Addiction to a person is no different than addiction to a substance. All of the same symptoms can appear: -- Descent into a shame-spiral about the addiction. -- An inability to control your own behavior often participating in self-destructive, compulsive and furtive activities. -- The loss of positive relationships with other family and friends. -- Poor performance at school or work. And the list goes on. Beating your addiction to the Asshat isn’t just mind over matter, but the first and most essential step toward recovery does come from your mind; which is admitting to yourself (and then to another person and/or supportive group) that you have a problem. Next it’s time to make a plan for quitting, seek help and prepare yourself for the challenges you’ll meet along the way. Step One: Deciding to Quit
  1. Write down the harmful effects of your addiction.
How has addiction to the Asshat affected you mentally? Are you embarrassed by it? Has it preoccupied you to the extent that you’re not doing well at work or in school? How has it affected you physically? Are you so upset you’re forgetting to eat? Or eating too much? Are you drinking more than you should? Are you forgetting to exercise? Have you given up on self-care? How has it affected your other relationships? Have you lost friends because of your addiction to the Asshat? Are there rifts with family members? How has your addiction affected you emotionally? Are you depressed? Ashamed? Do you feel disconnected from the things you used to love to do? Write everything down. And be specific.
  1. Make a list of positive changes you want in your life. Imagine what it might be like if you were no longer addicted to the Asshat? Imagine not worrying anymore where the Asshat is and what he or she is doing.
What would that look like? Really draw that picture in your mind. Would you sleep better? Feel freer? Would you start taking dance lessons again? Would you start traveling again? Would you spend more time with friends and family who support you? Would that sickening feeling of dread that resides in the center of your chest when you think about the Asshat go away? Would you like yourself better and even feel proud of yourself? Write down all the ways your life would be without the addiction to your Asshat. You can even make an aspirational collage of images that reflect the peace, joy and love you could invite into your life without your addiction and mount it somewhere you can see it every day.
  1. Write down your Quitting Commitment.
Writing a list of important reasons to quit your addiction can help you when you’re feeling tempted to call the Asshat and get sucked back into his/her life. Your reasons for quitting have to be stronger than your reasons for staying with the Asshat, and when we’re in the throes of our compulsive behavior sometimes it’s necessary to have a list we can actually look at, hold and read aloud to strengthen our resolve. Here are some examples of solid reasons to quit your addiction: Decide you’re quitting because you want to have children one day who can count on a stable loving home. Decide you’re quitting because you don’t want to feel isolated anymore and want to see more of your friends and family. Decide you’re quitting because you want to be more effective in finding a career and then maintaining and growing your career. Decided to quit because you want to feel good about yourself and you want to love yourself again. Step Two: Making a Plan to Quit

You know you're doing it, aren't you? Giving the Asshat credit for doing the absolute minimum required to keep a relationship trudging along? What do I mean by Asshat? This: They don't call when they say they will. They don't show up when expected. They brood at social gatherings with friends and family. You're fairly certain they're cheating on you in office cubicles, toilet stalls and perhaps even in your own bed. These are all the signs of an abusive relationship. There are some people for whom the dyed-in-Charmin Asshat holds no charm. These emotionally healthy people kick Asshats to the curb once they've disappointed them for the very first time. Then there are the rest of us. We will suffer Asshats gladly for weeks, months, nay years at a time. I was an Asshat-magnet for approximately ten years. Asshats could sniff out my needy co-dependence from 100 miles away as the crow flies. And one of the things that kept me trapped in my Asshatalicious relationship FOR FIVE YEARS was my ability to take the Asshat's bread crumbs and whip them into a rustic loaf, because I absolutely wanted to make a case for staying in the relationship. For example: