My Husband Has Taken a Lover and I Want Her Gone!

I should have expected something like this. A midlife crisis. The eighteen-year itch. Of course, I thought after all these years I’d somehow managed to tame my man. Oh, how wrong I was. I only have myself to blame.

About a year ago, I told my husband I didn’t want our kids going off to college without knowing how to drive a manual transmission vehicle. I know most cars are automatic now, but I had visions of them going out with a group of their friends, everyone drinking too much to drive except my perfect angels who would volunteer to chauffeur everyone home. Only the car they’d driven in was a stick shift and my babies didn’t know how to operate such complicated machinery. I’m sure you can imagine my horror.

My parents had a manual transmission car and so did my husband’s parents. Back in the olden days, pretty much everybody did. Our children live in a world very different from ours, but learning to drive a stick shift car seemed to me like a very important life skill to acquire.

Just about this time, my husband visited a friend who’d recently refurbished an old Jeep Scrambler. He fell in love at first sight. Using the very same qualities I admire in him most—his laser like focus and dogged determination—he scoured the Internet and found the answer to both of our prayers. Only for one of us, his obsession has turned into a nightmare. Here’s the jeep he bought:Original 1984 Jeep Scrambler

You’re probably thinking the same thing I was thinking when the jeep arrived: that’s not exactly what I had in mind. Does this look safe? To my soon-to-be fifteen-year old son, this jeep looks like a loaded gun, a line of crack, and an easy girl with a smoking hot body whose parents are out of town for the weekend all wrapped into one. Yeah, this looks like T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Only it gets worse.

“When just right just ain’t good enough.” That’s the motto my husband’s friends have created in his honor. Everybody needs a good tag line and this one hits the bull’s-eye. His diamond in the rough needed a little work. Here is what the jeep looks like today:

Newly Restored 1984 Jeep ScramblerYes, that is the same car. Only everything has been replaced. EVERYTHING. Including the manual transmission, which had to be replaced with an automatic. But, wait? Wasn’t that the whole reason we got the jeep in the first place—to teach the kids how to drive a stick shift? Why, yes. Yes, it was.

We now own a sixteen year old’s wet dream, with no manual transmission, and a body so perfect my husband will never, not in a million years, let his almost teenaged son drive. Well done, my loving husband, well done.

So for any of you out there who may be in the market for a completely refurbished, pristine 1984 Jeep Scrambler, I expect this to be on the market within six months. Because the fun of this jeep, that’s spent more time in the shop than in our garage, has been in the refurbishing. Now that she’s done, I expect the fun to wear off in about a half a year before the next of his lovers comes along to tempt him. In the mean time, if you could make me feel a little better about this situation, I’d love to hear how you rid your husbands or significant others of their paramours.

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About Christy Hayes

A wife, a mother and a writer of romantic women's fiction. I love dogs, exercise and cable news.

Posted on April 16, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Ha! This is too funny, Christy! Why is it that when the men in our lives take on a project it always becomes something more than we intended? I, too, want my kids to learn to drive a manual transmission. My reasoning is a little different: I worry they’ll someday be on the Amazing Race and it’s those darned foreign cars that will cause them to lose. 🙂

    My husband is searching for a Gator–one of those oversized golf carts he can use to haul things around his various apartment complexes. My daughter actually drives one at the barn. Shhh, I know she doesn’t have a license yet, but it has a clutch and it’s good practice. But, try convincing my husband he doesn’t need one of his own. I’m working on it.

    • I’m sure my husband can help yours locate the perfect Gator. Let’s do us both a favor and keep those two apart!

  2. Hysterical
    ,

  3. Sorry babe….it is hear to stay. Your loving husband.

  4. I wish I had a picture of the pristine vehicle from the 80’s my brother in law keeps in my sister’s garage. He bought it completely refurbished and I am not sure what it does except take up space.

    Love the tag line. I’m passing it on.

  5. At least he doesn’t play golf! My husband’s mistress keeps him on the course for five hours at a time. Wait, maybe it’s a blessing.

    • He’s been through golf, hunting, and now the jeep. I’m not sure which is worse, but at least he hasn’t turned to another woman. Of course, he knows I’d kill him so that helps!

  6. You have described my youngest son, who at 14 began to drag “projects” home and has never stopped. We currently have a 1962 John Deere tractor in the driveway. He bought a 1946 cab for it, but the cab doesn’t fit and now it’s in pieces in the driveway while he attempts to decide whether to refab it and make it fit, or resell it. Last year, it was an old camper, which he tore apart and rebuilt from the ground up.

    • I hope this ends with the jeep. I’m going to live in the fantasy that he’s gotten it out of his system. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

  7. Haha. Lucky for my wife I am not a car person. In fact I was ecstatic when I replaced the side view mirror on my 2001 Camry. And I didn’t even care that it wasn’t the same color as the other one.

    • Your wife is a very lucky woman, Rob. Make sure you tell her so. We wives forget sometimes how lucky we are. Congrats on replacing your mirror!

  8. While reading this I was trying to think whether my son should learn to drive a stick-shift. We don’t have a car with one, so I guess it’s a moot point. But, I’m wondering whether it’s necessary these days. It seems unless one has an older car, do they even make stick-shifts cars? Anyone know?
    Patti

  9. Ah Christy, the sad answer is that there is no solution, no answer, no way out! It’s like a compusive/obsessive who gives up one addiction only to find another. I grew up with this and it morphs from old cars, to classic cars, to old furniture to whatever can pull them into the gravitatinal field of “but honey, it won’t take any time at all to finish putting on the new roof.”

    Nope, in my family it went from my father to my brothers, from my father-in-law to my husband and the tradition continues with my son to his two sons. My dad used to remind my mother that these flights of fancy were much safer than taking a “real” mistress. So take heart, you at least know where he and his new mistress is … in the garage getting ready for their next jaunt 🙂

    • Yes, Florence, I do know this is better than a woman, but I’d love to have my garage space back. Oh, well. I have to pick my battles!

  10. ….by the way….it is he…not a she….that much should be obvious. Trust me….you will learn to love it. Your loving husband…

  11. He could also be at a bar gambling, smoking and drinking every night, which are things (I would assume) that you wouldn’t want him taking your son along to do. Maybe he does that too, but I’m not getting that vibe if this is what you’re choosing to write this about.

    I can’t speak to the auto transmission swap, but I would think that there’s nothing better to help your son want to learn to be a responsible driver than to prove to dad that he’s worthy of driving the Scrambler.

    My dad doesn’t know what end of a screwdriver to use and didn’t teach me anything mechanical at all. I taught myself what I know and am working to teach my daughter (6) so she doesn’t end up not knowing how to change her own oil or is unable deal with her flat tire. As a side benefit, I hope she remembers all the times she sat in daddy’s lap steering a Jeep up the driveway, helped do things mechanical in the garage, crawled in the back seat to take a ride to the Dairy Queen, or took a road trip to camp with the family in one of our Jeeps.

    Jeeps can, if you let them, be an awesome family experience. As you mentioned repeatedly, it’s got your son’s attention, think about what else could have his attention and see if you still think this thing should go away. 😉

    • Jeep dad,
      Thanks for helping me see the bright side of this adventure! I assure you, this post was written with my tongue fully in my cheek. If my husband has his way, I’ll have to learn to love his new obsession. All is good, I know how lucky I am to have my wonderful husband, and I wouldn’t trade this problem for any other. Who knows, I may write a future post about how much I love our Jeep Scrambler!

  12. As a fellow Scrambler owner, I really enjoyed reading this. Even read it to my wife. Brought a smile to her face. She has lived the past 10 years with our Scrambler project, It is still a ways from finished, and it has also had “everything” replaced- with most things being upgraded, modified, and customized. To be truthful, she has put up with my “vehicular obsession” for 32 years of marriage, and even encourages it now- I’m building a 1973 VW Bus for her, and she has a 1988 Grand Wagoneer that she adores. (Neither of these are her daily driver!) At one point she said she wouldn’t have married a man that didn’t know how to fix things…

    She has told me she appreciates that I don’t go out drinking, gambling, or womanizing- and that having a 4-wheeled “mistress” keeps me close to home. Her only complaint- one shared by you and several other responders- is the lack of access to the garage. My solution- we need a bigger garage! We’re currently looking for a smaller house with a LARGE shop!

    • I shouldn’t complain about it being in the shop because at least it’s not in my garage. I totally sympathize with your wife and share her gratitude that you and the other Jeep obsessed husbands are not out carousing.

      I’m going to need a bigger garage pretty soon also. Let me know how the search goes. I’d imagine bigger garages come with bigger houses. Sounds to me like you might need to build. Hey–sounds like a project!

  13. OMG!!! Why would you want it gone?!?! Besides a Scrambler is A LOT safer then a CJ7!!!! hehe it’s also A LOT safer then my ’96 Ford Mustang GT(that’s a standard) my son wants to drive that when he starts driving!!! THAT’S a boys wet dream right there! I also happen to have a ’93 Dodge Culminate ex cab 8ft bed… it’s a tank(also a standard) that I’m thinking is what my son will be learning to drive!!! And hey… think of it this way… at least it’s a Jeep and not an old Mustang, Charger, GTO or something like that!! The Jeep has roll bars… it’s well built… and a lot safer then some of the newer vehicles out! Plus… Jeeps are pretty easy to work on!! 😀 and hey… it could have been a motorcycle! I started riding at 16… I also drove a Mazda Protege(standard) and I drove it like a race car! 😀 I’m 34 now… son is about to turn 14… and as a mom… I think there’s a lot worse things your son could be driving!

    • I appreciate your advice, Amanda, even though I didn’t understand half of it! I doubt my son will drive it because my husband would rather turn over control of our family finances to him than his jeep. This all remains to be seen. A lot can happen in six months, but I do take your expertise into consideration. Thanks for commenting!

      • Lol sorry… I’ve been a car fanatic since I was a teenager. And stupid spell auto correct… it’s a Cummins… not Culminate. A CJ7 is also a Jeep… but has a smaller body and higher roll over rate. Yes a lot can happen in 6 months, but maybe you could start looking for an old truck like mine? The ’93 has smaller bodies then what I have… and finding them in a standard isn’t hard… only thing is unless you’re towing something you start off in 2nd gear, but they are excellent trucks! 😀 I missed the part the first time that the Scrambler is now an automatic 😦 that breaks my heart! I’ve pretty much only driven standards… my Grandpa taught me how to drive and shift without using the clutch lol but I don’t do it much anymore. Most of my friends in high school know how to drive one because I taught them… lol I think it’s great y’all are gonna teach your kiddo to drive one! The reason I recommend the old Cummins… it’s a big old good built truck… it is a diesel, but gets good fuel mileage… if the engine has been cared for… it’s a straight 6 cylinder(which is less wear on the engine) and for those trucks… the body will fall apart before the engine does! Oh and you can easily get 400,000 miles out of it! Plus side? Lol a teenager would have a hard time getting into trouble driving a truck like that! 😀

        • I’ll pass this on to my newly gear headed husband. Us moms have to look out for one another!

  14. Too funny. My kids are 10 and 13, and already listing the cars they want when they turn 16. A Jeep is on the list, right behind the Hummer and the Viper. Whichever it is (not), it has to be yellow (my son’s new favorite color).

    • Kids and their dreams! Strangely, my son wants a Ford F150 and he’s not going to get it.

  15. Lucky for me, my husband doesn’t have any of these items tucked away in the garage! But he does have “toys” and pops wheelies on them (driving me insane) but I remain mute.

    As they say: one must pick their battles!

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