Think back to when you were a little kid, playing at recess with your friends when all of a sudden your “friend” draws a line in the sand and hits you with an ultimatum…
If you don’t let me use the good swing I’m not gonna be your friend anymore!
How did you respond?
Maybe you gave in, maybe you didn’t — but you were probably taken back by it.
Those terms seem a little harsh, don’t you think?
Fast forward to today, and you probably haven’t talked to that person in years.
Don’t you wish you could go back and give them the response they deserved…
Well, you’re not going to be in my life much longer anyway, so… bye motherfucker!
Surely kids don’t usually mean it when they hit someone with an ultimatum — they do it because they know how effective it is. They’re punks.
Here are a few ultimatums you’ll hear as an adult:
- I won’t do business with you if you do business with [fill in the blank].
- I’m not going to support you if you [pursue a career I don’t like].
- If you don’t propose to me, I’ll leave you.
The context of this article is around the proposal ultimatum because this is hands-down, without question the #1 cause of men being miserable with their marriages — from my observation.
Married someone you were reluctant to marry and end up unhappy? Gee, who would’ve seen it coming…
Another reason the proposal ultimatum is the focus of this article is that it’s the most common and serious ultimatum I have experience with and have witnessed firsthand.
I was shocked to find out how many people I knew (not all, but an alarming amount) who got married after the girl threatened to leave the guy if he didn’t propose. All this time I thought they both actually wanted to get married.
Even more shocking — after telling me about this, most women brag about it right in front of their husbands. Even worse, these men are all miserable in their marriage. 100% of the cases I’ve observed, no exceptions.
Don’t take my word for it. Ask your married friends and family members if this was the case for them. Then let me know because I need more data.
I have a rule
Remember when I said I never go back to an ex? I told you I have a few personal rules I live by.
This is another one of those personal rules.
I’m not saying you should follow it because I don’t want the responsibility of the negative repercussions that may result.
But damnit I’ve seen too many scenarios where others would be better off adopting this rule also, so here it is:
When someone gives you an ultimatum, always choose the other thing.
I can already picture what you’re thinking because I get the same reaction every time I share this with someone — just hear me out.
Why would someone give you an ultimatum?
They give you an ultimatum because they care more about the ultimatum than they do about you.
Can’t blame them too much. We’re all human. We all want what we want, and there’s no shame in that.
But there is shame in being a sucker — a lifetime of shame and regret.
Women face a lot of pressure to get married from friends, family, and society in general. Plus, “there’s only so much time to have babies, and you’re not getting any younger” — as everyone reminds them.
But let’s be real here. You don’t need to get married to be with someone you love or to have kids, so let’s not pretend marriage is a prerequisite for that.
Marriage is a status symbol. Men get some status from it, but women get significantly more.
The proposal ultimatum is “give me the status of marriage or I’ll find someone else who will.”
Women will say “if you love me, you’ll prove it by proposing.” In other words, “If you don’t prove you love me by doing what I say, I’ll leave you.”
And guys wonder why they get pushed around by their wives…
I’m not pro-marriage or anti-marriage, by the way — I’m pro-getting-what-you-want-out-of-life.
I want to have a wife and kids. I just want to marry someone that I actually want to marry without being forced into it.
When someone presents you with an ultimatum, you have to question why the thing they want you to do is so important that they’d risk losing you. Then you have to question how valuable you are to them in the first place.
After all, would you do that to them?
But I love them…
I get it.
Walking away from someone who gives you an ultimatum is easy in some cases, but not when you think you’re going to lose someone you love.
I’ve been there, and I lived to tell the tale.
In 2009, I spent the summer in my hometown between college semesters and was thoroughly enjoying the single life, to say the least.
One night I was hanging out with some friends at a hookah lounge, and I saw this girl I had never seen before, but who had grown up with some of my friends.
In one moment my reality completely shifted — I knew immediately that I had to have her. I don’t even know what came over me, but I just knew she would be mine and I didn’t know a thing about her.
Not one to waste an opportunity, I introduced myself and started the process of seducing her.
One by one, my friends pulled me aside and warned me that it wouldn’t work. She’s Muslim, and her family would never approve of me. Then they said she was a tease, that she’d lead me on for the attention, but it won’t go anywhere and recounted all the others who had tried and failed.
Their warnings fell on deaf ears. I was confident I would find a way to make things work. Plus, meeting her family was the furthest thing from my mind.
She tried to fight the seduction, but there was no denying the chemistry we had. Everyone could see it — it was impossible to hide.
What started as a summer fling quickly turned into a fairytale romance. We spent every free moment together, constantly sneaking around so her family wouldn’t find out.
We were so infatuated it was exhausting and energizing at the same time. We could watch the sunset and sunrise in the same night without ever sleeping a wink.
I know this is cheesy, and to be honest, it feels weird writing about it publically because I haven’t even talked about it with anyone in real life, but you need the context to appreciate the ending of the story.
The summer ended, and I was going back to my college town, but there was no way we were going to end things at that point. But there was still that one lingering thing…
Why start a relationship when you know you’re going to have to break up eventually? I wasn’t going to convert to Islam or any other religion for that matter.
I told her from the very beginning — this is not an area where I’m going to change my mind. I even took it a step further and said “I know you probably think you will eventually change my mind, but I guarantee you that won’t happen. Now promise me you understand.” She promised.
Of course, you know how this plays out.
She thought she would convince me. After all, she had convinced the one before me, and she was very persuasive indeed.
Eventually, three years later, she finally came clean — it was convert (or pretend to convert) to please her family, or we go our separate ways.
At this point in life, I had learned from past mistakes and already created this ultimatum rule, so I said goodbye.
It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.
You see, if I had given in I would be living a fake life right now. I would have to forever live a lie and put on an act, or live with the fact that I was responsible for separating her from her family.
Either way, one of us was destined to resent the other.
In case it isn’t clear, I have no hard feelings or regrets.
An ultimatum is an opportunity to do better, and that’s what I’ve done.
If I gave in, my life would’ve taken a completely different direction. There would be no HMP.
And I would’ve never found the girl that requires no compromise — the one I have now.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just lucky. Maybe that’s why things have worked out so well for me.
Maybe learning from my past mistakes and staying true to my life vision had nothing to do with it…
I’m not telling you what to do. I’m just sharing my journey with you.
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