I’m going to make this really short and sweet. Don’t ever give an ultimatum unless you are really serious about following through. An alcoholic or drug addict will walk all over you if you back down from the conditions you have set before them. This must be a planned event. It shouldn’t be done out of anger or spontaneously. It will take self-discipline to deliver your thoughts or rules with a clear consequence. Be ready to act in accordance with your guidelines that you’ve delivered.
It takes having tough love with an alcoholic to stand firm in your choice once you have laid down the options within the situation you are faced with. If you wither and allow them to manipulate you through excuses and lies, then they will never believe that you mean what you say.
We cannot just use an ultimatum as a control tactic. We must only offer them when we are willing to act fully on what we have decided to do in response to how the alcoholic/addict responds.
What you present has to be solid and immovable. This is all apart of setting boundaries with an alcoholic.
If you have a substance abuser that is paying you rent and has been late or is falling behind, set the standard and then stick to your guns. If you tell them they have to have the money by a certain date and they only delivery you excuses, serve them with the eviction notice. If they play on your sympathy and play the role of a victim, give them the boot. An ultimatum basically says, “I’m not giving you anymore changes. It’s my way or the highway. I’ve given you plenty of slack. This is the last word.”