Many comments on yesterday’s post “Fat Wives Demanding Unconditional Love” are prompting me to make a minor clarification for those new to reading the blog, or who haven’t read the book…
I have long advised that the use of an ultimatum is a last resort that may or may not work. If you follow my general advice to stop trying to change the other person and self-improve, frequently the other spouse starts pulling themselves together. Often you don’t even have an argument about it, the other spouse just becomes interested in changing. This is one of the basic principles of The MAP.
Classic example: I don’t nag Jennifer to exercise. If I start exercising, she tends to follow suit fairly shortly after I do.
You get forced toward having to make an ultimatum when the self-improvement and kind approaches have failed to work. There is always a chance that the relationship will fail because of it, so ultimatums can only be used for the most critically important matters. The book spells out a seven step process that is worked through – but can stop at any point if the spouse starts making changes for the better.
I also remind readers that the other options available for a spouse wanting a sexual improvement are (1) Just suffering through and tolerating the lack of sex / terrible sex partner, (2) Cheating on the spouse to get the sex you want and (3) Divorcing so you can try and find a new partner. Option (4) is my advice; self improve until you are more attractive than your spouse and leverage the possibility of the loss of you being worse than the loss of their enjoyment of their negative behavior. Just understand that it may or may not work.
I can also assure you that the husband in question was distraught with the entire situation. He’s by no means a bad guy and was actively turning down two other women for sex despite having no sex with his wife for over a year. Seeking my advice was his last hope before filing for divorce. Some readers may not like the ultimatum approach, but at least this way she can make a choice about staying in the marriage or not.
I am looking forward to the responses to my next post tonight, where the roles are reversed and a wife runs The MAP on her husband. It will be interesting to see how many people change sides and suddenly think ultimatums are a really good idea… or such a cruel lack of love and support.