Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
"When a man retreats into his cave....."(37 Posts)
I've been reading about this online today, (bored at work!) and the theme seems to be, when a man withdraws from a woman, it's due to him feeling suffocated/stressed/needing time out and the thing us women need to do is not question it, not pursue him, not hassle or nag him, just wait patiently for him to decide he's ready to come out if his cave, when we should then welcome him with open arms and lots of love. Apparently, a needy, nagging woman will only make this worse, and could even lead him to falling out of love....!
Now, it strikes me that this seems very geared towards the man! I'm not sure if there's websites dedicated to men on how to deal with your 'emotional needy' woman to make her feel secure, loved and appreciated, but anyway......!
I know we all need our space, and it's healthy to spend time apart and that's all fine.....but do you think there's any truth in the theory of this? I feel annoyed by it, and feel it's really aimed at keeping the fellas happy, but wonder if there is actually a valid point being made here, about the differences between how a lot of men and women deal with emotional issues? I'm probably not making any sense, and rambling a bit, but really interested to hear what others think.....
That sounds like a steaming pile of sexist bullshit.
Where did you read this? AskMen?
You're quite right in thinking it's a load of old bollocks.
That's not to say that you should hassle someone who obviously needs a bit of space...but it's not a 'man thing' - it's a people thing.
And there's a difference between needing some time out and being a huffy, self indulgent twit that must not be questioned.
Ah Pocket, don't ask me that.....I'm embarrassed and was very, VERY bored at work Right, ok, it was a website called The Feminine Woman, that I reached after many, many, MANY clicks! (I know, I know!! ) But it led me clicking on loads of other links and finding the same stuff all over the place! It really annoyed me.....but... I wondered if there was an element of truth in it....if when a fella is 'in one' for whatever reason, the best thing to do is just leave him to it and get on with you're own stuff!
Exactly Pictish, theres a massive difference between being a huffy sod and genuinely needing time out....just annoyed me the way it was presented as tiptoe round him til he's over it, whatever 'it' was.....
I think it's very healthy to let a man be in his 'cave' and have time out. It shows a lot of emotional maturity and self assurance.
Interested to hear about this as my DP's habit of retreating into his 'cave' is causing arguments at the moment.
I need a lot of my own space, but they way I communicate this is very different from the way he does, as he just shuts down and locks me out without any explanation and makes me feel like I have done something wrong.
I have also been told that trying to make him talk to me is 'nagging' and that I should just accept it.
However, when he does this to me, all I actually want is for him to say 'I need some time alone, but it's nothing you've done wrong'
Otherwise I am left to fill in the gaps and drive myself slightly loopy.
I don't think it's a 'man' thing, by the way.
It's disrespectful, controlling twattish behaviour.
I need my 'cave'. I am a woman.
Anyway the cave paradigm is ridiculous purely on the grounds of prehistoric (in)accuracy regarding gendered food producing roles, living arrangements and current data on the extremely recent evolution of modern humans.
What LineRunner said. It's an even more under thought out version of guff like Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus, written by someone who should be smacked firmly on the nose with a rolled-up copy of Cordelia Fine's Delusions of Gender.
The book also recognised that women had lows (down the well) and that they needed to hit the bottom before coming back up again.
It did recognise that some women have caves and some men have wells, IIRC.
That some people need to talk about it (just talk, not open to "solutions") and others need to retreat to isolation.
It actually sounds more like introverts vs extroverts. Not sure it works well for men/women.
Now obviously that's done pretty sexist sounding shit but I think everyone has individual ways of sorting head space retreating etc. I have a bath most nights. It's my cave I guess. DH comes home and has to tidy piggy everything in its place drives me nuts as I'm currently on maternity leave l felt like it was done as a sort of reflection on me, but that's my issue he couldn't give to shits if I just sit and watch. It's his wind down. So I used to manage to somehow turn his tidying into a bit of bicker!?!? Now I just pick up a mag and let him get on he's in good form one is done
The cave is a pile of shite. It's just telling women to let men absent themselves from adulthood and not to question it.
Having said that, my friends ex used to retreat to a literal cave, where he and his mates would smoke doobies and talk about Cat Deeleys arse.
They were all in their late thirties.
Thanks for responses, I couldn't work out if I was talking a load of rubbish so I'm glad you get what I mean!
Yes, I KNEW I'd seen it somewhere before....it's the Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus that was highly debated when I was in the sixth form. And I remembered feeling a bit put out by it then too, and thinking "This seems to be all about the fellas!" I can't remember the woman down a well bit.....should I re-read, do you think?!
Morris, that made me laugh out loud......if you're going to do a cave, DO A CAVE!!
Great point Lweji....I think it's definitely more that than a man vs woman thing. Having said that, I've met a fair few women that need to retreat, but I don't think I've ever met a man that likes to 'talk it out'......
I have met a few men who talk too much for my taste, although maybe not necessarily about their "feelings".
Fuck that noise! An enthusiastic "yes!" to the notion that both men and women need brief periods of absenting themselves from couple/family life to stay sane (be that a long bath, a run, a church or other faith-based service attended alone, a coffee with a friend or night on the beers with numerous pals, etc... You catch my drift!) BUT there is no excuse for the patriarchy describing this kind of time as men's "cave". To me, with all the connotations this brings, the word suggests male privilege.
We're all people. We all need a bit of time/space to ourselves. Sexist metaphors for it are just unhelpful,
if some bloke shut me out, ignored me, belittled me, made me feel like I had done something wrong when I hadn't etc I would tell him to fuck right off permanently
I really wish people would not excuse behaviour that is simply self centred, attention seeking and immature
I didn't think the book was one sided, nor excusing abuse. I read it a couple of decades ago, but it seemed fairly well balanced, except that there was very little we were supposed to do about the "cave" except to wait, but then there was very little men were supposed to do about our "well" except to listen. This was where it was biased, though, the cave did beat the well.
It's very much polarised and symplistic, but it was supposed to explain each side to the other. The point score system was quite funny.
Going running is my cave. H's cave is his model railway (no really! I have promised him an arran cardigan for his next Christmas present ) and the pub (but not as much as before).
I suspect I am the one who need the cave most - I love solitude and the company of myself alone - H doesn't like being alone that much.
If either of us find ourselves doing too much of these things to the detriment of the relationship and the family it has to be cut back.
it's got nothing to do with a man needing his cave more than a woman - that is just so much sexist crap to excuse men from making the effort to be a grown-up participating in a functioning relationship.
If I'm in my actual cave (I don't have one...so just go with it for fun) Then STAY OUT! there are tools, sharp instruments and probably some kind of fire. I will have resorted to being Neanderthal...lol
I think it depends on the person on how you treat them at...shall we say, vunerable times. I say person because the same can apply to women as well as men.
Why, from personal experience with my DW. When she is feeling in a particular mood these things definitely apply;
-not question it
-not pursue her
-not hassle or nag her
Just wait patiently for her to decide she's ready to come out of her cave, when I then welcome her with open arms and lots of love, because that's when she needs it.
I've tried lots of different approaches over 20 years, discussed it with my DW and this IS the best course of action.
What's the website address? I'd be interested to read that!
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.