IS your partner a bit grumpy today? Then you’d better steer clear of these well-meant and innocent responses which will send them right over the edge.
‘Are you in a mood?’
Stating the bleeding obvious is a surefire way of pushing their mild irritation down the slippery slope to incandescent rage. They’ve been stomping about the house, sighing extravagantly and slamming cupboards, but don’t want to admit to being a bit cross. ‘I wasn’t until you accused me of it,’ they will reply testily. And now it’s all your fault.
‘Is it something I’ve said?’
Of course it bloody is, and you’re a stupid idiot for not even remembering what. You’ll get an angry huff and a toss of the head which will leave you none the wiser. Only later will you realise agreeing with her when she said her friend Nikki is looking great for her age makes you a mentally cheating bastard who will be getting the cold shoulder for the next two days.
‘Are you upset because they lost the football?’
He was already annoyed, and now you’ve made it worse by suggesting something as trivial as sport could affect his mood so badly. But the truth is that it is down to the football score, and now he feels like a petty little dickhead for being upset about it. And you’re the one who made him feel that way, so you’re the one who will bear the brunt of his childish anger, to the extent that you begin to wonder why you married him.
‘Have you got PMT?’
This is asked with solicitous kindness, to prove that you have taken the time to understand her menstrual cycle and care about how she is feeling. However, she takes it completely the wrong way, accuses you of being a sexist bastard with the emotional intelligence of a sink plunger, and tells you to piss off. That’s the last time you’ll bother to try being a feminist.
‘Cheer up, misery guts’
The quickest way to get your partner from ‘mildly irritable’ to ‘absolutely f**king furious’. You say it in a light, jokey tone, hoping to puncture their mood with humour, but they receive it as if you’ve just told them you’ve put all their clothes on the lawn and set fire to them. Your best course of action now is to leave the house for a few hours and return when they’ve stopped being such a crotchety twat.