Cave Time and Video Games

I used to play a ton of video games. It was a distraction — time I should have spent on better things, as is clearer in hindsight.


Only now, I know why I was playing so much.

Mars and Venus refers to a need for men to process their experiences in their “cave.” I call it Cave Time. According to the book, men need several minutes once they get home to process a rough day at work. Cave time can be spent reading the news, watching TV, or just sitting in quiet. It’s pretty difficult for a man to transition right into “How was your day, Wife?” before taking time to process.

One time when I played a ton of video games, I was dealing with a rough time at work on top of the illness of a family member. I would come home, do the minimum amount of work to take care of the household, and retreat to my game.

It seemed like a real problem at the time, and Wife cautiously challenged my desire to be playing so often. I wasn’t sure what to say, since it was all I wanted to do after work.

Fast forward a couple of months. We quit our jobs and moved to another state.

I started up the game after several weeks without it. To my surprise, I no longer had any interest in playing whatsoever.

I played for a few minutes before quitting out of disinterest.

Then it hit me — I needed time to process what was going on in my life. Computer games were my cave time!

The issue is not the issue.

When the difficult problem went away, so did my need for cave time.

What is your cave time? (Or, what is your man’s cave time?) Is it surprising?