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“Am I The [Jerk] For Not Giving Up My “Man Cave” To Accommodate My Mother-In-Law?”
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Relationships1 year ago

“Am I The [Jerk] For Not Giving Up My “Man Cave” To Accommodate My Mother-In-Law?”

Everyone needs their own corner. A place where you can relax, recharge, and be yourself. A place where you set the rules and nobody intrudes.

So when Reddit user u/needmyspaceaita had built himself such a space, he wasn’t willing to let go of it. Even if it meant having a marital conflict.

You see, his wife demanded the man give up his “man cave” so that her mother could move in with them. u/needmyspaceaita tried to compromise but the couple couldn’t reach an agreement.

After the whole thing blew into a huge argument, he made a post, explaining the whole situation and asking whether or not he’s being too stubborn.

Continue scrolling to learn exactly what had happened.

Image credits: nesgoomba (not the actual photo)

Relationship coach Jessica Brighton thinks that talking it through is pretty much the best thing partners can do when they see eye to eye on all but one thing.

“The key to a resolution becomes communication and the concept of picking your battles,” she told Bustle. “You need to have an extensive conversation to discuss your feelings and where each of you stands on the issue. If you determine that you are still unable to find common ground, then a compromise and agreeing to disagree may be your best plan of action.”

Brighton noted that nothing is perfect, but it’s necessary to focus on the positive and reframe your outlook if you want to stay together.

“We all have to deal with negative issues and unpleasant situations in the other avenues of our lives,” she said. “Why deal with one more in your personal life? If you determine that the positives in your relationship outweigh the negatives, I suggest you embrace the positivity and happiness that your relationship brings you and focus less on the one negative issue.”

Here’s what people made of the story

However, finding a way to express your concerns to one another can be difficult. This is where clarity becomes crucial, as you don’t want your partner to focus their emotional energy on a counterargument to something you didn’t suggest. According to Catherine E. Aponte, Psy.D, it’s all about taking a beat to think over what you want before bringing it up.

“Being able to be clear about your specific take [something] and being able to clearly state your wishes or concerns is important to finding a workable compromise,” Dr. Aponte told Fatherly.

“Each of you wants to be able to express what you want to happen. Each of you is willing to explain why what you want to do is important to you. Each should give the other the opportunity to express his or her preference, without interruption.”

So if you find yourself in a similar predicament, the best course of action is to keep talking. Not calling each other nasty names.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The most important question here is "What does the mother in law want?" I've read what he and his wife want and don't want, but nothing about how the MIL feels about moving in with her daughter. I can think of millions of reasons why the MIL wouldn't want to live under one roof with her daughter and her family. This whole drama could turn out to be totally unnecessary in the end.

Monday
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's an important consideration. My folks finally came to an agreement about converting my dad's garage into an apartment for her after who knows how many rounds of arguments only for grandma to tell them "heck no, I've got my own house!".

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Carol Emory
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

One way to win the wife over about finding a closer place for your MIL is that, if G-ma has her own place, there is a place for the kids to go after school and the kids spending time at G-mas gives you the opportunity to have some alone time with your wife..everyone wins. To the person who suggested that he move his Man Cave to the Garage, you could just as easily convert the garage to a MIL suite. Then, after G-ma passes, make it a She Shed for the wife. Also, has anyone asked the MIL what she wants. She may not want to be around the grandkids 24/7. Maybe a senior community where she will be looked after AND be around people her own age for company. Just make it somewhere near where you live so your wife can visit her mother.

Happy_Pandalover
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Agreed. Why not just find another Solution? Also basically it is his House and he gets to decide what happens to his belongings. He's already very generous in my opinion. Also is there a way to separate one of the rooms into two smaller rooms? The Kids can have smaller rooms and it'll still be their own rooms. Also once they get older (seeing that one is already 10) they will also benefit from his Man Cave. I'm sure it'll be a perfect party room for them and their friends once they are 14?

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Sleazy Weaver
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The title used to be "Am I the asshole for not giving up my man cave for my mother-in-law with health issues?" & I was immediately ready to say "Yes, family comes first, especially in times of need!" But after reading the article, there's no "need" at all. The wife doesn't want to move MIL in to take care of her failing health, she wants to take over because MIL is lonely when there are so many better options to fix the problem that don't end in destroying someone's hard-earned luxury. I also feel like, thanks to stereotypes about men disappearing into their man caves to leave their wives with all the work of child-rearing & chores, more people will be quick to blame him without hearing the full story. They'll assume he's really selfish when in reality he's been very generous with his family, but has a boundary about his personal area. I wonder if there would be less immediate bias if he had a craft room instead. Ignore me, this is just my two cents on the title! NTA!

Memere
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Especially since the kids aren't actually his!

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The most important question here is "What does the mother in law want?" I've read what he and his wife want and don't want, but nothing about how the MIL feels about moving in with her daughter. I can think of millions of reasons why the MIL wouldn't want to live under one roof with her daughter and her family. This whole drama could turn out to be totally unnecessary in the end.

Monday
Community Member
1 year ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's an important consideration. My folks finally came to an agreement about converting my dad's garage into an apartment for her after who knows how many rounds of arguments only for grandma to tell them "heck no, I've got my own house!".

Load More Replies...
Carol Emory
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

One way to win the wife over about finding a closer place for your MIL is that, if G-ma has her own place, there is a place for the kids to go after school and the kids spending time at G-mas gives you the opportunity to have some alone time with your wife..everyone wins. To the person who suggested that he move his Man Cave to the Garage, you could just as easily convert the garage to a MIL suite. Then, after G-ma passes, make it a She Shed for the wife. Also, has anyone asked the MIL what she wants. She may not want to be around the grandkids 24/7. Maybe a senior community where she will be looked after AND be around people her own age for company. Just make it somewhere near where you live so your wife can visit her mother.

Happy_Pandalover
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Agreed. Why not just find another Solution? Also basically it is his House and he gets to decide what happens to his belongings. He's already very generous in my opinion. Also is there a way to separate one of the rooms into two smaller rooms? The Kids can have smaller rooms and it'll still be their own rooms. Also once they get older (seeing that one is already 10) they will also benefit from his Man Cave. I'm sure it'll be a perfect party room for them and their friends once they are 14?

Load More Replies...
Sleazy Weaver
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The title used to be "Am I the asshole for not giving up my man cave for my mother-in-law with health issues?" & I was immediately ready to say "Yes, family comes first, especially in times of need!" But after reading the article, there's no "need" at all. The wife doesn't want to move MIL in to take care of her failing health, she wants to take over because MIL is lonely when there are so many better options to fix the problem that don't end in destroying someone's hard-earned luxury. I also feel like, thanks to stereotypes about men disappearing into their man caves to leave their wives with all the work of child-rearing & chores, more people will be quick to blame him without hearing the full story. They'll assume he's really selfish when in reality he's been very generous with his family, but has a boundary about his personal area. I wonder if there would be less immediate bias if he had a craft room instead. Ignore me, this is just my two cents on the title! NTA!

Memere
Community Member
1 year ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Especially since the kids aren't actually his!

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