Screaming matches. Don’t have them.
When you are having a screaming match, it’s more often that not your Rationalization Hamster and her Rationalization Hamster squaring off against each other and trying to win their point of view through sheer force of emotion. There may be a short term peace as one side backs down, but whoever wins the argument, also learns that the screaming fit is a strategy that will get them what they want in the relationship. So it pretty much sets a path where more screaming matches will take place.
Women are more verbally skilled than men on average, and wives that outclass their husbands’ verbal skills can find the verbal tirade a stock-in-trade strategy to get their husbands to do what they want. Of course if a husband launched into repeated tirades against his wife, that would be immediately understood as verbal abuse.
That being said, rather than complain that women verbally abuse men, I think it’s far more helpful to see it as simply her employing a strategy that is proving to be effective. We could probably spend a few hundred hours trying to convince a screeching wife she is in fact engaging in verbal abuse, to little effect. But if it suddenly proves to be a ineffective strategy, she’ll probably just stop it very quickly anyway.
It’s very obvious that there’s a communication strategy involved when you witness women in the middle of very normal lighthearted conversations with friends, suddenly switch to the “Go-fuck-yourself” tone and issue sharp retorts or directives at their husbands, and then immediately switch back to light banter with their friends. Which means they are in control of their emotions the entire time and are employing a deliberate strategy with him. They aren’t actually all that angry with him, they are simply trained to act angry with him any time they want something.
The trouble with dealing with this strategy though is that any attempt to be polite, cooperative or simply evade them, is seen as a submission display, and that empowers them to bully you further. Actually completing the assigned task is even worse as that is a direct payoff to them for yelling at you. What you have to do is render the yelling an ineffective tactic to get what she wants.
(1) Ignore the content of her speech, and draw attention to the fact that she is yelling at you for no good reason.
(2) If she’s asking you to perform a task, just calmly say “No.”
(3) Completely ignore that she is even talking to you.
(4) Say, “Are you finished yelling?” When she says she is, then say, “Is there something you would like to talk about?” Emphasis on the word “talk.”
(5) Say “I’m not interested in having this discussion with you while you are like this.” and then either you leave where ever you are, or you ask her to leave.
Whatever it is that she is trying to achieve by this tactic, just ensure that she doesn’t get it by using it. At first she will blow up at you even harder and louder, testing to see if you continue to hold your ground, but if you do, eventually she will discontinue using the tactic.
Importantly… bear in mind that what she is asking of you may well be a reasonable request, you’re dealing with her unreasonable tone and tactic. Once she can restate her reasonable request appropriately, it’s fine to do what she is asking of you. If she makes a reasonable request, in a reasonable tone of voice, it’s generally the behavior you want from her to continue, so you reward it by doing what she wants you to do.
Though do bear in mind it’s not a reasonable request that you are her servant 24/7… even if she does ask nicely. Heck Jennifer and I have the whole Captain and First Officer thing going on, and while she does play more of a support role, she’s nowhere near being my servant 24/7. Jennifer pulls her own weight for sure, but if she asks for my help, I help her.
Jennifer: I can’t stand yelling lol.