View Full Version : long term marriage in trouble, don't know what to do anymore

05-11-17, 09:38 AM
I have been with this funny, smart and very in the moment guy for a little over 40 years. We've been churched for all but 3 of those years.

Driving has always been an issue, he drives aggressively and sometimes is inattentive. There have been crashes, total wrecks with me in the passenger seat.
I panic sometimes and don't want to drive with him, which makes him angry because he takes that as rejecting himself, not the bad driving.

He has been accumulating demerit points lately like a long haired dog accumulates burdocks. He has been warned that they make take his licence away.

It has become a deal breaker for him, my not driving with him.
I countered with let's do lunch at XXXX's, Saturday, and I now wish I hadn't.
He won't let me drive, he MAY drive aggressively because he's mad at me now and may want to scare me. I'm afraid.

My heart is also breaking, 'cause I'm still head over heels for this guy, just not his driving.

Little Missy
05-11-17, 10:57 AM
Don't drive with him. He knows what he's doing to you.

05-11-17, 12:03 PM
Yah, you're right, I came to that same conclusion when I was in the barn earlier.
I just needed to hear someone say it. I'll offer to take two cars and meet him. He'll stand me up, or not. After that, the ball's in his court, sigh.

05-11-17, 12:35 PM
He won't let me drive.

Of course, you know this. You don't need his permission to drive ... And you don't want to be a relationship in which you need someone else's permission to drive ... .and you want to change a relationship in which the other person thinks they have a right to determine whether you drive.

That is a fight-worthy issue. Meaning it's worth it and probably necessary for you to assert your right to drive if you want to drive and not back down not matter how bad the conflict becomes. Seriously, this is a worthy of a proverbial knock-down, drag-out argument in which you do not back down.

Some conflicts and arguments (that get at underlying control issues) are absolutely necessary to establish equality and fairness to both sides.

On the other hand, you also have the right--some would say the DUTY--not to drive with him if you think doing so is dangerous. He has had time to improve his driving and address his driving weaknesses. If he hasn't by now, you absolutely want to drive yourself. I don't know if you guys have two cars. If you do, drive the second car to where you want to meet him ... even if you're going to the movies or dinner or visiting someone.

Love does not require that we willfully subject ourselves to unreasonable danger for reasons of a partner's ego. If you want to fight off a mugger to protect your spouse, well that's danger ... but that's a worthy danger. But subjecting yourself to danger just to avoid someone's ego and defensive? ...

No marriage manual that asks us to do that. You owe it to yourself to stand up because otherwise, you will start to dislike him or worse.


05-11-17, 01:02 PM
We have two cars and I will agree to meet him at Timmy's. If he stands me up, I know it's not about lunch, it's about being able to have me in the passenger seat so he can scare me......sigh.
At least, driving will be out of the picture. He may be too, if he moves out.

He's sick, and he's angry at the world, and me, as a person to take it out on.

I can't help that he's sick. taking it out on me is getting 'old' . I would rather not...
(he's physically sick, as well)

05-11-17, 06:18 PM
I am THAT GUY! I drive fast and aggressive and engage in road rage. Also inattentive too, which has cost me going through 4 cars in 5 years, not to mention tickets, but none for speeding ironically. I know I am a expert driver, that's not the issue, the road rage and inattentiveness is certainly a issue and everyone is afraid to drive with me. What gets me angry is I know I am a better driver then all of them, they all drive like they are in a funeral! So yea, I can relate to your husband.

My advice is you need to do what's right for you but delivery is everything. Don't say your driving scares me because you drive like crap. Unless you want to see steam come from the top of his head :)

Rather try something on the line of this, "I know your a good driver, and I don't think I am better then you, but your style of driving makes me feel uncomfortable, so please don't be upset but I'd rather not ride with you." You have to throw some sugar in there some where, we like our ego stroked ;)

If even after a nice non-threatening delivery such as my example he still insists on you riding with him, then he is a bigger A-hole then me and I am out of suggestions. Good luck!

05-11-17, 07:27 PM
There can occasionally be times when the passenger is just a "paranoid" type of person, and the driver is actually fine.

This time that is obviously not the case. I wouldn't ride with him, and IMO nobody should. Until he makes major useful changes to his driving.

Little Missy
05-11-17, 07:55 PM
I'd stick my head in the door and say, "Forget it!" And then shut the door and walk back inside.

05-12-17, 10:11 AM
WEll, I think I might have something that'll work. We are taking 2 cars, which Timmy's are we going to? What time? I just want to take driving out of the equation, and not arrive tense and distant. It would be lovely to enjoy lunch with you :)

Let's linger over our tea a bit..............

He's in a fair bit of physical pain right now, and it makes him short in the grain.
Surgery date hasn't been set yet.

05-12-17, 10:46 AM
Jkimbo, thanks, you've nailed it :)

Road rage and inattentive. Good when he's actually driving.

The cops called again, he had run someone off the road and has no awareness that he has.

He's 3 years off normal retirement, and I might suggest he move it up a bit.
I'll have to be carefull with that one though.

05-13-17, 03:40 PM
We did lunch, in 2 separate cars. When he got home, he asked for a separation agreement.

I said I'm sorry you feel that way, it's not what I want, but the last 2 years has been hard on both of us.

He said he can't drive any other way, and I said, I know, I do finally understand that, but I can't drive with you.

He has left. he will probably come back to get his things in a while.

05-14-17, 07:39 PM
Hubby has come home. it's tense, but he knows why he was so angry now. Thankfully, most of that is not about me. Wish us luck?

05-14-17, 11:43 PM
I can't tell you the number of times I have compromised when I was in the position you are in right now. I can honestly say ... my compromise with destructive behavior NEVER helped me and never helped the relationship I was in.

He seems to be over-reacting ... and throwing a massive tantrum designed to scare you and terrify you and get you to back down. That's my reading of his behavior. And by the way, hate to tell you this ... but most likely you have backed off in the past ... or else he wouldn't be throwing the tantrum.

I would say do anything--fly to Paris, fly to the moon for six months, hire private detectors to tape your compromise voice shut--but do anything to avoid backing off of your position, no matter how uncomfortable it feels in the short term.

Good luck ....

Oh ... if and when he backs off ... and shows a sign of compromising, don't over-accept the overture. Require him to state plainly that he accepts totally your position that it is ok for you to not drive with him. Do not give one inch on this position. Not one fraction of an inch. Do not feel sorry for him if he shows some slight sign of contrition.

Note: you can later compromise on other matters. But not this matter.

You do not help him by backing down now. Of course, you want to be kind and polite.


05-15-17, 07:02 AM
I'm not driving with him, and he knows that. He has had 6 total wrecks that I'm aware of, several more where the car was fixable. I'm going to talk to his Dr about the number of crashes and possible effects of untreated head injuries. He has never been checked out after a crash.
He had a blow up with his boss too, and motor vehicles has sent two nasty letters, so it's not just me. Age might be entering the picture too, so I think he needs a checkup. His diabetes means he is in at the Dr a fair bit, so if the Dr is discrete, he can keep an eye on him.

05-16-17, 05:47 AM
Very difficult to bring this subject up..... but when you said he ran someone off the road and had no recollection of the incident it made me wonder if he has the early stages of dementia. If you are seeing other, more subtle, changes in his behaviour, this might be something to talk to his Dr about.

05-18-17, 04:36 PM
In the state I live in, there's a program called at risk drivers. It requires medical professionals to report their patients to the department of motor vehicles of their patients inability to drive. The patients usually get their licenses revoked and according to stats I've read, less than 10% are ever allowed to drive again.

If there is such a program in your country, could you get the dr. to do whatever it takes to get your husband's license revoked? Ask him to do it but tell him not to tell your husband it was you who suggested this to the dr.

In my state, the dr. Should have already done this. I'm actually surprised the cops haven't already taken away your husband's license.

He shouldn't be driving. He's not just risking his own life or even just yours. He may kill children someday or others.

Course if your dr is the one that gets his license revoked and your husband finds out it was the dr who did this, he might never want to go to the dr. again.