Wedding Woes

If you're so worried, why not suck it up and drive him?

Dear Prudence,

My husband is Jewish and fairly religious. I am not religious at all, and sit on the fence of outright atheism. He has also recently been suffering from an endocrine issue, and has not been processing melatonin properly. Consequently, he’s been having enormous trouble sleeping, and it’s been affecting him in a number of ways.

The one that has me most immediately worried is his weekly trips to the synagogue. He drives there, about half an hour each way, and spends 3-to-4 hours on Saturdays. His reflexes aren’t so good at the moment, and he’s been cutting back on driving because of the constant fatigue. Driving to “Shul” is just about the only long trip he still takes, and I worry every time he gets behind the wheel. I wanted him to stop going, but when I suggested it, it wasn’t even a fight, it was just a flat refusal to even consider the request. He was willing to discuss alternative travel arrangements, but he won’t spend money on Saturdays for any reason, which means a cab or something is out. At one point he asked if I could drive him, but I don’t feel comfortable being his chauffeur like this, especially to an activity that I don’t quite see the point of. Most of his friends at synagogue walk there, and I don’t know how viable it is to ask someone to pick him up and drop him off.

At this stage, I really don’t know what to do. Do you have any suggestions?

— Worried Wife

Re: If you're so worried, why not suck it up and drive him?

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This seems so needless to me. Either drive him, or purchase the bus pass or have him purchase a prepaid pass (if that’s a loophole?) another day that he can use on Saturdays. 
    MissKittyDangercharlotte989875
  • You need to come up with a plan that allows your H to practice his faith safely.   Your letter reads as if you finished it and then put your hands up by your shoulders in a shrug.  Stop shrugging.  You married your husband knowing his faith is important and now he has a health issue that is affecting his ability to drive a longer distance.  

    You should be treating this as a more important issue to you because it's important to your HUSBAND. 
    charlotte989875short+sassyILoveBeachMusicVarunaTT
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Why don't you feel comfortable driving him? He asked, so it's not that you feel like you're infantilizing him or anything like that.

    "Not totally seeing the point of it" would be a stupid reason to prevent your husband from doing something that is meaningful to him, especially when he doesn't get to go anywhere else.
    banana468ILoveBeachMusic
  • Get over yourself and drive him! Or pre pay for a car service. 
    charlotte989875
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    At first I thought the drive was 3-4 hours so I was thinking “nothing closer?” But then re-read and it’s only 1/2 an hour… so I agree, drive or pay someone else to
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Well this is just stupid.

    LW, if you care, drive him. Otherwise, STFU and admit that you're just trying to get him to stop going to synagogue. 
    banana468
  • ei34ei34 member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    From my outside-looking-in POV (Catholic but raised in an area with enough observant Jews to have some idea)...so, if you're not super Orthodox or Hasidic, you can use modern things during the sabbath but not handle them.  You can ride in a Sabbath elevator (stops on each floor automatically so you don't have to press the button for your floor)...I used to pop into my neighbor's house at a pre-arranged time to take their Friday evening (Shabbot) dinner out of the oven, because in the time it took to cook during winter months when the sun set earlier, it was Sabbath so although they could begin cooking the meal, they couldn't touch the oven by the time it was done.  So I think LW's H could ride in an Uber or Lyft, as long as he didn't use a phone to order it.  Which makes me wonder why LW can't just order one for him?

    LW could also just drive H themself??  If they're not bc it's a play to get him to stop going to Shul that's really gross.
    charlotte989875MyNameIsNot
  • ei34 said:
    From my outside-looking-in POV (Catholic but raised in an area with enough observant Jews to have some idea)...so, if you're not super Orthodox or Hasidic, you can use modern things during the sabbath but not handle them.  You can ride in a Sabbath elevator (stops on each floor automatically so you don't have to press the button for your floor)...I used to pop into my neighbor's house at a pre-arranged time to take their Friday evening (Shabbot) dinner out of the oven, because in the time it took to cook during winter months when the sun set earlier, it was Sabbath so although they could begin cooking the meal, they couldn't touch the oven by the time it was done.  So I think LW's H could ride in an Uber or Lyft, as long as he didn't use a phone to order it.  Which makes me wonder why LW can't just order one for him?

    LW could also just drive H themself??  If they're not bc it's a play to get him to stop going to Shul that's really gross.
    I'm wondering if the fact that he drives on Saturday at all means he is on the more liberal side and doesn't adhere to the "not doing work on the Sabbath" rules.  But I admittedly don't know much about it.  The main exposure I've had to Judaism was when I lived in Bal Harbor (Miami), FL for 3 months after Hurricane Katrina.  Technically a town, but more like a neighborhood.  It had a high percentage of Jewish people, many of them Hasidic, who lived there.  As such, things seemed very strictly followed which I'm sure colors my perception.  We helped one of our neighbors turn off her oven and take dinner out of it a few times also!

    With all that said, the LW sounds terrible.  I understand it is a hassle to drive him, but it's also important!  So just do it.  They don't have to hang out at the temple.  They can go back home.  They can use it as an opportunity to run errands.  They can go to a coffee shop and have some "me" time with a good book.
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • LW doesn't talk about why they're an atheist, so I tend to wonder if there's some religious trauma there.

    Even if there is though, I think LW needs to just drop husband off/pick up and go on about life.  As long as husband doesn't use it as an opportunity to start trying to get LW to start getting involved with faith, I think compromise is a key point, since it's a health issue.
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