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DEAR ABBY: There is an ongoing issue between my husband and me. It's his disregard for my personal safety. Our large city is known for its heavy, fast traffic and impatient drivers. "Jon" is a good driver. He likes to drive in the left (passing) lane on the highway or tollway, usually about five miles above the posted speed limit.
This is considered too slow for many drivers, who become impatient and aggressive having to be behind us in the fast lane. They flash their headlights and tailgate us, trying to get him to move over into the right lane so they can pass, but Jon refuses to yield. If they start to pass us on the right, he will speed up and race them so they can't get ahead of him. He says he's "teaching them a lesson."
I have told my husband repeatedly that these games are dangerous and they scare me. Not only could we get into an accident, but we could get into an ugly confrontation or worse. I am terrified in these situations and he knows it, but he continues. I try to drive as often as possible, but I can't see as well at night as I used to, so Jon drives at night or when we're going long distances. With the price of gas and considering the inconvenience and inefficiency, it doesn't make sense to go in separate cars. Do you have any suggestions?
- On a collision course in Houston
DEAR ON A COLLISION COURSE: Jon should be told that impeding the flow of traffic is a very dangerous practice. His childish behavior could incite road rage, and it is everyone's responsibility to minimize instances in which road rage can occur.
Contact the Department of Public Safety to get a copy of the Texas Drivers Handbook. That way you can show Jon in black and white that his behavior is not only wrong but dangerous. While some husbands are not receptive to a wife's comments about their driving, most will listen to what a state trooper has to say about good driving practices versus bad ones. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
And one more word of advice: Continue being the driver as often as possible. Your lives could depend on it.
DEAR ABBY: I was discussing with my 26-year-old daughter how parents punish their kids, when suddenly she told me that she hated that I would make her write "lines" when she was growing up. She mentioned that one day I made her do it when her friend was there to play with her. I felt really bad about this and wonder why she is bringing this up now.
- Wondering down South
DEAR WONDERING: It came up now because punishment was the topic of conversation, and she flashed back on how humiliating it was to have been punished in front of a friend. Clearly it made an impact - and it would be interesting to know if the infraction was repeated after that.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.