April 17, 2010,
K.M. asks from Los Gatos, CA on April 15, 2010
Husband and Road Rage - Please HELP
I'm in search of some advice on what options I have to deal with my husband and road rage.
He has always been unfriendly on the road but lately has gotten a lot worse and I'm done with it. I'm to the point of telling him he has to stop or I will take my kids and he won't see me again. The last drop was this morning. I was taking him to see a doctor and when he was getting in my car I saw him giving the finger to someone passing our street - he mouthed something to the guy and finally got into my car. I told him to not do that specially since our toddler was in the back seat and I don't want her to learn that. He got really annoyed and said let's go. We are driving and the guy was probably waiting for us because while we stopped at the light he stop next to us and started yelling and telling my husband to lower the window, I told him to remember our daughter was right there so he didn't. The guy got out of the car and was calling my husband to get out of the car..I finally mouthed to the guy - I am sorry - he got into his car and left. I was beyond mad so I didn't talk to my husband at all. This is not the first time, the other time I was almost due with my son and he got into this yelling wiht another driver with bad words and signs.
Help me, I was thinking of calling my local police and see if they can force him to do a program.
Please send any advice.
So What Happened?™
Thanks for all the advice and comments. I'm planning on talking to him this weekend and giving him the options. We live in a kind of busy intersection so people run the stop sign at all times, constantly trying to run people over, so he gets pissed at everyone. I have told him time and time there is nothing we can do and getting mad at them won't change anything. He used to be edgy at home but I laid the cards straight for him and told him I would divorce him if he didn't stop immediatly and that is how we fixed that. He works long long hours and commutes for hours, the day before someone broke into his car BUT all of those things are absolutly no excuses to put our safety in jeopardy.
N.A. answers from San Francisco on April 16, 2010
I would let him know this bothers you and you choose not to get in the car with him until he gets into an anger management program. If you say this you have to stick to what you say or it means nothing.
It is up to you.
I.M. answers from New York on April 15, 2010
you need to sit down with him and have a serious talk. Let him know how you are not happy with this situation and ask him to seek professional help. If this only happens while driving and you don't know how it started or what triggers it, what assures you that it won't happen at home next with you and the children. He surely needs professional help and he needs to get it now.
If you have no other choice and he doesn't want to listen to you then you might have to give him an ultimatum.
Your children should not be exposed to that, remember that they learn by behavior and by example.
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C.S. answers from Jacksonville on April 15, 2010
Sounds like more than just road rage, he has a MAJOR ANGER ISSUE.What is he so angry about? Himself, his life, his job, his health,.....
He needs to rethink his behavior and the possible consequences. There are crazy people out there who wouldn'tthink twice about attacking him physically, with fists or another vehicle. And he could be the cause of someone attacking you and /or your child. Does he realize that in most places, there is such a thing as verbal assualt, and he could face charges or being arrested. Doesn't look good to have this on a record.
Not to mention, what he's teaching your child and the effect it's having on you? Would he want someone to talk to or gesture you like that? He doesn't seem to realize it makes him look/sound like a real nut case. Maybe you can talk to him (if he's ready to step up to the plate) ,bring these things up and suggest he think before he speaks. He really needs to figure out where this is all coming from and work on fixing the issues. This isn't just road rage, it's coming from somewhere deeper. Counseling could help. HOPE HE IS OPEN TO LISTENING FOR ALL YOUR SAKES.
Best of Luck, C. S.
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S.B. answers from Savannah on April 15, 2010
This sounds like more than road rage. He sounds like he needs an anger management program ASAP. You can't force him to go unfortunately...you can only see if he will go willingly. Or see if he can react differently than violent or by things teaching your children bad habits.
For instance- someone pisses me off on the road---instead of flicking them off---I tend to beep and smile and wave. Or stick my tongue out at them. Or I feel really like I have to flip them the bird...I will but out of sight like down next to my leg. That way not only am I not teaching my daughter bad things...I'm also not ticking off some potential psycho in the other car. It did take me time to stop getting so angry at others in the car though. There are people out there that just suck at driving and are stupid----but it took me time to realize there's NOTHING I can do about it. There's no point getting bent out of shape and so upset. I certainly stopped when I had my daughter---- her safety and well-being are my #1 priority (as your children and you should be your husbands).
That guy getting out of the car could have killed you or harmed you and for what??? What really was such a big deal to get into an argument like that? Tailgating, speeding, just being dumb....doesn't matter....he needs to learn to just let it go. And seriously---I've found sticking my tongue out or smiling and waving makes me feel better than flicking someone off.
Good luck. :) But yes definitely I would not be getting in to a car with him and my children until he chills out.
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M.B. answers from Sacramento on April 16, 2010
I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. It is scary. Especially with your kids in the car. I would not call the police. No good will come of that and they can't force him into a program without there being some sort of altercation he's been found guilty of. However, I would research the best place/doctor/class that your health plan provides or possibly a free one in your area. You could call your health plan and inqire about Anger Management classes. Also ask him to schedule an appt w/a counselor (Psychologist). I would not let him drive your kids around if at possible. Good luck and take care!
S.S. answers from Los Angeles on April 16, 2010
Geez that really sucks. Theres obviously more going on there than just the road rage..if hes working long long hours and commutes for hours like you said, that's probably not helping his anger level. Have you though about moving someplace that's not near a busy intersection (studies have shown living near busy streets raises stress levels) and/or moving to a place thats closer to his work (assuming you dont work as well). Try minimizing his stress levels as well as getting him to seek counseling for his anger issues. Good luck,
C.C. answers from Sacramento on April 16, 2010
Road rage in many cases will get you killed... and it's not worth it. If your husband has road rage, I'm inclined to think that maybe he is a hot head in general. Anger management course might help. Maybe if you called your local police and spoke to them, they could give you suggestions. Another thought is counseling so he can learn to vent his anger elsewhere.
C.B. answers from San Francisco on April 16, 2010
Unfortunately, the police cannot make your husband do a program; they can't make anyone do anything. But you might want to do some online research and print some articles about people who have been killed because of road rage incidents. Not only auto accidents, but straight out homicide because someone pulled a gun and shot the other driver. If your husband were to do something like that let's say in Richmond or Oakland, he'd be extremely lucky if he wasn't shot. It sounds like your husband has some anger issues that need to be addressed before he and/or someone else gets hurt. My last thought is that I don't think you should allow your child to go with your husband when he's driving because he is truly an accident waiting to happen!
B.R. answers from Sacramento on April 16, 2010
I agree with those who have said it sound like your husband's problem goes beyond road rage. What was he so upset about that caused him to give the finger to that passing driver?
Anything you can do to get him into an anger management program would be good.
You might also want to see if you can speak to his doctor about this. Perhaps there is a medical or mental/emotional issue that could be helped by medication.
Whatever happens as far as getting him the needed help is concerned, I would definitely be the driver of the car and not ride with him driving or allow the children to ride with him driving until he gets control of this problem.
Hopefully, you can find a way to help him deal with this without having to resort to taking your children and leaving him. However if the anger turns on you and the children, you may definitely need to get away, at least for a time, while he gets the necessary help.