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Selah R, M.S. LPC
Selah R, M.S. LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 582
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.
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how to de-escalate an argument. My husband starts to scream and cant stop. I feel

Resolved Question:

how to de-escalate an argument. My husband starts to scream and can't stop. I feel abused, and finally break. How can we break this cycle?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Selah R, M.S. LPC replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for trusting JustAnswer with your important question.

I would recommend that you seek the services of a counselor who can help you two figure out if your communication can be improved, and if your husband may need specific therapy to deal with anger or domestic violence behaviors. In most of the couples I work with, there are some episodes of abusive behavior that usually is caused by communication that has broken down, and a relationship that has deteriorated so that the couple really aren't friends anymore. When these symptoms occur, the marriage can become problem-focused, meaning the only time you really try to talk to each other is to discuss problems, which quickly becomes endless fights that never seem to get resolved.

I recommend trying to find a counselor who is training in the Gottman model of treatment for marriage counseling. It has the most research supporting it, and has a nice mix between "talking" about issues versus "skill learning". People who don't really like the idea of counseling prefer the skills learning focus, and can find this to be less threatening than "talk-therapy."

You can find local professionals in your area who are certified in the Gottman method by visiting

If you are feeling abused, and he is not honoring "time out" requests, and if one or both partners have developed the habit of pursing the other when they try to leave a tense situation, then you are at risk for domestic violence behaviors. Please take these symptoms seriously and invest in yourself and this relationship by seeking professional services.

If you can not afford counseling, you may be able to find free or low-cost therapy by calling 211 from a local landline telephone. You may qualify for services through churches, assistance agencies, or therapy and classes through battered women's counseling services.

Best wishes,
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