His Need for "Man Space"

Dear Karen,

 My husband insists on his “boys night out” once a month.  They play poker, smoke, drink, and God-knows-what-else (he doesn’t really open up about what they do, no matter how nicely I ask).  Isn’t he supposed to have outgrown that, once he got married and had a family? – Judy

 Hi, Judy,

 Boy, you’re lucky that your husband still does this…good for him, and good for you! 

 So many men either succumb to their wives’ insistence that they stop all non-family-related extra-curricular activities, or just slide into “responsible husband/father/provider”, and let go of things that take care of his own needs, if those things don’t get the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”.

 You Benefit From His “Boys Night Out”

 Although it’s true that one of the things that’s great about men is that they will sacrifice a great deal for those they love (whether wife, children, or country) – including their lives – it’s a disaster to men to do too much giving without getting what they need, too.

 As a woman, you know what I’m talking about, don’t you? 

 When you’ve been too self-sacrificing, don’t things suffer? (You, as well as those you care for)? 

 Don’t you know, deep down, that you need to have things you can do that will “fill up your tank”?  Now, you may not allow yourself those things (and that is a tragedy!), but the need is there.

 Men have those needs, too.

 You Cannot Meet all of His Needs

 Please don’t be one of those women who believe that you’re supposed to be the answer to, and the provider of, all of his needs, because that is impossible!

 No more than your man can be the answer to all of your needs.  That is a complete set-up for failure, disappointment, resentment, etc.

 When your husband goes off with “the boys”, and does “God-knows-what”, he’s filling up his tank. 


 He’s going to come back with more to give.  And he’s going to do it in a way that is still connected with his masculine side.

 In all the years I’ve been working with women, no matter how much women say they want sensitive communicators (or some variation on that theme), what women really respond to is being with a man they feel safe with.  That is, typically, a masculine man. 

 Note: of course this is a generalization, and there are exceptions to everything, so if you’re happy with your feminine-essence man, that’s fabulous! 

 To send him off every month to his “Boys Night Out” with your blessings (and count yours…).