Opinion: Ultimatums Aren’t Necessarily Bad For Relationships

Ultimatums have a bad reputation and we’ve been advised never to use them when it comes to our relationships. But are they really so bad? After all, everyone has their dealbreakers, and it’s only right to be upfront about them with your partner. Here are 7 reasons ultimatums might actually be OK from time to time:

  1. Your issue is being addressed head on. It’s easy to let some huge things slide for the sake of wanting to keep the peace in your relationship. However, this does nothing but prolong an inevitable breakup because you’re not being honest about what you need. Ultimatums forces things to be addressed and they’re very hard to ignore.
  2. It stops you from wasting your time. One of the worst things you can do is waste time on a dead end relationship. The great thing about ultimatums is that they usually get a response and there’s usually a deadline, so you know that time is of the essence. You can no longer drag your feet on the issue without serious consequences.
  3. A good ultimatum leaves clear conditions, which avoids confusion. Even if you try to communicate with the best intentions you both might walk away from a serious discussion on different pages. One person might think the problem is now resolved while the other is expecting some kind of change. An ultimatum lays out what needs to be done to keep this relationship going. It’s really hard to walk away from that feeling confused.
  4. It means you’ll be taken seriously. A lot of people like to sweep their relationship problems under the rug. Even if you nag about this problem over and over, your partner might not change because you stuck it out with them all this time. Why change if ignoring the problem has worked?
  5. You’re more likely to uphold your own dealbreaker. We can be weak when we’re in love. Although we’re unhappy and frustrated with our partners, we might stay with them knowing things probably won’t change. Once you voice the ultimatum and your conditions, you have more incentive to hold up your end of the deal. If you don’t, you’ll look like a fool and like you’ll accept anything.
  6. It’s fairer to put all your cards on the table. Many people talk badly about ultimatums but they also diss breaking things off due to being unhappy about something they never spoke up about. It’s a Catch-22. Ultimatums are about honesty and putting it all out there with the one you love and trust. You’re not hiding your expectations and drowning in them alone. You’re letting your partner know what you need.
  7. You’re not forcing him to do anything except make a decision. The biggest complaint about ultimatums is that they’re somehow emotional blackmail and they force your partner to do something. False! Ultimatums are about giving your partner options. They get to make the decision about whether these conditions as reasonable, and whether this is the relationship they want to move forward with.
Nicole Weaver is a staff writer for YourTango and regularly contributes to Hollywood, The Bolde, and Proud2BMe. She is a lover of all things entertainment meaning she spends most of her nights in New York binge watching television shows. Follow her on Twitter at @nikkibernice.