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Struggling now that dh is also a driver.

(41 Posts)
NapQueen Fri 11-Nov-16 19:23:23

I've been the only driver in our relationship for the past 13 years. Never had any issues with him demanding lifts or anything, if I want a drink we get a taxi etc. I enjoy driving so don't mind even long distance journeys.

Dh passed his test 5 months ago and whilst the opportunity isn't always there for him to take the car out he does as much as he can.

However I'm struggling with being a passenger and dh says I stress him out.

The only instances where I've ever made any sort of comment were
(1) he pulled into the fast lane right in front of a lorry and left next to no space between us and them
(2) he sat in a yellow box waiting to turn right and took so long making the move to turn right that the roads to the left and right started driving towards us.

He has also already had to go on a course for turning right through a red light.

I have tried explaining that I get that he is new to it, but I am also new to this. I don't ever comment on his driving outside of the examples listed above, with the caveat each of the above times that my comment is purely down to being in an unsafe situation.

I don't really know how to proceed. One of these instances was this evening and we've even attempted a diplomatic conversation but it hasn't worked.

How do I cut him more slack when I'm a passenger? And how to get him to understand that I felt unsafe those times and surely anybody would have.

Andrewofgg Fri 11-Nov-16 19:25:34

You have just got to stop back-seat driving. Or stop being his passenger. How you do it is your problem. Many of us have been there with children who start driving so if you have DC think of this as practice.

Believeitornot Fri 11-Nov-16 19:25:46

Tell him you feel unsafe but not when you're in the car.

Why is he such a terrible driver 5 months on?!

When you are in the car, say nothing. Play on your phone or distract yourself another way.

NapQueen Fri 11-Nov-16 19:27:26

I don't even concentrate on his driving. I play on my phone or chat to the kids in the back.

NattyTile Fri 11-Nov-16 19:27:29

Close your eyes.

JennyHolzersGhost Fri 11-Nov-16 19:27:41

I knit when I'm in the car with another driver grin - takes my eyes off the road.
Seriously though if you actually feel unsafe then you will just have to decline any lifts from him til he's had a bit more experience.

JennyHolzersGhost Fri 11-Nov-16 19:28:32

PS. Sometimes it's very distracting for new drivers to have music, chitchat etc in the car. Any way you can keep things quieter ?

Wildberryprincess Fri 11-Nov-16 19:28:38

You are allowed wait in the yellow box when turning right.

lacklustremum Fri 11-Nov-16 19:30:34

OMG, this could have been me writing this. My DH is looking to learn to drive soon with the same time frames as you, I'm dreading it all ready!

Not much advice, sorry, but just to say I know how you feel

NapQueen Fri 11-Nov-16 19:31:05

Wild my issue wasn't that he was waiting there, I know the rule.

My issue was that he took so long turning right that the lights had changed and the traffic across the way to us was already moving towards us on both sides. He ought to have turned right as soon as it was safe to do so, not then waited even longer so the lights had changed and the other direction was about to hit us.

DrDreReturns Fri 11-Nov-16 19:31:15

When DW passed in her mid twenties I had to really bite my tongue when I was a passenger in the car with her. Try and keep your opinions about his driving to yourself, there's nothing worse than a back seat driver. I'm sure his driving will improve as he gets more experience.

DrDreReturns Fri 11-Nov-16 19:31:56

I'm sure his driving will improve as he gets more experience.

Believeitornot Fri 11-Nov-16 19:32:12

You are allowed wait in the yellow box when turning right

Yes true but only if the turning you are trying to enter is clear.

Believeitornot Fri 11-Nov-16 19:33:17

Nap maybe he was hesistating because he knew you were judging.

I think he needs a lot of practice. Can he go out more often without you?

Badger84 Fri 11-Nov-16 19:33:46

I will be in your position shortly as my DH will nearly be taking his test soon. No advice but just came to say that I will find it incredibly hard not to nit pick him!

Wildberryprincess Fri 11-Nov-16 19:34:08

I feel your pain, I'm a dreadful backseat driver. I cope by doing most of the driving when together.

EveOnline2016 Fri 11-Nov-16 19:38:49

I now refuse to drive with dh in the car, he makes me so nervous I'm a hazard on the road. Drive perfect any other time.

BobbieDog Fri 11-Nov-16 19:40:14

I totally get this!!

I ve been driving 10 years since i was 19 and i hate being a passenger! I think when you are hardly a passenger then become a passenger its really hard to relax.

My dh who has many years more driving experience than me shits me up that we have had some massive rows in the car. I do most of the driving and we have been known to pull over and swap seats as my nerves cant take anymore whilst im in the passenger side.

Be careful though not to let the kids pick up on your disapproval of his driving as i now have a 4 year old who announces in the car that daddy is a rubbish driver and mummy is a good driver!

toots111 Fri 11-Nov-16 20:29:08

My husband is you. I passed my driving test when I was 35. I was so proud. But I was still a new driver and it takes time to get the same confidence as my husband who passed his test when he was 17. My husband was awful as a passenger. He winced and sighed and drew breathe sharply. He told me how to do things and got stressed when I would rather wait than rush. It was awful. It undermined my confidence. It made me a worse driver. It culminated in me stopping the car enroute to friends, getting out of the car and walking home. I have pretty much stopped driving now. I am pretty angry with him for it to be honest. It took me years to learn and now I'm faced with having to relearn because he couldn't shut the fuck up and let me get on with it. But when I do, I will NEVER drive him again.

MustBeCrazy2016 Fri 11-Nov-16 21:04:37

My DP is you. He makes me so anxious when driving that I keep making silly mistakes. He didn't speak to me for a week after I booked my test as he didn't think I was ready. He was very upset when I passed!

As new drivers we do make mistakes but we get better

AnUtterIdiot Mon 14-Nov-16 09:11:47

Unless things have changed since I checked, you are allowed to wait in the yellow box if you are turning right and your turning is blocked by oncoming traffic. If the turning was clear you wouldn't need to wait in the box in the first place.

The two situations that OP described were genuinely dangerous and if I did that (as a driver of 20 years' experience) I would not be surprised if my passenger said something. What I think OP might be doing is non-verbal signals of nerves, e.g. gasping, tensing at things that are not actually unsafe (e.g. when you think the driver is too close to something because you can't see what they can see).

It is hard driving with a nervous passenger, but it is also asking a lot of passengers to expect them not to say anything - especially if they are experienced drivers in the car with someone who's only recently passed their test.

Seeline Mon 14-Nov-16 09:21:07

I am a terrible passenger. I do a lot of driving - DH only drives at the weekend. He is not a bad driver, he just drives differently from how I would. He also has his own car which drives differently from mine. I am like this with all other drivers - not just DH. I just don't like the feel of not being in control.
I deal with it much better if I sit in the back. I think I feel as though I don't have to be in control there, so don't take as much notice of road conditions etc.

ShotsFired Mon 14-Nov-16 09:29:18


YABU for the sole reason that you are inferring you feel you are better driver than him, yet call lane 3 the "fast" lane. The rest of it - you just need to get used to passengering.

((1) he pulled into the fast lane right in front of a lorry and left next to no space between us and them)

JustAnotherPoster00 Mon 14-Nov-16 09:31:51

if I want a drink we get a taxi

You're a passenger then aren't you?

You say you've only made 2 comments on his driving but I'm sure you make other sorts of noises or indrawing of breath, or the foot stomping on the imaginary passenger break peddle (I'm guilty of that 1 whenever I'm a passenger) I doubt you notice all the little 'tells' you give him that you're not enjoying the ride and he may already feel intimidated because he knows you've been driving for longer.

I'd suggest either telling him straight that if you go out together that you do the driving or stay home if hes driving and let him get the experience on his own first.

So yes YABU

aintnothinbutagstring Mon 14-Nov-16 10:21:19

The right hand turn is not a problem unless he was blocking the junction, yes he should have gone when the opportunity arose and was technically stuck in no man's land for a while. But I'm guessing he did eventually go and was not putting you in any danger.

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