By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:
Men make such a fuss about women and our ultimatums but let's face it, when we feel like things aren't going our way that is the last desperate scream to be heard. She could threaten to leave you or to hold back things she knows you like but either way it is not a corner you want to be backed in. You see, men hate being made to feel small or controlled and an ultimatum is just that. Do what I say or else. It's a lose-lose situation. He feels that giving in to you makes you the boss and not giving in means he has lost you anyway. It's hard to make him want to do things when you have demanded for them.
For starters don't threaten to stop doing things if he doesn't do the same thing, he will simply ignore you. He wants to avoid an argument and so thinks the easiest way to diffuse that bomb is to ignore it. If what she asks for is about the relationship then you need to pay attention; see an unhappy woman is a dangerous one. She could actually walk away so if you want to save the relationship, hear her out and talk things through.
If an ultimatum is beyond your control, for example if it involves you changing a religion or picking between her and your friends, rationalize with her. Explain that it is not possible for you to do that but it doesn't mean you don't love her. Sometimes all your woman needs to feel better is a hug and a sign that you understand. But when you try to out-reason her and win a fight, it gets ugly pretty quick. All she wants is to be heard and what you're telling her is you just don't care about her needs.
I figure the easiest way to get through this ultimatum thing is to draw up a list. Write down hard limits and soft limits, things you can't live without and things you would compromise. So at the end of the day if you can both reach something you are ok with, then maybe the relationship can work.
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