Ultimatums

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Ultimatums

    Just curious, when is the "right time" to issue an ultimatum in a relationship between a single man and a single woman?

    Marriage? moving in? doing it my way or else? getting what you want and not willing to compromise?

    Do ultimatums have any place in a relationship?  Curious as to your opinion and gender - do guys use ultimatums more than women? vice versa? 

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    Hey, Roger, great question.

    I think a person's list of deal breakers should be very well thought out and very short.  And, relationships that challenge any of these deal breakers shouldn't be entered into in the first place, so ultimatums shouldn't even been a thought.  

    However, we all know that we do get into relationships thinking, well, maybe that deal breaker isn't SO bad, and suddenly we realize we have a big problem.  And, a real deal breaker ought to break the deal sooner rather than later.  

    Most things, imo, do not (or should not) fall into that deal breaker category, and we have to learn to live with the foibles and follies of our significant others.  No one is perfect, and if people make a habit of issuing ultimatums, ultimately they will be miserable and alone.

    In my experience, women are more cavalier about ultimatums and prone to use that tactic than men.  It's a more passive way to handle a problem, for sure, to say, "You fix it or else."   

    All that being said, I'm not a fan and have never handled a problem that way even having gone through a divorce.

    ETA:  I'm a happily (re)married woman. :)
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    There is no right time to issue an ultimatum.  They are by definition selfish and you can't be selfish and have a successful relationship.

    I agree w/ kargiver. You can have dealbreakers [and should] but these should be well thought out in advance. If someone exhibits a characteristic or habit that is a dealbreaker for you and you stay w/ them anyway, and then issue an ultimatum regarding that habit/characteristic down the road, you are being 100% unrealistic and selfish.  People need to know that it's okay to walk away from a relationship early on if hte person does not meet all of your dealbreakers [which should be major things, not minor things like appearance, height, etc].  There is no sense in staying in a relationship that is doomed b/c you are dating someone who wants kids and you don't, who is an artist and you want to live a certain kind of lifestyle or even just have a steady and predictable income, who is super religious and you don't believe in God, etc.  IMO people are often so desperate to have 'a relationship' that they don't examine the quality of that relationship and then want ot issue ultimatums to make the person into someone else. It is untenable. 

    FWIW, I'm female and married.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Maldenlady. Show Maldenlady's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    I am not a believer in ultimaturms!

    If I feel strongly about something, I'll just calmly say so.  If it's really important to me, and the other person won't budge, then I'll either have to deal with it, and know it's not going to change, or walk away.  But an ultimatum?  "Either you do this or I'll ________?"  I just don't think it works, in any context (social or business).  Too much potential for backfire...

    Has anyone ever had a successful outcome from an ultimatum?  I'd like to hear!
     
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    If anyone posts an example of a "successful" ultimatum, please post how long ago it was agreed to.  Maybe I'll believe it if it's been over 6 months and there have been no unforeseen negative ramifications.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Jim-in-Littleton. Show Jim-in-Littleton's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    Well.....  I'm going to disagree with the conventional wisdom here a bit.  I think there are valid tiimes/situations to issue an ultimatum.  I'd limit those to situations where someone's life/health is in danger though.  If someone is abusing or addicted to drugs/alchohol for example, I think an ultimatum might be the only way to grab their attention in many cases.

    The bigger problem with them though, is that people use them and aren't ready to accept the fallout of the other person rejecting it.  If you are going to issue an ultimatum then you have to be ready (in advance) to deal with the fact that the other person may very well tell you to stuff it where the sun don't shine. ;)  
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    Agreed, Jim.  An intervention is an ultimatum of sorts, and, yes, the confronter needs to be 100% invested in the possibility that it will be rejected and must follow through on the promised ramifications.  That means big time ugly consequences that are only chosen in favor of possible consequences deemed to be worse of doing nothing.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    In Response to Re: Ultimatums:
    Well.....  I'm going to disagree with the conventional wisdom here a bit.  I think there are valid tiimes/situations to issue an ultimatum.  I'd limit those to situations where someone's life/health is in danger though.  If someone is abusing or addicted to drugs/alchohol for example, I think an ultimatum might be the only way to grab their attention in many cases. The bigger problem with them though, is that people use them and aren't ready to accept the fallout of the other person rejecting it.  If you are going to issue an ultimatum then you have to be ready (in advance) to deal with the fact that the other person may very well tell you to stuff it where the sun don't shine. ;)  
    Posted by Jim-in-Littleton


    I agree 100% Jim.  I actually think your distinction as to when to use an ultimatum is/are the only times to use one. I wouldn't anticipate anything better than 50/50 odds of success, especially with drugs and alcohol involved.

    But, how about in a relationship? "We've been dating for 5 years - I want/we need - to get married or else!"
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from chellieroo. Show chellieroo's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    2 views:
    My first husband, while things were seriously going south, liked to issue various ultimatums about my behavior. I think he was not happy w/ the outcome: I, like many people, react quite poorly to that kind of attempted control. Poor guy, he was not blessed with much self awareness & was (in part, at least) externalizing blame.

    When I started the seeing my current husband I told him that I would never live w/ a smoker. He quit over 5 years ago.

    I suppose the difference is whether the demand (ultimatum) is about your behavior or the other person's. And, has been said already the "or" has to be something that you are ready to do. Or the "ultimatum" becomes a "threat", which are pretty ineffectual.

    Overall, I think that that both genders engage in magical thinking about themselves & others (s/he'll change! once I have a baby I'll be happy!). Not sure whether there's a gender difference in issuing ultimatums.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Jim-in-Littleton. Show Jim-in-Littleton's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    In Response to Re: Ultimatums:
    In Response to Re: Ultimatums : I agree 100% Jim.  I actually think your distinction as to when to use an ultimatum is/are the only times to use one. I wouldn't anticipate anything better than 50/50 odds of success, especially with drugs and alcohol involved. But, how about in a relationship? "We've been dating for 5 years - I want/we need - to get married or else!"
    Posted by RogerTaylor



    Drug and alcohol problems don't happen in relationships? :o


    As for things like the "Marry me or else!" situations, to me it's an indicator of a lack of communication in the relationship.  In other words, if you've gotten to the point where one is issuing an ultimatum then either those in this relationship don't talk to each other or one (perhaps both) isn't listening.

    An ultimatum is a way of bringing the infamous 600 lb gorilla out from the corner to the center of the room - usually by the more frusrated of the two involved. In the times where it's been done to me, it came across as "Look, I stink and "talk" so I'm just going to drop this bomb..."
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    In Response to Re: Ultimatums:
    In Response to Re: Ultimatums : Drug and alcohol problems don't happen in relationships? :o As for things like the "Marry me or else!" situations, to me it's an indicator of a lack of communication in the relationship.  In other words, if you've gotten to the point where one is issuing an ultimatum then either those in this relationship don't talk to each other or one (perhaps both) isn't listening. An ultimatum is a way of bringing the infamous 600 lb gorilla out from the corner to the center of the room - usually by the more frusrated of the two involved. In the times where it's been done to me, it came across as "Look, I stink and "talk" so I'm just going to drop this bomb..."
    Posted by Jim-in-Littleton


    You are correct Sir....Drug and alcohol problems don't happen in relationships? :o
    Drugs and alcohol DO happen in relationships.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    In Response to Re: Ultimatums:
    In Response to Re: Ultimatums : I agree 100% Jim.  I actually think your distinction as to when to use an ultimatum is/are the only times to use one. I wouldn't anticipate anything better than 50/50 odds of success, especially with drugs and alcohol involved. But, how about in a relationship? "We've been dating for 5 years - I want/we need - to get married or else!"
    Posted by RogerTaylor

    I think in that case one should just leave because as Jim already responded, it's a lack of communication and of being on the same page that got them to this point.  An ultimatum will NOT solve the problem especially if it yields a wedding.  There is a reason (maybe many reasons) it hasn't happened in the time the one issuing the ultimatum wanted it to.  Instead of issuing that ultimatum, that person should save the two of them a divorce and leave when it becomes clear it's not going to happen naturally.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Maldenlady. Show Maldenlady's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    "I think there are valid tiimes/situations to issue an ultimatum.  I'd limit those to situations where someone's life/health is in danger though.  If someone is abusing or addicted to drugs/alchohol for example"  Good point, Jim in Littleton...from what I've seen, ultimaturms/interventions in the case of drug or alcohol addiction are an absolute last-ditch, we're-desperate effort to break through the denial of the addiction.  The other thing here, is that everything is prepared -- bags packed, petcare arranged, employer OK -- before it happens.  Take away any possible excuse.  Every part of the fallout is considered in advance.  Sadly, even in those cases, there are frequently slips even if the abuser does agree to go to rehab.  But again, in those cases, ya gotta hang in there and try...

    I think in that case one should just leave because as Jim already responded, it's a lack of communication and of being on the same page that got them to this point.  An ultimatum will NOT solve the problem
    Excelent point, kar...if it gets to that point, it ain't happening!
     

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from soxygirl123. Show soxygirl123's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    My BF & i just had a similar discussion this morning -- nobody layed down an ultimatum, it was more of a general discussion. we agreed, ultimatums stink. One person can tell the other they have strong feelings about something, after that, you have to pick your battles & hope the other person respects you enough to comply or with your wishes or at least reach a compromise.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    I had a co-worker that issued an ultimatum to her BF.  Clear and simple: stop trashing your ex-wife or I'm breaking up with you.  Tired of the negativity, tired of hearing about it, she had had a nasty divorce as well, and was looking to go forward with someone, not stay stuck in neutral.  She really cared for him, and felt he was "better" than that, if you know what I mean.  She had addressed it prior to the ultimatum, to no avail.   

    As of the very next day, he never spoke ill of his ex-wife again.  If he was tempted, they laughed about it, but that was it.  Not.  One.  Word.  

    They ultimately got engaged.  Sadly, he had leukemia and passed away a few years ago, but he left this world a better person and at peace.  
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Maldenlady. Show Maldenlady's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    Wow, yoga...what a story!  That lasted the rest of his life...that's a lot to think about, there...
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    Actually, yoga, your story reminded me that I have actually issued one myself!  My BIL is an unofficially arm-chair diagnosed (by me after 3 years of dealing with him and researching what on earth could possess anyone to behave so poorly) as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I got to the end of my rope with dealing with his incessent lies, manipulations, etc., and told him if he did not start dealing with me with respect and integrity he'd not have the right to deal with me at all.  He called the next day and ranted for an hour with all manner of lies and all his regular unacceptable behavior.  We haven't had a relationship (I do not take calls or even listen to messages that start, "Hi, kargiver") since that call last October.  And, I intend to never open up that channel of abuse, again.  So, in my case, the ultimatum worked, but that means I had to follow through on the threat because he did not comply.  I'm happier and healthier for having done that.  He is a drain on everyone he is allowed to have contact with.

    So, I guess it can work, but it was an extreme case imo.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Maldenlady. Show Maldenlady's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    Kar -- in that situation, you did what you had to.  I'd call that setting boundaries, rather than an ultimatum.  Someonewith that diagnosis needs to be, shall we say, "guided" in that way...It's hard,  but ya had to do it...

    I'm sorry you were faced with that...
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    Thanks, Maldenlady.  I guess I categorized it as an ultimatum because I said "Do this, or else I'm totally done."  You're right, though, it IS a boundary, albeit one that resembles a 40' cement fence topped with curly razor wire and a guard with a machine gun in the tower.  ;)  

    Sounds like you've had experience with such a person.  Sorry you can relate enough to know what I'm talking about.
     
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  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Jim-in-Littleton. Show Jim-in-Littleton's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    In Response to Re: Ultimatums:
    In Response to Re: Ultimatums : 
    Women, by nature, need to worry about these things and if there is little indication that her guy is ready after five years, well she may truly need to move on.   In this case, it may not be an ultimatum that is completely selfish or controlling; it could represent a real concern about her future and perhaps the realization that she will need to move on from this relationship.    
    Posted by KayRox


    Maybe I've just been operating under a different definition of "selfish" but if it's about *her* future or that *she* needs to move on then it's about herself which makes it selfish.  There is no gain for anyone else in this.

    Whether the needs are a "real concern" or not is irrelevant.  She's acting for herself and by issuing an ultimatum she *is* attempting to control the overall situation. She's forcing the other person involved to make a decision - that's control all the way.

    I think one could argue that there are times when a form of "justified selfishness" is acceptable but recognizing it as that doesn't remove it from still being selfish act.

    (It's the act that is selfish - not her overall persona. The net balance of all acts by an individual would determine if they are a selfish person or not.)
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    There should never be a need for "marry me or else."  If a relationship has dragged on and one party refuses to allow the relationship to progress, the other needs to just decide they've waited long enough in a stagnant relationship and leave.

    Things don't progress naturally toward marriage for 5 years.  Someone has put the cruise control on for a reason; they do not want to accelerate.  Therefore, the idea that there would need to be an ultimatum is not often valid.  The decision to cruise along without marrying has been made (by one of them) long ago, and the other doesn't realize it.  And, generally speaking, forcing it to be changed 5 years into a relationship in which one person has purposely kept it from progressing toward marriage is a set up for divorce. 
     
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  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    In Response to Re: Ultimatums:
    Wow, yoga...what a story!  That lasted the rest of his life...that's a lot to think about, there...
    Posted by Maldenlady
    I know, Malden, I truly think this was a classic case of an ultimatum being issued (she was serious and he knew it) that worked.  And yes, it is something to think about, which is why I never forgot this story.  The "rest of his life" wasn't all that far into the future, sadly, as his leukemia went out of remission a few years later.    

    Bottom line:  Her ultimatum woke him up.  Partly about how he felt about her and didn't want to lose her, but moreso, he sat back and realized what he sounded like and that trashing his ex had become a "habit" -- he didn't even know he was doing it half the time -- and saw for himself he was bringing himself down, not just his new relationship.  He could have taken it another way, not been as insightful, and ended the relationship, but that would have hurt him more than it would have hurt her.  He turned his whole attitude around thanks to the ultimatum.  

    Put into the perspective that his life was cut short, it's very poignant, indeed. 
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Ultimatums

    In Response to Re: Ultimatums:
    There should never be a need for "marry me or else."  If a relationship has dragged on and one party refuses to allow the relationship to progress, the other needs to just decide they've waited long enough in a stagnant relationship and leave. Things don't progress naturally toward marriage for 5 years .  Someone has put the cruise control on for a reason; they do not want to accelerate.  Therefore, the idea that there would need to be an ultimatum is not often valid.  The decision to cruise along without marrying has been made (by one of them) long ago, and the other doesn't realize it.  And, generally speaking, forcing it to be changed 5 years into a relationship in which one person has purposely kept it from progressing toward marriage is a set up for divorce. 
    Posted by kargiver

    Nail.  Hit on head.  There are many variations on the theme, but what Kar has said here is the basic foundation of how a LTR can go on and on (and ON and ON) out of force of habit, even though one person might actually be fine with being in cruise control, while the other wants more, and doesn't want to rock the boat.   Sadly, all that time investment will often go up in smoke because both parties did not communicate their true desires sooner.  

    Two people should be tripping over each other, happy to be in love and ready to get to the next level naturally, not saying, "well, okay, if it's an ultimaturm between breaking up or getting married ... well, then, let's get married" (because breaking up is too hard, not because of the true love and desire to make a life commentment) -- What?  Nope. Time to end it is long overdue.  :D
     
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