You Can Drive When I’m Dead

Driving Miss Crazy demonstrates (I hope) the unfairness of our situation. A woman does sometimes try to grab the wheel of the car we’re to drive; yet it is his car, and he is in the driver’s seat. When that happens, the only wise thing to do is stop the car, right then, and tell her that his car goes where he wants and it is literally in his hands. She is welcome to come along. She is encouraged to come along. But she should never try to steer the car.

Sometimes he might ask her to hold the wheel on course for moment while he digs something out of his pocket, but that it will never happen while he needs to make a change in direction.

A wise man won’t give up the wheel too often because his wife will being to wonder who is driving this thing? And if she can do it well this far, maybe better progress will be made. Why, if she’s competent to steer with one hand for a moment, how much better could the trip go if she used both as much as she wanted?

If that happens: Stop the car. Don’t wrestle over control. Don’t try to fight her. Don’t wait until the car crashes to prove you were right. Stop the damn car. You go no further until she agrees to keep her hands off the wheel.

What do I mean by “stop the car”? It means nothing else gets done before the steering conflict is resolved. It means don’t talk about anything else until the conflict is resolved: No bills, no budget, no extra-curricular activities, no lawn, no trash, no in-laws, no Daddy Time with the kids. All those things are “driving the car” of a father’s life, and none of them are safe while the wrong person thinks she’s driving the car.

She may get out. Tell her she should get back in. Do not start driving until she agrees to keep her hands off the wheel.

She may not get back in. Roll on, slowly at first, but after a time she either will or won’t and you have to keep moving.

If she grabs the wheel again, stop the damn car again. Never allow the car to go while she fights for control of the car. After you die, then she can drive.

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