ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Will Serving An Ultimatum Make An Addict Stop?

Updated on September 30, 2019
lilmrslay profile image

Through her passion for writing and coaching, Rachael shares her experience and support in the journey of loving an addict.

You've had enough, come to the end of your tether. It feels as though you can't take another moment of living with this addiction and the havoc it wrecks. You are fed up with everything that you have to deal with and you want to get right out of the mess if it can't be cleaned up.

You serve an ultimatum, 'Stop or I go' or words to that effect.

And you mean it. At the time.

Ultimatums are often served out of utter frustration, desperation and anger. When everything else seems to fail in making our loved one realise the damage they are causing, we believe that if we can convey an outcome serious enough, that our loved one will suddenly, finally be compelled to change. You want more from your life and you are ready to demand it.

So you reiterate your point, 'Seriously, something has to change or this is over'.

And you mean it. At the time.

Effort is made, a few days or even weeks go by and things might appear to get a little better. You begin to wonder if perhaps the message got through this time. Maybe, just maybe, the threat of you leaving was enough?

But then the addiction comes calling again. It always returns, no matter how forcefully you try to push it away, no matter what tactics you use. And you realise that your ultimatum has done nothing to curb the addiction that is controlling your loved one.

Your threat has made no difference.

So what do you do now?

You served the ultimatum, but are you really going to leave?

The Main Reason Ultimatums Don? Work

Because we usually don't follow them through.

By issuing ultimatums that you don't follow through on, you are essentially giving the message that next time you put the same request out, it can be ignored then as well because your words are perceived as empty threats offered in a bid to try control your addict. A bit of good behaviour and a short time lapse always seems to reduce the threat and your addict learns this very quickly.

We teach others how to treat us.

For an ultimatum to have any impact it must be an ultimatum for YOU, not your addict and it must be an intention you know you can follow through on.

Any ultimatum of 'If nothing changes I will leave' must be made for yourself because you are the only person you can control. You are the only person you have influence over and you can set you own personal boundaries to protect yourself.

If you choose to communicate your ultimatum to your addict, do so in a way that is calm and respectful and make it clear that you are considering taking action so that things can be better for YOU but don't demand or expect compliance. This is your choice, your boundary and you must be willing to deal with the outcome of having to leave if your addict doesn't make the changes you want to see.

Are you ready for that?

Another Reason Ultimatums Don? Work

Part of the problem with serving ultimatums to an addict is that they are unlikely to be able to deal with this request in the way you want them to so your demand is destined to be unmet from the start. If overcoming an addiction were as simple as giving up because someone asks them to, it would have happened the first time they were asked and you wouldn't need to give them the hard line.

Also, an addict has been fundamentally changed in how they relate to others and by issuing an ultimatum you are trying to force your addict to make a choice between you and something they haven't yet realised they don't want. In fact in many cases, they may believe they want their addiction, more than anything. You are trying to give an addict with altered rationale, power that they incapable of knowing how to use appropriately.

Should You Make An Ultimatum?

Only you can answer this.

But I will finish by asking you whether or not you are sacrificing too much for the sake of your addict? How is your mental stability? Are your needs being met? Can you see any sign of hope for your addict? Is there a compelling reason to stay? Do you have children who are suffering? How much lower are you willing to let somebody else? addiction take you?

The answers and the decision are ultimately yours.

Photo credit:) 2007 worak

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      9 months ago from Chicago

      If the death penalty doesn't prevent people from killing each other it's unlikely an "ultimatum" is going make someone stop doing something they get pleasure from.

      Most people who give ultimatums really are NOT prepared to walk away from the situation.Essentially an ultimatum is a warning or "heads up" hail marry call one makes with their fingers crossed hoping that the person values (them) over their addiction.

      If one mentions their boundaries and "deal breakers" early on there is no need to give anyone an ultimatum. You move on.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)