Ultimatums and What They Mean for a Relationship

Ultimatums sometimes happen in relationships. With ultimatums, you can sometimes find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. You’ll find yourself in a place where it needs to be his way or the highway. You’ll find yourself needing to choose between two awful options. As you might imagine, ultimatums typically aren’t healthy.

Several years ago, I found myself in a relationship that revolved around ultimatums. It was devastating, to say the least. Feeling as though I didn’t have a say in how my life was progressing, or how my day-to-day life would look like made me feel very out-of-control. It caused a great deal of resentment, anger, and frustration. After a while I began to fight back against the ultimatums—sometimes this also lead to me to use ultimatums to get what I needed. At the end of the day, nothing was accomplished, and it’s safe to say that we were both unhappy.

Clearly, ultimatums are not healthy, nor are they acceptable. Relationships should be based on compromise, where the opinions and needs of both parties are considered when making a joint decision. Ultimatums completely take the power away from one person, and can instill a great deal of fear, whether that fear entails losing your partner, not being included in something, or potentially being punished.

Healthy adult relationships should focus on positivity, support, love, and equality. Ultimatums do not fit the bill, and include control, punishment, and power.

Here’s the kind of damage a relationship with ultimatums can cause…

Inequality

Ultimatums lead to a loss of power. If one is forced to only choose between two options, of which both are much less than ideal, that person loses a great deal of power. This can lead to resentment, which is a silent killer in relationships. Relationships shouldn’t be about power in the first place, but this is a sure-fire way for one partner to ultimately keep the ball in their court…

Taking the highway

In ultimatums, it’s either one way or the highway. This is literally the worst. This should never happen in a relationship. I truly believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way…highways don’t have a place in love.

Threats

When love comes down to threats, that’s no longer love. Many will say that if A and B aren’t done, “it’s over.” Threatening the end of your relationship, or to walk away, or to never speak again, is not a productive way to get what you want, or to resolve an issue. Is what you’re asking for worth losing the person you love?

Lack of respect

Being forced into an ultimatum exhibits a severe lack of respect. When two people care about and love each other, respecting opinions, feelings, and thoughts also plays a significant role. When ultimatums are presented, one partner is clearly disregarding the needs of the other. The desires of both partners should be considered when making choices at all times.

Emotional damage

Remember those negative emotions mentioned earlier? Anger, resentment, depression, frustration, angst, etc.? Yup, those types of feelings in general, but especially over an extended period of time, can cause substantial emotional damage. Experiencing negative feelings can also destroy the ability to identify and create healthy boundaries, and can also impair one’s ability to establish trust. It will require a lot of work to reverse the emotional injuries sustained…

Being unhappy

It is nearly impossible to be happy in a relationship with ultimatums. I mean, what’s love all about anyway? Happiness. Life is short, so make it worthwhile. Think twice about your needs, and what you deserve. It may be time to move on…

The one positive…

The only time an ultimatum can be helpful is when you use it to get yourself out a rut. When in a situation where all you are given is ultimatums, use it to your benefit. Use it as a last resort. Use it as an opportunity to escape whatever obstacle you may be facing. Even if it’s a tactic to release yourself from a relationship full of ultimatums…use it.

Any relationship that results in ultimatums is not a healthy, safe relationship. Remember, you deserve more than second-hand choices that don’t fulfill your needs. You deserve more…

ultimatums | relationships | dating | love | unhealthy relationships | dysfunctional relationships

Ultimatums not working for you? Here’s how to say goodbye to an unhealthy relationship…

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xx,

Paula

10 Emotional Consequences of a Dysfunctional Relationship

If you’ve ever been in a dysfunctional relationship, please raise your hand. Yup—my arm is definitely in the air…

The battle with dysfunctional relationships is that they may not seem so bad at first. The red flags are usually there, but they’re not severe enough to cause alarm until you’re in pretty deep. Or it’s possible that it was a choice to overlook those concerning behaviors all along. Regardless, they’re very misleading…

I decided to address this topic today because a reader recently reached out to me and shared her story. I think it takes a lot of courage to become aware of how dangerous some of these red flags are, and most importantly, being able to acknowledge that you deserve better. I personally went through something very similar, and experienced many of the emotional obstacles discussed in this article.

While undergoing the internal struggle between the madness of things eventually getting better, or you needing to make a run for it, it’s possible to suffer a great deal of psychological and emotional harm in the interim. With this, you begin to question everything and start to feel that you don’t deserve better. But guess what? You do!

That’s what a dysfunctional relationship does—it causes you to feel as though you are not worthy of love, and care, and happiness, and stability, and all other things that allow one to feel secure and safe. But you are worthy.

Dysfunctional relationships can cause a lot of damage, and whether you’re in a place where you’re contemplating a break-up, or have already walked away, there is a great deal to overcome once it’s over…

10 emotional consequences of a dysfunctional relationship:

1. Decreased self-esteem

It’s difficult to feel good about yourself when the person who is supposed to bring out the best in you makes you feel small.  Actions such as pushing you away, making you feel unwanted or unimportant, constantly placing blame, or only pointing out your faults, can absolutely cause a significant drop in your self-worth.

In situations like this, remember that you’re not the problem. This type of treatment is unacceptable. Be sure to stand up for yourself (if safe), and engage in activities that will your self-love on a daily basis. Constantly use this as a reminder of just how great you are…

2. Feeling at fault

Remember that the way in which your partner acts or treats you is not your fault. Each person is responsible for their own actions, and should be able to address matters in a respectful and kind way. If your partner makes you feel as though they need to treat you poorly, that is not on you. And you shouldn’t tolerate that type of treatment either…

3. Somatic symptoms

Sometimes our feelings can be so severe that they physically manifest themselves. Going through an emotional rollercoaster can literally make you feel sick to your stomach. If you start to experience physical symptoms that are out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

At this point, it is important to consider the way in which your relationship is effecting your health. Your wellness should always be your top priority.

4. Lack of motivation

It’s really difficult to achieve your goals and focus on the things that matter when you’re distracted by your relationship. Not to mention, negative feelings and decreased self-esteem can strongly interfere in your successes.

5. All the negativity

Experiencing a plethora of negative thoughts and feelings over an extended period of time can be very unhealthy. Between the anger, resentment, sadness, self-doubt, and disappointment, it can feel nearly impossible to find some joy.

Try to keep your head above water by surrounding yourself with people you love—people that are supportive. Engaging in activities that make you feel good is also a healthy way to combat some of the negativity…

6. Inapt priorities

Our priorities shift due to life circumstances. When in a dysfunctional relationship, priorities become blurred, and what’s important can sometimes be placed on the backburner. Be sure to always put yourself first and maintain sight of your needs.

7. Isolation

Depending on the direction in which your relationship is going, it’s possible that you may become isolated. Whether you’ve become disinterested in socializing, or spend all of your free time with your partner and his circle or friends, this can be very serious. Try to remain in contact with your friends and family, and make time to see them.

Also, feeling isolated and unsupported can absolutely hinder you from walking away from a dysfunctional relationship, if you decide to. Your social network is a resource—keep the lines of communication open.

8. Learning to tolerate abuse

Abuse comes in many shapes and forms, including emotional, verbal, and physical. Being mistreated so often eventually starts to feel normal. This is extremely problematic, and being abused is never okay. If you need help, reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

9. Tolerating dishonesty

Whether lying, cheating, or stealing, dishonest behavior should not be tolerated. Trust is an important part of any relationship, and you deserve better.

10. Losing yourself

Whether losing sight of who you are, or losing your voice and ability to stand up for yourself, this is the most difficult emotional outcome to recover from. Not being heard when trying to speak your mind is destructive and hurtful. Being with a person who is not interested in hearing your thoughts or feelings is a person that is not worthy of you

Dysfunctional relationships are exactly that, dysfunctional. Don’t allow yourself to feel that you are to blame for all of the misfortunes of your relationship. You’re not, and you deserve more

relationships | love | dysfunctional relationship | emotions

Not sure how to walk away from your dysfunctional relationship? Read up on how to prepare yourself here

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xx,

Paula