Women are so often told that men just need a little nudging in order for their women to get what they really want. And often this mentality snowballs into the often given advice comprised of time to shit or get off the pot. That scary point in the relationship where you face the great divide and all your friends and family tell you that you need to give that boy an ultimatum. “He either loves you or he loves his job”, “he either marries you or he leaves you”, and of course “it’s either you or it’s her”. Just writing these little words I have shivers running down my spine. Why do so many of our relationships end up at this point of no return, that judgement day so to speak.
I am absolutely guilty of doing just this action that I now loath. I gave my ex fiancé an ultimatum to either marry me or end things. Yup, I, with head hung down low did this terrible thing. The worst part about it was that although I got exactly what I wanted, I was miserable. I am not sure it always turns out that way for people. Perhaps my case was just an extreme. But it really gets me wondering what could possibly be the best case scenario from listening to that advice of our loved ones who always have our best interests at heart (sarcasm is tough in written form). When you give the ultimatum is it suddenly happy ever after?
I know a man who was an alcoholic. He met a woman and fell madly in love. They had a couple of kids and one day the woman sat the man down and gave him an ultimatum to quit drinking or to lose his family. The next week he was attending AA meetings and cleaning himself up. It has been nearly 20 years since that ultimatum was given, and perhaps it was just the wake up call that this man needed. But I often wonder, now that the kids have grown up, and he is no longer in fear of losing everything, would he start drinking again like he jokes about from time to time? Did this ultimatum actually make him happier, better, and whole? Or was this just the right time and right place for him to get his life in order and all these years has he actually harbored a grudge for this woman? I wonder this because I know the guilt of forcing someone to do something against their will. It is a sickening feeling and I personally had troubles living with myself after I did it.
The final point I want to make in regards to giving ultimatums is this. It seems simple enough, but seriously, put yourself in the other persons shoes. How would you react, how would you feel, and how would you feel in 20 years. A person who holds your life hostage like that is not someone who is ready to be in a healthy and loving relationship. A person who believes that an ultimatum is the only way to seek change, and get what they want is a person who has poor communication skills. The relationship is already at fault if it comes to that point. Some real internal soul searching needs to be done as very often, the person seeking the quick fix, take it or leave it response, is actually the main problem. Why? Because they are the one with the problem and can find no other solution than to commit relationship terrorism.