Men are from Mars, women are not.
It doesn't matter where they are from nor is it relevant how 'the same' they are to you; the bottom line is that there are empirical and genealogical differences.
I understand you should have commonalities with your spouse - in fact, you better! But each sex has a very different and very specific set of needs. For men, many of those needs can be tended to with the establishment of a man cave. Yes, we're generally that easy to please.
But investing in a man cave is not a project that should be taken lightly. I don't mean monetary investing - it takes thought and time to put together the perfect escape within your existing habitat that so that it can earn the title "MAN CAVE". If you'd like some good ideas on how to put together the perfect man cave, you can check out my post 9 Key Elements for the Perfect Man Cave.
Once you've pleaded and begged enough to get the space for your man cave (call it real estate within your real estate), and after you've spent time putting your man cave together as your perfect personal haven (a process which is ongoing), some rules must be established. Without rules, your man cave is anarchic and ultimately has no purpose.
I encourage you to put your own custom rules in place to ensure your man cave is actually yours. But as a foundation, here are a couple rules that should be fundamental.
1) No Sulking, nagging, moping, scowling, whining, etc.
The man cave is a happy place! Let's be real here - we are men. We pride ourselves on avoiding feelings whenever possible. If you're whining, you're feeling. Unacceptable! No discussion or your issues is OK. Talking about your life troubles is blasphemy. Leave that shit for the kitchen table.
Let's get one thing straight here - I'm not saying we're cavemen or depictions of knuckle draggers that thought chivalry was a kind of beer. All I'm saying is that emotion has its place. If you want to talk about how many batters your kid struck out at his little league game, cool. If you start talking about how happy that made you and you almost shed a tear watching, go somewhere else. There's a line, don't cross it.
2) Anything on the TV must be male-oriented.
There is no room for chick flicks, soap operas, reality TV or any other shows that your buddies would call you a woman for watching. For the most part, your TV should be tuned to sports or movies with explosions. If you are caught watching OWN or WE or Lifetime in the man cave, you should be hung by your underwear from a flagpole. In the winter. And posted on numerous social media sites.
3) Any sound that leaves your body should be acceptable at any time.
The man cave is not where someone goes to smell potpourri and roses. That said, if you have to fart, fart. If you have to burp, let the belch rip.
But apart from that, I'm talking about language. There should be no censorship there either. Four-letter words, swears, profanity and the like are part of what makes the man cave feel like a home away from home. Being able to say what you want without scrutiny is solace - we encourage this! So please indulge in all things that are not acceptable in public, at work or at the dinner table freely.
4) Making your "Rules of the Man Cave" known.
Making rules is one thing. Enforcing them is another - and its a must. There are dozens of sites online where you can get signs that have the rules of your man cave. These are a good start. But my suggestion is that as you progress with your man cave, as you start to think of more rules that you should have in place, a custom made and tailored-to-your-space sign that posts the rules is a great touch. Consider one that has your favorite sports team's logo. Or perhaps if you love movies you can get a picture of Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction and have him holding up the rules. The customization makes it sticks out. Not only will you be different and in the admiration of your buddies when they see it, but you can be sure they won't miss it. That's enforcement!
5) What happens in the man cave, stays in the man cave.
Much like Vegas, some events might occur and some things might be said within the confines of the man cave that could be detrimental to others in the "outside world". The man cave should not only be a happy place, but it should be a safe place. It's not about forming a cult that's predicated on secrets, its about knowing your words are protected and secure. Knowing that the things you say will only hit the ears in the room and not go any further helps build a foundation that is critical to your man cave. So keep the chatter high level, but should you slip and say something dumb, you should feel that its OK.
If you're in the process of building your man cave and your haven of decompression is deeply in need of some rules right away, I suggest checking out Ebay or Amazon for a standard "Rules of the Man Cave" sign". Its a good starting point and will give you some ideas on what to instate and enforce. Best of luck to you in your conquest, and if you have any suggestions, comments or questions you can email me here.