14 Jul Week 1: The Asshat Recovery Program (A Questionnaire, do you Qualify?)
Welcome to my How to Avoid Toxic Relationships to Find Real Love Tutorial.
Over the next several months we’ll be working together to discover if you’re in a toxic relationship and, if so, how to extricate yourself in order to find the love that will help you navigate the pitfalls of life, instead of being one of them.
I want to start today off by asking you a few questions in order to see if you qualify for the Asshat Recovery Program.
Raise your hand when the answer is “yes” to any of the questions below. (Yes, I will see you through the computer screen.)
1. Have you ever hidden in an unmarked van wearing headphones so you could hear what was happening inside of your boyfriend’s apartment — which you wire-tapped while he was at the gym — because you think he might be cheating on you?
Shannon quietly raises hand. I’m kidding. I was in an unmarked sedan, not a van. But let’s take it down a notch or two.
2. Who here has snooped through their lover’s cell phone, desk, car or underwear drawer to find evidence of infidelity?
3. Who here has lain awake at night listening for the sound of your lover’s car because he was supposed to be at your house hours ago and hasn’t arrived or called and isn’t answering his cell or text messages?
4. Who here has waited for the phone to ring, then kept checking the phone repeatedly to see if it’s working properly?
5. Who here has been in a relationship that made them feel insecure and bad about themselves?
6. Who here keeps dating the same guy/gal over and over, just in a different body?
7. Who here has wanted a committed relationship, but has never been able to attain it?
8. Who here would like to have get married and have a family, but feels like it’s just never going to happen?
9. Who here is successful in other aspects of life; school, work, but can’t get it together in their personal life?
10. Who here feels finding the right relationship is their number one priority?
If you answered “yes” to two or more of the questions above (even if the details are a bit different), chances are you are either in a toxic relationship or vulnerable to attracting another one.
And I should know.
I’ve been married fourteen years to a man who makes me want to be a better woman. He’s the love of my life. However, it wasn’t always like that.
If you’ve read any of my previous Asshat posts you know that I spent a total of ten pretty miserable years in two different relationships with two toxic, emotionally abusive men who I refer to as the Greek God and Mr. Cruelly Handsome, in the hopes they won’t sue me.
Here’s the thing about toxic people. We don’t have to judge or revile them. They are, quite simply, damaged people.
I was a toxic person in one of my relationships. I was immature and damaged, because I came from a dysfunctional home.
The man I was dating at the time finally had the strength to walk away because he realized he couldn’t change me and that I was the only one who could choose to fix the damage and grow up.
When we’re dating a toxic or non-commital person, we don’t know why he’s damaged, and even if we think we do know why he’s damaged, we must accept the fact that WE ABSOLUTELY CANNOT FIX HIM.
WE CANNOT FIX HIM. Ever. Not under any circumstances!
So, ideally it would be best if we know how to recognize toxic men before we get hooked.
Which is why I’d like to share the 9 Red Flags you might be dating a toxic person over the next 9 weeks.
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