You’ve been with the same guy for awhile now; and although you expected a ring a long time ago, it still hasn’t happened. Or maybe your man is pursuing a career and it has been costing you both a ton of money because things aren’t going well.
These are instances where we often hear that ugly “u” word pop up: Ultimatum. When we get frustrated with how a situation is going and it starts to feel like we can no longer reason with the other person, ultimatums can start to feel like a reasonable option. We think, “Oh, I’m gonna tell him what’s about to happen if things don’t go my way.”
The problem is, ultimatums rarely end well. No one likes feeling pressured into making a decision and that’s exactly what an ultimatum feels like—a whole lot of pressure.
I understand how it can become a reasonable consideration. After all, if you have tried reasoning, pleading, waiting, and Lord knows what else, an ultimatum can often feel like your last resort.
But despite that, should we be giving them to our men? Probably not.
And although you may be waiting for something profound, the reason is simple; they don’t work. Backing someone into a corner rarely works. And even if it does, there is a consequence that comes with it.
I’m sure you are thinking, “there has to be some other way, right?” Yes, there is. I don’t expect you to just deal with a bunch of crap or wait forever and a day if things aren’t going your way. There is definitely a better way.
Here are three things you should consider if you are on the verge of handing your man an ultimatum.
- Consider counseling
Instead of reacting out of anger and frustration, try getting help to address what’s really going on in your relationship. An ultimatum won’t help you get to the root of the problem, but seeing a good therapist will. If you can address what’s really going on, there won’t be a need for you to hand out ultimatums because things will start to make a lot more sense.
- Develop a plan
If you are at the point where an ultimatum seems like a reasonable option, maybe you need to calm down and create a plan. If things aren’t working for one person in a relationship, both people should feel like there’s a problem. Sit with your partner to talk about what you need, and develop a plan that works for both of you. If you find that developing a plan seems impossible, go back to No. 1 and consider counseling. If creating a plan is going well, make sure you develop a timeline and connect about the plan regularly to see how you both feel.
- Make a choice, and follow through
There really is no need to give someone an ultimatum because they probably already know how you feel. Whatever it is you think you should do, if they don’t comply with your requests—go ahead and do it. No need to announce it or back anyone into a corner. Just do what you have to do. Your mate will react in a way that works for him, and you can decide what to do with that. By backing someone into a corner before you make a decision and act on it, you are just looking for a way to make your mate responsible for your choice. You should just own your choice. Once you’ve made yourself clear, do what you need to do.
No matter how you slice it, ultimatums are never good ideas. Assess the situation, consider your options, and make a choice based on what works best for you, not based on how angry or frustrated you are.
BMWK ladies, what have your experiences been with giving your man an ultimatum?