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The message can be “I don’t have a problem, I can handle this fine on my own”.
A high price is paid for that momentary sense of power; further isolation and often further despair.
In the future, always ask who’ll be on duty before you say yes to a sleepover.
Lenore here again: Because…a man is assumed to be a predator unless his wife is around? Would it possibly make more sense to (as I always suggest) teach your child to recognize, resist and report abuse, rather than to assume the very worst is going to happen when they encounter a male of the species?
Women also turn to these solutions, but less frequently than men as healthier responses are more acceptable for women.
While the culture is changing, it is still less acceptable for men to admit to feelings of fear, helplessness, sadness, grief and anxiety.
Fortunately, hurting other people is not a common reaction but violence including breaking objects, slamming doors, throwing things or verbal rage occurs quite frequently.
Anger can be a tool to regain power, punishing with words and deeds the person who seems to be causing the pain. “She cheated on me, she was always drinking, she was a lousy wife/mother/sister.” We have all heard these howls from our friends who are separated.
Another way that men use their anger to feel powerful is to punish the departing partner by damaging her reputation, reporting long kept secrets or complaints, attempting to diminish her to her friends, family and community.
Men who deal with separation with intense anger often pay a high price for using such a destructive and ultimately ineffective coping mechanism.
At the extreme, anger that leads to any type of physical aggression can cause legal trouble.
Of course violence is not the most common response to the loss of a relationship but we are all familiar with the many other coping strategies that are less than helpful.