The very concept of a man needing a cave in his own house is a new one. A lot of people haven’t even heard of this concept but for those married men out there living with an over controlling wife you know that your man cave is your last little bastion of solace. Let’s take a closer look at What Is a Man Cave and just how accepting your relegation to the man cave is the start of a slippery slope down the road to divorce and disaster.
The first month or so when the two love birds first move in together is all roses. She will cook the meals, make the lunches, he will put the toilet seat down, try not to fart too loud and all is good whilst they both make the effort to continue masking their true selves.
During the Honeymoon two lifestyles join into one, two houses full of furniture and nick nacks join into one, two social lives become one and all the spare time in two peoples lives become none.
The first stages of joining together here have set the precedent for future trends in your relationship.
Who had to give up all their sporting posters or sports car posters to make room for the fairy pictures?
The men who failed during this first test will be setting themselves up for more and more gloominess in the future. Remember every thing you give up or every social outing you forgo or every adventure you postpone is a little piece of your former self being laid to rest.
For those men who are reading this from their man cave you will be all too aware of the path I am about to describe. My commiserations to you men but there is hope.
Unfortunately the story I am about to share with you is not just one man’s story but it is a story I have heard hundreds of times now. It is the story of how a man’s house slowly becomes shrunk down to his man cave.
Somewhere around the three-month mark a lot of men will start to feel their first pressure points appear:
- joining of bank accounts comes with scrutiny of how much he works and how much he spends
- your new social calendar (which is organized for you with your input) will bring with it requirements to “Come straight home after work,” or “You can’t stay out late we have an early start Sunday morning.”
- the job list. All those little jobs around the house that don’t need to get done will become dot points on a list that all of a sudden need your attention.
Inevitably as the man you will try to keep the peace and bend in the wind to accommodate your new partner. It won’t seem too much of a compromise at this point because you are still getting what you really want out of this relationship anyway (if you are really lucky you may even get rewarded with more sex for some of your compromises).
Several months in though is when the bedroom heat start to wear off and the honey moon is over and boredom sets in because the big period of change has now been replaced with the monotony of living with someone and sharing EVERYTHING.
Sex will become a reward for good behavior. Your job list will fill up your next six months. Your friends will become outcast from your social life and your hobbies or personal interests will become relegates to a very low priority.
Emotional mind games will become a normal way of communicating with each other. Tasks will become tests to see how much shit you are willing to put up with before you snap. We call these shit tests.
She may tell you to sleep on the couch.
All this time you will probably find yourself slowly gravitating towards you garage or your work bench in an effort to minimize your exposure to the problem.
Her biggest weapon during this phase is the silent treatment.
The next biggest weapon is criticism and shaming; everything you say or do will be scrutinized and used as evidence against you.
Open Warfare Is When Your Relegation to the Man Cave Becomes Complete
Unfortunately the passive aggressive phase will be a breeze when compared to the open warfare that will set in when you marriage gets to the three of four year mark.
If you have got kids these time frames will be drastically sped up.
When I say open warfare, I mean the gloves are off. The two lifestyles become separated again but you will find that an isolation has set in and you are not a kid anymore, options are different. Your obligation is still to provide for your family but your family may not decide to reciprocate the same meaning of affection. The years of shaming will have an effect on your relationship with your kids and your mental state will be reaching all time lows.
Where To Now?
Use your man cave to your advantage. Renovate it to maintain your privacy and to work in your favor. Get rid of the TV and games systems. Get rid of the arm chair and put in a weight bench. Start off slow and start working on yourself to build up your own physical, mental and spiritual strengths.
Treat your man cave as your own little world where you can do anything and everything you ever wanted but remember life is short and you can’t afford to waste one single day.
To assist your mental state try to mediate, read some psychology books, challenge yourself to do something new or just bask in the quietness that solitude can bring you.
Once your exercise regime becomes a habit and your mental state is on the mend you can tackle the root of the problem.
Recognise the pathway that got you into the man cave and start to unwind it. Make your own lunch and cook your own meals. Go out and attend your own social functions. Join the gym and forge yourself a pathway of your own.
It will drive her crazy, while she tries to find way to get you back into your box. If you want to drive her really crazy go out and buy yourself some nice new clothes, grow a beard and install a fancy BBQ in your man cave or put out a separate mail box on the front lawn for yourself.