Why Ultimatums Don't Work and How to Use Them in a Relationship

Why Ultimatums Don’t Work and How to Use Them in a Relationship

If your partner does anything that annoys you, you want them to correct their behavior. But do ultimatums work in a relationship, and if so, how should you go about using them? Here’s why ultimatums don’t work and how to use them in your relationship.

why ultimatums don't work and how to use them

Relationships are rife with inconsistencies. It’s true that we weren’t all born in the exact same symbiotic relationship. But what are you going to do? Is there a way to overcome these vexing discrepancies? What’s the best way to handle ultimatums in a romantic relationship?

It’s common in most relationships for couples to learn each other’s preferences and work around them to keep each other content. However, a couple might be in a relationship for years without ever caring about the other person’s opinions or feelings.

Ultimatums can be quite appealing when this happens.

In a relationship, what is an ultimatum?​

When was the last time your partner’s annoying behavior drove you crazy?

After watching a late-night movie, they might keep dozing off on the couch or shop as if their credit card bills will never be paid. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are because there are so many of them.

why ultimatums don't work and how to use them

Initially, you put up with the inconveniences, but eventually, things start to escalate, and you’re forced to make a decision. When your lover is obsessed with you, you tell them to stop, or you threaten them with grave consequences.

Is that something you’ve ever done? There is a good chance you have.

An ultimatum is preferable to discussing a problem that cannot be solved when things grow tense. Is it healthy to give people deadlines? Isn’t it just a case of you trying to coerce your partner into doing something they don’t really want to do?

why ultimatums don't work and how to use them

In relationships, ultimatums come in a variety of tints and colours. Then again, here are a few common ultimatums that we’ve heard and ignored for far too long.

  • I’ll split up with you if you don’t stop talking to her.
  • If you don’t stop smoking, I’ll leave.
  • Your friend needs to hear from you, or I will.
  • I’ll break your phone if you don’t stop using it so much.
  • If you don’t lose weight, I’m not going to have any more sex with you.
  • The two of us will break up if you don’t speak to each other.

If you’re paying attention, these ultimatums are savage and humiliating. However, it’s a desperate cry for a more secure attachment.

Why are ultimatums so harmful?

When you’re irritated with your lover, it’s quite reasonable to utter an ultimatum. However, it’s critical to understand why giving an ultimatum in a relationship can be particularly detrimental.

why ultimatums don't work and how to use them

There are, of course, times when an ultimatum is appropriate. It’s not uncommon for ultimatums to be misplaced expressions of irrational rage and frustration. Your partner may feel like you’re trying to exert control over them if they develop animosity toward you over time. Because you were right, it does not matter if they stayed out late. What matters is that you went about it in the incorrect way.

Communication is the key.

If you want to fix a relationship, you need to talk to each other.

Get your partner’s perspective on the issue. As a result, you’re aiding your companion in seeing the problem from your perspective.

why ultimatums don't work and how to use them

When faced with an ultimatum, there are only two ways to respond: accept or reject. It’s up to you to do so. Alternatively, you can choose to ignore it. The only way to express your displeasure with your partner’s behavior is to have an open and honest discussion about it.

In a relationship, ultimatums may be necessary at times. But there’s always a better approach if you can put your egos aside and tackle them together. Let go of your egos and learn to listen to one another. You won’t have to issue any more orders!

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