My husband refuses to drive our car and it’s driving me crazy

A woman is frustrated at being the only one to deal with the household car. Mariella says her anger might be down to their general division of labour

The dilemma I have been with my husband for 10 years and he is an amazing man and a fabulous father to our kids (with another on the way). He never learned to drive as a teenager and after uni he moved to London so never needed to. Four years ago he took a year of lessons and passed first time, but it’s now at least two years since he has driven at all. He claims that he doesn’t feel competent to drive with our kids in the car. Every time I bring the subject up, I end up being the asshole. I have tried every tactic I can think of to get a breakthrough – humour, guilt, reverse psychology, annoyance – but to no avail. He has never been in a car accident or any other traumatic vehicle related incident, so that’s not to blame.

Mariella replies What a conundrum. If you were writing about drugs or alcohol, porn addiction or rages, a tendency to anger or a predilection for putting you down, there would be plenty of murmurs and signs of recognition out there. But the frustration of sharing your life with someone who refuses to do something is a much more original vantage point. Whether it’s not putting dirty clothes into the laundry basket or never opening their post, never replacing bulbs or not refilling the car with petrol, the predictability of certain chores falling to one person often creates a deep sense of frustration. But are you right to consider your husband’s preference for not driving a fault?

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