Does His Driving Scare You?

My Favourite Five: While Lori and I cruise Alaska, I am rerunning a few of what I think are my best posts from the first six months of this blog back in 2013 and 2014. 


My gracious wife has thanked me twice for driving very slowly last night when we were on an icy, twisting, and hilly primitive road (no markers or guardrails). She knows I went slow for her sanity. Amazingly, I didn’t feel frustrated doing this. In the past I would’ve slowed down, but not as much, and I would’ve been frustrated with her. Why the change?

Icy road © dan |

I’ve figured out her being scared by my driving isn’t about me.

While many men complain about the driving of women, I rarely hear men say their wife’s driving scares them. I have however heard plenty of women indicate such fear.

Yes, men are generally more reckless than women (it’s a testosterone thing), and teenage boys are auto accidents looking for a place to happen. However, studies find that after age 24 men have slightly fewer accidents per mile driven than women do – although men are more likely to be involved in an accident with a fatality. I’m not saying men are better drivers, but the statistics suggest they’re not as reckless and scary as some women think.

All of which means nothing if his driving scares you.

The problem is most men get their pride wrapped up in this. What they hear is “you’re not a safe driver.” They think they are, and so they just get upset. They may even decide (consciously or subconsciously) to prove they’re great drivers, which could result in them being even scarier. Basically, he feels you’re insulting his masculinity, and that never ends well for anyone.

I have realised my wife is uncomfortable when I do things in the car which she wouldn’t do. She believes, and experience backs it up, I can safely do those things, but they still concern her. Even when I’m driving, anything beyond her comfort zone makes her feel uncomfortable. I get that, it makes sense to me. Now I choose to drive in a way that makes her feel more comfortable because I love her, not because I don’t want her to complain or to be uptight when we get home. Acting out of love is a great reason to do something, and we both benefit.

How, you may wonder, do you get your husband to do the same?

Find ways to communicate that your concern really isn’t about him. Help him see that you’re uncomfortable because you wouldn’t do what he’s doing, and the fact that he has the skill to do it doesn’t resolve your discomfort. If this has been a big deal issue for many years it will take time to change what he hears. Be sure to put it on yourself – “I know you’re a safe driver, but I’m uncomfortable, would you slow down a bit for me?”

~ Paul – I’m XY, and way too proud of never being in an accident that was my fault.

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2 Comments on “Does His Driving Scare You?

  1. Yes. My husband has issues with anger, and when he gets angry, he drives recklessly. It upsets me that he does this even if myself and the children are in the car. It really upsets me when he is angry with me and he does it even when I beg him to stop. I think he does it to frighten me. It kinda sucks.

    • @B – Regardless of why he does it, your asking him to stop puts him in a difficult place. He feels he is being asked to change who he is for you, and it’s easy for pride to get in there and make a real mess.
      I’d have the discussion with him sometime when he’s calm and you are not in the car.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Love Your Enemies – And Your WifeMy Profile

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