Would You Give a Guy an Ultimatum?

Several years ago my ex-fiance gave me an ultimatum. We had only been together a year and I was still trying to figure out if she was the one for me.

So, to get her off my back and to make her feel better I gave her a ring, a nice expensive one and within 4 weeks of  expressing my devotion to her, the SH*T hit the fan.

She soon realized that the ring, the engagement and my desire to commit my life to her still didn’t make her happy.

It was one of the biggest mistakes of my life (and hers). I believe there is a time and place to make a guy realize that he’s got to step up or step aside, but giving a man an ultimatum, and making him do what YOU want him to do probably isn’t going to lead to the end result you’re looking for.

Watch below to see why.

Would you give a guy an ultimatum?  Please post your comments and feedback below.

Much Love,

joe

13 thoughts on “Would You Give a Guy an Ultimatum?

  1. Genie,I’m glad you woke up and saw the light. If a man he thought his wife with you, he is a cheater and sooner or later the odds are used to cheat on you with someone else.I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s death. I can’t even imagine what that must be like for you, but I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.You might want to go back and read the second to last line of your post.I’m a little confused. It’s okay for a guy you’re with to be married and have a wife but it’s not okay for him to have an affair with someone else? what’s the difference to you? why is one okay but the other isn’t?I totally understand that the sex is great and your intellect a compatible and I’m sure on some level this guy was filling a void in your life. After what you went through.What is that really your idea of relationship?You might want to take some time to get clear on something and ask yourself this one question:
    “WHY am I willing to be in a relationship with a guy who was legally married to someone else and who has a desire to have an affair with another woman besides me?’If you really, look at this question seriously, it will help you get some insight into what you need to do to have the type of relationship you really desire… b/c if you truly believe that you can be in love with a man was married to another woman and who wants to cheat on you, you might need to reconsider your definition of what love is.
    Much Love,
    joe

  2. Joe,

    Great advice!

    My husband, an international lawyer, committed suicide three years ago for health and economic reasons. It was quite a shock to me.

    Two and a half years ago, I became involved in an affair with a former friend of his, also an attorney. He is married, and I never had any intention of disrupting his marriage. I walked into an affair with a married man with my eyes wide open. Our affair has been very passionate. Neither of us ever had experienced the depth of passion we have in our lives.

    We also agreed from the onset, that, because I’m single, there might come a time when I would want to settle down again with someone. My lover and I discussed this issue. However, we decided that I would remain Platonic friends with any other guy unless he was really serious relationship material. I met one interesting man, but I just didn’t fall in love with him so there was no need for intimacy.

    Just recently, my married lover told me that an ex-lover of his had come to town and that he was planning on having an affair with her during the duration of her stay here. I was under the mistaken impression that she was just coming up here for two weeks, but it turns out she will stay here for the ENTIRE SUMMER. I told him in all honesty that I could deal with his having sex with the other woman if she were only here for a week or two. However, I could not accept his seeing her for the entire summer. The fact that he wants to have an affair with her in spite of what he has with me is very significant to me. It shows me that I am not enough for him. I was seriously thinking about giving him an ultimatum, but, after hearing your advice, I decided this would be counterproductive. After all, if he agrees not to see her just because I gave him an ultimatum, he wouldn’t be doing what HE wants to do and he will resent me for this.

    Therefore, I decided that I will tell him how much he means to me and how hurt I am, but that, if he decides he needs to have an affair with this other woman, I won’t be seeing him anymore because I need to do what is best for me, and sharing him with someone else for three months is not best for me.

    This might SOUND like an ultimatum, but it will be my way of telling him that my love needs will no longer be met if he takes this action. I personally think he would be foolish to allow me to end our relationship for something which will only last for three months, but this will be his decision. He often told me I was the best lover he ever had because I fulfilled all of his sexual fantasies, as he did mine. He and I are also very intellectually compatible.

    However, I simply cannot be involved with a married man whom I love who doesn’t love me enough to be satisfied with me and his wife.

    I guess that moral of the story is: if a man cheats on his wife with YOU, he will eventually cheat on YOU with another woman.

    Genie

  3. Mary,I agree an ultimatum is a choice but when most people give someone an ultimatum they really aren’t giving them the choice. They are disguising their ultimatum as a directive. It’s usually not set up and presented as a choice.it’s not set up in away that allows the other person to fully choose what they want as much as it is to make the other person choose what you want them to choose.In your scenario it truly was a choice. You allowed your ex to make his choice and then based on his choice you made the best decision for yourself (I applaud you for that)That is operating form your POWER.I believe in having a firm line in the sand and not tolerating a person’s BS. if they cross the line in the sand it is perfectly ok for you to tell them that you are firm in what it is you are looking for and they now have the ability to make their choice.If you want “A” and they choose “B” it simply is time to move on. No games, no emotion, no drama.It really is that simple.

  4. I believe an ultimatum is just another word for a choice. Yes, I gave my ex-husband one knowing full well what his choice would be.
    This was our conversation at the jail when he was serving time for violating probation on his 2nd DUI:
    Me: “You have a decision to make. There are two options. You can call it an ultimatum if you like, but it is really nothing more than a choise. You first option is to choose to stay married to me and I will be with you for the rest of my life. Your second option is that you may choose to continue to drink. You may choose one or the other, but not both. And you need to decide now. What is your choice?”
    I knew what he would decide, but this was my way of making him resposnible for the end of the marriage.
    The thing with this approach is, you need for it to be the “other” choice–the one you were hoping he wouldn’t choose. Also, I feel it puts a man’s manliness on the line and thus makes him a bit defensive.
    It’s not a tactic I would recommend, but sometimes, you have no other choice.

  5. You got it Randy. When you swim with the current the ride is easier and more enjoyable and when you swim against it, it’s exhausting and you usually drown!

  6. My simple solution is that nothing in a relationship should feel ‘forced’. Doesn’t mean there won’t be some times that need to be worked through, just that overall, things should feel ‘right’ and not like you are struggling every day. If you are, there is a clear sign it’s time to go.

  7. Nancy,It may have taken you awhile but you did learn your lesson and that’s the most important thing. I’m sure your next relationship with be that much better as a result.

  8. Michelle, you are correct. An ultimatum leads to one person dictating how things “should be”. When one is clear who they are and what they want it is simply a matter of finding the person who fulfills they’re critical needs.I created Smarter dating b/c an ultimatum almost ruined my life and b/c I wasn’t really clear what my essential needs were it made my life/relationship hell.Once I got clear on what those were and found the person who met ALL of my needs, my whole life changed. In a few weeks, it’ll be 10 years and it’s getting better every year!This is my prayer and intention for anyone who is currently looking for that special person to share their life with.If I can do it anyone can!

  9. You got it Catherine! You can can force a square peg into a round hole or simply find the one that fits perfectly.Option #1 leads you unhappy,frustrated and feeling empty and option #2 makes makes your heart smile.To give up the good one must be willing to go for the great!

  10. I gave an ultimatum to my ex husband 30 years ago. We have been divorced for 6 years now, after being married for 25 years.
    I never truly felt loved, he was not demonstrative and couldn’t even tell me he loved me. What a mess.

    I am single now, and have learned from my mistakes. You cannot change anyone and you can’t expect to give ultimatums and be truly happy.

    Keep these great videos/lessons on life coming, Dr. Joe.

  11. I would never give an ultimatum, because it just sets up a power struggle. If you have to resort to ultimatums you are not in the right relationship. Being in a loving relationship means being able to make compromises by both parties. It’s a give and take. And ultimatum means it’s got to be one person’s agenda or else. And that is never healthy!

    Knowing what you want and need in a relationship is crucial. Joe, your program for drilling down to what your core values are is brilliant! Everyone, man or woman, needs to do this process before getting into any kind of relationship. It would save a great deal of drama and chaos for both parties if they would do so.

    Great topic! Thank you!
    Michelle

  12. In my opinion if you have to give someone an ultimatum the relationship is not working. I would sit down with my partner and communicate about what and which direction our relationship is taking without giving an ultimatum. Instead he should open up and be honest and not waste my time or his if I am not the one he wants as a partner. At my age I know what I will tolerate in a relationship and what I won’t. I plan on not letting petty differences ruin a relationship and I hope to find someone who is the same way. For me ultimatums are not going to be a part of my relationships.

  13. Great question Joe! I gave many ultimatums over the years to my ex-husband. Notice the term ‘ex’! Our relationship seemed to improve for a while but then we’d fall back into old patterns. Ultimatums just don’t work.

    When you give an ultimatum to a man–even if he complies–what do you get? You get a man that cannot or will not commit on his own.

    Isn’t is just so much more fun to be in a relationship with someone who just loves you and commits to you because he can’t imagine living without you?

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