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DW's Sense of Direction (lack of) – light hearted

(18 Posts)
SleeplessinUlanBator Mon 19-Jan-15 10:49:04

My wife has absolutely no sense of direction, none at all, she will rely on me at all times to talk/guide her to her destination. Even when she has been to a place before within the last few months she will struggle to remember how she got there. She has lived and worked in the same city for over ten years. Despite often being armed with a full address and postcode she will not make any effort in advance to plan a journey by looking at a map online or using the GPS on her phone to plot a route and instead give me a call requesting directions. We have had rows on the phone as I have felt utterly exasperated as it often takes several minutes just to find out where she is as I get vague descriptions of ‘being by some traffic lights’ or ‘next to a McDonalds’ which when trying to ascertain her location in London is not exactly much use. In turn she thinks I am being unhelpful and unreasonable by me criticising her total reliance on me and her lack of interest in finding out how she is going to get somewhere before she starts her journey. AIBU to let her get lost so that maybe she will start to take a bit more interest in her path finding skills.

HolyTerror Mon 19-Jan-15 10:52:07

Surely sometimes you're unavailable, so she has had to figure it out herself?

AnyFucker Mon 19-Jan-15 10:55:15

Stop answering your phone ?

In my relationship, my H is the one with a poorer sense of direction. He wouldn't dream of mithering me to help him out with it.

Idontseeanysontarans Mon 19-Jan-15 10:55:48

YANBU - my sense of direction used to be famously useless blush The difference is that I'm fairly stubborn and won't ask for directions unless I really do need to so getting lost was generally factored into my journey plan to a new place. I can't explain how I learnt to find a sense of direction, it just seemed to happen - maybe by luck more than anything else but I'm definitely better than I used to be.
Weirdly London is one place I've never got lost.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 19-Jan-15 10:56:49

that would annoy greatly.

monkeymamma Mon 19-Jan-15 10:58:53

Gosh Op! I was going to say that your wife sounds just like me. I have no sense of direction and often can't remember how to get somewheive been loads of times before. But I gave up all that calling for directions years ago because (1) dh told me how disrespectful and rude it was and (2) Smartphone technology became widespread and I could look things up myself whilst walking. It's just part of growing up to accept responsibility for your own whereabouts. Dh could have written your post eight years ago (Weve been together11 years). I think it's time for an honest discussion about how it makes you feel.

turkeyboots Mon 19-Jan-15 11:01:02

DH is like this, drives me mad. He has got lost more than once going to his parents house, the house he grew up in.

I also get phone calls saying I'm lost, by the big shiney shop and the cafe where I went that on time. Maddeningly his sister and mother can understand these clues, so for many years I was the unreasonable one.

Hrs got better over the years, especially after traveling with work taught him wandering into a meeting an hour late wasn't acceptable.

Stinkle Mon 19-Jan-15 11:01:42


I'm like your wife, I have a shocking memory and no sense of direction. I can get lost walking down my own street, and I'm forever panicking if I'm out walking the dog and don't recognise my surroundings. I find that if I think about it, everything goes out of my head. I'll walk round the woods with the dog on auto pilot no problem, but the minute I start to actually think about where I'm going I've got no clue

I use google maps before I leave, Sat Nav in the car and the sat nav on my phone if I'm walking.

Although, DH's sense of direction is as bad as mine so there's no point in asking him anyway

GillSans Mon 19-Jan-15 11:01:54


This is more than a poor sense of direction. Why is she relying on you to be her personal satnav?

If she is lost in the centre of London, why can't she ask one of the trillions of people who are walking by, or ask in a shop etc?

She's too reliant on you for this.

SqueezyCheeseWeasel Mon 19-Jan-15 11:04:03

DH, is that you?

BaffledSomeMore Mon 19-Jan-15 11:11:02

Is it a confidence thing? By not trying she can't fail and has the added security blanket of you guiding her?

Is she ok on any journeys by herself or is it slightly less familiar routes. I often struggle to visual a semi familiar route in advance but have learned to be confident that it will come back to me on the journey.

listsandbudgets Mon 19-Jan-15 11:14:59

YANBU. Presumably you have other things to do than act as someone elses satnat?

That said I do have some sympathy with her. I am dyspraxic and one of my strongest symptoms is almost no sense of direction at all. I am a person who can get lost and panic in a supermarket!!

However I do try. I remember routes by landmarks sometimes even taking notes if I have to find my way back, take taxis if I'm really unsure about bus routes (I don't drive luckily or I'd end up going to John O' Groats via Lands End) and try to use maps though I've ended up taking some odd routes.

On occassion (maybe once or twice a year) I've frozen, paniced and simply not been able to find my way then DP has had to come and get me - last time I phoned wailing that I was outside BHS and totally lost. "which bhs where?" he asked - I don't know was my helpful response. Luckily DP has an excellent sense of direction and knows perfectly well there is only one BHS in the city centre!! blush

Has your wife got a smart phone? Most of them have satnav type programmes on them now. If not it may be worth looking at an upgrade for her (probably best you takee her to the shop though!)

SingingSoftly Mon 19-Jan-15 11:17:49

Oh God I struggle like this too. I use a Satnav though. Or preferably DH will drive!

redexpat Mon 19-Jan-15 11:19:34

DH does this. Drives me mad.

springlamb Mon 19-Jan-15 11:24:26

Your DW sounds just like my DH.
Often he simply forgets where he's going and heads off somewhere totally different. I confess sometimes I have allowed him to continue on HIs Journey even though it was not Our Journey. But he never learns..."oh fuck I've driven us to my mother's in Maidstone when we were going to see your brother in Reading" kind of thing...
It was a banner day when we were off to Aviemore on holiday and his internal sat av was sending him to Looe.

SleeplessinUlanBator Mon 19-Jan-15 11:30:11

I can accept that some people do not have that innate sense of direction and I will not mock that, just puzzles me that there is zero interest on her part to address this issue/blindspot. When I have been unavailable she has popped into a shop to ask someone directions but it is more the attitude that it is acceptable to be totally clueless at the start of her journey when she has a smart phone or other resources to hand. She will pop out at a tube station, phone me up and say “right, I am at Totenham Court Road…where do I go from here”

I could tell her that we are driving to Bristol for the weekend before heading up the M1 and she would not notice anything was amiss by the time we reached Hadrians Wall despite passing signs for Birmingham, Liverpool, Carlisle along the way. Its strange.

Stinkle Mon 19-Jan-15 11:41:23

I could tell her that we are driving to Bristol for the weekend before heading up the M1 and she would not notice anything was amiss by the time we reached Hadrians Wall despite passing signs for Birmingham, Liverpool, Carlisle along the way. Its strange.

Oh, I'm guilty of that too. We went to Norfolk once. Should have gone M11 then A11 but I missed the A11 and didn't notice until I got to the M1 blush

listsandbudgets Mon 19-Jan-15 11:58:22

Ah yes even with dyspraxia, the signs would tell me something. In fact as my inate sense of direction is so bad I rely on signs - my children are used to seeing me race towards sign posts. Luckily dd has a very good sense of direction smile

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