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The Man Cave


by Kristen Magnacca, June 15, 2010

There's a special place for the male in your life to escape and contemplate life. I define it as "The Man Cave:"

    The Man Cave: A solitary place for escape for males, perhaps your husband or partner. A place to retreat when contemplating a given challenging situation. A space is used for the purpose of regrouping and recharging.

Women often take offense at the men’s den, but they should realize that it's not only necessary, it's required for the well being of their guy's mind, body and soul.

When Mark and I were in the middle, knee deep in the fertility journey, I have to admit I was annoyed and envious of “the man cave.” I'd watch in wonder as Mark would zip upstairs and shut the door to our home office. I marveled at his ability to just shut the door on our fertility challenges. It was as if he had the super-human power to withdraw and remove himself, leaving me, 24/7, with the situation. Seemed he had a special compartment waiting in that room that allowed the fertility issue to be neatly tucked inside, and for life as we knew it to return to him for those moments.

What I know now (that I wished I understood then) was that the associations each of us create in our mind regarding our creation process have a flow and a pattern. The emotional charge is consistently similar for both men and women. The difference is the way we react and process is different.

Accepting and appreciating the fact that your partner is digesting and processing your situation, and feeling similarly but showing it differently (perhaps suffering in silence), is so important. Remind yourself that through understanding you will create a sense of connection, not a divide (that, unfortunately, was our initial experience).

I shifted my association with “the man cave” from being offended to being grateful by reminding myself that Mark would be “coming out” of the cave refreshed and ready to approach our situation as a team.

With Father’s Day approaching, along with summer, the gift of unconditionally understanding your guy’s need for solitude for the purpose of nurturing might be the perfect gift to give him. You might want to give thanks for his “man cave” and acknowledge its importance in balancing his mind, body and soul. His cave doesn’t have to be a specific location, such as a garage or office, maybe the man in your life’s “man cave” is fishing, sailing, biking or another solo activity.

One of my favorite quotes is that from Kahlil Gibran, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”

So let the spaces in your togetherness fill you both up as you move through the creation time of your lives together.


Author, consultant, and coach Kristen Magnacca has been featured on the Today Show and in publications including Woman’s World, the Boston Globe,,, and Kristen and her husband Mark live on Cape Cod with their children, Grace and Cole. Kristen invites readers to contact her through her website at