in ,

Guy Livid After Wife Refuses To Let Him Turn Basement Of Their New House Into His ‘Man Cave’

Branden Skeli

While moving into a new house is meant to be fun and exciting, some arguments are bound to come up as the new homeowners decide how to make the space their own.

Arguments like this have a way of exposing a person’s potential negative qualities, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor was angry with his wife when she wanted to be involved in the designing of their finished basement, when he wanted the space for a man cave of his own.

When she continued to be angry, the Original Poster (OP) thought she would never give him permission.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for not wanting my wife to take part in designing the basement?”

A pair of newlyweds recently became new homeowners, too.

“I (26 Male) just got married to my wife (25 Female) back in September.”

“My wife and I have been saving and investing throughout high school and college, so we were able to close on a really nice house.”

“The house is 2800 sq. ft and comes with 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a finished basement, a back patio with a hot tub, and a kitchenette.”

“We bought this house as we are hoping to raise a family in this house.”

The OP had a plan for how he wanted to go about designing the house.

“So we have two living areas, the basement living area, and the main floor living room.”

“I figured my wife would want to take priority over the main floor, so I said that she could design the main floor living room the way she would like, as well as the master bedroom, but I wanted to design the basement living area the way that I want.”

His wife was confused by him excluding her.

“My wife asked why she can’t help with the basement, so I told her that I wanted to turn the space into a man cave, so whenever I invite friends over we would have a place to hang out.”

“My wife was angry when I mentioned what the space would be used for and she said that she did not want to space to be turned into a man cave.”

“She added that we both had to agree on how the basement living area would be designed and what it would be used for.”

The OP was protective of his space.

“I was a little irritated after hearing this and so I told my wife that I am letting her design the living area and master bedroom 100% the way that she wants.”

“I said I just wanted the basement living area to be completely the way I want.”

“I also added that since we currently have no children and are not expecting one at the moment that she could use any of the bedrooms for something extra.”

“After I said that, my wife started guilt-tripping me, saying that she was offended that I was ‘excluding’ her and how this is not just my house, but how it’s our house.”

“I haven’t started anything yet in terms of designing the basement living area, but I really want a space in the house that’s kind of my own and is designed the way that I want.”

“I’ve tried explaining this to my wife but she keeps saying that I’m being selfish.”

“I wanted to know if I am really being an a**hole here.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some pointed out that the OP was trying to control a large section of the home as his own.

“YTA, it’s not a question of who designs which area; it’s the fact that you’re saying she can design two areas which will be for both of you, and you will take one entire section of this house as your own.”

“This is something that should have been discussed before you bought a home.” – Opinionated_123

“Ok, truly, the audacity of just assuming one gets a whole floor to themselves, not just for design but to use.”

“Because it’s totally reasonable to want to be involved in house design, but taking the whole basement as a man cave is always s**tty.” – claws_and_chains

“Literally assuming any of a jointly purchased house is for your own exclusive design ideas/usage is s**tty.”

“How hard is it to say, ‘I was thinking this could be a games/media room for us to entertain in, I have some ideas about how I would like to set that up…’?”

“The use of ‘man cave’ denotes he expects this will be ‘his’ space. I feel immensely for OP’s wife.” – Kitchu22

“To be honest, I don’t think it’s s**tty to want a man cave/your own area, or to even ask for one, especially in a house with that much extra space.”

“My fiance and I each have a room in our house that’s completely whatever each of us wanted.”

“What’s s**tty is expecting that you get that space, expecting your partner to be okay with it, and being p**sy when they aren’t.”

“What you do with a house/room in a house is a joint decision.” – LordPepperoniT*ts

“YTA. How generous of you to let her decorate shared living spaces for you and future children to enjoy while you get an entire basement for you and your buddies to party in.”

“You cannot seriously believe that is fair? The fair thing would be to make the basement an entertainment room that you both design. You don’t need a man cave, you need to consider your wife.” – MyRockySpine

Others agreed and pointed out that OP’s solution wasn’t fair to his wife, either.

“I just loved how he is ‘letting’ her do so much to their shared spaces.” – Nagadavida

“And the solution of taking one of the extra bedrooms, since they don’t have kids yet or immediate plans, isn’t good either.”

“I guarantee you that basement has a lot more space for him to hang out with his friends and exclude her and her friends than the bedroom would have for her and her friends to hang out and exclude him and his friends.”

“Plus, as soon as whichever kid meant they had to change one of the rooms they had plans for came along, she would be expected to give it up for the kid – after all, at that point, she’s a mom, what does she need hobbies for?”

“YTA, OP, and while the whole thing sucks, this is what stuck out to me.” – Rodinia47

“What women get ‘gifted’ are things like closet and pantry ownership. I understand many women love this and have more items that may take up this type of space, but that isn’t necessarily a hobby or relaxing space.”

“Maybe she has a crafting/sewing room or a place to create her make-up tutorials (sorry, I’m going really girly here, just trying to illustrate a point) but this is all stuff that wouldn’t require a huge quadrant of the house.” – Gotforgot

“He doesn’t even ask if she wants to design it! ‘I figured my wife would want to take priority over the main floor,’ ugh, just ASK her.”

“Decorating a house is such a bonding experience, creating a shared space together. She’s probably bummed that they’re not doing it together.”

“Not to mention it’s not like she’s an interior decorator, so it’s a huge burden to take on.” – stolethemorning

“He essentially assigned her these rooms assuming that she’d want to do all the work herself, and then is annoyed that she doesn’t view it as a fair ‘trade’ that he’s going to design himself a clubhouse while she has to take care of shared space.”

“It’s like telling your partner what to make you both for dinner and then being annoyed when they’re not happy that you’re making dessert just for you.” – PurrPrinThom

“He probably didn’t even care to design the common spaces so he’s framing it as him ‘letting her,’ so now he has this free bargaining chip to leverage and convince her that she now owes him, when he really gave nothing up in the first place?”

“And he’s claiming an entire level of the house for his use to get away from her?? YTA” – basilobs

After receiving feedback, the OP shared several updates.

“Many people have suggested that I take one of the empty bedrooms and use that as a man cave rather than the whole basement living area.”

“I think this is actually a good idea and I will bring this to my wife and see what she thinks.”

“I will also ask what she was planning on using that basement living area for.”

The OP started to take the feedback to heart.

“So far it looks like almost everyone agrees that I am an a**hole. I can see why I was wrong here and I was definitely excluding my wife here.”

“I plan on apologizing to my wife as well as asking her what she would like to do.”

The OP then shared what came of a conversation with his wife.

“I apologized to my wife for excluding her and getting ahead of myself. I also talked to my wife and asked what she wanted to do with the house.”

“She said that she’s fine with me taking the basement bedrooms to be used as a man cave, while she will use the upstairs bedrooms for her own space.”

“The basement living area will be used as a home theater, and my wife also said she would like for me to be involved in designing the rest of the house (living room, master bedroom, kitchen, laundry room, etc.).”

“I really do see now why my original plan was just not a good idea.”

While it was fair and valid for the OP to be excited about his new home and the idea of having a space to share with friends, the subReddit pointed out it should still be a group effort.

After talking to his wife, it was clear the OP liked their collaborative ideas better than the original ones he was arguing for, which just further proves that having someone to help with design decisions can really be a gift.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit