Ah, ... so I mentioned rubberbands and theories a few posts ago. I've been pondering this a bit over the past couple years, and more recently, the past couple weeks. Conclusion. Yes, I believe them.
So this was the invention of John Gray, author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Awesome and worthwhile read if you haven't read it yet. Synopsis: the rubberband theory refers to the male intimacy cycle. Men lose themselves when he has been deeply intimate with a woman for an extended period of time - in pulling away and going into a "cave" (figuratively), it's a way for him to find himself again. Gray says, "Pulling away gives him time to reestablish his personal boundaries and fulfill his need to feel independent." So that's the rubber band theory.
Advice for the woman who has a partner in "cave" mode:
Now rope theory - I had never heard of this before until I overheard the crew of colleagues I work with in my day job as a happy-go-lucky IT consultant. It's always so interesting to hear this stuff from the man's point of view. Background - my IT consulting colleagues are generally men. No surprise there - IT, high tech, men. My particular company, group of IT consulting colleagues are good men. Good people - very important to me. In general, my colleagues are happily married devoted family men - so when I heard them chuckling away at this rope theory, my ears perked up and away I went asking them questions about it whenever I got a chance.
Rope theory: when in a relationship, men have to remember to "pull the relationship rope". Rein the rope in. I heard this and I went, "WHAT, FOR SERIOUS!?" Wait, what do you mean? So you've heard me say it before many times, man must treasure his woman, woman must respect her man, - this totally goes along with that idea. I realized that until very recently, I've been looking at the relationship bus all wrong. The bus driver is not the man, it's the woman. The navigator is not the woman, it's the man. Net - the man has to give his woman a lot of rope, to say what she wants to say, to be who she is, do what she wants to do; and if she starts driving the bus off the prescribed path, the man's gotta pull the rope in and get the bus back on track. (Of course, all this in an appropriate manner and respectfully.)
An example one colleague gave me was one where he described his very extroverted wife who loves to pack their social calendar. He's a very introverted guy and doesn't enjoy the social events as much. The events become draining - and home duties start piling up when the couple is out often. He reigns the rope in and says something to the effect of, let's take it more easy this weekend and take care of our home... what do you think?
There's a bit of truths in these theories. I'm liking these. More to ponder...