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Relationships & Ultimatums.

There are certain topics often connected to relationships between human beings, be it relationships between couples or parents and their children. Some of these topics include ultimatums and various forms of abuse.


Following a recent conversation and questions posed about ultimatums, I decided to write about this topic and provide some tips on how to resolve conflicts without ultimatums.


Is an ultimatum ever advisable in a relationship?

No - as they are often given in an attempt to gain control over a situation or individual. Often the person issuing the ultimatum knows they have already lost the battle with the other spouse in question, so an ultimatum is often a last resort to force the other person in question to grant their demands. Whilst this may sometimes work in their favour as the person in question may grant their request, it is only a temporary fix which will create further problems in the relationship and for the couples later down the line.

When are ultimatums a good idea? Never - if you can't resolve your differences amicably get a court order and do things properly.

In what ways is it harmful for the relationship?

  • It encourages various types of domestic, mental, physical and emotional abuse.

  • It entraps couples into a relationship with a false hope.

  • It reduces self-worth and self-esteem within relationships.

  • It breaks down trust and/or any amicable relationship.

  • It harms the mental health and well-being of any children caught between the conflict between parents.

  • It creates guilt and resentment in children towards a parent or the other.


Why should we steer clear of giving ultimatums?

Whilst ultimatums can sometimes seem like a good idea in the moment, they are never a recommendation, as it further creates resentment and contributes to various forms of abuse in an already fragile relationship.

What strategies can be adopted in place of ultimatums in a relationship?

  1. Have an honest and open conversation about your differences.

  2. Get a mediator or someone neutral involved who can help you settle your differences without colluding with individuals.

  3. Listen to and allow the other person to express their views or concerns without becoming defensive.

  4. Have a conversation with your children together, explaining the conclusion you have both come to.

  5. Never speak badly about your partner or each other to your children or discuss your partner with your kids or friends etc.

I hope you find the above useful in strengthening your relationships and resolving conflicts effectively.


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