“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

Opt-in to the Shannon Colleary Communiqué to have both the Funny & the Wise delivered to your inbox weekly!

Do You Love An Asshat? How to Quit Him/Her

Signs of an abusive relationshipHello there my favorite people. I’m starting something new and hopefully helpful and cool.

Because my post, “10 Signs You Might be Dating an Asshat and 5 Ways to Avoid Them” (aka signs of an abusive relationship) has been, by far and away, one of my most shared blogs I’ve decided to start an Asshat Recovery Program for readers who are out in the dating war theater.

Since publishing this post I’ve had emails and social media messages from readers who literally made a decision to change their lives after reading this post, which both surprised and gratified me.

I always think I’m the only person who’s been an absolute catastrophic Asshat lover.

In fact, I was so good at picking and putting up with two innovative Asshats, who shall henceforth be referred to as Mr. Cruelly Handsome and The Greek God, that I’m in the process of writing a book about how I finally stopped doing that codswallop and actually ended up marrying and making a beautiful family with a blue-eyed, broad-shouldered beau whose intellectual prowess is matched only by his good heart. (My patient Henry)

We’ve been married fourteen years. Our marriage isn’t perfect, there’s been chubbiness, gassiness, bossy children, money worries, sickness, health, (along with joy, passion, affection and love) but no Asshattery.

Life can be tricky enough, do we really need to marry tricky?

So to be the first person to read (and hopefully benefit from) my latest post “Are You Catnip For Asshats” please opt-in to my How To Avoid Asshats And Find Real Love newsletter below. The post will automatically be sent to your inbox and is just the first in my Asshat Recovery program. 

(If you have an aol or yahoo email address you may not get the post delivered to your inbox. MailChimp apparently has a thing against aol and yahoo. So just email me at shannoncolleary@aol.com after you’ve signed up and I’ll send the post directly to you!)

Subscribe to my Asshat Recovery Program

* indicates required


Write a comment
  1. Kathy Radigan
    Kathy Radigan 9 September, 2014, 12:06

    Ah, Asshats!! Yes I have had my share!! So glad I got over that and married a nice guy who makes me laugh and stands by me!! One of the best pieces of advice I got when I was dating was: If you see a man on the other side of the room and you are instantly drawn to him, run the other way! And that is how I met my husband. After one date I told my friend that he was nice but, eh. She said I should keep going out with him till I had a really good reason not to, and she did not think the fact that I hated his suit qualified, I’m so glad I did because on the third date I fell pretty hard!!! xo

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 9 September, 2014, 14:08

      Kathy it’s as if we were on the same trajectory. I kept complaining to my friend that I wasn’t sure I was attracted to my husband. Having witnessed my abominable choices in the past she asked me to just try “one more date.” Date 7 was the clincher. After that I was in love.

      Reply this comment
  2. Marcia @ Menopausal Mother
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother 9 September, 2014, 12:51

    I had my share of these types of guys. Took a lot of frog kissing before I found my prince!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 9 September, 2014, 14:07

      Marcia I kissed so many frogs I began to crave flies for food. Okay, I took that just a bit too far.

      Reply this comment
  3. Sharon Greenthal
    Sharon Greenthal 9 September, 2014, 15:11

    If it wasn’t for asshats I would never have appreciated my husband.

    Reply this comment
  4. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs
    Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs 9 September, 2014, 15:36

    I’ve had one asshat in the past. But I was a teen, so thankfully I outgrew that quickly. Thankfully my three daughters have grown out of it, too (though it took the oldest, now 32, til she was about 30!).

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 9 September, 2014, 16:31

      Lisa you’re 30-year old daughter was a child prodigy. I didn’t kick Asshats till I was 36.

      Reply this comment
  5. Liv
    Liv 9 September, 2014, 18:02

    My ex is the King of the Asshats. Will be reading your wisdom with interest. Great idea Shannon!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 9 September, 2014, 22:32

      Thanks Liv. I hope the road I’ve walked will be helpful. It was a long and winding one. But I’m glad I did it.

      Reply this comment
  6. Kathy
    Kathy 9 September, 2014, 20:39

    Seriously – this couldn’t come at better time in my life. There is always standby you can’t kick to the curb. You give him up until you get weak & come crawling back, My asshat told me today that he was only humoring me because he needed a third party for him and his new girlfriend. Yes I am queen catnip & yes I told him to take a flying leap!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 9 September, 2014, 22:31

      Hey Kathy — I have been there my friend. One night my Asshat and I went out with friends to dinner. As we were exiting the restaurant he stopped to speak to a beautiful woman at the bar and I assumed he must know her since he stayed and chatted with her for a few moments. I waited on the curb outside. When he appeared I asked how he knew her and he said he didn’t. Yes, he was hitting on her while I was there. Oh that poor girl (meaning me)

      Reply this comment
  7. Carol Cassara
    Carol Cassara 10 September, 2014, 07:16

    Ass hats have taught me my most valuable lessons, as it turns out!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 10 September, 2014, 16:46

      Hi Carol — I can say the same, but wish I could’ve taken the lazy route. sigh.

      Reply this comment
  8. Jaeded
    Jaeded 20 September, 2014, 04:02

    I’m thinking the fact that I searched the web for every article ever written about f’d up relationships means I’m not over my f’d up relationship. Although….he is. We were together 12 years, never married, he met a new one and married her within 8 months. Now, here I am at 3:00 a m still looking for answers. I can, however, put one foot in front of the other now. But, still, I’m like the family dog stalking the coyote thinking maybe we could hit it off. What the hell?

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 20 September, 2014, 11:13

      Dear Jaeded — I feel you. It’s an addiction. I was addicted to two men with very little return on my investment. Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s just as difficult to give up a romantic partner as it is for any alcoholic or drug addict to give up their substance of choice. And there’s no one path to recovery. For me it took private therapy and a sponsor in Al-Anon who kicked my ass. Although in Al-Anon they discuss being addicted to a partner who is an alcoholic or drug addict it really is broader than that. Neither of the two men I loved were addicts, but they were unreliable, unfaithful and demeaned me. Those kind of relationships were very familiar to me so I had to completely rebuild my foundation. It took a long time, but so far it’s the most important work I’ve done in my life. Feel free to email me if you need any more input and I’m going to continue building this series. xo S

      Reply this comment
  9. Jim
    Jim 17 January, 2015, 08:52

    I read the “Personality Traits in abusive Relationships”. I also read an article “6 Early Warning Signs You’re in an Abusive Relationship” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pamela-jacobs/early-warning-signs-of-an_b_6009076.html) and “Five Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Get Inside Your Head” (https://selfcarehaven.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/five-powerful-ways-abusive-narcissists-get-inside-your-head/).

    My 4.5 month relationship fits all three of these to a T. I’m in such gratitude to have found your website and it truly is like reading my own story. The only difference in all of this…I, the partner of the abuser, am a man.

    I’ve been in Alanon for 4 years, she for 7. I thought I was safe. Then two months into the relationship, her abuse crept out. I did a great job of setting boundaries and she left. When she left, she was telling me how much she loved me, how I was everything she was looking for, but that I loved her more than she love me (despite her naming our children, asking me to move in and to fly home for the holidays to meet her family), so, she was leaving .

    This was 4 months ago. I still feel like I want I to die over this, guilt for setting the boundaries. I long for my Asshat to hear me, see me, be with me. It was really hard to see her for the first time in 4 months this last week (with extremely little contact until then) and have her yell at me, flipping and twisting everything around making me look like the one who did the wronging. She even accused me of being an alcoholic twice (when it was her who was self-medicating with alcohol and pot). A couple days later I sent a text saying how hurt I was she’d accused me. Her response, she said didn’t say that and was blocking my number.

    I can see everything about the mechanics, but emotionally I’m powerless. Awesome to see my personal growth through Alanon, yet, I still got into something toxic and now am having the worst time obsessing and letting go than I ever have before. I know to use my tools, but in the end, I think it will just take time. I’m in such fear of repeat. Luckily, I’ve had such growth from this and as I try to date again, am immediately seeing toxic people and I AM RUNNING. But I still mourn my ex-Asshat.

    Thank you for this website!!!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 17 January, 2015, 09:45

      Jim first let me say that I’m sorry you are in so much pain. I know exactly how you feel because I’ve been there many many times. This kind of emotional pain is often so much worse than physical pain. I’m going to throw some Al-anon at you. First, find and use a sponsor if you haven’t already. I made little progress until I got a dedicated, bossy sponsor who kicked my butt and for me this was around year six. Wish it had been sooner. That’s no.1 and essential. #2. Go to 30 meeting in 30 days and no meetings that your qualifier attends. Make the meetings your obsession, not her, remember to “act as if” even if it doesn’t feel like it. #3. Work the first three steps diligently. Get actionable tasks from your sponsor for these steps. (I have a good one for #2 if you need it). #4. Get into the audience of your own life. It sounds like your qualifier came on strong in the beginning ( naming kids Etc) then cooled off fast once you were hooked. That’s the first sign you might be dating an Asshat. I’ll be putting out a webinar in the fall that might be helpful. In the meantime if someone comes on fast see that as a red flag and slooooow down. Avoid physical intomacy for AT Least the first month of dating. I could go on. Just let me say this, if you work your program like crazy things will get better. Keep in touch. XoS

      Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*