We all have our likes and dislikes; things that we’ll tolerate and things that we won’t. But some things are just total deal breakers. Have you ever simply put your foot down, laid down the law, in other words given your partner an ultimatum?
Disagreeing and setting ground rules are not what I’m referring to. A true ultimatum would be any sentence that begins with something like “I’m leaving you if you don’t”, “You have to leave unless you”, “It’s over between us if you can’t”, etc. etc. You get the idea. Now of course all ultimatums do not involve the person leaving but to me that would be called the “Ultimate Ultimatum”.
Before making an ultimatum the person that’s putting it out there should really, and I mean really, think about it. There are many problems with handing out ultimatums. Just to name a few …
1. You have to be sure that you’re ready for the consequences, whatever they may be.
2. It could most definitely backfire on you.
3. The person could give you an ultimatum in return.
If you are not absolutely, positively, certain that you are ready to hear and can handle the response once an ultimatum is thrown into the air then I suggest you rethink that idea. Once you’ve given up on working things out through communication and that final step is the ultimatum there is no taking it back. It’s out there. It’s been thrown on the table and your partner has now been put in a defensive mode which is very hard to break through once it’s established.
One of the worst things that you could do to yourself and to your relationship is to not follow through once you have given the “Ultimate Ultimatum”. By giving the same ultimatum over and over again your credibility is compromised. He doesn’t believe you or even take you serious because you’ve “cried wolf” so many times in the past. The best thing you could do is not let a situation get to the point of you having to think about making an ultimatum. Keep those lines of communication open, once they break down is when the problems start. So nip it in the bud.
Remember, communicating is a two-way street. Also it doesn’t mean just talking and listening. It means talking, listening and “understanding” what the other person is saying. You can talk all day and all night but if the person you are talking to does not comprehend what you’re saying then it is all being done in vain. Nothing has been accomplished. And most important try to truly “listen” to what is being said to you. Don’t just wait for your chance to jump in and say what you have to say. Take in his words and give them some thought before you respond. Believe it or not both of you want the same outcome; to know that you’ve been heard, understood and what you’ve said matters to the other person. I’m not saying that there is never a time to make an ultimatum but just choose your battles wisely and ask yourself “Is it really worth it?”
Valerie Davis is an Award Winning Poet who discovered at an early age that writing was her true passion. St. Louis, Mo. is her hometown and where she avidly studied creative writing at the Creative Arts and Expression Laboratory (C.A.E.L.) with Shirley LeFlore.Valerie now resides in Tampa, FL. and is currently writing her first novel.