is just not healthy for your relationship. Your partner may resort to yelling because it is their way of getting you to do what they need to be done or simply as a way of controlling you. This will damage your relationship and may even end it.

Is yelling disrespectful?

Yes, yelling can be considered as disrespectful, especially when yelling comes with swearing, name-calling, humiliating or belittling someone. There are many ways to avoid yelling, but it comes from practicing emotional regulation and breathing exercises.

Is raising your voice disrespectful?

Raising your voice can be considered disrespectful and it usually induces fear. Your brain will receive the signal and prepare either to fight, flight or freeze. In addition, raising your voice means there is a lack of communication skills where someone needs to raise the tone of voice to be heard.  

Why does my wife yell all the time?

Your wife may have many reasons to yell at you all the time, especially as a way of controlling your behavior. Chances are, this behavior will keep repeating unless you do something to stop this vicious cycle.

Recommended reading

  • Why Are We Yelling: The Art of Productive Disagreement
  • Happy Kids, Happy Parents, Happy Family! 5 books in 1: Communication in Marriage, How to Talk so Children Will Listen, The Breastfeeding Handbook, Baby Sleep Training, Parenting a Strong-Willed Сhild
  • The Seven Secrets to Healthy, Happy Relationships
  • Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships (Nonviolent Communication Guides)
  • End Emotional Eating: Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Cope with Difficult Emotions and Develop a Healthy Relationship to Food


Michael, D. (2012, Aug.) How To Stop Your Partner From Screaming At You (And When To Walk Away). Retrieved from yourtango.com

Hutt, J. (2008, Oct.) When Yelling is a pattern. Retrieved from goodtherapy.org. 

Seltzer, L.F (2015, Aug) Does your partner have rage attacks? Here’s what to Do. Retrieved from Psychologytoday.com

Effects of yelling at spouse (List)

Daniela Paez

Daniela Paez is a Clinical Psychologist with an MSc. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions.