Friday, 3 December 2010

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Cave Time


When we were in the early years of our marriage, I used to tear my hair out wondering why sometimes my Significant Other gets into his own world and does not want to be disturbed. Then God sent me my best friend, Jannie, who explained to me how men need to be in their "caves" once in a while. Ahhh.... that explained everything!!! Thanks to Jannie.

Men need time to be in their "caves". I need to remind myself that. For my Significant Other, that means reading his newspapers and updating his to-do list. For other spouses, it could be playing computer games, reading the car magazines, etc. Allow your spouse time to be alone in his own “cave” without being disturbed.

Here are some tips how to manage it:

1. Agree with each other on the duration in the "cave"

Agree with your spouse what the duration in the “cave” should be, so that both of you are on more or less the same level when it comes to expectation and don’t get unnecessarily disappointed. Time in the "cave" also changes at different stages in the marriage. For example, when we were DINKs, my Significant Other spent one hour in his “cave” everyday reading his newspapers. When J comes along, that was reduced to zero – the newspaper subscription was cancelled, as taking care of a newborn and a young baby was simply too hectic in terms of time. Now that J is more than a year old, my Significant Other’s time in the “cave” has become once a week on a Friday, i.e. he only subscribes the Business Times Friday Edition.

2. Understand your spouse’s personality in relations to "cave" time

Cave needs also differ depending on whether you married an introvert or extrovert. For example, my Significant Other can sometimes talk more than me, but when you go down to the core and bone, he is an introvert. How do you define that? An introvert is someone who gets his energy back by spending time alone after being in the company with other people. An extrovert on the other hand is someone who gets his energy back by being in the company of others. An introvert re-charges himself by being alone, and an extrovert re-charges himself by being with others. I married an introvert, thus, I need to understand that my Significant Other needs to spend more time in the "cave" than others. The good thing is I myself am also an introvert :-)

3. How do you kill time when your spouse is in his “cave”?

Get busy with other work and household chores: wash the clothes, fold the clothes, prepare food, get into your own "cave", get your personal admin. done, etc. When your spouse is out of his cave, all the things are done, and you can then enjoy time together without all these things being at the back of your mind :-)

4. Be understanding and flexible

Husbands, also try to be understanding to your spouse who is at the other end waiting for you to get out of your “cave”. Be ready to bend the rules and make exception, for example, if there is any urgent need for your time by your spouse.

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