fighting over the GPS while driving in Albuquerque

What Fighting In Marriage Looks Like

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We knew how to handle the big problems in our marriage, but nothing could've prepared us for navigating the GPS together.It is hard to know what your marriage will be like before the wedding day. How will you handle life’s big problems? How do you manage your finances? How will you react when you start to have kids?

But most importantly, how will you handle driving together? Who will manage the GPS, or will you ask for directions, or use a physical map? What GPS will you use? Is Apple Maps or Google Maps better?

Heath and I knew how we would handle the big problems in our marriage, but one thing we didn’t prepare ourselves for was the GPS. Who knew it could spark such sudden outrage? Indeed, at least 75% of fighting in our marriage is directly or indirectly caused by the GPS.

Fortunately (or unfortunately perhaps) most of our epic GPS-related fights are all recorded on camera while we drive to our jobs. In fact, most of our fights from our entire honeymoon are recorded on camera or at least began on camera before I snapped at Heath to turn them off. I find it wildly entertaining to watch these videos, because it retrospect we fight over the most miniscule things! Missing a turn or the GPS recalculating is not the end of the world!

In the movies, fighting is very animated. People throw their hands in the air and scream. But real life isn’t like that–thankfully. Our fights look a whole lot more subtle than that. In fact, I want to share some screenshots with you of our first major GPS blow out. Here is a glimpse of newlyweds fighting in marriage.:

June 2, 2014

“Just left Walmart,” Heath began. “It’s Monday morning here in Albuquerque and we are heading to our first job site where I’ll be working at the Project Dojo martial arts school. And I’m pretty excited about it—“

“Turn left,” I interrupted since Heath wasn’t paying close attention to the road.

And from then on, all hell broke loose.

did he just say that

“You’re getting on the freeway, you’re supposed to be on that road right there.” I pointed to the road on the left.

“Cool,” Heath responded, looking well, as you can see, he doesn’t look happy.

when the GPS redirected us to LA

“Can you even see me in the camera?” Heath whined as he drove down the interstate.

This is my are-you-kidding-me-you-insisted-on-mounting-the-camera-in-that-spot-and-now-you’re-complaining-about-it?! face. (Not to be confused with my don’t-get-sassy-with-me, you-missed-the-turn face.)

mocking heath

“Ah crap,” Heath said after exiting the highway and turning left to get heading back in the right direction. “That was my entrance ramp. Let me just pull a u-turn,” Heath said

“He is going to wreck this RV,” I mouthed to the camera.


U-Turn #1

setting up the camera

“I typed in Project Dojo on the GPS, and it’s taking us to Los Angeles now,” I told Heath.

“But we’re in Albuquerque?” Heath asked.

can he make it

U-turn #2

oh no.U-turn #3, made 30 seconds after U-turn #2, as Google Maps directed us.

After two consecutive u-turns in less than a minute, Heath grabbed the phone away from me and revoked my GPS privileges.

When we first told people about our RV honeymoon plans, I could see the judgment in their eyes. It was if I could hear their thoughts. “You’re going to get tired of each other. There is no way you can survive living in that small a space. You will bite each other’s heads off if you travel together for that long.”

Looking back, it’s comical how many u-turns and missed exits it took to get us where we needed to be, but in real life, it felt tense and frustrating. Troubles in life tend to feel a lot worse when you’re in the midst of them. It felt like Heath and I would never make it to our first job at Project Dojo.

Now, we’ve worked 49 jobs, struggled through 49 early mornings of figuring out how to get to jobs on time, and we still bicker about that stupid GPS. Lesson: Some fights in marriage will never be solved. And GPS’s all suck.

13 Responses

  • haha. I love the screenshots! I can’t believe you didn’t take this as an opportunity to crack a joke about feisty redheads.

  • Laughed out loud at work today reading this and looking at the pictures! Great post!

  • Enjoyed your post. We are going on the road in 18 months once the wife retires. We will be going full time. What is nice for us we have family!y all over the country, which will be nice for us as we travel

    • Edwin, one of our favorite parts of RVing was visiting family all across the country, namely family that we didn’t get to visit ever before! It is a joy. Enjoy full-time travel!

  • I absolutely hate running the GPS. Hate with a roaring passion because something always goes wrong with it and then I’m in trouble…since I am supposed to be working the GPS. But as you said….all GPS’s suck

  • […] these little things, but it’s usually the little things that cause the biggest fights. You recall the GPS debacle, don’t […]

  • […] Alyssa’s blog: “What Fighting in Marriage Looks Like” […]

  • Our marriage has weathered many, many traveling (primarily direction-related) arguments, most of them pre-GPS (gasp!). The advantage is that now, (25 years later &) during the GPS phase, we have experience(?) and wisdom(?!) on our side. We recently made about 5 trips onto and off a highway because we missed one turn and “Judy (Garmin)” has an affinity for highways over local streets. We also once circled Arlington Cemetery for 25 minutes because there was “traffic” and she kept re-routing us to miss it. The problem was, it’s Arlington and there is always traffic near the cemetery. I love your blog (& Heath’s). Thanks for sharing your experiences. In case you’re interested, as the driver and co-navigator, I find it helpful to remind us (me) that we’re safe, have plenty of time/it’s not the end of the world to be late, and in the scheme of things, it seems like a much bigger deal than it is. I’m sure hubby loves being lectured at such a tense time, but it settles my nerves. Safe travels!

  • This is us, too!! We have been recording the road as we drive so we only have the audio but there have been plenty of direction related arguments, including one that was straight out of “The Long, Long Trailer”, a Lucy movie our parents made us watch before we left, where I told John to “turn right here”, meaning left, even though I had told him three times that it would be a left, he turned right! 😛 We are getting there though and hope this has improved for you guys!!

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