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“She Dated the Asshats, but Married the Good Guy: How to Go From Toxic Love to Real Love in 12 Exercises” is on sale in paperback only right now. Kindle is coming in February.
This is a recovery book for women who attract or are in toxic, circle-the-drain relationships with Asshats (aka Narcissists).
Women who attract and stay in toxic relationships tend to have two flaws that make it extremely difficult for them to leave.
1. An Overabundance of Empathy
2. Misplaced Responsibility
This is especially true of women who grew up in homes with divorce, drug and alcohol addiction or immature, needy parents.
Using Goal-Setting, Visualization, Inner Child work, 12-Step Recovery and her personal and client stories, Colleary’s book offers these Learning Outcomes:
Before: I’m attracted to people who use and disrespect me.
After: I follow a “dating plan” that helps me navigate dating and falling love with emotionally healthy partners.
Before: I’m confused about what a healthy love relationship looks like.
After: I instantly recognize toxic behavior and have a clear vision of the partner I want.
Before: I’m afraid of being alone, which keeps me in the toxic relationship.
After: I’ve identified my core values and live by them, despite my fears.
Before: I keep trying to change or control my romantic partner, but nothing works.
After: I recognize when I’m trying to change or control my romantic partner and stop. I accept that I can only change myself, and recognize behaving otherwise damages my self-esteem.
Before: I abandon myself to please my romantic partner.
After: I recognize when I’m self-abandoning and set healthy boundaries.
Before: I feel isolated by and ashamed of my toxic relationship. It keeps me away from the people who really love me.
After: I’ve built a Mental Health Village that supports my emotional recovery and won’t shame me.
Before: I don’t believe in a Higher Power or I once did, but feel like that Higher Power has let me down.
After: I’ve developed a powerful, spiritual connection with the “Higher Power Of My Own Understanding.” S/he does for me what I can’t do for myself.
Before: I’m afraid to look at my childhood, or think it hasn’t negatively impacted the choices I’ve made today.
After: I’ve come out of denial and accept my past. I understand how it affects me today. I’m healing the damage done.
Before: I feel like my romantic partner is just using me for sex, money or emotional support and that the relationship isn’t reciprocal.
After: I no longer give and do for my romantic partner unless it’s “For Fun and For Free.” (Which means I won’t be disappointed if it’s not reciprocated.)
Before: My romantic relationship is the sole focus of my life.
After: I’ve cultivated other wonderful relationships and activities and have a fuller life than before.
Before: I obsess on and worry about whether my romantic partner is cheating on me.
After: I use practical tools to detach from him to maintain my serenity and/or gain the strength to leave.
Before: I feel depressed and hopeless.
After: I have a plan and a path to recovery and know that if I work it, it will work.
Colleary is uniquely qualified to help because she’s walked the walk. She spent 10 years in two toxic relationships with emotionally abusive men.
These relationships included stalking, begging, crying, gnashing of teeth, flailing, threatening, seducing … and that was just the author!
By diligently working Twelve-Step Recovery she learned to stop pointing the finger at her romantic partners and start taking responsibility for her own life by discovering why she kept choosing unwisely.
This helped her heal and transform her relationship paradigm. Now Colleary’s been married 16 years to a “honeyman” who loves her exactly as she is.
This book is a collection of all the exercises and tasks Colleary created and completed to find authentic, enduring love, and which have helped a multitude of her private clients do the same.
Raves for “She Dated the Asshats, But Married the Good Guy”
“This book was a game changer for me! On behalf of the women who will benefit from your book, I just want to say thank you!” ~ Lisa W.
“Anyone who is struggling with changing their current or future relationships should read this book! I’ve attended numerous seminars and read my fair share of books over the last several years, I found Shannon’s to be insightful, comprehensive and practical. I plan to read it again!” ~ America P.
“Shannon engages the reader in a humorous explorations of how to turn around toxic dating habits. She offers a practical guide to identify unhealthy patterns and move closer to finding the love you want.” ~ Claudia Lewis MA, LMFT, Psychotherapy and EMDR
“With wisdom, experience and empathy, Colleary uses real-life stories, straight-talk, and useful exercises to help reader not only rid themselves of an Asshat, but understand why they become involved with one in the first place.” ~ Kathryn Magendie, author of Sweetie
“Shannon doesn’t shy away from anything needed to unpack what has been making life and relationships painful, and the work that needs to be done on the journey to Real Love.” ~ Kate Green, MS, NCC, LPC
“Wow … just wow! Shannon – how I wish I’d read this book when I was 25 instead of 65! Thank you so much for your willingness to share your vulnerability and wisdom!” ~ Marie Cicogne
“Shannon’s book offers healthy solutions to discover our own strength and leave that Asshat behind for good!” ~ Lisa Chapman
“Shannon has found a perfect balance of research, anecdotes, encouragement and suggestions. The overall non-judgmental tone makes this a perfect read for any woman trying to make changes in her relationships.” ~ Alexandra Williams MA, Agency Counseling, Marriage and Family
“Written in the same friendly, fun-to-read voice that Shannon’s readers have come to know and love, her book is well-organized and broken down into easy-to-implement actionable tasks. If Real Love is what you’re looking for, you have to read this book!” ~ Mona Andrei
“A comprehensive guide full of insight, wit and concrete tips on how to kick toxic relationships for good and find true contentment with oneself and others.” ~ Gayle Tribe, M.Ed, PPS
“This book is pure gold for every single woman who has wondered why all the men she dates are jerks and what to do about it. It debunks all the so-called ‘relationship improvement’ instructions by big name ‘experts’ and offers single women a reality check and excellent advice to help anyone find and be successful in a functional relationship.” ~ Carol C.
“Shannon’s book helped me finally realize why I was still dating asshats. Understanding codependency and how to change its hold on me was eye-opening. Her book gives clear concise steps to empowering yourself and having the best life possible. Shannon does this in a humorous, non-judgmental, and loving way. This book was a life-changing read for me! I highly recommend it to anyone struggling with self-esteem and relationship issues.” ~ Vicki P.
She Dated the Asshats, But Married the Good Guy contains practical advice and assignments to recognize red flags. I liked Shannon’s willingness to share her own experiences with readers … it’s just a great book. ~ Debra Ellis Smith, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, LCMHC
Praise for MS:
“All you all – our glorious friend Shannon Bradley Colleary has just published a sizzling (cause I temporarily forgot how to spell titillating) laugh-out-loud been-there-tried-that collection of married folk stories in Married Sex: Fact and Fiction. This will brighten your tired exhausted self – great find as we head into another school year!” — Kimberly Marie Avila
“So funny, so relatable, so true! Shannon’s stories and fantasies had me in stitches and her advise is spot on. Whether you have been married 1 year or 20 years … a must read for women and MEN. You will laugh your way all the way to the boudoir (or the “Pleasure Chest!”)” — Jeannine Chanin-Penn
Praise for SC&B:
“Ms. Bradley-Colleary’s (partial) memoir is really a fun read. She is a good writer, to start. Her prose is colorful, varied, and interesting – that’s my first criterion in a book, and she passes the test mightily. I really feel like we are getting the truth here – unvarnished, about what it is like to start out as an actor in LA and actually achieve some success. But even more interesting are the trappings of that – the scenes that she finds herself in, both with celebrities and without.
“But I admit even more pleasurable for me is the, pardon the cliche, walk down memory lane. Ms. Bradley-Colleary has painted a picture of the 80s and 90s that will be extraordinarily familiar to anyone who came of age in that time period. From Roman Polanski to INXS to David Schwimmer to you-name-it, who doesn’t love reading about all of these things that so occupied us before we “grew up”, had kids, and had to be responsible. Thank you, Ms. Bradley-Colleary, for a fun jaunty time/travelogue of what made those decades so great (and perhaps in some ways not so great).”
— M. Wieczoreck
“It’s 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 (David Schwimmer’s acting class antics are hilarious!).
“As someone who was also a young adult in the ’80s and ’90s, I felt like I was visiting the parallel universe I’d only wondered about: What happens when you have a brain AND big hair–when you want to be An Actor but everyone wants you in Spandex? My favorite parts, though, are when Shannon reveals–without a drop of sentiment–the deep pain and losses in her childhood that drive her into wanting to be Somebody. Well worth reading!”
— Greg Thompson
Praise for this book:
“Debut author Colleary chronicles 40 weeks of pregnancy in this irreverent account.
“Sometimes sweet, sometimes sassy, screenwriter and blogger Colleary tells all with witty sarcasm and edgy, laugh-out-loud humor.
“She begins with conception and the results of a home pregnancy test before careening through laments of sleepless nights, mood swings, weight gain and nausea with snappy but snide remarks most pregnant women think but few express.
“Colleary’s book is a fun, literary romp for any woman who has experienced “The First Trimester Through Hell” and lived to read the tale.
“The former homecoming queen and INXS backup dancer, now the pregnant mommy of one, alternates between admitted snobbery (“I saw stay-at-home moms as the kind of women who sat in the fifth pew of fill-in-the-blank church, smiling with bland acquiescence, who thought Danielle Steele novels were literature”) and a self-deprecating appraisal of her blossoming physique (“Some days even my earlobes feel fat”).
“Each chapter notes the gestation time in weeks and days, recounted in diary style, and draws readers into one delicious admission after another. Colleary professes a jealousy for the skinny, over-achieving Gwyneth Paltrow and a tendency toward fantasies involving George Clooney.
“She regales with funny tales of an overbearing lactation nurse screeching about the importance of Colostrum and a would-be caregiver whose secret life, the author fears, will eventually be revealed on a daytime talk show. Colleary’s humor and warmth flow seamlessly from conception to birth in this well-written, snappy read.
“A hysterical account of pregnancy that will resonate with readers who’ve been through it before.”
Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744 email@example.com
“I saw my own parenting experiences in this book and it both horrified and comforted me.”
— Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess, author of Let’s Pretend It Never Happened.
“Shannon Colleary is not just a witty, insightful and engaging writer – she has her twitchy finger on the pulse of an engorged vein that many bloggers don’t dare mine: the truth.”
— Mike Werb – screenwriter of The Mask, Face-Off, Lara Croft Tomb Raider.
“I’m not sure that writing can be said to be too honest, too sharp, too insightful, too funny, too close to the emotional quick so that you are laughing through the pain of child birth. But if it is possible Shannon Colleary has done it with this series of essays. She demystifies the romance of motherhood in a way that does what great comedy does; It make you embrace her version of it more sweetly.”
— Hal Ackerman – author of Write Screenplays That Sell: The Ackerman Way and Stein, Stoned.