Welcome to “Why I Yelled,” Fatherly’s ongoing series in which real guys discuss a time they lost their temper in front of their wife, their kids, their coworker — anyone, really — and why. The goal of this isn’t to examine the deeper meaning of screaming or come to any great conclusions. It’s about yelling and what really triggers it. Here, Ryan* 33, a financial advisor in Austin, TX, discusses a family-planning argument that took place when he and his wife were having sex.
Who was the last person you yelled at?
My wife. We got into it the other night.
Walk me through what happened.
We’ve been trying for a second kid for a little while. My wife was initially reluctant at first, a bit worried about the stress of another child. But, after we chatted about it at length and had many conversations over the course of a month or so, she seemed full-on with the idea of another. I mean, we talked it out and both agreed that it was a good idea. Then, the other night we were having sex and in the middle of it she told me she wasn’t sure she wanted to have another child. In the middle of sex.
I take it that didn’t sit with you too well.
No. We had these conversations and really hashed it out beforehand. And then, in the middle of having sex, you drop this news on me? Come on, man. Have you ever had an argument during sex?
Can’t say that I have.
It’s the worst. You go from pure enjoyment to pure annoyance in a matter of seconds. Complete 360. Not the right venue, man. Not at all. Sex is a time for intimacy and connection and it’s not the time to drop truths like that. Plus, I’d had a stressful day. Why wasn’t that brought up before we started? I understand that it must have been weighing on her, but in the moment I was really annoyed. I yelled at her “Are you kidding me?” and felt my face go red.
What happened next?
We stopped what we were doing immediately and I left the bedroom. I grabbed a glass of water, took a few deep breaths, and came back.
That’s good self-management.
I tried. I’m not an angry person and I pride myself on understanding. My reaction came from surprise more than actual anger.
How did everything play out?
I went back in the room and we both needed a few minutes to really speak to one another. I explained that maybe this was something that she should’ve brought up before we started stripping our clothes off? That made her laugh. But then she expressed that I was so excited by the thought of a second kid that she didn’t want to break my heart by having second thoughts about the whole thing. I told her that that wasn’t the case and we’re a team. It was a long conversation. There were some more tears; there were some more laughs; we talked about how we need to be better at being truthful to one another.
Well, that right there is pretty good communication.
Yeah, there’s a reason we’re married.
How did everything wrap up?
We decided to wait some more and see how she felt. We don’t need to rush into having another child if she’s not ready. At the end of the day it’s her body and if she doesn’t feel okay about the decision, then the decision isn’t ready to be made. It has to be all in. So we’ll return to it again. So it was a good conversation to have. Eventually, we had sex. With protection.
*names have been changed