Underneath the hostile exterior many in anger management are highly anxious, it comes out in their body language, how they use their hands and arms and the tone and style of their speaking. They are not laid back and comfortable or confident.
Being anxious is part of the human condition, just as being happy and excited are, but the anxiety side reflects the fear of something. People who are anxious tend to worry, so any event can be interpreted optimistically or pessimistically. Worry is always about what can or could go wrong. From worry the man is edgy, critical and controlling. All of which are designed to make his partner uncomfortable.
We would like the anxiety to go away(so we say) and the more we want it to go away the more it sticks around. The body gets tense, panic can be the result. They more we panic the more we will panic. Often with control there is anger because the man is terrified of something going wrong.
How easy is it to counter this? Nothing happens until the man can own his anxiety, be able to table it and be aware of how it effects other s around him.
This is a long well honed habit stemming from childhood experiences. It was legitimate then, but not now. It may not be easy to break. That happens when the man gets serious about looking for alternatives to anxiety and taking concrete measures to change. It means asking what effect is my anxiety having on other people? Always looking for the bigger picture will lift the man out of the hole.