What to Do If Your Husband Cusses & Yells?

By Beth Greenwood
When your husband yells and swears, it could signify a medical problem.
When your husband yells and swears, it could signify a medical problem.

If your hubby uses bad language at the top of his voice, there could be a number of reasons -- sometimes it’s a minor problem and sometimes it’s actually dangerous to anyone in his vicinity. There’s a big difference between the man who wallops his thumb with a hammer and lets out a few four-letter words and the guy who directs his nasty language at another person, especially when that person is you or your children.

Swearing and Pain

There is evidence that swearing may actually help people tolerate pain. Swearing can trigger the fight or flight response, which makes us less sensitive to pain, according to a July 2009 article in “Scientific American.” It’s less effective if you swear casually and frequently, and it can be a real problem if swearing escalates into something like road rage or physical violence. A few well-chosen cuss words can be very effective for those times when his aim with the hammer is less than accurate.

Family Habits

Your nearest and dearest may have grown up in a family where cursing and yelling were the normal way people communicated, especially if they got angry. When they discussed matters, they discussed them at the top of their voices. People often repeat the behavior they learned from their parents. If he comes from a family in which an argument over finances or who was going to cook dinner would be accompanied by cursing and raised voices, he’s likely to act the same way.


Men who have ADHD may be inclined to anger outbursts, especially if they have never been diagnosed or treated for the condition. People with ADHD have problems controlling their impulses. Your hubby could have ADHD if he has some other behavior symptoms such as forgetfulness, being easily distracted, impatient and frequently late, or if he interrupts you a lot and jumps from one thing to another in a conversation. ADHD is a medical problem that should be managed by a doctor.

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Your husband may have a medical problem called intermittent explosive disorder, or IED. This is a serious situation that can involve not only bad language and a loud voice, but aggressive, violent behavior. He may throw or break things, have serious temper tantrums or even attack you or another person. IED can occur in clusters or the individual may go for weeks or months without an outburst. IED may be genetic or could be a problem with a brain chemical called serotonin; it could also result from high testosterone levels. This problem should be treated with medications and therapy.

Domestic Violence

If your husband directs his anger at you, calling you names or saying things to put you down, you may have a real problem on your hands. Some men try to control their wives and children by frightening them or even being physically abusive. A domestic violence perpetrator isn’t just spouting a few well-chosen curse words, and he can be dangerous. Domestic violence is no joke -- it’s a serious and potentially life-threatening situation that should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Talk to your doctor or call a domestic violence hotline.

About the Author

Beth Greenwood is an RN and has been a writer since 2010. She specializes in medical and health topics, as well as career articles about health care professions. Greenwood holds an Associate of Science in nursing from Shasta College.