Space.

[deleted account] ( 10 moms have responded )

I might sound a little selfish writing this, but here goes.

My husband is a space hog. We live in a VERY small house--it's about 1500sqft--it is a re-purposed weekend home if that gives you any idea. So, we have one big open kitchen/dining/living area, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a laundry room, and a single attached garage (that was built for a boat--it's an odd size).

My husband has been harping about how he wants a "man cave"--a place in our home just for him. I'm fine with that, I thought the spare bedroom could be converted--almost everything in it was his anyway since he used it last year when he didn't have an office for work, so I set about converting it for him. It houses our library (about 900 books), and a bunch of "crap" we just didn't know what to do with.

I had a 42" monitor mounted on the wall, and had the computer and all his video game things hooked up to it as well as a 22" monitor on his desk, and they put in a little switch on the keyboard, so he can work or play games at his desk, or sit on the sofa and use the big monitor to play games or watch movies. Then I put the sofa on the other wall with a table and had surround sound wired so the whole room shakes if he wants it too. I put in custom shelves to house the library (which is mostly his), his printers, paper & other supplies, game library, and all of his little mind puzzles (he likes those). I hung pics from his dad's and artwork he'd collected over the years. I put my own desk--a small glass top desk that I use to draw on--in the corner to the side.

Do you think he was happy? NO! It's not enough because MY DESK is in there. My desk is 32x21 inches--it's barely big enough to hold a sketch pad!

Now he wants me to clear all of my things out of the garage so that he can have a "workshop". Not that I have much in there--I put my purses in there so that he could have the closet in the spare room, and I have my camera equipment out there--it's all contained on a 3ft wide, 6ft tall shelf. My ONE little shelf in that entire garage is NOT stopping him from having his "workshop". He wants to put a shed in the back yard to build a workshop in, but we already have one and I don't want a yard full of sheds, so I told him to use the garage, but he says my stuff is in the way.

That's ALL the room we have! I have to have SOME space, don't I? All I want is a shelf in the garage, and a desk to draw on. Why should he get the entire spare room AND the entire garage, while I get nothing?

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[deleted account]

i'd be an ass and throw all his shit out of the "man-cave" and into the garage and tell him to deal. turn his "man-cave" in MY cave, see how he likes that.

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[deleted account]

The other thing that I think is bothering me about this is that he wants a place where he can get away from us, like away in a way that he doesn't even have to acknowledge we're there. When he goes into the spare room, I leave him a lone, and I keep J & the dog out too. He's all alone and undisturbed for as long as he likes (well, to an extent--he spends time with J in the evenings), but apparently, my little desk being there is too much of a reminder for him that he shares his home??

I just don't understand it....

[deleted account]

Alison, yes--I am totally open to advice! Thanks :)

I think I'm more upset about the fact that I put so much effort into this room for him--I mean, it was A LOT of work! I spent several hours a day for over a week cleaning it out (I even cleaned out the closet for him!), moving my stuff to the garage, designing the shelves and where everything would go. Then I took money from my own budget to pay men to come mount that big monitor, build shelves, and an IT guy to hook all the electronic stuff up--he has 4 video game things in addition to his computer, printers, and all the crap that goes with that--and set up the switch for the monitors. Then all I got was "I need a space of my own..." I just thought, with all that effort, he would have been a little happier, you know?

It's not like he didn't know I was doing it--It took weeks, there was more than enough time for him to say "Thanks for the thought, but I'm not going to be happy with your desk in there, so don't bother." There is nowhere else to put the desk, he knows that, which, he says, is why he wants a shed.
The thing is, when I ASKED him what he wanted, he said a room to play his games and relax, so I get it all done and he says he wants a room to totter about with his tools....

And don't get me started on the tools. He's and ENGINEER for goodness sake--he doesn't know what to do with tools! He has an ungodly amount of tools that he never uses--I found 2 power drills and a nail gun STILL IN THE BOX today. Dates on the receipt? August 2010 for the staple gun, Oct 2010, and April 2009 for the drills. Yep, 2009. He bought a drill, never used it, forgot he had it, bought another one, and STILL never used it.

Katherine - posted on 04/30/2012

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You definitely deserve space, just as much as he does! I would make a compromise with him. I don't know WHAT exactly....but he shouldn't be hogging up everything. Maybe he should take the garage and you should have the room.

Bonnie - posted on 04/30/2012

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Tell him if he wants a 'man cave' then you want the family to look for another house. See what he says then. Most men take over the garage. That should be enough. We live in a smaller home than you. A little over 1000sq ft, 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, joined livingroom room/dining room, small kitchen, rec room (which for us is like a second living room/play room), laundry room, and 'office' which always looks like it has thrown up because it is basically most of his stuff including boxes of nursing supplies he uses for work. We don't have a garage.

Alison - posted on 04/30/2012

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Sorry, I don't know the rules... am I allowed to offer constructive advice in the "venting" community?

Alison - posted on 04/30/2012

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Two things... First, I would love it if you would come over to my place and make all of our home as functional as yours, it sound like you are awesome!

Second, my husband is really big on win-win solutions. I have noticed that as women, we tend to sacrifice constantly for others and men are just not like that. They keep looking for a way to get what they want. And I don't think it is all bad. I think more moms should imitate their partners and make their own stuff happen! Move your purses into the guest room and make that YOUR space, then let him do whatever he wants with the garage.

You don't want to entirely neglect his need for a cave. Ultimately, you want him to be the best husband and father that he can be, and his cave may help him to be that man.

Brittney - posted on 04/30/2012

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We live in a 659 sq ft home with a 1/2 basement, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, no garage, and no shed. My husband used to live at his grandparents house and his room was almost the size of our house...well he had to bring everything with to our house because his grandparents wanted the basement for themselves (all they did was put a small card table in the middle of the room). I had to get rid of everything of mine so that he could keep his stuff and his friends stuff. Well, after about a month, he claimed the basement, it was fine with me. Then there were spiders so he brought everything upstairs. Then he re-claimed the basement. He is never happy. Just tell him that there isn't enough room for everything and if you have time to go through stuff to donate or have a garage sale, then do it! A yard full of sheds does sound funny! At least you don't have to be the one to build everything, my husband doesn't know anything about carpentry so I have to take over and build a shed all by myself.

I would give him the garage and turn his "man cave" into a guest room.

Louise - posted on 04/30/2012

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Personally I would turn his man cave into a childs play room! Then he will appreciate what a selfish sod he is being. Why should he have his own room, you all live there. Would it not beneift the kids to have a space they can muck about in. I can tell you I have three spare bedrooms, one of which is my daughters play room, another a guest room and the other is a no mans land! If he wants space to call his own then let him do the washing up, I find my self on my own every night when there are dishes to be washed!

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