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Why I Yelled: Nick, 34, Cleveland

"Her crying made me feel like crap…but also empowered me in some sick way. Like she was finally listening to me."

Welcome to “Why I Yelled,” Fatherly’s ongoing series in which real dudes 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. Meet Nick, a 34-year-old lawyer who took his fiancée to trial over a friend’s wedding — and his own insecurities.

When was the fight?

A few months back with my now-fiancé. Well, the big blowout was a few months back but the fight itself was a slow boil for about a month until the inevitable explosion. And the explosion happened because she just wasn’t listening or taking me seriously.

Set the scene: what happened?

The underlying cause of everything was a wedding where she was the maid of honor. The couple getting married invited her ex to the wedding. This ex had dogged her hard during the breakup and was still lingering around in her life. I hated the idea of having to be in the same place as this guy, but what really got me was the lack of respect this couple displayed to us. My fiancée was the fucking maid of honor in their wedding — she had done so much for the girl getting married – and it absolutely baffled me that she was put in that situation. But, more likely, the impending presence of her ex didn’t play well with my insecurities. So I looked for reasons to be upset.

What made you so upset?

The whole thing consumed me. I tried to talk to her about it multiple times, but I felt like I always got the response, “Well, we’re dating…so you’re going.” I felt like I was being blown off. Like what I was saying didn’t matter. That it didn’t matter that I was pissed. Or anxious. And it really got me going that I thought she wasn’t seeing my side. In my eyes, she was being completely disrespected, especially given everything she was putting into this wedding for the bitch of a bride. Like, this asshole is putting both of us in such an awkward spot and no one is questioning it except for me?

yelling man

So that’s how the slow boil started?

One day, I’d just had it. I don’t remember exactly what set me off but I know we arrived home from work at the same time because we were changing. I tried to bring it up again and felt like I was blown off. I lost it. Just yelled my head off about all my frustrations – things I was insecure about. Her attitude, the wedding, the ex. It all just piled up.

What did she do?

She didn’t yell back. In fact, she didn’t really do anything. She froze. She sort of retreated to the bed and just cried while I screamed.  Her crying made me feel like crap…but also empowered me in some sick way. Like she was finally listening to me. Like she finally got that this was a real issue in my eyes. I didn’t feel good about it overall. But I felt like it mattered. Like I mattered.

What happened after you lost it?

I tried to separate myself in a different room to cool off. But she isn’t that type of person – she needs to immediately reconcile a situation or it’s going to eat at her. So she wanted to talk. I didn’t want to. But I let her. She said she was sorry for blowing me off, and expressed some shit that was similar to how I felt about the situation. The fight pretty much ended that day. References are made here and there but the issues boiled over and just sort of stopped.

couple in bed

Did you apologize?

I don’t know if I ever apologized. Honestly, I didn’t think I needed to. I wasn’t being heard or taken seriously. Up until then, in our relationship, I gave her the benefit of the doubt about everything. I never got angry at her.

Are you sorry?

Am I sorry for yelling? I don’t know. Am I embarrassed? Yes. Am I proud of it? Fuck no.