SECRET: If you let your husband have the time and space he needs in his man cave, then he will come back to you refreshed, renewed, and ready to love and serve you (and your kids, if you have any) in a more meaningful way.
Here are three reasons why your husband needs a man cave:
1) He needs some time for himself
You and your spouse both need alone time every now and then. Time to recharge, renew, and recommit to those things that matter most in your life. You need that sense of freedom - the freedom to think, draw, plan, dream, set-goals, and create a full and healthy life for yourself. So, realize that it is healthy for your husband to have freedom to exist as his own person - to tinker, pursue hobbies, or to just watch a game without having you on his back. You enjoy that freedom too - whether it's working out, planting flowers in the garden, going out with your girlfriends, or reading Anne of Green Gables in your favorite chair.
Just think of that sweet husband of yours - he works long hours for meager wages; comes home with a smile on his face and with tickles for the kids; heads off to teach the cub scouts how to tie knots; and then stops to help someone on the side of the road before returning home and crashing into bed exhausted from all his responsibilities and a lack of time with his favorite person ever - you.
So, what if it has been a long day and you haven't had any time with your spouse? Are you going to cry and whine when your hubby tells you he is going downstairs for fifteen minutes? It would be wise for you to try and discern your husband's needs and to recognize that he literally never has time for himself. At this rate, he is going to wear down pretty quickly, and turn into an uptight, stressed, and grouchy old puss.
Do yourself a favor and send him to his man cave for renewal. Even fifteen minutes can make a big difference. A successful marriage doesn't mean you have to be together all the time. Rather, it means that you both take care of yourselves, all while looking out for your spouse and seeking to serve, bless, and help them. So, look out for your husband and make sure he is getting a little time alone. He will come upstairs renewed, refreshed, and ready to talk (and ready to love).
2) He craves his own space (he even likes to decorate... in a manly sort of way)
It doesn't matter so much where your husband's "man cave" is, or what it looks like. (Check out these ideas on pinterest to see some creative ideas.) What matters is that he has a space to call his own. A space to decorate as he sees fit (since you told him the life-size Darth Vadar helmet doesn't "fit," in your bedroom).
The idea behind the "man cave," is that your husband has space. It may not be a lot of space, but it is his and he will be protective of it. Just think, you probably have your own space too - a craft room, scrapbooking desk, or a sewing table (if you aren't crafty, you probably dominate the kitchen and the bathroom). So, let your husband have some space.
3) He wants peace and quiet (even for just a few minutes)
You like to talk. Admit it. And if you don't, you probably have young kids who do. And then there are the cub scouts. Or you may have teenagers. Let's not even get started with them. Without a "man cave" of sorts, your hot-hunk-of-a-husband is going to come to a breaking point soon where there is too much noise, too little sleep, and not enough quiet. He will start to feel drained, exhausted, and a bit grouchy.
So just send him to his man cave. Let him have some down-time. Some quiet time. Some thinking and tinkering time. He needs that. You may not realize it, but being able to do something (watch a show, write, solve problems, draw, read, play an instrument, etc) is so much more relaxing and renewing when there isn't noise or interruptions 24/7. The nice thing is that quiet time will invite reflection, calm, and peace into your husband's life, and those attributes and qualities will bless your marriage in return.
He may just need an outlet...
Not all men need a "man cave" per se, but they all appreciate some alone time, space, and quiet that can be found through other outlets. Some like mountain biking, others enjoy fishing (the true quiet seekers). Some enjoy the camaraderie and renewal of watching a sports game with buddies (as long as their favorite team wins, right?). Other outlets may include camping, hiking, hunting, golfing, reading, shopping, working out, etc. The important thing is to support your husband and encourage him to find time for himself.
What a man cave is not
It's also important to understand what a man cave is not. If the idea of a man cave is taken too far, then it can end up backfiring - and the consequences can be painful. So, make sure you and your husband set limits and there is general understanding that a man cave is NOT for:
- escaping responsibility
- ignoring children's needs
- wasting time on mindless things (i.e. video games)
- viewing inappropriate media (i.e. porn)
- drinking or getting wasted
- putting friends above family
- endless hours alone, avoiding social activities or other family outings
A man-cave can be a very positive thing for a marriage and for a family. Your husband's man cave can be his sanctuary, a place where he can go for renewal. And remember, that after some well-deserved rest in his cave, he'll come back to you regenerated, renewed, and ready to be his best self.
“A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it’s something that must be created.”
- Fawn Weaver
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