She Agreed to a Threesome to Keep her Man Interested & Lost Herself. The 1st Step to Recovery & 1 Task.

Some of us think we’re God because we believe we can change other people.

Or we think that by changing our own behavior, we can impact and change the behavior of our partner.

When we’re in a functional, loving relationship with a normal, healthy adult changing our behavior in positive ways absolutely can have a positive influence on our partner.

But many of us end up in what I like to call The Dance of Death when we are in unhealthy relationships with toxic, Asshat partners.

We can spend months and even years twisting ourselves into all kinds of different pretzel-like shapes in order to hopefully make our partner love us more and treat us better.

We will often abandon ourselves and our principles in order to keep this kind of partner engaged in us.

A recent client I’ll call Sandy has been with Jim for almost four years. During that time he’s been unpredictable, unfaithful and unkind. But Sandy’s co-dependent addiction to Jim has made it impossible for her to leave him.

Finally, in the hopes of pleasing him by letting him know she’s willing to do anything for his love, Sandy agreed to participate in a sexual threesome with Jim and a second woman, despite the fact that doing so made her incredibly uncomfortable.

In the midst of the tryst Sandy bolted. She’d hit rock bottom, which is when she contacted me.

Slowly but surely we’ve been working the twelve steps to conquer her addiction to Jim and she’s beginning to see how much of herself she’s lost to stay with him.

She’s realizing that she isn’t God. She can’t change Jim. She can only change herself.

Words of wisdom from my husband Henry that should be stitched into a sampler and hung on a wall:

“A Relationship is Only as Good as the Person who wants it the Least.”

If you’re doing crazy things to keep your Asshat lover in your clutches, try working the first step from the 12-Step Program. Which goes like this:

STEP ONE: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (replace this with “asshat” or “toxic partner”) and that our lives had become unmanageable.

TASK: Make a comprehensive list of all of the ways having this relationship has made your life unmanageable. Have you lost sleep, work, friends because of it? Have you lost or gained too much weight? Are you constantly stressed and preoccupied?

Write it down, all of it, then share it here in the comments below, which I’ll moderate to make the conversation safe, or with a safe, objective third party. You can also email the list to me at shannon@shannoncolleary.com and I’ll be happy to respond.

Awareness is the beginning of recovery. Onward and upward. xo S

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