Q.: I talked to my wife a few weeks ago about purchasing a car for our family. We have a 6-year-old girl and a 7-month-old son. My wife likes the idea of purchasing a new car, but she does not want to drive. When I asked why, she said, “Men and not women should chauffeur their family.”
I love my wife, but she can be really stubborn with her independent thoughts. I want to make my wife's life easier when I'm working late or out of town. Please tell my wife about the freedom of driving. –Family Man, Brooklyn, N.Y.
A.: I don't necessarily think of your wife's comment as an independent thought. Her idea that she should not drive sounds particularly old-school. I wonder what lies beneath her comment. It could be that she truly does believe that women shouldn't drive, or at least that wives shouldn't.
More likely, she has a fear of driving. If she hasn't driven before (which is common for New Yorkers who don't need a car to get around), she may feel unsure of her driving ability and skittish about getting behind the wheel with her children.
Probe a bit to find out what the real issue is. If she is nervous about driving, giving her a car may not be a viable option.