11 People Reveal The Ultimatums That Ended Their Relationships, & They're Really Impactful

by Christy Piña

"It's me or them. Take your pick." Ah, Meredith Blake, did you really think Nick Parker was going to pick you over Hallie and Annie, his beautiful twins? She gave him an ultimatum, and it didn't exactly pan out the way she wanted it to. But real life isn't The Parent Trap, and that's not always the case. While ultimatums that ended relationships do happen, sometimes it's for the best. Think about it: Do you want your partner to do something out of fear of you leaving, or do you want them to do it because they want to? People don't often like being told what to do in their everyday lives (except in the bedroom... sometimes) and an ultimatum is just that, by definition.

While perusing Reddit threads to put together a list of ultimatums that ended people's relationships, one thing that kept coming up is that ultimatums only work if the other person genuinely wants to change, but your ultimatum might be able to give them the push they need. When you think about it, that makes total sense. If you're trying to change something someone does, they're not going to respond well if it's not something they think needs changing. If they don't want to make the change, then maybe seeing an end to your relationship might be the thing that does the trick. And if it's not, then maybe ending the relationship is for the best.

Here are some of the ultimatums people gave their partners, or got themselves, that didn't exactly have happy endings.

Having Kids
Children. Not having any.
The ultimatum was getting the vasectomy. Oh boy did that not go over well. But she was just a gf, not a wife or anything, and she knew before we dated that I was 100% against having children.
She left.


14 years into our relationship (married for 9 of those) I gave him the ultimatum please decide if you want children, you have until the end of this year. During our dating phase and prior to getting married we both wanted children and talked about it and planned it. After being married for a couple of years he changed his mind. 1 month after I issued the ultimatum he asked me for a divorce. 3 years later he married a woman with 2 kids. Go figure.


Either We're Friends, Or We're More — There Is No In-Between
I was in a relationship that was quickly devolving into a Dead Bedroom situation.
I said "You can have a monogamous relationship with me, or a platonic one. But you can't have both."
It got better, but we eventually parted ways.


You Pull Your Weight In This Relationship, Or It's Over
I had a gal that was suddenly dumped by an ex years ago. Hated it. Asked me to promise that if I were feeling like things were going south, I wouldn't just get rid of her out of nowhere, I'd talk to her. Give her a last-chance talk or something. I said sure, I'd do that, not really thinking about it. I took it as some baggage talk and kind of moved on.
Later in our relationship, I really felt an imbalance of effort and consideration. She doesn't feel well, I go and get us food, even if I'm not feeling well either. I pay for everything, do all the driving save for bringing her to my place. Do all the deciding. All the cooking, all the cleaning. She doesn't even lift a finger. She and I have multiple talks about this over months. There's always an excuse why she doesn't or can't do something. Last straw was when she just "didn't do massages," when I needed someone to lay some hands on my neck.
So we have a bigger discussion and she's making the dumbest excuses imaginable and I basically say that I'm at the end of my rope. That if she's not willing to contribute to this relationship or to me specifically, then maybe this isn't for us. She got upset at me for giving her an ultimatum. Said she didn't like them and they're not fair.
So I broke up with her two weeks later.


Go To Therapy, Or Say "Goodbye" To Us
My parents had divorced that winter and I was having a hard time. We had both been seeing a therapist when he stopped and was leaning on me more then I could handle.
He needed to go back to his therapist while I was still seeing mine. I demanded we go back to one together which we'd done before and it helped. That was my ultimatum to him. We both get help and fix this or we call it off. That was 3 years into our marriage after dating an additional 3 years. 2 weeks later he flat out told me no and we started the plans to separate. He sped things up and a week later I couldn't pay our joint bills. I moved into the office then out 3 months later. We divorced and I never see him now and it kills me. 7 years of my life and I wasnt worth seeing a therapist.


My ultimatum was, either seek help to overcome the social anxiety or work on accepting that part of himself. It was his choice! And I told him numerous times that I would support him with either option! But he had to choose to do one, because he wasn't healthy. And his unwillingness to become healthy was very negatively impacting my life and emotional health.
I gave him a month to schedule a meeting with a therapist to work on either issue, as I was not equipped to help him work their either side of the "problem". I should also note that, we definitely had money for him to seek therapy, and I've sought therapy for myself many, many times throughout my life (so, there was no stigma to seeking help, as far as I was concerned).
He agreed to the ultimatum, but I guess, he just couldn't seek help. This was only one of several huge problems with our relationship, but it prob had the biggest impact.
I left him, to maintain my own emotional health. I loved him. I didn't leave because I didn't love him anymore. I had to leave so that I could be healthy. It was incredibly sad for me.


Threesomes: Deal Or No Deal?
I started dating again about a year after I divorced. I was kind of like a spring that had been compressed for 12 years and when I was free I basically exploded and dated a lot of woman. I didn't have a lot of serious relationships, but I had a number of ongoing FWB type things.
Some of those women were bisexual, or at least what I call "bi for the team" meaning they didn't mind light kissing and touching with another woman if it turned the guy on even if they weren't truly bisexual. But even if the girls weren't super into it, it was still amazing.
One day I met this amazing woman. She was smart and funny. She had an amazing job, no kids and didn't want kids, and we just clicked from the first kiss. After about a month I felt like I was falling for her. But I was still dating my FWB on occasion. The new girl was okay with it, but she said in no uncertain terms that in a couple more weeks, I would need to determine if I was serious about her.
And I told her that honestly, what I really liked was sex with two women and I liked it so much that I wasn't sure if that was a negotiable part of a relationship.
She took that into consideration and eventually told me that she would be willing to consider it "in a few months" but I needed to end it with the FWB soon.
I told her that I needed to think about it. Now I was in a quandary: If I broke up with my FWB, she would move on, and if the new girl said that she wasn't interested in other women, I would be stuck.
So I broke up with the new girl, and stuck with the FWB.


My ex said she wanted to have a threesome ONCE just to try and while we didn't go along with it it did cause our break up.
She told me that she was going to do it with or without me. And she found a guy while I was back in my state who didn't know wtf the word "boundaries" meant and put her hand on his small crotch over his pants.


He Chose Her
He had developed a huge crush on his office colleague who he used to work with for 12 hours of the day. And repeatedly he was prioritising her over me. When I had had enough, I gave him an ultimatum that it was either her or me. I cut off contact with him for the week to have him come back with an answer. He dumped me later that week saying he had already cheated on me with her two months back and no longer had feelings for me.


It's Too Little Too Late
I told my ex husband he had to get a job or I'd leave him. About twenty times in four years. By the time he finally made an effort and got a job, I resented him so much there was no salvaging the relationship. It sucks, but I ended up divorcing him when he actually followed through for once.


Guess We Know Where He Stands
Quit meth or I leave. He chose meth.


Next time you see a window for an ultimatum, maybe take a step back, and think about it. Is it going to do more good than bad? Is there another way you can go about getting what you need? Instead of jumping to an ultimatum, consider sitting down with your partner and talking about compromise. Maybe there's an agreement the two of you can come to that keeps you from forcing them to do something, and vice versa.

Relationships are tough, but issues almost always have solutions if both parties are willing to work on them together. Ultimatums shouldn't be necessary, and if they are in your relationship, then it might be time to seek help elsewhere.

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