What Did You Do with My Husband and Why Are You So Angry at Me?

Leslie Carol Botha: Jed Diamond with be joining me on Holy Hormones Honey! on Monday, October 8 from 6 to 7 pm MDT on KRFC FM. It will be very interesting interview. It is crucial men and women understand each other to start healing.

Why Are Men So Angry?

by Jed Diamond
September 26, 2012

“Last month a man came home from work with my husband’s face but he did not act at all like the man I married,” says Marie, a 42 year-old wife and mother of three. “I’ve known this man for 30 years, married 22 of them and have never met this guy before.  Angry, nasty, and cruel are just a few words to describe him.  He used to be the most upbeat, happy person I knew.  Now it’s like being married to an angry brick.  In spite of how he treats me I still love my husband and want to save our marriage.  Please, can you help me?”

This is typical of the thousands of letters and e-mails I have received from women all over the world since The Irritable Male Syndrome:  Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression was first published by Rodale in 2004.  More and more women are feeling the pain of living with angry men and want help for themselves, their children, and for the man they all love.

Although anger has a negative impact on men, I learned that it is often the women and children who suffer the most.  “Recently, he has begun venting, to anyone who will listen, about how horrible we all are,” 53 year-old Jennifer wrote me.  “If our adult-children aren’t living up to his standards, it is my fault.  If he can’t find his socks, he accuses me of misplacing them, just to piss him off.  I’m not kidding—that’s what he tells me.  What hurts the most is that he has withdrawn all affection.  It’s like someone transformed him from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde.  I want my husband back!”

Anger is an increasingly serious problem in our society today according to Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and former President of the American Psychological Association. “Out-of-hand anger ruins many lives,” he says.  “More, I believe, than schizophrenia, more than alcohol, more than AIDS.  Maybe even more than depression.”  Seligman’s research also shows that when couples fight, it can damage their children, often in lasting ways.

Anger Comes in Different Forms 

Paul Ekman, Ph.D., one of the world’s experts on emotions and author of Emotions Revealed, says that anger is expressed in many ways.  “There is a range of angry feelings, from slight annoyance to rage.  There are not just differences in the strength of angry feelings, but also differences in the kind of anger felt.  Indignation is self-righteous anger, sulking is passive anger; exasperation refers to having one’s patience tried excessively.  Revenge is a type of angry action usually committed after a period of reflection about the offense.”

We often perceive anger as a negative emotion that can damage people and their relationships, yet anger can also lead to emotional and spiritual growth.  The practices readers will learn in the book can deepen and enrich their ability to be more loving to their partner and to others.  In his book Anger:  Wisdom for Cooling the Flames, Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hahn says, “In the past, we were allied in making each other suffer more, allied in the escalation of anger.  “Now we want to be allied in taking good care of our sorrow, our anger, and our frustration.  We want to negotiate a strategy for peace.”

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.