how to leave a toxic relationship

3 Steps to Stop Turning the Asshat’s Miniscule Efforts into a Parade!

How to Leave a Toxic Relationship!

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 emotionally 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: 

I was embroiled with Mr. Cruelly Handsome for five years, two of which we lived together, because I was certain that grappling him into a shared domicile would soon evolve into a marriage proposal.

I thought that once we made it to the altar all of our problems (his moping, lying, cheating, stonewalling. My nagging, bitching, spying and auditioning for wife with acrobatic sex) would all go away.

Yes. Marriage is the answer! Throw in a couple of kids and we’re Family of the Year.

Unfortunately, once Mr. Cruelly Handsome moved in we ended up moving backwards.

He moped even more, hedged against making any plans with me and started taking overtimes ad nauseum at his police station (and I’m fairly certain now that some of those overtimes were taken between the legs of willing badge bunnies) and was pretty much rarely home.

Our first Christmas together I tried to harangue him into helping me decorate our home for the season, thinking that if we hung tinsel, wreaths and garlands together we would morph into a “normal” couple.

The problem was that Mr. Cruelly Handsome always managed to be busy whenever I wanted to decorate.

With Christmas Eve fast approaching I decided not to wait for him and decorated the entire house and tree alone.

(Are you weeping for me yet? I was such a sad little sack).

When he came home from overtime 5,460 I scolded him for not helping me, and you just imagine how desirable scolding can be.

I awoke the next morning to find him leaving for yet another overtime. After he left, I rolled out of bed to start yet another co-dependent, obsessive, tiny little day when I discovered his contribution to our holiday home.

There on the mantel above our fireplace he’d hung a teeny, tiny, fig-leaf sized Christmas stocking.

HE HELPED DECORATE!

That diminutive red stocking with the white faux-fur trim made my heart swell. He was trying. He loved me. He wanted to make me happy. Just look at that microscopic, imperceptible little boot!

My friends, I was the Giada DeLaurentis of making bread crumbs into rustic loaves.

Any infinitesimal gesture on Mr. CH’s part were polished to a fine luster in my heart until I began to expect less and less and less. Until finally I gave him credit for really nothing at all

If this resonates with you and you’d like to learn how to leave a toxic relationship, I’d like you to take these 3 steps.

1. Write down every single thing your Asshat does that you consider to be a positive contribution to your relationship. Once you’ve done that make the next list.

2. Think about a person with whom you have a very simple, loving, reciprocal relationship. This is a relationship that buoys you up, makes you stronger and more self-confident. It could be with a family member, a co-worker, a lifelong friend. But it must be an effortless, good relationship.

Now, write down all of the ways this person contributes to your relationship.

3. Finally, compare the two lists. This should give you some clarity about what you need in your romantic relationship and what you’re not getting.

If you don’t think you’re a good person to evaluate your lists, leave them in the comments below and I (and my readers) will help you sort through them! Because we’re nosey like that.

If you want to be sure to stay informed, please jump on my mailing list below. Onward Ho!!

4 Comments
  • Sheri
    Posted at 06:57h, 13 July Reply

    Lol. I left my asshat after 9 unglorious as what years. He cheated, lied, stole, twisted words, arguments, thoughts and perception of reality all to fit his as what ways. I finally got away from him and he is living his life in the asshat jail in town and soon to be the asshat prison in the state. Do he will soon be someone else’s unsweet unloving unwilling asshat to probably a controlling largely built prison asshat. One can only dream! The sad part about it is I married the asshat but the wonderful part of it is I no longer associate with him.

  • Sheri
    Posted at 07:00h, 13 July Reply

    Lol. I left my asshat after 9 unglorious asshat years. He cheated, lied, stole, twisted words, arguments, thoughts and perception of reality all to fit his asshat ways. I finally got away from him and he is currently living his life in the asshat jail in town and soon to be the asshat prison in the state. So he will soon be someone else’s unsweet, unloving, unwilling asshat to probably a very controlling largely built prison asshat. One can only dream! The sad part about it is I married the asshat but the wonderful part of it is I no longer associate with him.

  • Sheri
    Posted at 07:05h, 13 July Reply

    Perfect asset to the prison asshat population!

    I’m done now! Thank you for letting me vent after reading this perfect article!

    • Shannon
      Posted at 18:35h, 20 July Reply

      Sheri sorry it took me so long to publish your comments! I’m writing my Asshat book and it’s taking a lot of time away from being here. Thanks for the compliment and so glad the article spoke to you! And congratulations on getting out of a toxic situation. xo

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