#71 – Men, Requests, & The Man Cave


While this episode is about men, it’s actually intended for women, and addresses a common dynamic between the genders. I’ll dig into how a common desire among women can come across to men as pressure or control, and cause them to go into their “cave.” Tune in to learn why it’s so important to let your man go to his cave when he needs to! And if you’re a LGTBQ+ listener, please reach out to let me know if this dynamic plays out in your relationships! 

Biggest Takeaways From Episode #71:

  • The man cave is a real thing. I’m not talking about a physical room in the house, but rather a mental or behavioral cave. For example, a man may retreat to an electronic device, a sports game, or even a newspaper.
  • Women tend to prefer to process their feelings by talking. Men, on the other hand, often to want to think about (or distract themselves from) their problem before re-engaging.
  • The more a man feels pulled or manipulated out of his man cave, the more he’s likely to resist. 
  • Expressing a pure desire (without a “you” in it) rather than making a request can be a powerful tool for avoiding perceptions of control. For example, say, “I would love to go out to dinner tonight,” not “I would love for you to take me out for dinner.”

Highlights from Episode #71:

  • Vicki welcomes listeners and explains that today’s episode is about men, but for women. [00:39]
  • We hear the question from a listener that inspired this episode. [02:58]
  • The man cave is a real thing, Vicki explains, and goes into more depth about why it’s important for women to know about it. [06:28]
  • Vicki responds to the part of the listener’s question about her spouse taking any request as a criticism, and shares a personal anecdote. [11:43]
  • When someone makes a request, we have three options: yes, no, or negotiate an alternative solution. Vicki elaborates on this as well as how requests function. [18:16]
  • Vicki elaborates on two possibilities about the listener’s question, and emphasizes the value of being able to sincerely say, “I hear you.” [22:02]
  • Another strategy is to express a desire without specifically making a request. [23:55]
  • Vicki points out that when you first learn about boundaries, it can be tempting to make everything into a request. [29:03]
  • We return once more to the listener’s question, and hear a summary of Vicki’s answer. [30:43]
  • Vicki recaps the major points that she has covered in today’s episode. [33:23]

Links and Resources:


Hi, I'm Victoria!

I love guiding my clients on a journey of Returning to the authentic truth of who they are, Reclaiming what is theirs, and Receiving everything that is meant for them.


  1. Barbara on December 19, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    What do you suggest for a spouse to do when her husband is ALWAYS in his “man cave”?
    He refuses to do a weekly or bi- weekly check in or talk about anything important about our relationship. He will not discuss his recovery or ask about my healing.
    I have given up and talk with my support group. I believe we are moving towards divorce as I will not live with a man who will not communicate on a personal level.

    • Vicki Tidwell Palmer on January 13, 2020 at 10:39 pm

      Hi Barbara, this sounds so frustrating and lonely. I can imagine if I were in your shoes I might be thinking I was moving to divorce as well.

      I’d like to challenge you just a bit here: Is he ALWAYS in his man cave and does he never want to talk about anything important? I ask because I have been guilty in the past of noticing only what I didn’t want, and ignoring or just not seeing when I was getting what I did want. Or I would find myself using words like always and never, which (for me) are sure signs that I am probably exaggerating.

      Would it fit for you, as you are trying to decide how to proceed in your marriage, to begin looking for evidence that you sometimes do get at least some of what you want? I have no idea whether or not this may be true, but it could be worth a try. Because if you are sometimes getting some of what you want, you could begin to notice, have gratitude for what you are receiving, and show appreciation to your husband when you do. It could be the beginning of a different culture in your marriage, not to mention getting more of what you are longing for!

      If you haven’t already, I would love for you to listen to Episode #77 How to Get More of What You Want in 2020, where I talk about what to do when you’re wanting more but not getting it.

      Take good care.

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