Motivational Reasons

I don’t want or need to change my behavior. This is probably the most common reason for not changing how anger is expressed. No change is likely until the abuser ‘puts down the binoculars and picks up a mirror.’ Often shame is at the core of men and women who are mean and abusive. When the amount of shame is great a person has trouble looking at what part he, or she, plays in their conflicts and problems. It’s black and white thinking, or all or none thinking. It’s either all other people’s fault, or it is all my responsibility. The pain, the shame or the fear of being seen as the source of the problem is too much for the abuser to bear and so her, or she, continues to blame others.

Social, Cultural Or Familial Reinforcement

In certain families violence is a respected demonstration of male or female power. It is accepted as simply… just the way it is. Violence as a means of getting what you want has been an operating principle for mankind, and other species, forever.

If you grew up in the Spartan culture of Greece; or the jungles of New Guinea, as a male it is normal and expected that violence is a perfectly acceptable solution to problems of conflict. It is the norm to dismiss women’s feelings and to treat their thoughts and feelings as unimportant. In America in the late 1800’s, many state laws declared that it was only illegal to beat your wife with a stick if the rod was no thicker than a man’s thumb. The point here is that the use of violence, disrespect and intimidation is relative to the culture it takes place in.

We may say that it is the evolution of mankind to arc toward equality and mutual respect. History shows us that this is so when we look at the evolution of laws around the world. However, even here in America, it is perfectly acceptable in some sub-cultures to encourage violence against women, against gay people and against other nationalities and races. America did not begin to have laws that were really enforced against domestic violence until the 1970’s. I’m proud that the U.S. may have been one of the first cultures to make domestic violence illegal. But, I’m also quite conscious that this occurred in the middle of my lifetime.

Possible Biological/Medical Reasons

Concussion head injury anytime in your life.

Illness or dysfunction in brain structures affecting emotion or behavior,

Environmental Irritants, Chemicals

Pharmacological- Side effects, or synergistic effects of some mixtures of medications, can lead to aggressiveness or irritability.

Possible Psychological Reasons

Bipolar Disorder
• Depression & Anxiety Disorders
• Posttraumatic Stress Disorder aka PTSD
• Borderline & Narcissistic Personality Disorder
• Paranoid Personality Disorder
• Substance Abuse & Other Behavioral Addictions
• Having been bullied, teased, abused or neglected as a child.
• Being Oppressed For Your Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Nationality Or Appearance

None of these conditions are a predictor of violence or aggression.
These conditions are only factors that help us understand how or why some behaviors are out of control for a person. Some of them are known as Primary Disorders. This is so for Substance Abuse/Behavioral Addictions, Bipolar and Posttraumatic Stress Disorders especially. This means that until the primary disorder is treated successfully, the anger management recovery will probably be sketchy and inconsistent. For example, an alcoholic, who also has anger/abuse issues, that never seeks and achieves sobriety will probably continue to have periodic abuse behavior problems.

If you are scared of your partner’s angry behavior then reach out to your local shelter or call the National Hotline at 1 (800) 799-SAFE (7233) You can read about abuse at their website-

My website- , has a resource page with a lot of information in it. I am also available for distance phone/Skype consultations. Or, office sessions in Los Angeles at 310 444-1951.

Author's Bio: 

Leading anger management and domestic violence groups in Los Angeles for 26 years. I've written a couples communication skills for couples who want to stop arguing called, 'RealHope Conflict Skills For Couples.' The manual is used in the monthly Los Angeles couples seminar that I've run for 17 years. I've trained FBI agents in Listening Skills and have led dozens of workshops on anger, substance abuse and communication skills for agencies, churches and synagogues.