man cave

The Man Cave: My Partner Won’t Come Out! What do I do?

My partner has been giving me a very hard time lately – a very hard time. He has been sleeping on the couch for the last two weeks and two days, not that I am counting.

I really can’t stand when we fight like this – I really just want the fight to be over, but he doesn’t. Every day when I get home from work he finds something to get mad at me about. Last week it was when I tried to empty the ice cube trays before the ice was frozen. The next day it was when I offered him salad and he didn’t want any and didn’t appreciate my “pushiness”. Then last night it was because I had come home a little tipsy after a Sunday lunch with my sister – hello! It was the weekend.

The truth is – when someone is mad at you, there are so many ways for them to continue with the anger if that’s what they want. But the thing I really can’t stand is when he withholds sex. For two weeks he’s not kissed me or made love to me, and I feel that it’s disrespecting our beautiful, loving relationship. I can tell that he feels so full of anger, pain and frustration.

For me, it’s not about the sex; it’s about the loss of intimacy. He’s the type who frequently needs his own space. The concept of the “man cave” is nothing new. From what I have read – some time guys just need space to be left alone.

Here’s a great post I found on this subject from Katie Young: “For Lindsay, every time Sam would say he needed “space” she would go into panic mode, fearing that Sam’s emotional distance meant he no longer loved her. So she’d chase him – literally standing outside Sam’s cave, waiting anxiously for him to emerge. If he took too long, Lindsay would call into the cave, “When are you coming out? Why are you taking so long?” And when Sam did eventually come out, Lindsay was already mad and distant herself, which made Sam want to go right back in to his happy, quiet man-space. “The cave is critical for men,” explains Mitzi Gold, a clinical psychologist and social worker, and director of the Mars & Venus Counselling Centre of Honolulu. “The cave is a place where a man likes to go to relieve stress. Men all around the planet are doing this. They need it. It’s part of their cycle.”

From what I have come to realise – it’s imperative that a man be left alone to his own space when he asks for it. Gold adds that the worst thing women can do in this situation is to chase a man into his cave. “You really don’t want to go in there anyway,” she says. “He won’t be very helpful or friendly and a woman could end up getting her feelings hurt.”

Gold suggests doing something for yourself when your man goes into his man cave. For two weeks I have been going to the gym more and going to yoga. I’ve been spending time with friends and I have done more shopping and cooking. But it tears me apart when he won’t sleep next to me. But what can I do? I love him and I want to work things out.

Here’s an article on one guy’s man-cave. “Call it mantuary or man space but the man cave sign says it all to me. I am not the original man cave owner but I do believe this place is a man sanctuary. As the name implies, Man Cave is meant to be a simple place for a man to get away from life. In my case the man cave is a simple get away and simply decorated.”

I guess I would be happier if my partner didn’t retreat from me when times are tough – it feels as though he is pulling away from me. But I guess all I can do is hope that he’ll come back. As they say, “If you love somebody, set them free.” Perhaps I should build a chick-cave.

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2 thoughts on “The Man Cave: My Partner Won’t Come Out! What do I do?

  1. A lot of men (not me) need a cave to escape the emotion they feel when troubled. I’ve been married 41 years, and though my wife and I had our challenges over the years, I never felt the need to escape. Better to wait until emotions subside and talk it out. Five years ago my wife suffered a burst brain aneurysm that left her with mild brain damage. She is paralyzed on the right side of her body. We can’t make love or even have an adult conversation. But she is still my sweetheart, capable of enjoying her life and our lives together. When I hear about couples who argue over petty things (ice cubes for example) I wish they could think about what life would be like if they lost their partner, or one of you became permanently disabled. So much love to share and so little time to share it. Remind your husband that each day should be cherished and you should enjoy every minute together before you lose what time there is to share. Good luck. You can read the story about my wife and I in my blog http://www.paulbassler.com

    • Thanks for your lovely and very sensetive comment, Paul. I agree that life is so precious – it’s awful to fight over things that are unimportant. Best of luck with you and your sweetheart!

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