First, let me preface what I am about to say with this...
As someone who is an avid student of understanding personalities and temperaments, I'll be the first to say that there's no such thing as gender-based behaviors (i.e. only men do this and only women do that)...
UNTIL… we get on the road. Then a weird thing happens with men and directions. I'm going to step out on a limb and say that it’s not a Man thing, but rather a Husband thing.
I understand the “macho” part of not wanting to stop to ask for directions, really, I get that.
But how about allowing your wife to assist? Some husbands will actually trust a GPS over a WWM (wife with map).
Here’s what my unscientific and unmerited research on “Road Trips with Your Spouse” has concluded:
During the first five years of marriage, the wife may kindly ask “wasn’t that our turn you just passed?” followed by lots of “let’s just stop to ask someone.” We all know that a husband won’t admit that he just missed the turn and might respond with “I know where I am.” We also know that he won’t stop for directions for at least an hour, regardless of how much his wife fidgets and sighs. Besides, this could have all been avoided if she had of told him sooner.
During the second five years of marriage, the wife may nastily say “you missed the darn turn, I told you it was coming up!” This may be followed by lots of “just stop the car to ask someone, before you have us out here all night!” Now, we all know that it’s the wife’s fault. She told him the turn was coming up too early. Who cares that she was trying to give him plenty of warning, so that the kids in the back seat don’t fly out the window when he tries to turn on a dime on the freeway. We also know that this time, he was actually planning to stop to ask for directions, this time. But now that she has a nasty attitude, he’s not going to… no matter how much she stares up-side his head with piercing eyes.
Now after ten years of marriage, the husband will be lucky if she says “turn”…just as he approaches his exit. For some husbands, this works (because they don’t want their wives to use lots of words anyway). But if he’s unlucky, she might not say anything at all. She just sits there carefree and content, reading her book, or working a puzzle, or starring out of the window.
He really starts to get concerned now, because he knows he doesn’t have a clue where he is, but she still says nothing…no sighing, no mean looks, nothing. So he breaks down and asks “do you think I missed my turn?” She shrugs her shoulders, as if she doesn’t care. Before long, he’s asking “do you think I should stop and ask?” and she shrugs her shoulders again.
See, in her mind, he was going to get lost at some point on this trip anyway. And we all know it will still be her fault. But she’s been with him long enough to know—just like at the house—he’s going to ask for help eventually.
The moral of the story…
For husbands, God gave you a wife to be your help mate…let her do what she was given to you to do.
For wives, if you’ve been married less than ten years, save your breath, bring books, and enjoy the ride.
PS...We're going into our 15th year of marriage... I don't know what happens then... I'm guessing we ride in two cars and he just follows me there! LOL LOL LOL