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Time to Ditch?

(51 Posts)
insomniMax Fri 19-May-17 02:55:04

I've been seeing someone for a while. He drove me home last night and at some point whilst talking animatedly took both hands off the steering wheel. I'm a nervous passenger due to PTSD after a bad crash and he knows this and has always been understanding. Anyway, I didn't like it and joked, 'both hands on the steering wheel please!' This was intended to flag up that I felt uncomfortable in a non-confrontational way (and so I didn't sound like a fruit loop by voicing the real panic in my head)

His response was to look at me, put his hands up again for longer (felt like ages but probably 3-4 seconds) and say 'don't you trust me?' Do which I, visibly panicking, said 'No! Put your hands back on the wheel!'

Then turned into a heated exchange where he was offended that I didn't 'trust' his driving and me failing to make him understand:

1) accidents are called exactly that, and not 'on purposes', because they happen regardless of whether I 'trust' the driver
2) if I fb live-d his antics or he was caught by the police with hands not on the steering wheel there would be repercussions legally
3) ptsd is, by nature, irrational. If someone has a fear of flying, 'trusting' that the pilot is excellent doesn't just make that fear go away
4) just because you think you have control of the vehicle now, does not mean you will necessarily be in control in 5 seconds time

He has apologised, but I don't think he gets it. I think he thinks I've overreacted, offended him, but he wants to spend the weekend together as we had plans. As of now I'd rather get out of those plans and have a bit of space. I'm lying awake thinking about his attitude and though I'm not angry, I'm disappointed at his lack of empathy and his apparent driving ego being dented.

Do I accept his apology and get over it, cancel the weekend and take a few days, or LTB?

jouu Fri 19-May-17 02:57:52


MrsTerryPratchett Fri 19-May-17 03:01:49

Anyway, I didn't like it and joked, 'both hands on the steering wheel please!' I absolutely get why you put it like this but it wasn't a great way to communicate with him. Sometimes trying to be non-confrontational makes us seem passive aggressive. Now, I get why, totally. But he may have got his back up.

I'm very scared of flying and DH finds it amusing. But if I voice my panic in simple terms, he gets it. Instead of "stop joking around DH" I would say, "I'm feeling really frightened DH, could you...".

It may be that he is an insensitive arse, but it also might be that he felt infantilized and reacted. You get to decide what to do, either way.

theaveragewife Fri 19-May-17 03:15:11

Fuck that - you shouldn't have to censor the way you talk to someone putting your life in danger, just to ensure they still feel like a man.

insomniMax Fri 19-May-17 03:21:59

theaveragewife I thought that. In that kind of situation you don't have time to rationally process a measured response. You just blurt out in a panic. Which is why I thought what I did say was actually pretty good! I've said/done some pretty weird things in the name of ptsd grin hence the NC for this thread!

jouu Fri 19-May-17 03:25:43

You have ptsd. If he is the kind of man who needs kid glove treatment in order to be convinced not to trigger your ptsd, he's not the man for you.

There are billions of men on this planet. Don't settle for this one. This is a basic compatibility issue - you have certain very specific ( and not uncommon) needs, and he has shown v v clearly that you'll need to work hard to convince him to meet them.

It's not meant to be hard work. When you're compatible it just works. Honest.

Bin him.

barrygetamoveonplease Fri 19-May-17 04:21:49

He knows your vulnerability and uses it against you.
Goodbye, mister.

LaLegue Fri 19-May-17 04:25:54

I hate it when people do this kind of thing. Regardless of whether your fears are rational or not, it shows that:

1) he thinks he should always be in control and not you

2) It shows he has no respect or sensitivity towards your fears and feelings

3) He enjoys frightening you as a way of exerting control.

He doesn't sound very nice at all.

DownTownAbbey Fri 19-May-17 04:58:32

If he was fundamentally decent he would not have done it. Even if he felt his precious ickle manhood was being maligned. He was being a dick. He was showing you that you can't 'boss him around'. Not nice.

Feyenoord Fri 19-May-17 05:09:11

What a twat. You can do better.

Ecclesiastes Fri 19-May-17 05:53:40

Well I don't have ptsd but I'd still bin off a new partner for driving like a twat. Deeply unattractive and immature behaviour.

TheNaze73 Fri 19-May-17 07:56:39

He doesn't really give a toss. Cut your losses & walk

pog100 Fri 19-May-17 08:14:30

Decent people do not deliberately scare someone they like, especially not to bolster their ego. It is a good time to get out.

insomniMax Fri 19-May-17 10:19:20

He's texted and said he's really sorry and it won't happen again. I still don't want to see him today, and I was an anxious car passenger this morning because of what happened last night. My friends think it's a bit extreme to dump him when he's apologised twice quite genuinely...

Ellisandra Fri 19-May-17 10:27:15

I know this might sound like an over reaction but I'm going to throw it out there anyway...

Isn't reckless driving to scare a passenger one of the behaviours which research has shown is commonly exhibited in abusive men?

So for that alone I'd raise a slightly higher hmm over this.

And an extra hmm that he knows this is your weak spot.

But that aside, even if I felt patronised, no way would I just do it again instantly. That's just a shitty way to behave. Why settle for someone who behaves like that?

Have you calmly had a good think about all his previous behaviour, too?

AhYerWill Fri 19-May-17 10:32:51

If you want to bin him off, do it. Doesn't matter what he or your friends think. If you can't trust someone to treat you respectfully when you're visibly scared/upset then follow your instincts and walk away.

insomniMax Fri 19-May-17 10:36:29

My spidey-sense is tingling a bit too Ellisandra as I've previously had abusive relationships. Taking his hands off the wheel the second time, for longer, just to prove a point was what really pissed me off. It was unnecessary and quite mean imo.

My best friend is saying that you've called him out on it and he's said sorry. It could be a mistake and ignorance of ptsd. Most of the time I'm fine now and I've travelled with him before with no issues. She's saying if he does it again then get rid but I've knocked it on the head by calling him out firmly now.

Other behaviour is fine, no red flags but we haven't been dating that long!

TorchesTorches Fri 19-May-17 10:41:28

Because of earlier incidents, I am terrified when i see there is a dog off a lead. My husband knows this and is brilliant about it, holds my hand, puts himself began me and the dog, talks to me till we are past it. He would never dream of using it against me. This is what kind considerate partners do.

Ellisandra Fri 19-May-17 10:42:01

Ignorance of PTSD?

Well, I don't have PTSD and I wouldn't see myself as a good fit with someone who:
- pisses about when driving
- pisses about a second time
- does so to wind me up or teach me a lesson

Men who drop their fag butts on the floor are not universally abusive - but they're not a match for me

Men who rev their engines and try to beat other cars off the red traffic lights are not universally abusive - but they're not a match for me

The PTSD element makes it worse - but in and of itself it's dick behaviour and I don't find dicks attractive.

HundredMilesAnHour Fri 19-May-17 10:59:49

Maybe I'm playing devil's advocate here but he's apologised TWICE and they do sound like very genuine apologies. Don't you think you're over-reacting a bit? I take it he's never done this before? His behaviour wasn't great but have you considered he might have also been upset and felt that you were criticising him and reacted badly? I'm not making excuses for him but people do react badly sometimes in the heat of the moment and right now it seems to be all about you without any thought to his feelings.

As an aside, having a nervous passenger in a car is hard work. It's like having a back seat driver but because they're "nervous", it seems to mean that they think acceptable to criticise.

I've had ex-BFs p*ss about in the car when I'm driving. One of them (admittedly he was very drunk) thought it would be funny to grab the handbrake as I was driving us out of the car park from a friend's wedding. He was told very clearly that if he touches anything again, he's out of the car and I don't care that it's 2am and we're in the middle of nowhere. He stopped. I know this is very different to your situation OP but what I'm trying to say if that this was the only time it's happened and he's apologised at length, you need to be gracious, accept the apology and move on. However, if he does it again knowing how you feel, absolutely don't hesitate to LTB.

insomniMax Fri 19-May-17 11:16:32

At the time I posted the thread HundredMilesAnHour he had apologised once and it was just 'I'm home. Sorry'. I'm hardly making it all about me, and I have considered his feelings pointing it out it may be a mistake/ignorance of ptsd etc.

Just an aside, I'm not 'hard work' in a car. If I get anxious I have a tendency to just go very quiet and distract myself on my phone. I know the majority of the time it's in my head and my problem to deal with and I never criticise people's driving. But hands off steering wheel at 70mph? Yeah I'm gonna say something.

TheStoic Fri 19-May-17 11:21:35

I would liken it to someone deliberately scaring me with a spider (I'm arachnophobic).

I don't care how many times they apologised. If they're the sort of person who finds that amusing, I don't need or want them in my life.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Fri 19-May-17 11:26:12

insomniMax you say you've been seeing him a while, do you mind me asking approx how long that is? Because there's a difference if he's someone relatively new and you're both still getting to know each other (not condoning his actions they're still stupid) or if he knows you long/well enough to know not to do shit like this. If the latter it would be a definite ltb.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Fri 19-May-17 11:33:00

As an aside, having a nervous passenger in a car is hard work. It's like having a back seat driver but because they're "nervous", it seems to mean that they think acceptable to criticise.

Nah I don't agree with that. My DM is like this, she had also been in a life changing car accident as a child, I accept and go along with it because I love her and I know it's not her fault - that's what you do for people you care about even if it's 'hard work'.

70mph and no hands on the wheel for a few seconds? Nope sorry I'd bin him, that reckless. I'm not good with maths to figure how far you travelled with him not in control of the car at all but it'll be a fair distance at that speed.

Ellisandra Fri 19-May-17 11:35:40

Two apologies for doing it once = maybe I'd accept it as a stupid slip.

Twenty apologies for doing twice, the second time deliberately to get at me = no fucking way.

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