Living in a big house comes with a major perk. Many rooms. But, people can’t just take over any room they want.
Redditor mikelam583 encountered this very issue with his wife. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA: For insisting that my home office not be called my ‘man cave’?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“Yesterday, I had bit of an altercation with my wife. I work from home, and always have since before the pandemic.”
“I and my family live in an older Victorian era home on the east coast. I and my wife bought it almost 20 years ago for below market price, and boy was it a fixer upper. Eventually we repaired it as much as reasonable.”
“One room was a proper study, complete with gorgeous built in book shelves, and centuries old furniture. I promptly made this my office for my business.”
“Time passed, we now have a family together. Here comes the conflicts.”
OP explained the situation.
“We currently have 3 children. 16m, 8f, and 6f. I don’t want the two youngest ones to come in my study.”
“Mostly because I often paint models and have many fragile art prices in there, and I honestly don’t trust my youngest to keep their hands to themselves.”
“This resulted in accusations of sexism from my wife, who said I have always allowed my boy in with me. I told her that’s not the case, and that I only let him in when he was around 11or 12 years old.”
“After said conflict, she now insists on calling my office my ‘man cave.'”
“I really don’t like this title. It implies that this room exists purely for my pleasure. An implication that is false, it is where I do my work. I communicated this to her and she basically told me to stop being so sensitive.”
“I can’t help but see my self as reasonable, so I thought I’d ask Reddit.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA: The term man cave needs to die. Thank you for dying on this hill. Salutes.” ~ Rtarara
“I never knew the word ‘man cave’ had such a strong opposition.” ~ mikelam583
“There is definitely a culture associated with the ‘man cave’ term. When I think of someone using it generally I imagine middle-aged former frat bros.”
“Your wife definitely means it as an insult. Have a real conversation with her about it, and try and get to exactly why she has such an issue with you having an office that your younger kids are not allowed in. She clearly has not taken the situation seriously since it first came up and now has devolved into making subtle insults to get a rise out of you until she gets her way.” ~ TogarSucks
“Probably because there are now 5 people in a house that used to only have 2 people, and only one of those people has a whole extra room just to himself.” ~ crock_pot
“How many of those people have full time jobs that take place in the home?” ~ TurmUrk
“If his wife is a SAHM then two of them have full time jobs that take place in the home and also deserves her own space if he has a space that he is allowed to choose who can enter and who can’t.” ~ MyanMonster
OP needs to have an honest conversation.
“It’s his office. I have an office where i do my work. I don’t think my husband would ever consider it as me having more rooms than him. He doesn’t want it in the dining room or living room.” ~ FizzFuzzFazz
“The issue here isn’t space. If they didn’t have enough bedrooms for the kids and he wanted to keep his office, your comment would make more sense.”
“3 of those 5 people are children and have their bedrooms, surely you’re not saying they’re justified in having their own separate rooms other than the bedrooms. It’s unknown if OPs spouse works, but if she does it’s likely out of the house so they don’t need an office.”
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with having an office in this scenario, ‘a room just to himself.’ Well yes. It’s where he works, no one else has any use for the room.” ~ taybay462
“Do you think your wife is salty that, in your own words, ‘One room was a proper study, complete with gorgeous built in book shelves, and centuries old furniture.’ and then you ‘promptly’ made it your own? Were there conversations had when that happened; was everyone in agreement? If there are plenty of rooms, but you took the nicest one for your sole use, might she be annoyed? I’m not saying the choice doesn’t make sense (especially given you work from home), but it’s something to consider.”
“Second question, how many hours a week do you actually spend in your study, and how many of those hours are you spending on work vs. hobbies? I know you said below how much time you spend but it was confusing (2 hours a day? 2 hours over the course of an entire month?)”
“If you are spending about 2 hours a day (~10 hours a week) on hobbies, as others point out that’s a long time to be unavailable with kids.”
“Could your wife be getting resentful of the amount of uninterrupted time you spend on your own things? Does she work? Does she get an equal amount of time to spend locked in a room uninterrupted to work on her own hobbies? Or is she responsible for marshaling the kids during your time off but then gets none in return? Just spitballing here.” ~ tishtok
“This was my thought as well. So OP, you’ve got this fancy room (where 2 out of 3 kids, incidentally the ones with whom you have to do active parenting when they’re around you, are not allowed), where you spend time while working and extra time on your hobbies. I can totally see her being salty that you’re basically just hiding yourself in this room away from family life for the biggest part of the day. And as such, I think a ‘man cave’ reference is relatively justified.”
“That said, it’s not really constructive, and I think the two of you may need to talk about potential resentment or it may poison your relationship.” ~ Farahild
It’s his office.