It must be out of choice, not an ultimatum

15 Mar, 2019 - 00:03 0 Views
It must be out of choice, not an ultimatum


Nhlalwenhle Ncube

SOME people have once been given ultimatums in relationships and threatened that if they fail to do such and such they will face the chop.

If you ask those who were at one point in their lives given ultimatums by their partners, they will definitely tell you it’s very stressful. Having to do something outside your will in a bid to try and save your relationship is terrible.

An ultimatum is a demand which is expressed as a deal breaker, more of a threat with consequences. Most times it’s drastic as you will find your partner saying, “You have to lose weight within three months, failure to that I dump you.

“Stop drinking or else you will never see me again or have sex with me more often or I am going to start cheating.” Just to mention a few ultimatums which have been given some people in relationships.

Is it really necessary to give each other certain conditions in relationships? No! There is no happiness in such relationships. Ultimatums are destructive because they make your partner feel pressured and trapped. Generally, it is not healthy to force someone to do anything in a relationship because the truth is even if they do that, it won’t be genuine. Most times resentment will form!

It is unfortunate that there are people who have been misled into believing that a person who gives other people ultimatums is strong as they stand up for their beliefs, needs and happiness. We think wow, they know what they want and they are not afraid to ask or even fight for it. We see this as admirable. Some glorify ultimatums because they confuse them with being assertive and standing up for one’s needs which is not true.

Some have even gone to the extent of advising their friends to give ultimatums as they believe it solves all relationship problems. Threatening to break up with someone is not always the best solution as it can even make things worse. Think about it: Do you want your partner to do something out of fear of you leaving or do you want them to do it because they want to? People don’t often like being told what to do in their everyday lives (except in the bedroom . . . sometimes).

Ultimately, ultimatums aren’t healthy for relationships. Love your partner enough not give them ultimatums. Talk to them, work with them. Even though it can be painful, conflict offers couples an opportunity to grow and even strengthen their connection.

There are men who even forget that we are now in the 21st century and still believe that whatever they say goes. If a woman disagrees, they begin to call her names and give her an ultimatum. If you really love someone, you do not order her or him around, but treat her with respect. You will be shocked because your threats will not work all the time, but one day she will pack her bags and leave. She might find it better to suffer a heartbreak once and move on with her life than to live a life of regret or a fake one, doing things for the sake of making someone happy, not herself.

Instead of issuing ultimatums, it is important to have open, sincere, vulnerable, respectful, calm conversations, which focus on understanding each other. Each partner must open up and share own perspectives. It’s also important to do some self-reflection, know what you want and try not to change someone’s character or behaviour all the time.

But here’s the biggest problem with ultimatums: Even if it’s an empty threat, it can really damage the relationship. That’s because you essentially lose your negotiating power — which is important, since relationships require compromise. When you say you are going to leave if something doesn’t change, and then stay even when nothing changes. You then become the biggest loser and you won’t be taken seriously in the future

Try as much as you can to create a relationship in which there is an equal balance of power. If one person has far more power than another, there is an imbalance, which will always result in a fallout. People do not like being put in positions of diminished power for too long, remember everyone has an EGO.

It’s not necessary to enjoy playing power games. Giving your partner an ultimatum is not worth it. Though your intentions may be good, but honestly, giving an ultimatum is demeaning to your partner. Remember that your partner is not a child or a dog, you can’t reward him for doing what you think is good and punish him for what you have ruled to be bad. Never tolerate ultimatums, they are destructive!

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