Home and Garden

Why Having a Man Cave is a Must, For a Great Marriage!

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When my husband Lowell and I lived in Irving, Texas, our home contained the archetypal “man cave” facilities that gave him his space to well, be a man. Not only did we have a great media/theatre room for games and movies, but also a killer outdoor kitchen and hot-tub on our back deck with a superb view. He would spend many a night whipping up some fabulous barbeque dish and then topping the night off with cocktail hour in the spa. And yes, I enjoyed my role as occasional sous chef, as well as listening to music, and conversing with him about our respective days in this idyllic setting.

We were reminiscing about our all-time favorite home back in Texas, as we suffer through the snow and cold of Cleveland, Ohio, and I asked him – what is it about the fascination that men have with the so-called “man cave?” He exclaimed that even though he enjoys hanging out with me, there are times when he loves having a place where he can watch action flicks (which I am not crazy about by the way), pay-per-view fights, and have a place to retire to and escape shows that he hates (and I love) like The Bachelor! Both of us like to entertain, so he also explained why it has always been important to have his “grilling stage” where he can throw down, have a beer with the guys and talk guy talk while the girls are inside talking girl talk.

What happens though when you downsize like we did when we moved to Cleveland, but still want to satisfy that man cave need the guy in your life naturally craves as part of his DNA? If you are single currently, but have a son in the house, they will still appreciate having their space, right? Well, one of Lowell’s mentors back in the day, NFL Head Coach Chuck Knox was fond of saying “you have to play the hand you are dealt.” So here are a few suggestions:

* The inside part of the cave starts with the television hook-up. Get yourself the largest 4K set your main living space will handle realistically. Get a nice complimentary Blue Ray disc player for movie nights.
* While you certainly can’t totally replicate the theatre experience, Sony makes a very versatile wireless system that still can make you feel like you are actually at the game! If you live in a condo and have neighbors, you can still get the depth of sound that might earn you a knock on the door! LOL.
* Get him a nice “papa bear” chair, or theater seats if they will fit in your domicile.
* So that you don’t get into fights over who gets the “best TV,” you will also have to invest in a nice set for the master bedroom. Sony makes a nice all in one system to give you some nice sound if you (or he) is the one that has to watch their show in the bedroom. And have a nice chair to sit in, so that you don’t have to lay in bed. If you are one of those who likes the sheets and pillow cases to be a little cold when you are ready to go to sleep, you know exactly what I am talking about!                                                                                                                                                                                      *Also all good man caves should have all his favorites near by: restroom, stocked refrigerator, microwave and a cabinet filled with all his favorite snacks.
* As far as the outside goes, hopefully you at least have a deck area that can accommodate a nice grill and some good outdoor furniture. In a smaller living space, this might be even more important, as it will increase your effective living area. While you were in the big house, you may have had a very large grill like we did, and consequently entertain larger groups. So look at having smaller gatherings at home and save the larger parties for going out to your favorite watering hole. But don’t skimp on the grill, even though you might go from six burners to three. Weber has a nice product and we ended up grilling even more during the summer here in Cleveland than we did in Texas.
We are wired as human beings to be in pairs. However, it is healthy to have some space to go and meditate and just be you. I must confess, there were many times I used Lowell’s man cave when he was traveling to enhance my viewing experience while watching Fixer Upper, Sleepless in Seattle, or yes – The Bachelor! Bottom line, we all need our space from time to time. If you are lucky like me, you have a guy who is willing to share the cave from time to time, a necessity in a smaller space. Fortunately, we both love grilling and do watch many of the same things. It is important to still spend more time together than apart, for a healthy relationship. As I write this article, we are actually watching an NFL Playoff Game – Seattle Seahawks versus Detroit Lions, and hoping our neighbors don’t feel like they are in the room with it since we have the atmosphere going. I laughed and said to my husband, “Aren’t you glad you married an ex-NFL Cheerleader honey?”

You can have a man cave in virtually any home. However, I think it really begins with your mindset.

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