Sharing the steering
Laranzo Dacres, Gleaner Writer
Sheryl and Gary Angus have been married for more than three years. For many more years than that, they have shared a '91 Toyota Camry Prominent and - with a little compromising - they have managed to do so without too many conflicts.
"Whenever both of us want to use the car, Gary would always win, as most of the time I do the compromising and let him take it because I personally enjoy staying home with the kids," Sheryl said.
The proud mother of two said she believes that sharing the vehicle can help the relationship, as they get to spend more quality time together while travelling.
"I think it cuts the gap between individuals in certain relationships. You get to spend more time with each other, whether it is to share a joke, hang out with the kids or just talk about things," she continued.
Gary seemed very pleased that he is chauffeur driven to work by his wife most of the times, as he said her time is more flexible than his.
"It's really easy to share a vehicle with her. Right now, she is self-employed, so she's flexible. Her day-to-day routine is to drop me off at work, then the kids. When I finish work, she picks me up. She work done when she knows I am at work, so there is hardly any issue," he said.
Dr Barry Davidson, CEO of Family Life Ministries, described the idea of couples sharing a vehicle as extremely beneficial to the relationship. It can improve a good relationship but it can also create conflict in an already bad one.
"A couple sharing a car can give them some quality time if they know exactly how to experience intimacy and if they know how to communicate on all levels," said Davidson, psychologist and author of Before They Say I Do.
"These couples need to recognise that sharing a vehicle can enhance the relationship; if the relationship is good, sharing a vehicle makes the relationship better; if it is bad, sharing a vehicle can create some amount of conflict and make it worse," he explained. "Most women have a need for conversation and that need can be met while travelling together. For most men, their need for companionship can be met from travelling together. Therefore, you have a win-win situation."
Rohan Thorpe and girlfriend Ashley Ashmeade share a '94 Honda Civic Hatchback and it is a bit bumpy.
Ashley — a teller and part-time student —said women are very impatient so it will pose a problem.
"If I want to go out with the girls and he was to go chill with his friends at the same time, it can cause a serious issue," she said.
"The reason we are sharing a car is my car got stolen," Rohan explained.
"When she is at the hairdresser, she calls you long before she's ready and you end up going there and waiting. Also, there are times when I go to pick her up and, as she gets in the car, she turns off the music I was listening to. This just breaks the vibes."
The two explained there are situations where they have to reach work at different times and this causes one party to be up way before the usual time.
The couples, however, agree that compromising is necessary for such an arrangement to work.