In Praise of Ultimatums

I’m a big fan of ultimatums. Actually, that’s not right, I don’t like them, but I do like what they can do. And, I dislike what often happens because an ultimatum was needed and not issued.

In Praise of Ultimatums

Imagine if your boss never said a word when you did something wrong, then one day he fired you without warning! Or maybe he commented on some of the issues, but did so in a very light-hearted manner, never letting you know how serious the situation was. None of us wants our boss to say, “fix the following things in the next 30 days or you’re gone” but we’d much rather hear that and have a chance to fix things than being fired without warning.

Marriage is the same way. As uncomfortable as confrontation is, not talking about what bothers you is worse. I’ve seen way too many marriages end when one spouse just said “You’re fired” without having given any real warning about how serious the problems were for them. Women usually do this over years of frustration, neglect, or emotional abuse. Men tend to do it over years of sexual frustration. Regardless of why it’s done, I see it as rude and wrong.

An ultimatum should never be done lightly, but when it’s needed, do it. Often, an ultimatum is needed because we’ve failed to communicate for years. If that’s the case it would be good to admit it in what you say. When you give an ultimatum, be clear about what is non-negotiable, how long you’re willing to give her to make real progress, and what will happen if she does nothing or too little. It’s not a nice thing to do, but it’s far nicer than a divorce out of the blue!

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Great tweet of the week:

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Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:

Assume Love

Beyond Purity – Living with Sexual Integrity ◄ This fits well with my post from yesterday. It’s also a must read if you have kids at home!

The Curmudgeonly Librarian

A Cautious Cheer For #MeToo ◄ Great thoughts and a lot of good links.

Gary Thomas

4 Ways I’m Working to Better Cherish My Wife ◄ God expects us to cherish our wife. Are you doing that?
Take Your Marriage to the Third Love in 2018 ◄ More on cherishing your wife.

The Generous Wife

PLAY WITHIN THE FENCE ◄ The path to a better sex life.

Heaven Made Marriage

What Are You Hoping for Your Marriage in 2018? ◄ Dare to dream big things for your marriage in the coming year!
The One Thing Your Marriage Needs Most This Year ◄ Here’s to a happy, intimate 2018!

Hot, Holy and Humorous

What Do You Need to Let Go to Have a Better Sex Life? ◄ “Often times improving the intimacy in our marriage doesn’t start with doing more stuff, but rather choosing to let go.”

Intimacy in Marriage

3 Tips on Making Sex Better in Your Marriage in 2018 ◄ These are good for women or men.
Could a Sex Toy Help Sexual Intimacy in Your Marriage? ◄ Good thoughts on sex toys,
3 Ways to Have More Fun During Sex ◄ More great ideas for better sex,


A TWO-WORD PRAYER FOR 2018 ◄ Yes and amen!
AGE IS MUCH MORE THAN A NUMBER ◄ Excellent thoughts on getting older.
4 DANGEROUS MARRIAGE TRENDS IN 2018 ◄ Any of these putting your marriage in danger?

Marriage – Blog Thoughts of Pastor Dave Barringer

Shed the Shame: 4 Ways Shame Adds A Burden to Our Marriage ◄ Shame has no place in your marriage!

Pearl’s OysterBed

Help For Vaginal Dryness ◄ A significant problem for some women – especially after menopause.

Redeeming Marriages with Jack and Janet

Taking Responsibility Does Not Mean You’re Taking the Blame ◄ Don’t let blame shifting keep you from doing the right thing.

6 Comments on “In Praise of Ultimatums

  1. In twelve years I think we have each given one ultimatum, and they both improved our marriage significantly. Choose carefully which hills you are really willing to die on

  2. I was guilty of this, and it’s like this article was meant for me to realize how wrong I was. I went so many years without telling her in clear terms what our disappointing sex life was doing to me, and finally I just quit. Yes, I was in so much pain that it seemed hopeless to me, but I had been somewhat of a coward for years by not confronting her. I at least owed her an ultimatum. Thank God for not allowing me to go forward with leaving her completely.

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