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Newsflash:
Tuesday, 02 September 2003

Husband's Yelling Is Hurting Our Family Life

Written by  Naomi Baum, PhD.

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QI am so glad I found this web site. I am in a terrible situation. My husband is a "loud," yelling person. He thinks that this kind of discipline works. It just makes things worse in our home. We have two children. Our son is 12 and our daughter is 11. The yelling has been going on for years and now our children yell, especially our son. There is so much anger in the home. I am looking into family therapy for my children and myself. My spouse will not go. I have spoken to my husband numerous times before about this problem. He will stop the yelling for a few weeks and then it comes back. What should I do?

AThanks for your important question. It appears to me that you are on the right track. You have identified the problem and are doing something positive to change the situation. What you need to keep in mind is that you and your husband are different people, with different personalities, different ways of behaving and handling frustration and anger.

You cannot control your husband or his behavior, in the same way that you don't want him to control yours. If you feel that family therapy is warranted you can go, but you cannot force him to go. He may eventually come round on his own if you lay off on the pressure and let him know that he is wanted but you are not forcing him.

As for your children and their behavior, they certainly look to you and your husband as role models. That does not mean that they copy everything you do. Your can moderate for your children what they see and hear, and explain to them that there are different ways of handling anger and frustration. It is important that you don't undercut your husband in front of your children.

Children need both a mother and a father, and while you certainly have different personalities and different ways of behaving, you are both parents and both deserve respect as such. If you put down your husband in front of your children, your husband will understandably feel more threatened, probably yell more, and not join in your attempts at family therapy.

It is very difficult, if not impossible to change habits that have been formed early in life and have lasted a long time. Setting yourself up to changing your husband's yelling is probably setting yourself up for frustration and failure. Turning to family therapy for yourself and your children, while leaving the door open for your husband to join is probably the wisest thing you can do.

Good Luck!

Dr. Naomi Baum, Psychologist

Last modified on Thursday, 04 April 2013 15:59
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Naomi Baum, PhD.

Naomi Baum, PhD.

Naomi Baum is the Director of the Resilience Unit at The Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma and the National School Resilience Project. Her work at ICTP focuses on developing programs to build resilience in communities that have been highly exposed to trauma and stress. She has successfully brought her approach to Biloxi, Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Her work there included seven visits to the city, she trained teachers, social workers, school nurses, and counselors. She has also worked with the population in Haiti following teh earthquake. She has written about Trauma and Resilience in several published articles and books.

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