Ultimatums in relationships may not always work out as anticipated because people react to them differently.
There is no guarantee that a lover will choose to stay after you slap them with an ultimatum, a result you should make peace with before you go ahead with it.
However, you may be sure that a partner loves you enough to honor the ultimatum, and then they leave, and you are left heartbroken, wondering if they ever cared about you in the first place.
What should you do?
Do you go after them and revoke the ultimatum to win them back, or do you move on with your life?
Also, what compelled your boyfriend to leave?
Don’t worry; the insights shared here will help you navigate your situation.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Most of the time, people get into relationships hoping for the best.
No one enters a relationship anticipating a fallout, even if disagreements are inevitable.
You may think that you did a bad thing by issuing your boyfriend an ultimatum, but there is nothing wrong with looking after yourself.
Ultimatums are often viewed as the last strategy to save a dwindling relationship.
They are also often perceived as drastic, self-centered, and manipulative tactics, but on the upper side, they can help people get rid of toxic people out of their lives and preserve their mental health.
You shouldn’t regret issuing an ultimatum, especially if it involves disagreements regarding infidelity, drug abuse, physical and emotional abuse, lack of intimacy, gambling, and other non-negotiables, depending on what you can’t compromise in a relationship.
So, now that he is gone, what should you do?
1. Reflect on the ultimatum
Sometimes, lovers issue ultimatums in situations they shouldn’t when overwhelmed with emotions.
Look back and determine if your ultimatum was justified or fair and if you were sober while issuing it.
If it was the right thing to do, then don’t sweat it.
Start agreeing that you deserve better and you two were not meant to be.
If you establish that the directive was unreasonable or unfair, you should contact your boyfriend to clear up the misunderstanding and apologize.
Mistakes happen; if he is mature or understanding, he will acknowledge your apology.
Also, consider giving your boyfriend space to process his emotions following your revoked ultimatum.
You must also work on your communication skills to avoid pulling an ultimatum stunt whenever misunderstandings arise in your relationship.
2. Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
After confirming that your request was justified and your boyfriend chose to leave, allow yourself to experience all the emotions accompanying heartbreak.
Grieving the relationship is healthy because holding in sad emotions will delay healing.
Talk to a friend and sob on their lap or shoulder if you have to.
While processing the feelings, understand that the relationship has breathed its last, and the injunction helped you avoid the constant baggage holding you down.
3. Treat the Moment as a Learning Opportunity
The experience should teach you something about prioritizing yourself and asserting relationship boundaries.
Let it be a lesson that you should never tolerate disrespect or the bare minimum in relationships.
Standing up for yourself can save you from relationship baggage because you can tell when you are being taken for granted.
4. Avoid Guilt or Blaming Yourself
It is easy to blame yourself for initiating the ending of a relationship you thought was meant to last.
You may start thinking that your boyfriend would still be around if you never went the ultimatum way.
You remember all the good times you shared, and guilt strikes you, and start thinking of other less-drastic options you should have explored.
The blame game doesn’t help in any way, and if anything, it slows your healing journey.
Let bygones be bygones, and be grateful that you lost someone who figured out that leaving you was better than making the changes you had suggested.
5. Seek Professional Support
Healing from a breakup, especially with someone you deeply love, is not a walk in the park.
If seeking support from close friends and relatives doesn’t help, contacting a relationship therapist may help you significantly accept the new reality of living without your boyfriend.
A therapist is better placed to help you understand if the ultimatum was the best decision depending on the circumstances that forced you to enforce it.
You will also receive insights on other disagreements that warrant ultimatums and situations that don’t need them.
Your therapist may also emphasize the need to improve your communication skills and also how to spot red flags earlier in your future relationships.
Now that you know what to do after your boyfriend leaves, it would also be critical to understand what could have compelled him to leave or why people choose to leave after being issued an ultimatum by their significant others.
However, whatever his reason for leaving may be, the fact remains that he chose himself over you, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for choosing yourself too.
The following reasons may explain his decision to leave:
Your boyfriend is not bound to stay in the relationship if he feels it is not the best decision for him just because you issued a directive.
His actions prompted you to give him an ultimatum, but he decided to leave because he was allowed to have a different perspective.
II. He felt controlled
It is public knowledge that most men don’t like being controlled by their women, be it in relationships or marriages, so he may have perceived the ultimatum as you trying to pressure or control him into acting in a certain way.
He feared that if he gave in to your ultimatum, it would mark the start of other directives, and you would have control over him in all aspects of the relationship.
III. Effect on trust
Since ultimatums are more like the last nail in a coffin when issued, your boyfriend may have lost trust in you for putting the relationship on the line, especially if he felt there were other ways you should have communicated your feelings.
His decision to move could be fueled by the fact that you were ready to throw the relationship away if your needs were unmet, leaving no room for the trust that once prevailed.
Some lovers may resent their partners after being issued an ultimatum, making them leave and not look back.
Your boyfriend may have felt betrayed by your ultimatum and developed anger toward you, hence his decision to leave.