I’m worried about my husband’s reckless driving

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a homemaker in my 50s. My husband, who is from the same generation as me, becomes very irritable when driving. If there is a car moving slowly in the fast lane, he points at the car in the way so that the driver can see him, or he drives his car alongside the other car and looks straight into the face of the driver. If another car pulls in front of our car, he overtakes the car and pulls in front of it. It’s all very dangerous.

If I make a remark about directions, he yells, “I know!” at me. If I keep quiet, he shouts at me, saying, “Why don’t you say anything?” One time police were called in when he verbally abused an elderly driver in a parking lot.

I can’t enjoy car rides when he’s driving because I always feel nervous, and the mood inside the car is very bad. I tell him I don’t want to ride with him, but he berates me and says I’m mentally weak.

My husband has a habit of raising his voice to vulnerable individuals, and he doesn’t think it shameful to do so. Even if I recommend that he receive counseling, he spurns the advice. How should I deal with him?

— U, Osaka Prefecture

Dear Ms. U:

Your husband has a habit of raising his voice to vulnerable individuals, and police were called in on one occasion. The situation is serious. You must be feeling very worried.

When did his reckless driving and verbal abuse start? If he has suddenly started making mistakes in directions only recently, there is a possibility of dementia. In that case, I advise that he visit a doctor as soon as possible.

I fear that his reckless driving may cause a serious accident. Any such accident is a big misfortune not only for the victims but also for the offender and his or her family. If it is caused by reckless driving, society’s trust in the driver may be completely lost.

I advise you to have a thorough discussion with him about the significant risks entailed by his driving. You should even think about having him surrender his driver’s license depending on the situation. Even if he berates you, stay strong and confront him.

You wrote that he turned down your advice on receiving counseling. If he won’t listen to you at all, you may have to reconsider spending the rest of your life with him. Please be honest with your feelings.

I hope you will recover your days of peaceful living.

— Tomomi Fujiwara, writer