What To Do When He’s In His Cave

—see previous post here

Without making too many blanket statements, let’s try this one on for size:

Every man has a hobby or two that his wife finds at best, excessive—at worst, little short of completely ridiculous.

(Hurray for marriage! I truly love this journey.)

I call these hobbies Man Caves. I don’t mean in the modern sense: the back room of the house where the TV, the stuffed moose, and the peanuts reside. I’m talking about a place men go in their minds. You might call it Total Detachment from Reality.

Nearly every man has a few of these caves. This time of year, their wives know what I am talking about: they are called Tree Stands.

But there are other caves, as diverse as the men who inhabit them.

Football Watching. Antique Collecting. Unprofitable Fishing. Computer Gaming. Extensive Reading. Catching Some Rays. Watching Funny Stuff on YouTube. Tinkering in the Garage. Playing Basketball with the Guys. Listening to Rush Limbaugh. Sitting in the Bathroom for Long Periods of Time Reading the News.

And I did mention Tree Stands, did I not?

Behind every great man there stands a good woman… rolling her eyes.

She doesn’t really mind him having a hobby, for goodness’ sake, but couldn’t it be something that like makes sense? I mean, if he really thought about it would he want to spend all his time doing that when he could be—

Anyway, couldn’t he stay aware of what’s happening around him? The kids might be fighting, the Lord might be returning, it might be Christmas morning, for pete’s sake. And yet he is cheerfully unmoved.

We wives are a demanding set.

And the thing she really minds, the thing that really gets her goat, is the fact that he is not open to appeal on this point. In this one matter, he-who-loves-her-and-is-usually-so-attentive-and-considerate really does not care what she thinks. Or wants. Or had in mind for their evening together.

She could handle it all better if he would explain how important this is to him. If he sat down with her and said “Wife, I am going to spend the next four hours of my life watching meaningless hunting movies I’ve seen ten times before, because I’m so excited about going out myself that I just can’t stand it” then maybe she could understand and accept this.

But he never talks much about it. The more she hounds him, the more elusive he is. And he’s not really that stubborn about it (meaning, he doesn’t fight for it, he doesn’t insist on it) he just does it. Silently. And without realizing The Passing of Time, The Irritation of His Wife, or The Sad Future Welfare Of His Children’s Souls If He Fails to Spend Time with Them Tonight.

The point being—what should a wife do when her husband is There, doing his thing?

More next time.

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John Coblentz
11 years ago


Mary Miller
11 years ago
Reply to  John Coblentz


11 years ago
Reply to  John Coblentz

It appears Shari knows the men in her life. 😉

11 years ago

I completely hear you, understand you, and for me, even when I try and explain that to him, he nods and tells me he understands…and then goes back to doing his “thing”. Like you said, it doesn’t have to be something bad, just something time-absorbing that only seems to make sense in his mind at the moment. If you figure this all out, let me come visit you in your million dollar home that you’ll get for uncovering one of life’s greatest secrets. 🙂 Great post ~ you are such a joy.

11 years ago

“She doesn’t really mind him having a hobby, for goodness’ sake, but couldn’t it be something that like makes sense? I mean, if he really thought about it would he want to spend all his time doing that when he could be—”

And I bet that is how they often feel, too. I am not sure they always get our hobbies either. I think my Ryan thinks “huh?” (lol, John) a lot sometimes. “Why does she have to rearrange the furniture again?” and “Her decor looked great last week. She has to switch things up…why?” (All because, I love to do it, it’s a hobby, and I am sure it could still look better…a week later.) The house was just fine before – my changing and switching and reordering simply don’t make sense (to him).

When my husband is There, what do I do? Oh boy. Let’s not talk about that.
The awful, real truth is that his “theres” have been a source of contention in our relationship and marriage more than once or twice. I haven’t always done so well trying to understand his places…I honestly haven’t tried sometimes.

Recently in our Truth Project study group we discussed marriage being a 100/100 relationship. He gives all, I give all.

So, I’m working at it. His places may never make sense to me, and frankly might just be a waste of time…but it isn’t my job to convict my husband. I just need to love him…and I do believe that it’s my love that calls him to more! When I express interest in his places (any of them!), I am delighting in him…and he knows it. 🙂

I am even discovering personal joy in his places, when I delight in them for him. Even if it still doesn’t make sense. 🙂

If I want him to delight in my places and take interest, why shouldn’t I do the same?

Blessings on your journey!
And she whispers…”I’m so glad there’s grace!”

Mom Coblentz
11 years ago

I’m waiting for the next installment!! Don’t know how you do it…articulating sooo well, the realities of life, marriage, and mothering. You’re right on target!! ‘Course I could be a mite prejudiced. 🙂
And that ‘huh’ that echoed out of a cave…wonder when he’ll come out?!?

11 years ago
Reply to  Mom Coblentz


11 years ago

So many quotable things in one blog post, Shari! Thanks for the laughs.

11 years ago

Is there any functional difference between the Cave and the Doghouse?

11 years ago
Reply to  The Boss

That is a funny reply to a great post!

11 years ago

This had me laughing and feeling convicted.

I completely agree with Mom Coblentz. You do so well with articulating things that can be muddled!

11 years ago

When I was 20 I thought the year began and ended with deer season. By the time I was 40 I still enjoyed the outdoors but no longer felt the all-compelling need to do the “tree stand thing”. Give him time to grow up; (it may take 20 years) , but while there’s life there’s hope!

Sandi Stoltzfus
11 years ago

One of my friends just linked to your blog on facebook, so this is the first time I have visited, but I will be back. I really enjoy your writing! Your parents are 2 of my heroes 🙂 I was at Maranatha Bible School for several years when they were on staff and you kids were very young. I was Sandi Miller back then. Thanks for writing -looking forward to more! My husband’s thing is watching football :)…..and angry birds…:)

11 years ago

Just love this post…you articulate so well the realities of it all.

11 years ago

Oh my. My husband told me to read this blog…. we both got such a bang out of it. They say you find humorous the things you identify with 🙂 Love the funny comments, too.

11 years ago

This is SO FUNNY. I have to show my husband this, so he sees I’m not the only one. 🙂

I just came across your blog, and have enjoyed the couple posts I read. You don’t really know me. Hope it’s okay if I lurk around here! It’s so encouraging to hear from someone who experiences the same things I do! And who makes me laugh about it. 🙂

Shari Zook
11 years ago
Reply to  Treva

Welcome here!

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