Dear Amy: I have been married to my husband for over 30 years. Our relationship is loving but challenging.
I have always done most of the changing, adapting, and forgiving.
Apologizing is not his forte, but he is a good man with a good heart.
We are both successful professionally and support each other. Our adult children all live nearby. We are a united and loving family.
I recently developed a condition called amaxophobia, a specific phobia of traveling in a vehicle.
Symptoms include extreme anxiety, shortness of breath, nausea, and a fast heartbeat.
I have all of these symptoms, but only when I am a passenger in the car my husband drives.
It does not affect me when I am the driver or traveling with other people.
My husband has always been a fast driver, speeding up and following other cars.
In recent years, I have had to hold on to the seat or side door and press my feet to the ground to feel secure, but recently, my anxiety has increased.
The last time we rode together I was in tears: sweating, short of breath, grinding my teeth, and terrified I was going to have an accident.
We have had long discussions about this. He has agreed to slow down, but he doesn’t.
I suggested that he drive locally, and I drive on highways.
He is not willing to make this change, so I have been going into town (45 minutes away) with friends for the past few months and still agree to ride with him when we are in town.
Now he blames me for ruining our future retirement. He is not willing to go to therapy.
I have no other anxiety or fear issues.
Any suggestions that I’m overlooking?
– Wife looking for answers
Dear, Your husband’s career of dangerous driving, speeding and vehicle following is more likely to lead to an accident as he gets older and his reaction time slows down.
I doubt you’ll let a neutral person evaluate your driving, but the AARP offers an online driving course (aarpdriversafety.org); I guess successfully passing this course could lower insurance rates as well as train her husband to drive more safely.
He has staked his position, and you must be very realistic about your options and choices.
Your body’s extreme anxiety response is a clear signal telling you what to do. This is your full-speed “fight or flight” response.
I suggest you buy, borrow, or rent a second car, or use another form of transportation, when you and he are traveling a long distance, so that you can get to your destination safely and (cross your fingers) see your husband there. when arrive.
Arriving safely at a destination doesn’t ruin your retirement; saves him
Please seek therapy for yourself, both to manage your anxiety and to discuss your response to your husband’s rigidity and disrespect.
Dear Amy, I have been with my partner for 22 years. We have lived together most of that time.
We talked about getting married when our respective children graduated from high school. That was 10 years ago.
My partner’s son, “Sam”, who is now almost 30 years old, still lives with us.
He pays absolutely nothing, does nothing around the house and works when he feels like it. His mom still washes his clothes and changes his sheets.
Now he’s bringing home a lot of stuff and he thinks it’s okay to do it.
I totally disagree with the whole scenario.
I think he should be told to go away.
I’m confused because it’s been 22 years and this is putting a lot of pressure on the home front.
I feel like the tracks I’ve released don’t seem to faze anyone or make any difference.
That I have to do?
– Feel Used
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Dear Used: Your patience and passivity have reached pathological proportions. I assume you believe that you have no power or voice in this relationship. But this is your life and your home, and you have the right (and responsibility) to claim what you want.
It’s time to stop insinuating and start talking.
Dear Amy, I have to admit I was quite surprised, and happy, to see you advocating some fun and shameless “hot sex” in your normally very serious column in your response to “Older Woman.”
– New fan
Dear fan, It must be the result of this summer’s heat wave.
(To clarify, all this hot sex has to be between available and consenting adults.)
©2022 Amy Dickinson.