While most people are excited to learn how to drive and get their own car ASAP, I was never one of them. I’m a grown woman who still doesn’t have my license and I don’t think I’ll ever get it. This fact was almost enough to ruin my relationship with the guy who’s now my husband.
I have terrible anxiety, especially in cars. Not only is anxiety the number one reason I don’t drive, it’s also a reason my guy almost left. My panic attacks come on fast and usually last for well over half an hour. Since I sometimes get them when I’m in the passenger seat going through Dallas at rush hour, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that I would definitely have one if I was in the driver’s seat. I’ll probably never get over this fear, and I know that’s not sexy. Basically, he started thinking, “If she’s anxious about the most basic things, what else will scare her in the future?”
He’s always had to be my personal chauffeur. It was cute and fun for him for a while, but as we got older and I still didn’t have a license, things began to change. We started to think about the future, and while I knew I wanted him in mine, I felt like he started to second-guess his decision to be with me. We’d fight constantly because he always had to put me and my needs above anything and anyone else. He picked me up to take me to work, appointments, the store, you name it. I know he started to resent it, which then made me feel anxious and guilty.
Everyone thought we were crazy for trying to make it work. People told us that a long-term relationship between us could never work. It seemed ridiculous to them that we were even trying. How would I get to a job every day if he wasn’t there to drive me? How would we lead normal lives? We don’t live in a city where public transportation is super reliable and extensive, so I’d always be dependent on him to get me everywhere. Once our loved ones began to ask questions and tell us their opinions, we started to feed into their doubts.
He tried to teach me how to drive but I couldn’t do it. When I was still living with my parents, he’d always try to come over and make me drive around. Just the thought if it made me anxious, but he’d make me sit in the driver’s seat until I calmed down. Then he’d have me back out of the driveway and drive around the neighborhood. I’d get so terribly upset with him for pushing so hard and getting angry when I didn’t want to try, but when I look back at those times, I realize that he only wanted me to succeed. Driving just isn’t for me.
He eventually accepted that I was never going to drive. While he tried getting me excited about the future and where we might be if I could learn how to drive, once he figured out that nothing he said would change how I felt about the situation, he took a step back and eventually accepted it. It wasn’t easy and he wasn’t happy about it but he knew that was just how things were going to be.
It made us realize what’s important. After about six years together, we had a serious conversation about our relationship. It made us realize who we really are as individuals and as a couple and what we want out of life. Ultimately, we agreed that it doesn’t matter that I don’t drive—he wants to be with me no matter what and I want to find other ways to contribute to our relationship. What’s gotten us through the tough times is knowing that we’re both in it 100%.
We’ve learned to live with it. While this may not sound ideal to most people, it’s gotten to a point where it works for us. He knows the role that he plays in my life and I appreciate it more than he’ll ever know. It took so long for us to get to this point, but it’s been so nice to have someone next to me the entire time to talk to, to push me even when I didn’t want to be pushed. He may not understand why I don’t want to drive but he accepts it and supports me in spite of it, and that means the world.
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