Close to divorce over driving test


Dear Brooke, Please help me see how I’m creating so much distress over a relatively trivial problem.

My husband has been driving for over 20 years but due to a bureaucratic issue he needed to resit the driving test and is not legal to drive until he passes. He keeps failing the test and this has been going on for about 6 months. Where we live there is no public transport and we need to drive a lot so it’s caused many logistical problems, we have young kids. It’s costing a lot of money in lessons and tests and missed days of work. After he failed the first time he said we cannot mention it. Each time he fails the test I have become increasingly upset and angry so that I cry uncontrollably and get strong pain in my chest and have asked him not to come home because the emotion/chest pain is so intense. I work on models ahead of the test but it’s worse each time. The feelings are rage and fear. The negative thoughts are “He’s commuting 4 hours a day and its unsustainable” “I can’t manage” “he could loose his job” “I can’t control this” “This is hurting our family”. I’m so angry and rejecting, I feel rage when I should feel sympathy and compassion for him. It’s been an ongoing issue in our marriage that I’ve wanted him to be more competent and have difficulty loving him as he is.

Positive thoughts I can believe are “He’s becoming a better driver because of this” and “Better this than a car accident” and “He’s trying hard to pass”. But the rage and pain are right there. My current model is:

C: Husband
T: I don’t want him in the same house any more
F: Relief
A: Rejecting
R: More distant. Increasingly likely to separate

The amount of pain and possible divorce seems totally excessive in response to the C of failed driving test. Can you help me understand why my thoughts and feelings are so extreme? Thank you.