Man Sheds: Separation is sometimes the reason a couple stays together, which may seem paradoxical.
Separate his and hers rooms within the home, such as a man cave or walk-in closet, are simple to comprehend and rationalise.
After all, he requires space to store his belongings and engage in manly activities, and vice versa.
Going beyond shouting distance means taking that space a step further.
Meet the man who lives in the shed
When North Carolina percussionist Gregory Whitt and his wife Annelies moved in together, they agreed that his drum collection, which included goat-skinned African djembes (which have an acquired odour), couldn’t come with them.
For Whitt, however, leaving it behind would have been a deal breaker. So they erected a backyard man shed for the price of a year at a storage facility.
Where Whitt could store his instruments and record music. He refers to it as his “G-Spot.”
“It’s not a firewall,” says Christopher J. Lynch, a Los Angeles-based author who has been happily married for more than 30 years. Lynch spent roughly $10,000 building his 110-square-foot man shed.
Which he credits with keeping his relationship strong by establishing a mutual respect for personal space.
“We don’t believe in suffocating, ‘joined at the hip’ relationships,” says the author.
It’s where he writes, and his wife can see the additional benefits of his man’s shed in the form of his increased income.
Tyler Yost, a new father, can’t put a price on what he sees as the value in his 150-square-foot man shed in Charlotte, N.C. “My wife and I recently welcomed our first child.
And I believe it not only saved our marriage but also kept me sane during those insane, long nights.”
For the Wetjen family, man sheds are also a family enterprise. Craig Wetjen, a well-known Melbourne wedding photographer, was so taken with his father-in-shed law’s that he began photographing him and other men in their sheds for a book he hopes to publish in August.
Jo, who is assisting with the project, is also motivated by her father’s shed, saying, “I am confident its existence has safeguarded his.”
The man shed culture began in Australia, a country with a divorce rate similar to that of the United States.
A friend of the Wetjens, Philip Pilven, recently held a shedwarming party to commemorate the completion of his second man shed.
He outgrown his last shed, but his wife Gaye is unconcerned. She even assisted in the party’s hosting.
Margaret Smith, thousands of miles away in rural Montana, admires her husband’s man shed, which also serves as an aviation hangar.
There’s large, and Pete Smith has probably spent a year or two of their 29-year marriage in it, but she doesn’t mind as long as he keeps the intercom on so she can contact him.
It is not necessary for a man shed to be large or high-tech. Prefabricated models at a low cost are commonly accessible and can be a good solution to avoid budget conflicts.
It’s not about the structure for many men; it’s about the contents: model trains, gym equipment.
Cigar collections, pool tables, bars, fishing gear, and other sentimental items that can be ticking time bombs for conflicts over décor and space.
Lisa Concepcion, the founder of Love Quest Marketing and a Miami-based love strategist, is all for man sheds, but she advises that you first agree on a few things.
“He can decorate it as he pleases, watch TV there, work on projects there, and so on.
But if he goes there every day for hours at a time and spends more time there than he does at home, that’s too much separation.”
She proposes establishing regulations such as laptops only being used in the home office, no sleeping in the shed, no locks.
And basically anything that turns the shed like a studio apartment—which, according to Concepcion, can descend into dangerous area.
“Many men in New York and Chicago keep apartments in the city. This is a calamity waiting to happen.”
Thanks to the presence of a man shed and the parameters that have been discussed and agreed upon, partners can really benefit and even get closer together.
The correct amount of time apart can replenish one’s batteries and make one’s heart grow fonder. Or, at the very least, keep fighting to a minimum.