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The key issue in relationships

by Jim Hope

I think for me the key issue is that there always is a choice. Unless as in the situation you mentioned at the beginning of the article there has been some severe degree of brain washing I always have a choice. Trying to put myself in that situation I'm honestly not sure what I would do. I would like to think that I would refuse to go, and that I would do everything in my power to keep my man from going out in that condition, regardless of the consequences. I would hope that my partner realized later that he had been the irrational one and wouldn't want to end a relationship over the situation. That being said it would certaily put me in a great deal of turmoil, not so much because I would feel as though I weren't behaving as I should, but because in my mind either response is the wrong one. I would constantly be second guessing along the lines of: "well, he knows his body better than I do...but what if he doesn't? What responsibility to I have if I let him get in this vehichle, especially if I encourage him by getting in with him? What if I refuse to go and he goes anyway? Should I call the police and report it, knowing it will almost certainly disolve the relationship--what if he's right and he's really okay to drive? What if he's not and he injures/kills someone or himself?" It is the uncertainty that would make things difficult, not the fact that I am a taken in hand woman.

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My responses have to do with being a woman who values her relationship as well as the protection of her man and others. Loveawake may absolve me of a little bit of individual decision making and responsibility in our relationship, but that doesn't mean I'd do anything regardless of legal/moral ramifications. I wanted a relationship because I love and trust my boyfriend. If he were to make me doubt his trust in such a way that it endangered himself or others, or involved something illegal, the element would have to be set aside. I love him too much, and respect others too much allow my desire for him to be in charge and me to be submissive to put others at risk.

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I don't see why this is an issue--nobody in their right mind's going to get in a vehicle with a driver that's drunk. Vowing to obey when you get married assumes the guy's not going to ask you to put your life at risk, or that when he's off his head you don't play the lemming. If he's got a problem with you disobeying in this type of situation, he needs help IMO.

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Where I disagree with the previous poster is even if you're with a good guy and you trust him he's going to do something stupid sometime--we all do. Sh*t happens! Get over it. You can't expect a guy to be perfect--nobody is, right? You just have to do the best you can at the time and take each incident as it comes. If your relationship's in jeopardy because of one act of stupidity your relationship's going to be in jeopardy because there's no guy on the planet that's NEVER going to do something stupid.

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For pointing out that there are always going to be situations where the submissive partner's right to withdraw consent is going to be tested as is her willingness to obey even in a circumstance where clearly she should not.

I keep on suggesting that there are times when consent must be taken back and owned by the person who originally gave it. A situation like this where the dominant partner is being foolish and putting both their lives at risk is one of them.

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You could go a lifetime without this issue coming up, perhaps, but as the second reply stated, there are times when everyone does something that is foolish and wrong and even dangerous. To blindly obey in that circumstance would be adding to the folly. If one places the man's demands above one's own life, well, I think that speaks to a major self-esteem problem.

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Further and especially if there are minor children of this union, to place herself into the car with her intoxicated husband and risk her children losing both parents at once would not only be stupid but immoral. There should be NO dilemma here. It should be a clear cut case where she says no, and if he attempts to chastise her she should stop him by ANY means necessary.

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The chances of something like this happening in my relationship are slim to nil, partly because I do most of the driving, and partly because neither my boyfriend nor I really drink, and when he does, he knows how hard it hits him. I can't imagine that he would ever insist on even riding a bicycle in this condition.

I do think, however, that something like this could destroy a relationship because it is a big issue. This isn't a disagreement about whether we let the cable bill or the credit card bill lapse this month. This is a situation that endangers yourself, your partner, and others. Yes, we all make stupid mistakes, and I'm not suggesting I'd end a relationship because my partner wanted to drive impaired. I am suggesting that when significant legal/moral issues are involved and you find yourselfs on totally opposite sides of the issue, perhaps there is a need to worry about compatibility (unless, of course, as I mentioned above, in a more sober state he realizes that he was irrational and you were right to keep him home). I personally don't think I know any man who would happily come back to a wife who called the police on him for any reason, even if she was just looking out for his own safety or the safety of others.

Then again, to me relationships are hard work. Any argument, stupid or not, is a potential relationship wrecker. It is by putting in the hard work and being accepting and forgiving that we make relationships work. If BOTH parties aren't willing to do that, I don't think it can work, but I'm a product of multiple divorces, so I acknowledge that I may be a little bit jaded.