Dear Dr. Romance:

I have been together with my wife for about 3 years now. We have worked on many issues in our marriage and resolved most of them, however there is still one issue that has not been resolved.

It seem that little mistakes I make such as not taking out the trash when it smells after I come home from work, makes her so angry that she shrieks at me, and I mean shriek not yell. During these times I refuse to yell back and it makes me feel like a door stop. I have read several books on that matter and it says to not yell at her in anyway and walk away from her and tell her that I am not walking away because I am ignoring you but out of respect for myself and you. This does not seem to make a difference.

Afterwards she does apologize but it seem misplaced and half hearted. We talk and she says that it will not happen again yet only hours later it happens again. I just want a way to resolve the yelling. I am afraid that when we have children her anger will be directed at them like it was in her childhood. I am just looking for some answers. Thank you so much for taking the time in reading this.

Dear Reader:

I'm very proud of you for not yelling. Just because your wife throws temper tantrums, doesn't make it a good idea for you to do that. Don't stoop to her level. You need to act in such a way that her bad behavior doesn't work. Definitely don't have children until your wife learns better behavior.  Apparently, she learned this behavior from her family, and doesn't realize how destructive it is, because she herself survived it.  

I strongly recommend that you go to couples therapy, and talk about this problem. A good therapist will back you up in telling her that her anger is dysfunctional and over the top. "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely" will help you find a good one. "How Not to Fight" will show you why fighting doesn't work and what to do instead.  You can both benefit from reading the following articles together: "Anger: Cleansing Squall or Hurricane" and "Stop Reacting and Start Relating" 

How to Be Happy Partners: Working it out Together  will teach you what you can do instead of yelling and fighting.

Happy Partners cover

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Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.