Thoughts on Marriage from a Road Trip (Part 2)

 Here is the rest of the marriage lessons from a road trip that I started yesterday.

1. He’s the driver (<— click the link to read yesterday’s post, part 1)

2. No one likes a backseat driver.

As women, we think we know the best way to do things, so we think everyone else, especially our husbands, should do things our way as well.    You might remember when you first started driving, and the stress of having a stressed out mom or dad shouting frantic dirrections at you from the passenger seat.  “Slow down.”  “Speed up!” “Watch out for that car!” “Turn here…not there, turn there!” “See the red light?!”  “There’s a stop sign up here.”  Granted, sometimes those directions may have been necessary, but in my case, most were born of unnecessary worry, and the anticipation that I might mess up, rather than an actual mistake.  At any rate, it’s frustrating to have someone in your ear telling you how you should drive, or criticizing what you do. 

Yet so often, that’s what I become to my husband in life.  I want to tell him how to do things, or question why he did something a certain way, in a condescending tone.  I want to criticize him when he does things in a different way than I would have.  Basically, I’m a terrible backseat driver!

I’m still working through some particulars in this, but I know this:  God’s Word says that a contentious wife is like a constant dripping, and I know at times that’s what my criticizing, advice, etc. becomes to him.  So, I’ll say it again…No one likes a backseat driver.  And remember, your husband probably drives just fine, even when you aren’t around :)

3. There is a time and place for disagreements.

Sometimes, things need to be said.  Topics need to be discussed, worked through, and compromised.  Discussions need to take place so that decisions can be made.  However, there is a time for discussion.  In driving, the time is not when my husband is trying to merge into heavy traffic, or look for a road sign to see where we need to be.  It’s not when he’s already made a wrong turn and needs to figure out how to cross 6 lanes of traffic and get turned around.  It’s not when we’re already lost.  “Discussing” during those times makes a stressful volatile situation that much worse.

Likewise, if something needs to be addressed in our marriage and a discussion needs to happen, it should be at the right time and place.  It shouldn’t be thrown up in an argument or another already tense situation.  The discussion shouldn’t happen right in the middle of a situation with our children, or in a public place, or in front of company. 

Sometimes things really do need to be brought up and discussed in our marriage, but there is a time and place.  That place is in privacy, and the time is after prayer, and when there isn’t already a stressful, tense situation going on that will put you both on edge before the discussion even begins.


  1. Leslie Swope Monroe says

    I too am a backseat driver. I don't want to be, but I find myself saying things about my husband's driving. We've talked about it and I'm supposed to remind him to "take it easy on me" while he's driving. That is our phrase for please remember to drive carefully!! :)

  2. Lauren Holmes says

    This is such good advice! These are the kinds of things that either build up, or break down a marriage. :) Blessings, Lauren,

  3. says

    I completely agree with your thoughts here, Crystal. The second one reminded me that very often I’m not just a backseat driver with my husband, but also with God. Surely God knows how to drive my life and never gets lost. So why do I keep questioning Him? Thanks for this message on both the husband and Heavenly Father level!

  4. says

    Thank you for your post. You are so right! After several years of marriage, I am still a backseat driver…I know it is not constructive, but I find myself being like that still sometimes…And I LOVE your point regarding the need to find the best time and place for discussions. It is so true, bringing up complicated issues in the middle of trying to maneuver traffic is NOT the best time/place for added stress. Thanks again and blessings to you always! I'm visiting from A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.

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