Man Cave Woes
Q: I think every guy is entitled to his own space. My wife and I just moved into our dream home. We were living in a small house before that (if you can even call it a house). But after much saving, we finally moved into what we believed would be our dream home. But two months into the moving-in process and Im getting nagged about how my wife doesnt want me to take over an entire room devoted to my stuff. I told her about my plans for my man cave before we moved in, I even remember saying to the realtor, This will make a great man cave. If Im being honest, I guess my wife didnt exactly say yes to that, but she also didnt disagree. Anyway, here we are with this new home, and she wants to convert the room I thought would be my cave into a guest room. She says I can put some of my stuff there but not all of it. How can I explain to her that its important I have my own space? -Andy, 33
Dr. Anna: You need to practice clearer communication. Saying something in passing to a realtor is not the same as getting buy in from your life partner on a major topic. Its not too late though. Why not try negotiating? You have something you want. Find out what she wants. Maybe she wants an exercise room, her own art space, or whatever! Then hammer out a deal. You help her get what she wants and she helps you get your man cave space. Your house belongs to both of you. Work together to find a solution.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.