An excerpt from Wayne’s book: Men Don’t Listen.
Here are some possibilities for why men get angry:
It’s very possible that some males feel worthless, guilty and ashamed. Each male’s reason can be different: from childhood occurrences to adulthood occurrences; from real reasons to just subconscious reasons. The sense of failure makes him angry with himself. He takes the rage and anger out on those who are around him–most of the time on those that love him and, believe it or not, those that he loves the most. The behavior borders and sometimes enters a state of depression. When asked why he reacts the way he does, most men do not know. Leo Madow, M.D. in his book, anger stated,
“There are two major reasons for quick open expressions of anger. The first is that the individual has accumulated so much anger that only a little more is needed to set him off. This is seen in the person who overreacts to a situation by becoming more angry than is warranted. Such a person has had many dissatisfactions in his life and is walking around with a high concentration of stored-up anger. The second reason is that the quick-to-anger person has found that anger works and is conditioned to continue its use. If a youngster finds that by having a temper tantrum he gets what he wants, he is encouraged to have another the next time he is denied something. If the next one is equally successful, he will begin to develop a pattern of behavior.”
I believe some of the stored up anger in men is the frustration of holding in and numbing feelings as he is growing up. The cycle theory, consisting of some form of tension building stage, then the explosion stage, then the honeymoon stage, is just one of many theories around today. It does seem that when anyone holds in all of their emotions and tries to control them, the tension definitely builds. Observing the release of these suppressed emotions seems to verify that the anger release is not in direct proportion to the event that precipitated the explosion.
The honeymoon stage is not difficult to understand. The individual who exploded feels like a complete jerk. So, to make up for this inappropriate behavior, buys flowers, takes her to dinner and swears it will never happen again. (In some cases where it has happened again and again, he now begs her to forgive him.)
I believe a pressure-cooker that has the release valve clogged up will have the same tension building stage and explosion stage to follow. The solution to the pressure cooker problem is the exact same solution for you or your loved one. Release the tension slowly as it builds up. Very simple, but very difficult for a man, who has this belief system that if he shows emotions, he is not strong and therefore is not a man.
Another result of not letting the emotions come out, is that men are struggling with the problem of buried feelings. These feelings are hidden so well and buried so deep that they cannot feel at all. He is almost a robot. Some men have broken out of this trance through some form of trauma. It might have been a heart attack, a life-threatening event (car accident, plane accident, near drowning, work-related accident), or losing something important. This could be his job, a loved one through death or his significant other because he could not open up to allow her in, or he was so abusive that his angry explosions may have driven her away. That big wall he is hiding behind not only allows no one in, but also is his prison cell. He cannot get out. A life sentence! What a price to pay for being afraid of feeling.
I was physically abused as a little boy growing up. Then my father abandoned me when I was nine years old. The lack of a father to help validate me, to love me, and a man I could love, left a void and empty hole inside of me which I will never be able to fill. I have learned to live with it, but to be abandoned emotionally is to struggle the rest of your life to be validated. It also implants a fear that all those you will love in the future will also abandon you.