How to Survive Long Distance Travel with Your Spouse

Answer: Think duct tape and a blindfold! 

No, this is not the movie 50 Shades of Grey.  This is a clean and comical “survival for long distance road travel with your spouse” post (where I vent and dish the dirt and throw Hubby under the bus because it’s cheaper than therapy and I’m a really good wife like that).

OK, so that wasn’t nice.  Please forgive me for being naughty but over the past week I’ve spent over 20 hours traveling in a compact size crossover with Prince Charming (my hubby), and at times it was anything but a fairy tale experience.

Case in point: 75 miles per hour might be a great speed to travel when trying to make up for lost time, but a terrible speed in which to grab snacks.  I was sleeping when I felt the car swerve, and just as I looked up I saw my husband reaching for the snack bag.  He almost killed us over Twizzlers! 

The next time I attempt twenty-plus hours cooped up in a compact size car I’ll need something stronger than coffee in my cup!

No, seriously now . . . overall, the ride was pleasant; but I did learn that traveling with your spouse can teach you a lot about yourself.

For instance, driving long distance with your husband can be a great exercise in (1) learning to allow your husband to lead and (2) keeping your mouth shut!  And neither one of those attributes come easily for me.  And, might I add, these are not gender-specific attributes, because when it comes to being a back seat driver my husband is equally as challenged as I am, and he will admit to that (if you force him to).

Here’s some back-story to help you understand…

Even though hubby and I are both very experienced drivers we constantly tell each other how to drive.  We are both chronic back-seat drivers!

When I drive, he constantly checks the passenger side mirror before I cross into the right lane or make a right turn.  That drives me up a wall!  Why is he so nervous and constantly second guessing what I’m doing?  Geez!  I wish he’d just sit back and enjoy the ride.

When he drives, before we are even three minutes away from home, traveling a route we’ve taken 100 times before, I’ll start telling him where he should turn.  Why do I do that?  He knows the route like the back of his hand.  Poor guy.

What really drives me up the wall is when he’s driving and at the last moment he’ll ask my opinion on which way he should turn.  If I say right, he’ll go left.  If I say left, he’ll go rightIt never fails! I’ve since deduced that these kinds of questions are rhetorical, so I no longer answer them, which causes a whole heap of other problems!

The worst is when we have a five minute debate about the quickest route to our destination.  Even though we both lack advanced degrees we’ll go into PHD mode to explain our rationale: I’ll give him my thesis statement on why my way is right.  But this won’t unnerve him at all.  He’ll come right back at me with his dissertation to counter my point!

Hubby and I are both trying to amend our ways.  

Because I’m a recovering back seat driver this road trip provided ample opportunity to help aid my recovery. For instance, I bit my tongue multiple times (Yay, Tiff!) when hubby was tailgating or speeding (he may not have been officially tailgating or speeding but he was too close and going too fast for my tastes).

If you are a (recovering?) back-seat driver, too, here are a few tips that may help you…

If . . . you’re struggling with thoughts of your spouse ramming the car in front of you because he’s following too closely keep your mouth shut! and tell yourself (while you death-grip the front seat passenger handle) that he’ll simply have to pay for any damages incurred.

If . . . you’re panicking from fear of being pulled over for speeding button your lips! and remind yourself (as you choke back your comments) that he’ll simply have to pay the ticket. (And, um…if he gets said ticket DO NOT SAY, “I told you so.”  Just wiggle your toes around for some relief.)

Why bother to comment?
Join the sisterhood of silence!
seat belt for back seat drivers

Just for kicks I reprogrammed our GPS to say “Dummy” after it gives directions.  So, when my husband was driving it said, “Merge onto I 95 South . . . Dummy.”  And “Be in either of the two left lanes . . . Dummy.”  Ha!  Try it sometimes.  It’s a hoot!  It will soothe your nerves as you sit suffering in silence.  (Hey, a girls got to have some fun, you know.)

OK, I’ll  confess: I DID NOT do that, but if I could I would have!  That would be intensely funny…that is, until it’s my turn to drive.  🙂


DO TELL ALL: Are you a recovering back seat driver?  Or, are you so bad you’re not even in recovery?  Join the conversation and post a comment to share!  (I won’t judge.)

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Let’s flourish in family life together!

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