A man tantrum is quite different to what I often refer to as “throwing a fit”.
Throwing a fit involves copious amounts of huffing, mumbling and often results in the sweeping of my kitchen floors. To prove to me that I am wrong, he is helpful. He’s so helpful he’s doing something I already should have done.
I have been known to incite my husband to throw a fit, simply to get my kitchen floor clean.
No, a man tantrum is completely different. It begins with passive aggression, leads to the silent treatment and results in the final, gritted teeth outburst, allowing you to find out what is actually wrong. Then you will receive more silent treatment and attitude.
I’m not sure why you would ever want your partner to throw a man tantrum, however, should you ever require or desire to see a grown man spit the dummy, I’ve come up with this handy how-to guide.
The Man Tantrum in 5 easy steps
1. This is possibly the most important of all the steps. This is your foundation for the man tantrum. This is how you ensure your partner or husband is in the right state of mind for man tantrumming.
Illness - of any sort. I have come to realise that men, of any age, find illness to be particularly unmanageable. There’s a reason someone coined the term man flu. Really there is. I have one 32 year old male, and two 2.5 year old males in this house. And I’m telling you now – illness, sickness, the sniffles – anything will work.
I found a case of sinusitis and middle ear infections in both ears were quite effective
2. Travel - a man tantrum is entirely possible at home, but I find that the best environment for a man tantrum is actually the car. The driving to and fro, the in and out of the car, getting confused and/or lost, the kids screaming continuously in the back seat – all these elements result in the perfect habitat for a man tantrum.
If you are ever so fortunate, I find that Canberra traffic provides perfect conditions for our goal.
3. Heat – the Australian summer is perfect. If you can’t afford to travel to Australia for the heat of late summer, then I suggest you crank up the heater – or even invest in some heat lamps to hang overhead.
I’m not sure anything will be able to replicate the searing heat of the Aussie summer sun through a car window, but I’m sure you could give it a crack!
4. An Unsympathetic Wife/Significant Other - this step is quite important, although not as important as Step 1: Illness. You’ll find that even with a shoulder to lean on, chances are illness will result in a man tantrum anyway. However, if you are after the ultimate man tantrum, I suggest you lose your sympathy and stop listening to your partner’s complaints.
Men hate being ill, they hate it more when no one cares they are ill.
They hate it even more when no one cares they are ill, and then drag them into a situation in which they are not allowed to wallow in their illness.
I have mastered the art of unsympathy (is so a thing!).**
Which brings me to step 5.
5. A public, social, event. Family or otherwise – a family event is probably preferable. Mostly because long-forgotten tensions may bubble to the surface.
I guess if there were ever a reason for a man tantrum, getting you out of something you didn’t want to go to in the first place would be it.
But I find that it really is best if you and your children have been looking forward to the event. Any, and I mean any, event you have been looking forward to will do.
Best friend’s baby’s Christening? Let me tell you, perfect.
I could imagine a wedding would be equally as wonderful.
I guarantee that with all these elements, a man tantrum is inevitable.
You will then have the option of embarrassing yourself or leaving.
I chose both, simply because I don’t like to do things by halves.
**An alternate post for this title could be: “How to be a terrible wife and drag your quite ill husband around the state whilst your children scream in the backseat and you call him a whinger under your breath. Repeatedly.” But that was too long so I went with this title instead.