Home Featured Do This or Else: 5 Reasons Men Hate Ultimatums in Relationships

Do This or Else: 5 Reasons Men Hate Ultimatums in Relationships


Check out the latest post from Streetz via Madame Noire:

When a man gets into a relationship with a woman, he knows there’s certain concessions that he will have to make. He knows that compromise is essential, but there is going to be times where his woman will just talk about subjects that anger him. When a woman’s fed up, she uses one of the most powerful communications tools she has: the ultimatum. She will make a certain demand and require a specific action to be taken by her boyfriend, otherwise penalties will be incurred. As effective as this might be for woman, men HATE it! Let me articulate a few reasons why men hate ultimatums.


A man’s pride can be his greatest gift and his most hindering quality. We will let our pride guide our decisions for better or worse. The more strong willed the man, the more firm he is in his convictions. This actually shows a great contradiction with men in relationships. Most men like to be challenged by a woman. We don’t want a pushover or someone who will agree with anything we say. We like women who can think for themselves, have the same type of conviction in opinion, and can inspire a man to be better. However, when a woman presents an ultimatum to a man, you put the spotlight on his decisions. You directly try to force him to accept your way “or else”. Men don’t want to hear that! All men hear when they receive an ultimatum is that their opinion doesn’t matter, that she is the boss, and that you better shape up or bounce! Now, that may not be entirely accurate, but a man’s pride will serve as his personal hype man and urge him not to fold under pressure and to retaliate with ultimatums of their own, or a complete disregard for the words a woman speaks.


Men don’t want to date their mothers. We remember when we were young boys and didn’t have a say in anything we did. Our mothers would lay out the ground rules and demand obedience. Eventually, when we come of age to somewhat challenge these rules, no matter the outcome (which was usually an A$$ whoopin), we would feel liberated. We knew that we earned a certain level of respect for standing up for ourselves and showing character, and the work we put in now would eventually translate into more trust, respect, and camaraderie with our parents. As adults, we don’t want to go through that fight again, especially with our significant others. So when you pose ultimatums to men, you invoke feelings of a parent who devalues a child’s opinion because they don’t know any better. They don’t want to feel “lesser than” and men will immediately hop into defense mode and battle you at every point. In other words, you talk to a man like he is a kid and he will react negatively

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  1. All a woman's ultimatums does for me is tell me directly what im NOT GONNA do.

    Ex: I better marry you within ya wack 2 yr window time frame?? Dammit imma wait 3 yrs out of spite!…lol

  2. Streetz these reasons are understandable. Nobody likes to be given ultimatums, nobody likes to be directly challenged, and nobody likes to be treated like a kid. But when it's time for you to sh** or get off the pot, you do what u gotta do.
    Women don't like giving men ultimatums either. We hate it. We want you to come to your decisions of your own free will and volition. We want you to think more like us, and be as considerate of us as we are of you. But many times women don't get that so hence the ultimatum.
    Sometimes this can work to a woman's advantage. As you guys have said in other posts like the men not stepping up and doing better if the woman doesn't have standards and set expectations for him.
    Unfortunately I've found the way men work is like this. (At least many of the ones I've known). If they don't feel like a woman expects more and they have to do more then they won't because they don't have to. Even going back to the most recent previous post about men being lazy daters. Many men agreed that they are not doing more than they have to do, regardless of how much they really like and want the woman. When they do more it's because they feel like they have to or else they won't get that woman and won't keep her attention. So forreal if women didn't set expectations and have standards when dealing with men and stick with them, then they would be short. Men would do the bare minimum when they felt like it and women would be miserable and never get what they wanted. The men would be cool. They would have it their way like Burger King. Women would be very unhappy and unsatisfied……..now how fair would that be? ijs

    1. I'm signing on the dotted line riiigghhhht ………………………….. here!! LOL!!

      I so got the visual. felt it! it touched my heart! Thanks Bree!!

    2. +1, I don’t like the whole men don’t want to be challenged excuse. One minute its "women don’t make it challenging/set standards or vocalize their expectations" then when we do it were the bad guys. Of course I don’t think you should pull out an ultimatums for every little thing but if I have to give you the either or then I’ve probably already talked to you about the issue and you didn’t take me serious/ignored what I said the first time.

      1. U might not like it smileZ, but there are some men who feel that way. SOmetimes, a persons feelings are just that: feelings, not excuses

        1. Even if a man doesn't like being challenged, its a part of life. Grow up. Its ridiculously annoying to have to keep repeating yourself like moms have to do with their kids because a man chooses to ignore what you keep saying. I'm not your mother, I don't want to be your mother and when it gets to the point where I'm fed up, I will give you an ultimatum because if things don't change, I will start resenting you for not caring enough to do the little things that may not matter to you but matter a whole lot to me. The first time I had to give a man an ultimatum, his little annoying habits had started making me the crazy females I always talk about not wanting to be. In that case, it was about self preservation. I'm not going to let a man make me go crazy!

        2. I was under the impression ultimatums were reserved for significant matters with heavy impacts on current situations and future developments. Sometimes, the small, annoying things actually make me laugh after awhile because it makes me feel better. For example, he bites his nails. I know I'm gonna have to deal with that and it's cool…. because I like to twist toilet paper and throw it on the floor. I'm not giving an ultimatum over that I'll just get used to it. but I can't stand his friends. I've told him time and time again, these dudes are weak and they feel like dogs tracking mud on my expensive, white carpet. My ultimatums are kinda more like 'no really, that's hardcore bothersome I'm about to scalp you and make a diaper bag for these immature a*s hooligans that you call your "family". Otherwise, it's just me conceding to him on stuff he deems important or it's a non-deal-breaking occurance that I find kinda cute and endearing anyway. People just have their idiosyncrasies.

  3. As a grown man, I hate ultimatums from a woman. What I do like is, communication with my woman. If you have an issue with something or I am not doing something effectively, talk to me about it, but don't give me a "this needs to happen or else" type of ordeal. Let's talk about what's going on and go from there, but demands are definitely non-exisistent if you are trying to get a point across to me.

    1. Exactly. My best friend and I did the 'transitioning into something more' heavy talks. Our communication is raw and potent yet, sometimes, he gives the impression he enjoys adjusting to make me feel better — it helps us flow. Generally speaking he's a man's man/stern guy but he cares enough to concede and responds well to me challenging him. We've come to our moments where I've issued ultimatums; he disregards them so I try to understand his perspective because he's kind to me and compassionate. I respect his pride because he cares about my feelings. In, my feelings vs. his pride, he makes the decisions and I support what he chooses. I'm not sure how this approach works out because he takes forever to weigh them/I'm taking forever to be at peace with myself but I will say, men should not have to be forced to do anything. A man left to his own devices will show you who he is and how he feels about you. I believe this to be universal.

  4. If you give me an ultimatum, i'm going to test the ultimatum, just to prove a point.

    Men aren't allowed to give them, women shouldn't either. Eff all that, she does it to protect her feelings or because she's afraid of getting hurt. Or because men have a tendency to not act unless there is a charge. We can say the same damn sh*t about women and that's a fact.

    1. Most women know that their men hate nagging so if a woman is like me, who tries to avoid such annoying things like ultimatums and demands and all that shit, when I do pull one out, its because I feel I have no choice. If for months, not days, I've been asking you to change some annoying habit you have and you keep ignoring it, you don't even explain why you don't want to change it (that is if you have a good reason), it is tiring and annoying and me giving you an ultimatum is me saying I'm not going to deal with this anymore. Test me plz! But be sure you ready to go there

      1. Here's the problem Lin.

        The man can break the ultimatum. This is the real deal honest truth…

        Women don't leave men because an ultimatum is on the table. They leave men when they lose any hope that a man has the power to change his actions for the betterment of the relationship. You can tell him you'll leave him if he doesn't stop a problematic behavior. He won't. You'll walk out, but if in your heart you know that he has the power to change and is just not ready or not willing at this point, your heart will lead you back to him.

        Women will tell their husband to stop gambling so much. He'll continue to gamble. She'll threaten to leave him, he'll say, he will try. He will try, and he will fail. She will stay and support him as long as he shows signs that he can improve. It's not until she loses all faith that she eventually leaves.

        Therefore, that's why I can test an ultimatum. If you actually know that I can change if I want to, that's all that matters.

        1. now that was keepin it 100 Doc J. I totally agree. People kill me with these little mind games they play with each other. It's so funny to me. I've never had to to test an ultimatum, but if it came to that, just like you I would.

        2. "If you actually know that I can change if I want to, that's all that matters."
          That’s the problem, if you want to, to me in 80 percent of the situations where a women had to give an ultimatum , nine times out of ten the dude didn’t want to change, he didn’t want to work harder or do better presently. He might straight up for a little but once he see's she eases up, he goes back to acting up. Ultimatums are one shot deals, it’s a card you don’t pull until you have your bags packed and ready to leave, it not a good scare tactic because most men don’t care that much, like you said he already knows how crazy a woman is over him so he knows he has 5 more chances left.

  5. How about instead of people putting each other in positions where ultimatums have to be given, they have more effective, open and honest communication. Honestly I've never really given a man a "ultimatum." What I have done is communicated with him from the beginning to the end about what he wanted and what I wanted.
    I think maybe women should work on how they vocalize their wants, needs and desires. It shouldn't be a do this or else type of thing. You cannot control other people and you can't make anyone do anything they don't really want to do. Instead it can simply be a conversation where you lay your cards on the table and state what you want and ask if the other person wants the same thing. You discuss things and see if you both want the same things and are on the same page. If not you go your seperate ways, if you are then you go from there. People in general make it waaaaaay more complicated than it should be.

    1. But to a retain extent that’s still take it or leave it. Just a nicer way.ost situations turn into a take it or leave it , you laying your cards out on the table for example saying ” either we work on getting serious or I’m out” for some it might seem like an ultimatum for others it’s laying your cards and clearly expressing how you feel.

        1. I agree. But we all know relationships can get sticky and sometimes people don’t take you serious until you turn it up a notch. Plus as much as some men say communicate with me don’t talk at me, when you do bring up a topic their not ready to completely talk about (in a respectful non-braking way) they ignore you or fake listen instead of communicating that they need time to get all their cards together to put on the table to continue the conversation.

        2. Smilez there is a way to communicate effectively with and get most of what u want from a man.
          It also takes some time and patience. But all relationships are a gamble and you take your chances. "You gotta know when to fold em, know when to hold, know when to walk away, and know when to run."

    2. Co-sign Bree….All a brother wants is a woman who can talk to me like I am human, not beat a brother down with demands…

    3. Honestly with ultimatums men usually have the winning hand anyway, the sad thing is either they don't know it or they are too scared to play it. As you said the reality is women threaten til they are blue in the face all the time. If the man doesn't stop doing what she doesn't want him to do or doesn't do what she wants him to do, she is still gonna stay right there. She does not go anywhere. I've had many friends and family in crazy situations where there should've been a serious ultimatum given and adhered to and it wasn't. I've told them I don't know why your complaining because your not going anywhere anyway. I know men who had chicks use them like doormats and play them like piano's and finally they put their foot down and things changed. One man seperated from his wife after she gave him an ultimatum. Later it was her that begged him to take her back and refused to go through with the divorce.
      So yeah you are right on that one Doc J. A lotta times folks talk just for gp and to hear themselves talk, but at the end of the day it is never actually acted upon and doesn't mean a damn thing.

        1. Yeah, my mother was like that. I've actually never seen her want something and it not happen now that I think about it — she just leaves. but at the same token, someone on one of today's posts mentioned how men don't communicate when they need time to get stuff together. My father is like that. One time my sisters got in this really bad accident and they had to take an emergency trip, so he just left my mom in the middle of her finding out/hollering and whooping to get the car fixed and stuff. The biggest argument ever insued and she just left. This is why I don't really do ultimatums because I really think it's just something that can be communicated out to an understanding. Having gone through differentials in my own relationship, when it really does come down to a man being a man and not just him acting immaturely about a woman's needs, ultimatums aren't really necessary. Sometimes men just care enough to hear you.

  6. Don’t challenge me…i will accept, i will defeat. It shows a lack of rationale, that 1. you clearly think that your way is best and i would have no complaints and 2. that if i dont agree im dooming myself to a life of dispair without you. Relationships are give and take and if you think you can give orders and im just going to take it (winks at camera) then you are in for a rude awakening

  7. Us as a society as a whole has a natural inhibition with authoritative language or actions, man or woman, truth be told.

    No one likes being told what to do outside the bedroom in general and people's sense of pride, espeicially men, tend to elevate when being told in an ultimatum-type manner. The whole mantra of "eff the police" and everyone's common, natural disdain for their boss feeds into this narrative. The whole women giving a man an ultimatum is another subset of this psychological phenomenom…in my opinion at least.

  8. If I ask you to stop doing something detrimental to our well being, the ultimatum is my final resort. Then I will be forced to make a hard decision if need be. I will definitely make the hard decision because it makes no sense in getting all riled up about something if you will still accept it.

    If I ask you to paint that bathroom, take out the trash, or something else minor, no ultimatum will be given. I Will simply look at you crazy and do it myself. That usually gets my point across.

    Ultimatums are the big guns. Big guns are only used with caution and all else fails. Most people eat those ultimatums and give the person receiving the ultimatum more ammunition for later. It's not beneficial to be seen as a person that gives idle threats.

    1. "It's not beneficial to be seen as a person that gives idle threats."

      When it comes to him sometimes he can tell my heart isn't in it because I know and I feel as if I should trust him and just let him decide who he is and who he wants to be and how he's going to handle life. I concede to him on decisions when he's taking the lead and I support him. We both know I'm idly threatening.

      However, sometimes, because of our age, he still has immature behaviors that I find absolutely grating against our well-being. In those instances I treat him as a threat. You're my partner, my eventual mate, my life depends on you. I treat him like an enemy. I engage him like he's a literal threat to my life. He knows the difference. He also knows not to get cute when I'm like that unless he's trying to show me it's okay.

  9. I think it's funny how many fellas seem to turn the ultimatum (which could start as a serious communication of a need from a woman) into a game…seems childish on both sides.It makes more sense to communicate to him what it is you need, want and won't tolerate then know our "breaking point"…and be prepared to chuck the 2s when you get there.

  10. Do guys dish out ultimatums? Maybe I'm just giving myself the benefit of doubt but I'm tryin to think when I told my significant other "Do this or else!" I've heard it said men enjoy women as they are and women find men with the potential to be what they [woman] wants them to be. It's funny but who are you to demand that someone else makes changes? Are you willing to do the same? Are you willing to give up your poor behaviors to show him you're willing to change because he's that important?

  11. I didn't give an ultimatum, I just said either we're going to come together or end this back and forth, I want stability …

  12. It’s my experience that when a man is given an ultimatum, let’s say about “stop seeing that other woman who was in your life for a long time before me or I am out of here.” In my experience, the man obeys for awhile, but if he loves this “other woman” and the relationship is good in all those years….ultimately he will break the “understanding” and go back to the “other woman” and let the devil take the hindmost. I believe eventually the ultimatum giver will find out and then we will see how the story ends.


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