What’s wrong with him?
He used to be such a great guy. He used to be nice.
Now he treats you like you’re in his way. He’s rude to you. His outbursts of temper are completely out of line.
Is he just a jerk…
Or does he have irritable male syndrome?
In this week’s YBTV interview, we talk to Dr. Jed Diamond, author of The Irritable Male Syndrome.
Dr. Diamond shares with us the causes behind a man’s transformation from a loving partner into “Mr. Mean.” He helps us see that biological causes, such as low testosterone or changes in brain chemistry caused by a low-carb diet, can cause irritability.
Even more importantly, he provides a way for partners to open up a conversation about his anger and irritability without condemnation or judgment.
His irritable male quiz has helped over 60,000 men understand themselves better…
And women understand the men they love but can’t live with.
What You’ll Learn
Dr. Jed Diamond knows why men get angry at women.
He grew up with an irritable and angry father. He vowed that he was never going to be like that. When he got married, it would be different.
Except it wasn’t different.
He went through two marriages before meeting the woman who would help him heal.
Over four decades later, he’s still married and happier than ever. It’s taken work. He’s had to walk through the fire and face his demons.
What he’s learned along the way can offer hope and healing to thousands of men with the condition he’s now come to call…
Irritable male syndrome.
Is He an Irritable Male?
Your guy has changed.
He used to be fun, easy-going, and loving.
Now, his moods can switch on a dime. He acts like you’ve attacked him when you’ve just asked a question. He snaps at you. He’s not interested in his usual hobbies. He zones out with video games or alcohol. He’s not even as interested in sex.
He’s become impossible to live with, and you can’t even talk to him.
Men come to Dr. Diamond and confess:
You know, I wouldn’t say this to anybody, but there’s something the matter. I’m not sure what it is. I used to think it was 100% her, but now I’m starting to wonder. Maybe there’s some part of this—whatever this is—that has to do with me.”
Men know when they’re becoming irritable.
They can tell they’re no longer themselves.
But they don’t know why, and they don’t know what to do about it. The frustration leads them to dig in their heels even deeper and refuse to get help.
“Clearly we all get angry, male and female,” Dr. Diamond says.
But “where does it cross the line from just the normal problems we all experience to something that really can be deadly—to a relationship, to our self-esteem, and in extreme cases … violence?”
Here are three things to look for:
- Intensity: Is it mild or is it severe?
- Duration: How long has this been going on?
- Impact: Is it affecting the relationship?
If your man’s moods have been causing problems for a while, they’re out of character for him, and your relationship is suffering, then it’s time to get help.
The Causes of Irritable Male Syndrome
Nobody goes into a relationship saying, ‘I’ll try it out for a while, and then if it doesn’t work, I’ll get out.'”
If you tell your family and friends what is going on, they’ll tell you to lay down the law. He can’t treat you like that. If he keeps it up, you should kick him to the curb.
“Part of whether anybody decides to leave or to stay … depends on, have you given up? You just feel like it can’t change,” says Dr. Diamond.
But before you give up on him, ask yourself if you’d feel differently knowing that he’s struggling with a treatable condition.
There are five causes of irritable male syndrome:
- Hormonal changes, often caused by a drop in testosterone
- Changes in brain chemistry, often caused by a diet that’s low in carbs and high in protein
- Role changes, such as the birth of a child or the wife going back to work
- Spike in stress levels
- Living in a world that’s out of balance
Knowing that there are concrete causes behind irritable male syndrome can be such a relief.
“He’s not just a fill-in-the-blank,” Dr. Diamond says, “but this really has a cause. And if you understand the causes, you can treat them, you can prevent them, and you can save a whole lot of relationships that in the past just went under because somebody gave up.”
How to Talk to Him about Irritable Male Syndrome
If this sounds exactly like what you’re going through, this information can be life-changing.
Once your guy realizes he has irritable male syndrome, he’ll get help, and you’ll get your warm, loving partner back! Text him the link to this article STAT!
Not so fast, says Dr. Diamond.
That approach only works for about 5% of guys.
The other “95% will say, ‘I don’t want to hear it. You got a problem—it ain’t me.'”
There’s a better way, and it starts with a quiz.
The Irritable Male Syndrome Quiz
Dr. Diamond developed his quiz in the course of his research for his book, The Irritable Male Syndrome. To date, it has been taken by over 60,000 people.
He recommends that women who think their guy might have IMS take the quiz, based on their perception of their guy’s behavior, then bring it up casually in conversation.
I took this quiz at this Diamond guy’s site—I’m not sure who he is—and it’s probably way off, but I got a score. It’s how I see you, and I’m sure I must be really totally out of line with this. You probably aren’t even going to want to do this, but if you take this thing, you probably can show where I’m really off base here, and maybe even where I’ve got a problem.”
Most guys will help her out by taking the quiz and showing her where she went wrong.
It doesn’t matter whether they end up scoring themselves higher or lower than their partner did. Either way, it opens up a conversation.
How NOT to Talk to Him about Irritable Male Syndrome
Opening up a conversation with a quiz is a better tactic than telling him that there’s something wrong with him.
“Any time the woman tells a guy, ‘You’ve got a problem,’ what he hears is—regardless of how good [your] intentions—‘There’s something the matter with me. I’m a bad guy. I’m screwed up.'”
It’s not that he’s a bad guy. It’s not that he’s screwed up. It’s not that he’s hopeless.
There is a reason for his behavior, and there is something that can be done about it.
Guys tell Dr. Diamond:
My wife’s been telling me … I’m angry for years and I didn’t believe her … and then I took the quiz and I got a number … and there’s hope. It isn’t my fault… There’s a reason. I can do something about it.”
Ready to Get Help?
Jump to Topics of Interest
2:24 How Dr. Diamond began studying male anger
5:06 Three differences between everyday irritation and irritable male syndrome
7:19 Should you stay or should you leave?
10:04 Five causes of irritable male syndrome
13:04 The irritable male quiz
19:54 Stress impacts relationships
Dr. Jed Diamond
Dr. Diamond is a licensed psychotherapist with a Ph.D in International Health and Master’s degree in Social Work. His passion is to help men and their families live a fully authentic life, love deeply and well, learn to survive and thrive the transformations occurring in the post Covid-19 era, and heal our disconnections and make a positive difference in the world. For 50 years, he has been a pioneer in the field of gender-specific medicine and men’s health, culminating with the publication of his 16th book, 12 Rules for Good Men. Find out how you can work with Dr. Diamond.