Adapted from a recent online discussion.
In the long run, ultimatum may be unwise choice
Considering an Ultimatum: This is a complicated situation, but I have a simple question. Been with BF for over four years. We're in our 30s. He keeps saying he's ready for marriage but needs time. I'm ready for an ultimatum. Maybe.
How have ultimatums worked for others? I think some guys need a push while others just aren't marriage material.
Carolyn: Do you want to marry someone who needs a push to marry you? Do you want to marry someone who dithers over decisions?
Here's why ultimatums are so toxic. Let's say he's not dithering, but instead he's thoughtful and has a few unanswered questions that he is in the process of answering. Applying pressure is not going to help that situation, and if anything will give him a reason to be glad he was cautious, because now he can rule you out with confidence.
Now let's say he is dithering. Your pressure might be enough to get him to marry you, but it won't change either reason that he might have been dithering: that he's not that wowed by you, or that he's not capable of being decisive.
If you're ready to be married to either of those permanent conditions, then go ahead and apply some pressure. But if you'd rather be with someone who lives purposefully and loves you completely, then either find out what he's waiting for or accept that this relationship has run its course.
The husband, the wife, the mistress and the funeral
London: My father had a mistress toward the latter part of his life. My mother knew but didn't know what to do about it. My father is dying and my mom worries the mistress will turn out for his funeral and make a big scene (like crying uncontrollably). What could we children do?
Carolyn: Assure your mom that you'll all keep an eye out for the mistress, and if she does show, one of you will box her out. You can even assign a family friend or a funeral director to do the honors so you won't get taken away from the funeral yourselves. Your mom has enough to worry about, so assume this one worry for her.
Anonymous: Re: Mistress: What do you mean by "box her out"? This mistress is, presumably, close to the father. It's obviously not an ideal situation, but the mistress should be allowed to grieve, too.
Carolyn: I strenuously disagree. When she chose to love someone else's husband, she chose a situation where her grief would be on her time. She has no place at the funeral.
Had the wife shown even tacit approval or acceptance, I might say otherwise, but mom's fretting says that wasn't the case. Mistress is out.
Anonymous 2: Re: Mistress: A kind and classy thing to do, that would also set a boundary, would be to send mistress a memento with a note saying, "Since you'll be unable to attend the funeral, we thought you'd like X as a memory." This should be done by a friend of Dad who also knows mistress.
Carolyn: I like it, thanks.