Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ultimatum

Ultimatum

An ultimatum (Latin: the last one) is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance. An ultimatum is generally the final demand in a series of requests. As such, the time allotted is usually short, and the request is understood not to be open to further negotiation.


Have you ever issued an ultimatum in a relationship? Do you think it is a good tactic? If you don't want to write publicly about your experience in the comment section, feel free to leave an anonymous comment, or email me at drollgirlmail@gmail.com.


SIGH.



60 comments:

alissa said...

only once, in college. i told this guy if he didnt stop raising strange animals for the local petshop in his bedroom then i would no longer be dating him.
he picked the eels.

Lee said...

Yup, I issue them all the time to my kids. I always lose.

Lynn said...

Ya
I told my third graders that if they didn't quit rolling around on the floor, I hang them from the ceiling by their thumbs.

Didn't work.

Gabbi said...

In theory they're good, but in actuality they're bad. No one likes being told what to do or forced to do anything. When people feel trapped they tend to rebel and if they cave in they often resent being forced to do something they didn't want to do. I think there's better ways of getting people to do what you want. Jedi mind tricks for instance? Parables, to set examples of what might happen if they don't listen (like in the Bible)? Perhaps some kind of bribing??? :)

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend will NOT be with someone who drinks. We've been together since LONG before I was legal, so it wasn't something I knew about or even thought to find out we on the same page with until we were FAR into our deep relationship. He said if I ever drink again, he's gone. I've had drinks twice. It's difficult because I respect and understand his point of view, but I feel like it shouldn't be a deal breaker. What if I were to say I would leave if he didn't START drinking? He'd say, "No! That's going against my needs." I feel like everybody gets the choice and it's no big deal to drink. I don't even care about drinking, it's not important to me, but having my own choices IS important. It feels massively unfair.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I don't know why it added my comment 3 times. Sorry!

♥Aubrey said...

These are bad for any relationship. If you love someone you wouldn't say such things...but we all do. ADMIT IT!!! When heated i always let the words fly freely before i think and hence regret soon comes. Within this madness there are ultimatums/threats spewed and feelings get hurt. Unintentional as it may be...one never forgets those words. Be careful what you say and try to think before you talk...i'm still working on this :)-

Simply Mel said...

I've never issued an ultimatum, but I have been on the receiving line of one. I must admit, I didn't like it.

Pinky said...

I think if you need to issue an ultimatum [love that word] then your relationship is going nowhere. I am willing to accept people's faults, even change them a bit, but compromise is the right answer. Like, I'll stop being a raging bitch if you stop smoking, or something like that.
On the other hand there are things that are deal-breakers for me. For example "If you go to jail, I am leaving you." 1. yes, i am ghetto and i've used this. 2. i think it's an appropriate ultimatum, no?

Other than an extreme such as above [or cheating and/or heavy drugs] the rest can be dealt with compromise. Then again, I am a very tolerant person =)

diane said...

I like the word expectation better than ultimatum. I simply say "these are my expectations", and follow it with things I'm not willing to budge on. If the shoe is on the other foot, I try to really listen the way I would want to be listened to.
Relationships are never easy, especially the long ones. They are complicated and messy. If you need to sound off in a more personal way, my e-mail is dyejobslye at hotmail dot com. Hugs. xo d

Jessica said...

If I've made an ultimatum I don't recall. I don't think it would be a good idea. There's a guy I'd like to make one to but I know it would be a waste of time. As I told him if it's meant to be it will if not well then tough shit.

Oh and I love the comment you left on my blog. If it makes you feel better I haven't shot a gun either. lol were even. Though I know some awesome former military guys who could teach me.

Anonymous said...

I told Russ I can't handle anal everyday and if he wants to keep me, just lay off of it once in awhile

I'm not your follower ASSHOLE BOYFRIEND, you would be mistaken if you thought that, that this is me, ASSHOLE BOYFRIEND.

Diane said...

last comment lmao!!

Diane said...

i gave an ultimatum once. it was the best thing i could have done. what was going on was unacceptable. although that person chose to continue doing what they were doing, i'm glad to not be a part of it anymore, even though it was a very difficult thing to accept.

Raina said...

I can't remember having ever issued or received one.

Hope things work out the way you need them to.

Kristin said...

The ex gave me one. Move with him to where he was attending grad school or we were done. He would not consider long distance. Not the best move I've made. Although, I did meet three of my closest friends out of it. So maybe everything DOES happen for a reason.

...love Maegan said...

risky business ...I guess it depends on how you would feel about either outcome. maybe that doesn't make sense. you get it.

Diana said...

I've given one, and it was a bad ending. It just bit me in the face in the end, but in the long run, I realized I deserved better. Whatever you are going through, I seriously believe you deserve the absolute best in every aspect of your life.

Andhari said...

Only if it involves a matter that can't be promised, in which you're totally sure it's what you want and it's unshiftable. But to issue one you gotta be really sure that you're ready for the consequences in case the person you give ultimatum to choosing other option instead of what you'd like. Giving ultimatum is pretty nerve wrecking, I hope you get what you want though :)

Midtown Girl said...

I have given & received ultimatums.

Never worked, but I find that having to give one means you are not letting things work out the way they should, whether that means you guys should stay together (work with the differences) or break up (just not deal with them in general).

XOXO

GUGAW said...

i'm with gabbi on the jedi mind tricks...over long periods of time...slowly slowly catch a monkey! and the unspoken threat that balls will be broken if i don't get my way - he knows i mean it :D

Penny said...

I once made an ultimatum to my (now) boyfriend,when were still just a 'fling'.He refused to make a decision whether we were more than just friends with benefits.So I told him either he comes to a decision,or we don't see each other anymore.He broke up with me (if that's what you can call it),and a week later came crawling back to my apartment.We've been good ever since.

Alicia said...

i'm not a huge fan of them, but honestly i think every once in a great while they may be justified. i've only had to do it once and felt fully justified in doing so. to this day i don't regret it...

Penny said...

PS.an ultimatum might make the receiver feel pressured,but it can be just the right push that some people need to take action,otherwise they will just stumble on with life,in exactly the same way they always do.

Sam said...

Well, I think you might have to resort to them with little ones every now and then as sometimes it's the only thing that will keep them from catapulting themselves into a vat of molten larva or some such thing - but for adults I think it's a tricky business. However, if you've found yourself issuing an ultimatum then I think you've reached cracking point and maybe it's the person issuing the ultimatum's way of telling themselves that something's got to give and they are desperately unhappy? Is an ultimatum a cry for help - someone who has reached the end of their tether?? I dunno - hope it works out for you sweetie!

The Haute-Shopper said...

I have given them once to idiot BF #2, and I think they're useful for forcing a decision, but not so much a way of changing a person. Forcing change in a person rarely works (and the person might resent you for it). Of course it depends what we're talking about. If it's an ultimatum like 'don't cheat or I'll leave you', then the guy has issues regardless and an ultimatum isn't going to solve it. My friend recently broke up with a guy after setting the ultimatum 'stop smoking weed or I'll go' (he smoked pot constantly) and of course it didn't work. If it's minor, i.e. 'stop picking your nose in public' it might work (or you could phrase it like a threat), but then again, if it were minor, you probably wouldn't be thinking of making an ultimatum?

ana b. said...

Love, I hate to say this - but it depends on the ultimatum you're giving!!! Ultimatum's - in general - to me are a bit odd. They're an exercise of power. They're one-sided. They're a demand of acquiescence rather than a discussion between two equal parties. They're usually borne out of anger and frustration. It's a ballsy tactic for which you must be prepared for the worst consequences.

Brooke said...

I've issued ultimatums during arguments. I tend to have a bad temper sometimes, and V knows how to really irritate me when I'm already mad. Of course, the ultimatums never stick. They're usually mostly stupid anyway...

In high school, I kind of gave an ultimatum to my boyfriend. I needed more space-time alone with my friends, time to study, etc. Apparently, he needed no space at all, and the relationship ultimately ended because of it.

Tom Tuttle from Tacoma said...

i'm with Penny. it's never easy, whether you're the issu-er or the issu-ee. i have this sense that you're the one being issued one... i imagine myself being issued one and i think it should be one of the best favours anyone can do me. i may not like being cornered or that person may not be totally fair. i remember coming across this: indecision is also a decision. what will you do?

conversationpieces said...

Oh dear... doesn't sound like you're having a good time. I have only used an ultimatum once and I fully expected it not to work (which is maybe why it did). Years back, me and the other half lived in different cities and only saw each other once a week max – he hated his job and where he lived and as a consequence was always annoyed and grumpy on the one day we saw each other. So my ultimatum was that either he did something different with his life or found a different girl... No-one was more surprised than me when he quit his job, go get a degree and move to my city...

That all said, I ana b... it depends what the ultimatum is, how it was said, who it was to etc etc...

Wishing you the best of luck though. You always make smile even on my bluest days xx

conversationpieces said...

My comment appears to be missing some words but hope you still get the general idea!

one little simitopian said...

I can't recall ever giving an ultimatum, but there sure are times when I damn well should have!
I'm not really in agreement with those that say "don't do it", because something so extreme is usually done as a last resort to salvage some kind of common ground when your gentle requests have fallen on deaf ears time and time again, and your feelings are just NOT being taken seriously. Sometimes a "threat" of some kind can be just the kick up the arse somebody needs.When every avenue has been used to solve a relationship problem, but to no avail, bring on the ultimatum. It may not be "nice", but neither is having your concerns or needs ignored constantly by somebody who supposedly cares about you.
That's just my opinion anyway.

one little simitopian said...

lol at the comment by an anonymous person who is NOT ASSHOLE BOYFRIEND!

Laura Trevey said...

Usually I feel that Ultimatums are issued to the men. They never know when it is time to get off the A__
and make a commitment :)

They need to have it in black and white.

The Peach Tart said...

I've used ultimatums in business situations to great success.

I've never really given a man an ultimatum.

I did tell my MOM to quit being such a hater or I wasn't going to talk to her. That didn't work.

Being Brazen said...

Im against ultimatums in relationships. I think they can be a bad tactic. I like to think a relationship shouldnt get to that point where a ultimatum is what is needed.

down and out chic said...

i definitely think it depends on what your giving the ultimatum about, but i would advise against it. if you told someone, "either stop cheating on me or i'll leave you" and then you don't leave, b/c he cheats again you've lost respect for yourself and he's lost respect for you. most people don't follow through with their ultimatums and it causes bitter feelings b/w both parties. changing a habit out of fear doesn't usually lead to long lasting results. i can see, however, where one might be pushed to drawing one, so i guess i don't know. but if it gotten to that point, perhaps it's a sign that things are not ok.

Charlene said...

I don't respond well to Ultimatums, so in turn I don't give them. I don't think Ultimatiums help anything, especially in relationships.

My husband once told me that that I could either choose to hang out with a certain group of friends (who are heavy drinkers) or I could choose to be with him...but it was one or the other. He doesn't drink or tollerate people who drink and the way he said it was like he was saying I wasn't allowed to hang out with those people, or else he'd leave. So...I went out with the friends and I even had a couple drinks just to piss him off b/c I wasn't going to let him control me.... He didn't leave but he did get ticked off and wouldn't speak to me for a couple days. I think we've found a common ground in that area now (that was in when we first got married).

Adele said...

I don't like ultimatums, at all. I mean, sometimes the intentions are all and well (say trying to come to a decision on things) but it rarely ends up well, or at least ends up hurting somebody.

miriam said...

hmmm, i prefer solving the problem, talking rather than issueing an ultimatum.

bananas. said...

NO! never have, never will.

i find that in the end both parties involved are not happy. and really when it comes down to an ultimatum, it's already a pretty bad situation.

good luck.

Ela said...

I think we all have things that we hold dear to us. Some things that we just can't/shouldn't compromise on. Of course, we should compromise on things that wouldn't hurt either party in the relationship if one/both budged just a little. But I'm talking about our standards and limits - certain things that are just not negotiable - and those in a relationship have to respect and accept certain things are just not optional. The thing is, if the other party can't refrain from what his/her partner is asking of him, perhaps it's not the relationship for either one of them. Not if it means doing/not doing that one thing is making the other truly unhappy. I think rather than an ultimatum, a decision has to made about which category the issue falls in, is it an issue worth letting go - or is a non-negotiable(affects my happiness/well-being/sanity) type of issue? I don't know if this makes sense, LOL, it does in my head, just don't know if I'm using the right words.
Whoever has you pondering this, I hope it all works out for them.

p.s. Thank you for your sweet, sweet comments. Vertigo IS horrid. I've never witnessed it before, nor had my dad suffered from it previously so it was scary.

Bunny, THE PARIS HOUSE said...

I have never issued an ultimatium to anyone. I don't think I have ever got one from someone either??? If so I'm sure I just said F U to the person and tuned them out as I don't put up with any shit from anyone (see how great being 44 is, you just don't care anymore!!!!)
Bunny

K.Line said...

I've done it numerous times. Rarely works.

Annie said...

i'm not a fan of ultimatums...i don't think they should be a part of any relationship.
i hope you are not having to deal with one right now.

Miss Absinthe said...

If things have gotten to a point where an ultimatum is your only resort, the other person's behavior rarely changes long-term, because they have to decide to change for themselves. But, this is important, instead of an ultimatum, it's just a matter of expressing what is acceptable and not acceptable to you and if they value you more than their behavior, they may make the change. Boundaries.

Clorivak said...

Oh dear Droll. I hope things are okay. I've tried them on the dude I just married back when we were dating about his smoking...its kinda manipulative but sometimes its gotta be done. Needless to say, it didn't work and he still smokes his brains out..I want him to quit so bad. I LOVE everything else about him...I'm more concerned for his health like his coughing and the fact it stinks,etc. I'm willing to accept him even with the smoking because its true you can't force someone to do anything..they have to do it on their own. And apparently nagging does not work..haha, I don't consider it nagging but I suppose when it comes down to it, it does.
I wish you the ultimate best in this hard stuff. Sometimes you have to let go, for good things to happen..and I have no idea what the situation is so...i suck at advice..haha.

Phoenix said...

uh-oh...now I'm worried why you asked.

I know this sounds all soapbox, but no. Nope. Not ever. Not even once have I issued an ultimatum. Coming from a super bad childhood, and seeing how threats got carried out and how my family members manipulated each other, I learned very early on to be clear and direct about what I wanted and why I wanted it, and to listen to others about why they want the things they want. As a result, I don't issue ultimatums as much as tell people up front what are "dealbreakers", but with the intention of just letting people know where I'm at as opposed to me attempting to control them or their behavior.

Don't go down that road, Drollgirl...you're much more fierce and kick-ass than that...

anotherfishinthesea said...

I have in past relationships. I kind of feel like if you are at the point where you have to give an ultimatum that things are probably not as they should be anyways. But of course, this particular guy was a complete jerkorama so that probably colored my opinion. Hope everything is ok!

Felicia|DaLipstickBandit said...

I have before.

it was "I meet your mom or I walk." this was after knowing the person for 6 years before we dated and dating for a year.

Ultimatums in relationships are bad...its like throwing a temper tantrum to get what you want.

In the end, someone feels forced and the other is unhappy they had to do that to get what they wanted.

creative kerfuffle said...

i've given ultimatums to my kids that never work. however, i am where i am today because of an ultimatum. i think the story is probably too long for a comment so i'm going to go post about it. thanks for the idea : )

Felicia said...

I can't remember. I've tried to block all my past relationships out of my memory.

I hope everything's ok though!

And I love how the ad that popped up on the right is for compression hoisery! HAHAHAHA!!

Hanako66 said...

oh no, I hope that you are okay...I am here to talk if you need to!!!!!

I have not needed to do this, it's a toughy

thereddeer said...

No I have never given one and have never been given one. Hope everything is okay!! Always here if you need someone to talk to.

Hey Harriet said...

No I never have but that's not to say that I wouldn't in the future. I've just been lucky so far in that I've not had to go down that path.

Chessa! said...

I've missed you so!

Yes, I did issue and ultimatum once. I was very young and I don't think I'd do it now. It was so hard and it's not something that I wish on anyone. Speaking strictly from painful experience...I think if it has to come down to an ultimatum...you better or else...then you have your answer as to what your next step should be. I think the person who gives the ultimatum knows what they have to do in the relationship but they want to put the onus on the other person. I think that the person who makes the ultimatum is as unable to make a decision as the person who is issued the ultimatum. Again, I can only say this bc this is what happened in my experience. I didn't want to be the one to end it even though I knew that deep down that's where it was headed. I never thought he would end it but he did (or maybe I did but it scared me so I didn't want be blamed for the end)...no one wants to be forced into something. Looking back I wish I had the guts to just walk away with dignity rather than make that person choose. I realized that I was the one who had to make the choice but I was giving the power to him to walk away when I should have been smart enough and strong enough to do it myself even though I still loved him. In the end, I ended up hurting myself more bc a) he left and b) I knew he would. I wished that I had done it on my owns terms. He was also a wimp and tried to say that part of the reason why he left was bc of my ridiculous ultimatum. Yes, it was stupid to do it but our relationship was over for other reasons and not bc I put him in the uncomfortable position of having to man up and make choice for both our sakes. the whole thing was a nightmare. At the end of the day, if we hadn't broken up I never would have met my husband or at least I would have met him later or I may have felt differently about wanting a relationship.

Chessa! said...

ps--obviously my opinion is bc of a very SPECIFIC experience...I hope you know that. whatever it is that you are going through, I don't mean to trivialize it or make it more than it is if it's just a little thing like "pick up your socks or else" or "put the toilet seat or you have to use the bushes" ;-)
hugs.

xo

me melodia said...

They don't work.
I always threaten to run away with the chiwa. I'm sure it'd be a long custody battle.

Hope you're doing good dollface.