First of all, what is a “Man Cave”? The following is quoted in wikipedia:
Man caves have multiple purposes: they are a place to be alone, to be away from women and from female sensibilities, to indulge in hobbies, and to hang out with male friends. It is, loosely, a male-only space to retreat to watch sports matches, or play video games. Some psychologists claim that a man cave can provide refuge from stressful surroundings and be beneficial to marriage?
A man retreating to his man cave may be a good idea for him, but what about the woman who has to deal with his sudden need to get away?
From a woman’s perspective, she may feel left out while he retreats into his cave, especially after an argument or disagreement. This will make many women feel insecure about the relationship and shutout.
A man going into his man cave can send some women into a complete frenzy, trying to figure out how to get him out of his cave or wonder how long he plans on staying in there. Sometimes, retreating to a man cave can also imply an emotional retreat away from her, which for many women, they seldom understand why …
When a man uses his man cave as a way to not deal with an ongoing problem in a relationship, it is usually frustrating for a woman because she is left wondering what to do, and it can drive some women to the brink of insanity. For a man, this not a recommended way to deal with an ongoing problem, as this type of continued behavior from any man is usually a sign that he may not be a good mate and needs some maturing and communication skills.
What makes a man want to retreat into a man cave?
It is not all that complicated even though women tend to make it more complicated in their minds.
When a man feels like his partner is not appreciating him, or he is being punished, pushed too hard, nagged, overwhelmed, not ready to commit or needs space from her, he may retreat to his man cave. Depending on the man, or the coaxing of his partner will determine how long he stays in his man cave. There are men as well that need space from time to time in a relationship, which is understandable, and if they don’t get it they begin to feel trapped and want to hide. If he retreats, which for some men may be a missed phone call, or wanting to take time away with friends, or after an argument, there are a few things that a woman can do depending on the relationship and his reason for retreating. Men tend to retreat more than women, and women tend to want to talk things out….
A few tips on what a woman can do when this happens in the relationship.
Five ways to deal with a man when he goes into his man cave mode.
- Do not pressure your guy to come out of his cave with continued calling or showing up unexpected at his house or place of work, this will only aggravate the situation. Do not threaten or demand for him to come out and talk to you. This type of behavior is one that may have driven him into his cave to begin with, so it will only drive him deeper into the cave. Too much pressure for some men and they may never come out at all. One phone call is usually enough. If he does not respond, then leave him alone.
- Give him space and some time away out on his own. The idea of wanting to resolve the issue now and get on with it, this may be what a woman wants, but for the man he may need time to just get away and think about the situation. When he does come out of his man cave, do not attack him. Be nice to him instead of being angry or grumpy. Time is also good for a woman as well as she can have her space to understand her own feelings. Men tend to want to run than confront an emotional angry woman.
- Crying to a man may have a negative reaction on him … Understand that when a woman becomes emotional with crying spells, most men do not know how to respond to that emotion, so they retreat. Men tend to hate it when women cry—for reasons that they often have difficulty articulating. Men may be biologically primed to react to a woman’s tears. According to a new study, even a whiff of tears can dramatically reduce his testosterone levels, and his desire for her. With or without conscious awareness, a woman crying is upsetting to a man. This is not to say that tears or being upset from time to time is going to push him away but crying about problems or having crying spells as a way to get what a woman wants can do just the opposite, turn him away. If the crying sent him running, then when he comes out of his cave, talk to him about it in a way that is positive and help him work through his feelings so the next time it happens he will know what to do. A hug or kiss, this may be all it takes! Men get confused by a woman emotions, but if told how they can help if it does happen again, they won’t feel so helpless and most would gladly offer a hug to stop a woman from continuous crying.
- One attempt that a woman can try to get her man out of his cave is being sweet by offering to make him a home cooked meal. A simple offer of a peaceful evening and a full tummy with his favorite dish. Most men can’t resist this one. A simple caution, is if he says no, then just back away and give him time as stated in #1.
- If he retreated to the cave because of a series of text messages that were bitchy or in a moment of emotional turmoil, an apology may coax him out. Text messaging upset feelings is never a good idea as he can read it over and over again; and words don’t always come out the same as speaking face to face or over the phone. Texting has caused more people to get into unnecessary arguments then any other type of verbal communication. The reason being is that it is an instant way to get emotions out, but it does not always convey the intent of the message or have allow the time to think about it. The other reason that texting is a problem is a person can re-read it over and over again having it become more ingrained in the mind in a negative way, and that makes them less likely to want to work it out and talk about it. Avoid text messaging emotional issues. Instead, send a text to call and meet in person to discuss the issue. This will also help a person to cool down if they are upset and think through their emotions. We are a society of quick fixes, and texting has become a way to spit it out instead of waiting for the other person to be ready to speak, it forces people to react without thinking.
For some women it may be helpful to understand that when a man goes into his man cave, it can be compared to a woman having her period, (grumpy, wanting to hibernate, moody, hurting, upset and needing time to just chill out and be alone) of course without the cramps, bleeding, fluctuating hormonal moods and bloating…
Learning how to communicate with a man can be frustrating for many women because they are used to communicating with their girlfriends in a way that men do not typically speak. Expecting a man to have the patience to listen to their problems without wanting them to solve the problem, can leave a man feeling helpless. Most men, especially younger men, are not used to this type of communication. They want to solve the problem and be done with it, whereas women on the other hand like to talk about their feelings so that they can get it off of their chest and have another person agree with them.
When women expect to have this type of communication with a man on a regular basis, most men will lose patience with her after a while and either retreat or say something to aggravate her and then it ends in an argument. Telling your man beforehand that you just need him to listen as a friend for a bit without a solution, can give him some clues as to what he is supposed to do and what is expected of him. Remember that he is not a girlfriend and at some point going on and on about a subject is best left to discuss with the girls. Too much complaining and he may run into his man cave again, for fear of getting corned into another lengthy emotional conversation.
As always, there are men that are more apt to lending an ear better than others from time to time, but for most men their instinct is to solve problems. That is what their mind are wired to do.
This article has been republished with permission from Dr. Dawn Michael.
Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock
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