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Why Giving Your Spouse an Ultimatum Can Never Work
Your Husband or Wife is Cheating and…
Have you thought about giving your spouse an ultimatum? Something like, “If you don’t stop XYZ, this marriage is over.”Is your spouse having an affair, hooked on drugs or alcohol, a workaholic, too emotionally close to an opposite sex friend, or obsessive about a hobby or activity?
How do you get your spouse to stop behavior that’s destroying your marriage? An ultimatum is an interesting idea. I am sure a friend or family member even suggested it. I’m sure it’s crossed your mind. Maybe it was even advised by your counselor. But will it work?
A past client of mine based on his suspicions had hired me to find out whether his wife was seeing someone else. This guy was newly married and you can understand how anxious he was about the matter. His wife was spending late nights out and was asking him for a lot of money that was unaccounted for. So we put her under surveillance and soon realised that she was indeed seeing someone – not a guy but a woman! She was gay and was clearly using my client as an alibi for normalcy in society and also using his money to splurge on her girlfriend! My client obviously filed for divorce soon after but in light of the topic of discussion in my blog post today – do you think it would have worked if my client confronted his lesbian wife and gave her an ultimatum – I want you to become straight and stop seeing that woman?!!!
Can You Order Your Spouse to Change Themselves
If you want to restore your marriage, do NOT give your spouse an ultimatum. It will NOT work. Let me explain why. And let me explain how YOU CAN get your spouse to end their affair or stop their addictive or obsessive behavior. In a sense, it’s empowering to think, and even say to your spouse, “Your behavior is unacceptable. And if it doesn’t stop, I’m leaving you.” An ultimatum offers the ultimate role reversal. It puts you, the victim, in control. Understandably, that’s appealing. And there’s no doubt that in the SHORT RUN, you’ll FEEL better. But it also FEELS good to eat dessert after every meal. Just because something FEELS good does NOT mean it is good. The question you have to ask yourself is: Will the LONG TERM effect be good? Will an ultimatum give me the result I want? Will it lead to the renewal of my marriage? The answer is NO!
Now I know what you’re thinking, what about TOUGH LOVE? Don’t I have to set borders and boundaries?” If you give your spouse an ultimatum, you’ll establish clear RULES for your marriage. You’ll set borders and boundaries. But, where will the MOTIVATION come from for your spouse to live by the rules? In other words, the rules will be clear, but why would your spouse WANT to adhere to them?
You see – if your spouse is a sex addict, a workaholic, an alcoholic, having an affair or involved in any other type of obsessive or destructive behavior, the problem is NOT a lack of rules; it’s a lack of MOTIVATION to live by the rules.Your spouse knows their behavior is wrong. Even if they won’t admit it, even if they justify it, deep down they know that their behavior is immoral and that it’s destroying your marriage and soiling their soul. The problem is that they don’t care. The problem is that they lack an internal MOTIVATION to do the right thing.
Your spouse has to WANT to stop. The key is their inner motivation, their OWN WILL. An ultimatum imposes rules from the outside – it does nothing to address the lack of motivation on the inside. The Bottom line: although giving an ultimatum feels good, it misses your target. Your target is your spouse’s inner motivation. And how do you affect someone’s inner motivation? The secret is to CONNECT with them. Let me explain.
It’s all About Connection
Life begins as a connected experience in the womb of our mother. When we’re born and that physical connection is severed, we yearn to connect again. How we go about creating that connection and how well we succeed becomes the story of our life. People who make healthy and meaningful connections with other people feel happy and fulfilled. (Research proves that the single most important factor that determines happiness in life is CONNECTEDNESS.) People who lack a real emotional connection with others will grasp at anything in an attempt to fill that void in their life. That’s what leads people to sex, drugs, alcohol, hours of mindless TV, falling in love over and over again with new people, or an obsessive commitment to money, success, work, or a hobby. These trappings offer a MOMENTARY filling. But the cause of the emptiness your spouse seeks to fill is a lack of a meaningful CONNECTION in their life.
When you create that connection with your spouse, you accomplish two profound things. First, you eliminate your spouse’s desire for their destructive behavior. You take the wind right out of its sail. You cut it off at its source. They don’t need it anymore. There’s no more hole to fill. YOU filled it! Second, you offer your spouse a permanent filling for a hole that’s been insatiable probably since their childhood. (Your spouse’s destructive behaviors can probably be traced back to a disconnected relationship they had with their mother or father). And their DESIRE for your connection, a REAL and LASTING filling of that hole, will trump any momentary interest in seductive pleasures.
So how do you get your spouse to stop their destructive behavior? You create a connection with them. The chances are very good that YOU have no clue how to deeply CONNECT with your spouse.You see, disconnected people tend to marry disconnected people. In other words, you picked your spouse BECAUSE they’re disconnected, and that was safe and familiar for you. (Your spouse is probably like your mother or father.)You didn’t have to make a real connection to your spouse and that’s why you fell in love with them. Your spouse didn’t need what you couldn’t offer. Do you see how that worked? It’s totally dysfunctional, but it’s true. Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that your spouse’s inappropriate behavior is your fault. But it is your RESPONSIBILITY. Meaning, that you can choose (if you want) to do something about it. You can impact your spouse’s choices. But you’ll need to learn to forge a real connection with your spouse, and you’ll need to learn to do that WITHOUT your spouse’s cooperation.
But there is no point in trying to reconcile with your wife or husband if they are gay! Like it happened with my client, he was smart and understood that there was no way he could bring his wife back to him once he discovered her true sexual identity. Changing someone’s viewpoint about you is one matter but changing someone’s sexual orientation is well nigh impossible! In such cases which are of course very rare, accept that you were just plain unlucky because somethings in life just cannot be reversed. It is how the universe functions! So get over it and in due time you can even have a laugh about the past and how life can really deliver a whammy sometimes!Amit Sen, a commercial pilot by training, has over 15 years experience in the space of corporate investigations, handling Copyright & Trademark infringement cases, Pre – employment verification Industrial Espionage investigations, Asset & Net – Worth assessment assignments and vendor / supplier verification cases, among others. Co-founder of Alliance One Detectives – which is the best marriage investigation agency in Mumbai, Amit has also successfully completed corporate investigation assignments in a wide range of sectors, including the machine tools industry, pharmaceutical industry, hospitality sector, specialized equipment (Oil & natural gas sector, aviation industry etc.), telecom industry & the IT & ITes sectors. These cases have all involved both offline and online investigations.
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