Is His Driving Driving You Crazy?
We hear, “His driving scares me!” often. There are two sides to this.
How God Made You
Women are generally more cautious. They are less likely to take risks, and less comfortable with others taking risks. So you are unnerved by driving his friends would find perfectly safe. This is a case of different, not wrong. You do not need to change, and I am not suggesting you should shut up and ride in silent terror. I have learned to respect my wife’s need for less speed, and I tell other men to do the same.
How God Made Him
Men get into driving in a way most women do not. It is a skill, a challenge, and pushing the boundaries makes us feel masculine. In a world where men have few ways to feel masculine, it is easy to overdo it where we can.
However, there is something bigger going on. When driving causes stress, men react as if they were in a life or death situation. Other drivers are the enemy, and allowing them to “win” will hurt my family and me. Adrenaline and other hormones kick in, and calm decision-making is inhibited. We must win, because if we do something bad will happen. In the midst of this insanity, saying “slow down” is heard as, “I don’t care about our safety, just give up, and let them kill us.” It feels like being asked to stop digging a moat to protect the castle from invaders because it looks ugly.
What to do?
On this one, I think it is the man who needs to change. Causing fear, worry, or stress is not loving, and it hurts a couple’s marriage. The problem is “forcing” him to change causes him stress and makes him feel bad about his wife. Getting him to choose to change is the best option. But how?
Go out of your way to thank him for any hint of better driving. Tell him how much you appreciate him considering your feelings. Praise him in front of others for not giving in to the crazy driving of others on the roads. If you must ask him to slow down, start by telling him you know he is in control, but the situation still makes you nervous. Ask him to do it for you rather than telling him that he is wrong. Make it about your feelings, not his ability.