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TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My wife gets angry frequently and screams and yells at our

Resolved Question:

My wife gets angry frequently and screams and yells at our children (4 yr old and 2 yr old) and often belittles them, perhaps without realising it. Often it is for no reason other than my wife projecting her own anger onto them. The problem is, if I say anything at all, she just raises her voice even louder and yell at me saying "don't you even start..." kind of thing. I feel like I can't say anything at all to her because she will just hold it against me, saying I have no idea what she goes through with 3 kids under 5 etc. It's a very sensitive thing and I'm not sure what to do about it. Thanks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your wife is emotionally abusive to your children and in a way, to you. Not letting you have a say so in how she disciplines the kids and yelling at you when you try to stop her is abusive.

If your children continue to grow up with their mother yelling at them and belittling all the time, it is possible they might react by suffering from depression, anxiety, anger or low self esteem. Your intervention, therefore, is very important.

Your wife seems to avoid any suggestion that she might have a problem. That can make it hard to help her fix what she is doing. But there are some ways you can help. First, when she does start to yell at the kids, ask her nicely to come into another room with you. That way, you get her away from the kids and help to calm her down. You also allow her to direct her anger at you. Not a great thing, but until she can deal with this issue, protecting the children needs to come first.

Second, if she will not listen, you may need to ask for help outside of your immediate family. If she is open to listening to her mother, father or siblings for example, you can ask them to intervene. You can also talk to her doctor about the problem and see if she/he will talk to your wife and recommend therapy.

Also, ask your wife to come to therapy with you. However, if she won't go, go on your own and take your children with you. You need support right now and you also may need to allow the children to express their feelings about what their mother is doing to them. If you start them in therapy, it may help prevent issues later in life.

Here are some resources to help you:

http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/worried-about-a-child/online-advice/emotional-abuse/emotional-abuse-a_wda87104.html

If you feel at any time that your wife becomes a danger to your children or to you, do not hesitate to call for help. It may be hard to consider doing this, but in the end, the children need to be protected. And it may also help your wife realize the harm she is doing to your family with her behavior.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate







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