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Thursday, July 9, 2015

DO 'ultimatums' work? Should I give him / her an ultimatum?

Are ultimatums any good? Do they actually work? Can I get my boyfriend to marry me by giving him an ultimatum? Will an ultimatum save my relationship?

An ultimatum is giving someone a choice between two things: It's either A or B - no inbetweens, no buts, no compromises. Usually when it comes to relationships, A is something you'd like changed or done and B involves the ending of your relationships in some way.

Ultimatums have their place in life and relationships.

If it's for the greater good of your relationship, your well being or the health of either of you, then it would be a good idea to use one:

Example: If you don't stop the substance abuse / abusive behaviour / infidelity, I'm leaving.

Ultimatums can also sometimes be somewhat selfish and not completely thought through - these usually in some way come across as 'blackmail' or at least 'emotional blackmail'.

Example: If you don't marry me / remove a family member from your life / buy me a new house, I'm leaving.

There are two quick and fast rules to consider when thinking about handing out an ultimatum:

1. Is it worth your relationship:

- Is getting married important enough to lose my relationship over?
If your answer is yes then that sorta defeats the purpose doesn't it? Isn't marriage supposed to be about spending forever with the one person you could never see yourself without? If it is then why are you trying to get someone who you'd be fine without to marry you??

- Is stopping the abuse more important than losing my relationship?

Your answer should be yes with good reason. If your partner is not willing to stop his behaviours then it in your best interest that the relationship end. An ultimatum is definitely the right way to go here.

2. Would you really be okay if your partner chose the other option?

Going into an ultimatum you should be prepared for either outcome. If your partner chooses to change his behaviour or give you what you want to hold onto your relationship then it's clear he / she values you and your relationship. And that's bound to make you happy.
If he / she chooses to end the relationship as choice in the ultimatum then you should be prepared fr tat and willing to accept that as an outcome.

Remember; think carefully before presenting an ultimatum, Weigh it out and only use it if you really have to. If it's something you could live without then don't resort to an ultimatum - it has the power to save you from pain and hurt (as in an abusive relationship) but also has the potential to ruin a good relationship if viewed as selfish or controlling (as in trying to cut certain people out of your partners life or force a commitment / marriage).
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